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National Science Foundation


NSF 11-058
Dear Colleague Letter: Announcement of Target Date for Submission of Proposals to Division of Physics for FY 2012 Funding Cycle

The target date for proposal submission to programs in the Division of Physics varies according to program. For proposals competing for FY 2012 (which begins October 1, 2011) funds, the target date for unsolicited proposals submitted to most programs is October 26, 2011 (except as noted below). Note that this date is one month later than has been the case in past years. For FY 2012, the Division will entertain submissions in the following areas:

  • Experimental Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics
  • Education and Interdisciplinary Research
  • Experimental Elementary Particle Physics
  • Gravitational Physics and LIGO
  • NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering (Apply to NSF 09-596)
  • Experimental Nuclear Physics
  • Particle and Nuclear Astrophysics
  • Physics at the Information Frontier (Target Date is November 18, 2011)
  • Physics of Living Systems (Target Date is July 31, 2011)
  • Theoretical Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics
  • Theoretical Nuclear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics (Target Date is December 1, 2011)
  • Theoretical Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (Target Date is December 1, 2011)

All proposals should be received at the Foundation by the target date. No proposal should be submitted after the target date without having previously received acknowledgement for the late submission from the cognizant Program Director. Delays in submissions may prohibit inclusion of the proposal within the mail and panel reviews for the program as a whole, and review of late proposals may have to be postponed until the following fiscal year in order to assure an impartial review. We also ask that you not submit proposals any earlier than one month before the appropriate target date, unless previously approved by the cognizant Program Director. Proposers are encouraged to browse the NSF Award Search at http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/tab.do?dispatch=4 to ascertain the type of research supported in these programs, or to call the cognizant Program Director if they are uncertain about which program is appropriate for their proposal.

Foundation-wide program solicitations, such as the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) or Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs, have specified target or deadline dates contained in their program announcements or solicitations. Proposals submitted to the Division of Physics as part of these programs must be submitted by the target dates or deadlines given in the program announcement or solicitation. Demonstrably multidisciplinary proposals sent to the Division of Physics, which are likely to be jointly reviewed with other programs within the Foundation, may be impacted by different target or deadline dates for the different programs involved. If you are contemplating submitting such a proposal, you should contact the cognizant Program Director in the Division of Physics before submission.

The Physics Division welcomes proposals that address NSF FY2012 priority areas, such as Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) and Science and Engineering Beyond Moore’s Law (SEBML). Such proposals should bring a uniquely physics perspective to research in these areas, as well as a focus on the scientific fundamentals underpinning these areas. Proposals that might fall into one of these categories should be submitted to the disciplinary program that is closest to the physics approach used if such a program can be identified. Physics proposals addressing one of these areas that do not have an obvious disciplinary identity should be submitted to the Education and Interdisciplinary Research program. PHY awardees are encouraged to consider the TeraGrid as a resource for high-performance computing applications. Applicants who are proposing activities that involve large-scale computing applications should take this into account when preparing the proposal. Startup allocations are available to first-time users wishing to explore the use of TeraGrid resources for their research activity (http://www.teragrid.org).

Proposals submitted in response to programs listed in this Dear Colleague letter are required to be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) or the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide. These documents are available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg and http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=grantsgovguide. These documents are updated on a regular basis, so it is critical that the guidelines for all sections of the proposal, including the submission of required supplementary information, in the most recent version of the GPG or NSF Grants.gov Application Guide be followed, as failure to follow the instructions in detail will result in the proposal’s being returned without review. Proposers who anticipate difficulty in meeting the 15-page limit on the length of the Project Description must request and receive a deviation in advance of proposal submission. (GPG, Chapter II, Section A, Conformance with Instructions for Proposal Preparation, contains information about deviations from instructions provided in the GPG.) Requests for deviations should be submitted to the cognizant Program Director in the Division of Physics, who will initiate the formal request to the Office of the Assistant Director of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences. All submissions should refer to the Program Description (PD) number listed on the PHY web page for the program.

There are two general merit review criteria approved by the National Science Board (NSB) and listed in the GPG: the intellectual merit of the proposed activity, and the broader impacts resulting from the proposed activity. All proposals must separately address both of the merit review criteria in the Project Summary and should describe the broader impacts as an integral part of the narrative in the Project Description. Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/broaderimpacts.pdf. The Division of Physics emphasizes the importance of thinking about and communicating these connections. Please note that this is not a shift in the priorities or strategic vision of the Division. It is rather a call for greater effort in expressing the broader context of our work.

Joseph L. Dehmer
Division of Physics

NSF 11-058 (Replaces NSF 10-057)
OMB No. 3145-0058
CFDA No. 47.049 P.T. 34; K.W. 1010000
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