I have been searching for an answer, to no avail. I would like to apply for a grant for preconference funding. I know NSF has awarded such grants in the past, but I don’t know if they will award a grant to a postdoc. My advisor would not be involved in this application, but other faculty at other institutions would be involved. So another option would be to write the grant myself and have someone who is faculty be the PI and I would be the co-I. But I want to know if that’s necessary. Yet another option could be to have a faculty as the co-I and me as the PI, which may be more strategic than me doing it alone, but again, not sure if this is even possible.I have tried to reach out to the program officer but she has been unresponsive. I know they are busy but I wrote a very concise message with an informative subject line and she seemed to just assume I was looking for postdoc funding and sent a link for that. 🙁

Though NSF results aren’t out yet for this year, this question’s been wracking my brain since I’m heavily considering taking a gap year before grad school. I also haven’t been able to find this particular question asked/answered anywhere online and I feel like there are surely others that might find themselves in this same situation, so I’m asking here.

Basically, I completed my NSF application in the fall with confidence, and then around a month later found out that my subject GRE scores were abysmal. Coupled with a fairly “low” GPA, I ended up not getting into any grad schools except my least-ranked backup school and a waitlist to another backup. I’ve talked over with my advisor and we agreed that taking a year off to reapply would be good for me. For one, I can retake the exam and possibly get into a wider range of schools, which means more opportunities to choose from. A second consideration is that part of the reason I didn’t do well in school, which I only realized recently, is that I had been ignoring my mental health for years (I didn’t believe “mental health” was a real thing, oops) and taking a gap year would help me put a year’s worth of space between being thrown into grad classes while I heal. I’ve also already got plans for the year in place–I would be doing full-time research work for both my advisor and as part of a program I was accepted to. I feel like this is the healthiest, best route for me and is the one I’m most comfortable with.

However, there’s still a chance I could win the NSF (which is exceedingly rare and a crapshoot for anyone, I know, but anyone who doesn’t withdraw is technically still in the running!), which means I would have to go to grad school next year to accept the award. They removed the option to defer years ago unless you’re active in the military or have a medical issue (I assume this means hospitalization, not going through something like CBT). Because it’s such a competitive fellowship, I always had the notion that it would be just plain “stupid” to turn it down (unless, of course, you got some sort of better award). However, because of the reasons I stated in the paragraph above, I’m definitely less comfortable with this path.

In this scenario, which should take priority? Accepting a competitive fellowship at a backup school I’m unsure about, or taking a year off to reapply and have more options (especially at top choice, selective institutions), albeit without the NSF or possibly any sort of external fellowship? Has anyone gone through either route and regretted it? Also, how does listing a declined award (NOT in the context of winning other awards and having to choose only one) look on a CV? For context, I’m interested in attempting a career as tenured faculty in academia (which is also exceedingly unlikely, I know).

Though NSF results aren’t out yet for this year, this question’s been wracking my brain since I’m heavily considering taking a gap year before grad school. I also haven’t been able to find this particular question asked/answered anywhere online and I feel like there are surely others that might find themselves in this same situation, so I’m asking here.

Basically, I completed my NSF application in the fall with confidence, and then around a month later found out that my subject GRE scores were abysmal. Coupled with a fairly “low” GPA, I ended up not getting into any grad schools except my least-ranked backup school and a waitlist to another backup. I’ve talked over with my advisor and we agreed that taking a year off to reapply would be good for me. For one, I can retake the exam and possibly get into a wider range of schools, which means more opportunities to choose from. A second consideration is that part of the reason I didn’t do well in school, which I only realized recently, is that I had been ignoring my mental health for years (I didn’t believe “mental health” was a real thing, oops) and taking a gap year would help me put a year’s worth of space between being thrown into grad classes while I heal. I’ve also already got plans for the year in place–I would be doing full-time research work for both my advisor and as part of a program I was accepted to. I feel like this is the healthiest, best route for me and is the one I’m most comfortable with.

However, there’s still a chance I could win the NSF (which is exceedingly rare and a crapshoot for anyone, I know, but anyone who doesn’t withdraw is technically still in the running!), which means I would have to go to grad school next year to accept the award. They removed the option to defer years ago unless you’re active in the military or have a medical issue (I assume this means hospitalization, not going through something like CBT). Because it’s such a competitive fellowship, I always had the notion that it would be just plain “stupid” to turn it down (unless, of course, you got some sort of better award). However, because of the reasons I stated in the paragraph above, I’m definitely less comfortable with this path.

In this scenario, which should take priority? Accepting a competitive fellowship at a backup school I’m unsure about, or taking a year off to reapply and have more options (especially at top choice, selective institutions), albeit without the NSF or possibly any sort of external fellowship? Has anyone gone through either route and regretted it? Also, how does listing a declined award (NOT in the context of winning other awards and having to choose only one) look on a CV? For context, I’m interested in attempting a career as tenured faculty in academia (which is also exceedingly unlikely, I know).

I do not understand NSF grants.

Does the researcher make any money from them? I mean, if they spend 10 hours a week working on the project, are they compensated? Can they be compensated directly from NSF funds? Not to sound greedy, but let’s say I’m a tenured professor who’s perfectly capable of doing outstanding research on my own. What incentive would I have to try to get a NSF grant, if it’s just for my department to distribute to other people to work with me? I want some money.

Grant proposals can take months until you hear back. What should researchers do during that period?

  1. Start working on the research since the idea could be implemented by others and publish without acknowledging the funder.
  2. Similar to point 1 but in publishing wait to hear about the results and acknowledge the funder if you were funded.
  3. Wait since you don’t know if the idea will be funded and there are no funds to support students but the idea could become obsolete after 6 months.
  4. Something else

I talked with some colleagues and it seems that the review process for most grants proposals (NSF, NIH,etc) are taking months (~6). This is probably not helpful for science and innovation. I understand that reviewers are busy people but papers submitted for a conference would usually not take more than 2 months to be reviewed. And some reviews that I read for conferences are even much better than grant proposal reviews.

Are there any reasons or benefits that grant proposals are taking long time?

As I was reading about the NSF GRFP, I came across this article detailing how the GRFP would be significantly defunded as per the governmental budget at the time.

I’m sure the landscape has changed since May. However, I haven’t seen any followup articles. I also notice that within the solicitation for the GRFP, it states the following:
“The NSF expects to award 2,000 Graduate Research Fellowships per fiscal year under this program solicitation pending availability of
funds.”

However, I am not aware of a way to check the funding for these awards. Can anyone confirm that the number of GRFP awards will be halved this coming cycle?