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Science of Learning Centers (SLC)

Program Solicitation
NSF 05-509

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National Science Foundation
Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Directorate for Biological Sciences
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
Directorate for Education and Human Resources
Directorate for Engineering
Directorate for Geosciences
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Office of International Science and Engineering
Office of Polar Programs



Preliminary Proposal Due Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time) (required):

    February 24, 2005
                 CENTERS COMPETITION

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

    January 14, 2005
                CATALYST COMPETITION

    June 29, 2005
               CENTERS COMPETITION (by invitation only)

    January 15, 2006
               CATALYST COMPETITION

REVISIONS AND UPDATES

NSF will not be accepting proposals for the January 15, 2006 deadline for the CATALYST COMPETITION.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

Science of Learning Centers (SLC)

Synopsis of Program:

The Science of Learning Centers program (SLC) offers awards for large-scale, long-term Centers that will extend the frontiers of knowledge on learning of all types and create the intellectual, organizational, and physical infrastructure needed for the long-term advancement of learning research.

Centers will be built around a unifying research focus and will incorporate a diverse, multidisciplinary environment involving appropriate partnerships with academia, industry, all levels of education, and other public and private entities.

Catalyst awards will also be made during the initial years of the program. Catalyst awards are designed to enable partnership-building and research activities that facilitate interdisciplinary approaches to questions that require multiple areas of expertise.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

  • Soo-Siang Lim, Program Director and Chair, Coordinating Committee, Science of Learning Centers, Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences, 905 N, telephone: (703) 292-7878, fax: (703) 292-9083, email: slim@nsf.gov

  • Lynne E. Bernstein, Program Director, Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences, Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, 995 N, telephone: (703) 292-8732, fax: (703) 292-9068, email: lbernste@nsf.gov

  • Elizabeth (Beth) J. Blue, Program Analyst, Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management, Budget Division, 407 N, telephone: (703) 292-8409, fax: (703) 292-9007, email: eblue@nsf.gov

  • Anne C. Doyle, Grant and Agreement Specialist, Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management, Division of Grants & Agreements, 480 N, telephone: (703) 292-4806, fax: (703) 292-9142, email: adoyle@nsf.gov

  • Rose Gombay, Program Manager, Office of the Director, Office of International Science and Engineering, 935 N, telephone: (703) 292-8711, fax: (703) 292-9067, email: rgombay@nsf.gov

  • Bruce M. Kramer, Program Director, Directorate for Engineering, Division of Engineering Education & Centers, 585 N, telephone: (703) 292-5348, fax: (703) 292-9051, email: bkramer@nsf.gov

  • Anna M. Kerttula, Social Sciences Program Director, Office of the Director, Office of Polar Programs, 755 S, telephone: (703) 292-7432, fax: (703) 292-9082, email: akerttul@nsf.gov

  • Stephen R. Mahaney, Senior Advisor for Budget Management & Planning and Policy, Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, Division of Computer and Network Systems, 1115 N, telephone: (703) 292-8910, fax: (703) 292-9059, email: smahaney@nsf.gov

  • Gisele Muller-Parker, Associate Program Director, Directorate for Geosciences, Division of Ocean Sciences, 725 N, telephone: (703) 292-8583, fax: (703) 292-9085, email: gmullerp@nsf.gov

  • Edwina L. Rissland, Program Director, Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, Division of Information and Intelligent Systems, 1125 S, telephone: (703) 292-8930, fax: (703) 292-9073, email: erisslan@nsf.gov

  • Philip B. Shevlin, Program Officer, Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences, Division of Chemistry, 1055 S, telephone: (703) 292-4966, email: pshevlin@nsf.gov

  • Gregg Solomon, Program Director, Directorate for Education & Human Resources, Division of Research, Evaluation & Communication, 855 S, telephone: (703) 292-8333, fax: (703) 292-9046, email: gesolomo@nsf.gov

  • Jerry Wolff, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Integrative Organismal Biology, 685 S, telephone: (703) 292-8423, fax: (703) 292-9153, email: jwolff@nsf.gov

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 47.074 --- Biological Sciences
  • 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • 47.076 --- Education and Human Resources
  • 47.041 --- Engineering
  • 47.050 --- Geosciences
  • 47.079 --- International Science and Engineering (OISE)
  • 47.049 --- Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • 47.078 --- Office of Polar Programs
  • 47.075 --- Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

Eligibility Information

  • Organization Limit: None Specified.
  • PI Eligibility Limit: None Specified.
  • Limit on Number of Proposals: None Specified.

Award Information

  • Anticipated Type of Award: Standard or Continuing Grant or Cooperative Agreement
  • Estimated Number of Awards: 25 including 3 to 5 Center awards and up to 20 Catalyst awards. Catalyst awards will be standard or continuing grants. Center awards will be cooperative agreements.
  • Anticipated Funding Amount: $3,000,000 for new Catalyst awards made under this solicitation in FY2005 and $20,000,000 for new Center awards made under this solicitation in FY 2006, pending availability of funds.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions
  • Preliminary Proposals: Submission of Preliminary Proposals is required. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.
  • Full Proposal Preparation Instructions: This solicitation contains information that supplements the standard Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) proposal preparation guidelines. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.
B. Budgetary Information
  • Cost Sharing Requirements: Cost Sharing is not required by NSF.
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations: Not Applicable.
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.
C. Due Dates
  • Preliminary Proposals (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time) (required) :
      February 24, 2005
        CENTERS COMPETITION
  • Full Proposal Deadline Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):
      January 14, 2005
        CATALYST COMPETITION
      June 29, 2005
        CENTERS COMPETITION (by invitation only)
      January 15, 2006
        CATALYST COMPETITION

Proposal Review Information

  • Merit Review Criteria: National Science Board approved criteria. Additional merit review considerations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Award Administration Information

  • Award Conditions: Standard NSF award conditions apply.
  • Reporting Requirements: Additional reporting requirements apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Summary of Program Requirements

  1. Introduction

  2. Program Description

  3. Eligibility Information

  4. Award Information

  5. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Due Dates
    4. FastLane Requirements

  6. Proposal Review Information
    1. NSF Proposal Review Process
    2. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard
    3. Review Protocol for CENTERS Competition

  7. Award Administration Information
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements

  8. Contacts for Additional Information

  9. Other Programs of Interest

I. INTRODUCTION

The Science of Learning aims to understand what learning is and how it is affected at all levels, ranging from the digital to the societal. The science of learning emerges from the intersections of diverse disciplines across the biological, cognitive, computational, mathematical, physical, and social sciences, engineering, and education. Areas include psychological, social and pedagogical aspects of learning, the chemical and biological basis of learning, machine learning, learning technologies, and mathematical analyses and modeling of all of these. This growing body of knowledge is extending our understanding of learning and connecting learning research to the scientific, technological, educational, and workforce challenges of our time.

Centers

The Science of Learning Centers program (SLC) offers awards for large-scale, long-term Centers that will extend the frontiers of knowledge on learning and create the intellectual, organizational, and physical infrastructure needed for the long-term advancement of learning research. Centers will be built around a unifying research focus and will incorporate a diverse, multidisciplinary environment involving appropriate partnerships with academia, industry, all levels of education, and other public and private entities.

Catalysts

Catalyst awards will also be made during the initial years of the program. Catalyst awards are designed to enable partnership-building and research activities that facilitate interdisciplinary approaches to questions that require multiple areas of expertise.  These are likely to include workshop and planning activities, as well as exploratory research aimed at establishing proofs of concept and initial collaborative research outputs.

The Science of Learning

The science of learning integrates a broad range of research traditions. The program is open to many possible approaches, placing high value on creativity, integration of theoretical and empirical work, innovative models of research and research transfer (including integration with educational practice), and inventive uses of technology. The following discussion of possible approaches is not intended to limit the breadth or scope of research appropriate for the program. It is anticipated that Centers and Catalysts will draw from many research areas such as (but not limited to) the following:

  • Biological foundations of learning including molecular, cellular, physiological, and behavioral processes;

  • Feedback networks, which might involve problems such as molecular recognition, neuronal potentiation and depression, or visualization of signals and messengers;

  • The neural basis of learning in humans and other species;

  • Machine learning, learning algorithms, knowledge representation, robotics, adaptive systems, and computational simulation of cognitive systems;

  • Language, communication, and symbol systems;

  • Visualization and representation of complex phenomena and multidimensional data;

  • Analogical reasoning, mathematical reasoning, causal analysis, general and domain-specific aspects of mathematical and scientific problem-solving, creativity, and intelligence;

  • Learning of disciplinary content including assessment, structure of disciplinary knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, learning in formal and informal educational settings, and equitable access to learning;

  • Learning of strategies for synthesizing solutions to open-ended or ambiguous problems such as those that occur in engineering design;

  • Motivational, emotional, and social contexts of learning, including the roles of developmental, sociocultural, economic, political, historical, and environmental factors, and indigenous knowledge systems;

  • Learning technologies, including intelligent tutoring systems, visualization tools, computer-supported collaborative environments, digital libraries, and real-time assessment tools;

  • Mathematical, statistical, and computational modeling in any of the research areas mentioned above;

  • Development of new tools and technology to support the science of learning.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

A. Goals and Key Features

The goals of the SLC program are threefold:

  • To advance the frontiers of all the sciences of learning through integrated research;

  • To connect this research to specific scientific, technological, educational, and worforce challenges; and

  • To enable research communities that can capitalize on new opportunities and discoveries and respond to new challenges.

To realize these goals, Science of Learning Centers will incorporate all of the following key features.  Catalyst projects, which are necessarily more limited in duration and scope, are expected to incorporate many but not all of the same key features:

  • A long-term vision that extends the frontiers of the science of learning and broadens its impact on society;
  • A strategic plan to realize that vision, suitable for up to 10 years of support at $3 to $5 million per year of NSF-contributed funding;
  • An integrated, multidisciplinary research program focused on a clear intellectual core and connected to scientific, technological, educational and/or workforce challenges;
  • Diverse teams at all organizational levels of the center, inclusive of women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities;
  • Partnerships with schools, industry, international partners, professional societies and/or other appropriate external entities that involve significant exchanges of people and ideas;
  • Mechanisms to share resources and disseminate ideas among the Center, its partners, and broader audiences of researchers, educators and the public;
  • Innovative educational, research, and career development opportunities for all participants;
  • A director and leadership team qualified to implement the Center's strategic plan and manage the Center;
  • An active external advisory committee representing a broad range of expertise and interests;
  • Experimental, computational, and/or other equipment and facilities needed to enable a robust research and learning environment.

B. Common Elements of SLC Proposals

Proposals for SLC Catalyst projects and Centers (preliminary and full proposals) differ in length, purpose, and emphasis, but SLC proposals of all types cover the following common elements:

  • Vision. A concise description of the project's vision within the context of the SLC principal goals, including the overall aims and the strategy for accomplishing them. The vision statement should convey the purpose of the project, how its integrated activities will lead to transformative advances in the science of learning, and the added value represented by a Center-scale investment.  The vision of an SLC Center should be guiding rather than constraining and adaptable to change over the lifespan of the project.

  • Background. A description of the current state of knowledge relevant to the research focus of this project, upon which the proposed activities will build.  The state of the art in the scientific, technological, educational, and workforce areas to which this project will connect should also be briefly described.

  • Research Plan and Strategy.   This includes a clear description of the Center’s research objectives and goals, in relation to the current state of knowledge on the science of learning.   The research plan should include sufficient detail to allow assessment of scientific merit, be of appropriate scope and scale to warrant a Center investment, and show how the various efforts will integrate with each other to realize the Center’s research vision.

  • Integration of Research and Education.  A detailed discussion of how the Center will develop and enrich education at the university, pre-college (including K-12 if appropriate) and practitioner levels  by integrating  research findings and emerging research areas  into new courses, course modules for insertion into existing courses, and new degree programs or degree options where appropriate.  In addition,  strategies to increase involvement of students in Center activities as well as foster strong interactions among participating students and faculty should be presented. This includes Center-initiated opportunities to enhance career development of students and postdoctoral fellows.

  • Diversity. Each Center must present specific plans and strategies for attracting and retaining high quality U.S. students, and strategies to increase participation of women and members of under-represented groups to participate in science of learning research and education activities.  The Center’s plans and capability to effectively improve current demographics and existing activities should be clearly articulated

  • Management Plan. A clear description of how project activities will be organized, including leadership, participants and their roles, and partners and their roles. This should include a timeline with anticipated dates for release of outcomes and the proposed Center's policies on Intellectual Property Rights.

  • Evaluation and Assessment. A description of resources to be allocated for project evaluation, benchmarks to assess the project's progress toward its scientific, educational, and management goals, and a strategy for ongoing evaluation to improve project operations.

  • Facilities, Equipment, and other Resources. A description of the organizational and institutional resources available to perform the effort proposed.

  • Sustainability. For Center projects, a brief discussion of plans and anticipated resources to sustain the Center's activities during  and beyond the period of NSF support.

In addition to the common elements listed above, proposals may address international aspects, as appropriate. Because of the great amount of research in learning being done abroad that could enhance and complement U.S. research efforts, and because of the need to train a globally competent workforce, NSF encourages submission of proposals that include substantive collaborations with foreign counterparts that will enable both synergistic research and the opportunity for U.S. students and postdoctoral researchers to gain international research experience.

C. Scope and Focus

Research. Every Center and Catalyst must be organized around a unifying research focus, appropriate to its own strengths and creative vision, that extends the frontiers of research on the science of  learning and builds on a broad base of relevant bodies of knowledge. The SLC program is open to a wide range of potential research foci and approaches, spanning across all areas of the science of learning.

Within the scope of the science of learning, NSF has no preferences regarding the research focus of a proposed Center. However, if an existing SLC or other NSF Center is already working in the proposed topic area, the proposing team should explain how it will pursue the topic from a different point of view and indicate how their efforts will be coordinated with the efforts of any such Centers.  Descriptions of  the first cohort of SLC Centers and access to their websites can be obtained at the SLC web site (https://www.nsf.gov/slc).

Integration of Research and Education. NSF seeks to integrate learning with the discovery of new knowledge, and the preparation of U.S. students for a broad, multidisciplinary set of career paths.   SLCs are expected to establish a culture for state of the art education of graduate and undergraduate students, enriching education at all levels by integrating research findings into new courses, course modules for insertion into existing courses, and new degree programs or degree options, where appropriate. All SLCs must evaluate their curricular contributions and disseminate those that are successful. When appropriate,  SLCs should deepen understanding of learning in educational contexts and how research advances can most effectively become integrated into the broadest array of educational settings, from K-12 to university levels. In addition, strategies to increase involvement of students in Center activities as well as foster strong interactions among participating students and faculty should be presented; this includes Center-initiated opportunities to enhance career development of students and postdoctoral fellows.

Diversity. The leadership, faculty, and students involved in a Center or Catalyst, as well as external participants and advisory group members, are expected to be inclusive of women and men, underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities. Institutional partnerships are also encouraged to be diverse, including smaller institutions, minority-serving institutions, community colleges, and other institutions that have not been well-represented in NSF's portfolio.

Partnerships. Given the complexity of research efforts in the science of learning, it is expected that projects will typically be multi-faceted and require a group of collaborating investigators representing diverse perspectives and expertise. These collaborative efforts must be designed to advance the field beyond what might be possible through separate, independently conducted projects. Each member of such a collaborative team should bring a unique element to the project, resulting in a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Centers should also encourage partnerships that extend beyond traditional disciplinary and institutional boundaries, including international collaborations, partnerships with school districts and other educational institutions, and collaborations with appropriate industrial partners.

D. Catalysts

SLC Catalyst awards will support limited-duration research and partnership-building activities, both domestic and international,  that facilitate interdisciplinary approaches to questions that require multiple areas of expertise.  Catalyst projects are aimed toward exploring potential areas for intellectual integration, assessing needs, developing effective working relationships, and establishing organizational capital and critical intellectual mass. Activities directed at these objectives might include workshops, conferences, and prospectively oriented meta-analyses and studies.  Proofs of concept and other collaborative research outputs will be a key element of feasibility for many developing research groups; thus, it is anticipated that proof-of-concept research could also be a component of Catalyst projects.

E. Centers

The National Science Foundation supports activities that vary widely in scope. Centers represent a level of effort and organization at the high end. Centers provide a rich environment in which multidisciplinary research thrives, collaborations and partnerships flourish, and students are introduced to research at the frontiers of science.

Management. A Center's capacity to organize its efforts coherently and strategically will be a key to its success. Its director and senior management must be able to develop and lead a team to fulfill a clearly articulated and shared vision. The director is responsible for the management, staffing, and resource allocation of the Center; for administering the award in accordance with NSF policies and the terms of the grant or cooperative agreement; for serving as the liaison between the Center and a national network of SLC directors; and for arranging for evaluation of the Center's activities by a party external to the awardee institution and partners. Management structure should be tailored to the Center's individual strategic needs, but it is expected that each Center has dedicated full time leaders in key positions, and that Center management and education positions require full time personnel supported through the Center budget. Management concerns play a less critical role in Catalyst applications because of the limited scope and duration of those projects.

Oversight. Each Center will maintain an external advisory group selected by Center management, which will meet at least once per year to provide guidance and advice. The advisory group will ensure that the Center's activities are consistent with its vision, goals, and objectives, and will provide oversight for evaluations of the Center's activities. Members of this group may not have financial, institutional, or collaborative connections to the Center.

SLC National Network. The directors of Science of Learning Centers will serve as members of a national liaison team for the SLC program. The directors are responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining a liaison structure with active participation of each Center. This network is charged with addressing the Centers' common goals, problems and opportunities; facilitating exchanges and cooperation among Centers; coordination and avoidance of duplication of effort between Centers; working in cooperation with NSF staff on the development of databases and other appropriate infrastructure for monitoring and evaluation of the Centers; and reporting on new findings and the evolving state of the art in science of learning research. Annually, a chair of the network will be elected by participating members and will serve a one-year term. Principal Investigators of Catalyst projects will also participate during the initial years of the SLC National Network.

III. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

The categories of proposers identified in the Grant Proposal Guide are eligible to submit proposals under this program announcement/solicitation.

In the Centers competition, a single institution may submit more than one preliminary proposal, but full proposals may be submitted by invitation only, based on review of the preliminary proposals.  It is not expected that more than one full proposal will be invited from any single institution.

Each proposal must demonstrate the institutional commitment to the area proposed.  The SLC program will not normally site visit more than one proposed Center from any one lead institution in this competition, and will not normally provide simultaneous support for more than one Center led by any one institution from this competition.

IV. AWARD INFORMATION

Approximately $3 million is expected to be available for the Catalyst competition in FY05, and $20 million for the Centers competition in FY 2006, pending availability of  funds. Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds. Center awards will be cooperative agreements. Catalyst awards will be standard or continuing grants. 

Catalysts. Catalyst awards will have a maximum duration of two years, and are expected to vary considerably in overall budget depending on the scope of planned activities. Budgets of up to $200,000 over two years might be appropriate for modest research activities, whereas smaller budgets would be expected for conference, workshop, or planning activities. Projects requiring higher levels of support may be more appropriate for funding by other programs (See Section IX. Other Programs of Interest).

Centers. Annual budgets of most Science of Learning Centers are expected to be in the $3 million to $5 million range, scaled as appropriate to the Center's activities. Proposed budgets must be well justified by the range of activities to be undertaken and their potential for broad impact.

Initial support for Centers will be for five years. During the fourth year of operation the SLC may submit a renewal proposal for continued support. The renewal proposal will undergo merit review, and the SLC's achievements and future plans will be evaluated comprehensively. Centers that are successful in passing the fourth-year review will be renewed for another five years, commencing at the beginning of the sixth year. Centers that pass the fourth-year review will continue to be reviewed by NSF annually. Centers that do not pass the fourth-year review will be phased-out over a one-year period at a reduced level of support. The maximum potential duration for NSF funding of a Science of Learning Center is ten years. Continuing support of a Center is contingent each year on favorable annual reviews of the Center's activities and on the availability of funds.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

PRELIMINARY PROPOSALS for CENTERS Competition (required):

Center Preliminary Proposals:

Center Preliminary proposals are to be submitted electronically via the NSF FastLane system and in accordance to the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) as modified below.  The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF Website at: https://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?gpg.

The following instructions supplement the GPG Guidelines.

  1. Cover Sheet. Indicate the solicitation number in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet, and select SLC Preliminary proposal as the Program in the Unit Selection List.

All preliminary-proposals in this competition should request a start date of  August 1, 2006.

  1. Project Summary (1 page). The summary should describe the Center’s vision, mission, and goals; relate the Center to the SLC program goals; and convey the unique opportunities enabled by the Center investment.  State the long range plans for the proposed research and its broader impacts, including how research and education are to be integrated and how the Center will broaden participation of underrepresented minorities.  Indicate names of the partner institutions and their major contributions to the Center’s goals. 

  2. Detailed List of Participants. Information about all individuals with significant involvement in the Center should be provided in a common format and submitted as a spreadsheet sent by e-mail to NSF, and a corresponding supplementary document in the proposal. This list will be used by NSF to determine potential conflicts of interest.

The list should be headed with the PI name, proposal title, and list of participating institutions.  Each participant should then be listed individually, including the participant’s name, title, role in the Center (PI/Co-PI, Other Senior Personnel, Consultant, Advisory Board Member, or Other), Disciplines, Department, and Institution.

Please use the electronic template available at the SLC web site (https://www.nsf.gov/slc) and follow the instructions in that file for electronic submission by e-mail and by FastLane.

  1. Project Description (15 page limit). This section should include Vision for the Center; Background; Research Plan and Strategy; Integration of Research and Education; Diversity, Management Plan; Evaluation and Assessment; Facilities, Equipment and other Resources; and Sustainability elements described above. It should indicate the value added by organization of these activities as a center as well as a summary of relationships among activities, including the role of each investigator.

  2. No budget is required at the preliminary proposal stage. 

Full Proposal Instructions:

FULL PROPOSALS for CENTERS Competition (by invitation only)

Center Full proposals are to be submitted electronically via the NSF FastLane system and in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) as modified below.  The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF web site (https://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?gpg). Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

  1. Cover Sheet. Indicate the solicitation number in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet, and select SLC Center as the Program in the Unit Selection List.

All  full proposals in this competition should request a start date of  August 1, 2006

  1. Project Summary (1 page). The summary should describe the Center’s vision, mission, and goals; relate the Center to the SLC program goals; and convey the unique opportunities enabled by the Center investment.  State the long range plans for the proposed research and its broader impacts, including how research and education are to be integrated and how the Center will broaden participation.  Indicate names of the partner institutions and their major contributions to the Center’s goals. 

  2. Detailed List of Participants. Information about all individuals with significant involvement in the Center should be provided in a common format and submitted as a spreadsheet sent by e-mail to NSF, and a corresponding supplementary document in the proposal. This list will be used by NSF to determine potential conflicts of interest.

The list should be headed with the PI name, proposal title, and list of participating institutions.  Each participant should then be listed individually, including the participant’s name, title, role in the Center (PI/Co-PI, Other Senior Personnel, Consultant, Advisory Board Member, or Other), Disciplines, Department, and Institution.

Please use the electronic template available at the SLC web site (https://www.nsf.gov/slc) and follow the instructions in that file for electronic submission by e-mail and by FastLane.

  1. Project Description (35 page limit). This section should include Vision; Background, Research Plan and Strategy; Integration of Research and Education; Diversity; Management Plan; Evaluation and Assessment; Facilities, Equipment, and other Resources; and Sustainability elements described in Section II.B. It should indicate the value added by organization of these activities as a center as well as a summary of relationships among activities, including the role of each investigator.

All Center proposals should be submitted as single proposals, not as multi-institution, collaborative proposals.

The only supplementary documents that may be submitted with SLC proposals are the participant list, as specified above, and letters of support.

FULL PROPOSALS for CATALYST Competition (Preliminary Proposals not required):

Proposals submitted in response to this program announcement/solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF Website at: https://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gpg. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

The following instructions supplement the GPG Guidelines.

  1. Catalyst Proposals should be prepared in accordance with the GPG, in a form appropriate to partnership-building activities being proposed.

  2. The common elements described in Section II.B should serve as a guide but are not meant to be constraining. Catalyst proposals should articulate as clearly as possible the vision and research focus of the anticipated Center, the background upon which the project will build, the strategy and activities planned for the Catalyst phase that would lead to the development of a Center, and deliverables to be expected from Catalyst activities.  The Project Description should not exceed 15 pages.

  3. When submitting a Catalyst proposal in the FastLane system, indicate the solicitation number in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet, and select SLC Catalyst as the Program in the Unit Selection List.

  4. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

  5. If international collaborations are included, the project description should address the added value of the international collaboration and how the center's research and educational objectives will be advanced through international linkages, including the participation of students and junior researchers.

Proposers are reminded to identify the program announcement/solicitation number (05-509) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing:

Cost sharing is not required by NSF in proposals submitted under this Program Solicitation.

Other Budgetary Limitations:

Budgets for Centers and Catalysts should include travel funds for principal investigators to attend an annual SLC Principal Investigators' Meeting in the Washington D.C. area.

C. Due Dates

Proposals must be submitted by the following date(s):

Preliminary Proposals (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time) (required):

    February 24, 2005
      CENTERS COMPETITION

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

    January 14, 2005
      CATALYST COMPETITION
    June 29, 2005
      CENTERS COMPETITION (by invitation only)
    January 15, 2006
      CATALYST COMPETITION

D. FastLane Requirements

Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this announcement/solicitation through the FastLane system. Detailed instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov. The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this program announcement/solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this announcement/solicitation.

Submission of Electronically Signed Cover Sheets. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must electronically sign the proposal Cover Sheet to submit the required proposal certifications (see Chapter II, Section C of the Grant Proposal Guide for a listing of the certifications). The AOR must provide the required electronic certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Proposers are no longer required to provide a paper copy of the signed Proposal Cover Sheet to NSF. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane Website at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov

VI. PROPOSAL REVIEW INFORMATION

A. NSF Proposal Review Process

Reviews of proposals submitted to NSF are solicited from peers with expertise in the substantive area of the proposed research or education project. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. NSF invites the proposer to suggest, at the time of submission, the names of appropriate or inappropriate reviewers. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer. Special efforts are made to recruit reviewers from non-academic institutions, minority-serving institutions, or adjacent disciplines to that principally addressed in the proposal.

The National Science Board approved revised criteria for evaluating proposals at its meeting on March 28, 1997 (NSB 97-72). All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

On July 8, 2002, the NSF Director issued Important Notice 127, Implementation of new Grant Proposal Guide Requirements Related to the Broader Impacts Criterion. This Important Notice reinforces the importance of addressing both criteria in the preparation and review of all proposals submitted to NSF. NSF continues to strengthen its internal processes to ensure that both of the merit review criteria are addressed when making funding decisions.

In an effort to increase compliance with these requirements, the January 2002 issuance of the GPG incorporated revised proposal preparation guidelines relating to the development of the Project Summary and Project Description. Chapter II of the GPG specifies that Principal Investigators (PIs) must address both merit review criteria in separate statements within the one-page Project Summary. This chapter also reiterates that broader impacts resulting from the proposed project must be addressed in the Project Description and described as an integral part of the narrative.

Effective October 1, 2002, NSF will return without review proposals that do not separately address both merit review criteria within the Project Summary. It is believed that these changes to NSF proposal preparation and processing guidelines will more clearly articulate the importance of broader impacts to NSF-funded projects.

The two National Science Board approved merit review criteria are listed below (see the Grant Proposal Guide Chapter III.A for further information). The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which he/she is qualified to make judgments.

    What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
    How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?
    What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
    How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:

    Integration of Research and Education
    One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives.
    Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities
    Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.
    Additional Review Criteria:

    In addition to the proposal review criteria described above, the first three additional review criteria below apply to SLC Center Proposals. The fourth additional review criterion, "International Collaboration (if included)" applies to both SLC Center and Catalyst proposals that include international collaboration:

    Value of the Center Mode
    Are the identified research challenges of sufficient import, scale, and complexity to justify a Center-mode investment? Will the Center's educational programs make a special contribution to the achievement of a diverse, highly competent, and globally-engaged scientific and instructional workforce and of an educated citizenry? Will any proposed new instruments, shared experimental facilities, and/or databases be of significant value to a broad community of users? Will the Center's partnerships achieve significant intellectual exchange with the school, public, industry, federal, and/or international sectors and thereby foster science, technology, and education in service to society?

    Integrative Nature of the Proposed Center
    Are the research, educational, and knowledge transfer activities strategically integrated such that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts? Are the partners vital participants in an integrated whole?

    Leadership, Management Plan, Impact of Institutional Support, and Budget
    Do the Center director and the Center leadership team convincingly demonstrate the vision, experience, and capacity to manage a complex, multi-faceted, and innovative research, education, and knowledge transfer enterprise with adequate attention to infrastructural needs and linkages to partner institutions? What is the likely effectiveness of the proposed management plan, including the mechanisms for topic selection, resource allocation, progress evaluation, and project termination? Is the requested budget appropriate?

    International Collaboration (if included)
    Are the objectives of the international collaboration clearly defined? Are the international activities designed to achieve those objectives described? Is the benefit to the domestic research well justified? Are the benefits to training and education of students in the context of the international collaboration described?

B. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard

All proposals are carefully reviewed by at least three other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular field represented by the proposal. Proposals submitted in response to this announcement/solicitation will be reviewed by Ad Hoc and/or panel review.

Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Director. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

NSF is striving to be able to tell proposers whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the closing date of an announcement/solicitation, or the date of proposal receipt, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

In all cases, after programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications and the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at their own risk.

C. Review Protocol for Centers Competition

SLC Proposal Review Process for Preliminary and Full Proposals (Centers Competition)

Proposals submitted to the SLC Centers competition will undergo a multi-stage merit review process. For each phase of the review process, reviewers will base their evaluations on NSF evaluation criteria (intellectual merit and broader impacts) as well as program specific criteria (integration of research and education; integrating diversity into activities; value of the center mode; integrative nature of proposed center; leadership, management, institutional support and budget).  

To reduce the cost of proposal preparation and workload on the scientific community, the Centers competition will utilize a Preliminary Proposal phase.  Following recommendations by a review Panel, the most promising Preliminary Proposals will be selected for invitation to submit Full Proposals.

Full proposals will be accepted by invitation only, and a Review Panel will be convened to evaluate these proposals.  This Panel will identify a small number of proposals to be advanced for the next level of review, to be conducted in the form of site visits.

The site visit review will consider the above review criteria, as well as the uniqueness and potential of the proposed center to effect transformative advances in the science of learning.  It will seek more information on unresolved issues identified earlier in the review process, and will give special attention to the proposed plans for management and leadership of the Center.  NSF staff will provide additional information regarding the site visit review in advance of the meeting.  

After completion of the site visits to proposed Centers, a comprehensive review of these centers will be conducted by a Blue Ribbon Panel of external experts.  This Panel will conduct its deliberations to consider the relative merits of the proposed Centers, and the national impact of the proposed Centers that will make them the best investments for the country.  This Panel will make funding recommendations for consideration by NSF management.

The review panels and site visit teams will be made up of researchers and educators who are recognized experts in their fields and knowledgeable of partnerships that integrate research and education.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program Division administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See section VI.A. for additional information on the review process.)

B. Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (NSF-GC-1); * or Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Terms and Conditions * and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreement awards are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC). Electronic mail notification is the preferred way to transmit NSF awards to organizations that have electronic mail capabilities and have requested such notification from the Division of Grants and Agreements.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at https://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/. Paper copies of these documents may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpm. The GPM is also for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402. The telephone number at GPO for subscription information is (202) 512-1800. The GPM may be ordered through the GPO Website at http://www.gpo.gov.

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period.

Catalysts

Catalyst projects will be required to submit annual reports in accordance with the NSF Grant Proposal Guide.

Centers

Centers will be required to submit annual reports on progress and plans, which will be used as a basis for performance review and determining the level of continued funding. To support this review and the management of a Center, SLCs will be required to develop a set of management and performance indicators for submission annually to NSF. These indicators are both quantitative and descriptive and will be tailored to the focus and scope of individual Centers. Indicators may include, for example, the characteristics of Center personnel and students; sources of financial support and in-kind support; expenditures by operational component; characteristics of industrial and/or other sector participation; research and education activities; knowledge transfer activities; patents, publications, and descriptions of significant advances. Part of this reporting will take the form of a database which will be owned by the institution and eventually made available to an evaluation contractor. This database will capture specific information to demonstrate progress towards achieving the goals of the program.

Funded Centers will be expected to develop specific and concrete plans for sustainability of the Center's activities following the period of NSF support (which will be no more than a total of 10 years). This will become increasingly important and emphasized in annual reviews as the Center matures and as the end of NSF support can be anticipated.

Such reporting requirements will be included in the cooperative agreement which is binding between the awardee and NSF.

Within 90 days after the expiration of an award, the PI also is required to submit a final project report. Failure to provide final technical reports delays NSF review and processing of pending proposals for the PI and all Co-PIs. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

PIs are required to use NSF's electronic project reporting system, available through FastLane, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports. This system permits electronic submission and updating of project reports, including information on project participants (individual and organizational), activities and findings, publications, and other specific products and contributions. PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system.

VIII. CONTACTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Soo-Siang Lim, Program Director and Chair, Coordinating Committee, Science of Learning Centers, Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences, 905 N, telephone: (703) 292-7878, fax: (703) 292-9083, email: slim@nsf.gov

  • Lynne E. Bernstein, Program Director, Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences, Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, 995 N, telephone: (703) 292-8732, fax: (703) 292-9068, email: lbernste@nsf.gov

  • Elizabeth (Beth) J. Blue, Program Analyst, Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management, Budget Division, 407 N, telephone: (703) 292-8409, fax: (703) 292-9007, email: eblue@nsf.gov

  • Anne C. Doyle, Grant and Agreement Specialist, Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management, Division of Grants & Agreements, 480 N, telephone: (703) 292-4806, fax: (703) 292-9142, email: adoyle@nsf.gov

  • Rose Gombay, Program Manager, Office of the Director, Office of International Science and Engineering, 935 N, telephone: (703) 292-8711, fax: (703) 292-9067, email: rgombay@nsf.gov

  • Bruce M. Kramer, Program Director, Directorate for Engineering, Division of Engineering Education & Centers, 585 N, telephone: (703) 292-5348, fax: (703) 292-9051, email: bkramer@nsf.gov

  • Anna M. Kerttula, Social Sciences Program Director, Office of the Director, Office of Polar Programs, 755 S, telephone: (703) 292-7432, fax: (703) 292-9082, email: akerttul@nsf.gov

  • Stephen R. Mahaney, Senior Advisor for Budget Management & Planning and Policy, Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, Division of Computer and Network Systems, 1115 N, telephone: (703) 292-8910, fax: (703) 292-9059, email: smahaney@nsf.gov

  • Gisele Muller-Parker, Associate Program Director, Directorate for Geosciences, Division of Ocean Sciences, 725 N, telephone: (703) 292-8583, fax: (703) 292-9085, email: gmullerp@nsf.gov

  • Edwina L. Rissland, Program Director, Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, Division of Information and Intelligent Systems, 1125 S, telephone: (703) 292-8930, fax: (703) 292-9073, email: erisslan@nsf.gov

  • Philip B. Shevlin, Program Officer, Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences, Division of Chemistry, 1055 S, telephone: (703) 292-4966, email: pshevlin@nsf.gov

  • Gregg Solomon, Program Director, Directorate for Education & Human Resources, Division of Research, Evaluation & Communication, 855 S, telephone: (703) 292-8333, fax: (703) 292-9046, email: gesolomo@nsf.gov

  • Jerry Wolff, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Integrative Organismal Biology, 685 S, telephone: (703) 292-8423, fax: (703) 292-9153, email: jwolff@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

  • Gail D. Williams, Staff Associate, Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences, 905 N, telephone: (703) 292-7469, fax: (703) 292-9083, email: gwilliam@nsf.gov

  • FastLane Contact, telephone: 800-673-6188, email: fastlane@nsf.gov

IX. OTHER PROGRAMS OF INTEREST

The NSF Guide to Programs is a compilation of funding for research and education in science, mathematics, and engineering. The NSF Guide to Programs is available electronically at https://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gp. General descriptions of NSF programs, research areas, and eligibility information for proposal submission are provided in each chapter.

Many NSF programs offer announcements or solicitations concerning specific proposal requirements. To obtain additional information about these requirements, contact the appropriate NSF program offices. Any changes in NSF's fiscal year programs occurring after press time for the Guide to Programs will be announced in the NSF E-Bulletin, which is updated daily on the NSF Website at https://www.nsf.gov/home/ebulletin, and in individual program announcements/solicitations. Subscribers can also sign up for NSF's MyNSF News Service (https://www.nsf.gov/mynsf/) to be notified of new funding opportunities that become available.

Science of Learning Centers should build on the science of learning research portfolios supported by many of the Foundation's standing disciplinary programs, and they should include activities that promote the Foundation's interest in improving the quality of education in all fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This section identifies other NSF programs that connect in one of these ways to the goals of the SLC program.

  • Learning Research.   NSF supports multidisciplinary research incorporating fields such as design of learning environments, human-computer interactions, cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience, computational linguistics, child development, sociology and complex educational systems. In addition to the disciplinary-based programs listed later in this section, investments include the Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI), Research on Learning and Education (ROLE) Program, and Developmental and Learning Sciences (DLS).                                                  
  • Learning Tools. NSF programs support research, development, and testing of information technology-based tools that facilitate learning across many levels of formal and informal education and for both individuals and groups. New communication and information technologies show promise to enhance the delivery of education and offer the possibility of providing truly learner-centered, independent learning environments over an entire lifetime and at any convenient place and time. Among the programs currently supported at NSF is the National Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Digital Library (NSDL), a prototype information technology-based tool designed to increase the quality, quantity, and comprehensiveness of Internet education resources. Learning technologies are also supported through the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS) and the Division of Research, Evaluation, and Communication (REC).                                                 
  • Education. NSF promotes activities that link formal and informal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and create connections across levels of formal education and workforce development. Investments in this area recognize that learning happens continuously and in many ways, and includes support in Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education (ESIE), undergraduate Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI), Assessment of Student Achievement in Undergraduate Education (ASA), Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeships (IGERT), and Graduate Teaching Fellowships in K-12 Education (GK-12).                                             
  • Learning and Teaching. The Centers for Learning and Teaching (CLT) program supports activities that link K-12 and higher education to provide lifelong learning opportunities for the instructional workforce in contexts supported by information technology tools and by research on learning, science and mathematics. CLTs address the need to increase the quality of research on learning and teaching, to develop the next generation of science and mathematics education specialists, and to strengthen the competencies of the preK-16 instructional workforce.            
  • Partnerships. The Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program aims to engage the nation's higher education institutions, local, regional and state school districts and other partners in preK-12 reform by calling for a significant commitment by colleges and universities to improving the quality of science and mathematics instruction in the schools and to investing in the recruitment, preparation and professional development of highly competent science and mathematics teachers. MSP, as a major national effort, is an investment intended to serve all  students so that learning outcomes can no longer be predicted based on race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender or disability.
NSF Center-Scale Activities

NSF currently supports two center programs that are of similar scale to Science of Learning Centers:

  • The Science and Technology Centers (STC) program funds important basic research and education activities and encourage technology transfer and innovative approaches to interdisciplinary activities. The STCs explore new areas and build bridges among disciplines, institutions, and other sectors. They offer the research community an effective mechanism to: embark upon long-term scientific and technological research activities; explore better and more effective ways to educate students; and develop mechanisms to ensure the timely transition of research and education advances made into service in society.                                                  
  • The Engineering Research Centers (ERC) program provides an integrated environment for academe and industry to focus on next-generation advances in complex engineered systems, with synergy among engineering, science, and industrial practice. ERCs integrate research with education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, producing curriculum innovations derived from the systems focus of the ERCs' strategic research goals. ERCs aim to build trusted partnerships with industry, develop shared infrastructure, and increase the capacity of engineering and science graduates to contribute to the U.S. competitive edge. They provide a system perspective for long-term engineering research and education, enabling fresh technologies, productive engineering processes, and innovative products and services.

Although they differ in their goals, these other Center activities provide important context for the intended scope, size, and duration of SLCs. The web sites of both programs may be useful resources for investigators seeking to learn from the best practices of other NSF centers.

NSF Office of International Science and Engineering

NSF recognizes the importance of enabling U.S. researchers and educators to advance their work through international collaboration, and of helping to ensure that future generations of U.S. scientists and engineers gain professional experience beyond this nation's borders early in their careers. For more information, visit the OISE website at www.nsf.gov/sbe/int/start.htm.  

NSF Discipline-Based Programs

The science of learning is supported by numerous programs and emphases across the Foundation. Principal Investigators are strongly encouraged to become familiar with these and other NSF programs that form the landscape of support for the sciences of learning: 

Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences

  • Developmental and Learning Sciences                                                    
  • Human Cognition and Perception                                                      
  • Cognitive Neuroscience                                                    
  • Linguistics                                            
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography and Regional Science                                                    
  • Physical Anthropology                                                    
  • Cultural Anthropology

Social and Economic Sciences

  • Sociology     
  • Decision, Risk and Management Sciences                                                    
  • Economics                                                    
  • Innovation and Organizational Change                                                    
  • Political Science                                               
  • Societal Dimensions of Engineering, Science, and Technology
  • Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics

Computer and Information Science and Engineering

  • Human-Computer Interaction                     
  • Digital Society and Technologies                     
  • Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science
  • Robotics and Computer Vision                 
  • Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience
  • Human Language and Communication

Biological Sciences

  • Animal Behavior                    
  • Behavioral Neuroscience                
  • Computational Neuroscience                    
  • Developmental Neuroscience                
  • Sensory Systems               
  • Evolution of Developmental Mechanisms                   
  • Developmental Mechanisms                    
  • Neuronal and Glial Mechanisms
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Integrative Animal Biology
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics                  
  • Statistics
  • Computational Mathematics              
  • Organic Chemical Dynamics         
  • Bioinorganic, and Organometallic Chemistry                  
  • Experimental Physical Chemistry
  • Theoretical Physical Chemistry
  • Analytical & Surface Chemistry
Engineering
  • Control, Networks, and Computational Intelligence                 
  • Biomedical Engineering and Research to Aid Persons with Disabilities                  
  • Operations Research           
  • Engineering Education               
  • Dynamic System Modeling, Sensing, and Control                  
  • Robotics
Geosciences
  • Collaborations in Mathematical Geosciences
  • Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences
  • Geosciences Education
  • Global Learning to Benefit the Environment
  • Digital Library for Earth System Education

Polar Programs

  • Arctic Social Sciences            
  • Arctic Research and Education Program        
  • Antarctic Biology and Medicine

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Awardees are wholly responsible for conducting their project activities and preparing the results for publication. Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. 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 subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF, although some programs may have special requirements that limit eligibility.

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-supported projects. See the GPG Chapter II, Section D.2 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.

 

The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

To get the latest information about program deadlines, to download copies of NSF publications, and to access abstracts of awards, visit the NSF Website at https://www.nsf.gov

  • Location:

4201 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22230

  • For General Information
    (NSF Information Center):

(703) 292-5111

  • TDD (for the hearing-impaired):

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Send an e-mail to:

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PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS

The information requested on proposal forms and project reports 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 and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to applicant institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators 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 receiving an award.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to an information collection unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. 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 and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: Suzanne Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, Division of Administrative Services, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230.

OMB control number: 3145-0058.



 

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