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Dear Colleague Letter: Signals in the Soil

March 8, 2018

NSF’s Engineering Directorate, collaboration with the Biological Sciences, Computer and Information Science and Engineering, and Geosciences directorates, has issued a “Dear Colleague” Letter (DCL) to encourage submission of Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals to conduct research related to  technologies, models, and methods to better understand dynamic soil processes.

It also encourages proposals that include topics relevant to both the DCL and the NSF "Rules of Life" Big Idea and submissions of Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE).

The DCL notes that soils “are the foundation of terrestrial ecosystems that support economic prosperity and provide services that are essential for humanity” and that “[e]xisting knowledge of dynamic changes in soils under the Earth's surface is hampered by lack of observation capabilities for widespread measurement of key variables over large areas and long periods of time.”

Researchers who are interested in submitting a SitS EAGER or RAISE proposal must first submit a SitS Research Concept Outline, as described in the DCL. Selected submitters of these Outlines will be invited to submit full EAGER or RAISE proposals for funding consideration.

Read the DCL in its entirety here:

Questions should be directed to:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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