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Arctic Observing Network  (AON)

Name Email Phone Room
William  Ambrose (703) 292-8029   


16-595  Program Solicitation

Important Information for Proposers

ATTENTION: Proposers using the Collaborators and Other Affiliations template for more than 10 senior project personnel will encounter proposal print preview issues. Please see the Collaborators and Other Affiliations Information website for updated guidance.

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 18-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 29, 2018. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 18-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


The Arctic Research Opportunities solicitation encourages science-driven proposals that will contribute to the development of AON. The goal of AON is to enhance the environmental observing infrastructure required for the scientific investigation of Arctic environmental system change and its global connections. AON encompasses physical, biological, social, cultural, and economic observations, including indigenous knowledge, of the land, ocean, atmosphere (troposphere and stratosphere) and social systems.  All proposals must include a scientific rationale and an explanation as to why the proposed activity, data (including frequency and duration of observations) and geographic location are essential to research that will advance the understanding of Arctic environmental system change. Proposals for continuation of existing AON projects must provide evidence that the data obtained so far (i) have been archived at a nationally or internationally recognized repository, and (ii) contribute to the needs of the broader scientific community. Proposals for new AON projects must describe how the proposed activity complements and/or adds to the existing suite of observing activities.

The AON Program supports studies that improve capability for long-term measurement of Arctic system variables. Proposals that involve process study, model developments, or short-term deployments may be suited to other NSF Arctic programs. Prospective PIs should contact the relevant Program Officer to discuss the project to determine if it is within AON Program scope.

The AON Program will also consider proposals for (1) the development of sensors and measurement systems that are critical to AON, and (2) observing network design, including optimization of the system of networks. Proposers should take into account other complementary observing efforts and SEARCH documents about Observing Change in constructing a network design; the intrinsic interdisciplinary nature of Arctic change; and the needs of modelers to simulate, understand and predict change. New sensor and sensor array designs which can contribute to effective, real-time quantification and transmission of arctic change data, in keeping with the AON data policy, will be reviewed as part of this solicitation.

In 2006, the NSF AON program was developed in large measure to support the Observing Change component of SEARCH, and there continues to be a strong link to the community discussions. Proposers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SEARCH reports (

All AON projects must conform to the SEARCH data policy ( The only exceptions to this policy are some instances of social science and traditional knowledge data, for which respect for confidentiality, intellectual property rights, or proprietary information sources might take precedence. In these cases, the proposer should follow the data policy for the ASSP program (Sec. IIB) and discuss their plan with the AON or ASSP Program Directors prior to submitting a proposal. Exceptions can also be made in cases where data release might cause harm.

AON data are considered to be community data and not subject to any embargo period. Proposals must include a data and information management plan that describes how free and rapid access to quality-controlled and fully-documented data and information by all researchers, and others, will be achieved during the course of the award, e.g., via a project website and/or a recognized data repository. Proposers should be aware that posting graphs on a website is not sufficient. The plan must include transfer of all data to a recognized data repository by the conclusion of the award.



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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program