NSF at a Glance
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” With an annual budget of $7.5 billion (FY 2016), we are the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.
Tenured and tenure-track faculty were recently invited to participate in the NSF 2021 Conference held online and free of charge. If you were unable to attend and prior to considering an NSF proposal, please access the NSF 2021 Conference Training Sessions in PowerPoint Presentations and/or YouTube Live Streaming. Each presentation is about an hour in length, covering important introductory and disciplinary-specific topics well worth the time commitment.
Twelve Steps to a Winning Research Proposal (PDF) by George A. Hazelrigg of NSF
Faculty Association with NSF
NSF offers a chance for scientists, engineers, and educators to join us as temporary program directors – called rotators. Rotators make recommendations about which proposals to fund; influence new directions in the fields of science, engineering, and education; support cutting-edge interdisciplinary research; and mentor junior research members. As a rotator, you will be in a prime position to collaborate with others and increase your visibility as you survey the entire breadth of U.S. and international science, engineering, and education in real time. In addition, as a temporary program director, you can retain your ties to your current institution and return to it with new insights and experience for your team.
NSF Proposal Samples
From the University of Toledo
- Mike Weintraub–leaf litter chemistry and the microbial community (PDF)
- Stacy Philpott–ants and the coffee agroecosystem (PDF)
- Victor Karpov–photovoltaics (physics) research (PDF)
- Cora Lind–materials chemistry and thermal expansion (PDF)
NSF Grant Opportunities
- Sample of an NSF Investigator-Initiated Research Program, Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
- Facilitating Research at Primary Undergraduate Institutions (RUI)
- Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
- Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER)
- Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE:EHR)
- NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
- Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)
- Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)