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SOS Terms and Conditions

by Purav Patel last modified May 30, 2018 by Jim Braatz

Preliminary Funding Proposal

Terms and Conditions

  1. Funding proposals will be accepted from principal investigators or co-investigators who are employed at U.S. institutions. US university and college students who have NRAO staff members as advisors are eligible to apply for funding from the SOS program, provided that their NRAO advisor is adjunct faculty at their college or university. This support program is intended to assist students who are enrolled at U.S. universities and colleges; the status as a student of an intended recipient will be confirmed by the investigator(s).
  2. Funding will be awarded by the Student Observing Support Committee. Factors considered in making awards through this program include, but are not limited to, the referee ratings of the related observing proposal; a work assignment that clearly outlines the student's contributions to the research; the importance of the work to the student's professional development (e.g., whether or not the research will be included in the student's dissertation); and a responsible request for funds, given the number of hours allocated to the observing proposal and the availability of other funds to support the research. The referees are predominantly external scientists who evaluate the scientific merit of the observing proposals. Awards will be subject to the availability of funds from the NSF. A funding cap of $35,000 in active awards per year will be imposed per investigator.
  3. If funds are requested for a student's stipend or travel to domestic meetings, the requesting investigator must also be the student's advisor. If the work assignment also involves data from related observing proposals, it should cite those proposals by their codes, if known, or titles. If the work is building upon results from a prior award to the advisor under this program, the new observing proposal should demonstrate progress made under that prior award. Investigators who have requested funding will receive notification from the Student Programs Coordinator concerning the status of their funding requests. Notifications regarding funding requests will be issued shortly following notifications regarding time requests. The Student Programs Coordinator, normally a scientist on the NRAO staff, will be assisted by the Contracts and Procurement Department and the SOS Administrator from the office of Science Support and Research.
  4. If funding is awarded, Final Funding Proposal forms with detailed budget and a budget narrative, must be submitted to the SOS Administrator within thirty days of being notified of the award. The detailed budget should be an elaboration of the Preliminary Funding Proposal. The data archived during observations are subject to the standard NRAO proprietary policy, namely: data are reserved for the exclusive use of the observing team for a period of twelve months, after which the data are available to any astronomer.
  5. Funding will normally be awarded for a period of one to two years. The SOS Administrator will coordinate award activation, disbursement, and deactivation with the awardee institution. An award may be activated any time after the observations have been scheduled. One request for an advance of a portion of the funding may be made to assist with the preparation of the observations in the period between award notification and observation start. To request award payments or an advance, please submit an invoice via email to the SOS Administrator. One request for a six month, no-cost extension may be made by sending an email to the SOS Administrator for review by the Student Programs Coordinator.
  6. The funding cap for all SOS awards is $35k.  The budget may include an allocation for stipend, computing equipment, and student travel to one domestic conference to present the results of the program. Administrative costs may be budgeted into (not added to) the student stipends to offset the costs of administering the award by the investigator's institution. Administrative costs are limited to 10 percent of the requested stipend. Tuition costs are not allowed. Fringe benefits are allowed. Domestic meeting locations include those within the US and its territories, within Canada, or within Mexico. Tickets for air travel must be purchased from US flag carriers, defined as those holding certificates under section 401 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (49 U.S.C. 1371).
  7. Those receiving funding through the NRAO Student Observing Support Program remain eligible for the standard NRAO user support programs, including travel to the NRAO for observing and data reduction, and page charges. The standard publication acknowledgment must be augmented by the sentence "Support for this work was provided by the NSF through award SOSP id from the NRAO." The SOS Administrator will assign an award number to replace "id."
  8. A subrecipient closeout form must be submitted to the Student Programs Coordinator within six months of expiration of the award. A refund check for any balance of advanced funds must accompany the closeout form.