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This program has been archived and replaced by PD 22-5219.

Office of Polar Programs

Arctic System Science Program

Name Email Phone Room
Gregory  J. Anderson (703) 292-4693  W7134  
Colleen  Strawhacker (703) 292-7432  W7178  


21-526  Program Solicitation

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.




The Arctic System Science Program (ARCSS) funds proposals or groups of proposals that advance our understanding of the Arctic as a coupled system, and how the Arctic system interacts with the Earth System. ARCSS projects are often interdisciplinary and focus on the relationships among physical, chemical, biological, and human processes with emphasis on the interactions among system components. The cycles of carbon, water, and energy are important to consider in investigating the functioning of the Arctic system. Research that seeks to understand how humans drive or respond to environmental change are also encouraged.

As discussed within ANS, where ARCSS participates in cross-Agency competitions, proposals that are suitable for review within these competitions must be submitted directly to these competitions rather than to ARCSS.

Most successful ARCSS projects do one or more of the following:

  • Investigate important relationships among the various components of the Arctic system
  • Identify key processes, feedbacks, or non-linear responses of the Arctic system to physical or biogeochemical drivers
  • Advance understanding of the Arctic system and its behavior through synthesis or modeling, including the development of predictive tools
  • Explore the consequences of environmental change on the Arctic system on society and ecosystems through approaches such as impact assessment scenarios or vulnerability assessments
  • Address linkages between the Arctic and the Earth system

ARCSS proposals must identify explicitly how the results of the research will contribute to improvements in system-level understanding. PIs should ask themselves if their work addresses interactions among several components of the Arctic system, explores emergent behavior in linked subsystems, or otherwise provides essential knowledge, and they should apply that knowledge to system-level understanding.

ARCSS also accepts proposals that address research on the socioecological systems of the Arctic, including projects on Arctic resilience, vulnerability, and human ecodynamics. Projects of similar foci have been funded under the Coupled-Natural Human Systems Program, the Navigating the New Arctic Big Idea, and the Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability Program (SEES).

ARCSS enthusiastically seeks proposals, or groups of proposals, that directly advance system level understanding. ARCSS program directors are always keen to speak with prospective PIs about their research ideas.



What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program