Preparing for site visits: The agony and the agony

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  • 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.

  • STC OVERVIEW

  • SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CENTERS:

    INTEGRATIVE PARTNERSHIPS

    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

    funded

    They need to understand the project

    They need to be excited about the project that it has Impact and is

    Transformative

    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

  • KEY INGREDIENTS

    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

    Center's activities?

    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?

  • PREPARATION

  • 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

    site visit.

    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

    Day 0

    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

    Day 1

    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

    Research

    (10:00 a.m.-10:20 a.m.) NSF Executive Session/Break

    Research

    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)

  • AGENDA, CONTINUED

    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

  • AGENDA, CONTINUED

    Day 2

    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

  • THE NITTY-GRITTY

  • TO-DO CHECKLIST, A SELECTION (SEE FULL VERSION ON-LINE)

    Administrative

    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

    Technology

    Logos and Powerpoint templates

    Designate a laptop and projector for presentations

    Website

    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

    Division

    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

    Person 1

    Person 2

    Person 3

    Person 4

    Person 5

    Person 6

    Person 7

    Person 8

    Person 9

    Person 10

    Person 11

    Person 12

    Person 13

  • 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)

    Campus leadership

    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???

    Reservations

    Payment snacks but not meals, can only pay credit card or cash

  • DESIGN ELEMENTS TO MAKE LOOK COHESIVE

    Logos

    PI pictures

    Group pictures

    Powerpoint templates

  • WHAT WENT INTO BINDERS

    Agenda

    Presentation

    Proposal

    Review

    Response

    Pouch with pens, highlighter, page tags, and memory