ABC Guide for Budget Proposals
So, you have been explicitly notified that you are eligible to submit a budget proposal to obtain funding to analyze your XMM-Newton AO-22 US PI Category A/B/C-ranked observation(s). Below is a list of steps to go through, roughly in order.
NASA funding for the analysis of XMM-Newton GO observations is limited to PIs who are employed by an Institution in the United States and who expect to remain so. If you are planning on leaving the US before the grant period will begin, please inform the GOF.
Only one budget proposal will be allowed for each accepted scientific proposal meeting this criteria. The PI (or Co-I designated by the PI) should submit the budget proposal.
PIs with joint US and foreign institution affiliations must declare the fraction of time to be spent at the US institution over the course of the budget year. In addition, NASA funds may not be used to travel between the two institutions. For example, NASA funds may not be used for travel to a European conference or collaboration where the PI uses other funds to travel to his/her European institution.
All known eligible PIs have been contacted by the GOF.
If your institution doesn't permit you to be a PI on a grant, for instance if you are a graduate student, then delegate the responsibility to a Co-I who can (your major professor, for instance). This person will then be the Budget PI. NOTE: If the Budget PI is different from the Science PI, a letter to this effect explaining the reason for the delegation of the Budget PI, must also be uploaded to NSPIRES. It can be included in the main body of the proposal (i.e., the document that contains the NSPIRES cover pages, the science proposal, CV, etc.)
There are two ways to designate a Budget PI. Either the Budget PI can submit the proposal themselves, in which case they are automatically named the PI and can designate a Co-I as the Science PI in the Team Members section of the NSPIRES site, or the Science PI can submit it, listing the Budget PI as an institutional PI in the Team Members section, and making sure to use the same name in the Program Specific Data section for the Budget PI.
Only one budget proposal will be allowed for each accepted scientific proposal meeting the above criteria. The PI (or Co-I designated by the PI) should submit the budget proposal.
2. Determine whether you need to submit a budget now.
US PIs with XMM-Newton AO-22 proposals with A or B priority targets must propose at this time. No other budget proposals will be accepted. US PIs with C priority targets will be notified if they are eligible to submit a proposal, and may do so at that time.
Fair-share estimates are sent out to eligible PIs near the start of the budget proposal process. Contact the XMM GOF at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
4. If you do not have one, obtain an NSPIRES account.
Please take some time to become familiar with NSPIRES. It can be tricky if you have not used it before!
In cooperation with your co-Is and your institution's grants administrators you must come up with a budget which should have a reasonable relationship to the availability of funding as indicated by the fair-share estimate. Any funding in excess of the fair-share estimate will need to be extremely well justified.
There are some things that PIs should be aware of:
- The funding in this program is intended for use in a single year.
- While grant money may be used to fund Co-Is at institutions other than the PI's, the money cannot go directly from NASA to the Co-I's institution. It must be routed through the PI's institution.
7. Enter your proposal information into the NSPIRES system and generate the Cover Page.
PIs will be asked to provide a proposal summary in NSPIRES (which is your original science proposal abstract) and answer some standard questions. PIs are required to submit one year of an NSPIRES-based budget and add any US co-Is in addition to the PI. This information will be used to make the Cover Page, which is a PDF you will need to download to your computer, merge with the other necessary documents (see point #8 below), and upload in the Proposal Document PDF file (see point #9 below).
Important: For budget purposes, we do not need to know who your non-US co-Is are, so do not enter these names into NSPIRES. Please ONLY enter your US co-Is as your team members.
Be aware that your US-based co-Is may have to acknowledge their co-I status and link their institutions into NSPIRES if they aren't already. PIs may need to thus instruct their co-Is to register in NSPIRES.
The ancillary information must follow the Cover Page and be in the order shown below in the finished Proposal Document PDF. The page limits are indicated. Please note that reviewers will consider only those pages in each proposal section that do not exceed the page limits specified below. All sections, with the exception of Institutional Budget and Budget PI Justification Letter, are required of all proposals. Proposals that are missing a section may not be considered.
- Budget justification (1-2 pages):
Write a short justification narrarive, including enough detail to
justify the requested expenditures. A good budget narrative describes in
sufficient detail how the proposed funds will be used to achieve the goals
outlined in the proposal. Note the requirement for a complete description of
travel, home/home office internet upgrade, virtual meeting/collaboration hardware
and applications, and equipment requests; these are elaborated below.
A complete description of each travel request is needed, even if subject to change (e.g., 2023 Summer AAS meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Airfare $XXX, Hotel $XXX, Registration $XXX, Ground Transportation $XXX, Incidentals $XXX, where the XXX's are replaced with appropriate numbers). Describe the purpose of the proposed travel in relation to the grant and provide the basis of estimate. In general, only one trip per team member to a professional society meeting will be supported. Travel requests in excess of $5,000 must be very well justified and a proposal may be returned for correction if the travel is deemed excessive.
For home/home office internet access upgrades and virtual collaboration/meeting hardware and applications, describe and explain the need for them and list the specific cost. For each virtual collaboration application for which funding is requested, include the number of collaborators expected to use it. Please provide the basis for the estimated costs. For example, "High-end web camera for virtual collaboration: $XXX. Slack Pro channel for 1 year, for a collaboration of N people: $XXX. Zoom Room for 1 year, for M people: $XXX. Internet upgrade from basic plan ($XX/month) to highest residential tier ($XX/month) for 1 year: $XXX; attending the 2024 Winter AAS virtually."
For equipment and other high-cost supplies, describe and explain the need for items costing more than $5,000. Please provide the basis for the estimated costs.
PIs with joint US and foreign affiliations must list the fraction of time spent in the US as well as the fraction of support provided by US institutions. The expected duration of the US appointment should also be listed. Note that GO funds cannot be used to pay for the commute between the foreign and US institution.
- Science proposal (non-ToOs: 4-5 pages; ToOs: 1 page): Collect the original science section of your XMM proposal. For ToO budget requests, a one page scientific justification should be submitted.
- Current and pending support (as many pages as needed): Prepare a complete list of current and pending research funding support from NASA or other sources for the Budget PI. The information needed includes: Agency, Grant/Contract Number, Title, Amount, Starting and Ending Dates, and Level of Effort (percent). For your convenience, a form is available as an annotated LaTeX file, an editable PDF file, and a PS file. PIs are not required to use this form, but all the needed information noted above must be included.
- CV (1-2 pages): Prepare a short CV for the Budget PI that includes a publication
list with the most recent and/or important publications.
- Institutional budget (short!): If your institution requires it, a short institutional
budget for this particular grant may be included.
- Budget PI justification letter (1 page): If the Science PI cannot also be the PI on a grant (if you are a graduate student, for instance) this responsibility needs to be delegated to a co-I (such as your major professor), who will act as Budget PI. A short letter should be included explaining why a Budget PI is needed.
Merge the Cover Page PDF with the documents from point #8 above. Upload the merged document in the "Proposal Document" field of the NSPIRES submission site.
There are many free software packages that are available for concatenating PDF files. We recommend doing a web search for the latest information, but some possibilities are below.
- Adobe Acrobat and PDFConverter.com — free web services; no software to install.
- Preview (in Mac OS X 10.6.x or higher), Combine PDFs — Mac OS X applications
- PrimoPDF, PDFCreator — Windows applications
- PDFtk at PDFLabs — Linux and Windows tool
- Download the Adobe Acrobat Reader
Useful pages for making your proposal:
- Overview of the Budget Proposal Process
- ABC Guide for Budget Proposals
- Budget Proposal FAQ
- NASA Researcher FAQ
Useful general reference pages:
- The XMM-Newton Users Handbook at: GOF-HTML or GOF-PDF SOC-HTML, SOC-PDF
- The NASA XMM-Newton AO-22 "Dear Colleague" Letter from Dr. Valerie Connaughton for science proposals
- The NASA Office of Space Science "Guidebook for Proposers" -- The main NASA documentation for proposals
If you have any questions concerning XMM-Newton send e-mail to email@example.com