Hackathon: National Science Foundation

Today, the Offices of Research Advancement and Scholarship & Innovation hosted a Hackathon to discuss submitting NSF proposals and more specifically, the Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12) call for proposals. Edith Gummer, the Director of Data Strategy for Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, offered her perspective and suggestions for success as a former NSF program officer. Some of Edith’s top recommendations for faculty to best position themselves for success included:

  • be extremely familiar with the call, (know the ins and outs)
  • know what has been funded in your area of research
  • read reviewer feedback for proposals that did not get funded
  • for junior faculty specifically, volunteer to serve as a reviewer to get in front of and exposure with a panel
  • contact a program officer after you send them a 2-page summary of your proposal
  • provide enough details so your mother could understand what you are trying to do
  • overwrite the methods section so you include all components, and then edit heavily
  • ensure your proposal includes an evaluation plan to assess impact– you do not need to have an external evaluator
  • consider an advisory board if additional expertise is needed to conduct proposed activities