|Volume 3: No. 22|
The GSA's Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance is available free via WAIS from the SURAnet Network Information Center (firstname.lastname@example.org). This is a directory of Federal programs, projects, services, and activities that provide assistance or benefits to the American Public. Ask Ed Klein (eklein @dungeon.sura.net), (301) 982-4600, or point your WAIS server to (:source :version 3 :ip-address "126.96.36.199" :ip-name "nic.sura.net" :tcp-port 210 :database-name "gsa-cfda" :cost 0.00 :cost-unit :free :maintainer "email@example.com"). A diskette version of the CFDA may be purchased from GSA at (202) 708-5126. [comp.infosystems.wais. Bill Park, 5/26/93.]
NSF has released a new program guideline for its FY '93 graduate research traineeships (NSF 93-45). Also a directory of last year's awards for the Engineering Directorate (NSF 93-65). FTP them from stis.nsf.gov or request them from firstname.lastname@example.org. [grants, 5/20/93.]
NSF deadlines: CISE Instrumentation (NSF 92-64), 8/2, email@example.com; SBIR (NSF 93-18), 6/14, (202) 653-5202. Target date: NSFNET Program--Connections to NSFNET (NSF 90-7), 7/1, firstname.lastname@example.org. [NSF Bulletin, 6/93.]
Helen Gill is the new NSF/CISE program director for Software Engineering; (202) 357-7375. Krishna Kavi is the CCR PD for Operating Systems and Systems Software, and acting PD for Programming Languages and Compilers; (202) 357-7375. [grants, 5/27/93.]
NSF's Div. of Grants and Contracts has split. The new Div. of Grants and Agreements (DGA) under William B. Cole, Jr., will handle research grants and cooperative agreements, while the Div. of Contracts, Policy, and Oversight (CPO) under Robert B. Hardy will manage NSF's procurement of services. CPO will also establish indirect cost rates for NSF grants. [NSF Bulletin. grants, 5/12/93.]
Last week I ranted a bit against track record as a grant justification. I should have mentioned that NSF does have proposal mechanisms where reputation and inspiration are the chief selling points. You can submit a very short proposal -- essentially a "white paper" with five reprints or preprints -- for full peer review and funding within 9-12 months. Or, in some NSF programs, you can submit an "exploratory research" proposal to be reviewed within three months by the program director alone. (The program director has the option of sending it for full peer review.) Exploratory research awards seldom exceed $15K, and are supposedly limited to novel or cross-disciplinary proposals where peer review will not work (e.g., for lack of time or because no unbiased peer community exists). One use is for workshops where everyone in an emerging field is invited.
A third alternative is to argue within an ordinary research proposal that your productivity and momentum are sufficient justification for a grant. A fourth is to propose a scientific or engineering research center with yourself as chief scientist or director. Proposals are usually short on detail and are reviewed partly on reputation, experience, and management plan. If you win, you control significant resources -- subject to any "tax" for undergraduate education, community outreach, meetings of a board of advisors, etc. Scientific centers supposedly leave the director 50% time for research; engineering centers are much more complex. There are few "syntactic" constraints on the proposals, but the proposals are hard to write because the availability and collaboration of many people must be coordinated. Winning proposals typically offer essential collaboration rather than "umbrella" funding of separate research efforts. Track record is helpful but not sufficient.