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Division of Physics

Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology - Theory

Name Email Phone Room
Keith  R. Dienes (703) 292-5314  1015 N  


16-566  Program Solicitation

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 17-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 30, 2017. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 17-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Deadline Date

    December 7, 2017

    First Thursday in December, Annually Thereafter


The Astrophysics and Cosmology Theory program supports proposals that primarily are involved with theoretical particle astrophysics and big-bang cosmology as well as more speculative string theory-inspired cosmologies. Understanding the quarks-to-cosmos connection has been a recent focus of the program as well as better understanding the implications of the fluctuation spectra of the cosmic microwave background.  The cosmology and astrophysics research supported by the program is usually associated with people with training in particle theory and encompasses dark matter, dark energy, high energy cosmic rays as well as exotic cosmologies arising from Brane-world and String Theory scenarios. This includes formulating new approaches for theoretical, computational, and experimental research that explore the fundamental laws of physics and the behavior of physical systems; formulating quantitative hypotheses; exploring and analyzing the implications of such hypotheses analytically and computationally; and, in some cases, interpreting the results of others' experiments. The effort also includes a considerable number of interdisciplinary grants. Research in cosmology and astrophysics topics not mentioned above is supported by the Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Grants Program in the MPS Division of Astronomical Sciences.

In addition, the program supports infrastructure activities such as short- and long-term visitor programs, workshops, and research centers involving the participation of external scientists from universities, national laboratories, and industry, as well as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.


The Physics Division has replaced its annual Dear Colleague Letter (the most recent version was NSF 12-068) with a solicitation: Division of Physics: Investigator-Initiated Research Projects (NSF 14-576).

The solicitation follows most of the requirements in the Grant Proposal Guide, but has additional requirements that relate primarily to proposers who anticipate having multiple sources of support, and proposals involving significant instrumentation development. The solicitation also has deadlines instead of target dates.
All proposals submitted to the Physics Division that are not governed by another solicitation (such as CAREER) should be submitted to this solicitation; otherwise they will be returned without review.


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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program