Over the past few years, the number of proposal submissions to NSF in our sciences has dropped noticeably and we are having trouble understanding why. After all, grants are the lifeblood of academia! There are a few myths out there that we want to dispel:
There is no money available for behavioral science, so I’m better off writing a few articles instead. FACT: the PAC budget has actually increased over the past years (despite all the budget doom and gloom in the news).
The success rate is so low that I shouldn’t waste my time. FACT: The success rate isn’t that bad and hasn’t changed much; it ranges from 15-25% across the programs in Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences.
NSF awards are too small. I’m better off asking NIH for funding. FACT: While our awards do tend to be smaller than those from NIH, the awards have been increasing in size. Whether you submit to NIH or NSF should be based on content and framing of the proposal. NSF is not primarily biomedical.
NSF funding is only for PIs at elite graduate institutions. FACT: We actively try to spread taxpayer dollars across the entire US and across all types of institutions.
NSF only funds “famous” academics and established scientists. FACT: We fund excellent scientists at any level, including those at the start of their career.
Once declined, you are likely always to be declined. FACT: Many times, the first or second revision of a proposal is funded. KEEP TRYING!
NSF only funds “normal (safe) science.” FACT: We fund both safe and risky projects.
The next submission window for the Perception, Action, and Cognition Program opens July 15 and closes Aug 1, 2019
The winter submission window opens January 15, 2020 and closes February 3, 2020.
The next deadline for submission to the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is July 19, 2019. It’s a once-a-year competition.
The only absolute truth is that if you don’t have a proposal submitted, you have ZERO chance of funding!
Looking forward to seeing those proposals come rolling in.
Betty Tuller and Larry Gottlob Program Directors Perception, Action, and Cognition NSF