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.
Project Grants. Place Cursor Here for Definition
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.
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,
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.
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 No. A-102.
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 in order of 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).
They vary depending upon the nature of the program and are published
in the NSF Bulletin. Write to the address below for specific programs.
Range of Approval/Disapproval
Time: Approximately 90 to 180 days.
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 that the Foundation reconsider the procedural aspects
of the declination action. Request for reconsideration must be
received within 90 days of the declination letter.
Standard grants may be renewed once by amendment of the original
grant, provided the cumulative duration does not exceed 5 years.
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.
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.
Length and Time Phasing
of Assistance: Normally 1 to 3 years.
POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:
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 ensure 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.
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
REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND
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.
National Science Foundation; 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA
22230. Arctic Sciences: Dr. Thomas Pyle, Telephone: (703) 292-8029;
Fax: (703) 292-9082; Antarctic Sciences: Dr. Dennis Peacock, Telephone:
(703) 292-8033; Fax: (703) 292-9079; Polar Research Support: Mr.
Erick Chiang; Telephone: (703) 292-8032; Fax (703) 292-9080. NSF
World Wide Web site URL: http://www.nsf.gov/.
Web Site Address: http://www.nsf.gov/od/opp
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.