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The NSF CAREER Bootcamp Program is designed to help NSF CAREER eligible tenure track faculty (assistant professors) across CUNY develop competitive proposals for NSF’s Early Career Development Program

Learn more about the program and NSF’s eligibility details »

Broad focus areas:

  • Turning your research idea into an impactful research question & project
  • Integrating research and education plans for potential impact
  • Designing and evaluating substantive Education and Broader Impacts activities
  • Strategies for developing & writing a compelling, competitive, and compliant research proposal
  • Using and receiving constructive feedback from peers

Eligibility Requirements

The ASRC CAREER Bootcamp Program is open to all eligible CUNY tenure track assistant professors.

Tenure track assistant professors who meet the following criteria (as of July 26, 2023) are eligible to apply for the NSF CAREER award and to the Bootcamp:

  • Hold a doctoral degree in a field supported by NSF;
  • Be engaged in research in an area of science, engineering, or education supported by NSF;
  • Hold at least a 50% tenure-track (or tenure-track-equivalent) position as an assistant professor (or equivalent title);
  • Be untenured as of the proposal submission deadline (July 26, 2023).
  • Have not previously received a CAREER award. (Prior or concurrent Federal support for other types of awards for non-duplicative research does not preclude eligibility.) Must not have not previously submitted 3 CAREER proposals.

Acceptance into a Bootcamp is dependent on:

  • Readiness of the PI, assessed via a completed Bootcamp application and possibly, a zoom chat with Linda
  • Fit of the proposed research with NSF
  • Sufficient English writing skills (or regular access to a good editor)
  • Scheduling fit – although extreme efforts are made to accommodate all accepted PIs’ schedules, on occasion this just isn’t possible.
  • Number of applicants to the Bootcamp

Bootcamp Activities and Structure


  • Weekly review of grant writing & specific CAREER proposal requirements and strategies (PPT slides with Q&A)
  • Weekly assignments followed by constructive critiques of drafts


For the 2023 NSF CAREER cycle, the bootcamp is structured in two parts:

  • Part 1 is focused on developing (or revising) a 1-2 page overview (i.e., white paper) of the proposal’s components (research, education plan, intellectual merit, broader impacts, and integration of research and education) of sufficient quality to send to an NSF program officer
  • Part 2 is focused on:
    • fleshing out the remainder of the 15 page project description, project summary, and other required documents;
    • using feedback from the bootcamp group and Linda to improve drafts; incorporating comments from NSF program officers

Participants must make sufficient progress in Part 1 in order to continue to Part 2. The current expectation is that bootcamp participants will have an overview ready to send to their program officer(s) by the end of April. PIs who have not reached this milestone may not be invited to continue to Part 2.

What PIs should be prepared for:

  • Expect to work in groups of 4-8 people.
  • Participants must be able to use Dropbox and Zoom with video effectively.
  • The bootcamps are intensive and require much work on the part of the participants (and Linda)
  • PIs get out of the Bootcamp what they put into it
  • The groups are interdisciplinary. Although there are some challenges in organizing the groups this way, there are significant benefits, such as helping to make proposals understandable to peers with broader levels of expertise
  • PIs are advised to find mentors with expertise in their specific field who can advise them on the technical and advanced scientific aspects of their research


Scheduling of the Bootcamp groups will begin once PIs are notified of their acceptance into the program and will be organized via Doodle poll. Every effort will be made to accommodate availabilities as well as to consider disciplinary compatibilities.

Once accepted, PIs are expected to attend all sessions and contribute respectfully to the group discussions. Meetings will be on Zoom and participation with video and a clear audio connection is required.

Bootcamps will most likely start the third week of February 2023, and meet weekly (with occasional weeks off) through July 14 (with a possibility of extending through July 21). Note that proposals are due at NSF by July 26, 2023.

Participants should expect to allot a minimum of 3-5 hours per week to their proposal development or writing activities. Homework is to be uploaded to the Dropbox 48 hours in advance of the meeting it will be discussed.

How to Apply

Participation in the NSF CAREER Bootcamp is by application only.

EXTENDED: Applications for the Spring 2023 program are due by 5:00 p.m. on January 30, 2023.

*For PIs intending to work on a resubmission and who have not yet received a decision from NSF by the Bootcamp application deadline, please check the Tentative resubmission box and submit a completed application. If your 2022 proposal is subsequently declined and you want to activate your bootcamp application, please contact Linda Vigdor ASAP after hearing from NSF. Please include your 2022 proposal and reviews, as outlined in the application.

Past NSF Career Award Winners

The following past bootcamp participants have received NSF Career Awards:

  • Timothy Benseman, Queens College, Physics
  • Saptarshi Debroy, Hunter College, Computer Science
  • Rob Messinger, CCNY Grove Engineering
  • Sriram Ganeshan, CCNY, Physics
  • Cheryl Carmichael, Brooklyn College, Psychology
  • Jing Fan, CCNY Grove Engineering
  • Gabriele Grosso, ASRC, Photonics
  • Dorthe Eisele, CCNY, Physics
  • Megan Owen, Lehman College, Mathematics
  • Jacquelyn Bracco, Queens College, Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • Renato Ghini Bettiol, Lehman College, Mathematics
  • So Takei, Queens College, Physics

The ASRC Bootcamp program is led by:

Linda Vigdor, M.F.A., Ph.D.
Associate Director of Proposal Development
Advanced Science Research Center

For more information, please contact: