This timeline provides general guidance and resources to support those preparing DRK-12 proposals for the first time. Be sure to check with your organization for specific guidance and deadlines. Work backwards from those deadlines to ensure you have enough time to carefully plan the project and develop the proposal.
- Develop ideas for your research agenda
- Familiarize yourself with the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)
- Stay abreast of trends and developments in the field (e.g., read journals, attend conferences) and funding opportunities
- Communicate with colleagues and potential collaborators and develop your connections with partners in the field
- Learn about NSF’s funding process and explore CADRE’s NSF Proposal Toolkit
- Ask to be considered as an NSF proposal reviewer
- Get an NSF ID
3-6 Months Before Submission...
- Read about the NSF DRK-12 program and its solicitation (a request for proposals) and watch the most recent DRK-12 solicitation webinar
- Notify your appropriate institutional departments and contacts (e.g., Office of Sponsored Programs) that you plan to submit a proposal, and become familiar with their internal policies, processes, requirements, and deadlines
- Complete literature review and research about needs
- Search NSF's site for current and completed projects which have done similar work, particularly in DRK-12
- Discuss your idea in-depth with your project team and colleagues (including those who represent your target audience) to define your intended impact
- Hone your theoretical framework and theory of change or logic model
- Consider mechanisms to assess success, broader impacts, dissemination, and sustainability
- Review how a budget is prepared at UC Davis as an example for early proposal planning
- If you're unsure whether DRK-12 is a good fit for your project, you can send a 1-pager to DRLDRK12@nsf.gov for feedback (see more information on the DRK-12 page by clicking here)
1-3 Months Before Submission...
- Create a detailed timeline for completing proposal components
- Identify and contact potential partners (e.g., schools and districts), collaborators, evaluator, and/or advisors
- Read NSF’s PAPPG and the Common Guidelines to Education Research and Development and supplement
- Ask experienced colleagues with expertise in your proposal topic to review your proposal when you have a draft ready
Within 1 Month of Submission...
- Submit a preliminary IRB application
- Request a letter of collaboration from substantial collaborators (individuals or organizations) not included in the budget (be sure to follow the guidelines for letters of collaboration in the most recent PAPPG)
- Share a draft project description with colleagues for review
- Complete the final project description
Draft all of your required attachments (found in the PAPPG and solicitation); make sure the most up to date versions are submitted with your proposal since it may be necessary to continue to refine certain attachments up until your submission- Budget and Budget Justification (don’t forget to include these materials for your subawardees also)- For all senior personnel in your proposal, you must use templates for the following: Biographical Sketches, Current and Pending Support, and Collaborators and Other Affiliations- Other requirements: Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources; Human Subjects Certification (from your IRB); Data Management Plan (this DMP tool may help you); and a Mentoring Plan (if you are including postdoctoral researchers in your proposal)
Within 2 Weeks of Submission...
- Complete the summary
- Copy-edit all documents and make sure to follow the formatting guidelines described in the PAPPG
- Send final documents to your administrative offices
- Submit proposal by 5pm (submitter’s local time) on the deadline date. NSF strongly recommends that you submit earlier than this to avoid any technical submission problems which may arise and for which you won't be given additional time.
Celebrate, relax, and wait
Expect to receive notification from NSF of your award or rejection within 6 months. Read the panel reviews and, if you
didn’t receive an award this time, consider revising and resubmitting your proposal.
If awarded, read NSF's Prospective New Awardee Guide and visit the CADRE Project Management Toolkit.