NSF Engines: Reminder Key Deadlines and Proposal Stages

  • June 13, 2024

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has unveiled its solicitation for the NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) program for 2024, detailed under NSF24-565. This initiative is a game-changer, aiming to catalyze innovation ecosystems across the nation by fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders. As you prepare your application, it’s crucial to stay on top of key dates and ensure your evaluation strategy is robust.

Solicitation Link here – 👉 https://new.nsf.gov/funding/opportunities/nsf-regional-innovation-engines-nsf-engines-0/nsf24-565/solicitation

At E.B. Howard Consulting, we’re here to assist you in every step of this process, especially with forming an effective evaluation evaluation plan.

Here are the key upcoming deadlines and what each proposal stage entails:

Important Deadlines

  1. Letter of Intent (LOI) Deadline: June 18, 2024
  2. Preliminary Proposal Deadline: August 06, 2024
  3. Full Proposal Deadline: February 11, 2025

Proposal Stages

1. Letter of Intent (LOI): (due by 5 p.m. submitting organization’s local time) June 18, 2024

  • The LOI is a brief overview of your proposed project. It includes basic information about the project scope, objectives, and potential partners. Submitting an LOI is mandatory and helps NSF gauge interest and plan the review process.
  • The Letter of Intent (LOI) is a mandatory step that signals your intent to submit a full proposal. It’s a non-binding document but a critical part of the application process.
  • Tip: Use this LOI to outline your core team, initial project vision, and high-level goals. This will set a solid foundation for your full proposal.

2. Preliminary Proposal: (due by 5 p.m. submitting organization’s local time) August 06, 2024

  • The preliminary proposal is a more detailed description of your project. It should outline the project’s goals, methodology, anticipated impacts, and initial partnerships. This stage allows NSF to provide feedback and determine if the project aligns with its priorities before a full proposal is developed.
  • Your preliminary proposal should provide a more detailed project plan, including initial evaluation plans, partnership structures, and potential impacts.
  • Tip: Highlight your strategic approach and readiness to address regional challenges through innovation. Clearly define your evaluation criteria and how you plan to measure success.

3. Full Proposal: (due by 5 p.m. submitting organization’s local time) February 11, 2025

  • The full proposal is an in-depth submission that includes comprehensive project plans, detailed budgets, and full partnership agreements. It should demonstrate the feasibility, significance, and potential impact of the project. This final stage is critical for securing funding and requires a thorough and polished presentation.
  • VIP!! Only invited teams are eligible to submit full proposals. Teams can expect to receive invitations to submit full proposals in mid-October 2024. This is a tentative timeline and is subject to change based on the number and quality of received proposals.

How E.B. Howard Consulting Can Assist You: Our approach to evaluation for the NSF Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) program is designed to support projects in achieving their innovation goals through rigorous, customized, and collaborative evaluation methods. We work closely with stakeholders to develop evaluation frameworks that align with the unique objectives of each project and NSF’s requirements.

  1. Formative and Summative Evaluations: We provide ongoing, formative feedback during the project to facilitate continuous improvement and ensure that adjustments can be made in real-time. Summative evaluations at project completion deliver comprehensive assessments of outcomes and impacts, helping to measure the project’s success and sustainability.
  2. Stakeholder-Centric Approach: We believe in the power of stakeholder engagement. Our evaluations are grounded in regular communication with all project participants, ensuring that diverse perspectives are considered and that everyone is informed and involved throughout the project lifecycle. This inclusive approach fosters collaboration and enhances the relevance and applicability of our findings.
  3. Data-Driven Insights: Our team excels in collecting, managing, and analyzing data using a variety of tools, such as Excel and SPSS. We focus on developing robust data collection methods and employ rigorous analytical techniques to generate insights that are both actionable and aligned with your project’s goals.
  4. Customized Evaluation Frameworks: Recognizing that each NSF Engines project is unique, we tailor our evaluation strategies to meet the specific needs and objectives of your project. From setting up baseline data to advanced statistical analyses, we ensure that our evaluation plans are comprehensive and adaptable.
  5. Transparent and Ethical Practices: We adhere to the highest standards of ethical evaluation, maintaining transparency in all our methods and findings. We are committed to presenting data honestly and constructively, even when it highlights areas for improvement, ensuring that our clients have the clear, actionable information they need to succeed.

Our comprehensive evaluation services provide the necessary tools to measure success and facilitate strategic improvements, ensuring your NSF Engines project not only meets but exceeds its goals. By partnering with us, you gain a critical ally in navigating the complexities of the evaluation process and maximizing the impact of your innovative endeavors.



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We assist our clients in locating, applying for, and evaluating the outcomes of non-dilutive grant funding. We believe non-dilutive funding is a crucial tool for mitigating investment risks, and we are dedicated to guiding our clients through the entire process—from identifying the most suitable opportunities to submitting and managing grant applications.


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