The 2022 Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) NSF 22-586 proposal application deadline is rapidly approaching (Full Proposal Deadline due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time July 27, 2022). We know faculty are working to make final improvements to their proposal documents. To help you submit your strongest NSF CAREER Proposal, here is a recap of the critical tools and resources that have been shared in the weekly DER newsletters throughout this application cycle. These tools will help you efficiently create and fine-tune your strongest NSF CAREER proposal.
2022 CAREER Award Workshop - The 2022 CAREER Award Workshop, presented by Dr. John Verboncoeur (Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies) & Dr. Robert Ofoli (Associate Professor), led a discussion of the competition format, along with best practices and strategies for producing successful NSF CAREER proposals. The session also included presentations by previous CAREER award winners, and presentations from others key resources from around campus.
Proposal Development Assistance available within College of Engineering
– Dr. Lauren Aerni-Flessner (Grant and Project Management Specialist in the College of Engineering) provides faculty in the College of Engineering with valuable grant proposal preparation support for grants to each of MSU’s sponsors & agencies. She is available to help faculty with proposal editing, first draft reviews, and coordination for complex proposals. For any questions, please contact Lauren directly at email@example.com. Dr. Aerni-Flessner is currently prioritizing faculty who have previously submitted for NSF CAREER proposals but were not funded.
Additional help from your MSU Proposal Services team – Direct one-on-one support is available to MSU faculty available from experienced MSU university-wide support. This includes Angie Kankula, research administration manager, who brings expansive project management expertise to the proposal services team and Sara Steenrod, Ph.D. (grant consultant with an emphasis in NSF). They are available for exploring funding opportunities, proposal editing, and more.
Connections with EGR peers who have previously received CAREER Awards: speaking with previous recipients is a great way to help glean insight to promote your NSF CAREER Proposal (recent EGR article).
Other recent NSF CAREER proposal-focused seminars/sessions include:
Utilize your DER Research Administrators to help answer any questions!
Remember that DER is experienced in helping faculty prepare and submit awarded CAREER proposals. We are here to help you navigate these sometimes-tricky processes and equip you with the best tools and information to promote the success of your funded CAREER proposal. If you have questions regarding your NSF CAREER proposal, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated rates are now released for Budgeting Salaries & Fringe Benefits for Sponsored Projects - FY22/23.
Note: Salary rates
for all employees should be inflated in the 1- 4% range for each succeeding year, except as otherwise specified by sponsoring agencies. The default inflation rate for Salary and Non-Personnel costs in KR is being increased to 3%. This memorandum supersedes the previous memo on the same subject dated July 13, 2021.
July 14, 2022
Subject: Department of Energy New Current and Pending Support requirements
Laura Johnston, Asst Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
SPA News Listserv
On June 1, 2022 the Department of Energy (DOE) released a Financial Assistance Letter (FAL), No. FAL 2022-04
to DOE and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Contracting and Grants Officers. The FAL provided information and guidance on what should be included in Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) and Financial Assistance Agreements related to Current and Pending (C&P) Support disclosures. Effective immediately, DOE FOAs and newly issued Financial Assistance Agreements will include the new requirements. For a detailed description of the requirements, please see the DOE section of our Current and Pending webpage (also included as reference below). Significant things to note regarding the new requirements:
May require past support to be reported. If so, it will be noted in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Research gifts must be included (with or without terms and conditions).
On the C&P form, when entering the total cost of the proposal, award or activity, you must include direct costs, indirect costs and cost share.
The C&P form must be signed and dated and include DOE’s certification statement. The FAL did not specify whether the signature had to be electronic or digital, or if it could be a scanned wet signature.
Upon request, supporting documentation for any identified source of support must be provided to DOE, including translations of any documentation.
At the award negotiation stage or during the performance of an award, DOE may designate additional project personnel as Senior/key and require their Current and Pending Support form. This could include consultants, postdocs, graduate students, etc.
At the award stage:
Changes or additions to Senior/key personnel - the new person must submit a C&P form within 30 days of joining a project team*
Changes to previously submitted C&P - any changes to a previously submitted C&P form must be submitted within 30 days of the change*
*Timeline may be adjusted by the program office
If you have any questions related to requirements at the proposal or Just-in-Time stage, please contact your OSP Proposal Team. For questions during the performance of an award, please contact the CGA Awards Group.
On June 1, 2022 the Department of Energy released a Financial Assistance Letter (FAL), No. FAL 2022-04, to DOE and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Contracting and Grants Officers. The FAL provided information and guidance on what should be included in Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) and Financial Assistance Agreements related to Current and Pending Support disclosures. Effective immediately, DOE FOAs and newly issued Financial Assistance Agreements will include the following requirements for Current and Pending Support:
Who Must Report
All Senior/key personnel. DOE defines Senior/key personnel as:
“An individual who contributes in a substantive, meaningful way to the scientific development or execution of a Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) project proposed to be carried out with a DOE award.”
DOE clarifies that typically these individuals have a doctoral or other professional degree, although individuals with other levels of education/experience may be considered Senior/key if their involvement meets the above DOE definition.
When to Report
Proposal stage: Follow the instructions provided in the Funding Opportunity Announcement for your proposal submission. DOE instructed Contracting and Grants Officers to begin including these requirements in new FOA’s, as of June 1, 2022.
Adding new Senior/key personnel - If there are changes or additions to Senior/key personnel for the project, the new person must submit a Current and Pending Support form within 30 days of joining the project team, or on a timeline provided by the program office.
Changes to previously submitted Current and Pending Support – Changes to a previously submitted Current and Pending Support form must be submitted within 30 days of the change, or on a timeline provided by the program office.
Note: Typically not applicable to financial assistance agreements that exclusively fund conferences, workshops, and other technical meetings.
What to Report
The Current and Pending Support form must include:
“…all resources made available, or expected to be made available, to an individual in support of the individual’s RD&D efforts…” This is regardless of:
Whether the source of support is domestic or non-domestic
Whether the resource is made available through MSU or directly to the individual
Whether the resource has monetary value
All proposals and ongoing projects/awards. May also include past support, if so, the requirement to include past support as well as the timeframe, will be included in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Research gifts (with or without terms and conditions)
Professional appointments, regardless of whether the appointment is:
Full-time, part-time or voluntary
Faculty, visiting, adjunct or honorary
Consulting activities that involve conducting research
Research conducted during the summer semester for faculty members with an Academic Year appointment
“…in-kind contributions requiring a commitment of time and directly supporting the individual’s RD&D efforts.” Examples include:
Provision of office or lab space
Access to equipment or supplies
Access to employee or student labor
How to Report
DOE uses NSF’s Current and Pending Support format, which can be completed through SciENcv, or the PDF template. For each activity included on the Current and Pending Support form, include the following items:
Sponsor of the activity or source of funding
Award # or other identifying #
Title of award or activity
If the title of the activity isn’t descriptive, include a brief description of the research being performed. The description should help identify overlaps or synergies with the proposed research.
Total project period (start and end date of the activity)
Person-months effort (per year) being dedicated to the award or activity
Use the overlap field to identify overlap, duplication of effort, or synergistic efforts with other awards or activities.
New – the Current and Pending Support form must be signed and dated, and include the following certification statement:
I, [Full Name and Title], certify to the best of my knowledge and belief that the information contained in this Current and Pending Support Disclosure Statement is true, complete, and accurate. I understand that any false, fictitious, or fraudulent information, misrepresentations, half-truths, or omissions of any material fact, may subject me to criminal, civil or administrative penalties for fraud, false statements, false claims or otherwise. (18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 and 287, and 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733 and 3801-3812). I further understand and agree that (1) the statements and representations made herein are material to DOE’s funding decision, and (2) I have a responsibility to update the disclosures during the period of performance of the award should circumstances change which impact the responses provided above.
The above certification statement is currently not included on the PDF template, nor is there a designated signature/date field. This must be added to the PDF template, or if using SciENcv, it must be attached.
Note: Details of any obligations to a program, entity or organization sponsored by a non-domestic government must be provided to DOE upon their request. This may include providing supporting documents (with certified translation to English) of any identified source of support.
Spotlight Opportunities & Information
What’s hot in science? Check out NSF research news through July 13, 2022
Keep up with today’s research news from the U.S. National Science Foundation. This is a daily look at noteworthy scientific findings from researchers around the country.
Spartan engineer recognized for ‘holy grail’ battery research
Michigan State University’s Chengcheng Fang has been named a 2022 Innovator Under 35 by the science and technology magazine MIT Technology Review.
The magazine selected Fang for its list of “outstanding innovators who are younger than 35” because of her research’s potential to make batteries for electric vehicles run safer and last longer. In theory, her technology could double the range that electric vehicles can currently cover on a single charge.
"The world has witnessed how modern battery technology can significantly reshape our lives with smartphones and electric cars,” said Fang, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. “The lithium metal battery I am working on is the ‘holy grail’ battery that would provide the highest possible energy density.”
Working at MSU, Fang and her team have access to state-of-the-art research facilities and the opportunity to work with electric vehicle experts in industry who share their goals, she said.
"Improved energy density will not only double the mileage of electric vehicles, but also inspire a variety of creations that do not exist today, such as electrified aircraft,” she said.
Fang is one of 35 innovators selected to join the 2022 Innovators Under 35 cohort and one of seven selected for innovations to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint and fight climate change.
“Dr. Fang’s work is not only impressive, but an excellent example of what we are trying to accomplish in our new MSU 2030 Strategic Plan,” stated Doug Gage, vice president for Research and Innovation. “Addressing climate change is a key initiative of the plan and her innovative work to make lithium batteries more efficient will help move society toward greener transportation. Recognition for this work at an early career stage is very impressive and demonstrates the high caliber of our scholars at MSU.” ... Learn more Here.
Next round of competition will add a science and innovation prize.
Amazon today announced the Alexa Prize SocialBot Grand Challenge 5 (SGC5), the latest in an ongoing university challenge focused on creating conversational socialbots that can speak coherently and engagingly with humans for 20 minutes on a range of current events and topics.
The Alexa Prize, launched in 2016, is a competition for university students dedicated to advancing the field of conversational AI. To meet the Grand Challenge, teams must earn a composite score of 4.0 or higher (out of 5) user rating and, in the final round, have judges find that at least two-thirds of their conversations with the socialbot remain coherent and engaging for 20 minutes.
Description: The 2022 CAREER Award Workshop (Session 1), presented by Dr. John Verboncoeur (Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies) & Dr. Robert Ofoli (Associate Professor), will lead a discussion of the competition format, along with best practices and strategies for producing successful NSF Career proposals. Session 1 will also include presentations by previous CAREER award winners, and presentations from others key resources from around campus. UPDATE: The NSF Career proposal submission deadline (NSF 22-586) is now July 27, 2022. Watch it now on demand!!! A recording of Sessions 2-4 will not be released as they will include peer to peer feedback regarding proprietary information included in CAREER proposals that will be submitted in this round. To be part of sessions 2-4, please contact Dr. Robert Ofoli
(Associate Professor) directly.
Does effort reporting for your grants and contracts seem more cumbersome than it should be? CGA has compiled a very helpful list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Topics range from reporting deadlines, to resolving errors, and everything in between!
As you peruse this list, you might notice that there is a dedicated email address for any questions or issues you may have when submitting effort reporting. Please use email@example.com to expedite service.