the Communications Web site, http://cacm.acm.org,
features more than a dozen bloggers in the BLoG@cacm
community. in each issue of Communications, we’ll publish
selected posts or excerpts.
follow us on twitter at http://twitter.com/blogcacm
of our research to the general public, to
the administration, and to Congress.
Writing a highlight is a good opportunity to practice this form of communication. Also, it is a real honor if a Principal Investigator’s highlight is featured
in the President’s Budget Request since
all highlights submitted to NSF go
through many stages of filtering. If your
highlight is chosen, add it to your CV.
b. Submit your annual and final reports on time. The funding of a new
award will be held up because of missing overdue reports. Alert: Sometime
this year, you will be asked to identify a
section of your final report that will be
published on http://www.research.gov
so that the public can get a better understanding of research and education
supported with taxpayer funds.
3. Learn the basics of the NsF organization. Ditto for other funding agencies. Under the Director of NSF are the
Assistant Directors (e.g., one for CISE),
then the Division Directors (e.g., three
in CISE), and then the PDs.
Here’s what a department head
should make sure to do:
4. sign up for the NsF and Cise mailing lists. You can do this via the NSF
and CISE Web sites. NSF sends out frequent announcements about funding
opportunities and changes to policies
and processes. CISE sends out infrequent informal “Dear Colleague Letters” alerting the community to important events and funding opportunities.
As a department head, make sure to
forward these mailings to your faculty.
5. Mentor junior faculty in writing
Career and regular NsF proposals.
nsf funding advice;
21st century innovation
Jeannette M. Wing shares useful suggestions for department heads.
Daniel Reed discusses the importance of synergy among computing
specialists and generalists.
Jeannette m. Wing’s “twelve tips for Department heads from an nsf Perspective” http://cacm.acm.org/blogs/ blog-cacm/54177 I was recently asked by the organizers of this summer’s CRA Snowbird Work- shop for New Department Heads for advice I would give from the National
Science Foundation (NSF) perspective.
I thought I would share my suggestions with everyone since all academic
and industry researchers and practitioners, not just new (and old) department
heads, may find them useful. These tips
are targeted primarily for academic researchers since they are who NSF primarily funds. In fact, 82% of all federally funded fundamental research in
computer science comes from the NSF
Computer and Information Science
and Engineering (CISE) Directorate.
Here’s what a department head
should advise his or her faculty and what
all faculty should do for themselves:
1. Talk to NsF Program directors.
The PDs are the most knowledgeable
about not just the programs they over-
see, but also other programs through-
out CISE and NSF, and NSF policies
and processes. If you have a good idea
for a proposal and it’s not clear which
program is most appropriate for your
idea, the PDs can help steer you in
the right direction. They can help you
navigate through our many rules and
a. Corollary #1: You may be familiar
with one or two “core” programs but as
your research changes, you may not re-
alize there are other ongoing “core” or
new programs suitable for your new re-
search ideas. Don’t think that you need
to stick to your current PD or program
b. Corollary #2: Get to know your
Program Director(s). Don’t be shy to vis-
it NSF and stop by to meet the PD who is
funding you. It’s also a good opportuni-
ty to meet other PDs not just in CISE but
in other directorates and offices related
to your interests.
2. Take reporting requirements
a. Learn to write a good “highlight.”
It is important for the computing com-
munity to be able to explain the nature