NSF looking to fund
National Science Foundation
is expected to issue a new round of proposal requests this month
to establish eight to 10 new Science and Technology Centers. There
are 28 centers currently funded around the country, including
the Center for Biological
Timing at U.Va, which has one year remaining on its 11-year
Each new NSF science and technology center will be funded for
10 years to explore new areas and build bridges among disciplines,
institutions and other sectors. Funding will be for $1.5 million
to $4 million per year. Centers offer the research community an
effective means for embarking on long-term scientific and technological
research, to explore better and more effective ways to educate
students, and to develop ways to ensure the timely transition
of research and education advances to society.
are hoping that our research community at U.Va. will create a
few strong pre-proposals that we can submit to NSF," says
Gene Block, vice president for research and public service and
director of the Center for Biological Timing. Block and colleagues
wrote the proposal 10 years ago that led to the funding for their
center and are now pursuing other funding sources.
"My office is available to help faculty members prepare the
strongest proposals possible," he says. "We can serve
as a filter for ideas, and provide guidance to assist in developing
multi-university linkages and in creating an effective outreach
is looking for truly novel research programs that bring together
the best people in the field, including collaborations among universities,"
Block says. "NSF only funds centers that are highly innovative,
and that can make a difference. Outreach to other sectors, such
as K-12, industry and government, is an essential part of an NSF
center, and the outreach has to be real, not something merely
mentioned to look good."
notes that many research programs in the social and behavioral
sciences are also eligible for center funding. He urges faculty
in these areas to confer with social and behavioral science program
directors at NSF to determine whether their research effort might
be appropriate for center funding.
want to help interested faculty members get their best shot at
this," he says. "The competition in the past has been
fierce, so we have to focus on our strongest and most unique areas.
Even if a proposal does not win a grant, it is not a wasted effort.
This will provide the groundwork and basis for other funding opportunities."
information about the criteria for NSF center proposals, call
Block's office at 924-3606.