By Yeawon Yoo
The session titled “Navigating NSF: Funding Opportunities for Operations Research at NSF” on Monday afternoon was filled with many scholars who are interested in research funding. Georgia-Ann Klutke, Robin Dillon-Merrill, and Irina Dolinskaya from National Science Foundation (NSF) discussed some funding opportunities at the NSF.
Georgia-Ann Klutke started the session with the history and role of NSF. “We are supporting the next generation of science and education and broadening the participation to enable a diverse STEM workforce. That is our core strategies,” she said, “if you are looking for a fund from NSF, you should understand the background and role of NSF.” Georgia-Ann said, “Proposals are submitted through your university’s Office of Sponsored Programs. There are two main types of proposals; unsolicited proposals and solicitations. Unsolicited proposal is a core, long-standing program. These are responsive to published core program descriptions and are accepted at specific time windows. But, please prepare the proposal as early as possible, not just before the deadline. Solicitations are special opportunities. If you have a good plan for a specific topic, you can apply, and it could generally be published for 1-3 years.”
Georgia-Ann also introduced the Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) division. “We have separate clusters, but we are interacting with each cluster,” she said, “I would like to focus on my area, ‘Operations Engineering (OE).’ Our program supports fundamental research on advanced analytical methods for improving operations in complex decision-driven environments. To be successful in the OE program, there should be new and improved analytical methods, grounded in an engineering domain.”
Robin also briefly introduced the Humans, Disasters, and the Built Environment (HDBE) program. Robin said, “You need people, disaster, problems.”
Irina introduced her program, Dynamics, Control and Systems Diagnostics (DCSD). “DCSD supports fundamental research on innovation in modeling, innovation in analysis, innovation in system diagnostics, and innovation in control,” she said. Irina said that it should not cover all four cases. If your research falls into one of these four categories, it is good to apply for the program. However, if your research uses existing algorithms, this is not a good fit for our program.”
Georgia-Ann wrapped up the session by introducing the other NSF programs supporting INFORMS researchers, such as Leading Engineering for America’s Prosperity, Health, and Infrastructure (LEAP HI) and Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program. If you missed this session, there will be a panel session on Tuesday morning. Georgia-Ann Klutke, Irina Dolinskaya, and other panelists cover the research and funding trends in decision analysis.