[unisog] NSF Grant Experience

John Kristoff jtk at northwestern.edu
Fri Jan 23 16:59:07 GMT 2004


On Fri, 23 Jan 2004 00:20:21 -0600
Eric Pancer <epancer at security.depaul.edu> wrote:

> I'm looking for some opinions on NSF grants and the ease of obtainig
> them for the purpose of funding infosecurity research, deploying new
> technologies to combat ongoing security problems and training staff
> and increasing the knowledgebase of security personnel.

Unless there is a particular grant that is offering to support building
of "basic infrastructure" it is unlikely you would find much success in
obtaining NSF money for all but the first item you mentioned.  Even in
that case you typically need to ensure that research you're proposing
is for real research and not just to "play" with emerging technologies.
Not to mention that the proposal has to be good compared to the many
that the NSF will likely receive for each funding opportunity.

On the last three attempts at DePaul I was involved in, we were not
successful primarily due to the weakness in the research component.
One thing you can try to do is talk to a vendor the institution
spends a lot of money with to help out.  You probably won't have as
much freedom in how the money is spent however.  I don't think this
page is being maintained anymore, but it lists other places that
actively look to fund infotech related projects:

  <http://www.cybertelecom.org/usf/funding.htm>

You should also make internal proposals to the institution leadership.
Often they will find ways to support worthwhile projects if presented
convincingly, although the support often takes awhile before it can
steamroll into something real.  In your examples, it sounds like most
of those should be funded by the institution simply as a matter of doing
business.

John



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