University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Preproposals due May 10 for NSF programs for MRSECs, CSBR, and PFC

The National Science Foundation has issued the following program announcements which allow UND to submit only a limited number of submissions. Thus, if you are interested in submitting a proposal to NSF for the program, please let us know as soon as possible ( or 777.4280).

Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers #13-556

Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSECs) provide sustained support of interdisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality while addressing fundamental problems in science and engineering. MRSECs address research of a scope and complexity requiring the scale, synergy, and interdisciplinarity provided by a campus-based research center. They support materials research infrastructure in the United States, promote active collaboration between universities and other sectors, including industry and international institutions, and contribute to the development of a national network of university-based centers in materials research, education, and facilities. A MRSEC may be located at a single institution, or may involve multiple institutions in partnership.

Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR) #13-557

The Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR) Program provides funds: 1) for improvements to secure, improve, and organize collections that are significant to the NSF BIO-funded research community; 2) to secure collections-related data for sustained, accurate, and efficient accessibility of the collection to the biological research community; and 3) to transfer collection ownership responsibilities.

Physics Frontiers Centers (PFC) #13-559

The Physics Frontiers Centers (PFC) program supports university-based centers and institutes where the collective efforts of a larger group of individuals can enable transformational advances in the most promising research areas. The program is designed to foster major breakthroughs at the intellectual frontiers of physics by providing needed resources such as combinations of talents, skills, disciplines, and/or specialized infrastructure, not usually available to individual investigators or small groups, in an environment in which the collective efforts of the larger group can be shown to be seminal to promoting significant progress in the science and the education of students. Activities supported through the program are in all sub-fields of physics within the purview of the Division of Physics: atomic, molecular, optical, plasma, elementary particle, nuclear, astro-, gravitational, and biological physics. Interdisciplinary projects at the interface between these physics areas and other disciplines and physics sub-fields are also included, although the bulk of the effort should fall within one of those areas within the purview of the Physics Division. The successful PFC activity will demonstrate: (1) the potential for a profound advance in physics; (2) creative, substantive activities aimed at enhancing education, diversity, and public outreach; (3) potential for broader impacts, e.g., impacts on other field(s) and benefits to society; (4) a synergy or value-added rationale that justifies a center- or institute-like approach.

As a result of the limited number of proposals that can be submitted, UND will conduct an internal review of preproposals. Preproposals should consist of the following sections:

  • Cover page listing the project name, collaborators, contact person, total budget amount
  • Instrument(s) to be purchased or developed and its (their) function(s)
  • Impact on the research program of the collaborators, department(s), and college(s)
  • Impact on the university’s mission as a whole
  • Detailed budget

Preproposals should be no more than 3-5 pages in length using a reasonable format (one inch margins, font size 11, single-spaced). Preproposals are due in Research Development and Compliance (RD&C) by 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 10. Criteria used for reviewing preproposals will include appropriateness to the goal of the program; probability for funding by NSF; reasonableness of budgetary requests; and impact of the request on the university and the academic units involved. Investigators will be notified of the review results as soon as possible in order to provide as much time as possible to prepare a final proposal for submission.

-- Barry Milavetz, associate vice president for Research and Economic Development, 777.4280,

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