Computer and Network Systems (CNS): Core Programs

Program Solicitation
NSF 14-597

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 13-581

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering
     Division of Computer and Network Systems

Submission Window Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time): 

     October 27, 2014 - November 10, 2014

      MEDIUM Projects

     November 12, 2014 - November 20, 2014

      LARGE Projects

     January 02, 2015 - January 14, 2015

     January 2 - January 14, Annually Thereafter

      SMALL Projects

     September 02, 2015 - September 21, 2015

     September 2 - September 19, Annually Thereafter

      MEDIUM Projects

     November 04, 2015 - November 19, 2015

     November 4 - November 19, Annually Thereafter

      LARGE Projects

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

Revision Summary: This is a revision of NSF 13-581, the solicitation for the CISE/CNS Core Programs. The revisions include:

  1. Revisions of the Core Program descriptions;
  2. Revisions clarifying embedded supplements for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs); and
  3. Revisions clarifying the requirements for a list of project personnel as well as a list of collaborators of all members of the project team to be submitted as Supplementary Documents.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

Computer and Network Systems (CNS): Core Programs

Synopsis of Program:

CISE’s Division of Computer and Network Systems (CNS) supports research and education projects that develop new knowledge in two core programs:

  • Computer Systems Research (CSR) program; and
  • Networking Technology and Systems (NeTS) program.

Proposers are invited to submit proposals in three project classes, which are defined as follows:

  • Small Projects - up to $500,000 total budget with durations up to three years;
  • Medium Projects - $500,001 to $1,200,000 total budget with durations up to four years; and
  • Large Projects - $1,200,001 to $3,000,000 total budget with durations up to five years.

A more complete description of the three project classes can be found in section II. Program Description of this document.

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.

  • Mimi McClure, CSR Associate Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: mmcclure@nsf.gov

  • Theodore Baker, CSR Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: tbaker@nsf.gov

  • Geoffrey Brown, CSR Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: gebrown@nsf.gov

  • Anita J. La Salle, CSR Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: alasalle@nsf.gov

  • Weisong Shi, CSR Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: wshi@nsf.gov

  • Darleen L. Fisher, NeTS Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: dlfisher@nsf.gov

  • Joseph B. Lyles, NeTS Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: jlyles@nsf.gov

  • Thyagarajan Nandagopal, NeTS Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: tnandago@nsf.gov

  • Min Song, NeTS Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: msong@nsf.gov

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

  • 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 80 to 120 - It is anticipated that up to 120 awards will be made each year.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $60,000,000 each year, dependent upon the availability of funds.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter I, Section E.

Who May Serve as PI:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 2

In any contiguous September through January period, an individual may participate as PI, Co-PI or Senior Personnel in no more than two Small, Medium or Large proposals submitted in response to the coordinated solicitation (where coordinated solicitation is defined to include the Computer and Network Systems (CNS): Core Programs, the Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS): Core Programs and the Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF): Core Programs solicitations). For example, between September 2014 and January 2015, an individual may participate as PI, co-PI or Senior Personnel in one proposal submitted to a core program in CCF and in a second proposal submitted to a core program in CNS, or an individual may participate as PI, co-PI or Senior Personnel in two proposals submitted to an IIS core program, etc.

These eligibility constraints will be strictly enforced in order to treat everyone fairly and consistently. In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals received within the limit will be accepted based on earliest date and time of proposal submission (i.e., the first two proposals received will be accepted and the remainder will be returned without review). No exceptions will be made.

The limit on the number of proposals per PI, co-PI or Senior Personnel applies only to the coordinated solicitation.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not required
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not required
  • 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: Not Applicable
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

  • Submission Window Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

         October 27, 2014 - November 10, 2014

          MEDIUM Projects

         November 12, 2014 - November 20, 2014

          LARGE Projects

         January 02, 2015 - January 14, 2015

         January 2 - January 14, Annually Thereafter

          SMALL Projects

         September 02, 2015 - September 21, 2015

         September 2 - September 19, Annually Thereafter

          MEDIUM Projects

         November 04, 2015 - November 19, 2015

         November 4 - November 19, Annually Thereafter

          LARGE Projects

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. Merit Review Principles and 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 Computer and Network Systems (CNS) supports research and education activities that invent new computing and networking technologies and that explore new ways to make use of existing technologies. The Division seeks to develop a better understanding of the fundamental properties of computer and network systems and to create better abstractions and tools for designing, building, analyzing, and measuring future systems.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

CNS supports two core programs as described below -- Computer Systems Research (CSR) and Networking Technology and Systems (NeTS).

Computer Systems Research (CSR)

The Computer Systems Research (CSR) program supports transformative scientific and engineering research on computer systems. Much of the current research in computer systems is being driven by the demands and impacts of warehouse-scale computing, but computers are now everywhere. There is a broad set of applications driving systems research including, but not limited to, wearable computing, "smart dust," the Internet of Things, and cyber-physical systems; these applications create their own systems' challenges. In addition, novel technologies and significant improvement to existing technologies provide opportunities for the creation of novel applications and require us to reconsider the fundamental design assumptions underlying existing systems. Examples of potential novelty include, but are not limited to, nonvolatile universal memory; low-power, scalable, many-core architectures; silicon photonics; and natural user interfaces. There are also challenges that cut across many computer systems that continue to demand attention, including making reliable systems from unreliable components, enabling systems to adapt to changing environments and to grow without practical limit, and addressing the economical, environmental and social aspects of the sustainability of computer systems. Note: The technologies and applications specified above are merely intended as examples and not meant to be exhaustive.

CSR proposals should address problems that are appropriate to the CSR Core Area or to one of the current highlighted areas. Note that proposals that address problems in the CSR highlighted areas are not targeted for special handling or funding -- they simply represent emerging areas or areas of current national interest.

CSR proposals are strongly encouraged to include validation plans that describe mechanisms to assess success of the proposed research efforts.

CSR Core Area

The CSR program supports transformative research, whether foundational or in computing systems, ranging from multi-core architectures and operating systems to mobile and sensor systems. Research in computer systems is typically complicated by two factors. First, modern systems are increasingly large, complex, and heterogeneous. Second, they are usually required to provide, during their executions, high degrees of availability, responsiveness, fault-tolerance, and security. Indeed, some systems are safety-critical. Other system properties of interest include speed, storage requirements, energy consumption, and real-time constraints.

Research in the CSR Core Area involves developing methodologies, techniques, heuristics, and tools for the analysis, design, construction, optimization, and certification of computing systems to meet specified goals, as well as hardware and software execution platforms and environments.

The CSR core supports and sustains progress in the contributing disciplinary areas that underlie computing systems including: distributed systems; high performance computing; operating systems and middleware; design and programming models; and real-time, embedded, and hybrid systems.

CSR Highlighted Areas

For this solicitation, there are four CSR highlighted areas: Cloud Computing (CC), Embedded and Hybrid Systems (EHS), Extensible Distributed Systems (EDS), and Sustainable Computing (SC). These four areas are described below.

  • Cloud Computing (CC)

    Cloud computing is a computing paradigm of on-demand access (as a service) to computing, data, and software utilities. It is based on an abstraction of unlimited availability of virtual resources, and a model of usage-based billing where users essentially "rent" virtual resources and pay only for the virtual resources that they rent.

    The main focus of the CC highlight area is to stimulate and promote basic, applied, and experimental research in several directions, in the area of cloud computing, that includes (but is not limited to): cloud architectures and systems; network support for cloud computing; real-time clouds and QoS; data virtualization, replication, consistency, availability, and management; programming models for the cloud; cloud self-monitoring, prediction, and autonomic control; fault-masking and reliability; cloud security, privacy, authorization, and auditing; debugging, certification, diagnosis, and update in the cloud; data portability, interoperability, and standardization; green or energy-efficient clouds; and cloud test-beds.

  • Embedded and Hybrid Systems (EHS)

    Embedded and hybrid systems control devices and physical or engineered systems that range from hearing aids and pacemakers to automobiles, aircraft, chemical processing plants, electrical power grids, and global aviation infrastructure. The EHS highlight area supports research and education in scientific foundations and technology that will revolutionize the design and development of such systems.

    The goal is to supply technologies for designing and building increasingly capable and certifiably dependable embedded and control systems, with real-time, interoperability, survivability, reliability, and security guarantees. A central challenge is to create unified foundations for interacting physical and computational systems.

    Specific topics of interest include: embedded systems software and programming methods; real-time services and platforms; foundations and technology for hybrid (discrete and continuous) control; innovative embedded hardware technology; scalable support for embedded sensing; architecture and design principles for complex embedded systems; and resource management and optimization.

  • Extensible Distributed Systems (EDS)

    Smart phones, tablets, and other types of edge devices have attained increasing prominence in our everyday lives over the last decade. Users expect these systems to be robust, reliable, safe, secure, and efficient. At the same time, new applications leveraging these platforms require a rich environment that enables sensing and computing, along with communication among the devices and between the devices and warehouse-scale facilities via the cloud. This coupling underpins many ‘smart’ technologies and infrastructures of the future, such as smart buildings and informatics infrastructures, intelligent transportation systems, and smart energy distribution and consumption systems, as well as how humans interact with such technologies and infrastructures.

    The EDS highlight area supports research into the science and design of extensible distributed systems, advancing software and hardware architectures to enable us to move from small-scale to planetary-scale systems. Research challenges may include (but are not limited to): balancing constraints such as low energy use, tight form factors, and tight time constraints with adequate computational capacity; consistency, reliability, and fault models for EDS; system assumptions for dependability and performance; scaling-out and elasticity with large numbers of nodes; fully decentralized versus central control architectures; robust and efficient protocols for unstructured overlay networks; and data storage and recovery for EDS.

  • Sustainable Computing (SC)

    The SC highlight area addresses fundamental advances in methods and models to address power, thermal and sustainability issues in the design and operation of computing devices at all scales (from PDAs to large servers and storage boxes) and at all levels (from chips to entire data centers) that are essential to reduce the carbon footprint of fast expanding computing technologies and to deliver the performance that customers and applications demand. As energy generation becomes more distributed and relies on renewable sources, integration of energy generation and consumption by IT becomes an important aspect to consider. With energy consumption of IT systems becoming a major issue, tradeoffs between energy efficiency, performance, and other factors such as reliability or space become essential.

Both the CSR Core and the CSR highlighted areas seek proposals focused on advances in system computing and systems programming that are particular to an application domain or a specific hardware platform as well as generic across domains and platforms. Investigators interested in the CSR program may also wish to consider the Software and Hardware Foundations (SHF) program, which supports research on the design, verification, operation, utilization, and evaluation of computer hardware and software through novel approaches, robust theories, high leverage tools, and lasting principles.

Networking Technology and Systems (NeTS)

Computer and communication networks need to be available anytime and anywhere, and be accessible from any device. Networks need to evolve over time to incorporate new technologies, support new classes of applications and services, and to meet new requirements and challenges; networks need to scale and adapt to unforeseen events and uncertainties across multiple dimensions, including types of applications, size and topology, mobility patterns, and heterogeneity of devices and networking technologies. Networks need to be easily controllable and manageable, resource and energy efficient, secure and resilient to failures and attacks. A number of recent reports have highlighted research challenges and opportunities in networking technologies and systems (e.g., see the reports from the Workshops on Scaling Terabit Networks, http://lightwave.ee.columbia.edu/files/STNFinalReport2014.pdf, and Future Directions in Wireless Networking, http://ecedha.org/docs/nsf-nets/final-report.pdf).

The Networking Technology and Systems (NeTS) program supports transformative research on fundamental scientific and technological advances leading to the development of future-generation, high-performance networks and future Internet architectures. The scope of the program includes enterprise, core, and optical networks; peer-to-peer and application-level networks; wireless, mobile, and cellular networks; networks for physical infrastructures; and sensor networks. The program also seeks innovative networking research proposals within application domains such as smart grids, compute grids, clouds, and data centers.

NeTS proposals should address problems that are appropriate to the NeTS Core Area or to one of the current Highlighted Areas. Note that proposals that address problems in the NeTS highlighted areas are not targeted for special handling or funding -- they simply represent emerging areas or areas of current national interest.

NeTS proposals are strongly encouraged to include validation plans that describe mechanisms to assess success of the proposed research efforts.

NeTS Core Area

The NeTS program seeks fundamental scientific understanding of and advances in large-scale complex, heterogeneous networks, including but not limited to, resource allocation and traffic engineering, topology discovery and control, context-aware service discovery, naming and addressing, routing and congestion control, network economics, opportunistic networking, network and mobility management at different levels and granularities, virtualization and programmability at-scale and at all levels of the network architecture. NeTS also supports research that brings the network closer to autonomy, where the need for human intervention is minimal.

In the area of wireless networks, NeTS seeks research projects on novel frameworks, architectures, protocols, methodologies and tools for the design and analysis, deployment, operation and management of robust and highly dependable cellular, mobile ad-hoc, vehicular, mesh, sensor, body area, and underwater networks. The program seeks projects that enable energy-efficient operation with low control and communication overhead in wireless networks, such as sensors, cellular and autonomous swarm networks (aerial/terrestrial/underwater).

NeTS Highlighted Areas:

For this solicitation, there are three highlighted area: Networks Leveraging or Advancing New Technologies, Networks that Address Emerging National Needs and Trends, and Meta-Networking Research. These three areas are described below.

  • Networks Leveraging or Advancing New Technologies

    With innovations in lower layer technologies such as dynamic optical channels, high-speed wireless physics layer (PHY), multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO), full-duplex wireless, etc., there is an emerging need to re-visit network design strategies and develop better protocols and control frameworks that leverage these improved technologies while coupling application-layer capacity and reliability demands to the lower layers. Innovative research on optical terabit-per-second “ethernets” capable of integrating computation, storage, data-gathering, and visualization within a campus area is encouraged. Such research on campus-area networks might leverage integrated optical or opto-electronic systems to achieve multiple terabit-per-second performance for multiple users but at costs and form factors comparable to 10 gigabits per second Ethernet. Another aspect of research in lower-layer technologies includes a combination of hardware and software designs to scale wired and wireless network research systems to approach closely the capabilities in high-end commercial hardware without sacrificing programmability, with special emphasis on the design of such networks for application specific support.

  • Networks that Address Emerging National Needs and Trends

    The growth in social networks, mobile computing, and ubiquitous communication has raised key research challenges as it pertains to networking. Five such challenges are:

    (a) Can we design better higher-layer services and applications that inform or are informed by the underlying communication network?

    (b) What protocols and network architectures are needed to achieve massive reductions in power consumption for the Internet, enterprise, mobile and home networking without sacrificing user functionality?

    (c) Can we create novel paradigms, technologies, and methodologies for the integration and management of computation and communication in distributed clouds?

    (d) What are the networking innovations that can help improve per-user data rates seen in cellular networks by a factor of 1000, specifically improve per-user edge throughput from the current 100 kbps or less to 100 Mbps?

    (e) Cognitive radio is traditionally considered only as a physical layer technology used to achieve dynamic spectrum access, but more is needed to meet the nation's broadband goals. What novel cognitive radio architectures are required to enable rich networking functionalities, while providing adequate incentive and co-existence mechanisms?

  • Meta-Networking Research

    There is a vital need for methodologies for scientific evaluation of communication networks that include an understanding of network instrumentation and measurements as well as the development of rigorous scientific methods for planning and assessing networking experiments. There is also a need for solid network management tools that include semantically rich descriptions of network configuration (i.e. rich network configuration, security, network management, application overlays, fault tolerance and resilience).

PROJECT CLASSES

Proposals submitted to this solicitation must be consistent with one of three project classes defined below. Proposals will be considered for funding within their project classes.

  • SMALL Projects:

Small Projects, with total budgets up to $500,000 for durations of up to three years, are well suited to one or two investigators (PI and one co-PI or other Senior Personnel) and at least one student and/or postdoc.

  • MEDIUM Projects:

Medium Projects, with total budgets ranging from $500,001 to $1,200,000 for durations up to four years, are well-suited to one or more investigators (PI, co-PI and/or other Senior Personnel) and several students and/or postdocs. Medium project descriptions must be comprehensive and well-integrated, and should make a convincing case that the collaborative contributions of the project team will be greater than the sum of each of their individual contributions. Rationale must be provided to explain why a budget of this size is required to carry out the proposed work. Since the success of collaborative research efforts are known to depend on thoughtful coordination mechanisms that regularly bring together the various participants of the project, a Collaboration Plan is required for all Medium proposals with more than one investigator. Up to 2 pages are allowed for Collaboration Plans. The length of and level of detail provided in the Collaboration Plan should be commensurate with the complexity of the proposed project. If a Medium proposal with more than one investigator does not include a Collaboration Plan, that proposal will be returned without review. Please see Proposal Preparation Instructions Section V.A for additional submission guidelines.

  • LARGE Projects:

Large Projects, with total budgets ranging from $1,200,001 to $3,000,000 for durations of up to five years, are well-suited to two or more investigators (PI, co-PI(s), or other Senior Personnel), and a team of students and/or postdocs. Large project descriptions must be comprehensive and well-integrated, and should make a convincing case that the collaborative contributions of the project team will be greater than the sum of each of their individual contributions. Large projects will typically integrate research from various areas, either within a cluster or across clusters, or tackle ambitious goals not feasible with smaller projects. Rationale must be provided to explain why a budget of this size is required to carry out the proposed work. Since the success of collaborative research efforts are known to depend on thoughtful coordination mechanisms that regularly bring together the various participants of the project, a Collaboration Plan is required for all Large proposals. Up to 2 pages are allowed for Collaboration Plans. The length of and degree of detail provided in the Collaboration Plan should be commensurate with the complexity of the proposed project. If a Large proposal does not include a Collaboration Plan, that proposal will be returned without review. Please see Proposal Preparation Instructions Section V.A for additional submission guidelines.

CISE investments in Small, Medium and Large projects complement the Directorate's investments in the Expeditions in Computing program, where projects are funded at levels of up to $10,000,000 total for durations of up to 5 years. Additional information on the Expeditions program can be accessed at: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503169.

BREAKTHROUGH PROPOSALS:

CISE encourages proposals that promise extraordinary outcomes, with a possibly corresponding increase in uncertainty in the research plan and overall risk of success relative to traditional submissions, such as: revolutionizing disciplines or sub-disciplines, creating new fields or subfields, disrupting accepted theories and perspectives, and solving widely recognized challenging problems. In order to encourage the submission of proposals possessing one or more of these characteristics, we are offering the opportunity to submit and identify such projects as "Breakthrough Proposals."

Breakthrough proposals may be submitted to all CISE (CCF/CNS/IIS) core programs and may be Small, Medium, or Large. They must be submitted in accordance with the deadlines for Small, Medium, and Large proposals. Submission of a breakthrough proposal will count as one against the limit of two proposals per PI as described in the previous sections. The proposal preparation instructions, budgetary limits, and requirements for these proposals are identical to other proposals submitted to CISE (CCF/CNS/IIS) core programs under each of three size categories with the following exceptions:

  1. The word "breakthrough" must be listed as the first keyword in the submitted list of keywords.
  2. A statement, of up to two pages, explaining why the proposed research can be described as "breakthrough" and how any associated uncertainty and risk will be managed, must be submitted as a document under Supplementary Documentation. A breakthrough proposal must include this statement in order to be considered as a breakthrough proposal. If it does not include this statement, that proposal will be considered as a regular proposal.

PROPOSALS FOR CONSIDERATION BY MULTIPLE CISE PROGRAMS

Proposals that intersect more than one CISE research program are welcome. In such cases, PIs must identify the most relevant programs in the proposal submission process (for information about submission and how to identify such proposals, see Proposal Preparation Instructions later in this document). CISE Program Officers will ensure that these proposals are co- reviewed as appropriate.

IMPORTANT PROJECT CHARACTERISTICS

The submission of far-reaching, creative research and education projects is encouraged. Funds will be used to support potentially transformative research with high-impact potential. In this way, CISE will catalyze exciting new research activities with the potential to make significant advances in the state-of-the-art.

Interdisciplinary, international and/or academic-industry collaborations that promise to result in major science or engineering advances are welcome. The directorate hopes to attract proposals from faculty at a broad range of academic institutions, including faculty at minority-serving and predominantly undergraduate institutions.

Proposals submitted should demonstrate that rich learning experiences will be provided for a diverse population of students, and may propose the development of innovative curricula or educational materials that advance literacy about and expertise in areas supported by CISE.

EMBEDDED REU SUPPLEMENTS

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU): Sites and Supplements solicitation (NSF 13-542) gives instructions for embedding a request for an REU Supplement in a proposal. Proposers are invited to embed a request for an REU Supplement in the typical amount for one year only according to normal CISE guidelines (detailed below). The amounts of the REU Supplements do not count against the budget limitations described in this solicitation for the Small, Medium, and Large project categories.

For single investigator projects, CISE REU supplemental funding requests should typically be for no more than two students for one year. Research teams funded through multi-investigator projects may request support for a larger number of students, commensurate with the size and nature of their projects. For example, for projects involving two principal investigators, REU supplemental funding is typically requested for about four undergraduates for one year. Requests for larger numbers of students should be accompanied by detailed justifications.

CISE expects to provide up to $8,000 per student per year through the REU supplemental support mechanism. As described in the REU program solicitation (NSF 13-542), indirect costs (F&A) are not allowed on Participant Support Costs in REU Site or REU Supplement budgets. Note that the REU solicitation's longstanding "administrative allowance" of 25% of the participant support stipend amount in lieu of indirect costs has been discontinued.

REU stipend support is one way to retain talented students in undergraduate education, while providing meaningful research experiences. The participation of students from groups underrepresented in computing -- underrepresented minorities, women and persons with disabilities -- is strongly encouraged. In addition, CISE encourages REU supplements that specifically afford US veterans an opportunity to engage in meaningful research experiences, as recommended by the April 2009 report of an NSF-funded workshop on Veterans’ Education for Engineering and Science.

CISE REU supplemental funding requests must describe results of any previous such support, including students supported, papers published, etc. Other factors influencing supplemental funding decisions include the number of REU requests submitted by any one principal investigator across all of her/his CISE grants.

Investigators are encouraged to refer to the REU program solicitation (NSF 13-542) for detailed information concerning submission requirements. Grantees with questions may also contact one of the Cognizant Program Officers listed in this solicitation.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

Approximately $60 million will be available each year to support up to 120 awards, pending the availability of funds.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Who May Submit Proposals:

The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter I, Section E.

Who May Serve as PI:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 2

In any contiguous September through January period, an individual may participate as PI, Co-PI or Senior Personnel in no more than two Small, Medium or Large proposals submitted in response to the coordinated solicitation (where coordinated solicitation is defined to include the Computer and Network Systems (CNS): Core Programs, the Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS): Core Programs and the Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF): Core Programs solicitations). For example, between September 2014 and January 2015, an individual may participate as PI, co-PI or Senior Personnel in one proposal submitted to a core program in CCF and in a second proposal submitted to a core program in CNS, or an individual may participate as PI, co-PI or Senior Personnel in two proposals submitted to an IIS core program, etc.

These eligibility constraints will be strictly enforced in order to treat everyone fairly and consistently. In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals received within the limit will be accepted based on earliest date and time of proposal submission (i.e., the first two proposals received will be accepted and the remainder will be returned without review). No exceptions will be made.

The limit on the number of proposals per PI, co-PI or Senior Personnel applies only to the coordinated solicitation.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

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.

Important Proposal Preparation Information: FastLane will check for required sections of the full proposal, in accordance with Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) instructions described in Chapter II.C.2. The GPG requires submission of: Project Summary; Project Description; References Cited; Biographical Sketch(es); Budget; Budget Justification; Current and Pending Support; Facilities, Equipment & Other Resources; Data Management Plan; and Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan, if applicable. If a required section is missing, FastLane will not accept the proposal.

Please note that the proposal preparation instructions provided in this program solicitation may deviate from the GPG instructions. If the solicitation instructions do not require a GPG-required section to be included in the proposal, insert text or upload a document in that section of the proposal that states, "Not Applicable for this Program Solicitation." Doing so will enable FastLane to accept your proposal.

Please note that per guidance in the GPG, the Project Description must contain, as a separate section within the narrative, a discussion of the broader impacts of the proposed activities. Unless otherwise specified in this solicitation, you can decide where to include this section within the Project Description.

The following information SUPPLEMENTS (not replaces) the guidelines provided in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG).

Proposal Titles: Proposal titles must begin with an acronym that indicates the most relevant core program. Select an acronym from the following list:

  • Computer Systems Research: CSR
  • Networking Technology and Systems: NeTS

The acronym should be followed with a colon, then the project class followed by a colon, then the title of your project. For example, if you are submitting a Small proposal to the Networking Technology and Systems core program, then your title would be NeTS: Small:Title. If you submit a proposal as part of a set of collaborative proposals, the title of the proposal should begin with the acronym that indicates the most relevant core program followed by a colon, then the project class followed by a colon, then "Collaborative Research" followed by a colon, and the title. For example, if you are submitting a collaborative set of proposals for a Medium project to the Computer Systems Research core program, the title of each would be CSR: Medium: Collaborative Research: Title.

Proposals from PIs in institutions that have RUI (Research in Undergraduate Institutions) eligibility should have a proposal title that begins with the acronym that indicates the most relevant program acronym, followed by a colon then the project class, followed by a colon then "RUI", followed by a colon and then the title, for example, CSR: Medium: RUI: Title.

PIs submitting Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) proposals should have a proposal title that begins with the acronym that indicates the most relevant program acronym, followed by a colon then the project class, followed by a colon then "GOALI", followed by a colon and then the title, for example, NeTS: Medium: GOALI: Title.

Proposals that extend beyond the scope of one CISE core program or area are welcome. Proposals should be submitted in response to the solicitation for the CISE division (CCF, CNS or IIS) that includes the most relevant core program. In such cases, PIs should identify the acronym for the most relevant core program or area, followed by any other relevant program acronym(s) separated by colons (for example, CSR: CHS: Medium: Title). In this case, the proposal would be submitted to the Division of Computer and Network Systems solicitation but would be considered by CNS/CSR and IIS/CHS. CISE Program Officers will work with their NSF and CISE colleagues to ensure that these proposals are appropriately reviewed and considered for funding. Please see the coordinated CCF and IIS solicitations for information on other CISE core programs and the corresponding acronyms.

Project Summary: The Project Summary consists of an overview, a statement on the intellectual merit of the proposed activity, and a statement on the broader impacts of the proposed activity.

Please provide between 2 and 6 sets of keywords at the end of the overview in the Project Summary. CISE personnel will use this information in implementing the merit review process. The keywords should describe the main scientific/engineering areas explored in the proposal. Keywords should be prefaced with "Keywords" followed by a colon and each keyword set should be separated by semi-colons. Keywords should be of the type used to describe research in a journal submission. They should be included at the end of the overview in the project summary and might appear, for example, as Keywords: energy-aware computing; formal logic; computer graphics; sensor networks; information visualization; privacy. "Breakthrough proposals" should have the word "breakthrough" as the first keyword in the submitted list of keywords.

Project Description: Length of Project Description - Describe the research and education activities to be undertaken in up to 15 pages for Small and Medium proposals and in up to 20 pages for Large proposals. Describe curriculum development activities, if any, in a separate section (included in these page limits) titled "Curriculum Development Activities.

"Proposers are reminded that, as specified in GPG Chapter II.C.2.d.iii if any PI or co-PI identified on the project has received NSF funding (including any current funding) in the past five years, information on the award(s) is required, irrespective of whether the support was directly related to the proposal or not. This information must appear as part of the Project Description.

Supplementary Documents: In the Supplementary Documents Section, upload the following information where relevant:

(1) List of Project Personnel and Partner Institutions (Note: In collaborative proposals, the lead institution should provide this information for all participants):

Provide current, accurate information for all personnel and institutions involved in the project. NSF staff will use this information in the merit review process to manage conflicts of interest. The list should include all PIs, Co-PIs, Senior Personnel, paid/unpaid Consultants or Collaborators, Subawardees, Postdocs, and project-level advisory committee members. This list should be numbered and include (in this order) Full name, Organization(s), and Role in the project, with each item separated by a semi-colon. Each person listed should start a new numbered line. For example:

  1. Mary Smith; XYZ University; PI
  2. John Jones; University of PQR; Senior Personnel
  3. Jane Brown; XYZ University; Postdoc
  4. Bob Adams; ABC Community College; Paid Consultant
  5. Susan White; DEF Corporation; Unpaid Collaborator
  6. Tim Green; ZZZ University; Subawardee

(2) A list of past and present Collaborators not related to this proposal (Note: In collaborative proposals, the lead institution should provide this information for all participants):

Provide current, accurate information for all active or recent collaborators of personnel and institutions involved in the project. NSF staff will use this information in the merit review process to manage conflicts of interest. This list -- distinct from (1) above -- must include all active or recent Collaborators of all personnel involved with the proposed project. Collaborators include any individual with whom any member of the project team -- including PIs, Co-PIs, Senior Personnel, paid/unpaid Consultants or Collaborators, Subawardees, Postdocs, and project-level advisory committee members -- has collaborated on a project, book, article, report, or paper within the preceding 48 months; or co-edited a journal, compendium, or conference proceedings within the preceding 24 months. This list should include (in this order) Full name and Organization(s), with each item separated by a semi-colon. Each person listed should start a new numbered line. The following is a sample format; other similar formats are acceptable.

  1. Collaborators for Mary Smith; XYZ University; PI
    1. Helen Gupta; ABC University
    2. John Jones; University of PQR
    3. Fred Gonzales; DEF Corporation
    4. Susan White; DEF Corporation
  2. Collaborators for John Jones; University of PQR; Senior Personnel
    1. Tim Green; ZZZ University
    2. Ping Chang, ZZZ University
    3. Mary Smith; XYZ University
  3. Collaborators for Jane Brown; XYZ University; Postdoc
    1. Fred Gonzales; DEF Corporation
  4. Collaborators for Bob Adams; ABC Community College; Paid Consultant
    1. None
  5. Collaborators for Susan White; DEF Corporation; Unpaid Collaborator
    1. Mary Smith; XYZ University
    2. Harry Nguyen; Welldone Institution
  6. Collaborators for Tim Green; ZZZ University; Subawardee
    1. John Jones; University of PQR

NOTE: The list of collaborators includes all current and past (see above timelines) projects for all participants in the proposal. It is not a list of the collaborators for the given proposal; this should be provided pursuant to item (1) of Supplementary Documents above.

(3) Collaboration Plans for Medium and Large Proposals (if applicable):

Since the success of collaborative research efforts are known to depend on thoughtful coordination mechanisms that regularly bring together the various participants of the project, all Medium proposals that include more than one investigator and all Large proposals must include a Collaboration Plan of up to 2 pages. The length of and degree of detail provided in the Collaboration Plan should be commensurate with the complexity of the proposed project. Where appropriate, the Collaboration Plan might include: 1) the specific roles of the project participants in all organizations involved; 2) information on how the project will be managed across all the investigators, institutions, and/or disciplines; 3) identification of the specific coordination mechanisms that will enable cross-investigator, cross-institution, and/or cross-discipline scientific integration (e.g., yearly workshops, graduate student exchange, project meetings at conferences, use of the grid for videoconferences, software repositories, etc.), and 4) specific references to the budget line items that support collaboration and coordination mechanisms. If a Large proposal, or a Medium proposal with more than one investigator, does not include a Collaboration Plan of up to 2 pages, that proposal will be returned without review.

(4) Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan (if applicable):

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. In no more than one page, the mentoring plan must describe the mentoring that will be provided to all postdoctoral researchers supported by the project, irrespective of whether they reside at the submitting organization, any subawardee organization, or at any organization participating in a simultaneously submitted collaborative project. 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.

Proposals that include Postdoctoral Mentoring Plans exceeding one page in length will be returned without review.

(5) Data Management Plan (required):

Proposals must include a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled "Data Management Plan." This supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results.

See Chapter II.C.2.j of the GPG for full policy implementation.

For additional information, see: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp.

For specific guidance for proposals submitted to the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) see: http://www.nsf.gov/cise/cise_dmp.jsp.

Proposals that include Data Management Plans exceeding two pages in length will be returned without review.

(6) Breakthrough Description (if applicable):

A statement, of up to two pages, explaining why the proposed research can be described as "breakthrough," and how any associated uncertainty and risk will be managed, must be submitted as a document under Supplementary Documentation. A breakthrough proposal must include this statement in order to be considered as a breakthrough proposal. If a proposal does not include this statement, that proposal will be considered as a regular proposal.

(7) Documentation of Collaborative Arrangements of Significance to the Proposal Through Letters of Commitment:

Any substantial collaboration with individuals not included in the budget should be described and documented with a letter from each collaborator, which should be provided in the supplementary documentation section. Letters of commitment that promise access to facilities or resources (such as data sets or databases) should also be provided.

(8) Other Specialized Information:

RUI Proposals: PIs from predominantly undergraduate institutions should include a Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) Impact Statement and Certification of RUI Eligibility in this Section.

GOALI proposals: PIs submitting GOALI proposals should include industry-university agreement letters on intellectual property in this section.

(9) No other supplementary documents, except as permitted by the Grant Proposal Guide, are allowed. In particular, other letters of support not included in (7) above should not be submitted as they are not a standard component of an NSF proposal.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited

C. Due Dates

  • Submission Window Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

         October 27, 2014 - November 10, 2014

          MEDIUM Projects

         November 12, 2014 - November 20, 2014

          LARGE Projects

         January 02, 2015 - January 14, 2015

         January 2 - January 14, Annually Thereafter

          SMALL Projects

         September 02, 2015 - September 21, 2015

         September 2 - September 19, Annually Thereafter

          MEDIUM Projects

         November 04, 2015 - November 19, 2015

         November 4 - November 19, Annually Thereafter

          LARGE Projects

D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane:

To prepare and submit a proposal via FastLane, see detailed technical instructions 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.

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://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants.html. In addition, the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide (see link in Section V.A) provides instructions regarding the technical 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.

Proposers that submitted via FastLane are strongly encouraged to use FastLane to verify the status of their submission to NSF. For proposers that submitted via Grants.gov, until an application has been received and validated by NSF, the Authorized Organizational Representative may check the status of an application on Grants.gov. After proposers have received an e-mail notification from NSF, Research.gov should be used to check the status of an application.

VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES

Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program for acknowledgement and, if they meet NSF 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 either as ad hoc reviewers, panelists, or both, who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with 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. In addition, Program Officers may obtain comments from site visits before recommending final action on proposals. Senior NSF staff further review recommendations for awards. A flowchart that depicts the entire NSF proposal and award process (and associated timeline) is included in the GPG as Exhibit III-1.

A comprehensive description of the Foundation's merit review process is available on the NSF website at: http://nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/merit_review/.

Proposers should also be aware of core strategies that are essential to the fulfillment of NSF's mission, as articulated in Investing in Science, Engineering, and Education for the Nation's Future: NSF Strategic Plan for 2014-2018. These strategies are integrated in the program planning and implementation process, of which proposal review is one part. NSF's mission is particularly well-implemented through the integration of research and education and broadening participation in NSF programs, projects, and activities.

One of the strategic objectives in support of NSF’s mission is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions must recruit, train, and prepare a diverse STEM workforce to advance the frontiers of science and participate in the U.S. technology-based economy. NSF's contribution to the national innovation ecosystem is to provide cutting-edge research under the guidance of the Nation’s most creative scientists and engineers. NSF also supports development of a strong science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce by investing in building the knowledge that informs improvements in STEM teaching and learning.

NSF's mission calls for the broadening of opportunities and expanding participation of groups, institutions, and geographic regions that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines, which 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.

A. Merit Review Principles and Criteria

The National Science Foundation strives to invest in a robust and diverse portfolio of projects that creates new knowledge and enables breakthroughs in understanding across all areas of science and engineering research and education. To identify which projects to support, NSF relies on a merit review process that incorporates consideration of both the technical aspects of a proposed project and its potential to contribute more broadly to advancing NSF's mission "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes." NSF makes every effort to conduct a fair, competitive, transparent merit review process for the selection of projects.

1. Merit Review Principles

These principles are to be given due diligence by PIs and organizations when preparing proposals and managing projects, by reviewers when reading and evaluating proposals, and by NSF program staff when determining whether or not to recommend proposals for funding and while overseeing awards. Given that NSF is the primary federal agency charged with nurturing and supporting excellence in basic research and education, the following three principles apply:

  • All NSF projects should be of the highest quality and have the potential to advance, if not transform, the frontiers of knowledge.
  • NSF projects, in the aggregate, should contribute more broadly to achieving societal goals. These "Broader Impacts" may be accomplished through the research itself, through activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. The project activities may be based on previously established and/or innovative methods and approaches, but in either case must be well justified.
  • Meaningful assessment and evaluation of NSF funded projects should be based on appropriate metrics, keeping in mind the likely correlation between the effect of broader impacts and the resources provided to implement projects. If the size of the activity is limited, evaluation of that activity in isolation is not likely to be meaningful. Thus, assessing the effectiveness of these activities may best be done at a higher, more aggregated, level than the individual project.

With respect to the third principle, even if assessment of Broader Impacts outcomes for particular projects is done at an aggregated level, PIs are expected to be accountable for carrying out the activities described in the funded project. Thus, individual projects should include clearly stated goals, specific descriptions of the activities that the PI intends to do, and a plan in place to document the outputs of those activities.

These three merit review principles provide the basis for the merit review criteria, as well as a context within which the users of the criteria can better understand their intent.

2. Merit Review Criteria

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board approved merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

The two merit review criteria are listed below. Both criteria are to be given full consideration during the review and decision-making processes; each criterion is necessary but neither, by itself, is sufficient. Therefore, proposers must fully address both criteria. (GPG Chapter II.C.2.d.i. contains additional information for use by proposers in development of the Project Description section of the proposal.) Reviewers are strongly encouraged to review the criteria, including GPG Chapter II.C.2.d.i., prior to the review of a proposal.

When evaluating NSF proposals, reviewers will be asked to consider what the proposers want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful. These issues apply both to the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the project may make broader contributions. To that end, reviewers will be asked to evaluate all proposals against two criteria:

  • Intellectual Merit: The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge; and
  • Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.

The following elements should be considered in the review for both criteria:

  1. What is the potential for the proposed activity to
    1. Advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and
    2. Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?
  2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?
  3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?
  4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?
  5. Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?

Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to achievement of societally relevant outcomes. Such outcomes include, but are not limited to: full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); improved STEM education and educator development at any level; increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology; improved well-being of individuals in society; development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce; increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others; improved national security; increased economic competitiveness of the United States; and enhanced infrastructure for research and education.

Proposers are reminded that reviewers will also be asked to review the Data Management Plan and the Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan, as appropriate.

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria

For Large and relevant Medium proposals, reviewers will be asked to:

  • Comment on the extent to which the project scope justifies the level of investment requested, and the degree to which the Collaboration Plan (if required) adequately demonstrates that the participating investigators will work synergistically to accomplish the project objectives.

For Breakthrough proposals, reviewers will be asked to:

  • Comment on the extent to which the project satisfies the "breakthrough qualities" as described above in Section II, including an assessment of uncertainty and risk associated with the proposed work.

B. Review and Selection Process

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

CNS will continue piloting an asynchronous panel review process this fiscal year. A limited number of "small" panels will be conducted this way. Rather than a face-to-face panel, the reviewers will conduct an asynchronous discussion on an access-controlled, moderated message board of the proposals that have been submitted. The most competitive proposals will then move on to a virtual panel review via teleconference for final recommendations. This pilot will be evaluated within the larger context of NSF merit review pilots being conducted.

Reviewers will be asked to evaluate proposals using two National Science Board approved merit review criteria and, if applicable, additional program specific criteria. A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. 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 strives to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. Large or particularly complex proposals or proposals from new awardees may require additional review and processing time. The time interval begins on the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director acts upon the Program Officer's recommendation.

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. After an administrative review has occurred, Grants and Agreements Officers perform 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.

Once an award or declination decision has been made, Principal Investigators are provided feedback about their proposals. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers or any reviewer-identifying information, 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.

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 notice, 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 notice; (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 notice. 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 prior to the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require submission of more frequent project reports). Within 90 days following 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 all identified PIs and co-PIs on a given award. 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 Research.gov, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports. Such reports provide information on accomplishments, project participants (individual and organizational), publications, and other specific products and impacts of the project. Submission of the report via Research.gov constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete. The project outcomes report also 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.

More comprehensive information on NSF Reporting Requirements 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.

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:

  • Mimi McClure, CSR Associate Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: mmcclure@nsf.gov

  • Theodore Baker, CSR Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: tbaker@nsf.gov

  • Geoffrey Brown, CSR Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: gebrown@nsf.gov

  • Anita J. La Salle, CSR Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: alasalle@nsf.gov

  • Weisong Shi, CSR Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: wshi@nsf.gov

  • Darleen L. Fisher, NeTS Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: dlfisher@nsf.gov

  • Joseph B. Lyles, NeTS Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: jlyles@nsf.gov

  • Thyagarajan Nandagopal, NeTS Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: tnandago@nsf.gov

  • Min Song, NeTS Program Director, 1175, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: msong@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, "NSF Update" 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 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. "NSF Update" also is available on NSF's website at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USNSF/subscriber/new?topic_id=USNSF_179.

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

In addition to the coordinated solicitation discussed in this document, NSF provides funding opportunities for the computing community via the following programs and their solicitations:

Discovery Research Programs

CAREER: Faculty Early Career Development, http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503214&org=CISE

CISE-MPS Interdisciplinary Faculty Program in Quantum Information Science, http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504743&org=CISE

Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5147&org=CISE

Critical Techniques and Technologies for Advancing Big Data Science and Engineering (BIGDATA), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504767&org=CISE

Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM (CCE STEM), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505027&org=CISE

Cyber-Innovation for Sustainability Science and Engineering (CyberSEES), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504829&org=CISE

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503286&org=CISE

Engineering Research Centers (ERCs), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5502&org=CISE

Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503480&org=CISE

Expeditions in Computing, http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503169&org=CISE

Exploiting Parallelism and Scalability (XPS), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504842&org=CISE

Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504699&org=CISE

Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program (I/UCRC), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5501&org=CISE

Innovation Corps Program (I-Corps), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504672&org=CISE

National Robotics Initiative (NRI), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503641&org=CISE

Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=12819&org=CISE

Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5518&org=CISE

Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Processes and Systems (RIPS), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504971&org=CISE

Science and Technology Centers (STC), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5541&org=CISE

Science of Learning Centers (SLC), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5567&org=CISE

Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504709&org=CISE

Smart and Connected Health (SCH), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504739&org=CISE

United States-Israel Collaboration in Computer Science (USICCS), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504828&org=CISE

Education and Workforce Development Programs

ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers, http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5383&org=CISE

Advanced Technological Education (ATE), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5464&org=CISE

CyberCorps(R): Scholarship for Service (SFS), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504991&org=CISE

Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies, http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504984&org=CISE

Discovery Research K-12 (DRK-12), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=500047&org=CISE

East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for US Graduate Students (EAPSI), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5284&org=CISE

Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=6201&org=CISE

Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504976&org=CISE

Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5467&org=CISE

International Research Experiences for Students (IRES), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=12831&org=CISE

NSF Research Traineeships (NRT), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505015&org=CISE

NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5257&org=CISE

Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science, http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5736&org=CISE

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5517&org=CISE

STEM-C (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, including Computing) Partnerships: Computing Education for the 21st Century (STEM-CP: CE21), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503582&org=CISE

STEM-C (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, including Computing) Partnerships: Math and Science Partnerships (STEM-CP: MSP), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505006&org=CISE

Research Infrastructure Programs

Campus Cyberinfrastructure – Infrastructure, Innovation and Engineering Program (CC*IIE), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504748&org=CISE

CISE Research Infrastructure (CRI), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=12810&org=CISE

Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504776&org=CISE

Major Research Instrumentation (MRI), http://www.nsf.gov/od/iia/programs/mri/

Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2), http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504865&org=CISE

For more information on these programs, please consult the NSF web site.

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 55,000 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

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(703) 292-5090

  • To Order Publications or Forms:

Send an e-mail to:

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  • To Locate NSF Employees:

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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
Office of the General Counsel
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230

 

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National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
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Last Updated:
11/07/06
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