Program Announcement



DEADLINE: First Wednesday in August



The Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate of the National Science Foundation plans a limited number of grants for the purchase of research equipment, instrumentation, or software for research in areas of science or engineering supported in the CISE Directorate. This announcement describes the type of proposals that will be considered eligible. If questions arise, potential principal investigators are encouraged to contact the Program Director at (703) 306-1980.

Who may submit: Both U.S. graduate-degree-granting institutions and U.S. four-year institutions with departments or research programs in areas of science or engineering supported in the CISE Directorate. Proposals involving inter-departmental and inter-institutional sharing arrangements are welcome.

The Foundation welcomes proposals on behalf of all qualified scientists and engineers, and strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its research and research-related Programs.

Nature of the Award: The equipment should be necessary for the pursuit of specific research projects in CISE disciplines. Local computing equipment(including workstations,specialized processors, parallel processors, and local area networks) may be supported under this program. General-purpose office equipment is not eligible for support. Particular emphasis is given to those unique or new research capabilities that will ensue from the acquisition of the equipment. The equipment should be required for at least 2 research projects and no more than 5 research projects. The CISE Research Instrumentation Grants will be for one year and they typically range from $30,000 to $200,000. In particular, requests should not be for equipment that could be expected to be provided on existing research grants.

Deadline: The deadline for proposals for this program is First Wednesday of August. Proposals postmarked after this date will be returned.


Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidelines provided in the NSF brochure, Grant Proposal Guide, NSF 95-27.

Proposals should contain each of the eleven parts detailed below.

I. Completed Cover Sheet, NSF Form 1207
Title: CISE Research Instrumentation
Also included should be:
Institution, Address, Department;
Total Amount Requested;
Principal Investigator's Name, Social Security Number,
Required Signatures

If the funds you are requesting from NSF exceed $100,000, then one copy of the Lobbying Certification (see Grant Proposal Guide, NSF 95-27) must be included with the original copy of the proposal.

II. Table of contents with page numbers keyed to major sections of the proposal.

III.Description of instrumentation, accessories, and software requested, including a representative manufacturer and model number, with itemized costs (both list and actual costs).

In many cases equivalent instrumentation may be available from more than one manufacturer. Institutional procurement policies should be pursued as far as feasible before submission of the proposal so that the request can be considered on current and realistic information. Each instrument or system must be arranged in order of priority, with explanations and scientific justification for each under VII below.

Significant discounts or contributions of equipment are available from some manufacturers. Principal investigators are urged to explore this avenue of cost reduction.

IV. Budget showing total costs and sources of support.

Funds are not provided for space renovation, installation, maintenance or operation of the proposed equipment. However, the proposal should provide details concerning the intention of the institution to provide these necessities.

Institutions submitting proposals will be expected to bear a significant fraction of the cost of the proposed equipment (usually, at least one third of the total cost). Institutional matching funds should be clearly indicated in the budget. Institutional support should not be expressed in terms of existing or irrelevant equipment, personnel, site preparation, maintenance, or installation costs. The level of institutional participation, which should be clearly stated in the proposal, will be a consideration in reaching the final decision.

V. A 200-word overall project summary briefly describing the equipment requested and listing the research projects for which it is to be used. Suggested format: The Department(s) of_______ at the University of _______ will purchase _________________ equipment which will be dedicated to support research in computer and information science and engineering. The equipment will be used for several research projects, including in particular: (etc.).

VI. Abstracts of individual research projects. For each of the proposed research projects (at least two and strictly limited to five) give the project title, name(s) of participating faculty, and a short (100 words) description of the research.

VII. Detailed explanation of the proposed research and its relationship to the requested equipment (this portion of the proposal must not be longer than 15 pages for all research projects proposed). See Grant Proposal Guide, NSF 95-27. For each project listed under VI above, give appropriate scientific justification and explain how the research is dependent upon the requested equipment, referring to specifications in III above, where appropriate.

The scientific merit of the research made possible by the requested instrumentation is the most important selection criterion. Thus, all proposals must contain descriptions of the scientific projects in sufficient detail so that the "intrinsic scientific merit" of each project can be evaluated. Particular emphasis should be given to those unique or new scientific or engineering capabilities which will ensue from the proposed acquisition.

Proposals not conforming to parts V-VII will be returned.

VIII. Short vitae, listing only academic essentials, for the investigators listed under VI above. Each vitae should include up to 5 publications most closely related to the proposed projects and up to 5 other significant publications, including those in print.

IX. All current and pending research support for each investigator, including title, source, and amount per year or for the grant period. (See Grant Proposal Guide, NSF 95-27). A proposal cannot be reviewed without this statement.

X. A detailed plan for maintenance and operation of the new equipment, usually for a three-year period. Include (1) names of individuals responsible for the equipment, (2) a detailed plan for its maintenance and operation, and (3) the annual budget which the institution will allocate for these purposes.

Proposals involving inter-institutional sharing arrangements must include a copy of the arrangement which details the administrative and financial responsibility of each institution. Such proposals must be formally approved by appropriate scientific and administrative officers of each institution.

XI. A complete list of available equipment. List the research instruments and computing facilities which are presently in the department or available to the investigators for research. Make explicit reference to the current location, condition, use, etc., of any equipment purchased by your institution under NSF equipment grants in previous years, as well as current pending equipment requests to NSF or other funding sources.


The section describing research projects and the dependence of the research on the equipment requested is the most important part of the proposal. In particular, the criteria used to evaluate the proposals will include the following specific items, not necessarily in order of importance:

Awards resulting from proposals submitted to this program will be administered in accordance with Grant General Conditions (GC-1) or Federal Demonstration Project General Terms and Conditions (FDP-II) as applicable. More comprehensive information is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (NSF 95-26).


Ten copies of the proposal, including one signed copy, should be submitted to:


The brochure Grant Proposal Guide (NSF 95-27) and NSF Guide to Programs (NSF 95-138) are available at no cost from:

Telephone number: (703) 306-1130 or Fax number (703) 644-4278. Publications may also be ordered electronically using the Science and Technology Information System (STIS). The full text can be searched on-line, and copied from the system. Instructions for the use of the system are in NSF 94-4 "STIS Flyer." The printed copy is available from the Forms and Publications Unit. An electronic copy may be requested by sending a message to "" (Internet). For more information on the Instrumentation Program contact:

The Foundation provides awards for research and educational activities in the sciences and engineering. The awardee is wholly responsible for the conduct of such research and preparation of the results for publication. The Foundation, therefore, does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

In accordance with federal statutes and regulations and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the National Science Foundation.

The Foundation welcomes proposals on behalf of all qualified scientists and engineers, and strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in any of the research and research-related programs described in this document.

NSF has TDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf) capability which enables individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Division of Personnel and Management for information relating to NSF programs, employment, or general information. This number is (703) 306-0090.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff) to work on an NSF project. See the program announcement (NSF 91- 54) or contact the program coordinator at (703) 306-1636.

Programs described in this publication are in Category 47.070 (Computer and Information Science and Engineering) in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

The information requested on proposal forms is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. It will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals and may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the review process; to applicant institutions/grantees; to provide or obtain data regarding the application review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers as necessary to complete assigned work; and to other government agencies in order to coordinate programs. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," and NSF-51, 60 Federal Register 4449 (January 23, 1995), "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 59 Federal Register 8031 (February 17, 1994). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of your receiving an award.

Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information,

including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

and/or to:

OMB 3145-0058
P.T. 36, 38, 18
K.W. 1004000

NSF 96-113
(Replaces NSF 95-60)