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This program has been archived.


Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education  (INSPIRE) Crosscutting Programs NSF Wide Programs


An INSPIRE Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) was posted November 20, 2015.  You may find the DCL here.


Harvard University psychologists seek to unlock secrets of children's complex thinking

Unlocking the secrets of children's complex thinking: The studies

Researchers investigate remarkable approach to desalination

Radically modified cells may stunt brain tumor growth

Hunting the spark of creativity

Researchers envision switching a heart beat on and off with light

Name Dir/Div Name Dir/Div
Jessica  H. Robin OD/OISE Richard  A. Behnke


Solicitation  13-518

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 INSPIRE awards program was established to address some of the most complicated and pressing scientific problems that lie at the intersection of traditional disciplines.  It is intended to encourage investigators to submit bold, exceptional proposals that some may consider to be at a disadvantage in a standard NSF review process; it is not intended for proposals that are more appropriate for existing award mechanisms.  INSPIRE is open to interdisciplinary proposals on any NSF-supported topic, submitted by invitation only after a preliminary inquiry process initiated by submission of a required Letter of Intent.  In fiscal year 2013, INSPIRE provides support through the following three pilot grant mechanisms:

  • INSPIRE Track 1.  This is essentially a continuation of the pilot CREATIV mechanism from FY 2012, which was detailed for 2012 in Dear Colleague Letter NSF 12-011
  • INSPIRE Track 2.  These are "mid-scale" research awards at a larger scale than Track 1, allowing for requests of up to $3,000,000 over a duration of up to five years.  Expectations for cross-cutting advances and for broader impacts are greater than in Track 1, and the review process includes external review.
  • Director's INSPIRE Awards.  These are prestigious individual awards to single-investigator proposals that present ideas for interdisciplinary advances with unusually strong, exciting transformative potential.

All NSF directorates and programmatic offices participated in INSPIRE in FY 2012 and are continuing their participation in FY 2013.



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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program