First Year Accomplishments: A Message from IES Director Mark Schneider

At the end of his first year as Director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Mark Schneider has summarized some IES accomplishments. He emphasized how IES is focusing on its mission “as an applied research agency.” IES will continue to invest in basic research even though that is not its primary function. Instead, the work of IES focuses on “improving the outcomes of learners throughout the life cycle.” This requires an emphasis on “translating research for widespread use to improve outcomes.”

To realize this principle, IES has undertaken several concrete steps. For example, it has imposed a new 15-page limit for its reports, meaning the reports need to be “better thought out and more concisely written.” IES is rethinking the What Works Clearinghouse website and its Practice Guides with the goal of making the WWC website more useable for a wide range of users. IES is also considering how different and more modern data analytic and data visualization tools could help with the examination of its data.  Read more

IES List of Proposed Interventions for the Systematic Replication RFA

Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Director Mark Schneider has provided a list of interventions having strong evidence of impact. IES will release the Systematic Replication RFA sometime later this spring, and these interventions are the ones IES will support for replication.

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AERA Requests Comments on 2020 Annual Meeting Programming

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) invites you to submit ideas contributing to the development of the 2020 Annual Meeting theme: The Power and Possibilities for the Public Good When Researchers and Organizational Stakeholders Collaborate.

Deadline to submit ideas: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at  

Call for Submissions Released: May 10, 2019

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NIH Requests Information on the Need for an NIH Data Enclave

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a request for information (RFI) to explore interest in whether NIH should use funds to develop, host, and maintain a secure data environment (data enclave). The data enclave would allow researchers to access de-identifiable NIH scientific information not made available to the public.

Deadline to submit comments: Thursday, May 30, 2019 at

Currently RePORTER provides the public with a searchable repository of NIH-funded projects, and ExPORTER provides files on funded projects for download. These tools contain non-sensitive information on NIH funded projects. In recent years, NIH has noted an increasing demand for access to sensitive information collected via the grants process.

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NSF Requests Information on Future Topics for the NSF Convergence Accelerator

The National Science Foundation (NSF) issued a request for information (RFI) in conjunction with NSF’s 10 Big Ideas. The purpose of this RFI is to seek input on future NSF Convergence Accelerator tracks within the 10 Big Ideas, or on other topics that may not relate directly to a Big Idea but that may have national impact.

Deadline to submit comments: Monday, June 24, 2019 at and complete the online questionnaire.

The purpose of the Convergence Accelerator is to accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance, and initiate convergence team-building capacity around exploratory, potentially high-risk proposals in three convergence topics (tracks) with each track aligned with one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas, namely Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) (track A1) and the Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF) (tracks B1 and B2). These tracks also align with Administration R&D Priorities including leadership in artificial intelligence (see July 2018 memo M-18-22), the President’s Management Agenda (see Cross Agency Priority Goals), and the U.S. 5-Year STEM Education Strategic Plan.

Ideas suggested in response to this RFI should be similar in scope to tracks A1, B1, and B2, which are broad enough to each support a set of related research teams working together as a cohort.

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Find the Latest Funding Strategies for NIH Institutes and Centers

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers information on the latest fiscal policies, as well as links to the funding strategies for each Institute and Center (IC) that offers grant awards.

You can use the NIH Funding Strategies webpage to better understand the NIH’s approach to grant funding and stay updated on key budget policies.

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Science Gateways: What Are They and How Can They Boost Your Research?

Founded in 2016, the Science Gateways Community Institute was one of the National Science Foundation’s first software institutes funded via the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure’s Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) program.

Science gateways allow access to resources for researchers, educators, and students. Through a variety of online interfaces, such as Web portals or mobile apps, gateways support a community of tools, applications, and data collections providing shared resources.

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Nondisclosure Agreements and Confidentiality in the Review of Proposals and Manuscripts

UF faculty members are routinely asked by funding agencies or foundations to review research proposals submitted by researchers at other institutions. In the course of agreeing to review, the reviewer is normally asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement that requires the reviewer to keep the contents of the reviewed materials confidential. The same holds true in the review of manuscripts for journals. It is important that the signee abide by the terms of these agreements. The federal agencies take these agreements pertaining to proposal review very seriously and have recently reiterated these confidentiality requirements to the academic community.

UF expects that faculty serving as reviewers understand and abide by the terms of these nondisclosure agreements. It is not required that these nondisclosure agreements for proposal or manuscript review be reviewed by central administration. Please note that nondisclosure/confidentiality agreements for other business purposes must be reviewed by the Division of Sponsored Programs or the General Counsel before execution.

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UF IT Upgrades to LinkedIn Learning

On May 6, UF IT upgraded the service to Linkedin Learning. The enhanced online learning platform will remain free to all students, faculty, and staff with valid GatorLink credentials.

Your account settings and course history have been migrated, along with any training bookmarks, exercise files, and certificates you have downloaded. All current users will receive an email from Linkedin Learning with a link to activate your new account.

The Linkedin Learning platform includes all Lynda course content plus an additional 6,000 online skill-building education options.

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Adobe Reader Version Compatibility with

As of May 1, 2019, Adobe Reader Version 9 will no longer be compatible for use with Workspace PDF forms. This is a reminder to keep your Adobe Acrobat Reader software up-to-date. Applicants may now opt to use browser-based online forms, instead of PDF forms.

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Grant Writing: 3 Tips for Crafting Need Statements in Federal Grant Proposals

Posted on March 27, 2019 by 

The following tips about crafting a need statement have been adapted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources & Services Administration’s grant writing guide, Tips for Writing and Submitting Good Grant Proposals.

Tip 1:   Address the need that the funding opportunity is intended to fill — not the organization’s need for funding.

Tip 2:   Communicate the organization’s familiarity with addressing the defined need.

Tip 3:   Illustrate the need with a concise but concrete story. 

Each tip is accompanied by an excerpt from an award-winning federal grant proposal.  Read more

Awarded Projects for April 2019

No new awards for April 2019

Submitted Projects for April 2019

Best wishes to Christy Gabbard for her proposal to the Florida Department of Education; Maya Israel for her proposal to the National Science Foundation; Herman Knopf for his subcontract proposal Administration for Children and Families Flow Through from the University of Alabama; Kathrin Maki for her subcontract proposal Society for the Study of School Psychology Flow Through from the University of South Dakota; Philip Poekert and Paige Pullen for their proposals to the U.S. Department of Education and the Charleston County School District; Philip Poekert for his subcontract U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Flow Through from WestEd; and Philip Poekert for his proposal to the School Board of Seminole County.

For more details, see the Submitted Projects table.

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