Discussion: All Things NSF

While I am involved in many, many more applications to the NIH than to the NSF, I wanted to offer a place for NSF applicants to ask their questions and share advice as well.


  1. writedit said

    The NSF has launched an Open Government Website and invites the scientific community to visit the “OpenNSF dialogue to share your ideas on how NSF can be more transparent, collaborative, participatory and innovative.”

  2. Can postdocs be a co-PI on either NSF or NIH grants? If the postdoc can get accredited as a co-PI, would they be allowed to take some of the money with them if they end up getting a tenure track faculty position at another institution?

    • writedit said

      This is up to your institution but often not, especially if you are supported on a T32 or F32. Taking any grant money with you is also up to your current institution (awards are made to the institution, and they could argue that they can replace you with someone else at the institution). You certainly do not want to be part of a multiple PI R01 submission as you would lose your new investigator status if the other PI(s) is/are established investigators.

      Citizenship only matters for career development/NRSA awards, in that you must be a citizen or permanent resident to apply with the exception of the K99. Non-citizens can be PIs on RPGs et al.

  3. I should also add – is there a complication if the postdoc is not a US citizen?

  4. writedit said

    Keep running out of time to post this, but starting in October, the NSF will “require that all proposals include a data management plan in the form of a 2-page supplementary document.”

    Details will be forthcoming, but the new requirement “will address the need for data from publicly-funded research to be made public.”

    Also, “the data management plans will be subject to peer review, and the new approach will allow flexibility at the directorate and division levels to tailor implementation as appropriate.”

    Stay tuned.

  5. tc said

    NSF’s grants can be 3 or 5 yrs. Does anyone know whether the 5 yr grants are more difficult to get?

    • writedit said

      The science needs to drive the duration of the award, but NSF tends to prefer more frequent, shorter awards (less committed up front). At NSF even more than NIH, it is critical to talk with the Program Director, and he/she could offer advice specific to your project and whether he/she would want to fund 3 or 5 years of work.

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