PREPARING FOR SITE VISITS:
THE AGONY AND THE AGONYMEREDITH MURR, UC SANTA BARBARA; SHERYL SOUCY-LUBELL, UC DAVIS; BARRY ROWAN, UC SANTA BARBARA
RANDY PHELPS, NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
WHAT WE WILL NOT COVER
Anything Pre-notification of site visit:
How to assemble a good team
How to define the mission of the Center
How to construct a good center proposal, etc.
for excellent guidance on these topics, please see articles in the Research
Development and Grant Writing Newsletter, published by Lucy Deckard and Mike
Cronan of Academic Research Funding Strategies, LLC
USING THE NSF STC AS A CASE STUDY
Site visits come in all shapes and sizes.
Varying in level of guidance, structure, on-site versus reverse-site, etc.
Not practical to talk about all the variations
Key take home message it takes planning. Lots and lots of planning. More than you
think. It is AGONY. Be prepared.
Many of the issues we encountered in preparing for the NSF STC site visit are
applicable to all site visits.
But, follow the guidance and instructions from the funding agency/program officers.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CENTERS:
Large NSF Center program ($50M in FY2012)
Budget $5 million a year for 5 years (renewable up to 10 years)
Funds innovative, potentially transformative, complex research and education
projects that require large-scale, long-term awards.
Expectation for partnerships among academic institutions, national laboratories,
industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities,
Significant education and diversity mandates
Knowledge transfer, including technology transfer, providing key information to public
policy makers, or dissemination of knowledge from one field of science to another.
HISTORY OF THE STC COMPETITION
Solicitation Released: January 18, 2011
Preliminary Proposal: Due May 30, 2011
269 Submitted, 267 Accepted for Review
Grouped into eleven themes/panels
Panel review occurred September 27-28, 2011
40 Invited back for Full Proposals Notification October 11, 2011
Full Proposals: Due February 3, 2012
11 Invited for Site Visits
Site Visits: Invited Late June 2012
September December 2012
Blue Ribbon Panel January 2013
5 Projects recommended for funding
No awards announced yet
WHAT IS THE MISSION OF THE SITE VISIT
For you to convince the site review team that the project should be
They need to understand the project
They need to be excited about the project that it has Impact and is
They need to believe the project can be accomplished
They need to believe this is the right team to tackle the project
They need to think there are adequate resources and knowledge base available
The science has to be transformative already assessed at earlier stages, but still important
PI seen as a strong and competent leader
The whole team is/appears to be on the same page
Integration of all of the presentations the mission, education, knowledge transfer and scientific themes
To win, everything has to be perfect
Digest the hints from the full proposal reviews and respond
SITE REVIEW ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA
Is the budget appropriate for the scale, scope and complexity of the proposed
Does the proposed Center management demonstrate the vision, experience, and
capacity to manage a complex, multifaceted, and innovative enterprise that integrates
research, education, diversity and knowledge transfer?
Is the proposed management plan likely to be effective?
Is the role of the external advisory board clearly and appropriately defined?
Is there an adequate succession plan for the leadership of the Center?
Are intellectual property issues adequately addressed?
STC COMPETITION 2012:
GUIDELINES FOR THE SITE VISIT (FROM NSF)
STC COMPETITION 2012:
GUIDELINES FOR THE SITE VISIT - HIGHLIGHTS
The duration of the presentations and the agenda are fixed and are the same for each
In planning the agenda, please allocate 30% of the time of each presentation for answering
any questions that the Site Visitors may have.
Do not plan any lab/facilities visits or demos.
Please make sure that you have appropriate representatives of your university administration present.
you must provide a password protected URL where you will post your proposal, all reviews, your
response to the reviews, Site Visit Agenda, list of participants, and presentation slides.
You must designate an administrative liaison person representing your team and e-mail his/her name
and contact information (including e-mail, tel. and fax nos.)
SITE VISIT AGENDA
1:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. Site Review Team arrives at Hotel
6:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m. Site Review Team Meeting
7:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m. Travel to Site Review Location, Light Breakfast
8:00 a.m. 12 noon Introductions
STC Rationale and Goals
(10:00 a.m.-10:20 a.m.) NSF Executive Session/Break
Facilities and Physical Infrastructure (as appropriate)
(12 noon 12:30 p.m.) NSF Executive Session
12:30 p.m. 1:30 p.m. Lunch Discussion with students (present students of the PI, co-PIs and participants)
Day 1 Continued
1:30 p.m. 3:00 p.m. Integrating Research and Education
Developing Human Resources
(3:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m.) NSF Executive Session/Break
3:30 p.m. 4:15 p.m. Partnerships and Knowledge Transfer
4:15 p.m. 5:15 p.m. Administration and Management Plans
5:15 p.m. 5:30 p.m. Wrap-up
(5:15 p.m. 6:15 p.m.) NSF Executive Session
6:15.p.m. 6:35 pm Critical feedback to the Pis, list of questions that require clarification on Day 2 at 9am
7:30 p.m. 7:45 p.m. Transportation of the Site Visit Review Team to Dinner
7:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m. Travel to Site Visit Location, Light Breakfast
8:00a.m. 9:00 a.m. Meeting with Administrators Only (no PIs)/Institutional Support
9:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m. Summary/Proposing teams response to Critical Feedback
10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. Site Review Team prepares Site Visit Report
Working lunch provided
TO-DO CHECKLIST, A SELECTION (SEE FULL VERSION ON-LINE)
Contact Information for everyone involved
Date Reservations for site visit and red team review
Practice Schedule how many in person, how many remote
Travel and Practices
Room where is the site visit going to be held? Practices?
Food (for site visit and practices)
Reserve hotel room blocks
Logos and Powerpoint templates
Designate a laptop and projector for presentations
Have multiple people keeping track of these deadlines so they dont fall through the cracks
COMPLEMENT OF TEAMS GEOGRAPHY COMPLICATES PRACTICE
All STC proposals have
One Lead Institution
Multiple collaborating Institutions (some could be international)
Geographic and time zones hard to arrange schedules
Multiple external partners travel remote practices
PEOPLE FOR UCSB PROPOSAL
Research/Proposal team 21 (from 7 different institutions)
Research Development at UCSB 3
Honorary Research Development 1
Administration who came to site visit
UCSB Chancellor, EVC, Vice Chancellor for Research, Dean of Science, Dean of Engineering, Dean of Graduate
Collaborating Institution #1, Vice President for Research
Collaborating Institution #2, Dean of Engineering
Graduate students and postdocs from all participating universities
MAP OF ROOMS
ESB 1001 ESB 2001 ESB 2003
Capacity 100 Capacity 45 Capacity 25
Arranged with round tables Sides of room lined with chairs
Breakfast, lunch, PI meeting room All Presentations Site Review Team Breakout Room
PRACTICE SCHEDULE -VISUAL
RED TEAM REVIEW
3 weeks before the site visit
Red Team Panelists
Science experts (from Advisory Board)
Education experts (from Advisory Board)
NSF expert (former STC program officer)
All proposal team members AND grads came to UCSB for the red team.
FOOD AND THE NSF CONSTRAINTS
Money constraints (upper limit, hard in Santa Barbara!!!)
Location constraints (requested walking distance nothing closer than
20 minute walk)
Conflicting advice about logistics???
Payment snacks but not meals, can only pay credit card or cash
DESIGN ELEMENTS TO MAKE LOOK COHESIVE
WHAT WENT INTO BINDERS
Pouch with pens, highlighter, page tags, and memory