Funding the Future: Proposal Development Workshops for Computer Scientists and Grants Officers

March 14–15, 2023

The National Science Foundation offers several grant programs specifically designed to launch the research careers of early-career faculty members in computer science, including the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) and Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) programs. NSF is particularly eager to support faculty members at predominantly undergraduate institutions and non-R1 institutions, and they have partnered with CIC to prepare eligible faculty members to write competitive grant applications for these programs.

CIC is pleased to announce a series of virtual workshops to prepare member institutions to achieve and manage these prestigious NSF grants in the CRII and CAREER programs. Each workshop will bring together untenured, tenure-track faculty members in computer science and related disciplines alongside grants officers at their institutions, with a focus on designing effective and compelling proposals for the CRII and CAREER programs and setting up a strong infrastructure to manage these grants. The workshops will be led by April Edwards, professor of cyber science at the United States Naval Academy.

“NSF is eager to broaden investments in computer and informational science and engineering to increase participation from emerging research institutions, including those with a focus on undergraduate teaching. The CIC workshops will provide essential resources to help early-career scientists at these institutions to launch their research careers.”

Margaret Martonosi, Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) at NSF and Hugh Trumbull Adams ’35 Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University

The first virtual workshop will be held on March 14–15, 2023. Institutions are invited to submit applications for teams consisting of one or two untenured faculty members together with one grants officer who has responsibility for soliciting and managing federal grants at the institution.

Applications should be submitted online as one team submission by Friday, February 10, 2023, 5:00 p.m. EST.

Who Should Apply?

​The Computer Science Workshop is intended for CIC member colleges and universities with programs in computer science and related disciplines.

Institutions should nominate a team that includes up to two untenured, tenure-track faculty members in computer science or a related discipline together with a single grants officer with responsibility for soliciting and managing grants.

Faculty applicants must be eligible to submit proposals for the CRII and/or CAREER programs.

What to Expect

The 2023 workshop will be held virtually on March 14 and 15, 2023 from 1:00–4:00 p.m. (EST) both days. Each day will feature sessions tailored towards faculty members and administrators, and include both plenary sessions and smaller, interactive workshops. Faculty members will also have time to begin work on and receive feedback about draft proposals.

Faculty members will learn the process of crafting a strong proposal for the CAREER and CRII programs, with a focus on elements that make for a successful application package and a discussion of common barriers to success. They will also have the opportunity to workshop their own proposal in small groups facilitated by faculty mentors who have received these and similar NSF awards. Participants will have the opportunity to analyze model proposals to glean insights into how faculty members at institutions like theirs have successfully used these grant-seeking strategies.

Grants officers will learn best practices to apply for and manage these grants, with a focus on supporting principal investigators, preparing timely reports, and ensuring compliance with federal policies. These participants will also go through model proposals and learn from fellow grant officers at institutions that successfully manage NSF grant awards.

Participating faculty members will be expected to submit a research proposal to the CRII or CAREER grant program within 18 months of completing the workshop. Institutions will also agree to share data about their grant-seeking activity from NSF for the three years preceding the workshop (2020 to 2022).

The upcoming deadlines for NSF proposals are:

CAREER: July 26, 2023
CRII: September 18, 2023

Workshop Leader

April Edwards headshot

April Edwards is director of the CIC’s Funding the Future Workshops and professor of cyber science at the United States Naval Academy. Professor Edwards maintains an active research program in interdisciplinary data science domains, particularly the use of machine learning techniques to detect cyber crime, such as terrorist activity, cyber predation and cyber bullying. Edwards began her academic career as a professor at Ursinus College and has served as program director, department chair, associate dean, and interim vice president for academic affairs and interim dean of the college at Ursinus. She also served as the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Elmhurst College. Edwards has served as PI or co-PI for grants in excess of $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation. She has co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications, many in collaboration with undergraduate students. She earned a PhD in computer science from Lehigh University, as well as an MA in mathematics from Duke University and BA in mathematics from Bloomsburg University.