Overview of NSF CAREER Program
The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from junior faculty members at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.
Examples of successful CAREER proposals from UI faculty  (shared with permission)
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Merit Review Criteria , effective January 14, 2013
Don't Underestimate NSF's New Grant-Submission Rules ,
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Video: NSF Revised Merit Review Criteria (59:58)
Tips from successful applicants
Writing CAREER proposals: Reviewer perspectives , Johna Leddy, NSF CAREER reviewer
5 Recommendations for CAREER proposals , Greg Howes, 2011 CAREER awardee
Who can help?
In addition to the grants personnel in your department and college, the following individuals in central administration are good contacts if you are thinking about applying for a NSF CAREER award.
Paul Below , Senior Sponsored Programs Specialist
Division of Sponsored Programs
Marta Gomez , Research Support Manager - STEM initiatives
Office of the Vice President for Research