Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
47.078 Polar Programs
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, Public Law 106-377, 42 U.S.C. 1861 et seq.
To strengthen and enhance the national scientific enterprise through the expansion of fundamental knowledge and increased understanding of the polar regions. To encourage and support basic research in the Arctic and Antarctic focused on the solid earth, glacial and sea ice, terrestrial ecosystems, the oceans, the atmosphere and beyond. Major objectives include understanding of the natural phenomena and processes in the Antarctic and Arctic regions and their role in global systems. 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.
TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:
USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:
Grant 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.
Applicant 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.
Pre-application 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. 12372.
Formula 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.
POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Reports: 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.
Account Identification: 49-0100-0-1-251; 49-0551-0-1-251; 49-0100-0-1-054.
In fiscal year 2001, 634 proposals were received and 201 awards were made. In fiscal year 2002, about 600-800 proposals are expected to be received and approximately 200-300 awards will be made, and in fiscal year 2003, about 700-800 proposals are expected and approximately 200-300 awards will be made.
REGULATIONS, 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); and "Grant Proposal Guide," NSF 03-2, (http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?nsf032); "Arctic Research Program Opportunities," NSF 00-96 (no charge); "Antarctic Research," NSF 00-72 (no charge) available from: Forms and Publications, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230.
Regional or Local Office: Not applicable.
EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:
Polar Sciences: Investigations of atmospheric, earth, biological and ocean sciences, glaciology in the Arctic and the Antarctic, and of social sciences in the Arctic.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:
The National Science Board approved revised criteria for evaluating proposals at its meeting on March 28, 1997 (NSB 97-72). All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities. On July 8, 2002, the NSF Director issued Important Notice 127, Implementation of new Grant Proposal Guide Requirements Related to the Broader Impacts Criterion. This Important Notice reinforces the importance of addressing both criteria in the preparation and review of all proposals submitted to NSF. NSF continues to strengthen its internal processes to ensure that both of the merit review criteria are addressed when making funding decisions. In an effort to increase compliance with these requirements, the January 2002 issuance of the GPG incorporated revised proposal preparation guidelines relating to the development of the Project Summary and Project Description. Chapter II of the GPG specifies that Principal Investigators (PIs) must address both merit review criteria in separate statements within the one-page Project Summary. This chapter also reiterates that broader impacts resulting from the proposed project must be addressed in the Project Description and described as an integral part of the narrative. Effective October 1, 2002, NSF will return without review proposals that do not separately address both merit review criteria within the Project Summary. It is believed that these changes to NSF proposal preparation and processing guidelines will more clearly articulate the importance of broader impacts to NSF-funded projects. The two National Science Board approved merit review criteria are listed below (see the Grant Proposal Guide Chapter III.A for further information). The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which he/she is qualified to make judgements. What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity? How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources? What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity? How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society? NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions: Integration of Research and Education. One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives. Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities. Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.