Antarctic Artists and Writers Program
National Science Foundation
Antarctic Artists and Writers Program
Synopsis of Program:
The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program is the component of the U.S. Antarctic Program that provides opportunities for scholars in the humanities (painting, photography, writing, history, and other liberal arts) to be in Antarctica or on the Southern Ocean--at research stations, camps, ships, and wilderness areas--to make observations needed to complete their proposed projects. The purpose of the program is to enable serious writings and the arts that increase understanding of the Antarctic and help document America's antarctic heritage.
The National Science Foundation funds and manages the U.S. Antarctic Program, which is devoted mainly to scientific research and education in support of the National interest in the Antarctic. The program’s research and support infrastructure enables access to much of the antarctic region for selected Antarctic Artists and Writers Program projects. It does not normally provide direct financial support to selected applicants.
Cognizant Program Officer(s):
Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):
See section III.
See section III.
For most people, the Antarctic is inaccessible. It has no permanent human population and almost no infrastructure other than what governments have established to support science. Research and its operational support are the principal human activities on both the continent of Antarctica and its surrounding Southern Ocean.
While the region is valuable scientifically, it also is unique geographically, politically, and even culturally. Its natural features and human activities have proved deserving of attention from other intellectual disciplines in addition to science. As custodian of the United States Antarctic Program, the National Science Foundation accommodates some of this attention through its Antarctic Artists and Writers Program--both to help in its own goal of achieving broader societal impacts with the science it funds and to respond more fully to its assignment to support the range of U.S. antarctic interests.
What NSF provides
For selected artists and writers, the Foundation provides polar clothing on loan, round-trip economy air travel between a U.S. airport and a port of embarkation for the Antarctic (typically in New Zealand or southern South America), travel between there and the Antarctic, and room, board, and travel in the Antarctic and/or the Southern Ocean as required by the approved project.
The selected artists and writers may be asked to attend a meeting in the United States for detailed field planning before the antarctic travel begins. The U.S. Antarctic Program will cover the within-U.S. expense of attending this meeting.
The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program normally does not award funds. Successful proposers are free to seek funds elsewhere, including from other Federal agencies. See section IX for proposals to other parts of NSF for funding.
What the selected artist or writer provides
The selected artists and writers pay for required pre-travel medical and dental examinations (using instructions provided to their physicians and dentists) and for any remediation these examinations show to be necessary. Failure to meet U.S. Antarctic Program medical and dental standards results in disqualification.
The selected artists and writers are responsible for food and lodging during travel to embarkation points, for incidental expenses in Antarctica (toiletries, etc.), and for all aspects and costs of completing and distributing the proposed work.
This program primarily is for citizens and permanent residents of the United States who have a substantial record of achievement in the arts and letters. Individuals may apply directly or through their employing organizations.
Proposals can be accepted from citizens of other Antarctic Treaty nations. A proposal must demonstrate that a significant audience will be reached in the United States or that the project is in the U.S. interest in some comparable way. A plan for additional field support by the non-U.S. nation will strengthen the application. NSF does not provide airline tickets to non-U.S. residents who are selected. Also, NSF may require attendance at a pre-antarctic-travel planning meeting in the United States (see “What NSF provides” in section II), but will not cover the airline cost from outside the United States although lodging may be available.
Physical and dental condition
Because the U.S. Antarctic Program does not have fully capable health facilities in the Antarctic, field participants must be in good health. For projects both highly ranked and operationally feasible (see section VI.A.3, "Operational feasibility"), travelers to the Antarctic must receive medical and dental examinations within 6 months preceding the planned travel. Instructions for these medical and dental examinations will be provided. Failure to meet U.S. Antarctic Program medical and dental criteria will result in disqualification for antarctic travel. NSF does not pay for the examinations or for any required remediations.
Not eligible for the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program are media representatives wishing to report on the Antarctic. The Foundation's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs conducts a separate annual competition to select television, radio, newspaper, and magazine reporters to visit and report on U.S. facilities in the Antarctic. See NSF Invites Media to Report on U.S.-Sponsored Antarctic Research.
On average, 22 proposals are received annually. In 2003 NSF received 33 proposals, the record. Typically, up to six each year are found highly qualified and result in a working trip to the Antarctic.
For most National Science Foundation programs, a grant typically provides financial support to the awardee. However, the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program normally does not provide direct financial support, and the financial amount of the NSF "grant" will be zero. Instead of money, the award consists of the provision, without charge, of U.S. Antarctic Program field resources in areas of Antarctica and/or the Southern Ocean. See section II.
The grant, when awarded, will become a matter of public record. The searchable NSF awards database will contain award number, name and contact information, and a short description of the project.
List of former participants
NSF shifted management of the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program to its FastLane electronic proposal and award system in 2004. Earlier artists and writers are not in the NSF awards database. Instead, they are listed (with web links if available) on another NSF site.
Full Proposal Instructions:
Proposals submitted in response to this program announcement/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/cgi-bin/getpub?gpg. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following instructions supplement the Grant Proposal Guide guidelines.
Submit the proposal electronically
NSF requires applicants to submit proposals electronically as described in section V.D. Its FastLane electronic proposal system, while mainly for scientists submitting proposals through their employing research organizations, also accommodates proposals from individuals. By using FastLane, even though it may not seem ideal to an artist or a writer, you will be assured of full NSF consideration of your proposal. Try to use the system creatively to describe your project, even though some of its features may not be normal to your genre. For example, on the cover sheet, give your project a working title even if a title may seem unnecessary at this early stage.
Mail supplemental items to NSF
To supplement the FastLane electronic proposal, feel free to send NSF any books, paintings, photographs, printed reviews, and like materials that will help reviewers appreciate your abilities and achievements. Put your name on all items so reviewers will not mix them up with other applications and to assure that NSF can return them to you.
Write a single-page instruction listing the sent materials and how the review panel should use them. For example, state which part of a video should be viewed (10 minutes, maximum) and how it relates to the proposed work. Upload this instruction in FastLane as a supplemental document.
These things will be returned to you when NSF notifies you of its decision regarding the proposal.
Mailing address: Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, Room 755, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230. If you are sending via an overnight delivery service, the phone is 703-292-8033.
The room in which external panelists and NSF staff will review the proposals will contain a television with VCR player (NTSC only); personal computers (no Macs) with disk and CD drives and access to the Internet; audio equipment for playing tapes, etc.; a light table with a loupe; and a slide projector with screen.
In the electronic proposal, summarize the places or research sites to be visited, and state the approximate amount of field time needed. NSF's program solicitation, Antarctic Research, describes the operational capabilities of the U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Antarctic Research Program 2003-2004 contains paragraph descriptions of a recent season of research projects. There is no set minimum or maximum amount of time in the field; the NSF goal is to match field support to the requirement of the proposed project. Nevertheless, give thought to the size of the project being proposed. For a large project that would require comprehensive access to the Antarctic, NSF would expect to see compelling reasons in terms of the two major review criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts (see section VI.A). A proposal for a smaller project could convince NSF that it still would cover new and important topics and be more operationally practical in the U.S. Antarctic Program. Location also could influence NSF's decision. Fieldwork in the high-latitude Antarctic (McMurdo Station, camps accessible from McMurdo, and Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station) is in demand in the austral summer. A long winter project during the months of isolation at McMurdo or South Pole likewise would require compelling reasons for support. The McMurdo Winfly period (mid-August through September) could be attractive for some kinds of projects. Palmer Station is accessible year-round as are the U.S. Antarctic Program ice-capable research ships. See Antarctic Research.
If you send photographs digitally in the FastLane electronic proposal, please upload them as a supplemental document. They will be visible in color on a computer screen, but NSF will print them for reviewers in black and white. Consider mailing prints, whether color or black-and-white is your format. Particularly if you are a large-format photographer, consider submitting prints in sizes representative of your work. Put your name on each picture. Send no more than about 20 photographs.
Some past reviewers have said that they do not respond well to slides. If you send 35mm slides, put them in a 20-slide plastic sleeve (duplicates are suggested). Label each slide with your name. Number the slides if you want them to be viewed in a certain order.
When writing the proposal, ignore the budget sheet in the FastLane system. Field support is allocated in accordance with project need, and airline tickets from a U.S. airport are issued directly. Do not budget for these things. The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program normally does not award funds directly.
The proposal itself
The organization, content, and clarity of the proposal itself will reveal much about an artist's or a writer's abilities and the likelihood that the proposed project will be completed. Successful proposals tend to present topics clearly and briefly, getting right to the point.
Proposers are reminded to identify the program announcement/solicitation number (04-558) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.
Cost sharing is not required in proposals submitted under this Program Solicitation.
Proposals must be submitted by the following date(s):
Submission Window Date(s):
Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this announcement/solicitation through the FastLane system. Detailed instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail email@example.com. The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this program announcement/solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this announcement/solicitation.
Submission of Electronically Signed Cover Sheets. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must electronically sign the proposal Cover Sheet to submit the required proposal certifications (see Chapter II, Section C of the Grant Proposal Guide for a listing of the certifications). The AOR must provide the required electronic certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Proposers are no longer required to provide a paper copy of the signed Proposal Cover Sheet to NSF. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane Website at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov
Reviews of proposals submitted to NSF are solicited from peers with expertise in the substantive area of the proposed research or education project. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. NSF invites the proposer to suggest, at the time of submission, the names of appropriate or inappropriate reviewers. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer. Special efforts are made to recruit reviewers from non-academic institutions, minority-serving institutions, or adjacent disciplines to that principally addressed in the proposal.
The National Science Board approved revised criteria for evaluating proposals at its meeting on March 28, 1997 (NSB 97-72). All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.
On July 8, 2002, the NSF Director issued Important Notice 127, Implementation of new Grant Proposal Guide Requirements Related to the Broader Impacts Criterion. This Important Notice reinforces the importance of addressing both criteria in the preparation and review of all proposals submitted to NSF. NSF continues to strengthen its internal processes to ensure that both of the merit review criteria are addressed when making funding decisions.
In an effort to increase compliance with these requirements, the January 2002 issuance of the GPG incorporated revised proposal preparation guidelines relating to the development of the Project Summary and Project Description. Chapter II of the GPG specifies that Principal Investigators (PIs) must address both merit review criteria in separate statements within the one-page Project Summary. This chapter also reiterates that broader impacts resulting from the proposed project must be addressed in the Project Description and described as an integral part of the narrative.
Effective October 1, 2002, NSF will return without review proposals that do not separately address both merit review criteria within the Project Summary. It is believed that these changes to NSF proposal preparation and processing guidelines will more clearly articulate the importance of broader impacts to NSF-funded projects.
The two National Science Board approved merit review criteria are listed below (see the Grant Proposal Guide Chapter III.A for further information). The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which he/she is qualified to make judgments.
NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:
The review panel and NSF will look for how the proposed project would satisfy the above criteria and those below.
1. Intellectual merit
In addition to the above:
2. Broader impacts
In addition to the above:
3. Operational feasibility
A two-staged procedure will be used to evaluate the applications.
In stage 1, the Foundation, with the advice of a panel of experts assembled for the purpose, will identify those applications deemed qualified to participate in the program.
Relying heavily but not entirely on the panel's advice, NSF will place proposals in one of two groups: those judged not qualified for the program and those that are highly ranked. Applicants will be so advised normally by the end of September of the year in which the proposal was submitted.
In stage 2, the proposals ranked highly in stage 1 will be considered in light of their operational requirements and the ability of the U.S. Antarctic Program to meet those requirements. To prepare for this stage, NSF will require that operational requirements worksheets be completed in an online system. Section V.A. of the Antarctic Research program solicitation describes the system, named Polar Ice. The completed worksheets will be required in September of the year in which the proposal was submitted. The worksheets and their help screens contain substantial information about support capabilities of the U.S. Antarctic Program.
Most, but not all, of the highly ranked proposals will be selected for participation in the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Final approval notifications normally will be given by February following the year in which the proposal was submitted.
Travel can begin thereafter in accordance with the approved plan. Typically, a project proposed in June of a given year will start its fieldwork no sooner than 15 months later--in the October-February austral summer of the next year.
All proposals are carefully reviewed by at least three other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular field represented by the proposal. Proposals submitted in response to this announcement/solicitation will be reviewed by Panel Review.
Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.
A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Director. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.
NSF is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the date of receipt. The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.
In all cases, 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 and 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.
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 Division 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.A. for additional information on the review process.)
An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, 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 letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (NSF-GC-1); * or Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Terms and Conditions * and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreement awards also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions (CA-1). Electronic mail notification is the preferred way to transmit NSF awards to organizations that have electronic mail capabilities and have requested such notification from the Division of Grants and Agreements.
*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at http://www.nsf.gov/home/grants/grants_gac.htm. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org.
More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gpm. The GPM is also for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402. The telephone number at GPO for subscription information is (202) 512-1800. The GPM may be ordered through the GPO Website at http://www.gpo.gov.
For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period.
Within 90 days after the expiration of an award, the PI also is required to submit a final project report. Failure to provide final technical reports delays NSF review and processing of pending proposals for the PI and all Co-PIs. 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 FastLane, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports. This system permits electronic submission and updating of project reports, including information on project participants (individual and organizational), activities and findings, publications, and other specific products and contributions. PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system.
General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:
Staff of the Office of Polar Programs can be consulted during preparation of your application.
For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:
Desiree Marshall, Lead Program Assistant, Office of the Director, Office of Polar Programs, 755 S, telephone: (703) 292-7433, fax: (703) 292-9082, email: email@example.com
The NSF Guide to Programs is a compilation of funding for research and education in science, mathematics, and engineering. The NSF Guide to Programs is available electronically at http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gp. General descriptions of NSF programs, research areas, and eligibility information for proposal submission are provided in each chapter.
Many NSF programs offer announcements or solicitations concerning specific proposal requirements. To obtain additional information about these requirements, contact the appropriate NSF program offices. Any changes in NSF's fiscal year programs occurring after press time for the Guide to Programs will be announced in the NSF E-Bulletin, which is updated daily on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/home/ebulletin, and in individual program announcements/solicitations. Subscribers can also sign up for NSF's Custom News Service (http://www.nsf.gov/home/cns/start.htm) to be notified of new funding opportunities that become available.
Proposals to other NSF programs for funding
The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program provides access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, but normally not direct financial support. If you want to request financial support from another NSF program for a project that otherwise meets the objectives of the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, do not submit a proposal to the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Instead, submit the proposal to the funding program. In that proposal, define the required antarctic fieldwork using operational requirements worksheets as instructed in section V.A. of NSF's Antarctic Research program solicitation.
To assure effective coordination between the two NSF programs, please contact the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program manager (see section VIII of this solicitation).
Even if another NSF program finds your proposal meritorious, the project may not be operationally supportable in the Antarctic. Please review the Office of Polar Programs website for U.S. Antarctic Program field capabilities. Discussion of your intended antarctic field program with someone in the Office of Polar Programs can be helpful when writing a funding proposal to another NSF program.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Awardees are wholly responsible for conducting their project activities and preparing the results for publication. Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.
NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. 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 subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF, although some programs may have special requirements that limit eligibility.
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-supported projects. See the GPG Chapter II, Section D.2 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.
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
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; 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 applicant 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 needing information as part of the review process or in order to coordinate programs; 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," 63 Federal Register 267 (January 5, 1998), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 268 (January 5, 1998). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.
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