2023 NSF CAREER Proposal Academy

Ten-Week Proposal Preparation Program Begins May 17, 2023.

Apply by April 24.


  • Anita Corbett (she/her)          acorbe2@emory.edu
  • Allison Adams (she/her)         aadam02@emory.edu
  • Eric Weeks. (he/his)                erweeks@emory.edu

Early-career faculty in the sciences and social sciences are invited to participate in a ten-week “NSF CAREER Proposal Academy,” a series of weekly 90-minute workshops for faculty who are preparing proposals for NSF CAREER awards ahead of the submission deadline of July 26, 2023. 

The Academy is designed to support and guide the development of a compelling and competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) proposal. Sessions will cover aspects of proposal development sequentially from project idea conception to submission, including mentoring/coaching from experienced administrators and staff, pre-submission expert , and access to space for quiet writing time and ongoing consultation.  

The Academy will meet every Wednesday from noon to 1:30 in a hybrid format, in person and via Zoom (in-person participants will be provided lunch), beginning May 17. Each session will cover one aspect in the process of putting together an application. 

Proposal Academy participants must be planning to either submit a new proposal or revise and resubmit a previous proposal for the upcoming deadline of July 26 and be eligible to submit an NSF CAREER proposal per NSF’s eligibility criteria.  

The deadline to register was April 24, 2023. Registration is now closed.


May 17 – Session 1

Successful NSF Career Recipients Panel
Introductions, and overviews of scientific grant writing, NSF CAREER program, planning, Intellectual Merits, and Broader Impacts

Goal: Read one successful proposal and come prepared to discuss and be working on the Project Development Worksheet

May 24 – Session 2

Go over completed worksheets; Idea Generation; Objectives; Model Figure

Goal: Complete worksheet for discussion

May 31 – Session 3

Intellectual Merits: Background and Significance and Project Summary; Prior Support from NSF

Goal: Objectives/Aims/Questions- draft of Project Summary

June 7 – Session 4

Intellectual Merits: Approach, Preliminary Data, and Figures

Goal: Draft Intellectual Merit: Background and Significance 

June 14 – Session 5

Getting your Proposal Submitted: Research Administration Services visit, Budget, and Budget Justification

Goal: Draft Intellectual Merit: Approach outline/overview with Figure list 

June 21 – Session 6

Supplementary Documents: Departmental Letter, Letters of Collaboration, Data Management Plan, Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan, and Cover Sheet

Goal: Draft Intellectual Merit: Approach Aim/Thrust 1 

June 28 – Session 7

Broader Impacts

Goal: Draft Intellectual Merit: Approach Objectives/Aims/Thrusts 2 and 3

July 5 – Session 8

Discussion/Challenges and Writing Time

Goal: Draft Broader Impacts and Project Summary

July 12 – Session 9

Writing Time

Goal: Submit complete draft grant for expert review 

July 19 – Session 10

Writing Time

Goal: Assemble Supplementary Documents

July 26 – Submission Deadline

Aug 2 – Celebrate!

The NSF CAREER Proposal Academy is co-presented by the Emory College of Arts and Sciences Office of Research and the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from early-career faculty at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.

NSF CAREER Eligibility

  • A Principal Investigator (PI) may submit only one CAREER proposal per annual competition. 
  • A Principal Investigator may not participate in more than three CAREER competitions.
  • Proposals that are not reviewed (i.e., are withdrawn before review or are returned without review) do not count toward the three-competition limit.
  • There are no restrictions or limits on the number of proposals per organization.
  • No co-PIs are permitted.

Detailed instructions

Components of an NSF CAREER Award

  • Project Summary (1 page)
  • Project Description (15 pages)
  • References Cited (no limit)
  • Biographical Sketch (limited to CAREER PI only) (must use PDF format provided)
  • Budget
  • Budget Justification
  • Current and Pending Support
  • Facilities, Equipment, and other Resources
  • Data Management Plan
  • Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan, if applicable

The NSF provides significant support for submission of the NSF Career Award on their website.

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

47.041 --- Engineering

47.049 --- Mathematical and Physical Sciences

47.050 --- Geosciences

47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering

47.074 --- Biological Sciences

47.075 --- Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences

47.076 --- STEM Education

47.079 --- Office of International Science and Engineering

47.083 --- Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)

47.084 --- NSF Technology, Innovation and Partnerships 

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