NSF CAREER Grant Preparation Program


The National Science Foundation (NSF) offers the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program annually. The Program is a NSF-wide activity that offers prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars. UA’s Research Development Services (RDS) offers a guided program to potential applicants and interested parties that provides an overview of the NSF CAREER Program as well as proposal development assistance to those that choose to submit a full CAREER proposal. The RDS program is available for UA faculty at no-cost.

Proposal Development Support

Research Development Services’ (RDS) CAREER Preparation Program is designed to support and guide early-career UA faculty as they develop a compelling project description: from conception to submission in July 2021. UA faculty who commit to participate in the program will receive individual support from an RDS Associate(s) and a peer review (Red Team) of their full proposal. The RDS program consists of:
  •     March 23, 2022: This submission deadline
  •     April through May 2022: RDS Associate support
  •     Late May/Early June 2022: Peer Review
  •     June - July 2022: Continued RDS Associate support
  •     July 2022: Proposal submission
Upon completion of the RDS program, applicants will have: a project summary, a project description, a budget justification, a NSF compliant biographical sketch, their references compiled, and a facilities plan. Faculty participants who apply to the RDS CAREER Preparation Program are committing to participating by submitting their proposal sections in a timely manner for review by their RDS Associate and peer review panel.
Applications to participate in the program are due March 23, 2022 through UA Competition Space. Successful applicants will be paired with a RDS Associate by early April, 2022.

NSF CAREER Grant Preparation w/ AtKisson Training Group

   October 18, 2021 
   Time: 1:00pm to 5:00pm 
   Location: This webinar will be hosted via Zoom 

Research Development Services is hosting a virtual interactive informational session for faculty interested in developing proposals for the NSF CAREER program. Peg AtKisson, PhD, of AtKisson Training Group will lead the course.

NSF CAREER Education & Broader Impacts 

   April 13, 2022 
   Time: 1:00pm to 2:30pm 
   Location: ENR2 N595

The Office of Societal Impacts is partnering with RDS to support faculty in the development of the broader impacts, education plan and evaluation components of the NSF CAREER proposals. This in-person session will share advice for developing a competitive submission and provide resources such as relevant literature along with ideas for connecting with potential campus or community partners whose expertise and infrastructure can be leveraged and supported through collaboration.

To review last year's webinar, visit RDS Proposal Development Tools

2022 Self-Study Online Guide by Academic Research & Funding Strategies

The University of Arizona has purchased the institutional access for this online course. Access is available through April 1, 2023. Please do not distribute access outside of The University of Arizona. This online course provides a comprehensive and detailed discussion of the NSF CAREER program and how to write a winning proposal, stepping through the process from developing an idea to interpreting reviews. The course (access here) includes videos, downloadable slides and resources:

  • The NSF CAREER Program: The Basics
  • Planning your research component
  • Identifying your NSF program and talking to your PO
  • Planning your education component
  • Final planning steps and writing your proposal, step by step
  • Understanding and responding to reviews

Background materials provided for download: