Some Topics & Comments for Tomorrow's Phone Meeting

From: Mike Shaevitz <>
Date: Mon Jul 26 2004 - 15:00:28 CDT

Dear Braidwood Collaborators,

Reminder: Phone Meeting Tues. July 27 @10am CST
                  (1-847-619-6055; passcode 9453389)
            Collaboration Meeting Wed. Aug. 11 @ Fermilab

As we have discussed, we plan to submit an Engineering/R&D proposal to
DOE and NSF at the end of Sept. The main purpose of the funding is to
support the work needed to develop a full detailed proposal to be
submitted in Sept. 2005. For this reason, this proposal should be very
focused and have very specific goals that will be answered by the R&D
and engineering.

Another prime part of the Project Description will also be to convince
the reviewers that our sensitivity goals are important and realizable.
The importance of the sin22th13~0.01 level of sensitivity has been fairly
well established through the APS neutrino study which we can draw on. But
we also will need to make a strong case that this goal is realistic with
an experiment such as we are proposing. Some of the R&D may need to focus
on supporting this case.

The following is a starting list of the components and goals that would
be included:
1) Civil engineering for the shafts, enclosures, buildings and utilities.
The goal for this task would be to end up with a detailed design with a
rigorous cost estimate that could be released in 2006 as an RFP (Request
for Proposals) to civil contractors. The current thinking is that the
RFP would be for a Design-and-Build scenario which would allow the final
contractor flexibility. Chris Laughton will prepare a document on this
part of the proposal which will include the details of how one would
proceed and a cost esimtate to put into the proposal. Chris hopes to
have this done by the Aug. 10 meeting.
2) Detector engineering
Again the goal would be to have a detailed design and well documented
cost estimate of the baseline detector (maybe with options; see below).
This would allow one to go out for bids on long-leadtime items in 2006.
A problem here is whether we have the backup to define the specification
of a baseline detector so that this work will lead to the final design.
3) Scintillator and detector prototype studies
This R&D should be very directed to answering the questions needed to
finalize the design and support the full proposal. Scintillator fluor
development with the best characteristics need study. Material and
lifetime tests need to be done and may be crucial in finalizing the
detector design. It has also been suggested that setting up a small
prototype (1% test) with a comparable geometry might be important in to
justify the proposed design.

In these type of R&D/Engineering proposals, it is very good to show work
that will be done using other sources of funding such as university seed
money, lab general research funds, and other types of special funding.
In addition, university cost sharing such overhead reduction or
elimination is another thing that is needed. A detailed plan of tasks
and how the various groups in the collaboration will cover them is also

As far as the logistics of putting the proposal together, we list the
guidelines from the NSF fastlane documents. Our first task is to come
up with a budget and then write a Project Summary( 1 page) and Project
description (15 pages.). An outreach component will also be necessary
and should be included from the start, even in this R&D/Engineering proposal.

The above list and comments are just a starting point that we have put
together for discussion which hopefully will start at our phone meeting

Ed and Mike

Information from NSF on preparing proposals:

Project Summary (one page)

 The proposal must contain a summary of the proposed activity suitable
for publication, not more than one page in length. It should not be an
abstract of the proposal, but rather a self-contained description of the
activity that would result if the proposal were funded. The summary
should be written in the third person and include a statement of
objectives and methods to be employed. It must clearly address in
separate statements (within the one-page summary):

(1) the intellectual merit of the proposed activity; and

(2) the broader impacts resulting from the proposed activity.

(See Chapter III for further descriptive information on the NSF merit
review criteria.)

It should be informative to other persons working in the same or related
fields and, insofar as possible, understandable to a scientifically or
technically literate lay reader. Proposals that do not separately
address both merit review criteria within the one page Project Summary
will be returned without review.

 Project Description (including Results from Prior NSF Support)

(i) Content

All proposals to NSF will be reviewed utilizing the two merit review
criteria described in greater length in Chapter III.

The Project Description should provide a clear statement of the work to
be undertaken and must include: objectives for the period of the
proposed work and expected significance; relation to longer-term goals
of the PI's project; and relation to the present state of knowledge in
the field, to work in progress by the PI under other support and to work
in progress elsewhere.

The Project Description should outline the general plan of work,
including the broad design of activities to be undertaken, and, where
appropriate, provide a clear description of experimental methods and
procedures and plans for preservation, documentation, and sharing of
data, samples, physical collections, curriculum materials and other
related research and education products. It must describe as an
integral part of the narrative, the broader impacts resulting from the
proposed activities, addressing one or more of the following as
appropriate for the project: how the project will integrate research
and education by advancing discovery and understanding while at the same
time promoting teaching, training, and learning; ways in which the
proposed activity will broaden the participation of underrepresented
groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.); how the
project will enhance the infrastructure for research and/or education,
such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships; how the
results of the project will be disseminated broadly to enhance
scientific and technological understanding; and potential benefits of
the proposed activity to society at large. Examples illustrating
activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available
electronically on the NSF Website18.

(ii) Page Limitations and Inclusion of Universal Resource Locators
(URLs) within the Project Description

 Brevity will assist reviewers and Foundation staff in dealing
effectively with proposals. Therefore, the Project Description
(including Results from Prior NSF Support, which is limited to five
pages) may not exceed 15 pages. Visual materials, including charts,
graphs, maps, photographs and other pictorial presentations are included
in the 15-page limitation. PIs are cautioned that the project
description must be self-contained and that URLs that provide
information related to the proposal should not be used because 1) the
information could circumvent page limitations, 2) the reviewers are
under no obligation to view the sites, and 3) the sites could be altered
or abolished between the time of submission and the time of review.
Conformance to the 15-page limitation will be strictly enforced and may
not be exceeded unless a deviation has been specifically authorized.
(Chapter II, Section A, Conformance with Instructions for Proposal
Preparation, contains information on deviations.)

(iii) Results from Prior NSF Support If any PI or co-PI identified on
the project has received NSF funding in the past five years, information
on the award(s) is required. Each PI and co-PI who has received more
than one award (excluding amendments) must report on the award most
closely related to the proposal. The following information must be
provided: (a) the NSF award number, amount and period of support; (b)
the title of the project; (c) a summary of the results of the completed
work, including, for a research project, any contribution to the
development of human resources in science and engineering; (d)
publications resulting from the NSF award; (e) a brief description of
available data, samples, physical collections and other related research
products not described elsewhere; and (f) if the proposal is for
renewed support, a description of the relation of the completed work to
the proposed work. Reviewers will be asked to comment on the quality of
the prior work described in this section of the proposal. Please note
that the proposal may contain up to five pages to describe the results.
Results may be summarized in fewer than five pages, which would give the
balance of the 15 pages for the Project Description.

 (iv) Unfunded Collaborations Any substantial collaboration with
individuals not included in the budget should be described and
documented with a letter from each collaborator, which should be
provided in the supplementary documentation section of the FastLane
Proposal Preparation Module. Collaborative activities that are
identified in the budget should follow the instructions in Chapter II,
Section D.3.

 (v) Group Proposals NSF encourages submission of proposals by groups
of investigators; often these are submitted to carry out
interdisciplinary projects. Unless stipulated in a specific program
solicitation, however, such proposals will be subject to the 15 page
Project Description limitation established in Section (ii) above. PIs
who wish to exceed the established page limitations for the Project
Description must request and receive a deviation in advance of proposal
submission. (Chapter II, Section A, contains information on deviations.)

 (vi) Proposals for Renewed Support A proposal for renewed support may
be either a "traditional" proposal in which the proposed work is
documented and described as fully as though the proposer were applying
for the first time; or, an "Accomplishment-Based Renewal" (ABR)
proposal, in which the project description is replaced by copies of no
more than six reprints of publications resulting from the research
supported by NSF during the preceding three to five year period, plus a
brief summary of plans for the proposed support period. (See Chapter V,
Section B.2 for additional information on preparation of Renewal Proposals.)

 e. References Reference information is required. Each reference must
include the names of all authors (in the same sequence in which they
appear in the publication), the article and journal title, book title,
volume number, page numbers, and year of publication. If the document
is available electronically, the Website address also should be
identified.19 Proposers must be especially careful to follow accepted
scholarly practices in providing citations for source materials relied
upon when preparing any section of the proposal. While there is no
established page limitation for the references, this section must
include bibliographic citations only and must not be used to provide
parenthetical information outside of the 15-page project description.

g. Budget Each proposal must contain a budget for each year of support
requested, unless a particular program solicitation stipulates
otherwise. Completion of the budget does not eliminate the need to
document and justify the amounts requested in each category. A budget
justification of up to three pages is authorized to provide the
necessary justification and documentation specified below. The proposal
may request funds under any of the categories listed so long as the item
and amount are considered necessary to perform the proposed work and are
not precluded by specific program guidelines or applicable cost
principles. Specific categories budgeted must be consistent with the
organization's cost accounting practices used in accumulating and
reporting costs.

Mike Shaevitz
Columbia University Office:  212-854-3305
Nevis Laboratories Office:   914-591-2806
Received on Mon Jul 26 15:00:30 2004

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