Know Your Funder: NSF

Des Moines, IA US
April 27, 2016


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Participants will learn how NSF works, what makes a competitive NSF grant, and how to develop one.


The NSF Landscape

  • NSF Overview: Mission, Grant Mechanisms, Review Process, Review Criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts
  • Review Questions
  • Grantmaking Directorates
  • Crosscutting Programs
  • Key NSF Directorates and Divisions
    • BIO: Environmental Biology (DEB), Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS), Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB)
    • GEO: Earth Sciences (EAR)
  • Special Opportunities: RAPID and EAGER
  • Key Crosscutting Programs: CAREER and MRI
  • Broadening Participation Opportunities: ADVANCE, AISL, RAHSS, RET

The NSF Grant Development Process: From Idea to Award

  • Lay the Groundwork: Concept Development
    • Know your Field
    • Develop a Project: Develop a Concept, Get Feedback from Mentors and Colleagues, Refine the Project
    • Connect with NSF: Identify the Appropriate NSF Division(s). Review Previously Funded Projects, Contact Program Officers
    • EXERCISE: Selling your Project to NSF: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts
  • Build a Competitive Proposal
    • Know the Rules: Know the GPG, Your NSF Bible, Understand NSF Solicitations, Elements of an NSF Proposal
    • Make a Plan: Timeline, Checklist, Templates
    • Write the Project Description: Sample Outline, Keys to a Successful Project Description, Know your Audience: Intellectual Merit vs. Broader Impacts
    • Develop Budgets and Supplementary Documents: Project Summary, Budget and Budget Justification, References Cited, Biographical Sketches, Current and Pending Support, Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources, Special Information and Supplementary Documentation: Data Management Plan
    • Review and Submit: Internal Review Process at DMU and Using FastLane
    • Common Pitfalls

How to Survive the Process and Improve

  • Perspective
  • Working with Reviewer Comments


Rebecca Huenink
Grants Consultant, Expert in Program Design, Grant Development, and Capacity Building

Key Awards:

  • $4,500,000 – HUD – Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Program
  • $500,000 – CO Health Foundation – Healthy Living Program
  • $200,000 – AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation – Connections for Cardiovascular Health

Rebecca has more than a dozen years of experience developing winning programs and proposals for community organizations, educational institutions, providers of health and human services, and local governments. She is especially experienced with DOJ, HUD, HHS, ED, NSF, and private foundation grants. Rebecca is an expert at managing team-based development of complex proposals, synthesizing information from many sources to craft unified, compelling narratives. She has particular expertise in health and social services delivery, medical education, youth development, food and nutrition programs, and program implementation in rural areas.

Relevant to the content of this CME activity, Ms. Huenink has no relevant conflicts with commercial interests to disclose.

Commerical Support

No commercial interest provided financial support for this continuing education activity.

Continuing Education Credit

  • DO: Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and approves this activity for 3.0 Category 2-A CME credit(s).
  • DPM: Des Moines University (DMU) is approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education as a provider of continuing education in podiatric medicine. DMU has approved this activity for a maximum of 3.0 continuing education contact hours.
  • MD: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Iowa Medical Society (IMS). Des Moines University (DMU) is accredited by the IMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians. DMU designates this live activity for 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
  • Other: This live activity is designated for 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • 3.00 AOA Category 2­A
  • 3.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
  • 3.00 CPME
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
04/27/2016 - 1:00pm CDT
Event ends: 
04/27/2016 - 4:00pm CDT
Des Moines University
3200 Grand Avenue
Ryan Hall 181
Des Moines, IA 50312
United States

Available Credit

  • 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits
  • 3.00 AOA Category 2­A
  • 3.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
  • 3.00 CPME


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