Frequently Asked Questions

The matching phase is now closed.

Please contact with questions.

I see that the opening date for the first cohort is pending. If our application is approved, can you give an estimated timeline for when a Fellow would join our team?

Prospective Host Companies and fellowship applicants should plan for up to 90 days from the opening of the initial Matching Phase to the start of a Fellow at the Host Company.  We expect this timeline will shorten significantly after the first cohort.

I posted my research opportunity and made it public on the portal but now it say that it is ‘inactive.’ Did I miss a deadline?

Research opportunities posted during the Registration Phase of the program will show as ‘inactive’.  Fellows will not see or be able to apply to the opportunity until the Matching Phase of the program is opened. Research opportunities at I-PERF eligible Phase II companies will automatically return to ‘active’ when the Matching Phase is opened.

I thought we were all set! Our PI uploaded our research opportunity and made it public, but we cannot see potential fellows, receive applications, or make nominations. What did I miss? 

I-PERF uses a phased intake process for each cohort. There are three phases: A registration phase,  a matching phase, and an adjudication phase. The Registration Phase is open continuously for eligible companies and prospective fellows to upload their profiles. The Matching Phase is where the I-PERF team facilitates the matching of fellowship applicants with host companies.  If you posted your research opportunity outside of the Matching Phase time window, your public research opportunity will not be visible to fellowship applicants and you will not be able see candidates or make nominations.

Help! I cannot sign in to start our company profile on the portal! We are a recent NSF SBIR Phase II awardee but it says that our company cannot be not found?

NSF periodically provides us a list of eligible SBIR Phase II awardees.  If you are an awardee and your are unable to sign in, it is possible that a.) we have not yet received the list of I-PERF eligible companies from NSF, you will be able to sign-in when the list is received, or b.) the Principal Investigator is attempting to sign into the portal with an email address not associated with the NSF award.

Our company is seeking a postdoc in a highly competitive discipline, can my company provide an additional stipend to the postdoc?

All companies are encouraged to offer additional supplemental stipend funds and professional development opportunities to attract talent to their firms. Supplemental stipends for the year must paid in advance to the I-PERF program for disbursement to Fellow by ASEE.

I have a few days left on my NSF SBIR Phase II project. Is my company eligible to participate in the I-PERF program?

Period of Performance Requirement. Companies are required to have at least 9 months (or 18 months for a two year appointment) of their NSF SBIR Phase II effort remaining on the agreed upon start date of the fellowship.

We only have a few weeks left on our NSF Phase II award and we are expecting (to file) an extension for the grant. Is my company still eligible to participate in I-PERF?

All NSF approved SBIR award extensions must be in place and reflected in our database before a company may submit a Collaborative Match Proposal (CMP) to the I-PERF program.  If it is determined that a Phase II award extension was not officially granted by the NSF before the CMP is received by I-PERF staff, the company will be disqualified and deemed ineligible to participate in the I-PERF program. See Period of Performance Requirement stated in this FAQ.

In addition to my I-PERF appointment, may I take a teaching position or work for another organization during the period of my postdoc?

I-PERF Fellows are expected to focus their full-time professional efforts on the agreed upon project work with their host company.  Taking employment or an appointment outside of this fellowship is not allowed.

What do you mean by full-time professional effort?

I-PERF fellows must support the efforts to the host company on a full-time basis, 80% of the effort of I-PERF fellow is to be applied to the agreed upon project work and the remaining 20% of their effort is to be set aside for scripted professional development and the pursuit of new ideas of mutual benefit to the Fellow and the Host Company.  For more information regarding this policy, contact I-PERF staff.

I am not a member of an underrepresented group in science and engineering. May I apply to the NSF I-PERF program?  

In addition to persons from underrepresented groups, NSF I-PERF supports first generation colleges students, persons with disabilities, veterans, and persons from socio-economically disadvantaged groups from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Students who claim first generation or socio-economic disadvantaged status must provide proof of participation in relevant federal programs that support persons from those groups during their college education (e.g., Pell Grant recipient, LSAMP (level 1 or 2), McNair Program, GI Bill, etc. )

I finished my doctoral degree a while ago, am I eligible to participate this program?

Please review the current applicant eligibility requirements here.