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Methodology, Measurement and Statistics Program

Mid-Career Methodological Opportunities

In order to facilitate the development of innovative methods and models for understanding complex social and behavioral science phenomena, the MMS Program and the Statistics and Probability Program support a limited number of mid-career research fellowships in the social, behavioral, economic, and statistical sciences (see NSF 99-33 for the prior announcement describing this activity). The purpose of the fellowship is to facilitate interactions among statisticians and social, behavioral, or economic scientists. For example, a statistician interested in developing methods for population projection may elect to spend the fellowship period in the sociology department on his home campus. Likewise, a psychologist interested in modeling learning behavior may select as a host location a statistics department at a distant institution.

Awards cover release time and related expenses so that successful investigators can spend an extended period of time at a host location immersing themselves in an area of study outside their current areas of expertise. The host location may be a different institution from the investigator’s home institution or a different department within the home institution.

Target Dates
January 15 and August 15

Proposal Content
Proposals must concretely demonstrate how the proposed fellowship activities will further the development of new methods for increased understanding of complex, substantive problems in the social and behavioral sciences. These new insights may result from the expansion of the investigator’s personal research program or from collaborations established by the investigator with other researchers during the fellowship period. The selection of the host location must be justified in the body of the proposal, as well as the proposed fellowship activities. In addition, the proposal must include a detailed letter of support signed by the department head or equivalent official at the host location outlining the nature of the relationship between the investigator and host location. In order to assess the value added of the proposed training activity, information on any formal training in the area to be studied should also be included. The letter, background information, and other supporting materials should be included in Section I (Special Information and Supplementary Documentation) of the proposal.

Eligibility Criteria
Any qualified researcher may submit a proposal through normal institutional channels at either the home or host institution. To be qualified, the researcher must be employed at a U.S. institution and must have earned a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in the social, behavioral, economic, or statistical sciences. Although applications may be submitted from researchers at any level beyond the Ph.D., NSF especially encourages the submission of proposals from senior (post-tenure) researchers. An applicant may have only one mid-career fellowship award under this program or its successors.

Review Procedures
Proposals will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel consisting of scholars from the social, behavioral, economic, and statistical sciences. Applicants should allow six months for the review process. In addition to the general NSF review criteria, proposals will be evaluated according to the extent to which the proposed activities facilitate the development of innovative methods and models for the social and behavioral sciences. The justifications for choice of host location will be important, as well as the statement by the host indicating that the applicant is welcome.

NSF anticipates supporting no more than 4-8 mid-career awards per year, depending on the number of applications and availability of funds.

Proposal Format and Budget
Proposals must be prepared and submitted to the MMS Program in accordance with the instructions given here and in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG, NSF 00-2 or current issuance).

Awards will be made for up to a twelve month period. Applicants are encouraged to coordinate proposed activities with a sabbatical leave or other forms of release time. Allowable costs include a stipend, a special allowance, a relocation allowance, and an institutional allowance. The maximum stipend available for the duration of the award, paid directly to the Fellow, is $50,000. Fringe benefits may be provided at a rate not to exceed the normal home institution fringe benefit rate. A special allowance of $3,000 is available at the Fellow’s discretion and is intended for scientific supplies, travel, publication expenses, and other research related costs. Investigators may request a relocation travel allowance of up to $3,000 if the host location is different from the home institution. An institutional allowance paid to the host institution of $300 per month of tenure is allowed for partial reimbursement of expenses incurred in support of the Fellow (e.g., space, equipment, secretarial assistance, and provision of general support). The institutional allowance is in lieu of indirect costs. There is no dependency allowance. The fellowship award will begin six to eighteen months following the applicant’s acceptance of an award offer.

Mid-Career Methodological Opportunities awards are made on a fixed amount basis subject to the conditions of the fellowship award letter, this announcement, and the fixed amount award general conditions (FAA GC-1). A fixed amount award represents a predetermined amount for NSF support of the proposed research without regard to the subsequent costs of the project. Note to Institutional Research Administrators: grants awarded on a fixed amount basis are not subject to Federal cost principles as contained in OMB Circular A-21. As part of the final report required by the grant general conditions, the grantee will be requested to certify that the level of effort funded was actually expended.

Additional Information
For more information, contact MMS Program Director Cheryl L. Eavey or Statistics and Probability Program Director John Stufken


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