|Deadlines:||April 1, 1998:
Letter of Intent.
May 11, 1998: noon local time, for Knowledge Networking (KN) Full Proposals.
May 12, 1998: noon local time, for New Computational Challenges (NCC) Full Proposals.
May 13, 1998: noon local time, for Learning and Intelligent Systems (LIS) Full Proposals.
Next proposal deadline will be February 1, 1999, Full Proposals
Note: For proposals encompassing more than one KDI component, the deadline is determined by the primary component, indicated by the choice of organizational unit -- KDI/KN, KDI/LIS, KDI/NCC -- at the top of the cover sheet in FastLane.
The recent growth in computer power and connectivity has changed the face of science and engineering. The future promises continued acceleration of these changes. The challenge today is to build upon the fruits of this revolution.
This rise in power, connectivity, content, and flexibility is so fundamental that it is dramatically reshaping relationships among people and organizations, and quickly transforming our processes of discovery, learning, exploration, cooperation, and communication. It permits us to study vastly more complex systems than was hither to possible and provides a foundation for rapid advances in understanding of learning and intelligent behavior in living and engineered systems. Today's challenge is to realize the full potential of these new resources and institutional transformations.
Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence (KDI) is a Foundation-wide effort designed to catalyze this next step.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) aims to achieve, across the scientific and engineering communities, the next generation of human capability to generate, gather, model, and represent more complex and cross-disciplinary scientific data from new sources and at enormously varying scales; to transform this information into knowledge by combining, classifying, and analyzing it in new ways; to deepen our understanding of the cognitive, ethical, educational, legal, and social implications of new types of interactivity; and to collaborate in sharing this knowledge and working together interactively.
The anticipated payoffs of KDI research include:
To achieve the aims of KDI, proposals are solicited from individuals or groups for research that is inherently multidisciplinary* or that, while lying within a single discipline, has clear impact on at least one other discipline.
In FY 1998, KDI will have three foci: Knowledge Networking (KN); Learning and Intelligent Systems (LIS); and New Computational Challenges (NCC). This document describes the three KDI foci, and serves as a solicitation for proposals in all three areas. We anticipate that research on many important problems will span the foci of KN, LIS, and NCC, and proposals that do so are most welcome.
KN will focus on attaining new levels of knowledge integration, information flow, and interactivity among people, organizations, and communities.
LIS will emphasize research that advances basic understanding of learning and intelligence in natural and artificial systems and supports the development of tools and environments to test and apply this understanding in real situations.
NCC will emphasize new computational approaches to frontier science and engineering problems as well as problems involving data intensive computations and simulations.
More detailed information about the three foci and their particular emphases for FY 1998 follows.
Knowledge Networking research aims to build the scientific bases for attaining new levels of interactivity and flow of information and knowledge among people, organizations, and communities. Thus, it will enable scientists, engineers, and other members of society to act in concert to address ever more complex scientific and societal problems.
The goals of Knowledge Networking
KN will support multidisciplinary research on developing and employing the next generation of communication networks, associated information repositories, collaborative technologies, and knowledge management techniques to gather, create, distribute, use, and evaluate knowledge in new and secure ways. This explicitly includes research on the human, behavioral, social, and ethical dimensions of knowledge networking.
The objectives of Knowledge Networking are:
Proposals should address one or more of these objectives.
Research Emphases for FY 1998 |
In FY 1998, KN will emphasize three broad areas of knowledge networking: foundational research; prototype development and research; and ethical, social, and behavioral research. These areas are described more fully below. The examples given below are meant to be illustrative, not limiting.
Processes and Dynamics of Distributed Intelligence
Managing Heterogeneity and Achieving Interoperability
Prototype Development and Research
Ethical, Social and Behavioral Research on Knowledge Networks
Knowledge Dissemination and Sustainable Use of Knowledge Networks
Social Integration and Impacts of Knowledge Networking
Efforts to understand the nature of learning and intelligence, and the realization of these capacities in the human mind, are among the most fundamental activities of science. The goal of LIS is to stimulate research that will advance and integrate concepts of learning and intelligence emerging from theoretical and experimental work in a variety of disciplines, including education, cognitive science, computer science, neuroscience, engineering, social science, and physical science. Accordingly, LIS encompasses studies of learning and intelligence in a wide range of systems, including (but not limited to) the nervous systems of humans or other animals; networks of computers performing complex computations; robotic devices that interact with their environments; social systems of human or non-human species; and, formal and informal learning situations. LIS also includes research that promotes the development and use of learning technologies across a broad range of fields. Development of new scientific knowledge on learning and intelligent systems, and its creative application to education and learning technologies, are integral parts of this solicitation.
There are two parallel and compelling reasons for focusing on the general area of learning and intelligent systems:
First, there has been a convergence of techniques and ideas addressing questions in cognitive science and behavior of intelligent systems. For example, there has been a growing use of neural networks, pattern recognition, visualization, simulation, nonlinear dynamical systems analysis, and probabilistic and statistical learning theory in these fields. As another example, researchers in many disciplines -- including biochemistry, biophysics, neuroscience, and cognitive science -- are studying how the nervous system changes as a result of experience, at levels ranging from individual synapses, to neural circuits, to brain systems subserving complex perceptual and cognitive functions. Although concepts and methods differ across levels of analysis, a growing integration across levels is creating fruitful theoretical frameworks and rich bodies of data for advancing our understanding of learning and intelligent systems.
Second, as our knowledge and understanding of learning, intelligent systems, and information technologies grows, so does the need to integrate and apply this understanding within a broad social context. Research on associated technologies and systems can and has enabled better understanding of learning and cognition and has led to better classroom practice. Integrating research with prototyping in these critical areas promises rapid advances in both theory and application.
For information regarding proposals funded by LIS in FY 1997 see http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/lis/award97.htm
Research Emphases for FY 1998|
The research emphases for LIS in FY 1998 are essentially the same as in FY 1997. Specifically, LIS seeks projects that propose:
New Computational Challenges (NCC) focuses on research and tools to discover, model, simulate, display, and understand complex systems or complicated phenomena; to control resources or deal with massive volumes of data in real time, particularly distributed resources or data; to represent, predict, and design complex systems; and to understand their behaviors. NCC builds on the success, but broadens the scope, of prior NSF efforts such as the Grand Challenge initiatives.
NCC aims to enable wide scientific collaboration and effective management of complex systems. This will require significant advances in hardware and software to handle multiple representations, scales, and structures; to enable distributed collaboration among disparate communities; and to facilitate real-time interactions and control.
Many phenomena are too complicated to understand in detail from simple observation or by reduction to isolated components and often require the coupling of disciplinary scientists and engineers and those involved in enabling methods and technologies in order to produce new ways to approach previously intractable problems. The very structure of the problem --- its mathematical, logical, or computational form --- may change as scale, level of resolution, or granularity changes. Many important problems require multiple data types, qualitative information, feedback during the computation to steer it, and a variety of numerical and symbolic computations. Advances in raw computing power have outpaced the effectiveness of existing tools and the degree to which they will scale to large numbers of distributed systems. The development of meaningful simulations that combine disparately structured models into new types of simulations is critical. While understanding complex phenomena is obviously important, predicting their behavior and potentially controlling or changing it, and doing so in real time, alter the fundamental nature of the problem and introduce enormous challenges across a broad spectrum of science and engineering research.
Research Emphases for FY 1998|
As noted in the introduction, many scientific and engineering problems are encompassed by new challenges in computation. For Fiscal Year 1998, NCC will emphasize only two of these:
The examples given in the preceding paragraphs are meant to be illustrative and not limiting.
Who May Submit
Proposals submitted on behalf of individuals or groups in response to this solicitation will be accepted from colleges, universities, and other nonprofit research institutions in the United States. Multi-institutional arrangements are permitted and partnerships with industry are encouraged.
How To Submit
Letter of Intent
To help plan for the review process for KDI proposals, a short electronic message of intent to submit a proposal should be sent prior to April 1, 1998 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The message (at most two pages, in unencoded ASCII text) should indicate as specifically as possible the subject and a short description of the anticipated research, the focus (or foci) you judge to be most closely related to the project (i.e., one or more of KN, LIS, and NCC), and a list of the probable participants and their institutional affiliations.
KDI proposals are required to be submitted electronically using the NSF FastLane system for electronic proposal submission and review, available through the World Wide Web on the FastLane Home Page . Instructions for preparing and submitting a standard NSF proposal via FastLane are located at http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm.
In order to use NSF FastLane to prepare and submit a proposal, you must use a browser that supports multiple buttons and file upload (e.g., Netscape 3.0 and above for Windows, UNIX, or Macintosh). In addition, Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view and print forms. Adobe Acrobat Exchange 2.0 or above, Adobe Acrobat Distiller 2.0 or above, or Adobe Acrobat 3.X (which includes Adobe Exchange and Adobe Distiller) is needed for creating PDF files.
To access the FastLane Proposal Preparation application, your institution needs to be a registered FastLane institution. A list of registered institutions and the FastLane registration form are located on the FastLane Home Page. To register an organization, authorized organizational representatives must complete the registration form. Once an organization is registered, PIN for individual staff are available from the organization's sponsored projects office.
For questions or problems concerning submitting a KDI proposal via FastLane, please contact a FastLane User Support person at electronic mail: email@example.com or phone: (703) 306-1142 (If you reach the automated attendant, please dial extension 4686).
It is advisable to submit your proposal before the day of the deadline to avoid the possibility of encountering a queue.
The submission must follow GPG guidelines, with the following additions
and exceptions to the guidelines:
The following makes up the Project Description file to be uploaded to FastLane:
A hard copy of NSF Form 1207 (Cover Sheet) with original signatures must
be received by 5:00 P.M. EST, May 22, 1998. The Cover Sheet should be
sent to the following address:
Proposal Number ______________
All proposals will undergo review by a panel or panels specially constituted for the KDI theme. Ad hoc mail reviews will be employed where additional disciplinary expertise is necessary.
All proposals are subject to the guidelines and review criteria described in the newly revised NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), NSF 98-2.
For a description of NSF program activities, refer to: Guide to Programs, NSF 97-150. Single copies of these publications are available at no cost from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse (301) 947-2722, or via E-mail (Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org), and they can be found on the NSF web site.
The new NSF general review criteria specified in GPG for proposals submitted to NSF after October 1st, 1997 are:
Under this announcement, NSF solicits proposals for any funding amount up to $1.0 million per year for up to three years, and expects to make grants at a wide variety of award sizes and durations.
NSF expects to fund approximately
60 to 75 standard three year research awards under KDI, depending on the
quality of submissions and the availability of funds. In exceptional cases,
awards for up to five years may be considered if the justification and promise
Awards made as a result of this announcement are administered in accordance with the terms and conditions of NSF GC-1, "Grant General Conditions," or FDP-III, "Federal Demonstration Partnership General Terms and Conditions," depending on the grantee organization. Copies of these documents are available at no cost from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse (301) 947-2722, or via e-mail email@example.com (Internet).
More comprehensive information is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (NSF 95-26, July 1995), for sale through:
The Superintendent of DocumentsThe telephone number at GPO is (202) 783-3238 for subscription information.
Upon completion of the project, a Final Project Report (NSF Form 98A), including Part IV Summary, will be required. NSF will send the form with Part I information preprinted to the Principal Investigator (Project Director) approximately one month prior to the grant's expiration date. Applicants should review the sample form in the GPG prior to proposal submission so that appropriate tracking mechanisms are included in the proposal plan to ensure that complete information will be available at the conclusion of the project.
The Foundation provides awards for research in the sciences and engineering.
The awardee is wholly responsible for the conduct of such research and
preparation of the results for publication. The Foundation, therefore,
does not assume responsibility for the research findings or their
The Foundation welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists and engineers and strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in any of the research related programs and activities described here. In accordance with federal statutes, regulations, and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the National Science Foundation.
Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on NSF projects. See the program announcement or contact the program coordinator at (703) 306-1636.
Privacy Act and Public Burden. The information requested on proposal forms is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. It will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals and may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the review process; to applicant institutions/grantees; to provide or obtain data regarding the application review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers, and researchers as necessary to complete assigned work; and to other government agencies in order to coordinate programs. See Systems of Records, NSF 50, Principal Investigators/Proposal File and Associated Records, and NSF-51, 60 Federal Register 4449 (January 23, 1995). Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records, 59 Federal Register 8031 (February 17, 1994). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of your receiving an award.
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 this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:
The National Science Foundation has TDD (Telephonic Device for the Deaf) capability, which enables individuals with hearing impairment to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment, or general information. To access NSF TDD, dial (703) 306-0090; for FIRS, 1-800-877-8339.
Questions of a general nature regarding KDI (submission, review and award processes, award sizes, general requirements, etc.) should be submitted via e- mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Specific topical questions on one of the three KDI focus areas should be e- mailed to the respective address:
Additional detailed information on KDI in general, as well as KN, LIS, and NCC can be obtained from http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/kdi/. In particular, lists of reports, studies, and workshop proceedings, as well as motivating scientific problems relevant to these foci can be accessed at this website.
CFDA:CFDA #47.041, 47.049, 47.050, 47.070, 47.074, 47.075, 47.076, 47.078