2024 ECR PI Meeting

2024 ECR PI Meeting

The 2024 Principal Investigator (PI) Meeting for active NSF EDU Core Research (ECR) projects (ending May 2024 or later) will occur May 28–30, 2024, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

Diverse group of women meeting at a table.

Fostering Networking and Insights Across Disciplines

Mark your calendars! The 2024 Principal Investigator (PI) Meeting for active NSF EDU Core Research (ECR) projects (ending May 2024 or later) will occur May 28–30, 2024, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

  • Start time: 4pm ET on May 28
  • End time: 2pm ET on May 30

The decision for an in-person format was rooted in strong community preferences. In an April 2023 survey, current ECR PIs favored an in-person format over virtual-only format by more than 3:1 (77% vs. 23%). 

The meeting will allow ECR PIs to meet NSF program officers, network with other grantees, and gather new ideas for future NSF proposals. A special focus will be fostering networking and insights across the many disciplines that ECR funds, united by shared interests in common research topics.

See the questions below for more information (other details including registration information are forthcoming). This event is the “two-day grantees' meeting in the Washington, D.C. area” described in the ECR:Core and ECR:BCSER solicitations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Who is invited to the event?

  • Invitations will be sent to the PIs of ECR awards ending May 2024 or later (i.e., active at the time of the meeting). 
  • One PI per ECR award is invited to attend.
  • If the PI cannot attend, they are encouraged to send a co-PI or another project leader to represent the project as a PI substitute.
  • A limited number of slots will be available for a non-PI, early-career project collaborator (e.g., postdoc, assistant professor) to also attend. See Question 7 for more details.
  • These invitation policies were crafted to keep the number of attendees at around 400 people, keeping both budgeting considerations and networking goals in mind.

2.  What will I get out of the event?

  • Networking activities will especially aim to foster relationships that (a) cut across traditional disciplinary silos but (b) are united by shared interests in common topics. 
  • We will design discussion-focused sessions to foster new ideas for future research that build on these interdisciplinary conversations and insights from others’ ECR projects.
  • Special activities will also aim to foster the grantsmanship, grant management, and career development of early-career attendees, PIs of capacity-building projects, and PIs at historically underfunded institutions (such as R2s, R3s, 4-year and 2-year colleges).

3.  Will I be expected to pay?

  • PI attendees are expected to use their NSF grant funds to attend, as noted in the ECR:Core and ECR:BCSER solicitations.
  • Registration is free, but PI attendees (or PI substitute attendees) must book and pay for their own travel and hotel in keeping with the program solicitation.
  • However, $1,000 travel scholarships will be available for the limited number of slots for non-PI, early-career project collaborators (see Question 7).
  • Networking lunches will be $20/meal for all attendees; other light refreshments and beverages outside of lunches will be provided at no cost.

4.  Why is the meeting location the Washington, D.C. area?

  • The ECR solicitations note that these grantee meetings are in the Washington, D.C. area.
  • Beyond that, the location aligns with a key attendee goal: meet face-to-face with NSF program officers (49% of surveyed PIs rated as a “very important” goal).
  • The location of the Washington, D.C. area maximizes the attendance of NSF program officers and therefore also maximizes attendees’ opportunities for talking with them. Hence, though the location is closer for some and more distant for others, the location advances a shared community goal that many attendees highly prioritize.
  • For convenience for non-locals, the hotel is 1 mile away from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) with a free shuttle in between.

5.  How did you decide on the meeting date?

  • Selecting May 2024 was based on the April 2023 survey (PIs overall rated that month as the most ideal compared to others between March to September 2024).
  • Choosing the end of May 2024 also avoids graduation dates and grading periods for most academic institutions on semester-based systems, as well as avoiding major conferences that ECR grantees commonly attend.
  • We recognize that Monday, May 27 is Memorial Day. Please note that the first day of programming begins at 4pm ET, Tuesday, May 28. You can plan to travel that day without any conflict with your Memorial Day weekend.
  • If these dates prohibit the PI from attending, please note that the project can send a co-PI or another project leader as a PI substitute. 

6.  I am a prospective grantee interested in ECR funding. Can I attend?

  • We will have some slots available for prospective grantees to attend, with activities at the meeting to support their grantsmanship and networking with other attendees.
  • We will first extend invitations to prospective grantees who have already engaged in prior ECR Hub activities and events, filling the slots on a first-come, first-served basis, before potentially opening up the slots more broadly.

7.  Can you tell me more about the attendee slots for early-career project collaborators?

  • A limited number of slots will be available for an award to send a non-PI, early-career project collaborator as a second attendee (see Question 8 for definitions).
  • These attendees will receive a $1,000 travel scholarship to defray travel costs, given that travel expenses for a second attendee would otherwise be unaccounted for.
  • The PI or PI substitute must still pay their own way, even if the PI or PI substitute is also early career per the definition in Question 8.
  • Available slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis once registration opens in January 2024.

8.  How do you define early-career project collaborators?

  • We define “early-career” as follows:
    • Postdoctoral scholar or equivalent rank, OR
    • Assistant professor or equivalent rank, OR
    • Within 5 years of the highest degree at the time of the meeting, OR
    • Identifies as early career and provides a strong written justification for why, even if the above criteria are not strictly met.
  • The phrase “equivalent rank” includes both:
    • An early-career equivalent at an academic institution, even if not as a tenure-track position (e.g., assistant research professor).
    • Early-career equivalent at a non-academic organization.
  • Other qualifying characteristics:
    • Must actively work on the invited ECR award.
    • Excludes the award’s PI but can include co-PIs.
    • Must have received their highest intended degree by the time of the meeting