Writing for an NSF CAREER Award My Personal Experience Sandra Duni Eksioglu, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering Mississippi State University [email protected] Monday, Feb. 6th, 2012 Short Bio Education Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering, Univ. of Florida (2002) Professional Experience Asst. Prof. Ind. & Syst. Eng., MSU (2006 to now) Asst. Res. Prof. Ind. & Syst. Eng., MSU (2005-2006) Asst. Prof. of Manag., Univ. of Evansville (2003-2004) CAREER Proposal History 2007 – Did not submit (Had my 2nd child) 2008 – Submitted CAREER - declined 2009 – Did not submit (Had my 3rd child) 2010 – Submitted CAREER - awarded Biomass-for Biofuel Supply Chain Design and Management Models Research Motivations Biofuels Supply Chain Structure 1. The existing transportation infrastructure cannot handle the expected increase in production of renewable energy (9bgy in 2008 to 36bgy by 2022). 2. 18-36% of the cost of biofuels is due to the logistics of supplying biomass. Network Flow-Based Modeling 3. The related literature is scarce. Research Directions Harvesting Sites Time t φ21t 1. Supply chain design problems 2. Integrated production-distribution problems 3. Building sustainable supply chains φ11t Time t +1 φ11t+1 φ21t+1 Collection Facilities Biorefinery Blending Facility Customer You Are Not Writing Another Paper! Research experience: PhD in Supply Chain Optimization Received funding for related research from ORED, SERC, NCIT, MDOT, MTA Collaborated with faculty from Chemical Eng., Forestry, Ag. Econ. Ag & Bio Eng., MTA, ORNL 15 proposals I wrote did not get funded Research proposal writing experience: Attended a 6-month long proposal writing course (funded by ORED) Participated as a reviewer for NSF Attended NSF’s CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop Education, outreach & other activities: Chair of BCOE Transportation Working group Education coordinator for NCIT Organizer of 4 annual transportation workshops at MSU Have been involved with WIA, MSU/IMAGE, Quest summer programs Strategic Plan The CAREER Award is NOT a Research Award, it IS a Career Development award. Should reflect your long-term career goals. Have enough substance to keep you busy for the next 5 years. Should be innovative and fundamental science. Should demonstrate you have the expertise, prior experience, collaborations necessary to make it a success. Should be consistent with MSU’s goals. Should contribute to the society at large. Propose a strategic plan you are excited & care about. Your writing will reflect this excitement. It is more likely you will do a better job when you are excited about your work. If successful you will be working on it for a long time. Research Plan My research plan has one long term goal Two main research streams Emerging Research Topics (years 4 and 5) Within each research stream I discuss: Preliminary findings Computational experience Work plan: Model extensions, new models, solution procedures Education Plan My education plan has three components Education Bring research results to the classroom using case studies; involve undergraduate and graduate students in research Outreach activities (leverage on what is happening at MSU) MSU/IMAGE Summer Bridge Program WIA (women in action – BCOE summer program) Quest (K-12 – BCOE summer program) Industry Workshop development (CAVS-E) On-site visits (MTA) It Is Important To Live up to what you are proposing with respect to research, education and broader impacts. You can proudly write in your proposal “I did do …”, “I did participate …” These surely count more than “I will do…”, “I will participate…” Dedicate time to write this proposal. Do not push the writing of the proposal till July. Collaborators may be difficult to reach bc of summer break. Your motivation goes down after a long year of teaching. Write for the reviewers. Do not let a reviewer guess. Clearly state your long-term goals, objectives, rationale and importance of your research, etc. Choose a research and education topic you are passionate about. Final Thoughts Do not be discouraged, the success rate (although very small) it is still a number grater than zero. APPLY. Good luck (you will need it)! References: “NSF CAREER Proposal Writing Tips.” By: ZJ Pen (Ed.), http://www2.imse.ksu.edu/~zpei/ (Free download) “ The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook.” S. Russell and D. Morrison http://www.grantcentral.com Special Thanks to ORED For Providing an awesome start-up package which funded a student for 4 years, travel, summer salary. Organizing MSU’s proposal writing workshop. Organizing & funding a visit to NSF for newly hired faculty. Funding my 6-month course on proposal writing workshop. Funding my RIP proposal. Providing funding to cover cost share requirements for proposals I was awarded. Always being prompt and providing solutions to any requests I have had with respect to proposal developments.