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Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences

Geography and Spatial Sciences Program  (GSS)

Notice of Updates to the GSS Solicitation

On June 9, 2017, the NSF Geography and Spatial Sciences (GSS) Program released new solicitations which replace those released in 2014. The program continues the use of two solicitations, one for the DDRI competition, one for all other competitions.

This page and the solicitation highlighted below should be used by individuals and groups interested in submitting proposals for regular research project awards; for conferences, group-travel support, and community-development or community-serving activities, for research coordination network (RCN) awards, and for rapid-response research (RAPID) awards. The solicitation below also contains additional information for individuals planning to submit Faculty Early-Career Development (CAREER) proposals to GSS.

The second solicitation provides information for doctoral students and their advisors planning to submit Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) proposals to GSS. That solicitation may be accessed via



Name Email Phone Room
Jacqueline  Vadjunec-Program Director (703) 292-7064   
Scott  M. Freundschuh-Pgm Director (703) 292-7076   
Cori  Jacildone-Pgm Specialist (703) 292-8740   


Solicitation  17-566

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.




As specified in the Geography and Spatial Sciences Program strategic plan, the mission of the NSF Geography and Spatial Sciences (GSS) Program is to promote:

  • Basic scientific research in geography and spatial science that advances theory, fundamental understanding, and scientific approaches and addresses the challenges facing society.
  • The education and training of geographers and spatial scientists in order to enhance the capabilities of current and future generations of researchers.
  • The involvement of geographers and spatial scientists in interdisciplinary research.

The Geography and Spatial Sciences Program supports basic research about the geographic distributions and interactions of human, physical, and biotic systems on Earth. Investigators are encouraged to propose plans for research about the nature, causes, and consequences of human activity and natural environmental processes across a range of scales.  Projects about a broad range of topics may be appropriate for support if they offer promise of enhancing fundamental geographical knowledge, concepts, theories, methods, and their application to societal problems and concerns.

GSS provides support through a number of different funding mechanisms:

  • Regular research awards
  • Doctoral dissertation research improvement (DDRI) awards
  • Faculty early-career development (CAREER) awards
  • Awards for conferences, group travel, and community-development activities
  • Research coordination network (RCN) awards
  • Rapid-response research (RAPID) awards.

In rare and unusual cases, GSS may support early-concept grants for exploratory research (EAGER), research advanced by interdisciplinary science and engineering (RAISE) awards, and other special kinds of award mechanisms established by NSF.  Investigators must discuss the rationale for submitting any of these kinds of proposals with GSS program directors prior to the submission of a proposal.  These types of proposals are permitted by GSS only in rare and unusual cases because GSS strives to be open to ideas and approaches in early stages of development, and GSS emphasizes the potential longer-term significance of new lines of inquiry as part of its merit evaluation of all types of proposals, including regular research proposals.

There are two different solicitations that provide information about proposals to be submitted for consideration by GSS:

This solicitation provides instructions for submission of proposals for regular research awards; proposals for awards for conferences, group travel, and community-development activities; proposals for research coordination network (RCN) awards; and proposals for rapid-response research (RAPID) awards.

A different solicitation provides instructions for proposals for doctoral dissertation research improvement (DDRI) awards.  That solicitation is accessible at

Proposals for faculty early-career development (CAREER) awards should be prepared in accordance with the CAREER solicitation, although investigators submitting CAREER proposals to GSS should also consult this solicitation for more information about GSS and to be aware of the GSS special review criteria, which are used for the evaluation of CAREER proposals.  More information about CAREER awards and a link to the CAREER solicitation is accessible at


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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program