THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN REPLACED BY NSF 12-566

Focused Research Groups in the Mathematical Sciences (FRG)

Program Solicitation
NSF 06-580

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 02-129

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences
Division of Mathematical Sciences


Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time): 

     August 18, 2006

     Third Friday in August, Annually Thereafter

     August 17, 2007

     Third Friday in August, Annually Thereafter

     August 19, 2011

     Third Friday in August, Annually Thereafter

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

     September 22, 2006

     September 21, 2007

     Third Friday in September, Annually Thereafter

     September 16, 2011

     Third Friday in September, Annually Thereafter

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 11-1, was issued on October 1, 2010 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 18, 2011. Please be advised that the guidelines contained in NSF 11-1 apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Cost Sharing: The PAPPG has been revised to implement the National Science Board's recommendations regarding cost sharing. Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited. In order to assess the scope of the project, all organizational resources necessary for the project must be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal. The description should be narrative in nature and must not include any quantifiable financial information. Mandatory cost sharing will only be required when explicitly authorized by the NSF Director. See the PAPP Guide Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.g(xi) for further information about the implementation of these recommendations.

Data Management Plan: The PAPPG contains a clarification of NSF's long standing data policy. All proposals must describe plans for data management and sharing of the products of research, or assert the absence of the need for such plans. FastLane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing a Data Management Plan. The Data Management Plan will be reviewed as part of the intellectual merit or broader impacts of the proposal, or both, as appropriate. Links to data management requirements and plans relevant to specific Directorates, Offices, Divisions, Programs, or other NSF units are available on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp. See
Chapter II.C.2.j of the GPG for further information about the implementation of this requirement.

Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan: As a reminder, each proposal that requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers must include, as a supplementary document, a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. Please be advised that if required, FastLane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing a Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan. See Chapter II.C.2.j of the GPG for further information about the implementation of this requirement.

Revision Summary

  • The maximum award size has been increased to $500,000 per year to accommodate exceptional projects of large scope; however, neither the program's anticipated funding amount nor the estimated number of awards has been changed.
  • Information is now requested regarding the commitment of senior personnel to the project.
  • Instructions for submission of letters of intent and proposals have been clarified. Letters of intent are to be submitted via FastLane.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

Focused Research Groups in the Mathematical Sciences (FRG)

Synopsis of Program:

The purpose of the FRG activity is to allow groups of researchers to respond to recognized scientific needs of pressing importance, to take advantage of current scientific opportunities, or to prepare the ground for anticipated significant scientific developments in the mathematical sciences. Groups may include, in addition to mathematical scientists, researchers from other science and engineering disciplines appropriate to the proposed research. The activity supports projects for which the collective effort by a group of researchers is necessary to reach the scientific goals. Projects should be scientifically focused and well-delineated. It is not the intent of this activity to provide general support for infrastructure. Projects should also be timely, limited in duration to up to three years, and substantial in their scope and impact.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

  • Tie Luo, Program Director, 1025 N, telephone: (703) 292-8448, fax: (703) 292-9032, email: tluo@nsf.gov

  • Junping Wang, 1025 N, telephone: (703) 292-4488, email: jwang@nsf.gov

  • Haiyan Cai, 1025 N, telephone: (703) 292-4777, email: hcai@nsf.gov

  • Bruce P. Palka, 1025 N, telephone: (703) 292-4856, email: bpalka@nsf.gov

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 47.049 --- Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 10 to 15 Approximately 10-15 awards annually. The anticipated typical award type is a Standard Grant.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $12,000,000 Approximately $12,000,000 will be available for this activity annually, subject to availability of funds.

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • The categories of proposers identified in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) are eligible to submit proposals under this program solicitation. Proposals involving investigators from more than one institution are allowed and should be submitted as collaborative proposals.

PI Limit:

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI:

None Specified

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Submission of Letters of Intent is required. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not Applicable
  • Full Proposals:
    • Full Proposals submitted via FastLane: NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Guidelines apply. The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg.
    • Full Proposals submitted via Grants.gov: NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov Guidelines apply (Note: The NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=grantsgovguide)

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations: None
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

C. Due Dates

  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time): 

         August 18, 2006

         Third Friday in August, Annually Thereafter

         August 17, 2007

         Third Friday in August, Annually Thereafter

         August 19, 2011

         Third Friday in August, Annually Thereafter

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

         September 22, 2006

         September 21, 2007

         Third Friday in September, Annually Thereafter

         September 16, 2011

         Third Friday in September, Annually Thereafter

Proposal Review Information Criteria

Merit Review Criteria: National Science Board approved criteria. Additional merit review considerations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions: Standard NSF award conditions apply.

Reporting Requirements: Standard NSF reporting requirements apply.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Summary of Program Requirements

  1. Introduction

  2. Program Description

  3. Award Information

  4. Eligibility Information

  5. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Due Dates
    4. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

  6. NSF Proposal Processing and Review Procedures
    1. NSF Merit Review Criteria
    2. Review and Selection Process

  7. Award Administration Information
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements

  8. Agency Contacts

  9. Other Information

I. INTRODUCTION

The Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) expects to make a small number of awards annually that will support the activities of groups of investigators. Proposals for these Focused Research Groups (FRG) in the Mathematical Sciences should provide a plan for making significant progress in scientifically focused areas of recognized or emerging importance to the mathematical sciences and explain that the success of the proposed research project depends in a crucial way upon a group effort. DMS employs the individual investigator award as the principal mechanism for supporting fundamental research in the mathematical sciences. On the other hand, the mathematical sciences thrive on the sharing of ideas, and there are research needs that can only be met appropriately by teams of researchers. The advantages of pooled insights, complementary expertise, diverse points of view, and shared tasks make a successful research team more than the sum of its parts. A dedicated mode of support for such scientifically focused multi-investigator projects is provided by the FRG activity.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The purpose of the FRG activity is to support work by groups of three or more researchers to respond to recognized scientific needs of pressing importance, to take advantage of current scientific opportunities, or to prepare and solidify the ground for anticipated scientific developments in the mathematical sciences. Groups may include, in addition to mathematical scientists, researchers from other scientific and engineering disciplines appropriate to the proposed research. Projects supported under this activity should be essentially collaborative in nature and depend for their advancement on the interaction of a group of researchers. Projects should be scientifically focused and well-delineated. It is not the intent of this activity to provide general support for infrastructure. Projects should also be timely, limited in duration to up to three years, and substantial in both their scope and likely impact. Here is a list, by no means exhaustive, of indicators suggesting that an FRG approach might be appropriate.

  • Accumulated scientific results point to the possibility of a major breakthrough.
  • A major recent breakthrough has created new possibilities for significant progress.
  • An existing important scientifically focused research agenda needs close cooperation of several researchers to be advanced or can be significantly accelerated through such cooperation.
  • Significant opportunities for productive mutual exchange between areas within the mathematical sciences or between mathematical and other scientific areas have recently become apparent.
  • A substantial mathematical research agenda is waiting to be formulated and exploited, because a specific area in science or engineering is ready for closer interaction with the mathematical sciences.

The aim of the activity is to support projects for which the collective effort by a group of researchers is necessary to reach the scientific goals in a timely manner. Thus, proposals must explain that interaction and group effort are critical to the success of the project. The research group should include at least three senior personnel or other professionals. The group members can, but are not required to, come from more than one institution or discipline. Awards made under the FRG activity are intended to foster a crucial and unusual synergy between the group members that cannot be achieved with individual grants. In particular, researchers supported by this activity are expected to collaborate closely and intensely during the project on a well-delineated topic. At the same time, the impact and promise of supported projects should be broad, significant, and long-term. Examples of possible outcomes for FRG projects include the following:

  • Substantial progress is made toward solution of a set of major open questions.
  • New research directions that have become possible due to recent advances are identified, and significant progress is achieved.
  • As a direct result of the group effort, an important scientifically focused research agenda is advanced significantly.
  • Significant new opportunities for productive mutual exchange between different areas in the mathematical sciences are identified and progress is made towards exploiting these opportunities.
  • Significant new opportunities for the mathematical sciences in areas of science and engineering are identified, and exemplary evidence of how to seize and exploit these opportunities is produced.

Additional possible outcomes include the following:

  • Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers are trained in an important emerging area.
  • Graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and undergraduates are trained in new ways. This could include, but is not limited to, interdisciplinary training or training in team-based research.
  • New and exemplary modes of collaborations are established.

FRG projects should take advantage of opportunities and resources at or near the institutions at which the research will be performed. Research groups are expected to remain open to the broader scientific community from which they are drawn and to disseminate the results of their work in a timely and effective fashion.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

Under this solicitation, proposals may be submitted for any funding amount from $150,000 up to $500,000 per year, for up to three years. The budget must be commensurate with the project and thoroughly justified in the proposal. Typical total 3-year award size is expected to be in the range from $800,000 to $1,000,000. Budget requests exceeding a 3-year total of $1,000,000 will be granted only in exceptional cases. NSF expects to fund approximately ten to fifteen awards annually, depending on the quality of submissions and the availability of funds. The anticipated date of awards is April of each year.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Organization Limit:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • The categories of proposers identified in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) are eligible to submit proposals under this program solicitation. Proposals involving investigators from more than one institution are allowed and should be submitted as collaborative proposals.

PI Limit:

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI:

None Specified

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Letters of Intent(required): To expedite the review process for FRG proposals, a letter of intent to submit a proposal must be submitted via FastLane by 5:00 PM, proposer's local time, on the due date. This letter of intent should contain the following information:

  • the title of the project,
  • a brief project description,
  • the names and affiliations of the principal investigators and other senior personnel and professionals,
  • the names of any other participating institutions, and
  • the name(s) of the DMS program(s) to which the proposal will be submitted for review.

Only one letter of intent per group should be submitted. Failure to meet the letter of intent deadline will disqualify an FRG proposal from consideration. Letters of intent are not evaluated for scientific merit; rather, they are used to assemble review panels with appropriate expertise. Please direct any questions about the letter of intent to one of the Cognizant Program Officers listed as Contacts for Additional Information.

Letter of Intent Preparation Instructions:

When submitting a Letter of Intent through FastLane in response to this Program Solicitation please note the conditions outlined below:

  • Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) Submission is not required when submitting Letters of Intent
  • A Minimum of 0 and Maximum of 4 Other Senior Project Personnel are allowed
  • A Minimum of 0 and Maximum of 4 Other Participating Organizations are allowed
  • Submission of multiple Letters of Intent is allowed

Full Proposal Preparation Instructions: Proposers may opt to submit proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via Grants.gov or via the NSF FastLane system.

  • Full proposals submitted via FastLane: Proposals submitted in response to this program 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/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov. Proposers are reminded to identify this program solicitation number in the program solicitation block on the NSF Cover Sheet For Proposal to the National Science Foundation. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.
  • Full proposals submitted via Grants.gov: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation via Grants.gov should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov. The complete text of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=grantsgovguide). To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package, click on the Apply tab on the Grants.gov site, then click on the Apply Step 1: Download a Grant Application Package and Application Instructions link and enter the funding opportunity number, (the program solicitation number without the NSF prefix) and press the Download Package button. Paper copies of the Grants.gov Application Guide also may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:

Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. Chapter II, Section D.4 of the Grant Proposal Guide provides additional information on collaborative proposals.

The following instructions supplement or deviate from the GPG:

(a) Cover sheet. To facilitate timely processing, the title of the proposed project should begin with the four characters "FRG:" The title of a collaborative FRG proposal should begin with the designation "FRG: Collaborative Research:" All proposals in a collaborative group should have the same title and should be submitted to the same DMS program(s).

(b) Project Description.

  • Proposed Research. Narrative, not to exceed twenty pages, consisting of the following items:
    • An explanation of the scientific context and timeliness of the proposed project.
    • A description of the proposed research.
    • A justification for why a group effort is necessary to carry out the proposed project.
    • A timeline for the planned work and a justification for the duration.
    • Plans for disseminating the results.
    • Results from prior NSF support, if applicable and related to the proposal.
  • Modes of Collaboration and Training. The following components, not to exceed an additional five pages total, are optional and can be included if appropriate:
    • A description of new modes of collaboration.
    • A description of new modes of training graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, or undergraduates.
    • A description of planned workshops and a list of tentative participants.
  • Management Plan. Provide a management plan, describing how the group effort will be coordinated and how decisions will be made regarding the conduct of the project. This section may not exceed one page.

(c) Biographical Sketches. For all key personnel, please provide a brief biographical sketch. Do not exceed two pages per person for the sketch. Up to five publications most closely related to the proposal and up to five other significant publications may be included, including those accepted for publication. For each individual, include up to one additional page describing how that individual will contribute to the project. For senior personnel and other professionals, this additional page should provide an estimate of the amount of time to be committed to the project. For investigators with other supported research, this additional page should explain how the investigator will allocate time and effort among the projects.

The page limits and the limits on listed publications in the biographical sketches will be strictly enforced. Proposals not adhering to these limitations will be returned without review.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited

Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations: None

Other Budgetary Limitations: Award size is limited to between $150,000 and $500,000 per year for up to three years duration

C. Due Dates

  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time): 

         August 18, 2006

         Third Friday in August, Annually Thereafter

         August 17, 2007

         Third Friday in August, Annually Thereafter

         August 19, 2011

         Third Friday in August, Annually Thereafter

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

         September 22, 2006

         September 21, 2007

         Third Friday in September, Annually Thereafter

         September 16, 2011

         Third Friday in September, Annually Thereafter

Letters of intent in response to this solicitation must be submitted via FastLane by 5:00 PM local time on the due date.

D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

  • For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane:

    Detailed technical instructions regarding the technical aspects of preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov. The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this funding opportunity.

    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. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane Website at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/fastlane.jsp.

  • For Proposals Submitted Via Grants.gov:
  • Before using Grants.gov for the first time, each organization must register to create an institutional profile. Once registered, the applicant's organization can then apply for any federal grant on the Grants.gov website. Comprehensive information about using Grants.gov is available on the Grants.gov Applicant Resources webpage: http://www07.grants.gov/applicants/app_help_reso.jsp. In addition, the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide provides additional technical guidance regarding preparation of proposals via Grants.gov. For Grants.gov user support, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or by email: support@grants.gov. The Grants.gov Contact Center answers general technical questions related to the use of Grants.gov. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this solicitation.

    Submitting the Proposal: Once all documents have been completed, the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must submit the application to Grants.gov and verify the desired funding opportunity and agency to which the application is submitted. The AOR must then sign and submit the application to Grants.gov. The completed application will be transferred to the NSF FastLane system for further processing.

VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES

Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program where they will be reviewed if they meet NSF proposal preparation requirements. All proposals are carefully reviewed by a scientist, engineer, or educator serving as an NSF Program Officer, and usually by three to ten other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. Proposers are invited to suggest names of persons they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal and/or persons they would prefer not review the proposal. These suggestions may serve as one source in the reviewer selection process at the Program Officer's discretion. Submission of such names, however, is optional. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the proposal.

A. NSF Merit Review Criteria

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board (NSB)-approved merit review criteria: intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed effort. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

The two NSB-approved merit review criteria are listed below. 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 the reviewer is qualified to make judgements.

What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?

What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/broaderimpacts.pdf.

Mentoring activities provided to postdoctoral researchers supported on the project, as described in a one-page supplementary document, will be evaluated under the Broader Impacts criterion.

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria

In addition to the National Science Board merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to apply several specific criteria when reviewing FRG proposals. These criteria include:

  • Extent to which the group effort is focused on a cohesive well-delineated goal
  • Timeliness of the planned work
  • Likelihood of substantial progress
  • Long-term scientific impact of the proposed activity
  • Extent to which the whole of the proposed group effort project will be greater than the sum of its parts
  • Appropriateness of the group members, the group structure, and the proposed modes of collaboration
  • The nature of involvement and extent of commitment of the senior personnel
  • Adequacy and appropriateness of the proposed timeline and management plan
  • Adequacy and appropriateness of the budget

FRG proposals are likely to be read by non-specialists at some stage of the review process. It is therefore particularly important that they be written to emphasize the impact of the projects in a broad mathematical context.

NSF staff also will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:

Integration of Research and Education
One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives.

Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities
Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.

B. Review and Selection Process

Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by Ad hoc Review and/or 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.

After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the NSF Program Officer recommends to the cognizant Division Director whether the proposal should be declined or recommended for award. 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 deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's 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 Officer. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

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.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Notification of the Award

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 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.B. for additional information on the review process.)

B. Award Conditions

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 (GC-1); * or Research Terms and Conditions * and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreements also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC) and the applicable Programmatic Terms and Conditions. NSF awards are electronically signed by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer and transmitted electronically to the organization via e-mail.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at http://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/award_conditions.jsp?org=NSF. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=aag.

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the Principal Investigator must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require more frequent project reports). Within 90 days after expiration of a grant, the PI also is required to submit a final project report, and a project outcomes report for the general public.

Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports, or the project outcomes report will delay NSF review and processing of any future funding increments as well as any pending proposals for that PI. 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. Such reports provide information on activities and findings, project participants (individual and organizational), 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. Submission of the report via FastLane constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete. The project outcomes report must be prepared and submitted using Research.gov. This report serves as a brief summary, prepared specifically for the public, of the nature and outcomes of the project. This report will be posted on the NSF website exactly as it is submitted by the PI.

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Please note that the program contact information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Tie Luo, Program Director, 1025 N, telephone: (703) 292-8448, fax: (703) 292-9032, email: tluo@nsf.gov

  • Junping Wang, 1025 N, telephone: (703) 292-4488, email: jwang@nsf.gov

  • Haiyan Cai, 1025 N, telephone: (703) 292-4777, email: hcai@nsf.gov

  • Bruce P. Palka, 1025 N, telephone: (703) 292-4856, email: bpalka@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

For questions relating to Grants.gov contact:

  • Grants.gov Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from Grants.gov within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail: support@grants.gov.

IX. OTHER INFORMATION

The NSF Website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. Use of this Website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, National Science Foundation Update is a free e-mail subscription service designed to keep potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies and procedures, and upcoming NSF Regional Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail when new publications are issued that match their identified interests. Users can subscribe to this service by clicking the "Get NSF Updates by Email" link on the NSF web site.

Grants.gov provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this new mechanism. Further information on Grants.gov may be obtained at http://www.grants.gov.

The DMS Research Training Groups (RTG) program provides groups of mathematical sciences researchers having related research goals with funds to foster research-based training and education. See the EMSW21 Program Solicitation.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering."

NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Arctic and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II, Section D.2 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090 and (800) 281-8749, FIRS at (800) 877-8339.

The National Science Foundation Information Center may be reached at (703) 292-5111.

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

  • Location:

4201 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22230

  • For General Information
    (NSF Information Center):

(703) 292-5111

  • TDD (for the hearing-impaired):

(703) 292-5090

  • To Order Publications or Forms:

Send an e-mail to:

nsfpubs@nsf.gov

or telephone:

(703) 292-7827

  • To Locate NSF Employees:

(703) 292-5111


PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS

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; and 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 proposer 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 or other entities needing information regarding applicants or nominees as part of a joint application review process, or in order to coordinate programs or policy; 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," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. 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 the burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

Suzanne H. Plimpton
Reports Clearance Officer
Division of Administrative Services
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230



Policies and Important Links

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National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: (703) 292-5111, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749

Last Updated:
11/07/06
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