Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to frequently asked questions. We will update this page regularly, and note what has been updated.
- Industry has many CS&E PostDocs. Can they be a part of the Best Practices Program?
Because this program is funded by the National Science Foundation, lead PI’s cannot be from Industry. However, we do encourage consortia that include industry and not-for-profits.
- Since this program will be awarded as grants managed by the Sponsored Project’s Office, what will the Indirect Cost rate be?
The indirect cost rate will be the institutions’ rate used for education or training.
- What does the budget cover? For example, I am assuming the budget will cover postdoc salaries, travel, equipment, etc?
This program is designed to help institutions implement best practices for postdocs, not to increase the number of postdocs. Postdoc salaries and the costs of doing research (e.g. equipment and travel to conferences for research interaction) will not be funded. The grant can be used to cover costs for activities that enrich the overall postdoc experience, as deemed appropriate by the institution. For example, grant funds can be used for travel to a conference specifically for postdocs, or to a career mentoring symposium.
- Does the budget cover any PI salary?
The budget can cover some PI and/or staff salary, for that time the PI/staff is working on the implementation of best practices.
- If a consortium is formed, can administrative support be included?
Yes, administrative support for coordinating and implementing postdoc enrichment activities across the consortium can be included.
- Can travel be included for consortium members?
Yes, travel for consortium members when they are explicitly meeting to advance the implementation of the best practices program can be covered.
- I’m interested in being part of a consortia, but am not sure of who else is interested. Is there a way to find others to partner with?
Yes, we have created a way to collect information of those interested in collaborating and share it with others who are interested. Please visit here to connect with other collaborators.
- Is the $3.2 million the total funding for 3 years, or per year?
The $3.2 million is for all 3 years.
- If this CCC proposal is funded, would the salary compensation limit of up to two months of salary per year from NSF-funded grants apply to this award?
We will follow NSF guidelines, and no faculty salary compensation can be for a period of more than two months per year.
- Would this award fall under FDP and we would be able to rebudget among approved budget categories without prior approval?
This award does not fall under Federal Demonstration Project guidelines, since CRA is not a federal agency. However, we will follow their established guidelines in allowing rebudgeting among approved categories without prior approval.
- If a proposal involves holding events that serve postdocs working in other institutions, how much detail does the proposal need to provide both in substance and in budget for this kind of activity?
The proposal should provide enough detail to show that the PI’s have thought through their strategy in terms of the variety of activities and scale of involvement of other organizations so that proposal evaluators can well understand what is proposed. The budget would possibly show salary time (based on amount of effort involved) of a coordinator, as well as an estimate of venue/travel costs for those activities.
- What project reporting requirements will the award agreement require?
The RFP requires the PIs to produce certain documents that describe how they implement best practices for supporting postdocs on at least an annual basis. The RFP also requires the reporting of metrics characterizing their implementations. These documents are addressed to the research community.
Each award will be a sub award from the CRA. CRA requires a quarterly report of updates to be submitted with each invoice. This will be fully explained in the sub award agreement.
- Should the proposal list senior personnel from collaborating organizations who are not PIs on the proposal, and should NSF style bios be included in the addendum?
Senior personnel from other institutions should be identified; it could make the proposal stronger. Including an NSF style bio for them would be helpful to the proposal evaluators, but it is only required for the PI’s.