News & Notices Archives


The National Science Foundation Updated Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide to take effect in January, 2013

Some of the changes to the Grant Proposal Guide (the pre-award section) include:

  • a clarification and strengthening of NSF's two proposal merit review criteria, - while the two criteria remain unchanged (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts), guidance has been provided to clarify and improve the function of the criteria. Proposers should familiarize themselves with the Merit Review Principles and Criteria described in GPG Chapter III.A. For comprehensive outreach and training materials visit the revised Merit Review Criteria Resource site.
  • instructions for biographical sketches have been revised to rename the Publications section to Products, and to clarify that products may include publications, data sets, software, patents, copyrights, etc.
  • instructions for calculating indirect cost rates have been modified to clarify that, with few exceptions, indirect costs must be calculated using the applicant's federally negotiated indirect cost rate.
  • The section on Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources now requires that a combined description of resources (internal and external, physical and personnel) that will be available to the project should be provided. To assist proposers in complying with the NSF cost sharing policy, FastLane will include a new format for submission of this information when the revised requirements become effective in January.
  • The Budget section has been updated regarding senior personnel. If no person months and no salary are being requested for senior personnel, they should not be included in Section A of the budget.

Review a summary of all changes in the Grant Proposal Guide.

Review a summary of changes in the Award and Administration Guide

November 2012

Distinguished Scholars 2011/2012

The University of Northern Colorado Distinguished Scholar Luncheon is held annually to honor members of the faculty and professional staff who have been selected for recognition of their scholarly achievements.

The 2012 Distinguished Scholar Luncheon will be held on Thursday, April 12, from 11:30 to 1:30 in the University Center Panorama Lounge.

Award Recipients for the 2011/2012 Academic Year

A.M. and Jo Winchester Distinguished Scholar
Dr. Janice M. Payan, Marketing, Monfort College of Business

Previous Distinguished Scholars

College Scholars

Education & Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Linda Vogel, Leadership, Policy & Development (P-12)

Humanities & Social Sciences
Dr. Jose I. Suarez, Hispanic Studies

Monfort College of Business
Dr. Joseph French, Finance

Natural & Health Sciences
Dr. Rick Adams, Biological Sciences

Performing & Visual Arts
Dr. Deborah Kauffman, Music

University Libraries
Ms. Stephanie Wiegand, Reference Services

Sponsored Programs Achievement

Outstanding Achievement Award
Dr. Deanna Meinke, NHS Audiology & Speech Language Sciences

New Faculty Recognition Award
Dr. Rashida Bannerjee, EBS Special Education

Previous Sponsored Programs Achievement Award Recipients

March 2012

NSF Implements New Grantee Reporting Requirement

Project Outcomes Reports

Coming in May 2012, NSF will enforce submission of Project Outcome Reports on all awards that require submission of this report.

Having an overdue Project Outcomes Report will delay NSF actions on any other proposal or award related to the PI or co-PI.

For proposals submitted through FastLane, the PI/co-PI(s) will receive a warning in the proposal submission confirmation email if they have an overdue Annual, Final or Project Outcomes report(s).

Warning messages for proposals submitted through will be implemented at a later date.

In 2010, as a result of the Ameica COMPETES Act, the National Science Foundation implemented a new grantee reporting requirement. The requirement became effective for new awards or for existing awards that receive funding increments or supplements after January 3, 2010.

Within 90 days following the expiration of a grant, the Principal Investigator responsible for the research carried out under the grant must submit a Project Outcomes Report in The report should serve as "a brief summary (200-800 words), prepared specifically for the public, of the nature and outcomes of the project. The report should describe the project outcomes or findings that address the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the work as defined in the NSF merit review criteria."

Project Outcomes Reports do not take the place of the annual or final technical project reports.

Additional information on the required report content can be found in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Chapter II.E.3.

March 2012

National Science Foundation Proposal Review Criteria:
National Science Board (NSB) Recommends Revisions

All proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation are reviewed according to two critera - Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.

As the governing board of the NSF, the National Science Board has released a report of its review of those criteria. After interviewing thousands of principal investigators, grant reviewers, and NSF leaders, officials and advisory committee members, the Board recommended that NSF "develop an implementation plan for applying the two merit review criteria, so that there is a clear and consistent understanding of the underlying principles inherent in the criteria, and how they should be used during the review and decision-making processes."

Based on the NSB report, the Principal Investigator's Association outlined five areas NSF will need to address:

  • Standardize the definitions of "transformative research" and "qualifications of the principal investigator." A recurring theme among interview responses was that the although the Intellectual Merit criterion was well defined and understood, interviewees had concerns regarding the evaluation of the proposed research's "transformative concepts." Also, respondents expressed concern over the level of emphasis placed on the PI's qualifications -- specifically that there is too much.
  • Add information in the grant-application guidance on the types and amounts of Broader Impacts activities, as well as the level of effort expected for these activities. Respondents said they generally understood the Intellectual Merit criterion, but that the Broader Impacts criterion was rather difficult to understand. Although the goals set out for the Broader Impacts criterion are good, the NSF needs to provide better guidance on this criterion, the NSB states.
  • Provide better guidance regarding the use of the two Merit Review criteria during the review process, including the relative weight of each criterion. The NSB believes that NSF should not consider Intellectual Merit more important than Broader Impacts when reviewing grant proposals.
  • Enable and encourage institutional support for PIs' Broader Impacts activities. Respondents believe that institutions should help more in supporting PIs' Broader Impacts activities, and the NSF should take specific steps to encourage this.
  • Improve the assessment of Broader Impacts activities. The NSB asserts that NSF's post-award assessment of Broader Impacts activities is weak and should be improved.

Read the full NSB report: National Science Foundation's Merit Review Criteria: Review and Revisions

March 2012

Department of Education Seeks Comments
Strategies to Increase Postsecondary Success

The Secretary of Education invites institutions of higher education, researchers, and institutional faculty and staff, or consortia of such entities, to provide information about promising and practical strategies, practices, programs, and activities that have improved rates of postsecondary success, transfer, and graduation. The Department is most interested in obtaining information about strategies that emphasize the quality of what students learn and timely or accelerated attainment of postsecondary degrees or certificates, including industry-recognized credentials that lead to improved learning and employment outcomes. Information provided will be posted on the Department's postsecondary completion Web site in a form that will allow information about promising and practical strategies to be shared, commented on, and discussed by interested parties, including employees of IHEs, State officials, students, and members of the general public.

Comments must be submitted by April 30, 2012.

Federal Register Announcement:

February 2012

Advice on Preparing an NIH AREA Application

The National Institutes of Health has released a brief audio clip to give investigators advice on preparing applications for Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) grants.

Click here to listen to the MP3 file, or click here to read the transcript.

Additional podcasts with useful information on NIH grants are available on the NIH website, All About Grants.

Better Position Yourself as a Scholar, Researcher & Grant Writer

If you missed this webinar presented by In4Grants on December 1, the recorded webinar and follow-up questions and answers are now available.

Dr. David Stone, the Associate VP for Research at Northern Illinois University discussed the concept of positioning, or what a faculty member must do to become successful as a grant writer. Two of Dr. Stone's articles on grant writing appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education - Becoming a Successful Principal Investigator and How Your Grant Compares.

Recorded webinar (You will be asked to register with your email address.)

Follow-up Q&A with Dr. Stone

Grant Resource Center Member Spotlight Recognizes UNC

The University of Northern Colorado is one of five Grant Resource Center member institutions that were recognized as recipients of recent grants from the U.S. Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition. UNC and Northern Illinois University, Salisbury University, San Diego State University, and the University of Massachusetts Boston received five of the 42 Professional Development Program grants awarded this year.

The National Professional Development Program provides grants to improve classroom instruction for limited English proficient children and to assist the educational personnel who work with them.

UNC's grant of $344,288 is under the direction of Elizabeth Franklin (Hipsanic Studies) with Lori Reinsvold (MAST), Youngjin Song (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Teresa Higgins (Biology), and Jenni Harding-DeKam (Teacher Education). The goal of the project, Mathematics and Science Teaching for English Learners, is to prepare pre-service elementary teachers to deliver high-quality mathematics and science instruction to K-5 English learners in Colorado schools.

NSF Division of Undergraduate Education
Guide to Programs and Proposal Writing

Program Officers in the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education have developed a guide to obtaining grants through DUE. Included in this document are a summary of the funding opportunities available, proposal writing advice, information on the review process, examples of successful projects, and other resources.

NSF DUE - Education Related Programs Background on Funding