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NSF 98-132


Program Announcement


Division of Experimental and Integrative Activities

Deadline: First Wednesday in August each year



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 are encouraged to submit. Proposals involving inter-departmental and inter-institutional sharing arrangements are eligible and encouraged.

The Foundation welcomes proposals on behalf of all qualified scientists, engineers, and educators 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 two research projects and no more than four research projects. The CISE Research Instrumentation Grants will be for three years 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. Twenty to thirty awards are anticipated.

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


Proposals submitted in response to this program announcement should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidelines provided in the NSF brochure, Grant Proposal Guide, NSF 98-2.

Proposals should contain each of the parts detailed below.

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

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 salaries, 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 at least one third of the requested amount. Institutional cost sharing should be clearly indicated in the budget. Institutional support cannot be for existing or irrelevant equipment, personnel, site preparation, maintenance, or installation costs.

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 four) 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 98-2. 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 intellectual and 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 vita 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 98-2). A proposal cannot be reviewed without this statement.

X. A detailed plan for maintenance and operation of the new equipment, during the life of the award. 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 that 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. Proposals under this program will be reviewed in alignment with the Grant Proposal Guide using the following criteria:

• Intellectual and scientific merit of the proposed activity (quality and significance of the research for which the equipment will be used),

• Broader impacts of the proposed activity (effect of the research on the infrastructure of science and engineering, and institutional cost-sharing and related support.

The following additional considerations (not listed in order or importance) will also be used in evaluating each proposal:

• Qualifications, competence and productivity of the researchers,

• Justification of need for proposed equipment in order to conduct the research,

• Appropriateness of equipment, plan for maintenance and operation during the period of the award (essential support facilities).


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).


The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 requires every federal agency to establish strategies and performance measurement. To comply with GPRA NSF must have knowledge as to the Input, Output, Outcome, and Impact of its funding. Thus awardees will be required to submit information for Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) reports, such as degree of success, unmet goals (if any), impact (optional), significant publications, and students supported (helped) directly or indirectly by the awards. This information will enable the program officer to consider whether the goals were met and what was accomplished with the resources expended.


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

NSF Announcement No. 98-132
National Science Foundation PPU
ATTN: CISE Instrumentation Program
4201 Wilson Boulevard Room P60
Arlington VA 22230


This and other publications (except the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM)) are available from NSF's Home Page (, the NSF Clearinghouse, PO Box 218, Jessup, MD 20794-0218, Telephone: 301-947-2722 or by e-mail The GPM is available by subscription from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington DC 20402.

For more information on the Instrumentation Program contact:

Program Director
CISE Research Instrumentation Program
Division of Experimental and Integrative Activities, Room 1160
National Science Foundation Room
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230
Telephone No. (703) 306-1981 (Internet)

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.

The Foundation welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators, and strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in any of the research and research-related programs described herein. In accordance with Federal statutes, regulations and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the National Science Foundation.

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, including student research assistants) to work on NSF projects. See the program announcement or contact the program coordinator at (703) 306-1636.

The National Science Foundation has TDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities, which enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment, or general information. To access NSF TDD, dial (703) 306-0090; FIRS, 1-800-877-8339.

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. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the application 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; to other government agencies needing information as part of the review process or in order to coordinate programs; and to another Federal agency, court or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the Government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 267 (January 5, 1998), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 268 (January 5, 1998). 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: Reports Clearance Officer; Information Dissemination Branch, DAS; National Science Foundation; 4201 Wilson Boulevard; Arlington, VA 22230.

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

NSF 98-132
(Replaces NSF 96-113)