glass beakers and flasks against a blue background

The NSF CAREER Bootcamp Program is designed to help NSF CAREER eligible tenure track faculty across CUNY develop competitive proposals.

Broad focus areas:

  • Turning a research idea into an impactful research question and project
  • Integrating research and education plans for potential impact
  • Designing and evaluating substantive Broader Impacts
  • 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 27, 2021) 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 27, 2021).
  • 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:

  • The readiness of the PI, assessed via a completed Bootcamp application and, possibly, a zoom chat with Linda
  • Fit of the proposed research with NSF
  • Scheduling fit – although extreme efforts are made to accommodate all accepted PIs’ schedules, on occasion this just isn’t possible.

Bootcamp Activities and Structure

Activities

  • Weekly review of grant writing & specific CAREER proposal requirements and strategies (PPT slides with Q&A)
  • Regular and iterative reviews and constructive critiques of drafts
  • Possible mock panel review of full proposals 1st week of July (TBD)

Structure

For the 2021 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 PI (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/Attendance

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 everyone’s availability as well as to arrange groups with an eye to 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 2021, and meet weekly (with occasional weeks excepted) through July 16 (with a possibility of extending through July 23). Note that proposals are due at NSF by July 27.

Participants should expect to allot a minimum of 2-5 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.

Applications for the Spring 2021 program are due by 5:00 p.m. on January 19, 2021.

*For PIs intending to work on a resubmission and who have not yet received a decision from NSF, please check the Tentative resubmission box and submit a completed application. If your 2020 proposal is declined and you want to activate your bootcamp application, please contact Linda Vigdor ASAP after hearing from NSF. Please include your 2020 proposal and reviews, as outlined in the application.


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: lvigdor@gc.cuny.edu