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Antarctic Research NSF 23-509 Additional Proposal Instructions

Back to Antarctic Research NSF 23-509

Facilities, Logistics, and Support: Proposals involving fieldwork in the Antarctic must describe the field activities and include a schedule of proposed work in the Project Description of the proposal. USAP maintains a web portal with information about research stations, ships, field camp support, and logistics ( Information about the science support process, and associated timeline is available at ( For further information, investigators may contact their cognizant Program Director or the Research Support or Ocean Projects Managers in the Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics Section.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA): Field use of autonomous platforms, regardless of size, weight or form, requires explicit approval by NSF prior to use in the USAP. For further information, investigators should contact their cognizant Program Director or the Research Support Manager in the Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics Section. Use of UAV requires operators with an FAA certified UAV pilot license.

Environmental Stewardship: The U.S. Antarctic Conservation Act (ACA) requires an environmental impact assessment (EIA) in advance of USAP research and operational activities. Permits are required for the taking of fauna and flora, entry into protected areas, introduction of non-native species, waste disposal, use of designated pollutants, and other actions. For further information contact the ACA Permit Officer at or visit the U.S. Antarctic Environmental Stewardship web page. Permits are not required at the time of proposal submission, but investigators are responsible for obtaining the necessary permits if an award is made.

Transshipment/importation of scientific samples: Transshipment and importation of Antarctic samples are governed by regulations of the countries involved (e.g., New Zealand, Chile, and the U.S.). Permits are not required at the time of proposal submission, but investigators are responsible for obtaining the necessary permits if an award is made. Further information is available at

Budget Preparation Instructions for projects with field work:
Costs for the following items must be included in the proposal budget. Questions regarding budget preparation for projects with fieldwork should be directed to the cognizant Program Director or Research Support Managers in the Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics Section.

  • Physical and dental examinations, for all persons deploying to Antarctica. NSF funding cannot be used to support additional medical or dental treatments that may be required to meet USAP physical qualification requirements or in support of a request for a waiver of physical qualification requirements.
  • Per diem for travel to the departure point to Antarctica (Christchurch, NZ, Punta Arenas, Chile or elsewhere) as "Foreign Travel." Do not include airfare costs to the departure point. NSF does not support airfare and travel expenses for foreign field participants to the departure point unless a compelling rationale exists for an exception.
  • Laboratory consumables and supplies above those normally stocked in reasonable quantities by the contractor, project- specific equipment, field supplies that the contractor does not have in inventory, batteries to operate remote equipment, and equipment and supplies required at home organizations. A list of available lab materials, supplies, and chemicals can be found at
  • Non-recoverable, and potentially non-recoverable, equipment, such as moorings (except for the anchor mass), drifters, XCTDs, and satellite tracking tags.
  • Mountaineer/field safety personnel for research teams working in terrain requiring enhanced field skills to ensure the safety of the field party.
  • Technical support for measurement of nutrients on research cruises.
  • Certified explosives blaster support required for the detonation of explosives.
  • Equipment dedicated to a project for multiple years, including UNAVCO and IRIS/PASCAL equipment, that cannot be supplied from the core equipment pool.
  • Cargo and sample shipping within the continental United States to/from the U.S. Antarctic Program cargo center in Pt. Hueneme, CA. Funds for shipment of temperature-sensitive samples from Antarctica to Pt. Hueneme should not be requested in the proposal.
  • Accompanied excess baggage costs required for transport of research-related equipment.
  • Specialized packaging or preparation of equipment needed for transport ofproject-specific equipment to and/or from Antarctica.
  • Private medical evacuation insurance if a tour ship or other private transportation will be part of the field plan.

The USAP issues, at no charge to the award, limited amounts of basic polar clothing as described in the USAP Participant Guide.

Insurance: NSF does not provide insurance for grantee personnel in Antarctica, and NSF funding, as a direct cost, cannot be used for the acquisition of insurance for health care, property loss, workers compensation or survivor benefits. Persons needing hospital care beyond the limited capabilities in Antarctica will be transported to the nearest appropriate health care facilities in New Zealand, South America, or the United States, at which point they will be responsible for medical costs. Investigators are encouraged to ensure that their health and life insurance policies cover flights aboard scheduled military aircraft. Investigators are also encouraged to ensure that their medical insurance covers medical transportation cost for return to the U.S. from health care facilities in New Zealand, South America, or other Antarctic access points that may be utilized for medical evacuation, if that service is needed.