Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences
Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems (NCS)
The NSF Neural and Cognitive Systems FY19 Webinar occurred on Monday October 22, 2018. However, you may still listen to the Recording of this Webinar.
To learn more about the NCS program, please see the FY 2017 press release "NSF funds new multidisciplinary approaches to study the brain" and the FY 2018 press release "NSF funds new integrative approaches to cognitive science, neuroscience".
NSF invites the submission of educational neuroscience proposals to the NCS program. It notes that advances in our understanding of neural and cognitive systems can have significant implications for research on education. Through the Dear Colleague Letter: Stimulating Educational Neuroscientific Research through the Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems (NCS) program it also seeks to foster the growth of a multidisciplinary community of researchers, including neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, engineers, computer scientists, and education researchers. PLEASE NOTE: Proposers should disregard the request in the NCS solicitation under "V. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions, Bullet #2" to add an asterisk at the end of the names of the individuals that are on the project’s advisory board as well as those that are consultants. Instead, proposers should add these names to the Synopsis field of the LOI.
|NCS Program Teamemail@example.com||(703) 292-5149|
Important Information for Proposers
A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after June 1, 2020. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 20-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.
Letter of Intent Deadline Date
December 15, 2020
Required only for FRONTIERS proposals, FY 2021 competition
Full Proposal Deadline Date
February 15, 2021
FOUNDATIONS and FRONTIERS proposals, FY 2021 competition
The complexities of brain and behavior pose fundamental questions in many areas of science and engineering, drawing intense interest across a broad spectrum of disciplinary perspectives while eluding explanation by any one of them. Rapid advances within and across disciplines are leading to an increasingly interwoven fabric of theories, models, empirical methods and findings, and educational approaches, opening new opportunities to understand complex aspects of neural and cognitive systems through integrative multidisciplinary approaches.
This program calls for innovative, convergent, boundary-crossing proposals that can best capture those opportunities and map out new research frontiers. NSF seeks proposals that pursue high-value scientific and technical risks by transcending the perspectives and approaches typical of disciplinary research efforts. This cross-directorate program is one element of NSF’s participation in the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative (http://www.nsf.gov/brain/). NSF envisions a connected portfolio of transformative, integrative projects that create synergistic links across investigators and communities, yielding novel ways of tackling the challenges of understanding the brain in action and in context.
This solicitation extends the NCS program for three years, from FY2021 through FY2023, including biennial competitions for the FRONTIERS proposal class.
The program focuses on four aspects of neural and cognitive systems that are current targets of converging interdisciplinary interests. NCS projects must advance the foundations of one or more of these focus areas, as described further within the solicitation:
- Neuroengineering and Brain-Inspired Concepts and Designs
- Individuality and Variation
- Cognitive and Neural Processes in Realistic, Complex Environments
- Data-Intensive Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
Proposals must address both risk and reward: high-risk, high-payoff approaches are expected. Proposals must also go beyond the scope of any NSF core program, or they will not be considered responsive to this solicitation.
NCS will consider two classes of proposals. FOUNDATIONS awards will support high-risk, high-payoff projects that advance the foundations of one or more NCS focus areas. FRONTIERS awards (FY2021 and FY2023 competitions only) will support ambitious, highly integrative, interdisciplinary projects that advance and connect multiple integrative research threads to tackle challenges that would be intractable without a high level of collaboration and coordination.
Community-driven efforts such as workshops or synthesis papers are also encouraged, to map out new frontiers at the interface of neuroscience and other disciplines that could reshape brain research and its applications.