Table of contents
  1. Story
  2. Slides
  3. Spotfire Dashboard
  4. Research Notes
  5. Selected Publications Table
  6. US-Japan Big Data and Disaster Research (BDD)
    1. SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
      1. General Information
      2. Award Information
      3. Eligibility Information
      4. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
      5. Proposal Review Information Criteria
      6. Award Administration Information
    2. TABLE OF CONTENTS
    3. I. INTRODUCTION
    4. II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
    5. III. AWARD INFORMATION
    6. IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
    7. V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
      1. A. Proposal Preparation Instructions
      2. B. Budgetary Information
      3. C. Due Dates
      4. D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements
    8. VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES
      1. A. Merit Review Principles and Criteria
      2. B. Review and Selection Process
    9. VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
      1. A. Notification of the Award
      2. B. Award Conditions
      3. C. Reporting Requirements
    10. VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS
    11. IX. OTHER INFORMATION
    12. ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
    13. PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS
  7. Dear Colleague Letter - Big Data For The Geosciences
  8. NSF Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 Summary Flyer
    1. Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation’s Future
    2. Mission, Vision, and Core Values
    3. GOAL 1: Transform the Frontiers of Science and Engineering
    4. GOAL 2: Stimulate Innovation and Address Societal Needs through Research and Education
    5. GOAL 3: Excel as a Federal Science Agency
    6. Core Strategies
    7. Importance of Supporting Fundamental Research and Performance
  9. Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation's Future
  10. Grant Proposal Guide, February 2014
  11. EarthCube: Developing a Community-Driven Data and Knowledge Environment for the Geosciences
    1. IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES
      1. New Funding Opportunities and Deadlines will appear with Amendments to this solicitation.
      2. Amendment III
    2. SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
      1. General Information
        1. Program Title
        2. Synopsis of Program
        3. Cognizant Program Officer(s)
        4. Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)
      2. Award Information
      3. Eligibility Information
        1. Who May Submit Proposals
        2. Who May Serve as PI
        3. Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization
      4. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
      5. Proposal Review Information Criteria
      6. Award Administration Information
    3. TABLE OF CONTENTS
    4. I. INTRODUCTION
    5. II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
      1. How To Use This Solicitation
      2. AMENDMENT III
        1. (1) EarthCube Research Coordination Networks (RCN)
      3. Specific Requirements
        1. Additional Review Criteria For EarthCube RCNs
        2. Proposal Preparation Guidelines for EarthCube RCNs
        3. (2) EarthCube Building Blocks
        4. Specific Requirements
        5. Additional Review Criteria for Building Blocks:
        6. Proposal Preparation Guidelines for EarthCube Building Blocks
    6. III. AWARD INFORMATION
      1. Anticipated Type of Award
      2. Estimated Number of Awards
      3. Anticipated Funding Amount
    7. IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
      1. Who May Submit Proposals
      2. Who May Serve as PI
      3. Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:
      4. Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI
      5. Additional Eligibility Info
    8. V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
      1. A. Proposal Preparation Instructions
        1. Full Proposal Preparation Instructions
        2. Important Proposal Preparation Information
          1. a. Cover Sheet
          2. b. Project Summary
          3. c. Project Description
          4. d. References Cited
          5. e. Biographical Sketch(es)
          6. f. Budget
          7. g. Current and Pending Support
          8. h. Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
          9. i. Special Information and Supplementary Documentation
          10. j. Additional Single Copy Documents
          11. k. Additional Required Documents
      2. B. Budgetary Information
      3. C. Due Dates
      4. D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements
        1. For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane
        2. For Proposals Submitted Via Grants.gov
    9. VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES
      1. A. Merit Review Principles and Criteria 
        1. 1. Merit Review Principles
        2. 2. Merit Review Criteria
      2. B. Review and Selection Process
    10. VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
      1. A. Notification of the Award
      2. B. Award Conditions
      3. C. Reporting Requirements
    11. VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS
    12. IX. OTHER INFORMATION
    13. ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
    14. PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS
  12. Dear Colleague Letter - Data Citation in the Geosciences
  13. Dear Colleague Letter: Wiki for Enabling International Partnerships
  14. NSF Awards 10 Grants for Studies of Coupled Natural and Human Systems
  15. National Science Foundation Awards Grant to Build "CubeSats"
  16. Team USA Brings Home the (Linguistics) Gold
  17. Feeding the World: New Method for Producing High-Vitamin Corn Could Improve Nutrition in Developing Countries
  18. NEXT

Selected Publications

Last modified
Table of contents
  1. Story
  2. Slides
  3. Spotfire Dashboard
  4. Research Notes
  5. Selected Publications Table
  6. US-Japan Big Data and Disaster Research (BDD)
    1. SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
      1. General Information
      2. Award Information
      3. Eligibility Information
      4. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
      5. Proposal Review Information Criteria
      6. Award Administration Information
    2. TABLE OF CONTENTS
    3. I. INTRODUCTION
    4. II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
    5. III. AWARD INFORMATION
    6. IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
    7. V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
      1. A. Proposal Preparation Instructions
      2. B. Budgetary Information
      3. C. Due Dates
      4. D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements
    8. VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES
      1. A. Merit Review Principles and Criteria
      2. B. Review and Selection Process
    9. VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
      1. A. Notification of the Award
      2. B. Award Conditions
      3. C. Reporting Requirements
    10. VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS
    11. IX. OTHER INFORMATION
    12. ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
    13. PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS
  7. Dear Colleague Letter - Big Data For The Geosciences
  8. NSF Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 Summary Flyer
    1. Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation’s Future
    2. Mission, Vision, and Core Values
    3. GOAL 1: Transform the Frontiers of Science and Engineering
    4. GOAL 2: Stimulate Innovation and Address Societal Needs through Research and Education
    5. GOAL 3: Excel as a Federal Science Agency
    6. Core Strategies
    7. Importance of Supporting Fundamental Research and Performance
  9. Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation's Future
  10. Grant Proposal Guide, February 2014
  11. EarthCube: Developing a Community-Driven Data and Knowledge Environment for the Geosciences
    1. IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES
      1. New Funding Opportunities and Deadlines will appear with Amendments to this solicitation.
      2. Amendment III
    2. SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
      1. General Information
        1. Program Title
        2. Synopsis of Program
        3. Cognizant Program Officer(s)
        4. Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)
      2. Award Information
      3. Eligibility Information
        1. Who May Submit Proposals
        2. Who May Serve as PI
        3. Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization
      4. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
      5. Proposal Review Information Criteria
      6. Award Administration Information
    3. TABLE OF CONTENTS
    4. I. INTRODUCTION
    5. II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
      1. How To Use This Solicitation
      2. AMENDMENT III
        1. (1) EarthCube Research Coordination Networks (RCN)
      3. Specific Requirements
        1. Additional Review Criteria For EarthCube RCNs
        2. Proposal Preparation Guidelines for EarthCube RCNs
        3. (2) EarthCube Building Blocks
        4. Specific Requirements
        5. Additional Review Criteria for Building Blocks:
        6. Proposal Preparation Guidelines for EarthCube Building Blocks
    6. III. AWARD INFORMATION
      1. Anticipated Type of Award
      2. Estimated Number of Awards
      3. Anticipated Funding Amount
    7. IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
      1. Who May Submit Proposals
      2. Who May Serve as PI
      3. Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:
      4. Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI
      5. Additional Eligibility Info
    8. V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
      1. A. Proposal Preparation Instructions
        1. Full Proposal Preparation Instructions
        2. Important Proposal Preparation Information
          1. a. Cover Sheet
          2. b. Project Summary
          3. c. Project Description
          4. d. References Cited
          5. e. Biographical Sketch(es)
          6. f. Budget
          7. g. Current and Pending Support
          8. h. Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
          9. i. Special Information and Supplementary Documentation
          10. j. Additional Single Copy Documents
          11. k. Additional Required Documents
      2. B. Budgetary Information
      3. C. Due Dates
      4. D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements
        1. For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane
        2. For Proposals Submitted Via Grants.gov
    9. VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES
      1. A. Merit Review Principles and Criteria 
        1. 1. Merit Review Principles
        2. 2. Merit Review Criteria
      2. B. Review and Selection Process
    10. VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
      1. A. Notification of the Award
      2. B. Award Conditions
      3. C. Reporting Requirements
    11. VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS
    12. IX. OTHER INFORMATION
    13. ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
    14. PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS
  12. Dear Colleague Letter - Data Citation in the Geosciences
  13. Dear Colleague Letter: Wiki for Enabling International Partnerships
  14. NSF Awards 10 Grants for Studies of Coupled Natural and Human Systems
  15. National Science Foundation Awards Grant to Build "CubeSats"
  16. Team USA Brings Home the (Linguistics) Gold
  17. Feeding the World: New Method for Producing High-Vitamin Corn Could Improve Nutrition in Developing Countries
  18. NEXT

  1. Story
  2. Slides
  3. Spotfire Dashboard
  4. Research Notes
  5. Selected Publications Table
  6. US-Japan Big Data and Disaster Research (BDD)
    1. SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
      1. General Information
      2. Award Information
      3. Eligibility Information
      4. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
      5. Proposal Review Information Criteria
      6. Award Administration Information
    2. TABLE OF CONTENTS
    3. I. INTRODUCTION
    4. II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
    5. III. AWARD INFORMATION
    6. IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
    7. V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
      1. A. Proposal Preparation Instructions
      2. B. Budgetary Information
      3. C. Due Dates
      4. D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements
    8. VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES
      1. A. Merit Review Principles and Criteria
      2. B. Review and Selection Process
    9. VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
      1. A. Notification of the Award
      2. B. Award Conditions
      3. C. Reporting Requirements
    10. VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS
    11. IX. OTHER INFORMATION
    12. ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
    13. PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS
  7. Dear Colleague Letter - Big Data For The Geosciences
  8. NSF Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 Summary Flyer
    1. Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation’s Future
    2. Mission, Vision, and Core Values
    3. GOAL 1: Transform the Frontiers of Science and Engineering
    4. GOAL 2: Stimulate Innovation and Address Societal Needs through Research and Education
    5. GOAL 3: Excel as a Federal Science Agency
    6. Core Strategies
    7. Importance of Supporting Fundamental Research and Performance
  9. Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation's Future
  10. Grant Proposal Guide, February 2014
  11. EarthCube: Developing a Community-Driven Data and Knowledge Environment for the Geosciences
    1. IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES
      1. New Funding Opportunities and Deadlines will appear with Amendments to this solicitation.
      2. Amendment III
    2. SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
      1. General Information
        1. Program Title
        2. Synopsis of Program
        3. Cognizant Program Officer(s)
        4. Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)
      2. Award Information
      3. Eligibility Information
        1. Who May Submit Proposals
        2. Who May Serve as PI
        3. Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization
      4. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
      5. Proposal Review Information Criteria
      6. Award Administration Information
    3. TABLE OF CONTENTS
    4. I. INTRODUCTION
    5. II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
      1. How To Use This Solicitation
      2. AMENDMENT III
        1. (1) EarthCube Research Coordination Networks (RCN)
      3. Specific Requirements
        1. Additional Review Criteria For EarthCube RCNs
        2. Proposal Preparation Guidelines for EarthCube RCNs
        3. (2) EarthCube Building Blocks
        4. Specific Requirements
        5. Additional Review Criteria for Building Blocks:
        6. Proposal Preparation Guidelines for EarthCube Building Blocks
    6. III. AWARD INFORMATION
      1. Anticipated Type of Award
      2. Estimated Number of Awards
      3. Anticipated Funding Amount
    7. IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
      1. Who May Submit Proposals
      2. Who May Serve as PI
      3. Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:
      4. Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI
      5. Additional Eligibility Info
    8. V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
      1. A. Proposal Preparation Instructions
        1. Full Proposal Preparation Instructions
        2. Important Proposal Preparation Information
          1. a. Cover Sheet
          2. b. Project Summary
          3. c. Project Description
          4. d. References Cited
          5. e. Biographical Sketch(es)
          6. f. Budget
          7. g. Current and Pending Support
          8. h. Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
          9. i. Special Information and Supplementary Documentation
          10. j. Additional Single Copy Documents
          11. k. Additional Required Documents
      2. B. Budgetary Information
      3. C. Due Dates
      4. D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements
        1. For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane
        2. For Proposals Submitted Via Grants.gov
    9. VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES
      1. A. Merit Review Principles and Criteria 
        1. 1. Merit Review Principles
        2. 2. Merit Review Criteria
      2. B. Review and Selection Process
    10. VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
      1. A. Notification of the Award
      2. B. Award Conditions
      3. C. Reporting Requirements
    11. VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS
    12. IX. OTHER INFORMATION
    13. ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
    14. PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS
  12. Dear Colleague Letter - Data Citation in the Geosciences
  13. Dear Colleague Letter: Wiki for Enabling International Partnerships
  14. NSF Awards 10 Grants for Studies of Coupled Natural and Human Systems
  15. National Science Foundation Awards Grant to Build "CubeSats"
  16. Team USA Brings Home the (Linguistics) Gold
  17. Feeding the World: New Method for Producing High-Vitamin Corn Could Improve Nutrition in Developing Countries
  18. NEXT

Story

Data Mining Selected NSF Publications

The previous Data Science work on the NSF Strategic Plan, including the mining of NSF Publications, used the following steps:

  1. Business Understanding: Data Science Data Publications for NSF
  2. Data Understanding: NSF Publications
  3. Data Preparation: Selected NSF Publications
  4. Modeling: PDF to Full Text with Structure
  5. Evaluation: Page Index and Google Chrome Find
  6. Deployment: This MindTouch Wiki Page

Please note that these steps come from the CRISP Data Mining Process (an industry-wide standard)

The data mining of NSF publications found the following selected NSF Publications (see Selected Publications Table) that are summarized in the table below.

 

Title Document Type Comments
US-Japan Big Data and Disaster Research (BDD) Program Announcements & Information Only Universities, But I Have Worked on This For the Japanese Government
Dear Colleague Letter - Big Data For The Geosciences - Calling Attention to Big Data Challenges in the Geosciences Program Announcements & Information  Our Semantic Community Team Submitted a Proposal
NSF Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 Summary Flyer General Information  This Summarizes the Document Below
Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation's Future -National Science Foundation Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 Reports  Semantic Community Did the Full-Text Version Data Science Publication
Grant Proposal Guide, February 2014 Policies and Procedures Semantic Community Did the Full-Text Version Data Science Publication
EarthCube: Developing a Community-Driven Data and Knowledge Environment for the Geosciences Program Announcements & Information Semantic Community Supports This with Data Science Publications
Dear Colleague Letter - Data Citation in the Geosciences Program Announcements & Information  Semantic Community Supports This with Data Science Publications
Dear Colleague Letter: Wiki for Enabling International Partnerships for the Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development Program (BREAD Wiki) Program Announcements & Information  These Need Further Research to See the Outcome and Possible Sources of Data
NSF Awards 10 Grants for Studies of Coupled Natural and Human Systems News Release These Need Further Research to See the Outcome and Possible Sources of Data
National Science Foundation Awards Contract to Build "CubeSats" News Release These Need Further Research to See the Outcome and Possible Sources of Data
Team USA Brings Home the (Linguistics) Gold News Release These Need Further Research to See the Outcome and Possible Sources of Data
Feeding the World: New Method for Producing High-Vitamin Corn Could Improve Nutrition in Developing Countries News Release These Need Further Research to See the Outcome and Possible Sources of Data

The Table of Contents above provides a basic ontology of these selected publications according to the OMB Memo on Ontology and Ontologizing which says in Summary:

An Ontology:

  • is a formal representation of meaning in an information system;
  • creates the bridge between the internal world of the computer and the external world of people’s understanding;
  • provides an inter lingua between disparate data sources and knowledge bases;
  • allows us to build useful and usable systems for complex tasks in health care.

Remember:

  • don’t try to divorce the Ontology from its application (the ‘universal ontology’)
  • building and embedding an Ontology in a useful application has pitfalls that require judgment, experience, clarity of purpose, and resources.

So this above Table of Contents (or Site Map or Index as some may call it), is a formal representation of meaning (the hierarchical structure with well-defined meaning), that creates a bridge between the wiki and people (the interface), that creates relationships between different content sources (HTML, PDF, TXT, etc.) in a common format, and that was easy to build and use for data science publications. The Table of Contents can be represented in a spreadsheet as both relational and Semantic Web RDF graph format (subject, object, and predicate) data.

 

Subject URL Topic Category URL Etc.

In addition, the ontology and the application are "married" together using the Data Mining Process

MORE TO FOLLOW

Slides

Spotfire Dashboard

Research Notes

Selected Publications Table

Title URL Available Formats URL Document Type Document Number Document History Public Comment
US-Japan Big Data and Disaster Research (BDD)

URL

Available Formats: HTML | PDF | TXT 

URL

Document Type: Program Announcements & Information View Program Page Document Number: nsf14575  Document History: Posted: June 9, 2014.  
Dear Colleague Letter - Big Data For The Geosciences - Calling Attention to Big Data Challenges in the Geosciences

URL

Available Formats: HTML | PDF | TXT 

URL

Document Type: Program Announcements & Information  Document Number: nsf14069  Document History: Posted: May 8, 2014.  
NSF Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 Summary Flyer   Available Formats: PDF 

URL

Document Type: General Information  Document Number: nsf14046  Document History: Posted: March 13, 2014.  
Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation's Future - National Science Foundation Strategic Plan for 2014-2018   Available Formats: PDF URL Document Type: Reports  Document Number: nsf14043 Document History: Posted: March 10, 2014. Replaces: nsf11047.  
Grant Proposal Guide, February 2014 URL Available Formats: HTML | PDF URL Document Type: Policies and Procedures Document Number: gpg14001 Document History: Posted: November 18, 2013. Replaces: gpg13001 Public Comment: Effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 14, 2013. For proposals submitted or due on or after February 24, 2014, the guidelines in GPG 14-1 apply.
EarthCube: Developing a Community-Driven Data and Knowledge Environment for the Geosciences

URL

Available Formats: HTML | PDF | TXT 

URL

Document Type: Program Announcements & Information View Program Page Document Number: nsf13529  Document History: Posted: December 27, 2012.  
Dear Colleague Letter - Data Citation in the Geosciences

URL

Available Formats: HTML | PDF | TXT 

URL

Document Type: Program Announcements & Information  Document Number: nsf12058  Document History: Posted: March 29, 2012.  
Dear Colleague Letter: Wiki for Enabling International Partnerships for the Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development Program (BREAD Wiki)

URL

Available Formats: HTML | PDF | TXT 

URL

Document Type: Program Announcements & Information  Document Number: nsf11017  Document History: Posted: January 4, 2011.  
NSF Awards 10 Grants for Studies of Coupled Natural and Human Systems

URL

Available Formats: HTML 

URL

Document Type: News Releases  Document Number: pr08173  Document History: Posted: October 3, 2008.  
National Science Foundation Awards Contract to Build "CubeSats"

URL

Available Formats: HTML 

URL

Document Type: News Releases  Document Number: pr08168  Document History: Posted: October 2, 2008.  
Team USA Brings Home the (Linguistics) Gold

URL

Available Formats: HTML 

URL

Document Type: News Releases  Document Number: pr08140  Document History: Posted: August 15, 2008.  
Feeding the World: New Method for Producing High-Vitamin Corn Could Improve Nutrition in Developing Countries

URL

Available Formats: HTML 

URL

Document Type: News Releases  Document Number: pr08007  Document History: Posted: January 17, 2008.  

US-Japan Big Data and Disaster Research (BDD)

US-Japan Big Data and Disaster Research (BDD)

PROGRAM SOLICITATION

NSF 14-575

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

Division of Computing and Communication Foundations

Division of Computer and Network Systems

Division of Information & Intelligent Systems

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

September 08, 2014

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

US-Japan Big Data and Disaster Research (BDD)

Synopsis of Program:

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) are embarking upon a collaborative research program to address compelling research challenges that arise from leveraging Big Data approaches to transform, at both human and societal scales, disaster management.

Several recent reports have documented how transformative improvements in disaster management will require systems approaches to analyze large, noisy, and heterogeneous data and facilitate timely decision making in the face of shifting demands (Computing for Disasters, http://www.cra.org/ccc/files/docs/in...rdisasters.pdf; Big Data and Disaster Management, https://grait-dm.gatech.edu/wp-conte...AndDisasterv34. pdf).

Specifically, disaster events and responses result in non-linear behaviors, and there exist large and unique interdependences among variables, multiple concurrent temporal and spatial scales, and few single optimal solutions. The resultant complexity causes algorithmic and data complexity, as well as challenges that arise in modeling chaotic systems. Other sources of complexity include the need for maintaining data security and privacy, as well as the resilience of the underlying computing and communications infrastructure during and following a disaster event.

At the same time, rapid advances in technology are enabling new opportunities for addressing disaster management. For example, new computer systems and networks – namely smartphones, tablets, and other types of edge devices; embedded and hybrid systems spanning automobiles, aircraft, chemical processing plants, and electrical power grids, etc.; sensor networks; and next-generation networking technologies spanning wireless, mobile, and cellular networks – are giving rise to potentially powerful data streams requiring novel analytics capabilities to facilitate timely and effective actions, as well as open questions about the resilience of these systems in the face of disasters.

This joint NSF/JST solicitation aims to address two specific challenges in the context of leveraging technological advances and using Big Data approaches to support effective disaster management:

1. capturing and processing the data associated with disasters to advance capabilities for disaster modeling as well as situational analysis and response modeling; and

2. Improving the resilience and responsiveness of emerging computer systems and networks to facilitate the real-time data sensing, visualization, analysis, experimentation and prediction that is critical for time-sensitive decision making.

This NSF solicitation parallels an equivalent JST solicitation (available at http://www.jst.go.jp/sicp/announce_usjoint_bdd.html). Proposals submitted under this solicitation must describe joint research with Japanese counterparts who are requesting funding separately under the JST solicitation.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

  • Phillip Regalia, Program Director, CCF, telephone: (703) 292-8910, email: pregalia@nsf.gov
  • Sylvia Spengler, Program Director, IIS, telephone: (703) 292-8930, email: sspengle@nsf.gov
  • Min Song, Program Director, CNS, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: msong@nsf.gov

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering 

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 6 to 8

Anticipated Funding Amount: $2,000,000

dependent upon the availability of funds. Each award may be up to $300,000 over three years, and will be made to US participants.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Universities and Colleges - Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in, the US acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.

Who May Serve as PI:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 2

In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals received within the limit will be accepted based on the earliest date and time of proposal submission (i.e., the first two proposals received will be accepted and the remainder will be returned without review). No exceptions will be made.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not required
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not required
  • Full Proposals:
    • Full Proposals submitted via FastLane: NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Guidelines apply. The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_...sp?ods_key=gpg.
    • Full Proposals submitted via Grants.gov: NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov Guidelines apply (Note: The NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp? ods_key=grantsgovguide).

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations: Not Applicable
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

September 08, 2014

Proposal Review Information Criteria

Merit Review Criteria: National Science Board approved criteria. Additional merit review considerations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions: Additional award conditions apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Reporting Requirements: Standard NSF reporting requirements apply.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

My Note: See Table of Contents Above

I. INTRODUCTION

The US NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) have a history of collaboration that extends back several years under the umbrella of the Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID; http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/p...gpg_2.jsp#IID1) funding mechanism within NSF and the J-RAPID program in Japan. In 2011, the two agencies funded a set of projects in the area of automating emergency data management to support disaster recovery. These projects helped establish new collaborations among researchers from both countries. In early 2012, a Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) for Global Research on Applying Information Technology to Support Effective Disaster Management (GRAIT-DM; https://grait-dm.gatech.edu/) was established, with a focus on leveraging Big Data to improve the preparedness for, response to, and recovery from, disasters. This SAVI specifically promotes global research on the application of information technology by engaging Big Data producers (e.g., sensor networks researchers), managers (e.g., data analytics researchers), and consumers (e.g., disaster management researchers).

In May 2013, US and Japanese principal investigators gathered in Washington, DC, to examine and prioritize collaborative research opportunities in Big Data and Disaster Research (see https://grait-dm.gatech.edu/wp-conte...AndDisasterv34. pdf). NSF and JST are now establishing a US-Japan joint research program in Big Data and Disaster Research (BDD).

The BDD program addresses a critical subset of the issues that arise when leveraging Big Data to support effective disaster management. Consistent with other NSF solicitations, we use the term Big Data to refer to large, diverse, complex, longitudinal, and/or distributed data sets generated from instruments, sensors, Internet transactions, email, video, click streams, and/or all other digital sources available today and in the future. Unique to this particular solicitation, the focus lies on BDD research that is both transformative and challenging, at both human and societal scales.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Disaster events and responses are complex -- indeed, chaotic -- systems. The behaviors are not linear, are not easily decomposed into separate processes, and span multiple concurrent temporal and spatial scales. This complexity results in algorithmic and data complexity, and it also makes modeling very challenging. Other sources of complexity include the need for maintaining data security and privacy, as well as the resilience of the underlying computing and communications infrastructure.

At the same time, rapid advances in technology are enabling new opportunities for addressing disaster management. For example, new computer systems and networks -- namely smartphones, tablets, and other types of edge devices; embedded and hybrid systems spanning automobiles, aircraft, chemical processing plants, and electrical power grids, etc.; sensor networks; and nextgeneration networking technologies spanning wireless, mobile, and cellular networks -- are giving rise to potentially powerful data streams, as well as open questions about the resilience of these systems.

In this context, proposals are solicited for joint US-Japan foundational and transformative research consistent with the theme of Big Data and Disaster (BDD) Research in the two areas specified below. Importantly, given the nature of the BDD space, a proposal responsive to this solicitation may span both areas.

1. Capturing and Processing the Data Associated with Disasters

Data associated with disasters are heterogeneous; come from myriad sources, including smartphones, tablets, and other types of edge devices, sensor networks, and embedded and hybrid systems; arrive with varying volumes and velocities; carry wide ranges of confidence due to inherent accuracy, reliability, security, and privacy issues; and exhibit different priorities for different phases of a given disaster. This data milieu and associated complexity raise the need for novel approaches to enable collection, integration, storage, and usage of many different kinds of disaster data, and at the same time, improve the trust in, and reliability of, the data.

Consider, for example, the ability to precisely assess the damage resulting from a disaster across a large geographic area. This task requires several types of domain-specific, real-time sensor maps at multiple time points, together with historical sensor maps for baseline and comparison purposes. One is confronted with a large, heterogeneous data set spanning multiple spatial and temporal scales and with varying levels of confidence that must be efficiently integrated and analyzed to refine damage predictions.

Under this theme, we seek joint US-Japan projects that explore the design of novel approaches for capturing, integrating and storing the data associated with disasters that (a) advance capabilities for disaster modeling (to learn more about how similar disasters may be understood or predicted) and/or (b) improve situational analysis and response modeling (to help facilitate the flow of information in real time to decision makers working in the midst of a disaster).

2. Improving the Resilience and Responsiveness of Emerging Computer Systems and Networks

To facilitate the real-time data sensing, visualization, analysis, and prediction that is critical for time-sensitive decision making, the resilience and responsiveness of emerging computer systems and networks in the midst of a disaster zone must be improved.

It is important to ensure that data analysis is highly dependable despite failures of various computing, communications, and information processing units immediately following a disaster. Given the distributed nature of such computational capabilities, it can be difficult to identify which units have failed and to quickly determine how best to address such failures. For example, if roadway sensors and cell towers are disrupted by a disaster, are there alternative means for detecting this disruption, and are there other data that one can use to communicate traffic flow data for decision making purposes?

Research is thus needed on disaster-proof dependable online system health monitoring tools to enable the rapid identification of faulty components and the activation of redundant standby units to ensure correct and timely completion of the analyses. In addition, to achieve effective disaster management, the underlying computing and communications infrastructure must support significantly time-constrained communication demands, distributed and heterogeneous data, and a wide variety of information sharing needs while maintaining high levels of security and privacy. The inherent difficulty of predicting disasters, along with the cost of the redundancy needed to cover all possible disaster scenarios, may lead to temporary solutions that may be easily deployed when needed. Indeed, effective disaster mitigation may require tradeoffs between short-term fixes and comprehensive long-term solutions.

Therefore, under this theme, we seek joint US-Japan projects that explore key aspects of novel networking and information technology supporting the resilient and timely data capture, communication, and integration in the face of infrastructure disruption due to both natural and man-made disasters.

Projects involving collaborations between computer scientists, including data scientists, and experts in disaster preparedness and response are encouraged.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

For each project, the US and Japanese teams will be funded by NSF and JST, respectively, through separate NSF and JST funding instruments. For each project, NSF support will be provided via a NSF standard or continuing grant. It is anticipated that approximately 6 to 8 projects, each up to $300,000 over three years, will be made to US participants, pending the availability of funds.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Who May Submit Proposals:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Universities and Colleges - Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in, the US acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.

Who May Serve as PI:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 2

In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals received within the limit will be accepted based on the earliest date and time of proposal submission (i.e., the first two proposals received will be accepted and the remainder will be returned without review). No exceptions will be made.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal Preparation Instructions: Proposers may opt to submit proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via Grants.gov or via the NSF FastLane system.

  • Full proposals submitted via FastLane: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_...sp?ods_key=gpg. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by email from nsfpubs@nsf.gov. Proposers are reminded to identify this program solicitation number in the program solicitation block on the NSF Cover Sheet For Proposal to the National Science Foundation. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.
  • Full proposals submitted via Grants.gov: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation via Grants.gov should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov. The complete text of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp? ods_key=grantsgovguide). To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package, click on the Apply tab on the Grants.gov site, then click on the Apply Step 1: Download a Grant Application Package and Application Instructions link and enter the funding opportunity number, (the program solicitation number without the NSF prefix) and press the Download Package button. Paper copies of the Grants.gov Application Guide also may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:

Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. Chapter II, Section D.4 of the Grant Proposal Guide provides additional information on collaborative proposals.

Important Proposal Preparation Information: FastLane will check for required sections of the full proposal, in accordance with Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) instructions described in Chapter II.C.2. The GPG requires submission of: Project Summary; Project Description; References Cited; Biographical Sketch(es); Budget; Budget Justification; Current and Pending Support; Facilities, Equipment & Other Resources; Data Management Plan; and Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan, if applicable. If a required section is missing, FastLane will not accept the proposal.

Please note that the proposal preparation instructions provided in this program solicitation may deviate from the GPG instructions. If the solicitation instructions do not require a GPG-required section to be included in the proposal, insert text or upload a document in that section of the proposal that states, "Not Applicable for this Program Solicitation." Doing so will enable FastLane to accept your proposal.

Please note that per guidance in the GPG, the Project Description must contain, as a separate section within the narrative, a discussion of the broader impacts of the proposed activities. Unless otherwise specified in this solicitation, you can decide where to include this section within the Project Description.

In addition to the guidelines in the GPG or NSF Grants.gov Application Guide, proposal preparation instructions specific to the preparation of proposals submitted in response to this solicitation are provided below:

It is expected that the Japanese researchers taking part in the joint research project will submit proposals separately to JST in accordance with JST's guidelines and procedures. US researchers will submit to NSF in accordance with NSF's guidelines and procedures. Proposals must be coordinated; it is expected that the Project Summary, Project Description, References Cited, Biographical Sketches, Collaboration and Management Plan, Intellectual Property Plan, and List of Personnel will be identical in both the NSF and JST submissions. Bibliographies must include not only the references relevant to the work to be undertaken by US principal investigators but also those relevant to the work to be undertaken by their Japanese counterparts. Furthermore, Biographical Sketches for both the researchers to be funded by NSF and the researchers to be funded by JST must be included in the proposals submitted separately to NSF and JST. US Principal Investigators (PIs) taking part in a joint research project are expected to coordinate their NSF submissions with their Japanese counterparts' JST submissions.

The following information supplements the guidelines provided in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG):

  • Proposal Titles: Proposals for this solicitation require titles that begin with "BDD:" followed by project-specific text, i.e., BDD: Title.
  • Project Description: The Project Description is limited to 15 pages. Please note that, per guidance in the GPG, the Project Description must contain, as a separate section within the narrative, a discussion of the broader impacts of the proposed activities. Proposers may decide where to include this section within the Project Description.
  • Required Supplementary Documents: In the Supplementary Documents Section, the lead institution should upload the following information (note: this information should not be a part of the Project Description, and it needs to be submitted only by the lead institution):
    • Collaboration and Management Plan: In a supplemental document (up to 3 pages), describe a comprehensive collaboration and management plan: identify the project manager who will take responsibility for overall project coordination and management and who will serve as the contact PI for the project; describe management and research responsibilities for the project; define the expected contributions of each of the PIs and provide a convincing case that the collaborative contributions of the project team members will be greater than the sum of each of their individual contributions; describe mechanisms for integrating and managing all organizations and individuals involved in the project and exposing students or junior faculty to their counterparts in Japan; and provide a timeline for the proposed effort and identify the parties responsible for each major task. The length, and degree, of detail provided in the Collaboration and Management Plan should be commensurate with the complexity of the proposed project but must be sufficient to ensure that the US and Japan project elements will work together as an integrated project. If a proposal does not include a Collaboration and Management Plan of up to 3 pages, that proposal will be returned without review.
    • Intellectual Property Plan: In a supplemental document (up to 1 page), provide assurance that an agreement covering issues such as intellectual property has been or will be established within a reasonable time after the notifications of awarded projects. Such an agreement should satisfy the policies and practices of NSF and JST.
    • A list of Project Personnel and Partner Institutions: A list of PIs, co-PIs, senior personnel, collaborators, paid consultants, and post-doctoral researchers who will be involved in the project, including both US and Japanese personnel. The personnel information provides NSF and reviewers with a comprehensive list of personnel and institutions involved in the project, and will be used when determining conflicts of interest in the review process. This list should be numbered and include (in this order) Full name, Organization(s), and Role in the project, with each item separated by a semi-colon. Each person listed should start a new numbered line. For example:

1. Mary Smith; XYZ University; PI

2. John Jones; University of PQR; Senior Personnel

3. Jane Brown; XYZ University; Postdoc

4. Bob Adams; ABC Inc.; Paid Consultant

5. Mary White; Welldone Institution; Unpaid Collaborator

6. Tim Green; ZZZ University; Subawardee

  • A list of Collaborators to assist with identifying Conflicts of Interest (note: in collaborative proposals, only the lead institution should provide this information): Provide current, accurate information for all active or recent collaborators of personnel and institutions involved in the project. NSF staff will use this information in the merit review process to manage conflicts of interest. This list -- distinct from the List of Project Personnel above -- must include all active or recent Collaborators of all personnel involved with the proposed project. Collaborators include any individual with whom any member of the project team -- including PIs, Co-PIs, Senior Personnel, paid/unpaid Consultants or Collaborators, Subawardees, Postdocs, and project-level advisory committee members -- has collaborated on a project, book, article, report, or paper within the preceding 48 months; or co-edited a journal, compendium, or conference proceedings within the preceding 24 months. This list should be numbered and include (in this order) Full name and Organization(s), with each item separated by a semi-colon. Each person listed should start a new numbered line. For example:

1. Mary Smith; XYZ Universit

2. John Jones; University of PQ

3. Jane Brown; XYZ Universit

4. Bob Adams; ABC Inc

5. Mary White; Welldone Institutio

6. Tim Green; ZZZ University

  • Letters of Commitment: These should be included only if they document collaboration or contributions of resources, data, or other assistance necessary to carry out this project.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Budget Preparation Instructions:

Grantees of this program will be expected to attend, and should budget for, annual review meetings for the purpose of sharing research progress with representatives of other projects funded under this solicitation as well as other NSF/JST-designated individuals. For budgetary purposes, proposers should assume that two of these meetings will be held in Japan and one will be held in the US.

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

September 08, 2014

D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane:

To prepare and submit a proposal via FastLane, see detailed technical instructions available at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800- 673-6188 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov. The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this funding opportunity.

For Proposals Submitted Via Grants.gov:

Before using Grants.gov for the first time, each organization must register to create an institutional profile. Once registered, the applicant's organization can then apply for any federal grant on the Grants.gov website. Comprehensive information about using Grants.gov is available on the Grants.gov Applicant Resources webpage: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants.html. In addition, the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide (see link in Section V.A) provides instructions regarding the technical preparation of proposals via Grants.gov. For Grants.gov user support, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or by email: support@grants.gov. The Grants.gov Contact Center answers general technical questions related to the use of Grants.gov. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this solicitation. Submitting the Proposal: Once all documents have been completed, the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must submit the application to Grants.gov and verify the desired funding opportunity and agency to which the application is submitted. The AOR must then sign and submit the application to Grants.gov. The completed application will be transferred to the NSF FastLane system for further processing. Proposers that submitted via FastLane are strongly encouraged to use FastLane to verify the status of their submission to NSF.

For proposers that submitted via Grants.gov, until an application has been received and validated by NSF, the Authorized Organizational Representative may check the status of an application on Grants.gov. After proposers have received an e-mail notification from NSF, Research.gov should be used to check the status of an application.

VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES

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. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with oversight of the review process. 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. Submission of such names, however, is optional. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the proposal. 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 in the GPG as Exhibit III-1.

A comprehensive description of the Foundation's merit review process is available on the NSF website at: http://nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/merit_review/.

Proposers should also be aware of core strategies that are essential to the fulfillment of NSF's mission, as articulated in Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation's Future: NSF Strategic Plan for 2014-2018. These strategies are integrated in the program planning and implementation process, of which proposal review is one part. NSF's mission is particularly well-implemented through the integration of research and education and broadening participation in NSF programs, projects, and activities.

One of the strategic objectives in support of NSF’s mission is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions must recruit, train, and prepare a diverse STEM workforce to advance the frontiers of science and participate in the U.S. technology-based economy. NSF's contribution to the national innovation ecosystem is to provide cutting-edge research under the guidance of the Nation’s most creative scientists and engineers. NSF also supports development of a strong science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce by investing in building the knowledge that informs improvements in STEM teaching and learning.

NSF's mission calls for the broadening of opportunities and expanding participation of groups, institutions, and geographic regions that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines, which 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.

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 the 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. LINKS

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?

Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to achievement of societally relevant outcomes. Such outcomes include, but are not limited to: full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); improved STEM education and educator development at any level; increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology; improved well-being of individuals in society; development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce; increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others; improved national security; increased economic competitiveness of the United States; and enhanced infrastructure for research and education.

Proposers are reminded that reviewers will also be asked to review the Data Management Plan and the Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan, as appropriate.

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria

In addition to the merit review principles and criteria described above, BDD Research proposals will also be evaluated by:

  • The extent to which the proposed work supports the solicitation theme of Big Data and Disaster Research; and
  • The extent to which the work and collaboration plans describe a unified project between the US and Japanese participants and the added value to be expected from the US-Japan collaboration proposed.

B. Review and Selection Process

Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by Ad hoc Review and/or Panel Review.

NSF will manage and conduct the review process of proposals submitted in accordance with NSF standards and procedures. Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. Following, and based upon the results of, independent and parallel review processes by NSF and JST, program managers at the two agencies will discuss recommendations. During this discussion, NSF and JST program managers may share unattributed reviews (i.e., the reviews will not include reviewer identities) with one another. The NSF Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of both the US and Japanese review processes and the results of the discussions with JST program managers and will formulate a recommendation.

After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the NSF Program Officer recommends to the cognizant Division Director whether the proposal should be declined or recommended for award. NSF strives to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. Large or particularly complex proposals or proposals from new awardees may require additional review and processing time. The time interval begins on the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director acts upon the Program Officer's recommendation.

After programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications. After an administrative review has occurred, Grants and Agreements Officers perform the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at their own risk.

Once an award or declination decision has been made, Principal Investigators are provided feedback about their proposals. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers or any reviewer-identifying information, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Officer. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See Section VI.B. for additional information on the review process).

B. Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award notice, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award notice; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (GC-1)*; or Research Terms and Conditions* and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award notice. Cooperative agreements also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC) and the applicable Programmatic Terms and Conditions. NSF awards are electronically signed by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer and transmitted electronically to the organization via e-mail.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at http://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/a...conditions.jsp? org=NSF. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_...sp?ods_key=aag.

Special Award Conditions:

NSF intends to make awards to the US collaborators named in the recommended proposals. JST intends to make awards to the Japanese collaborators named in the recommended proposals. Both NSF and JST awardees will acknowledge the collaboration in their award notices. NSF awards will be made in FY 2015 as standard grants. The awards will be made for three-year periods.

Grantees of this program will be expected to attend, and should budget for, annual grantee review meetings for the purpose of sharing research progress with representatives of other projects funded under this solicitation as well as NSF and JST representatives and other persons designated by NSF and JST. The first such meeting will be held approximately 9 months after the awards are made, and succeeding meetings will be held every 12 months thereafter.

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the Principal Investigator must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days prior to the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require submission of more frequent project reports). Within 90 days following expiration of a grant, the PI also is required to submit a final project report, and a project outcomes report for the general public.

Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports, or the project outcomes report, will delay NSF review and processing of any future funding increments as well as any pending proposals for all identified PIs and co-PIs on a given award. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

PIs are required to use NSF's electronic project-reporting system, available through Research.gov, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports. Such reports provide information on accomplishments, project participants (individual and organizational), publications, and other specific products and impacts of the project. Submission of the report via Research.gov constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete. The project outcomes report also must be prepared and submitted using Research.gov. This report serves as a brief summary, prepared specifically for the public, of the nature and outcomes of the project. This report will be posted on the NSF website exactly as it is submitted by the PI.

More comprehensive information on NSF Reporting Requirements and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_...sp?ods_key=aag.

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Please note that the program contact information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Phillip Regalia, Program Director, CCF, telephone: (703) 292-8910, email: pregalia@nsf.gov
  • Sylvia Spengler, Program Director, IIS, telephone: (703) 292-8930, email: sspengle@nsf.gov
  • Min Song, Program Director, CNS, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: msong@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

For questions relating to Grants.gov contact:

  • Grants.gov Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from Grants.gov within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; email: support@grants.gov.

IX. OTHER INFORMATION

The NSF website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. Use of this website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, "NSF Update" is an information-delivery system designed to keep potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies and procedures, and upcoming NSF Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail or the user's Web browser each time new publications are issued that match their identified interests. "NSF Update" also is available on NSF's website at https://public.govdelivery.com/accou...c_id=USNSF_179.

Grants.gov provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this new mechanism. Further information on Grants.gov may be obtained at http://www.grants.gov.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering."

NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

NSF receives approximately 55,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Arctic and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II, Section D.2 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090 and (800) 281-8749, FIRS at (800) 877-8339.

The National Science Foundation Information Center may be reached at (703) 292-5111.

The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

To get the latest information about program deadlines, to download copies of NSF publications, and to access abstracts of awards, visit the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov

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The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; and project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to proposer institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies or other entities needing information regarding applicants or nominees as part of a joint application review process, or in order to coordinate programs or policy; and to another Federal agency, court, or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award. LINKS

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding the burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

Suzanne H. Plimpton

Reports Clearance Officer

Office of the General Counsel

National Science Foundation

Arlington, VA 22230

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Last Updated: 11/07/06 Text Only

Dear Colleague Letter - Big Data For The Geosciences

Calling Attention to Big Data Challenges in the Geosciences

NSF 14-069

Dear Colleague Letter - Big Data For The Geosciences - Calling Attention to Big Data Challenges in the Geosciences

May 9, 2014

This Dear Colleague letter is intended to highlight the importance of Big Data challenges in the geosciences and identify an opportunity to address part of that challenge. NSF encourages active dialog between geoscientists and computational scientists to consider and develop community-oriented and broadly applicable solutions.

The geosciences, in the study of the Earth System, including atmosphere, geospace, earth, ocean and polar sciences, faces the growing need to manage, synthesize and understand unprecedented scales, rates, and diversity of data.

"Big Data" refers to data that challenge existing methods due to size, complexity, or rate of availability. The National Big Data Initiative is a coordinated set of activities involving multiple federal agencies that aims to address this challenge through:

  • Advancing the fundamental techniques and technologies for data and knowledge management, data analytics, and data-enabled discovery;
  • Accelerate scientific and engineering discovery and innovation;
  • Enabling new fields of inquiry and new modes of discovery and innovation;
  • Facilitate the development of new data management, data analytics, discovery algorithms and tools;
  • Enabling scalable, accessible, and sustainable data infrastructure;
  • Advancing understanding of natural, human and social processes and interactions;
  • Supporting big data education and workforce development;
  • Enabling multi-disciplinary collaborative teams and communities to address complex scientific, biomedical, and engineering grand challenges; and
  • Promoting economic growth and improved health and quality of life.

The Geosciences Directorate (GEO) calls the attention of U.S. Academic geosciences researchers to the Critical Techniques and Technologies for Advancing Big Data Science & Engineering (BIGDATA) program, solicitation (NSF 14-543, http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ....pims_id=504767) organized by the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate (CISE). The purpose of this solicitation is the development of fundamentally new techniques and technologies in Big Data knowledge management, data analytics challenges and computational scientific discovery, encompassing formalization, analysis, and algorithmic realization of all aspects of scientific discovery. These techniques and technologies may be attractive to the geosciences. In particular, GEO may find value in:

  • Shared solutions to common geosciences Big Data problems
  • Geosciences data issues that require the development of novel core technologies. Areas of interest can include but are not limited to, data mining; data assimilation; real time data management; algorithm scaling; combining structured and unstructured data; new methods when scaling is not possible.
  • Geosciences science problems for which the application of modern Big Data methods would make a sea change. The larger the community of use the better.

GEO is asking the community to organize and articulate common challenges in the Big Data arena to better shape future projects and collaborations. Key aspects the geosciences should consider are how outcomes from Big Data projects can be incorporated into geosciences research, broadly disseminated and shared across the discipline. The community should consider and express the definition and implications of Big Data for the geosciences or which aspects of Big Data require immediate attention for advancing geosciences research.

EarthCube provides resources to organize communities of scientists, to articulate common problems, find tools or concepts or application problems for tool development and to build partnerships between geoscientists, computational scientists, CI specialists and mathematicians (http://earthcube.org). This effort may be used by geoscientists to organize community-based Big Data requirements and potential solutions.

This year, we expect the geosciences community to begin development towards future Big Data projects and to identify the potential role of Big Data in the geosciences. Some projects that develop novel core technologies using geosciences data or use cases may be acceptable in the current solicitation. PIs are encouraged to contact their program directors to discuss their potential projects and ideas. Questions about GEO cyberinfrastructure may also be directed to Eva Zanzerkia, GEO/OAD, ezanzerk@nsf.gov.

Sincerely,

Roger Wakimoto, Assistant Director, Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)

NSF Strategic Plan for 2014-2018 Summary Flyer

My Note: These are not very high quality graphic images from PDF

Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation’s Future

StrategicPlanFlyer1.png

Mission, Vision, and Core Values

StrategicPlanFlyer2.png

GOAL 1: Transform the Frontiers of Science and Engineering

GOAL 2: Stimulate Innovation and Address Societal Needs through Research and Education

StrategicPlanFlyer3.png

GOAL 3: Excel as a Federal Science Agency

StrategicPlanFlyer4.png

Core Strategies

StrategicPlanFlyer5.png

Importance of Supporting Fundamental Research and Performance

StrategicPlanFlyer6.png

Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation's Future

National Science Foundation Strategic Plan for 2014-2018

Grant Proposal Guide, February 2014

Grant Proposal Guide, February 2014

EarthCube: Developing a Community-Driven Data and Knowledge Environment for the Geosciences

EarthCube: Developing a Community-Driven Data and Knowledge Environment for the Geosciences

PROGRAM SOLICITATION NSF 13-529

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Geosciences

Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences

Division of Earth Sciences

Division of Ocean Sciences

Division of Polar Programs

Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

March 26, 2013

EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance

March 26, 2013

EarthCube Research Coordination Networks

May 22, 2013

EarthCube Building Blocks

May 22, 2013

EarthCube Conceptual Designs

March 12, 2014

EarthCube Research Coordination Networks

March 12, 2014

EarthCube Building Blocks

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

New Funding Opportunities and Deadlines will appear with Amendments to this solicitation.

This serves as an umbrella solicitation for EarthCube. It differs from traditional NSF solicitations because funding opportunities will be amended to the solicitation in response to emerging community needs and priorities defined in collaborative activities. This solicitation provides the overarching description, vision, and goals for EarthCube that will remain unchanged over time. Amendments to the solicitation will add information on funding opportunities. Notifications announcing any EarthCube solicitation updates with Amendments will be sent through the NSF solicitation alert system.

The overarching description, vision, and goals of EarthCube can be found in the Program Description section below. All specifications of the proposal call are described in Amendments, including: (a) what types of proposals are being solicited; (b) pointers to the relevant community documents that guide the call and determine the focus of funding opportunities; (c) specific funding mechanism(s) employed; (d) special review criteria and/or reporting criteria; and (e) other specifics of the funding opportunity. As community guidance moves EarthCube forward, new Amendments will replace old Amendments. A listing of all Amendments can be found on the NSF EarthCube Program website. (https://www.nsf.gov/geo/earthcube/).

Amendment III

This solicitation has been amended to include the third funding opportunity (Amendment III) in the Program Description section below. Amendment III describes all specifications of the proposal call including (a) types of proposals being solicited; (b) specific funding mechanisms; (c) award information; and (d) special review criteria and proposal preparation instructions.

Collaborative proposals may be submitted to Amendment III

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title

EarthCube

A Community-Driven Data and Knowledge Environment for the Geosciences

Synopsis of Program

EarthCube is a community-driven activity sponsored through a partnership between the NSF Directorate of Geosciences and the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure to transform research in the academic geosciences community. EarthCube aims to create a well-connected and facile environment to share data and knowledge in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner, thus accelerating our ability to understand and predict the Earth system.

Achieving EarthCube will require a long-term dialog between the NSF and the interested scientific communities to develop cyberinfrastructure that is thoughtfully and systematically built to meet the current and future requirements of geoscientists. New avenues will be supported to gather community requirements and priorities for the elements of EarthCube, and to capture the best technologies to meet these current and future needs. The EarthCube portfolio will consist of interconnected projects and activities that engage the geosciences, cyberinfrastructure, computer science, and associated communities. The portfolio of activities and funding opportunities will evolve over time depending on the status of the EarthCube effort and the scientific and cultural needs of the geosciences community.

This umbrella solicitation for EarthCube allows funding opportunities to be flexible and responsive to emerging needs and collaborative processes. The EarthCube vision and goals do not change over time, and this section of the solicitation will remain constant. Funding opportunities to develop elements of the EarthCube environment will be described in Amendments to this solicitation. Amendments will appear in the Program Description Section of the solicitation and will include details on the parameters, scope, conditions, and requirements of the proposal call. Researchers who receive alerts related to solicitation releases will receive notification when the EarthCube solicitation is updated with an Amendment.

Cognizant Program Officer(s)

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

  • Eva Zanzerkia, Directorate for Geosciences, telephone: (703) 292-4734, email: ezanzerk@nsf.gov
  • Amy Walton, Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, telephone: (703) 292-4538, email: awalton@nsf.gov
  • Irene D. Lombardo, Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, telephone: (703) 292-7098, email: ilombard@nsf.gov
  • Barbara Ransom, Directorate for Geosciences, telephone: (703) 292-7792, email: bransom@nsf.gov
Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)
  • 47.050 --- Geosciences
  • 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant or Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 15

Up to 15 awards total for Amendment III. The number will be determined based on the results of the merit review process and availability of funds. Amendment III anticipates up to 8 awards for RCNs and up to 7 for Building Blocks.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $11,250,000

NSF anticipates funding for Amendment III (Building Blocks and Research Coordination Networks) to be $11,250,000 pending availability of funds. The size of awards will vary based on the scope and complexity of the funding opportunity and the projects supported under that call

Specific size and duration limitations will be articulated in Amendments to this solicitation.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals

Proposals may only be submitted by the following: Universities and Colleges - Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in, the US acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions. Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities. For-profit organizations: U.S. commercial organizations, especially small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education. Other Federal Agencies and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs): Contact the appropriate program before preparing a proposal for submission.

Who May Serve as PI

There are no restrictions or limits

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization

There are no restrictions or limits. Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: There are no restrictions or limits.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not Applicable
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not Applicable
  • Full Proposals:
    • Full Proposals submitted via FastLane: NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Guidelines apply. The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_...sp?ods_key=gpg.
    • Full Proposals submitted via Grants.gov: NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov Guidelines apply (Note: The NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp? ods_key=grantsgovguide)

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations: Not Applicable
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

March 26, 2013

EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance

March 26, 2013

EarthCube Research Coordination Networks

May 22, 2013

EarthCube Building Blocks

May 22, 2013

EarthCube Conceptual Designs

March 12, 2014

EarthCube Research Coordination Networks

March 12, 2014

EarthCube Building Blocks

Proposal Review Information Criteria

Merit Review Criteria: National Science Board approved criteria. Additional merit review considerations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions: Additional award conditions apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Reporting Requirements: Standard NSF reporting requirements apply.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

My Note: See Table of Contents Above 

I. INTRODUCTION

EarthCube is a community-driven activity aimed at transforming the conduct of geosciences research and education. This effort is a partnership between the NSF Directorate of Geosciences (GEO) and the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI). The goal of EarthCube is to create a well-connected and facile environment to share data and knowledge for all of the geosciences in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner and to accelerate our ability to understand and predict the Earth system.

In 2009 the Advisory Committee for GEO issued the GEOVision report: (http://www.nsf.gov/geo/acgeo/geovisi...plans_2012.pdf), identifying the challenges and opportunities facing the geosciences in the next decade. The report issued this call to action: "Over the next decade, the geosciences community commits to developing a framework to understand and predict responses of the Earth as a system, from the space-atmosphere boundary to the core, including the influences of humans and ecosystems."

In 2011 NSF initiated Cyberinfrastructure for the 21st Century (CIF21). This initiative emphasizes the importance of enabling computational and data-rich science, engineering, and education and creating within the US a sustainable, community-based and open cyberinfrastructure for researchers and educators (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ....pims_id=504730).

EarthCube responds to the challenges and opportunities of the GeoVision report and the vision of a national cyberinfrastructure in CIF21. In this effort NSF encourages the community to systematically build cyberinfrastructure for the geosciences that is guided by community dialog, governance, and a common vision. EarthCube endeavors to create an environment that is extendable, and manageable and employs or creates technologies that meet the current and future needs of the geosciences community. It is expected that EarthCube will build off present NSF and Federal investments in geosciences cyberinfrastructure and will integrate state-of-the art cyberinfrastructure, software development and computer science techniques.

The EarthCube program is designed to be responsive to the needs of and input from the geosciences community, as well as technological advances. Funding opportunities in the EarthCube portfolio will be defined in Amendments to this solicitation and will be based on themes, requirements, and other strategic or community documents from open community activities fostered by EarthCube such as, but not limited to, community meetings, workshops and design and demonstration activities.

Amendments to this solicitation will appear in the Program Description and will include details on the type, scope, duration, and size of proposals being requested, funding requirements, additional review criteria, and due dates.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The goal of EarthCube is to create a well-connected and facile environment to share data and knowledge for all of the geosciences in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner, accelerating our ability to understand and predict the Earth system.

How To Use This Solicitation

As noted in the Important Information Section at the beginning of this solicitation, this document serves as an umbrella solicitation for EarthCube. Funding opportunities will be responsive to themes, requirements, and other strategic or community documents from open community activities. In the structure of this solicitation, funding opportunities will be articulated in Amendments in the Program Description.

The description, vision, and overall goals for EarthCube will not change over time. Only the Amendment Section (see below) will change. When a funding opportunity is available, the Amendment section will detail the specifications of the proposal call including (a) what types of proposals are being solicited; (b) references to the relevant community documents that guided the call and determined the focus of the funding opportunity; (c) the specific funding mechanism(s) employed; (d) proposal due dates or submission windows; (e) any special review criteria and/or reporting criteria; (f) and other specifics of the funding opportunity. As EarthCube evolves over time, new Amendments will replace old Amendments. A listing of all Amendments will be found on the EarthCube NSF Program website. (http://www.nsf.gov/geo/earthcube/).

AMENDMENT III

This is the third Amendment to the EarthCube solicitation. The objective of Amendment III is to solicit proposals in two focus areas, similar to the calls in 2013. 1) EarthCube RCNs: Virtual Organizations for geoscientists to coordinate, plan and prioritize ​cyberinfrastructure activities, and 2)Building Blocks: Refining, connecting, and testing integrative technologies within the geosciences community.

The Amendment is arranged as follows:

Funding Opportunities

(1) EarthCube Research Coordination Networks (RCN)

  • Description of the activity
  • Specific Requirements
  • Additional Review Criteria
  • Additional Proposal Preparation Guidelines

(2) EarthCube Building Blocks

  • Description of the activity
  • Specific Requirements
  • Additional Review Criteria
  • Additional Proposal Preparation Guidelines​
(1) EarthCube Research Coordination Networks (RCN)

Deadline: March 12, 2014
Award Information:
Estimated Number of Awards: 6-8
Estimated Award Size and Duration: a maximum of 24 months and up to a maximum of $300,000. 

Proposers are strongly encouraged to contact EarthCube Program Directors (see https://www.nsf.gov/geo/earthcube) to discuss any submission of an EarthCube RCN proposal.

EarthCube RCNs are intended to advance geosciences cyberinfrastructure through interaction, discussion and planning between geoscientists and cyberinfrastructure experts. RCNs provide opportunities for academic geosciences communities to organize, seek input, come to consensus and prioritize data, modeling, and technology needs. Other opportunities exist to realize cyberinfrastructure development and build tools and services. Outcomes must be tangible and directed towards moving geoscientists closer to shared goals. RCNs are an important information and feedback mechanism within the EarthCube process. Results from these projects will influence the direction of EarthCube, including architecture and geosciences-wide cyberinfrastructure developments.

Awards will support geosciences communities to organize, to partner with like geosciences communities, via virtual organizations, and to discuss, plan and coordinate the standards, policies and cyberinfrastructure that will meet their end-users' common data, software, computation networking and training needs. Proposals must include participation of both geoscientists and cyber/computer scientists to be considered viable.

Examples of possible EarthCube RCN outcomes include, but are not limited to:

  • The development of community standards, data citation or other community plans for data management in one or more field of the geosciences.
  • The articulation of common cyberinfrastructure and technology grand challenges across different geosciences disciplines, including dialog towards designing potential solutions for data integration, computation, modeling, software and/or visualization needed to meet future scientific and education goals.
  • Agreements on data and/or cyberinfrastructure issues involving multiple geosciences fields that will result in improved interdisciplinary access to products of scientific work or training and education.

RCNs should 1.) build and strengthen partnerships between geo- and cyber/computer scientists; 2.) foster new collaborations that lead to better scientific outcomes; 3.) expose participants to new ideas, methodologies, approaches, tools, and utilities; 4.) reduce redundancies and duplication of effort; and 5.) expose best practices and "lessons learned" in data management.

RCNs should explore innovative ideas for implementing virtual organizations, community networking strategies and collaborative technologies. Successful proposals will need to demonstrate broad academic geosciences participation, with an emphasis on active engagement of early career scientists and large numbers of end-users.

Specific Requirements

1.Topic/Focus: EarthCube RCN proposals must be rooted in the academic geosciences community , and include cyber/computer scientists as key participants. Proposals should specify what activities will be undertaken, what groups will be involved, what products will be generated by network activities, and how information about the network and opportunities to participate will be disseminated. The proposal should also outline the expected benefits of the network's activities in moving one or more geosciences fields forward and the implications for the broader community.

(a) Describe the components of the virtual organization and how communications within the network will work and how the network will seek to broaden participation from those beyond the organizing committee. Please note, costs to purchase, facilitate, and/or implement virtual meetings or interactions are allowable and can be included in the budget.

(b) Describe outcomes/deliverables that will result from the RCN by the end of the award period. EarthCube RCNs are intended to be short-term activities with tangible outcomes. Plans for sustainability beyond the scope of the award should be discussed.

2. Participation. EarthCube RCNs will be expected to work with EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance. Participation and involvement in EarthCube activities, including meetings, events and sharing information between RCNs and other EarthCube projects will be required. PIs should allocate financial resources to support representatives in EarthCube meetings and activities. Proposals must include a section on how the network will interact with EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance.

3. Steering Committee. Each RCN must have a steering committee primarily composed of academic geoscientists. Cyber and/or computer scientists should also have key roles within the network, that are described in the proposal. The Steering Committee should reflect the diversity of the network's participants, be responsible for the network's success, but remain a manageable size. The proposal should articulate the roles of the Steering Committee members and the reasons for their selection.

4. Network Participants. The size of an RCN is expected to vary depending on the topic or issue and network needs. It is expected that a network will involve investigators at diverse organizations, including different levels of academic institutions. Although inclusion of Federal Agencies, international organizations and commercial partners is welcome, RCNs are intended to serve the needs of geoscientists in US academic institutions. The inclusion of new researchers, post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduates is strongly encouraged. An initial network of likely participants should be identified by position at the institution and name. However, proposals should clearly articulate well-developed mechanisms that will maintain openness, ensure access, and actively promote participation by interested parties outside of that initial list of participants.

5. Information and Material Sharing. EarthCube RCNs must promote effective communication via virtual organizations, foster new partnerships and provide opportunities for collaboration focused on actionable improvements for the academic geosciences community. Any products of the RCN, including discussion forums, documents, policies and practices must be openly shared with the academic community. Proposals should detail mechanisms that will be used to serve these materials. This may include working closely with other aspects of EarthCube, including Test Enterprise Governance.

6. International Participation. NSF funding predominantly supports participation by US researchers. Any proposed international collaboration should articulate how it strengthens the project activities. Participants from institutions outside the US are encouraged to seek support from their respective funding organizations. NSF funds may not be used to support the expenses of the international scientists and students at their home institutions.

Additional Review Criteria For EarthCube RCNs

a. RCNs cannot use resources to fund research, build cyberinfrastructure or prototypes, or to sustain existing networks. RCN proposals will be evaluated for their creativity, innovation, and potential to advance the geosciences through effective organization and outcomes.

b. RCNs will be evaluated on how well they represent their respective geosciences communities, the quality and caliber of the collaboration with cyberinfrastructure and computer scientists, and the processes and efforts to engage a broad and diverse set of participants.

c. For all proposals involving international collaborations, reviewers will consider: mutual benefits, true intellectual collaboration with the foreign partner(s), benefits to be realized from the expertise and specialized skills, facilities, sites and/or resources of the international counterpart, and active engagement of US students and early-career researchers in the RCN activities.

d. Projects are expected to have strong management and integration plans that describe how the activity will be coordinated between partners and how the partners will function as a whole.

Proposal Preparation Guidelines for EarthCube RCNs

Proposals must follow these guidelines in addition to, or in replacement of, the requirements in Section V.A

(A) Cover Page

The title of the proposed project should begin with the words: "EarthCube RCN:"

(B) Project Description

The Project Description should begin with a list of the Steering Committee members and their institutions.

In addition to objectives, rationale, justification, research coordination activities, and Broader Impacts, the project description should address aspects of network management, coordination, and participant diversity within the 15 page project description, as described below.

Please note that per guidance in the GPG, the Project Description must contain, as a separate section within the narrative, a discussion of the broader impacts of the proposed activities. You can decide where to include this section within the Project Description.

1) Management plan. Describe plans and procedures for the development and assessment of the proposed activity. Include formal mechanisms to ensure fair and equitable allocation of group resources. Clearly define the responsibilities for leadership and the role of the PI and the Steering committee. Delineate the procedures used for the selection of initial network participants, the plans for maintaining an appropriate degree of openness and for encouraging the involvement of additional interested parties. Means for self-evaluation of progress toward the network goals should be presented as an important part of the management plan.

2) Coordination plan. Describe the plan for coordinating with other EarthCube activities. If the proposed network will work with other established network or group, or if there is a similar activity being planned or ongoing in other countries, describe the plans for coordination and cooperation among the relevant networks.

3) Increasing participant diversity. A research coordination network is an important opportunity for encouraging the involvement of a diverse group of investigators. Describe a well-designed plan to increase participation of members outside of the steering committee and core group key personnel and, if applicable, a plan to include new researchers, post-docs, graduate students and undergraduates and individuals and institutions underrepresented in the geosciences and cyberinfrastructure.

(C) Budget

Funds from this program may not support independent, individual research projects of the participants; nor are they to be used as a mechanism for a mini-grant awarding program. Note that funds requested to support activities of the network participants, such as participant travel, materials and supplies for the network projects, and network retreats should be listed as "participant support" in the proposed budget, and managed by the submitting organization.

(D) Special Information and Supplementary Documents

In replacement of the Results of Prior Support proposals must include, as a Supplementary Document, Current Activities: PI and the Steering committee members listed in the project description must provide a single-page (per investigator) description of the relationship between the proposed project and current research activities in his/her laboratory.

(2) EarthCube Building Blocks

Award Information

Estimated Number of Awards: 4-7

Estimated Award Size and Duration: a maximum of 24 months and total award size of $300,000 to $2,000,000.

The objective of this funding opportunity is to contribute to the EarthCube enterprise by developing, integrating and utilizing current cyberinfrastructure in coordinated efforts to serve a broader segment of the academic geosciences community, in atmospheric and geospace, earth, ocean and polar sciences.

EarthCube Building Blocks will provide value to the entire EarthCube enterprise by contributing to one or more of the following:

  • Integration of existing technology components to extend capabilities to a broader set of geoscientists than are currently served;
  • Creation or modification of cyberinfrastructure to overcome barriers or inefficiencies as identified by the geosciences community in documents such as the geosciences domain workshop reports; and
  • Introduction of modern or novel cyberinfrastructure into the geosciences that has the potential to transform cyberinfrastructure across all geosciences, and that is demonstrated with improvements for identified academic geosciences communities and their facilities.

EarthCube Building Blocks projects may include demonstrations of software, middleware, techniques to serve and deliver data, or other cyberinfrastructure capabilities, as well as the creation of networks or resources such as test beds, inventories or implementation of standards.

The most compelling Building Blocks will be those that best serve the needs of academic geoscientists in more than one domain and that closely involve geoscientists, and their recognized community organizations in the planning, development and testing of cyberinfrastructure. Diverse participation of students and early-career researchers is essential. Successful proposals will demonstrate collaborative and community-oriented solutions, as well as innovative combinations of technology that can potentially be implemented across the entire geosciences community.

Awards are expected to be no more than 24 months in duration, with demonstrations of capabilities at the end of the period. Awards must also demonstrate how the capability/project is relevant and extensible across the geosciences and fits within the ecosystem of geosciences cyberinfrastructure.

Proposals will need to describe the following:

  • the academic geosciences communities, organizations and facilities involved;
  • the net value of the combined components;
  • the metrics that will be used to guide and evaluate the effort;
  • tests that will be performed as part of the demonstration, particularly those that show added value to geosciences research problems;
  • how the planned approach will serve the needs of more than one academic geosciences research field; and
  • how the technology would be broadly applicable and useful to the entire geosciences community as part of the geosciences cyberinfrastructure ecosystem

The critical cyberinfrastructure necessary for EarthCube will evolve though a long-term, step-wise set of developments. The first phase, represented by this EarthCube Building Blocks call, focuses on the most promising areas of cyber-enabled functionalities that benefit the academic geosciences community. The second phase will have the benefit of input from Test Enterprise Governance, emerging user requirements, and community planning activities. It is anticipated that through this integration effort EarthCube may identify and begin to fill missing resources or capabilities, connect data, model and visualization approaches that are needed to advance our understanding of the Earth system. The third stage will be impacted by the development of an EarthCube enterprise architecture, and may incorporate innovative technologies, and/or larger scale developments for geosciences-specific cyberinfrastructure.

Specific Requirements

1. Collaboration: EarthCube Building Blocks must involve deep engagement and participation of the academic geosciences research community in the development of resources, products or other outcomes. Because EarthCube seeks to build bridges between geoscientists and those that build cyberinfrastructure, strategies for true partnerships and useful developments are necessary for successful proposals. Proposals must address specific geosciences communities and geosciences facilities that will be targeted and participate in project development. Similarly, proposals must identify cyberinfrastructure, computer science, industry, international and agency partners that will participate. Proposals should explicitly identify who in these communities will be engaged in the process of development and what role they play.

2. Outcomes: EarthCube Building Blocks should produce demonstrable and broadly useful outcomes within 24 months. Proposals must discuss how the effort will be demonstrated and evaluated. Proposals must clearly articulate how project outcome(s) relate to the goals of EarthCube and to specific needs articulated by the scientific communities involved. Particularly important will be how the proposal envisions that the approach will be extensible in the future, how the project fits within the broader EarthCube framework, and how it may be coordinated with other efforts that are developing concurrently. A discussion of the project's lifecycle/sustainability of efforts should be presented. Proposals developing new, innovative, or cutting-edge cyberinfrastructure or technology must describe how the technology can be robustly implemented for the use of geoscientists and fits within the context and operation of other existing cyberinfrastructure used by geoscientists.

3. EarthCube Participation: EarthCube Building Block awardees will be required to participate in continuing EarthCube community activities. At this stage projects are not required to provide end-to-end solutions because EarthCube is in the requirements gathering and planning stage. Projects will be required to participate in this planning as part of the collaborative spirit of EarthCube. Cooperation and coordination with Test Enterprise Governance is required. Critical responsibilities for Building Block awardees will include taking and incorporating input from geosciences community activities, such as EarthCube RCNs, and participating in the discussion of EarthCube enterprise architecture development. Proposers should describe how their anticipated structure, work plan and management plan would accommodate these responsibilities.

Additional Review Criteria for Building Blocks:

a. Does the proposal address a cyberinfrastructure need across more than one academic geosciences research field? How strong is the plan to involve geoscientists in development and demonstration of any new capabilities? How will geoscientists use the new developments and capabilities to conduct their research?

b. Does the proposal include an appropriate collaboration among recognized geosciences organizations, cyberinfrastructure and computational scientists, institutions, etc.? Does the project strongly link to and engage geosciences cyberinfrastructure facilities? How appropriate and qualified are investigators and collaborators in representing their communities, conducting outreach, and disseminating outcomes outside their collaborators?

c. How well does the proposal address community-articulated goals, concepts, and guiding principles? Are these well referenced with on-going EarthCube discussions, end-user workshop reports, and community requirements? How is this documented?

d. Are the management plan and the team appropriate for the goals of the project? Does the proposal have an appropriate evaluation plan? Is there a plan to test, revise and demonstrate the proposed capability or resource? How well are metrics defined, and is the plan to meet these metrics appropriate? Is there an appropriate plan to communicate activities and results to the ​geosciences and EarthCube communities?

e. What is the merit of the proposed cyberinfrastructure integration and/or development based on the value it will add to the geosciences? Does the proposal articulate how the project will add to EarthCube as a whole? How extensible is the technology?

Proposal Preparation Guidelines for EarthCube Building Blocks

Proposals must follow these guidelines in addition to, or in replacement of, the requirements in Section V.A in this solicitation.

(A) Cover Page

The title of the proposed project should begin with the words: "EarthCube Building Blocks:" Collaborative Proposals should begin with the words: "EarthCube Building Blocks: Collaborative Proposal:"

(B) Project Summary

The Project Summary must begin with the title of the proposal and a list of all the collaborating institutions involved in the proposal.

(C) Project Description

This section may be no longer than 15 pages. In addition to intellectual merit and broader impacts, the project description should describe how the work meets the specific requirements and any additional review criteria indicated. The Project Description must include a Management plan. Describe plans and procedures for the development and assessment of the proposed activity. The plan should include a list of all participating members of the collaboration, including non-funded participants, their institutions and roles in the project. A clear time line of expected outcomes should be included.

Please note that per guidance in the GPG, the Project Description must contain, as a separate section within the narrative, a discussion of the broader impacts of the proposed activities. You can decide where to include this section within the Project Description.

(D) Budget - Any subawards must have associated, annualized budgets with associated budget justifications. Budget justifications can be no longer than 2 pages.

(E) Special Information and Supplementary Documents- To be included in the order specified below:

(1) In place of the Results of Prior Support section in the Project Description, Current Activities: the PI and members listed as co-PIs or collaborators must provide a single-page (per investigator) description of the relevant prior support. This should be submitted as a Supplementary Document.

(2) Letters of Collaboration must be provided for any organization or individuals that are mentioned in the Project Description and Management Plan but are not receiving funds (i.e., mentioned in the proposal and not listed in any of the associated budgets). Letters of Collaboration must list the personnel participating in the project and their affiliation and describe the work that the unfunded collaborator will be conducting for the project. Information on acceptable content of Letters of Collaboration may be found in the most recent NSF Grant Proposal Guide and must be followed.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

Anticipated Type of Award

Standard Grant or Continuing Grant or Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards

15

Up to 15 awards total for Amendment III. The number will be determined based on the results of the merit review process and availability of funds. Amendment III anticipates up to 8 awards for RCNs and up to 7 for Building Blocks.

Anticipated Funding Amount

$11,250,000 NSF anticipates funding for Amendment III (Building Blocks and Research Coordination Networks) to be $11,250,000 pending availability of funds. The size of awards will vary based on the scope and complexity of the funding opportunity and the projects supported under that call. Specific size and duration limitations will be articulated in Amendments to this solicitation.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Who May Submit Proposals

  • Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
    • Universities and Colleges - Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in, the US acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.
    • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.
    • For-profit organizations: U.S. commercial organizations, especially small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education.
    • Other Federal Agencies and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs): Contact the appropriate program before preparing a proposal for submission.

Who May Serve as PI

There are no restrictions or limits

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI

There are no restrictions or limits.

Additional Eligibility Info

Proposals involving non-NSF FFRDC or Federal agency personnel must be approved prior to submission to ensure appropriate submission parameters related to funding personnel at these institutions. PIs should contact the cognizant PO. In all cases non-NSF FFRDC or Federal agency contributors must appear in one of two ways: (1) a subaward on a proposal submitted by an academic or non-profit institution of (2) a proposal that is submitted as part of a collaborative effort lead by an academic or non-profit institution.

NSF-funded FFRDCs are exempt from the above restriction and may submit proposals without restriction. Please, be aware that if you have not received NSF funding you will be required to submit additional information before an award can be recommended.

Please refer to the Prospective New Awardee Guide for information and preparation of the necessary documentation: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_...p?ods_key=pnag.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal Preparation Instructions

Proposers may opt to submit proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via Grants.gov or via the NSF FastLane system.

  • Full proposals submitted via FastLane: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_...sp?ods_key=gpg. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by email from nsfpubs@nsf.gov. Proposers are reminded to identify this program solicitation number in the program solicitation block on the NSF Cover Sheet For Proposal to the National Science Foundation. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.
  • Full proposals submitted via Grants.gov: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation via Grants.gov should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov. The complete text of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp? ods_key=grantsgovguide). To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package, click on the Apply tab on the Grants.gov site, then click on the Apply Step 1: Download a Grant Application Package and Application Instructions link and enter the funding opportunity number, (the program solicitation number without the NSF prefix) and press the Download Package button. Paper copies of the Grants.gov Application Guide also may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.
Important Proposal Preparation Information

FastLane will check for required sections of the proposal, in accordance with Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) instructions described in Chapter II.C.2. The GPG requires submission of: Project Summary; Project Description; References Cited; Biographical Sketch(es); Budget; Budget Justification; Current and Pending Support; Facilities, Equipment & Other Resources; Data Management Plan; and Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan, if applicable. If a required section is missing, FastLane will not accept the proposal.

Please note that the proposal preparation instructions provided in this program solicitation may deviate from the GPG instructions. If the solicitation instructions do not require a GPG-required section to be included in the proposal, insert text or upload a document in that section of the proposal that states, "Not Applicable for this Program Solicitation." Doing so will enable FastLane to accept your proposal.

The following Proposal Preparation instructions should be followed for all proposals, except where an Amendment in Section II of the solicitation notes proposal preparation guidelines. In that case, any instructions provided in the Amendment supersede those listed below.

a. Cover Sheet

The Cover Sheet must conform to the guidelines described in the GPG, unless modifications are described in the Amendment.

b. Project Summary

The Project Summary must conform to the guidelines described in the GPG unless modifications are described in the Amendment.

c. Project Description

Results from Prior NSF Support

Results of Prior Support should be no more than one page per team member and DO NOT need to be included in the Project Description. Instead, they should be included at Supplementary Documents as described below. Refer to the GPG for instructions on the content of the Results from Prior Support.

Other components of the Project Description must conform to the guidelines described in the GPG unless modifications are described in the Amendment.

d. References Cited

Reference information is required. Any Publication that includes any of the team collaborators should have an asterisk as the first character of the reference.

e. Biographical Sketch(es)

For all key personnel, please provide a brief biographical sketch. Do not exceed two pages per person for the sketch. Up to five publications most closely related to the proposal and up to five other significant publications may be listed, including those accepted for publication or citations for cyberinfrastructure resources developed by the personnel 

Biographical Sketches must conform to the guidelines described in the GPG. A biographical sketch (limited to two pages) is required for each individual identified as senior project personnel. (See GPG Exhibit II-7 for the definitions of Senior Personnel.)

f. Budget

Each proposal must contain a budget for each year of support requested. The amounts requested for each budget line item should be documented and justified in the budget justification.

Budget components must conform to the guidelines described in the GPG unless modifications are described in the Amendment.

g. Current and Pending Support

The Current and Pending Support must conform to the guidelines described in the GPG unless modifications are described in the Amendment. It is important to identify the number of salary-months covered by each source and whether these are summer, academic or calendar months.

h. Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources

The Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources must conform to the guidelines described in the GPG unless modifications are described in the Amendment.

i. Special Information and Supplementary Documentation

Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan. The Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan must conform to the guidelines described in the GPG unless modifications are described in the Amendment.

Data Management Plan: Plans for data management and sharing of the products of must conform to the guidelines described in the GPG unless modifications are described in the Amendment.

Results of prior support: 1 page per team member, as described below (these pages are in addition to the 20 pages for Proposed Activities) A maximum of one page per team member (PI, coPI, post doc, collaborator) should be included in the supplementary documents. Any researcher who has received prior support from any NSF grant must include results of prior support. If a collaborator has not had prior support, an explicit statement should be included to that effect in this section.

j. Additional Single Copy Documents

Proposals that do not provide the following information will be returned without review.

(a) Project Personnel (text-searchable PDF, in FastLane, under Additional Single Copy Documents). List all Senior Personnel in the project. For each person, provide the last name, first name, and institution/organization. In the main body of the proposal, a corresponding biographical sketch should be provided for all individuals included on this list, as instructed in Section II.C.2.f of the Grant Proposal Guide.

(b) Collaborators/Individuals with Conflicts of Interest (text-searchable PDF, in FastLane, under Additional Single Copy Documents). Provide a list, in an alphabetized table, of the full names and institutional affiliations of all persons with potential conflicts of interest as specified in NSF's Grant Proposal Guide. For each PI, Co-PI, collaborator and other Senior Personnel, include all coauthors/ editors and collaborators (within the past 48 months), all graduate advisors and advisees, and any other individuals or institutions with which the investigator has financial ties (please specify type). In addition, list all subawardees who would receive funds through the award.

k. Additional Required Documents

"List of Personnel, Collaborators and Affiliates": After receipt of the proposal number from FastLane, send an e-mail to earthcube@nsf.gov. The subject heading of the e-mail should note the proposal number and the lead institution. Attach the document described below, prepared on a template that will be available at http://www.nsf.gov/geo/earthcube. NSF personnel will use automated data handling of this document. To facilitate this, the file should be in the CSV "flat text" format, with unformatted data entry under the column headings (Proposal Number, PI or SP Last_Name, etc.) in the template. Carriage returns, splitting items over multiple cells, extra spaces, etc., will interfere with automated handling. The document is a spreadsheet containing two lists: one (columns C-E) lists the last names, first names and institutional affiliations of all PIs, Co-PIs, and other senior personnel; the second (columns F-H) lists the full names and institutional affiliations of all people having conflicts of interest with any PIs, Co-PIs, and other senior personnel. This list will be used by NSF to check for conflicts of interest in assembling the review community. The file name should be the seven-digit proposal number --not the temporary proposal number used during proposal preparation) followed by the three characters "coi" (for example, for a proposal number 1212345, this file name will be 1212345coi.csv. The extension csv will be automatically added by Excel when saving the file using the CSV format). The 7-digit proposal number should appear in every row of the file, in column B, as indicated by the sample that will be available at http://www.nsf.gov/geo/earthcube. Each project participant in columns C-E should be listed (repeatedly) in all rows that name his/her conflicted individuals in columns F-H, as in the sample.

(There is redundancy between the Additional Single Copy Documents, which become part of the FastLane proposal file, and Electronic Document (a), which is used for automated data handling. At present, it is not technically possible for one document to perform both functions.)

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

March 26, 2013

EarthCube Test Enterprise Governance

March 26, 2013

EarthCube Research Coordination Networks

May 22, 2013 10

EarthCube Building Blocks

May 22, 2013

EarthCube Conceptual Designs

March 12, 2014

EarthCube Research Coordination Networks

March 12, 2014

EarthCube Building Blocks

D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane

To prepare and submit a proposal via FastLane, see detailed technical instructions available at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800- 673-6188 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov. The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this funding opportunity.

For Proposals Submitted Via Grants.gov

Before using Grants.gov for the first time, each organization must register to create an institutional profile. Once registered, the applicant's organization can then apply for any federal grant on the Grants.gov website. Comprehensive information about using Grants.gov is available on the Grants.gov Applicant Resources webpage: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants.html. In addition, the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide (see link in Section V.A) provides instructions regarding the technical preparation of proposals via Grants.gov. For Grants.gov user support, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or by email: support@grants.gov. The Grants.gov Contact Center answers general technical questions related to the use of Grants.gov. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this solicitation.

Submitting the Proposal: Once all documents have been completed, the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must submit the application to Grants.gov and verify the desired funding opportunity and agency to which the application is submitted. The AOR must then sign and submit the application to Grants.gov. The completed application will be transferred to the NSF FastLane system for further processing.

Proposers that submitted via FastLane are strongly encouraged to use FastLane to verify the status of their submission to NSF. For proposers that submitted via Grants.gov, until an application has been received and validated by NSF, the Authorized Organizational Representative may check the status of an application on Grants.gov. After proposers have received an e-mail notification from NSF, Research.gov should be used to check the status of an application.

VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES

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. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with oversight of the review process. 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. Submission of such names, however, is optional. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the proposal. 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 in the GPG as Exhibit III-1.

A comprehensive description of the Foundation's merit review process is available on the NSF website at: http://nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/merit_review/.

Proposers should also be aware of core strategies that are essential to the fulfillment of NSF's mission, as articulated in Empowering the Nation Through Discovery and Innovation: NSF Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2011-2016. These strategies are integrated in the program planning and implementation process, of which proposal review is one part. NSF's mission is particularly well-implemented through the integration of research and education and broadening participation in NSF programs, projects, and activities.

One of the core strategies in support of NSF's mission 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 variety of learning perspectives.

Another core strategy in support of NSF's mission is broadening opportunities and expanding participation of groups, institutions, and geographic regions that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines, which 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.

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 the 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 decisionmaking 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. LINKS

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?

Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to achievement of societally relevant outcomes. Such outcomes include, but are not limited to: full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); improved STEM education and educator development at any level; increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology; improved well-being of individuals in society; development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce; increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others; improved national security; increased economic competitiveness of the United States; and enhanced infrastructure for research and education.

Proposers are reminded that reviewers will also be asked to review the Data Management Plan and the Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan, as appropriate.

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria

Additional Review Criteria for EarthCube funding opportunities will be detailed in the Amendment in Section II.

B. Review and Selection Process

Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by Ad hoc Review and/or Panel Review, or Internal NSF Review.

Specific additional review criteria will vary depending on the funding opportunity and will be articulated for each funding opportunity in the Amendment section of this solicitation.

Reviewers will be asked to evaluate proposals using two National Science Board approved merit review criteria and, if applicable, additional program specific criteria. A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the NSF Program Officer recommends to the cognizant Division Director whether the proposal should be declined or recommended for award. NSF strives to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. Large or particularly complex proposals or proposals from new awardees may require additional review and processing time. The time interval begins on the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director acts upon the Program Officer's recommendation.

After programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications. After an administrative review has occurred, Grants and Agreements Officers perform the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at their own risk.

Once an award or declination decision has been made, Principal Investigators are provided feedback about their proposals. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers or any reviewer-identifying information, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Officer. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See Section VI.B. for additional information on the review process.)

B. Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award notice, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award notice; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (GC-1)*; or Research Terms and Conditions* and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award notice. Cooperative agreements also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC) and the applicable Programmatic Terms and Conditions. NSF awards are electronically signed by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer and transmitted electronically to the organization via e-mail.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at http://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/a...conditions.jsp? org=NSF. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_...sp?ods_key=aag.

Special Award Conditions: Any Special Award Conditions will be described in the Amendment in Section II.

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the Principal Investigator must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days prior to the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require submission of more frequent project reports). Within 90 days following expiration of a grant, the PI also is required to submit a final project report, and a project outcomes report for the general public.

Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports, or the project outcomes report, will delay NSF review and processing of any future funding increments as well as any pending proposals for all identified PIs and co-PIs on a given award. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

PIs are required to use NSF's electronic project-reporting system, available through Research.gov, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports. Such reports provide information on accomplishments, project participants (individual and organizational), publications, and other specific products and impacts of the project. Submission of the report via Research.gov constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete. The project outcomes report also must be prepared and submitted using Research.gov. This report serves as a brief summary, prepared specifically for the public, of the nature and outcomes of the project. This report will be posted on the NSF website exactly as it is submitted by the PI.

More comprehensive information on NSF Reporting Requirements and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_...sp?ods_key=aag.

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Please note that the program contact information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Eva Zanzerkia, Directorate for Geosciences, telephone: (703) 292-4734, email: ezanzerk@nsf.gov
  • Amy Walton, Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, telephone: (703) 292-4538, email: awalton@nsf.gov
  • Irene D. Lombardo, Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, telephone: (703) 292-7098, email: ilombard@nsf.gov
  • Barbara Ransom, Directorate for Geosciences, telephone: (703) 292-7792, email: bransom@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

For questions relating to Grants.gov contact:

  • Grants.gov Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from Grants.gov within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; email: support@grants.gov.

IX. OTHER INFORMATION

The NSF website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. Use of this website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, "NSF Update" is an information-delivery system designed to keep potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies and procedures, and upcoming NSF Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail or the user's Web browser each time new publications are issued that match their identified interests. "NSF Update" also is available on NSF's website at https://public.govdelivery.com/accou...c_id=USNSF_179.

Grants.gov provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this new mechanism. Further information on Grants.gov may be obtained at http://www.grants.gov.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering."

NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

NSF receives approximately 55,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Arctic and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II, Section D.2 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090 and (800) 281-8749, FIRS at (800) 877-8339.

The National Science Foundation Information Center may be reached at (703) 292-5111.

The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

To get the latest information about program deadlines, to download copies of NSF publications, and to access abstracts of awards, visit the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov

  • Location: 4201 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22230
  • For General Information (NSF Information Center): (703) 292-5111
  • TDD (for the hearing-impaired): (703) 292-5090
  • To Order Publications or Forms:
  • Send an e-mail to: nsfpubs@nsf.gov
  • or telephone: (703) 292-7827
  • To Locate NSF Employees: (703) 292-5111

PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS

The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; and project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to proposer institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies or other entities needing information regarding applicants or nominees as part of a joint application review process, or in order to coordinate programs or policy; and to another Federal agency, court, or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding the burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

Suzanne H. Plimpton

Reports Clearance Officer

Office of the General Counsel

National Science Foundation

Arlington, VA 22230

Policies and Important Links | Privacy | FOIA | Help | Contact NSF | Contact Web Master | SiteMap

The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA

Tel: (703) 292-5111, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749

Last Updated: 11/07/06

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Dear Colleague Letter - Data Citation in the Geosciences

NSF 12-058

Dear Colleague Letter - Data Citation

DATE: March 29, 2012

Subject: Data Citation in the Geosciences

Facilitating open and equal access to data and data sets is a fundamental operating principle of the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a whole. Investigators are expected to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of work under NSF grants. Grantees are expected to encourage and facilitate such sharing. See Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter VI.D.4.

GEO believes that the benefit to the over-arching scientific enterprise from access to data and data sets far outweigh the burden of time and resources to an individual investigator and his or her host institution. GEO encourages data citation as a means to achieve the desired operating state for the geosciences with open and equal access to data available to all interested parties at a reasonable cost.

Principles of data citation are at various stages of maturity and adoption among scientific and engineering communities. In a 2009 report, for example, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) was urged by its Ad Hoc Committee on Data Stewardship Prospectus to "develop a plan for citing data referenced in publications and preserving data links for the long term." The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has taken the position that "the scientific community should recognize the professional value of data activities by endorsing the concept of publication of data, to be credited and cited like the products of any other scientific activity, and encouraging peer-review of such publications."

While many policy and practical challenges remain to be resolved and implemented, the Directorate for Geosciences encourages members of the community to lead an evolutionary transformation to establish data citation within the geosciences as the rule rather than the exception.

The Australian National Data Service lists many references to the benefits of and practices for data citation (http://ands.org.au/cite-data/resourc...ation_Benefits). Benefits include the acceptance of research data as a legitimately citable contribution to the scientific record; permitting results to be verified and re-purposed for future study; and enabling data citation metrics to be tracked, as is done with publications. Also, data citation is one mechanism for complying with the long-standing NSF policy of data sharing (see Award and Administration Guide, Chapter VI.D.4, http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/p...aag_6.jsp#VID4). An example of a data facility that currently assigns Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to datasets that investigators submit to its repository is the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA, http://www.iedadata.org). The DOI can then be used in publications to cite the data (e.g., see citation of the GMRT Synthesis dataset in Ryan, W.F.B., et al., G-Cubed, 2009). The DOI resolves to the bibliographic metadata of the dataset.

As transparency and reproducibility of scientific results are two established principles of science, these tenets apply to the data collected or produced in the course of a research project. However, currently few articles published in geoscience research journals cite the data used in the underlying research (e.g., Data Citation and Peer Review, M. A. Parsons, R. Duerr, and J.-B. Minster, Eos, Vol. 91:34, 24 August 2010).

Now is the time for geoscientists to begin to meet the challenges of data citation. This may involve working with: (1) collaborators to decide which data sets are appropriate for citation; (2) data centers, libraries, repositories, and publishers to develop appropriate data citation methods and concomitant DOIs; and 3) research institutions to make data citation a common practice and a metric of value in institutional culture and practice. We urge principal investigators to discuss their efforts and suggestions about DOIs with their communities and program officers in order to accelerate progress toward data citation policies and standards. Further we encourage data citation for upcoming publications to provide transparency and opportunity to use and analyze data sets. Such openness will enrich and affirm valuable geosciences research. The result will be the development of a leading edge and robust practice of data citation that will improve and enrich the geosciences research and education enterprise.

Sincerely,

Tim Killeen, Assistant

Director Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)

Dear Colleague Letter: Wiki for Enabling International Partnerships

NSF 11-017

Dear Colleague Letter: Wiki for Enabling International Partnerships for theBasic Research to Enable Agricultural Development Program (BREAD Wiki)

Directorate for Biological Sciences

Office of the Assistant Director

January 10, 2011

NSF intends to support a new competition for the Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development(BREAD) Program in FY 2012. The BREAD Program is a partnership between NSF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of BREAD is to support basic research that addresses challenges in smallholder agriculture in developing countries. Further information on the FY 2011 BREAD solicitation,which will form the basis of the FY 2012 Solicitation, may be found at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ....503285&org=BIO.

The Directorate for Biological Sciences recognizes the need to facilitate communication among potential international partners for new, collaborative projects for the BREAD Program. Accordingly, the NSF has implemented a Wiki, a social networking vehicle, to facilitate collaborations between U.S. Principal Investigators (PIs) and international partners, and to promote development of innovative approaches to address major constraints in developing country agriculture. On the Wiki, PIs will be able to pose agricultural challenges for which they would like help in finding creative solutions, and others will be able to describe their expertise and interest in addressing those challenges. It is anticipated that the Wiki will allow PIs from different disciplines to come together to develop innovative, interdisciplinary and ethical approaches to address intractable problems facing smallholder farmers.

The Wiki is accessible at https://extwiki.nsf.gov/x/JgCF. First-time users must register for an account.Once registered, users will be directed to the main page of the NSF Wiki, where you must accept the terms and conditions before proceeding. Additional guidance for use will be available on the Wiki.

Questions regarding the BREAD solicitation, or Wiki should be sent by e-mail to BREAD-WG@nsf.gov.

Sincerely,

Joann P. Roskoski

Assistant Director for Biological Sciences (Acting)

National Science Foundation

NSF Awards 10 Grants for Studies of Coupled Natural and Human Systems

Source: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=112346

Press Release 08-173

Future of coastal barrier islands; tree growth in changing agricultural areas; urban vulnerability to climate change among research projects

Photo of a fragile barrier beach in Massachusetts, which is the site of CNH research.

Fragile barrier beaches like this one in Massachusetts are sites of CNH research.
Credit and Larger Version

October 3, 2008

To better understand the interactions between humans and their environment, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Forest Service have awarded 10 grants to scientists, engineers and educators across the country to study coupled natural and human systems.

Research conducted through NSF's Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) Program, in its second year as a multi-directorate NSF program, will provide a better understanding of natural processes and cycles, human behavior and decisions and how they interact.

The CNH program is supported by NSF's directorates for biological sciences, geosciences and social, behavioral amd economic sciences.

This year's awards will address topics including the uncertain future of coastal barrier islands, urban areas and their vulnerability to climate change, tree growth and carbon cycling in agricultural areas changing to residential areas, and how best to integrate industrial ecology and ecological engineering.

"Several of these awards will investigate how climate change will impact human and natural systems, and how these coupled systems may respond adaptively," said James Collins, NSF assistant director for biological sciences. "The awards highlight the relevance and interdisciplinary nature of the CNH program in NSF's portfolio of investments in climate change research."

"The CNH program has been successful in building new bridges connecting several of NSF's directorates, including the geosciences directorate," said Timothy Killeen, NSF assistant director for geosciences. "Pioneering work in this program is leading to a better understanding of the relationship between humankind and the complex environmental and biological systems that support life. Such studies will become more important as awareness grows of the finite limitations of our planet's resources, and of the extent of human interactions and interventions with the earth system."

"Studying coupled human and natural environmental systems shows new, complex patterns that the natural and human sciences don't reveal when they function separately," said David Lightfoot, NSF assistant director for social, behavioral and economic sciences. "Research on environmental change, in terms of human causes and consequences, is a new kind of complexity science that has yielded interesting interactions."

This year's grantees will study:

  • The drowning of developed coastal barrier islands, investigating the threshold rates of sea-level rise on the geologic-human system (Andrew Ashton, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
  • How best to integrate industrial ecology and ecological engineering (Bhavik Bakshi, Ohio State University)
  • Spatial land-use change and ecological effects: how land management and carbon dynamics interact (Daniel Brown, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor)
  • Urban vulnerability to climate change (Sharon Harlan, Arizona State University)
  • Grassland dynamics in the Tibetan highlands: livestock, wildlife, and the culture and political economy of pastoralism (Richard Harris, University of Montana)
  • Interactions of climate change, land management policies, and forest succession on fire hazards and ecosystems in the interface between wildlands and urban areas (Bart Johnson, University of Oregon at Eugene)
  • Pueblo ecodynamics over long periods (Timothy Kohler, Washington State University)
  • Globalization and the connection of remote communities, and its environmental implications (Daniel Kramer, Michigan State University)
  • Developing an international network of research on coupled human and natural systems (Jianguo Liu, Michigan State University)
  • Modeling of ecosystem services, incentive-based policies, land-use decisions, and ecological outcomes (Stephen Polasky, University of Minnesota)

-NSF-

National Science Foundation Awards Grant to Build "CubeSats"

Source: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=112341

Press Release 08-168​

Small, cube-shaped satellites to benefit space weather research

Illustration of CubeSats used in space weather and atmospheric research orbiting the Earth.

CubeSats are ultra-small satellites used in an NSF space weather and atmospheric research program.
Credit and Larger Version

October 1, 2008

A new series of CubeSats, small satellites in the shapes of cubes, will soon take to the skies. Using the CubeSats, scientists will conduct space weather research impossible with other instruments.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a grant to SRI International, an independent non-profit research and development organization based in Menlo Park, Calif., to carry out the first space weather CubeSat mission.

CubeSats are tiny satellites with dimensions of 10×10×10 centimeters, weighing about 1 kilogram, and typically using commercial off-the-shelf electronics components.

Developed through joint efforts, California Polytechnic State University and Stanford University introduced CubeSats to academia as a way for universities throughout the world to enter the realm of space science and exploration.

According to atmospheric scientists, CubeSats have the potential to be excellent platforms for technology development and small science missions, and promote student involvement in design, fabrication and flight missions.

"One of the goals is to help train future space scientists and aerospace engineers," said Therese Moretto Jorgensen, program director in NSF's Division of Atmospheric Sciences. "CubeSats will also help answer questions in space weather such as the cause of disturbances in the ionosphere, and the rise and decay of the Earth's radiation belts during geomagnetic storms."

NSF's interest in CubeSats stems from a recommendation in a 2006 report--Report of the Assessment Committee for the National Space Weather Program--to increase the pace of space weather research.

According to the report, agencies involved in space weather should use micro-satellites with miniaturized sensors to provide cost-effective science and operational data sources.

In response, NSF created a new program to support CubeSat science missions. The first mission under the new program is a collaborative CubeSat project between physicist Hasan Bahcivan at SRI International and aerospace engineer James Cutler of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

The mission, called Radio Aurora Explorer (RAX), will be a single triple-cube satellite, approximately the size of a half-gallon milk carton and weighing about three kilograms.

"With signals from powerful transmitters on the ground, which are then received in space, researchers will make unique measurements of small-scale structures in the ionosphere that can adversely impact communication and navigation signals," said Jorgensen.

"This project provides a cost-effective way of supporting space weather and atmospheric research," said Bahcivan. "It will also provide excellent training opportunities for students who hope to become future engineers or scientists. "

"We have a multidisciplinary, cross-departmental team working on the project, which includes several engineers and a large number of undergraduate and graduate students," said Cutler.

The first launch opportunity for the NSF satellite program will be via the Department of Defense Space Test Program, and is scheduled for December, 2009, aboard a Minotaur-4 vehicle to be launched in Kodiak, Alaska.

Launch support for the mission will be provided by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

-NSF-

Team USA Brings Home the (Linguistics) Gold

Source: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=112073

Press Release 08-140​

Young Americans earn medals competing against other high schoolers from around the world in the International Linguistics Olympiad in Bulgaria

Photo of U.S. team showing their awards at the 2008 International Linguistics Olympiad in Bulgaria.

The U.S. team shows their awards at the 2008 International Linguistics Olympiad in Bulgaria.
Credit and Larger Version

August 15, 2008

The summer games in Beijing may have just gotten underway, but the United States can already claim gold medal bragging rights. The sixth International Linguistics Olympiad ended today in Slanchev Bryag, Bulgaria, and U.S. high school students captured 11 out of 33 awards, including gold medals in individual and team events. This was only the second time the U.S. has ever competed in the event. Their achievement brings a new focus on computational linguistics.

This year's Olympiad featured 16 teams from around the world, including Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Sweden, South Korea and Slovenia. Each problem presented clues about the sounds, words or grammar of a language the students had never studied, such as Micmac, a Native American language spoken in Canada, the New Caledonia languages of Drehu and Cemuhi, as well as several historical Chinese dialects. They were then judged by how accurately and quickly they could untangle the clues to figure out the rules and structures of the languages to solve the problem.

Team 1 was composed of Guy Tabachnick of New York City, Jeffrey Lim of Arlington, Mass., Josh Falk of Pittsburgh, Pa, and Anand Natarajan of San Jose, Calif.

Jae-Kyu Lee of Andover, Mass., Rebecca Jacobs of Encino, Calif., Morris Alper of Palo Alto, Calif., and Hanzhi Zhu of Shrewsbury, Mass. participated as Team 2.

Team 1 claimed a silver medal in the team competition and Team 2 captured a gold. Team 2 also won a trophy for the highest combined score on the individual competition. In the individual competition, Jacobs, Lim and Tabachnick were awarded bronze medals, Alper and Natarajan won silver, and Zhu captured a gold.

The National Science Foundation initiated the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO), and together with major contributions from the North American chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Google, Carnegie-Mellon University's Leonard Gelfand Center for Outreach, and the University of Michigan, helped fund NACLO's activities this year, along with other support from Cambridge University Press, Just Systems Evans Research, M*Modal, Powerset and Vivisimo.

Aside from being a fun intellectual challenge, the Olympiad mimics the skills used by researchers and scholars in the field of computational linguistics, which is increasingly important for the United States and other countries. Using computational linguistics, these experts can develop automated technologies such as translation software that cut down on the time and training needed to work with other languages, or software that automatically produces informative English summaries of documents in other languages or answer questions about information in these documents. In an increasingly global economy where businesses operate across borders and languages, having a strong pool of computational linguists is a competitive advantage. With threats emerging from different parts of the world, developing computational linguistics skills has also been identified as vital to national defense in the 21st century.

The participants, their families and many private individuals also made contributions to bring the team to Bulgaria for the Olympiad. The U.S. teams were led by head coach Dragomir Radev, associate professor of computer science, information, and linguistics at the University of Michigan, and associate coach Lori Levin, co-chair of NACLO and associate research professor in the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Adam Hesterberg, who achieved the highest individual score in last year's Olympiad and is currently attending Princeton University, was present this year as an assistant coach. The team was also accompanied by National Board Certified Teacher Amy Troyan, who also serves as gifted program coordinator at Taylor Allderdice High School.

Other NACLO organizers who did not go on the trip include Tom Payne, NACLO co-chair, University of Oregon; James Pustejovsky, a professor of computer science at Brandeis University; Pat Littell, graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh; and Mary Jo Bensasi, who helped provide administrative support to the project.

"It has truly been exciting to watch our students prepare for this competition and interact with each other," Troyani said. "They seem to thrive on the opportunity to share their love of linguistics and learning with other students who have the same passions. This is an incredible and inspiring group of young people."

Levin described this year's delegation as "brilliant young people who live and breathe languages, linguistics, and problem solving. I already feel like they are colleagues."

The U.S. delegation was selected from over 750 high school students who participated in NACLO qualifying events held at 77 sites around the U.S. and Canada this past winter.

-NSF-

Feeding the World: New Method for Producing High-Vitamin Corn Could Improve Nutrition in Developing Countries

Source: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=110998

Press Release 08-007​

Could be produced easily and inexpensively in developing countries

Photo of blind man led by a young boy

Deficiencies in dietary vitamin A can cause many diseases, including blindness.
Credit and Larger Version

January 17, 2008

Scientists have developed a potentially powerful new tool in the fight against deficiencies in dietary vitamin A, which cause eye diseases, including blindness, in 40 million children annually, and increased health risks for about 250 million people, mostly in developing countries.

This tool consists of "a new method of analyzing the genetic makeup of corn that will enable developing countries to identify and increase cultivation of corn that has naturally high levels of vitamin A precursors," says Ed Buckler, a co-leader of the research team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service and Cornell University

Corn is an essential part of the diets of hundreds of millions of people around the world, many of whom live in developing countries. Regular consumption by adults and children of adequate quantities of corn high in vitamin A precursors, which are converted in the human body into vitamin A, would reduce their chances of developing vitamin A deficiencies and associated health problems.

This new method of increasing cultivation of high-vitamin corn is designed to tap the natural genetic diversity of corn. It was developed by a team led by Buckler and Torbert Rocheford of the University of Illinois, and was partially funded by The National Science Foundation (NSF). It will be described in the January 18, 2007 edition of Science.

"In a field of thousands of ears of corn, each ear has a slightly different genetic makeup and resulting differences in physical characteristics, including levels of vitamin A precursors -- just like every person in a crowd has a slightly different genetic makeup and associated physiological differences," explains James Collins, assistant director for the Biological Sciences Directorate at NSF. But only a very small percentage of corn crops are genetically programmed to have naturally high levels of vitamin A precursors, and these high-vitamin ears cannot be identified merely by visual inspection. "Therefore, identifying crops that have high levels of vitamin A precursors has traditionally been like finding a needle in a haystack."

But the team led by Buckler and Rocheford has significantly simplified the task of sifting through that proverbial haystack. They did so by identifying genetic markers in corn that are associated with high levels of vitamin A precursors. These markers can be used by "scientists working in very basic labs in developing countries to quickly screen for local corn strains that are high in vitamin A precursors," says Buckler. Then, these high-vitamin strains may be bred, cultivated and consumed by local people.

Corn is the dominant subsistence crop in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, where 17 to 30 percent of children under age five are vitamin A deficient, says Buckler. Because corn is consumed for all three meals a day in much of Africa, it is a good target for vitamin biofortification, he added.

Buckler says that his team's method for analyzing the genetic makeup of corn is "much simpler and faster and up to 1,000-fold cheaper" than running the types of chemical tests that were previously available for identifying corn high in vitamin A precursors. He expects it to significantly accelerate the vitamin biofortification of corn crops.

The Buckler and Rocheford team is currently working with various international organizations, such as CIMMYT (the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center) and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, to help train plant breeders in developing countries to use their techniques.

Buckler says that this new method of increasing cultivation of high-vitamin corn was made possible by recent breakthroughs in statistical analyses and the advent of rapid DNA sequencers -- instruments that are used to automate genetic profiling of crops. The researchers expect this new method to have broad applications beyond corn improvement.

-NSF-

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