This document has been archived.
Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB)
National Science Foundation
Full Proposal Target Date(s):
July 18, 2005
January 9 and July 9 annually thereafter
In furtherance of the President's Management Agenda, in Fiscal Year 2005, NSF has identified 23 programs that will offer proposers the option to utilize Grants.gov to prepare and submit proposals. Grants.gov provides a single Government-wide portal for finding and applying for Federal grants online.
In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:
Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. This includes collaborative proposals submitted:
by one organization (and which include one or more subawards); or
Proposers who submit collaborative proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via Grants.gov will be requested to withdraw the proposals and resubmit them via FastLane. (Chapter II, Section D.3 of the Grant Proposal Guide provides additional information on collaborative proposals.)
Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB)
Synopsis of Program:
The Division of Environmental Biology encourages the submission of proposals aimed at generating long time series of biological and environmental data that address particular ecological and evolutionary processes. NSF will support competitively reviewed projects that continue critical and novel long-term data collection aimed at resolving important issues in environmental biology. Researchers must demonstrate at least six years of data collection to qualify for funding and the proposal must convey a rationale for at least ten additional years of data collection. As part of the requirements for funding, projects must show how collected data will be shared broadly with the scientific community and the interested public.
Cognizant Program Officer(s):
Jess Zimmerman, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Environmental Biology, 635 N, telephone: (703) 292-8481, fax: (703) 292-9064, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):
Full proposals submitted via FastLane:
Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Guidelines apply
Full proposals submitted via Grants.gov:
Please note that this solicitation includes supplemental proposal preparation instructions that apply to all proposals submitted to the LTREB program.
Many important questions in ecology, population biology, and ecosystem science can only be addressed with long-term data. Research questions include, but are not limited to, populations or predator-prey systems that oscillate over decades, communities of organisms that have extended life spans and long turnover times, pools of materials such as nutrients in soils that turn over at intermediate to longer time scales, external forcing functions such as climatic cycles that operate over long return intervals, and abiotic conditions such as sea-level rise or global warming that are changing slowly but in a particular direction. Investigators often are constrained in addressing these kinds of questions or studying these phenomena by the relatively short support periods associated with typical research awards. In recognition of this problem, the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) encourages investigators to apply for LTREB awards. These awards are designed to provide the funding to maintain an ongoing, long-term research project for a period of a decade or longer.
Because the usefulness of long-term data sets extends beyond typical scientific publications, a means of sharing data with other investigators should stimulate synthesis and generation of novel ideas. The results also should be of interest to the general public. To take advantage of the unique informational aspects of long-term projects, LTREB investigators will be required to implement mechanisms of data sharing in the broadest manner possible.
The NSF seeks to stimulate and enhance long-term perspectives on problems in environmental biology. Long-term environmental research is funded through two NSF programs – Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) and LTREB. The two programs are different. LTER projects are funded in response to calls for specific proposals, are evaluated by a special panel, and are characterized by multiple investigators conducting multi-disciplinary investigations at large temporal and spatial scales. In contrast, LTREB projects are submitted at semi-annual target dates, evaluated by panels assembled in appropriate clusters (Population and Evolutionary Processes, Ecological Biology, or Ecosystem Science) and are initiated by one or a few investigators. Examples of current LTREB awards can be viewed at https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/ by including “LTREB” in a title search.
Two major components are required in a project submitted for LTREB funding: 1. Long-term research; and 2. Explicit plan for data dissemination.
Long-Term Research: Proposers are expected to develop a conceptual perspective for data collection spanning more than a decade. At least six years of data that have been collected continuously at an appropriate time interval (for example, monthly or annually) must be documented to seek LTREB funding and justification must be provided for continuing data collection for at least ten years beyond the initial six-year period. Although most LTREB projects involve field studies, some laboratory projects (for example, long-term selection experiments) may also be suitable for LTREB funding. The approach to data collection must be hypothesis driven. The LTREB Program does not support basic monitoring efforts.
Plan for Data Dissemination: Data yielded by long-term research projects have value beyond the peer-reviewed and other publications generated by the investigators collecting the data. Other researchers may develop new perspectives on the same long-term data or new ideas may arise from a combination of long-term data sets. Also, long-term data are expected to be of special interest to the public. Therefore, all proposals must describe details of information management and plans for data sharing with the broader research community and the interested public.
The categories of proposers identified in the Grant Proposal Guide are eligible to submit proposals under this program announcement/solicitation.
LTREB awards are not to exceed $90,000 per year (direct and indirect costs) or $450,000 over the initial 5-year (60 month) effort. NSF anticipates making 8-12 awards annually for a total of $3,000,000. Funds will be used to maintain an already established data collection program and typically will not constitute the main source of extramural support for investigators. Involvement of undergraduate and graduate students is encouraged strongly. NSF recognizes, however, that principal investigators may in some cases participate in data collection and analysis. To accommodate these situations, PIs will be allowed to request up to one month of summer salary per year. These requests must be justified carefully and proposers are encouraged to contact the cognizant program officer prior to proposal development. Because data management is a key aspect of these research projects, it is expected that the proposed budget will reflect the establishment or periodic upgrading of information technology to provide for data sharing with other researchers and the general public. In general, funds will not be provided to purchase major equipment. Under unusual circumstances, the purchase of major equipment (over $5,000) will be entertained if these expenses are well justified. Support from the LTREB Program does not preclude support from other NSF programs.
Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.
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 (301) 947-2722 or by e-mail from email@example.com.
Proposers are reminded to identify the program announcement/solicitation number (05-583) 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.
Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation via Grants.gov should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov. The complete text of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovguide.pdf) To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package, click on the Apply tab on the Grants.gov site, then click on the Apply Step 1: Download a Grant Application Package and Application Instructions link and enter the funding opportunity number, (the program solicitation number without the NSF prefix) and press the Download Package button. Paper copies of the Grants.gov Application Guide also may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following provides supplemental instructions on preparation of LTREB proposals:
Project Description (maximum 15 pages, including Results from Prior NSF Support for PI and all co-PIs): The proposal should address the following three themes in the Project Description or where otherwise indicated.
Conceptual Issues. Proposals must address critical concepts in understanding long-term (decadal or longer) patterns and processes in environmental biology. Clearly defined hypotheses must guide the research.
Core Data Set. A feature central to all successful LTREB projects is a set of core data that are already being collected continually in the laboratory or at an existing site or sites. Proposed modifications to these core data – for example, the addition of new sites or the initiation of a new manipulation – must be consistent with and complementary to the long-term data collection. New study sites or new manipulations will be considered if they do not compromise the integrity of the long-term data set, and if their justification is consonant with the original, long-term rationale for the study. New manipulations or investigations are encouraged if they test new hypotheses or refine existing theories. Questions concerning the appropriateness of an existing data set as the basis for an LTREB proposal should be discussed with the cognizant NSF Program Officer prior to proposal development.
Dissemination of Results. Dissemination of results must go beyond typical peer-review publications. With respect to LTREB, it is NSF’s policy that within no more than two years after collection, data collected as part of an LTREB-funded project must be made available to researchers and the general public. Longer intervals will be acceptable if sufficiently justified. Data should be made available in a secure repository with a suitable internet interface to allow easy access to data by interested researchers. Metadata should be provided that clearly describe data. This will be an iterative process, so the utilized information technology (data base software and internet interface) should have sufficient flexibility to allow periodic updates. In addition, textual and graphical summaries should be developed for researchers and the informed public. Proposers may consult with the cognizant program officer on the best manner in which to achieve this component of the project.
Renewal. Proposals for renewal of LTREB support during a second five-year phase will be evaluated using the guidelines for an Accomplishment Based Renewal (ABR; see GPG Section V.B.2.), with the following modification: In addition to four pages describing the research plan for the proposed support period, researchers must present a four-page synthetic description of the results from the first support period, focusing on the extent to which the project has met its original goals. Any subsequent renewals beyond the ABR require submission of a standard format renewal proposal which should address new hypotheses or refine existing theories and will be subject to new, independent review.
Cost sharing is not required by NSF in proposals submitted under this Program Solicitation.
Other Budgetary Limitations:
Proposals must be submitted by the following date(s):
Full Proposal Target Date(s):
Detailed instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail email@example.com. 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
Before using Grants.gov for the first time, each organization must register to create an institutional profile. Once registered, the applicant’s organization can then apply for any federal grant on the Grants.gov website.
The Grants.gov’s Grant Community User Guide is a comprehensive reference document that provides technical information about Grants.gov. Proposers can download the User Guide as a Microsoft Word document or as a PDF document. The Grants.gov User Guide is available at: http://www.grants.gov/CustomerSupport. In addition, the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide provides additional technical guidance regarding preparation of proposals via Grants.gov. For Grants.gov user support, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Grants.gov Contact Center answers general technical questions related to the use of Grants.gov. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this solicitation.
Submitting the Proposal. Once all documents have been completed, the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must submit the application to Grants.gov and verify the desired funding opportunity and agency to which the application is submitted. The AOR must then sign and submit the application to Grants.gov. The completed application will be transferred to the NSF FastLane system for further processing.
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.
NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:
In evaluating proposals against the two standard review criteria established by the National Science Board, reviewers will look for sound responses to the two required components of an LTREB project: (1) Core data with at least six years of data collected at the time of submission and a compelling rationale for continued data collection for ten additional years; and (2) An operational plan for sharing data and metadata with other researchers and the general public.
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 Review followed by 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.
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.)
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:
Jess Zimmerman, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Environmental Biology, 635 N, telephone: (703) 292-8481, fax: (703) 292-9064, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:
For questions related to the use of Grants.gov contact:
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.
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
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.
The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA