Are you an undergraduate student thinking about how to get funding for graduate school? An early-career researcher looking to launch your new lab? An established researcher with dozens of years of funding from NSF under your belt? Whatever the phase of your research career, it is a good idea to reach out to an NSF program officer as the first step in the application process.
Program officers are the heart and soul of NSF. They themselves are researchers - experts from the research community who guide grant proposals through Merit Review, part of the process that determines if a proposal is funded. Program officers are a valuable resource for both applicants and researchers who have been funded, as they can provide insight and often give direct feedback.
Don’t be intimidated to reach out to a program officer—they are there to help. The myth that reaching out might hinder your chances couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, you may be surprised at how helpful your program officer can be.
The Board of Trustees meeting agenda item on research development
The recording of the panel discussion from 2019 faculty orientation