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47.070 Computer and Information Science and Engineering
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, Public Law 106-377, 42 U.S.C. 1861 et seq.
To support research improving the fundamental understanding of computer and information processing, to enhance the training and education of scientists and engineers who contribute to and exploit that understanding, to enhance the personnel pool for these fields, to provide access to very advanced computing and networking capabilities, and to provide the information intensive knowledge underlying selected national initiatives.
TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:
USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:
Funds may be used to pay costs of conducting research, and obtaining access to advanced computing and networking capabilities, salaries and wages, equipment and supplies, travel, publication costs, other direct costs, and indirect costs. This program does not provide support for fellowships, scholarships, product development or marketing, or proof-of-concept experimentation.
Applicant Eligibility: Public and private colleges and universities; nonprofit institutions; profit-making organizations, including small businesses; and State, and local government agencies are eligible. The greatest percentage of support goes to academic institutions.
Pre-application Coordination: None required, except in specific cases, but preliminary discussions with relevant National Science Foundation program officers, by telephone or mail, are encouraged. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Formula and Matching Requirements: The Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) (Chapter II) and the Grant Policy Manual (Sec. 330) provide information on the general NSF policy on cost-sharing.
POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Reports: For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant program office at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period. Within 90 days after the expiration of a grant, the PI is required to submit a final project report. Quarterly Federal Cash Transaction Reports are required. Other reporting requirements may be imposed via the grant instrument.
Account Identification: 49-0100-0-1-251.
In fiscal year 2001, 4963 proposals were received and 2,009 awards made. In fiscal year 2002, approximately 5,100 proposals will be received and about 2,100 awards will be made. In fiscal year 2003, approximately 5,300 proposals will be received and about 2,150 awards will be made.
REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:
48 CFR Chapter 25: 45 CFR Chapter VI; "NSF Guide to Programs, Fiscal Year 2003," NSF 03-009 (http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?nsf03009); and "Grant Proposal Guide," NSF 03-2 (http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?nsf032).
Regional or Local Office: Not applicable.
EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:
Shang-Hua Teng of the University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign and Dan Spielman of MIT, have formulated a new and very useful method, called smoothed analysis, to study the performance of algorithms. They have applied their method to gain a deeper understanding of the Simplex Method, a widely used algorithm that has defied complete understanding for over 50 years. The Simplex Method is widely used for scheduling manufacturing, airline flights and flight crews. Fred Jelinek of Johns Hopkins University has sponsored a series of summer schools on computational language engineering, including automated speech recognition and synthesis, natural language processing, machine translation of languages, and information extraction and summarization. Research in this field enables applications that help us deal with non-English languages such as machine recognition of spoken language from conversations, radio or other sources, automatic translation between languages, and clustering to find frequent concepts. The need for advances in such technology was highlighted by the events of September 11 and the concomitant recognition that the U.S. has insufficient expertise dealing with languages such as Pashto, Urdu, and Arabic. Michael Rabin at Harvard, has created the world's first demonstrably secure cryptosystem. Previous cryptosystems relied on both computational limitations of the adversary and assumptions in computational complexity theory. This system is secure against any adversary regardless of the adversary's computing power. Ron Elber and colleagues at Cornell are developing new algorithms for simulation to allow significantly faster computation and simulation of protein structures, allowing more rapid advances in our understanding of protein behavior.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:
The National Science Board approved revised criteria for evaluating proposals at its meeting on March 28, 1997 (NSB 97-72). All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities. On July 8, 2002, the NSF Director issued Important Notice 127, Implementation of new Grant Proposal Guide Requirements Related to the Broader Impacts Criterion. This Important Notice reinforces the importance of addressing both criteria in the preparation and review of all proposals submitted to NSF. NSF continues to strengthen its internal processes to ensure that both of the merit review criteria are addressed when making funding decisions. In an effort to increase compliance with these requirements, the January 2002 issuance of the GPG incorporated revised proposal preparation guidelines relating to the development of the Project Summary and Project Description. Chapter II of the GPG specifies that Principal Investigators (PIs) must address both merit review criteria in separate statements within the one-page Project Summary. This chapter also reiterates that broader impacts resulting from the proposed project must be addressed in the Project Description and described as an integral part of the narrative. Effective October 1, 2002, NSF will return without review proposals that do not separately address both merit review criteria within the Project Summary. It is believed that these changes to NSF proposal preparation and processing guidelines will more clearly articulate the importance of broader impacts to NSF-funded projects. The two National Science Board approved merit review criteria are listed below (see the Grant Proposal Guide Chapter III.A for further information). The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which he/she is qualified to make judgements. What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity? How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources? What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity? How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions: Integration of Research and Education. One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives. Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities. Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.