NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE)INSPIRE has no targeted themes and serves as a funding mechanism for proposals that are required both to be interdisciplinary and to exhibit potentially transformative research (IDR and PTR, respectively). Complementing existing NSF efforts, INSPIRE was created to handle proposals whose: 1) Scientific advances lie outside the scope of a single program or discipline, such that substantial funding support from more than one program or discipline is necessary; 2) Lines of research promise transformational advances; and 3) Prospective discoveries reside at the interfaces of disciplinary boundaries that may not be recognized through traditional review or co-review. Prospective PIs must receive approval to submit a proposal from at least two NSF Program Officers, in intellectually distinct programs, whose expertise is most germane to the proposal topics.
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Sponsored Programs Holiday Submission Hours
Pre-Award staff on the Calumet and West Lafayette campuses will NOT be available to submit proposals from December 24, 2015 through January 3, 2016. The Post Award and Research Development staff will also be unavailable during this time. Any proposals or grant reports with a firm sponsor deadline between December 24, 2015 and January 3, 2016 will need to be submitted prior to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 23.
All other submissions will be completed when the university returns to normal business on Monday, January 4, 2016. Please plan accordingly. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
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The updated PAPPG (NSF 16-1), effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 25, 2016, now includes a recommended format for letters of collaboration. Please note that there are fundamental differences between letters of collaboration and letters of support. It is important to understand the distinction as failure to do so can result in your proposal being returned without review.
Letters of collaboration are permitted and should be included as Special Information and Supplementary Documentation. Letters of collaboration are specific, referencing commitments to project elements as detailed in the narrative. Collaborative letters SHOULD NOT include endorsements or evaluation of the proposed project.
Under both the current and pending PAPPG, letters of support are not permitted unless a letter of support is explicitly required by the program solicitation. Letters of support are from key stakeholders without direct roles in the project. These letters typically convey general endorsement of the project and/or highlight qualifications of the PI or project team. Unless letters of support are explicitly required by the program solicitation, inclusion of such a letter can result in return without review.
“Letters of collaboration should be limited to stating the intent to collaborate and should not contain endorsements or evaluation of the proposed project. The recommended format for letters of collaboration is as follows:
“If the proposal submitted by Dr. [insert the full name of the Principal Investigator] entitled [insert the proposal title] is selected for funding by NSF, it is my intent to collaborate and/or commit resources as detailed in the Project Description or the Facilities, Equipment or Other Resources section of the proposal.”
While letters of collaboration are permitted, unless required by a specific program solicitation, letters of support should not be submitted as they are not a standard component of an NSF proposal. Letters of support are typically from a key stakeholder such as an organization, collaborator or Congressional Representative, and are used to convey a sense of enthusiasm for the project and/or to highlight the qualifications of the PI or co-PI. Letters of support submitted in response to a program solicitation requirement must be unique to the specific proposal submitted and cannot be altered without the author’s explicit prior approval.”
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