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This program has been archived.


NSF Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability Fellows  (SEES Fellows) Crosscutting Programs

Important Announcement

The SEES Fellows program has been discontinued. Proposals will not be accepted in 2014 and beyond. Potential candidates are invited to explore other NSF opportunities, including postdoctoral fellowships described here:

For each of the programs listed on the above page, please follow instructions in that particular solicitation, and send your inquiries to the cognizant program officers.

Current SEES Fellows (who have been awarded in previous years) should review the information in the SEES Fellows Award Management Guidelines and communicate with their cognizant program officers for any issues related to their grants.


See program guidelines for contact information.


Solicitation  13-595

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.




Through the SEES Fellows Program, NSF seeks to advance science, engineering, and education to inform the societal actions needed for environmental and economic sustainability and human well-being while creating the necessary workforce to address these challenges.  The Program's emphasis is to facilitate investigations that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries and address issues of sustainability through a systems approach, building bridges between academic inquiry, economic growth, and societal needs.  The Fellow's proposed investigation must be interdisciplinary and allow him/her to obtain research experiences beyond his/her current core disciplinary expertise.  Fellows are required to develop a research partnership(s) that will advance and broaden the impact/scope of the proposed research, and present a plan for their own professional development in the area of sustainability science and engineering.  Proposals with a primary focus on topics covered by the Directorate for Engineering (ENG) are considered "out of scope" for this revised solicitation; however, proposals may include such topics as a secondary (or tertiary) focus.



To be eligible to submit a proposal to the NSF SEES Fellows program, an individual must, as of the proposal deadline date, meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident;
  • Have earned the doctoral degree, or expect to have earned the doctoral degree, by the start date of the award;
  • Not have worked for more than 36 full-time equivalent months in one or more positions that require the doctoral degree. If more than 36 months have elapsed between conferral of the doctoral degree and the SEES Fellows proposal deadline date, PIs must include specific language in their Biographical Sketch affirming that they meet this eligibility requirement.
  • Not be employed in a tenure-track (or tenure-track-equivalent) position at an academic institution or at a non-profit, non-degree-granting organization such as a museum, observatory, or research lab.

Proposal Review Criteria

In addition to the two National Science Board (NSB)-approved merit review criteria: intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed effort, SEES Fellows proposals will also be evaluated according to the following additional review criteria:

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria


  • Will the proposed activities advance the foundations of sustainability science and engineering by including a strong conceptual framework?
  • Will the proposed activities integrate across NSF-supported disciplines and will the applicant expand beyond his or her current core disciplinary expertise?

Hosts and Partnerships:

  • Are the proposed host mentor and partner mentor effective and committed to enable the Fellow to be successful? Do the host and partner's organizations have the infrastructure to enable the Fellow to be successful?
  • Will the proposed partnerships advance and broaden the impact/scope of the proposed research activities?
  • Are the partnerships based on mutual benefits and will they leverage the expertise, specialized skills, facilities, and/or resources of all partners?

Professional Development:

Will the proposed professional development activities enhance the Fellow's career growth while complementing the proposed interdisciplinary research and partnerships?

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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program