April 3, 2023
In line with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) efforts to increase diversity in the STEM workforce, the Division of Chemistry’s (CHE) PREC program (Partnerships for Research and Education in Chemistry, https://beta.nsf.gov/funding/opportunities/partnerships-research-education-chemistry-prec) supports research and education partnership endeavors between minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and CHE-supported centers, institutes, and facilities. Through the PREC grants, CHE aims to increase recruitment, retention, and degree attainment of those members of groups that are most underrepresented in chemistry research, as defined in the PREC Solicitation (NSF 21-620, https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf21620).
Establishing meaningful collaborations to support a competitive PREC proposal requires time and resources, which may impose unnecessary barriers to some. Through this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), CHE seeks to catalyze collaborative partnerships with a CHE center, institute, or facility (see list below) by encouraging submission of Planning Proposals which could help to mitigate barriers for the proposing institutions and PIs.
A planning grant can be used to support initial conceptualization, planning and collaboration activities to facilitate the formulation of new and sound plans for future submission to PREC. Anticipated planning activities could include, but are not limited to: planning visits/meetings with partnering institutions to discuss potential collaborations, exchanges to launch/initiate scientific collaboration, strategic planning (including development of a collaborative research plan), and development of evaluation strategies.
PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION
Proposals must be prepared in accordance with the guidance for Planning Proposals specified in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter II.F.1. They must be submitted through Research.gov. Proposers should select the current PAPPG as the funding opportunity and direct proposals to the CHE Broadening Participation program.
Interested proposers should consider the following guidance carefully:
- The proposal must include a clear statement as to why this project is appropriate for a PREC planning proposal, including how the funds will be used to formulate a sound approach for future submission to the PREC program.
- The proposed research should be aligned with research supported by the relevant CHE center, institute, or facility. The planning proposal is encouraged to outline a vision for a partnership that simultaneously promotes inclusiveness and research excellence.
- The Principal Investigator (PI) must hold a faculty appointment at an eligible MSI that awards degrees in Chemistry and must be eligible to submit a future PREC proposal as defined in the recent PREC solicitation.
- A letter of collaboration from the prospective partner (limit of 1 page) must be included in the supplementary document section. It should include information from the Director of the partnering CHE center, institute or facility outlining their role in and commitment to the planning process.
- Proposals may request up to $100,000/year and up to two years in duration.
Prospective PIs must send an initial concept outline by email no later than June 1, 2023, to one of the Program Officers listed below. An approval from at least one NSF Program Officer to submit a full planning proposal must be uploaded by the PI as a document entitled “Planning – Program Officer Concurrence Email” in the Supplementary Documentation section in Research.gov. Full proposals submitted in response to this DCL for consideration in FY 2023 are welcome through July 1, 2023, but earlier submission is strongly encouraged.
Eligible partners include the following CHE-supported Phase II Centers for Chemical Innovations (CCI), institutes, or facilities, listed below with their preferred contacts for the purposes of this DCL.
- NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology https://susnano.wisc.edu/, POC: Dr. Robert Hamers, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- NSF Center for Genetically Encoded Materials https://gem-net.net/, POC: Dr. Sarah Smaga, email: email@example.com
- NSF Center for Synthetic Organic Electrochemistry https://cci.utah.edu/, POC: Dr. Shelley Minteer, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- NSF Center for the Chemistry of Molecularly Optimized Networks https://monet.duke.edu/, POC: Dr. Stephen Craig, email: email@example.com
- NSF Center for Computer Assisted Synthesis https://ccas.nd.edu/, POC: Dr. Olaf Wiest, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- NSF ChemMatCARS Facility https://chemmatcars.uchicago.edu/, POC: Dr. Binhua Lin, email: email@example.com
- NSF Molecule Maker Lab Institute https://moleculemaker.org/, POC: Dr. Huimin Zhao, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- NSF National Extreme Ultrafast Science Facility https://nsf-nexus.osu.edu/, POC: Dr. Robert Baker, email: email@example.com
- MolSSI, The Molecular Science Software Institute https://molssi.org/, POC: Dr. T. Daniel Crawford, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact the following Program Officers for concept outline submission or any question regarding this DCL:
- Anne-Marie Schmoltner email@example.com
- Samy El-Shall firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tanya Whitmer email@example.com
Sean L. Jones,
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)