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Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER)
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.
NSF currently supports 25 LTER sites, and the solicitation is open to renewal proposals only.
To address ecological questions that cannot be resolved with short-term observations or experiments, NSF established the Long Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) in 1980. Three components differentiate LTER research from projects supported by other NSF programs: 1) the research is located at specific sites chosen to represent major ecosystem types or natural biomes; 2) it emphasizes the study of ecological phenomena over long periods of time based on data collected in five core areas; and 3) projects include integrative, cross-site, network-wide research. Ongoing research at LTER sites must test important, current ecological theories and significantly advance understanding of the long-term dynamics of populations, communities and ecosystems. It often integrates multiple disciplines and, through cross-site interactions, examines patterns or processes over broad spatial scales. Recognizing that the value of long-term data extends beyond use at any individual site, NSF requires that data collected by all LTER sites be made broadly accessible.