Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, Public Law 106-377,
42 U.S.C. 1861 et seq.
strengthen and enhance the national scientific enterprise through
the expansion of fundamental knowledge and increased understanding
of the integrated Earth system through the support of basic research
in the atmospheric, earth and ocean sciences. Major objectives include
the discovery of new knowledge of the atmosphere from the sun to
the Earth's surface over the entire spectrum of physical and chemical
phenomena; a better understanding of the physical, chemical, and
biological character of the Earth and the processes that govern
its evolution; and increased insight into the world's oceans, their
composition, structure, behavior, and tectonics. Support is also
provided for science and technology centers, undergraduate Student
research, facility enhancement, instrumentation, and laboratory
equipment; and for research opportunities for women, minority, and
disabled scientists and engineers.
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AND USE RESTRICTIONS:
funds may be used for paying costs necessary to conduct research
or studies such as salaries and wages, permanent equipment and supplies,
computer services, travel, publication costs, and other direct and
indirect costs. Primary responsibility for general supervision of
all grant activities rests with the grantee institution; the principal
investigator is responsible for the scientific work. Funds may not
be used for purposes other than those specified in the proposal.
Eligibility: Public and private colleges and
universities, nonacademic research institutions, private profit
organizations and unaffiliated scientists under special circumstances.
Grants are made on a competitive basis and are open to all individuals
regardless of sex, race, creed, or color.
AND AWARD PROCESS:
Eligibility: Public and private colleges and
universities, nonacademic research institutions, private profit
organizations, and unaffiliated scientists under special circumstances.
Proposals must be signed electronically by an official authorized
to commit the institution or organization in business and financial
affairs and who can commit the organization to certain proposal
certifications. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB
Circular Nos. A-21 for colleges and universities and A-122 for
nonprofit organizations. This program is excluded from coverage
under OMB Circular No. A-87.
Coordination: None required, but preliminary
discussions with the relevant National Science Foundation program
officer are encouraged, particularly for projects requiring logistic
or facility support or involving coordination with other projects
and programs. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.
Procedure: By electronic submission via FastLane
of a formal proposal describing the research or study to be undertaken.
Guidelines are contained in publication, "Grant Proposal Guide,"
NSF 03-2, and "Guide to Programs Fiscal Year 2003," NSF 03-009.
This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No.
A-110. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular
Procedure: NSF staff members review and evaluate
all proposals, usually with the assistance and advice of other
qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists
in the field covered by the proposal. Awards are made based on
merit and program relevance to the extent permitted by available
funds. States will be notified of Federal assistance awards through
the Federal Assistance Awards Data System (FAADS).
Deadlines vary depending upon the nature of the program. Write
to the address below for specific programs. Deadlines are published
in the NSF Bulletin. NSF World Wide Web site URL: http://www.nsf.gov/.
of Approval/Disapproval Time: From 90 to 180
The Principal Investigator whose proposal for support has been
declined may request, in writing, and receive from the cognizant
program officer the reasons for declination. The applicant may
also obtain verbatim copies of reviews of his/her proposals, though
not the names of reviewers. If not satisfied, the Principal Investigator
may request the NSF Assistant Director for Geosciences to reconsider
the procedural aspects of the declination action. Request for
reconsideration must be received within 90 days of the declination
Standard grants may be renewed once by amendment of the original
grant. Proposals for renewal should be submitted 6 months prior
to the expiration of the original grant and should contain the
same type of information as the original proposal plus a summary
of progress to date, a proposed budget for the ensuing period,
and a statement of expenditures to date and existing commitments
that will require expenditure of residual funds from the original
grant after the requested renewal date. Renewals compete with
other proposals for available funds.
and Matching Requirements: In general, cost-sharing
is not required for awards made solely for symposia, conferences
and workshops, publication, education and training, facilities,
equipment, ship operations, or travel. The Grant Proposal Guide
(GPG)(Chapter II) and the Grant Policy Manual (Sec. 330) provide
additional information on the general NSF policy on cost-sharing.
and Time Phasing of Assistance: Normally 1
to 5 years.
For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing
grants), the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant
program office at least 90 days before the end of the current budget
period. Within 90 days after the expiration of a grant, the PI is
required to submit a final project report. Quarterly Federal Cash
Transaction Reports are required. Other reporting requirements may
be imposed via the grant instrument.
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A- 133 (Revised,
June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit
Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance
of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a
program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities
that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt
from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted
in Circular No. A-133.
Grantees are expected to maintain separate records for each grant
to insure that funds are used for the general purpose for which
the grant was made. Records are subject to inspection during the
life of the grant and for three years thereafter.
(Grants) FY 01 $563,600,000; FY 02 est $609,470,000; and FY 03
and Average of Financial Assistance:
Range Low $7,500
Range High $42,578,139
In fiscal year 2001, 5,071 proposals were received and 2,899 awards
were made. In fiscal year 2002, about 5,270 proposals are expected
to be received and approximately 3,010 awards will be made, and
in fiscal year 2003 approximately 5,800 proposals are expected to
be received and approximately 3,310 awards will be made.
GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:
48 CFR Chapter 25; 45 CFR Chapter VI; "Guide to Programs, Fiscal
Year 2003," NSF 03-009 (http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?nsf03009);
"Grant Proposal Guide," NSF 03-2 (http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?nsf032).
In addition, information is made available on the World Wide Web
at http://www.nsf.gov/ and http://www.geo.nsf.gov/.
or Local Office: Not applicable.
Melissa Lane 4201 Wilson Blvd., Stafford I-705, Arlington, Virginia 22230 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 7032928500 Fax: 7032929042
Web Site Address:
OF FUNDED PROJECTS:
Atmospheric Sciences: Research on meteorology, climate, paleoclimate,
chemistry and physics of the lower and upper atmosphere; and solar-terrestrial
relationships. Earth Sciences: Research on structure, composition,
history, and the physical, chemical, and biological processes affecting
the Earth. Ocean Sciences: Research on physical, chemical, geological,
and biological processes in the ocean.
FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:
Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program for acknowledgement and, if they meet NSF requirements, for review. All proposals are carefully reviewed by a scientist, engineer, or educator serving as an NSF Program Officer, and usually by three to ten other persons outside NSF either as ad hoc reviewers, panelists, or both, who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. Proposers are invited to suggest names of persons they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal and/or persons they would prefer not review the proposal. These suggestions may serve as one source in the reviewer selection process at the Program Officer's discretion. In addition, Program Officers may obtain comments from site visits before recommending final action on proposals. Senior NSF staff further review recommendations for awards. A flowchart that depicts the entire NSF proposal and award process (and associated timeline) is included as GPG Exhibit III-1.
A comprehensive description of the Foundation’s merit review process is available on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/meritreview/.
Proposal review is one step in the NSF program planning and implementation process. Embedded in this process are core strategies that are fundamental to the fulfillment of NSF’s mission. More information about NSF’s mission and strategies can be found in Empowering the Nation Through Discovery and Innovation: NSF Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2011-2016. NSF’s mission is particularly well-implemented through the integration of research and education and broadening participation in NSF programs, projects, and activities.
A. Merit Review Principles and Criteria
The National Science Foundation strives to invest in a robust and diverse portfolio of projects that creates new knowledge and enables breakthroughs in understanding across all areas of science and engineering research and education. To identify which projects to support, NSF relies on a merit review process that incorporates consideration of both the technical aspects of a proposed project and its potential to contribute more broadly to advancing NSF’s mission “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes.” NSF makes every effort to conduct a fair, competitive, transparent merit review process for the selection of projects.
1. Merit Review Principles
These principles are to be given due diligence by PIs and organizations when preparing proposals and managing projects, by reviewers when reading and evaluating proposals, and by NSF program staff when determining whether or not to recommend proposals for funding and while overseeing awards. Given that NSF is the primary federal agency charged with nurturing and supporting excellence in basic research and education, the following three principles apply:
• All NSF projects should be of the highest quality and have the potential to advance, if not transform, the frontiers of knowledge.
• NSF projects, in the aggregate, should contribute more broadly to achieving societal goals. These broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. The project activities may be based on previously established and/or innovative methods and approaches, but in either case must be well justified.
• Meaningful assessment and evaluation of NSF funded projects should be based on appropriate metrics, keeping in mind the likely correlation between the effect of broader impacts and the resources provided to implement projects. If the size of the activity is limited, evaluation of that activity in isolation is not likely to be meaningful. Thus, assessing the effectiveness of these activities may best be done at a higher, more aggregated, level than the individual project.
With respect to the third principle, even if assessment of Broader Impacts outcomes for particular projects is done at an aggregated level, PIs are expected to be accountable for carrying out the activities described in the funded project. Thus, individual projects should include clearly stated goals, specific descriptions of the activities that the PI intends to do, and a plan in place to document the outputs of those activities.
These three merit review principles provide the basis for the merit review criteria, as well as a context within which the users of the criteria can better understand their intent.
2. Merit Review Criteria
All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of two National Science Board approved merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.
The two merit review criteria are listed below. Both criteria are to be given full consideration during the review and decision-making processes; each criterion is necessary but neither, by itself, is sufficient. Therefore, proposers must fully address both criteria. (GPG Chapter II.C.2.d.(i) contains additional information for use by proposers in development of the Project Description section of the proposal.) Reviewers are strongly encouraged to review the criteria, including GPG Chapter II.C.2.d.(i), prior to the review of a proposal.
When evaluating NSF proposals, reviewers will be asked to consider what the proposers want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful. These issues apply both to the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the project may make broader contributions. To that end, reviewers will be asked to evaluate all proposals against two criteria:
• Intellectual Merit: The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge; and
• Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.
The following elements should be considered in the review for both criteria:
1. What is the potential for the proposed activity to:
a. Advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and
b. Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?
2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?
3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?
4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?
5. Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?.