Hackathon: National Science Foundation



Today, the offices of Research Advancement and Scholarship and Innovation hosted a hackathon to discuss submitting National Science Foundation proposals and, specifically, the Discovery Research PreK-12 call for proposals. Edith Gummer, director of data strategy for Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, offered her perspective and suggestions for success as a former NSF program officer. Some of Edith’s top recommendations for faculty to best position themselves for success included:

  • Be extremely familiar with the call — know the ins and outs
  • Know what has been funded in your area of research
  • Read reviewer feedback for proposals that did not get funded
  • For junior faculty specifically, volunteer to serve as a reviewer to get in front of, and exposure with, a panel
  • Contact a program officer after you send them a two-page summary of your proposal
  • Provide enough details so your mother could understand what you are trying to do
  • Overwrite the methods section so you include all components, and then edit heavily
  • Ensure your proposal includes an evaluation plan to assess impact — you do not need to have an external evaluator
  • Consider an advisory board if additional expertise is needed to conduct proposed activities