Competition for the Management and Operation of the National Center for Atmospheric Research  


Program Solicitation
NSF 07-542

 

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Geosciences
     Division of Atmospheric Sciences

 

Preliminary Proposal Due Date(s) (required): 

April 13, 2007

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

August 31, 2007

By Invitation Only

REVISION NOTES

In furtherance of the President's Management Agenda, NSF has identified programs that will offer proposers the option to utilize Grants.gov to prepare and submit proposals, or will require that proposers utilize Grants.gov to prepare and submit proposals. Grants.gov provides a single Government-wide portal for finding and applying for Federal grants online.

In response to this program solicitation, proposers may opt to submit proposals via Grants.gov or via the NSF FastLane system.

Due to the complexity of the proposals being submitted, however, use of FastLane to prepare and submit proposals is strongly encouraged.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title: 

Competition for the Management and Operation of the National Center for Atmospheric Research

Synopsis of Program:

The National Science Foundation is soliciting proposals for the management and operation of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). NCAR, an NSF Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), is a center of excellence supporting the atmospheric and broader sciences community. NCAR operates world-class observational facilities and computing infrastructure, conducts an extensive in-house research program and a vigorous program of education, training and outreach, and maintains extensive national and international collaborations. NCAR also carries out research and development on behalf of other organizations, most commonly other US government agencies. This work, which can only be undertaken if it is consistent with the NCAR mission, currently accounts for approximately 30% of NCAR's total funding.

The awardee will work closely with NSF and the university community to ensure that NCAR continues to support, sustain and advance the atmospheric and related sciences. The awardee will manage and develop the NCAR staff, buildings and facilities, and will promote an ambitious, coherent and inclusive program of research and education.

A single award will be made, as a cooperative agreement with a duration of five years from 1 October 2008. Further five-year terms may be awarded, subject to the awardee's satisfactory performance and where compliant with the National Science Board Policy on competition (NSB 97-224).

Informational Site Visit

NSF intends to conduct a site visit to NCAR in Boulder, Colorado for representatives of potential proposing organizations. The visit is expected to take place in early 2007, prior to the submission of preliminary proposals, and will be guided and managed by NSF staff. This will be an opportunity for potential proposers to view the Center’s buildings and facilities and to acquire information relevant to the development of a proposal. Attendees will be responsible for their own expenses. Any organization that is interested in submitting a proposal and wishes to have representatives attend the site visit should contact Kristin Spencer in writing by February 9th 2007.

Point of Contact:

  • Kristin Spencer, Contract and Agreements Specialist, telephone: (703) 292-4585, fax: (703) 292-9140, email: kspencer@nsf.gov

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

  • 47.050 --- Geosciences

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award:  Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards:    1  

Anticipated Funding Amount:   $563,000,000   The funding provided under this cooperative agreement will comprise direct funding from NSF (the NCAR ‘base budget’), additional NSF support for specific science programs, facilities and services, and funds provided by other US government agencies via interagency transfers through NSF. In FY 2006, the income from each of these sources was:

NSF base budget: $81.8 million

Additional NSF funding for specific science programs, facilities and services: $11.6 million

Non-NSF funding via interagency transfers: $12.3 million*

Total: $105.7 million.

The amount available under the next cooperative agreement will depend upon the annual budgets of NSF and other program sponsors, and the performance of the awardee and NCAR, but it may be assumed for the purposes of writing a proposal that the maximum funding available will be $106 million in FY 2009 and will increase by 3% each year. Under this scenario the maximum total funding provided under this cooperative agreement would be $563 million over five years.

In addition to the funding provided under the cooperative agreement, NCAR receives research grants from the NSF Division of Atmospheric Sciences and other NSF programs for individual merit-reviewed activities. The total such funding was $4.3 million in FY 2006. Funding is also provided directly to NCAR (via the managing organization) by other program sponsors, including other government agencies. In FY 2006, the total direct funding was $43.7 million*.

*amounts include fees received by the managing organization

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit: 

  • Proposals may only be submitted by U.S. universities or consortia of universities, other U.S. not-for-profit or nonprofit organizations, and any U.S. industrial firm operating as an autonomous organization or as an identifiable separate operating unit of a parent organization.

    NCAR operations must be conducted in the public interest with objectivity and independence, free from organizational conflicts of interest, and with full disclosure of its affairs to NSF. NSF will have overall responsibility for award oversight, including technical, programmatic, and financial and administrative performance. For federal policy considerations, please see FAR 35.017, “Federally Funded Research and Development Centers” at http://www.arnet.gov/far/

PI Limit: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 1

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not Applicable
  • Preliminary Proposals: Submission of Preliminary Proposals is required. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.
  • Full Proposals:

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements: Cost Sharing is not required by NSF.  
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:  Not Applicable
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

C. Due Dates

  • Preliminary Proposal Due Date(s) (required): 

    April 13, 2007

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

    August 31, 2007

    By Invitation Only

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:   Additional award conditions apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Reporting Requirements:   Additional reporting requirements apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

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

NSF established the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in 1960 in Boulder, Colorado, as a center of excellence providing research, facilities and services in support of the atmospheric and broader geosciences community. As an NSF Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), NCAR upholds and advances the mission, values and goals set out in the NSF Strategic Plan (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2006/nsf0648/nsf0648.jsp).

NCAR is currently managed through a cooperative agreement by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). The present cooperative agreement was effective on 1 October 2003 and expires on 30 September 2008. In accordance with the National Science Board Policy on competition (NSB 97-224), this solicitation invites proposals for the management and operation of NCAR for the five-year period from 1 October 2008 – 30 September 2013. Further five-year terms may be awarded, subject to satisfactory performance and where compliant with NSB policy.

During this award period, the awardee will be required to ensure that NCAR continues to serve as a unique and world-leading institution that supports, sustains and advances the atmospheric and related science community through the provision of state-of-the-art facilities and by conducting fundamental and transformative research at the frontiers of current knowledge. The managing organization will be responsible for operating and maintaining the NCAR buildings and facilities, developing and incorporating new facilities, planning for future new initiatives, supporting a skilled and diverse work force and sustaining an innovative and vigorous program of basic and applied research in support of the atmospheric and related sciences. NSF expects that the managing organization will promote a culture of excellence in serving the scientific community.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

  1. Mission and goals of the National Center for Atmospheric Research

Mission

The NCAR mission is:

  • To understand the behavior of the atmosphere and related physical, biological and social systems;
  • To support, enhance and extend the capabilities of the university community and the broader scientific community, nationally and internationally;
  • To foster the transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth.

To fulfill this mission, NCAR, working in close collaboration with the university and broader scientific community, is required to:

  1. Build, operate and maintain shared observational facilities, computational infrastructure and databases, and make them accessible to the community;
  2. Serve as stewards of high quality scientific data on behalf of the community, through maintenance, enhancement and curation;
  3. Enhance the ability of the community to collectively explore, develop and extend its ideas;
  4. Facilitate the definition, construction and use of numerical models, in particular where these support community-wide collaborations;
  5. Enable the education and development of diverse human capital for the atmospheric and related sciences, in particular, those groups which are underrepresented in the US science and engineering workforce;
  6. Attract, support and advance a high quality, diverse scientific and technical staff and provide them with continued training and career advancement as befits a national center and to enhance the community;
  7. Foster interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research that will advance the frontiers of knowledge;
  8. Address challenging scientific problems that require long term focus and integration across global, regional and local scales;
  9. Apply scientific understanding to recognized and emerging problems of interest to society;
  10. Integrate research and education in an increasingly multi- and interdisciplinary arena;
  11. Transfer developed technology to the U.S. Government and the private sector as appropriate;
  12. Operate with integrity and transparency, maintaining quality and relevance in administration and management.

Strategic Goals

The NCAR strategic plan, NCAR as an Integrator, Innovator and Community Builder (http://www.ncar.ucar.edu/stratplan/2006/stratplan06.pdf), was published in January 2006 following extensive consultation with the scientific community. The plan identifies five strategic goals:

  1. Improve understanding of the atmosphere, the Earth system, and the Sun;
  2. Increase societal resilience to weather, climate, and other atmospheric hazards;
  3. Cultivate a scientifically-literate and engaged citizenry and a diverse and creative workforce;
  4. Provide robust, accessible, and innovative information services and tools;
  5. Provide world-class ground, airborne, and space-borne observational facilities and services.

These goals, and the linked priorities and key activities, will serve as a starting point in guiding the infrastructure, services and research support provided by the Center through 2008 and beyond.

  1. Description of NCAR

NCAR’s principal offices and laboratory facilities are located in Boulder, Colorado. Some are owned by NSF, while the remainder are owned or leased by UCAR. The principal NSF-owned facilities are:

  • the Mesa Laboratory and Fleishman Building, which occupy a 450-acre site in Boulder;
  • a hanger at Jefferson County Airport in Broomfield, Colorado;
  • a  60-acre field site in Marshall, Colorado, which has limited infrastructure and houses some experimental facilities and storage;
  • a high altitude observatory at Mauna Loa, Hawaii.

UCAR currently provides additional office and laboratory space at the Foothills and Center Green campuses in Boulder.

The NCAR staff is approximately 820 FTE and includes scientists, engineers, visiting researchers and students, and administrative staff. Approximately 65% of the total FTE is engaged in NSF-funded work, with the remainder in programs supported by other sponsors.

The NCAR website, http://www.ncar.ucar.edu, provides details of the NCAR facilities and programs. The NCAR annual report (http://www.nar.ucar.edu/2006/) outlines the NCAR science and facilities plan for 2006/7, and presents highlights and achievements from 2005/6.

Facilities and Services

NCAR maintains and operates a range of NSF-owned observing facilities that support the university and broader research community.  These include a Gulfstream V jet aircraft for high altitude and/or extended range science missions, a C-130 turboprop, specialized Doppler weather radars, lidar systems and atmospheric measuring systems that can operate in conventional settings, remote field locations, or, in some cases, on board aircraft. The Eldora Doppler Radar is currently attached to the Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) P-3 aircraft and deployed on research campaigns undertaken by scientists from NCAR and universities, NRL and other federal agencies. 

NCAR also maintains community numerical models that address a variety of scientific purposes and are developed in collaboration with the university community.  These models and other computationally-intensive activities are underpinned by supercomputers, data-storage archives, and computer support services available to NSF grantees and others in the research community. 

Research Program

The NCAR research program is carried out in close partnership with the university community. It seeks to encompass the atmosphere as one interconnected system, and includes:

  • climate —  over timescales ranging from decades to millennia, from prehistoric times to the present, and future projections;
  • weather — cloud physics, storm structure, and other keys to improved weather forecasting;
  • atmospheric chemistry — such as studies of air quality and the relationship between atmospheric composition and climate;
  • weather hazards to transportation — including detection and warning systems for turbulence and icing in the air and on the ground;
  • the sun-Earth system — including space weather;
  • computer science innovation —  for modeling, data analysis and visualization;
  • human and societal impacts — the relationship between the human and climate/weather systems.

Education and Diversity

NCAR plays a strong role in supporting the NSF mission to promote and develop a diverse and skilled scientific workforce, both through its own personnel policies and through specific programs designed to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities and women in the broader scientific community. NCAR operates a vigorous program of education, outreach and community development activities that includes collaborative partnerships with minority-serving institutions, networks for early-career faculty and resources for educators.

  1. Description of Awardee Responsibilities

Core Expectations

The awardee will be responsible for the overall performance of NCAR and for ensuring that, within the resources available, NCAR fulfills all aspects of its mission with a visionary and productive scientific program of world-class services, infrastructure and research in support of the US atmospheric and broader science community. The NCAR program should embody the NSF strategic vision: advancing discovery, innovation and education beyond the frontiers of current knowledge, and empowering future generations in science and engineering

The awardee will plan, execute, staff and manage the NCAR program, provide and maintain advanced facilities and services, sustain an expert, diverse work force and oversee the conduct of basic and applied research in support of the atmospheric and related sciences. The awardee will work closely with NSF and the atmospheric and broader science community to ensure that the activities carried out at the Center strongly reflect their needs and priorities.

The awardee will be responsible for activities funded by both NSF and NCAR's other program sponsors. Non-NSF programs managed by the awardee must be consistent with the NCAR mission and complement and enhance activities funded and approved by NSF.

NSF intends that NCAR should serve as an exemplar of management excellence. The awardee will be expected to meet the highest standards for service and delivery to the scientific community and to demonstrate a proactive and effective approach to performance management.

Specific Duties

The awardee will:

  • develop and employ effective mechanisms for engaging  the Center’s primary stakeholders at all levels in order to ensure that NCAR’s facilities, services and programs best reflect their evolving needs and priorities;
  • operate and maintain the NCAR buildings and facilities and manage the NCAR staff and all activities carried out at the Center according to current best-practice and in full compliance with all relevant laws and regulations;
  • provide upgrades, enhancements and new services as required, and within available resources, to ensure community access to state-of-the art facilities and support;
  • recruit and develop an outstanding scientific, engineering and administrative staff;
  • develop and execute an innovative and ambitious science program at NCAR that reflects the missions, values and goals articulated in the NSF Strategic Plan and demonstrably complements the research carried out in the broader atmospheric and related science community, in particular the US universities;
  • implement strategic partnerships with US universities, federal, non-federal and international entities that will enhance the scientific capabilities and support available to the entire atmospheric and related science community; 
  • actively support the NSF strategic goal of  cultivating a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce and  expanding the scientific literacy of all citizens,
  • manage complementary programs supported by sponsors other than NSF;
  • develop and use an appropriate, comprehensive suite of metrics to underpin an effective performance management regime for the Center and to monitor and improve the awardee’s interactions with NCAR’s primary stakeholders.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

One award will be made for the management and operation of NCAR. The award will be a cooperative agreement with a duration of five years from 1 October 2008. Further five-year awards may be made, subject to the awardee's satisfactory performance and where compliant with the National Science Board Policy on competition (NSB 97-224).

If a new awardee is selected to replace the incumbent, NSF will additionally fund appropriate transition costs through a Cooperative Support Agreement with the new awardee for a phase-in period of four months from 1 June - 30 September 2008.

The amount available under the next cooperative agreement will depend upon the annual budgets of NSF and other program sponsors and the performance of the awardee and NCAR.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Organization Limit: 

  • Proposals may only be submitted by U.S. universities or consortia of universities, other U.S. not-for-profit or nonprofit organizations, and any U.S. industrial firm operating as an autonomous organization or as an identifiable separate operating unit of a parent organization.

    NCAR operations must be conducted in the public interest with objectivity and independence, free from organizational conflicts of interest, and with full disclosure of its affairs to NSF. NSF will have overall responsibility for award oversight, including technical, programmatic, and financial and administrative performance. For federal policy considerations, please see FAR 35.017, “Federally Funded Research and Development Centers” at http://www.arnet.gov/far/

PI Limit: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 1

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 1

Additional Eligibility Info:

In proposals involving multiple organizations, a single organization must submit the proposal as the lead organization, and accept overall management responsibility. 

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Preliminary Proposals (required):  

The preliminary proposal should describe the organization's five-year vision and concept for managing and operating NCAR within the context of the NSF strategic plan and the Center's role within the scientific community, as detailed in the Program Description (above).

Submission Instructions for the Preliminary Proposal

The Preliminary Proposal must be submitted via FastLane and shall conform to the guidelines specified in the NSF Proposal Guide (GPG), as detailed below. 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

The following information is required for the Preliminary Proposal:

PI/Co-I Information - This should follow the standard GPG guidelines.

Cover Sheet - A cover sheet must be submitted and electronically signed by an Authorized Organizational Representative for all preliminary proposals.  The "preliminary proposal" check box must be selected. No budgetary information will be required at the preliminary proposal stage.

Project Summary - This should provide a summary of the key points of the proposal and should be understandable to a scientifically or technically literate lay reader. This should follow the standard GPG guidelines.

Biographical Sketches - Resumes should be provided for each named Director, Co-Director and senior participant (limit of 2 pages per person). The GPG guidelines on order and format do not apply for this section of the proposal.

Project Description - This is limited to 30 pages and should contain two sections: Section 1: Concept and Vision for NCAR (maximum 25 pages) and Section 2: Evidence of Capability (maximum 5 pages).

Section 1: Concept and Vision for NCAR should include, but need not be limited to, the following information:

  • An overarching vision for NCAR as a community-serving federal research laboratory;
  • How the managing organization would ensure that NCAR serves the atmospheric and broader sciences community, providing community leadership by identifying emerging needs and opportunities, encouraging the active involvement of the community in planning and executing a vigorous and innovative research program, and being demonstrably responsive to guidance provided by the community;
  • The means by which the managing organization would support NSF's strategic aim of cultivating a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce;
  • The strategy that would be employed to develop and maintain NCAR’s position as a world-leader in the provision of scientific services, facilities, fundamental research and expertise;
  • The organization's approach to developing an initial science and facility plan for NCAR, based on the Center's ongoing commitments and using the 2006 NCAR Strategic Plan (www.ncar.ucar.edu/stratplan/2006/index.html) as a starting point;
  • A summary of the organization’s overall financial management approach including, but not limited to: integrating budget formulation and execution with strategic and operating plans, risk assessment, and cost management to ensure appropriate support of NCAR’s mission and goals;
  • The development and use of metrics and other output and performance measures for assessing and improving the performance of the Center and demonstrating to NCAR's stakeholders the Center's effectiveness in meeting its core mission.

Section 2: Evidence of Capability should provide evidence of the capability of the proposing organization to manage a federal scientific center of the size and complexity of NCAR, including a discussion of the organization's business and internal control systems. Any partner organizations should be listed and their respective roles and contributions identified.

Although no budgetary information will be required at the preliminary proposal stage, proposers must complete the required budget form in FastLane by inserting $1 per year as a place-holder.  FastLane will automatically provide a cumulative budget.

Other FastLane forms (e.g., References, Current and Pending Support, Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources) should NOT be submitted. Supplementary documents or additional information will not be accepted.

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 pubs@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/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovguide.pdf). 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 pubs@nsf.gov.

Only those organizations that have submitted a preliminary proposal and subsequently been invited to submit a full proposal may do so. Proposals from other organizations will be returned without review.

The Full Proposal shall conform to the guidelines specified in the NSF Proposal Guide (GPG) or the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide, except where detailed below.

Proposers are reminded to review procedures under "Proprietary or Privileged Information" in Chapter 1, Section 3 of the GPG and to mark only such information, including patentable ideas, trade secrets, privileged or confidential commercial or financial information, disclosure of which might harm the proposer, with the appropriate legend such as, "The following is (proprietary or confidential) information that (name of proposing organization) requests not be released to persons outside the Government, except for purposes of review and evaluation." Please also see the section entitled "Privacy Act and Public Burden Statements" below.

The following information is required for the Full Proposal:

PI/Co-I Information - This should follow the standard GPG or NSF Grants.gov Application Guide guidelines.

Cover Sheet - A cover sheet must be submitted and electronically signed by an Authorized Organizational Representative for all full proposals. 

Budget - See the instructions in Section B, below.

Project Summary - This should provide a summary of the key points of the proposal and should be understandable to a scientifically or technically literate lay reader. This should follow the standard GPG or NSF Grants.gov Application Guide guidelines.

Biographical Sketches - Resumes should be provided for each Director, Co-Director and each named senior participant (limit of 2 pages per person). The GPG guidelines on order and format do not apply for this section of the proposal.

The Project Description section of the Full Proposal should contain the information specified below, in the order listed, and be limited to no more than 100 pages.   Where noted below, necessary resource material may be marked separately as an Appendix to the proposal.  Such material is not subject to, or included in, the 100-page limit. 

  1. Overall Management Concept

Discuss the organization’s proposed approach to the management of NCAR’s complex science facilities.  Describe the role of the managing organization and include a detailed plan for each of the following:

  • Employing effective mechanisms for engaging NCAR's primary stakeholders at all levels to ensure that the Center's facilities, services and programs best reflect the evolving needs and priorities of the atmospheric and related science community;
  • Recognizing, estimating, and prioritizing future requirements for the services and facilities needed to support the US atmospheric and geosciences community;
  • Developing an annual science and facilities plan for NSF review that will present the research objectives and priorities for NCAR;
  • Implementing strategic partnerships with US universities, federal, non-federal and international entities that will enhance the overall scientific and support capabilities available to the entire community;
  • Achieving buy-in of the Center's vision and goals from stakeholders and employees.
  1. Organization and Operations

The proposed approach must include a detailed description of each of the following:

  • Organizational structure for the Center, including its remote facilities.  Describe roles, lines of authority, communications and accountability.  Describe the oversight of each facility and significant program area. Include a clear discussion of how the planned organization will best serve the diverse needs of the science to be performed by NCAR. 
  • Structure of the managing organization. Identify the parent organization, if any, and the level of commitment by the parent organization to NCAR support.  Identify any major subawardees, clearly noted as such, along with their purpose and responsibilities; 
  • Plan for implementing and monitoring the business systems and internal controls for financial management, property standards, procurement standards, reporting and records management, compliance with relevant environmental regulations, risk management, and health and safety;
  • Processes for planning, review and performance management within a structured framework, including the development and use of an appropriate suite of metrics that will aid both the managing organization and NCAR's stakeholders in assessing the performance of the Center and identifying areas for improvement;
  • Providing the space and equipment necessary for effective performance (in coordination with NSF);
  • Providing strategic logistics support for short and long-term science initiatives;
  • Operating and maintaining advanced observational facilities, including federal aircraft, in support of NSF-funded science in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations;
  • Providing advanced cyberinfrastructure in support of the scientific community.

A phase-in plan must also be provided, for the four month transition period, 1 June 2008 – 30 September 2008. This must include:

  • A schedule;
  • Estimated resource needs for the phase-in period; 
  • Plans for recruitment, orientation and training;
  • A plan to acquire office infrastructure and manage the transfer of inventory, plans and documents.
  1. Human Resources, Workforce and Diversity

Describe the proposed techniques for recruiting and developing an expert scientific, engineering and administrative staff, consistent with the NSF strategic goal of cultivating a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce. Include details of the following:

  • Personnel qualifications, to include expertise in the multiple sciences and professions required to support a successful NCAR strategic plan;
  • The organization’s minimum qualifications for all managerial and supervisory positions should be provided in an Appendix;
  • Key personnel. Resumes for each Director, Co-Director and each named senior participant should be provided in the ‘Biographical Sketches' section of the proposal (see above). Resumes for other personnel who will occupy key positions and be specified in the awarded agreement may be provided in an Appendix.  The submission of resumes for additional qualified personnel is encouraged.  A signed letter of commitment for a minimum of twelve months should be provided by each named personnel and attached in an appendix;
  • Strategy for the recruitment of staff from underrepresented groups, including people with disabilities, and the promotion of diversity among the workforce, students and researchers;
  • Policies and practices to be employed in recruiting, developing and evolving an expert scientific, technical and administrative staff with the skill set appropriate for a leading national scientific center;
  • The approaches to be taken (for example the relative proportions of permanent and temporary positions, use of visiting scientist posts and student placements) to ensure that NCAR supports a sufficiently stable, expert workforce, while encouraging vigor and innovation through its personnel policies.
  1. Initial Science and Facility Plan

Discuss the organization’s understanding of the relationship between the NSF and NCAR strategic plans.

Provide an initial five-year Science and Facility Plan for NCAR, showing how the managing organization would develop and execute a program of services, facilities and research that would support and enhance the atmospheric and related scientific community (particularly the university sector). Use the 2006 NCAR Strategic Plan (http://www.ncar.ucar.edu/stratplan/2006/stratplan06.pdf) as a starting point. Include sufficient detail for reviewers to judge how work will be accomplished and identify the resources to be used. Show the relationship between the Science and Facility Plan and the planned organizational structure detailed in Section 2. Describe how a new NCAR Strategic Plan will be created during the award and how the NCAR Science and Facility Plan will be reviewed and developed in response to ongoing community input and emerging needs. Describe the measures (including metrics) that would be employed to ensure that the NCAR Strategic Plan and the Science and Facility Plan continue to best meet the needs of NCAR's primary stakeholders. The Science and Facility Plan must include details of how the Center's ongoing core programs and existing commitments would be sustained and supported during the initial period of the agreement.  Describe the integration of projects within NCAR and the cross-disciplinary mix needed to achieve the goals articulated in the Science and Facility plan, and discuss how any significant barriers would be overcome. 

Provide a plan for Education and Outreach that is closely integrated with the programs and activities described in the Science and Facility Plan. This should include details of involvement in regional programs, promotion of diversity among the workforce, students and researchers, and the type of opportunities and/or information that will be made available to help ensure equitable access among the scientific research community.

  1. Other Supporting Material/Ideas

The organization may provide additional material that it believes will be of assistance in evaluating the proposal but that does not fit into any of the defined sections above.

The following sections are not required for the full proposal:

  • Current and Pending Support
  • Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources (all relevant information must be provided in the Project Description and Appendices).

Note that when the proposal is submitted, FastLane or Grants.gov will perform a check for all of the standard sections of a proposal.  Proposers will receive warning messages that the Current and Pending Support and Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources sections have not been completed or uploaded.  Proposers should disregard these messages, since this solicitation does not require submission of those two sections of the full proposal.  

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing:   Cost sharing is not required by NSF in proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation.

Other Budgetary Limitations:  

Proposing organizations may include a fixed annual management fee in their proposed budget. The management fee must be clearly identified as such.

Budget Preparation Instructions:  

The invited full proposal will include a budget for each of the five years proposed.  FastLane and Grants.gov will automatically provide a cumulative budget.

Provide all staffing and budgeting information needed to describe how the organization will fulfill the expectations in Section II of this solicitation.   Requested budget amounts for each year of the proposal should reflect the level considered necessary to perform the activities described in the proposal.  Proposers should also be cognizant of budget constraints implied by the funding levels provided for FY2006 under the current cooperative agreement, as discussed under section II.B. 

Enter the anticipated total level of subcontract support on line G5, Subawards, of the FastLane budget or line F5 of the R&R Budget Form in Grants.gov.  Full proposals require the inclusion of separate budgets for subcontracts that exceed $250,000 per year.  For subcontracts that would be less than $250,000 year, include the costs in the aggregate on the subaward line in the budget. 

Proposers other than the current awardee must also provide a detailed budget for the four-month phase-in period preceding the new award. This information must be provided in an Appendix labeled Phase-In Budget. The budget must be presented in the same style with all applicable budget line items as for the budget for each year of the proposal. If a new awardee is selected to manage and operate NCAR, the incumbent will cooperate with the successor to the extent necessary to facilitate uninterrupted support for NCAR during the phase-in period and will provide transfer of legal rights to relevant property and equipment. NSF will support appropriate phase-in costs by a successor awardee if different from the current awardee.

In an Appendix labeled Financial Capability, proposing organizations must provide the following in support of the organization’s financial condition and capability:

  • A detailed structure and plan for implementing and monitoring business systems and internal controls for financial management and accounting system, property standards, equipment standards, procurement standards, reporting and records.  
  • Total compensation plan setting forth proposed salaries and fringe benefits for professional employees, with supporting information such as recognized national and regional compensation surveys, and studies of professional, public and private organizations used in establishing the total compensation structure. 
  • If available, the organization’s annual audited financial statements (e.g. Balance Sheet, Profit and loss Statement and Annual Reports) for the three most recent fiscal years and/or other documentation to clearly explain its current financial strength and resource capability. 
  • A current indirect cost rate proposal and supporting financial data.  If the organization’s indirect cost rates have been approved by another Federal agency, provide copies of such agreements.  NSF does not participate in or contribute to the cost of IR&D and such costs shall bear a proportionate share of overhead and G&A costs; therefore, IR&D costs should be excluded from indirect expense pools and included in the appropriate distribution bases.  If the organization has no IR&D costs, a statement to that effect should be included with the indirect cost rate proposal;
  • A current CASB Disclosure Statement, if applicable.

Organizations that have not previously received NSF awards should review the NSF Prospective New Awardee Guide at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf0529/guide05_29.pdf for additional guidance in preparing their budget submission.

C. Due Dates

  • Preliminary Proposal Due Date(s) (required): 

    April 13, 2007

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

    August 31, 2007

    By Invitation Only

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. The Grants.gov's Grant Community User Guide is a comprehensive reference document that provides technical information about Grants.gov. Proposers can download the User Guide as a Microsoft Word document or as a PDF document. The Grants.gov User Guide is available at: http://www.grants.gov/CustomerSupport. 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 and, if they meet NSF proposal preparation requirements, for review. 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 with the proposer.

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 and original 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?

NSF staff 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.

    Additional Review Considerations:

    For Preliminary and Invited full proposals, reviewers will be asked to identify and analyze the following:

    • Strengths and weaknesses of the proposed approach;
    • Opportunities and potential benefits that the proposed approach presents for the Center;
    • Risks to the future success of NCAR in the proposer’s approach which are not satisfactorily addressed.

    Preliminary Proposal

    The preliminary proposal, presenting the proposing organization’s five-year vision and concept for NCAR, will be assessed against the NSB-approved merit review criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts, both in an absolute sense and relative to other proposals received.

    Full Proposal

    1. Overall Management Concept - reviewers will consider the NSB Approved Merit Review Criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts, the extent of the proposing organization’s understanding of NCAR’s role and mission, and viability of the management strategy to develop NCAR’s position as a world leader; the role of the managing organization in relation to NCAR, NSF and the Center's stakeholders; the relevance of proposed methodologies to reinforce NCAR’s mission with primary stakeholders; the scope and quality of the plan to engage the atmospheric and wider geosciences community, including the highest levels of university management, government agencies and relevant industries, with clear lines of communication, understanding of community needs and issues, and the means to engage the community in planning, research, education and development of relevant technology.  The methodology for identifying and estimating future requirements will be assessed for applicability, awareness of the potential direction the sciences may take, and responsiveness to stated community needs.

    The weighting for Section 1 is 35%.

    1. Organization and Operations - reviewers will consider the NSB Approved Merit Review Criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts, the feasibility, relevance to the academic research environment, and potential for success, including resource integration, provision of space and equipment, logistics support for scientific initiatives, aircraft operations and maintenance, information technology, and security of systems and facilities.  The proposed methodology for developing metrics along with policies for analysis, review and implementation of constructive change where indicated will be evaluated for sufficiency and potential for achieving effective results.

    The Phase-In Plan will be evaluated to assess the proposing organization’s ability to assume full responsibility for the management and operation of NCAR upon completion of the phase-in period without degradation of high quality services, research efforts and facilities.

    The weighting for Section 2 is 35%.

    1. Human Resources and Diversity Program - reviewers will consider the NSB Approved Merit Review Criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts, the adequacy of the organization’s named personnel and proposed labor categories, techniques for recruiting, promoting diversity, and methods of invigorating the workforce and infusing new ideas and approaches in Center programs and administration. 

    The weighting for Section 3 is 15%.

    1. Initial Science and Facility Plan - reviewers will consider the NSB Approved Merit Review Criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts, the scope, feasibility and innovation of the planned activities, ability to respond to and  prioritize evolving scientific and engineering needs and opportunities in the community, the extent to which the plan targets critical goals relevant to the NCAR strategic plan, identifies challenging scientific and technical questions or barriers to be overcome, proposes high quality research projects to address the stated goals, identifies performance measures for the planning and delivery process, and reflects appropriate and effective use of  resources where possible.

    The weighting for Section 4 is 15%.

    1. Other Supporting Materials/Ideas, if provided and containing additional information not available in any of the sections above, may be used by the reviewers to help form an impression of the proposal overall, but will not be individually weighted or scored.

    Budget and Financial Review

    In addition, NSF will assess the organization’s budgetary and financial information as requested under Section V.B of this solicitation but this will not be individually weighted or scored. The organization will be assessed for the adequacy of its internal accounting and operational controls (including human resources, property control and procurement systems), potential for attracting qualified employees, and the adequacy of its financial resources for managing a federal research and development center.  The proposed fee (if any) and proposed direct and indirect rates will be evaluated for reasonableness and potential impact on funding available for science and related activities.  The impact of rates and any proposed fee will be evaluated relative to other organizations’ proposed rates and fees.   

    The business evaluation will be used to help inform the Program Officer’s recommendation for award.

B. Review and Selection Process

Preliminary proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be subjected to panel review. Only submitters of favorably reviewed preliminary proposals will be invited and eligible to submit full proposals. All proposers who are not invited to submit a full proposal will receive an official NSF declination notice and an explanation of the agency’s decision from the Program to which they applied. 

Full proposals will be subjected to panel review. A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. To further clarify the panel’s understanding of proposal(s), the evaluation may include one or more site visits. NSF staff's evaluation of the financial and business systems will be used to help inform the Program Officer's review. After consideration of the scientific, technical and business reviews, the NSF Program Officer will determine whether a proposal should be recommended to the cognizant Division Director for award. Upon approval by the Directorate, the NSF program recommendation will be submitted to the Director’s Review Board and, subsequently, the National Science Board for review and approval.

All proposers who are not recommended for award will receive an official NSF declination notice and an explanation of the agency’s decision from the Program to which they applied. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of reviewers, will be sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Officer.

Proposers are cautioned that only a Contracting/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 Contracting/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 Contracting/Agreements Officer in the Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support. 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 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 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 Contracting/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/general_conditions.jsp?org=NSF. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpm.

Special Award Conditions:  The award associated with this solicitation will be a Cooperative Agreement, not a standard grant or a contract.  Individual cooperative support agreements will be issued under the terms and conditions of the overall agreement.  Any special requirements not stated herein will be negotiated at time of award. 

Programmatic Terms and Conditions:  Cooperative Agreement Administration

The Cooperative Agreement awarded as a result of this competition will be administered by the ATM UCAR and Lower Atmosphere Facilities Oversight Section. The following measures will be employed in providing oversight for the cooperative agreement:

  • review of annual reports, program plans and performance metrics;
  • reviews of science activities and management performance approximately 2.5 years after the award is made
  • site visits annually, or as necessary;
  • for each cooperative support agreement issued to the awardee, review of annual reports, project plan and final report;
  • The awardee will be required to submit to a Total Business Systems Review at least once during the award and at least once during any subsequent renewals.

Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions:  Costs to be reimbursed in accordance with 2 CFR 220 -- Cost Principles for Educational Institutions, 2 CFR 230 -- Cost Principles for Nonprofit Organizations, or Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 31, as applicable.

Standard cooperative agreement terms and conditions, including supplements for managers of FFRDCs and Large Facilities, are available at http://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/co-op_conditions.jsp?org=NSF. Program-specific terms and conditions will be negotiated at time of award.

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.

Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports 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.

 Awardee Data Requirements

The awardee must keep records of all proposals involving the use of NCAR staff, facilities or other resources, and of any subsequent awards, and these records must be made available to NSF on request. Other data requirements may be specified prior to and during the award, as necessary.

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Kristin Spencer, Contract and Agreements Specialist, telephone: (703) 292-4585, fax: (703) 292-9140, email: kspencer@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. Modifications, if any, to this solicitation, as well as other related program information as it becomes available, will be posted to the NSF website. In addition, MyNSF (formerly the Custom News Service)is an information-delivery system 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 or the user's Web browser each time new publications are issued that match their identified interests. MyNSF also is available on NSF's Website at http://www.nsf.gov/mynsf/.

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.

Sources of additional information:

National Science Foundation, Atmospheric Sciences:

http://www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?div=ATM

National Science Foundation, Geosciences:

http://www.nsf.gov/dir/index.jsp?org=GEO

National Center for Atmospheric Research:

http://www.ncar.ucar.edu/

NCAR Strategic Plan:

http://www.ncar.ucar.edu/stratplan/2006/index.html

NCAR Annual Report:

http://www.nar.ucar.edu/2006/

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 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:

pubs@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

 



 

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