The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds about 20% of federally-funded (non-medical) science and engineering at U.S. colleges and universities, including several programs to support graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. For programs with deadlines on or after January 14, 2013, NSF has released a new Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, including revisions to the merit review process. While the changes do not reflect a dramatic shift in the Foundation’s approach to the review process, they are intended to clarify the intention and application of the Broader Impacts criterion, which includes accomplishing a set of specific societal goals set forth by the U.S. congress. For more information, you can view the NSF webinar or the NSF Merit Review website, and Rutgers students can view a summary of the changes in the NSF Funder Profile of the GradFund Knowledgebase.
The new Policies and Procedures Guide, including the revised merit review information, will apply to NSF Doctoral Dissertation (Research) Improvement Grants (DD(R)IG) for which many graduate students will apply during the new year. DDIGs offered by the Directorate of Biological Sciences and the Office of Polar Programs Arctic Social Sciences Program and DDRIGs offered by the Directorate of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) support $7,500-$20,000 in research costs to improve the contributions of doctoral dissertation research projects to the NSF program fields. Many SBE DDRIG programs have deadlines and target dates early in the new year, including:
- Cultural Anthropology, Law and Social Sciences, Linguistics, Political Science, and Research on Science and Technology Surveys and Statistics on Jan. 15
- Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics on Jan. 16
- Decision, Risk, and Management Science and Economics on January 18
- Science, Technology, and Society on Feb. 1
- Geography and Spatial Sciences on Feb. 14
- Sociology on Feb. 15
- Biological Anthropology on Apr. 5
Many of these SBE programs have a second set of deadlines in the summer or fall, when deadlines occur for the remaining DD(R)IG programs (Science of Science and Innovation Policy, Documenting Endangered Languages, Arctic Social Sciences, and Biological Sciences). Finally, Archaeology DDRIG applications can be submitted at any time.
For more information, Rutgers graduate students can login to the Knowledgebase to view the new DD(R)IGs section of the NSF Funder Profile, including detailed information and guidance, sample proposals, and a link to our Proposal Writing Workbook to help you get started on your application. Rutgers students planning to apply for a spring DDRIG deadline should email GradFund to schedule an application review appointment as soon as possible!