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Division of Environmental Biology

Saran Twombly
stwombly@nsf.gov, (703) 292-8133

Solicitation 15-503

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.

Preliminary Proposal Deadline Date:  January 23, 2015

January 23, Annually Thereafter

Full Proposal Deadline Date:  August 3, 2015

August 2, Annually Thereafter

The Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) Program supports the generation of extended time series of data to address important questions in evolutionary biology, ecology, and ecosystem science. Research areas include, but are not limited to, the effects of natural selection or other evolutionary processes on populations, communities, or ecosystems; the effects of interspecific interactions that vary over time and space; population or community dynamics for organisms that have extended life spans and long turnover times; feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes; pools of materials such as nutrients in soils that turn over at intermediate to longer time scales; and external forcing functions such as climatic cycles that operate over long return intervals.

The Program intends to support decadal projects. Funding for an initial, 5-year period requires submission of a preliminary proposal and, if invited, submission of a full proposal that includes a 15-page project description. Proposals for the second five years of support (renewal proposals) are limited to an eight-page project description and do not require a preliminary proposal.

Continuation of an LTREB project beyond an initial ten year award will require submission of a new preliminary proposal that presents a new decadal research plan. 

Successful LTREB proposals address three essential components:

A Decadal Research Plan that clearly articulates important questions that cannot be addressed with data that have already been collected, but could be answered if ten additional years of data were collected. This plan is not a research timeline or management plan. It is a concise justification for ten additional years of support in order to advance understanding of key concepts, questions, or theories in environmental biology.

Core Data: LTREB proposals require that the author has studied a particular phenomenon or process for at least six years up to the present or for long enough to generate a contemporary time series that contains six data points. These data constitute Core Data on which the new project should be based, and analysis of these data should generate new questions, on the same phenomenon or process, that provide the focus of the LTREB project.

A Plan for Data Management and Dissemination that details infomation management and plans for data sharing with the broader research community and the interested public. Data from long-term research projects have value beyond the peer-reviewed and other publications generated by the investigators collecting the data.

Specific review criteria for LTREB proposals and renewals are explained in Section VI of the current program solicitation. Prospective applicants are advised to read this solicitation carefully.

All proposals submitted to the LTREB program are co-reviewed by participating Clusters in the Division of Environmental Biology: Ecosystem Science, Population and Community Ecology, and Evolutionary Processes.  Proposals must address topics supported by these programs. Researchers who are uncertain about the suitability of their project for the LTREB Program are encouraged to contact the cognizant program director.

Beginning in January 2014, the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) will no longer accept proposals submitted to the LTREB solicitation. Long-term projects that address questions of a) development, mechanisms, adaptive value, or evolutionary history of behavior, b) mechanisms and processes mediating antagonistic and beneficial symbioses, c) growth, development, stress adaptation mechanisms, energetics and metabolism, or other physiological processes, and d) structural and physiological traits that underlie organisms' capacities to live in various environments will no longer be supported through LTREB. Core IOS programs supporting all of these areas will entertain proposals based on long-term data http://nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503623&org=IOS&from=home.

 

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