Funding agency: 
National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF), through the Directorate for Engineering, the Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering Division of Computer and Network Systems, and the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences Division of Materials Research, along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), through its Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), have established the NSF/FDA Scholar-in-Residence Program at FDA. This program comprises an interagency partnership for the investigation of scientific and engineering issues concerning emerging trends in medical device technology. This partnership is designed to enable investigators in science, engineering, and computer science to develop research collaborations within the intramural research environment at the FDA. This solicitation features three flexible mechanisms for support of research at the FDA: 1) Principal Investigators at FDA; 2) Postdoctoral Researchers at FDA; and 3) Graduate Students at FDA.

Program Description

This activity supports research and collaborations with investigators in the intramural FDA laboratory research program including opportunities for Principal Investigators and embedded postdoctoral fellows and graduate students to conduct engineering and scientific research on topics contributing to public health and to gain experience related to emerging medical device technologies in a research setting, both individually and in collaborative teams.

The following opportunities are options to be considered, and may be combined or modified in alternative arrangements to meet the objectives of the program. Such alternate proposals should represent comparable levels of commitment and interaction; moreover, it is expected that the Principal Investigator will be meaningfully engaged in the conduct of research at the FDA laboratory.

  1. Principal Investigator at FDA - For science, engineering, and computer science Principal Investigators to conduct research at the FDA. Budget: Awards may be up to one year. Principal Investigators may budget up to 6 months of their salary. Up to 20 percent of the total requested amount may be used for travel, moving, and research expenses for the Principal Investigator and his/her students at the FDA, including materials.
  2. Postdoctoral Researchers at FDA -- For engineering, science, and mathematics fellows for full-time work at FDA under the guidance of an FDA mentor. Budget: Awards from NSF will be for amounts up to $100,000 per year for one to two years and may include the following: 85 percent of the stipend including fringe benefits for the postdoctoral fellow. The award may also include transportation and moving expenses (limited to $3,000); up to 10 percent of the total budget allowance may be used by an advisor for research-related expenses.
  3. Graduate Students at FDA -- For science, engineering, and mathematics graduate students for one to four semesters of full- or part-time work at FDA, with moving expenses for full-time work, in an area related to his/her research under the guidance of an advisor and an FDA mentor. Budget: Awards will be for up to one year, with award amounts typically up to $50,000, and may include the following: a graduate stipend of up to $3,000 per month; transportation expenses and moving expenses (limited to $3,000) for the graduate student; and a 10 percent allowance for the advisor for research-related expenses. 

FDA will provide office space, research facilities, research costs in the form of expendable and minor equipment purchases to the host CDRH laboratory, and the time of its research staff. NSF will, as appropriate, assist with funds for transporting specialized equipment between the applicant's home institution and FDA for use in the collaborative research.

Applicants may request support for this activity as a new proposal or as a supplement to an eligible existing NSF grant of the participating Directorates. Please note that both postdoctoral researchers and graduate students must have an advisor submit the proposal on their behalf. The length of support requested should be appropriate to the purpose. Proposals will be evaluated in accordance with NSF merit review criteria and the program objectives (see above). 

The proposed activities need not focus on fundamental issues alone; however, topics addressed should be oriented toward research within an intellectual envelope shared by FDA. Typically, FDA scientists and researchers will participate in the merit review of proposals submitted under this solicitation. Unattributed reviews may be shared with FDA. Investigators are expected to integrate research objectives with educational and human resources goals and FDA scientific priorities. 

Proposals to NSF must be accompanied with a letter of invitation from FDA, following procedures described more fully below. FDA will host up to 10 NSF scholars and awardees in residence at any one time under this activity. Interested applicants should contact the designated NSF Directorate coordinator to learn more about the procedures for proposal preparation, submission, and evaluation.

December 1, 2017
Funding type: 
Graduate students