NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants

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NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants. Improve dissertation research P rovide funds not normally available to graduate students significant data-gathering field research Not a dissertation grant . Know your reviewers. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement GrantsImprove dissertation research Provide funds not normally available to graduate students significant data-gathering field researchNot a dissertation grant

Know your reviewers


Who reviews?3 (relative) specialists and (potential) advocatesMany (10 or more) others reading at the last minuteon topics outside core expertise25+ proposalsProposal must be CatchyClear ConciseAimed at a (relatively) broad audience (but scientifically clear and sound!)


5Substantive componentsProject summary1 pageNeeds a hook2 required paragraphs Intellectual meritBroader impactsProject description10 or 15 pagesUse headersWalk us throughWhat you will doWhy it is worth doingHow you will do itProject descriptionMust hook reader from the beginning: catchy, broad-pitched, conceptually motived introductionCore is clear, testable hypothesesIn context (existing knowledge)Clearly linked to discussion of appropriate methods and data and strong argument that the proposed research will answer questions raisedClearly thought-out plan for nuts-and-bolts of implementationMust flow yet each section should stand alone

background material helps to show promise of dissertation.

While panelists are willing to fund risky proposals, they do want to know that the proposed work is logical and feasible.7Context for improvementBiological (but not social and behavioral) sciences require a statement labeled Context for Improvement as a one-page Supplementary Document included with the proposal.Details how NSF funding will substantially improve the overall dissertation projectIncludes an explanation of the relation of the students work to that of the advisor, including how the funding requested for the proposed work will depart from funding for the advisor's own research.Avoid Sound but uninteresting Overemphasis on methods A means, not an endGreat methods dont save an uninteresting projectPoor scholarshipLack of integration between sectionsBad writing, misspellings, poor use of headers

Solid but boring = no funding. be sure to place research into a broader intellectual and scientific contextavoid overemphasizing description rather than hypothesis-driven science

Poor scholarship, An obvious red flag for this problem is the first time ever claim.

The various sections of the proposal must all work together toward a common goal.9UseClear, confident languageI hope to showI will showI intend to showA positive correlation will confirm my hypothesis that The proposed project aims to will Language to guide your readerAs described previously (section 2a, Pilot Experiments) As noted in the introduction Sharp, clearly labeled figures and tablesOther tipsWrite aheadRead examples of successful proposalsGet feedback from your advisor and others, including outside your core specialtyUse available helpExpect getting the proposal into Fastlane to take time

What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?

11Know what NSF asks reviewers

Intellectual meritHow important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer? To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?Broader impactsHow well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does it broaden participation of underrepresented groups? To what extent will it enhance infrastructure for research and education, (facilities, instrumentation, networks, partnerships)? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?



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