Sustainability Research Networks Competition
Important Notice to Proposers
A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 13-1, was issued on October 4, 2012 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 14, 2013. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 13-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.
Please be aware that significant changes have been made to the PAPPG to implement revised merit review criteria based on the National Science Board (NSB) report, National Science Foundation's Merit Review Criteria: Review and Revisions. While the two merit review criteria remain unchanged (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts), guidance has been provided to clarify and improve the function of the criteria. Changes will affect the project summary and project description sections of proposals. Annual and final reports also will be affected.
A by-chapter summary of this and other significant changes is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide.
Sustainability Research Networks will engage and explore fundamental theoretical issues and empirical questions in sustainability science, engineering, and education that will increase our understanding of the ultimate sustainability challenge - maintaining and improving the quality of life for the nation within a healthy Earth system. The goal of the Sustainability Research Networks (SRN) competition is to support the development and coalescence of entities to advance collaborative research that addresses questions and challenges in sustainability science, engineering, and education. SRNs will link scientists, engineers, and educators, at existing institutions, centers, networks, and also develop new research efforts and collaborations.
Each SRN network will be built upon an ambitious and nationally important sustainability theme. Proposers will be tasked with choosing a specific theme for their network, identifying the research already being done in this area, proposing methods for linking existing research efforts, and then proposing research needed to advance their specific research theme. Examples of possible SRN themes are provided in the "Program Description" section of this solicitation (Section II.B.). SRNs will foster new knowledge and tools at a frontier of research that significantly crosses and melds the boundaries of diverse disciplines, and creates the integrated science and engineering disciplines of the future. SRNs will pursue new opportunities in science, engineering and educational research that truly require the scale, scope, and facilities enabled by such a network.
The Sustainability Research Networks competition outlined here is one part of the growing NSF investment in its Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) portfolio (www.nsf.gov/sees/). Challenges associated with broadly based SEES goals will be met by supporting fundamental science and engineering research and education needed to understand and overcome the barriers to sustainable human well being and to forge reasoned pathways to a sustainable future. NSF, in partnership with other agencies, international efforts, and the private sector, aims to support members of the academic research community for projects which produce discoveries and knowledge that will inform decisions leading to environmental, energy, social and cultural sustainability. NSF support will advance the frontiers of conceptual, empirical and computational research in science, engineering and education so that the nation has the knowledge base to inform policies on sustainability.
Proposed SRNs are expected to be multi-dimensional with regard to "disciplines" and address fundamental issues that are likely to yield significant new understanding and knowledge.
SRN Frequently Asked Questions
What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)
Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program