Although it might seem like it, I haven't really been on vacation -- just a vacation from blogging. One thing I was doing was sending in an NSF preliminary proposal for CDI (Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation -- an unwieldy name I never remember without looking up), with that inspiring January 8 deadline. I was also doing minimal work on an Expeditions pre-proposal, thanks to enterprising colleagues who will probably seek payback if we get to submit a full proposal.
Does anyone have an opinion on this whole letters of intent/pre-proposal system for these new grants? Letters of intent I understand -- it's good to know how many people intend to apply for a new grant. But pre-proposals? Does this minimize the work for anyone? Sure, a 6 page pre-proposal is somewhat easier than a full proposal, but there's still a high overhead in just getting something off the ground (and getting it in the Fastlane system). And the tradeoff is now you may have to do a preliminary and full proposal, and there have to be 2 panels (1 for pre-proposals). I'd be happy if I thought someone from NSF had done the math and found that this approach would really save time and effort on our (the researcher) side and the NSF side, but I somehow think this was inspired some bureaucratic incentive I wouldn't want to imagine. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, if anyone has inside information.
So while at this point I'm sick of proposals, and would love to spend time actually doing research instead of writing to the NSF about research I'll happily do if they fund me, I see a slew of proposal deadlines coming up that I might end up applying to, and are certainly worth mentioning to the blog audience. Rather that point to individual calls, here's the link to the CISE list:
1. Theoretical Foundations. March 19 deadline. Looks standard. SING is still there. Nice to see that this time PIs can apply on two grants -- last time I applied, it was just one.
2. CyberTrust. March 24 deadline. I've never applied to this, but I hear many crypto/complexity people have had success.
3. NeTS. March 25 deadline. That's networking, for you theory folk. It looked like they've really revamped this call, completely changing all of the subareas. I'd say the subareas look more theory-friendly, with areas like Network Ecosystems and Exploratory Networking. But theory-friendliness seems to be at the whim of the panel, in my experience. (Sometimes that's good, sometimes that's bad.)
4. Assembling the Tree of Life. March 14 deadline. Not my kind of stuff, but I do know some theorists have received funding for algorithmic work on Tree of Life problems.
5. Human and Social Dynamics. February 19 deadline. Still plenty of time.
Sigh. So many calls, thankfully, not enough time to do them all. I wonder what's with the tightly grouped deadlines.