NSF Fellowships for Transformative Computational Science using CyberInfrastructure (CI TraCS)

The NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure announced a new solicitation for post-doctoral fellowships for transformative computational science using cyberinfrastructure (CI TraCS) at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2010/nsf10553/nsf10553.pdf. Applicants must be US citizens, nationals, or legally admitted permanent resident aliens of the US, have received a doctoral degree by the start date of the award, but no more than two years before the beginning of the year in which the award is made (e.g. a recipient of an award that starts on 1 Sept 2010 must have received the doctoral degree between January 2008 and August 2010 inclusive), and have selected a host institution and sponsoring scientist(s) different from those associated with their doctoral degree (but see pp. 4-5 of the solicitation). Postdoctoral research activities under CI TraCS must be computational in nature and CI-based. and applicants are expected to include a plan for education and mentoring activities in their proposal; as a guideline, proposers should plan on their educational activities to take up between 10% and 25% of their time. Fellowships are awarded to the applicant, but they must identify a host research organization, such as a college, university, privately-sponsored nonprofit institutes, government agencies and laboratories, and for-profit organizations. (The last mentioned is prefaced with "under special conditions" in the solicitation.) Fellows will be expected to participate in an annual Fellows' workshop.

The award is for up to 3 years; the total fellowship amount is $240K over 3 years: a stipend of $60K in Year 1, $65K in year 2 and $70K in year 3; an institutional allowance of $5K per year for each year; and a research allowance supplement of $10K per year. Fellows moving on to a tenure-track faculty position following their fellowship may apply for a $50K start-up supplement.

CI TraCS proposals are to be submitted by the individual, not by the host institution. Instructions are available in on the NSF FastLane homepage by clicking on the Postdoctoral Fellowships link. Before submitting the proposal, you must first register as an individual researcher before the applicant or his or her references can access the application procedures. A complete submission consists of:

  • a one page Project Summary, including separate paragraphs describing the proposal's intellectual merit and broader impacts
  • a 10 page maximum Project Description, with the following information:
    • a plan for research and education activities, highlighting the key CI-related omponents and how CI will be used to advance the discipline
    • a justification for the choice of host institution, sponsoring scientist(s), and description of available mentoring, facilities and resources
    • a description of the applicant's long-term career goals and the role of the fellowshipo in achieving them
  • a list of references cited in the Project Summary and Description
  • a 2-page CV of the applicant
  • a letter of commitment from the host institution and sponsoring scientist, including a mentoring plan and 2-page CV for each sponsoring scientist.
  • two reference letters, including one from the applicant's doctoral dissertation advisor; the other should not be submitted by a sponsoring scientist
  • a 1-page abstract of the applicant's dissertation research

Read the solicitation carefully to make sure you understand all the details. Questions should be sent to the cognizant program officers Manish Parashar and Mimi McClure at citracs AT nsf DOT gov.
Upcoming submission deadlines are 5pm proposer's local time on:

  • June 21, 2010
  • January 13, 2011
  • January 13, 2012

It is estimated that 6 to 8 new awards will be made each year, depending on the quality of the proposals and the availability of funds. The anticipated annual program budget is $2M annually.

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