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NSF-Navy Civilian Service Fellowship-Scholarship Program

This solicitation has been archived.

National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22230

Dear Colleague:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of the Navy would like to call your attention to an opportunity to apply for supplemental funding in areas identified below, of technical interest to the Navy, under the provisions of the jointly-funded NSF-Navy Civilian Service (NNCS) Fellowship-Scholarship Program.

This program supports students at the bachelors, masters, or doctoral levels in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) who agree to commit to spending a year as a civilian employee at a Naval R&D Center for each year of support received.

The NNCS program has three goals: (1) to ensure the economic future of the Nation by increasing the number and diversity of US citizens pursuing advanced degrees in the STEM professions, (2) to strengthen Navy ties with the university research community to facilitate the transfer of promising technology to the Navy in a timely fashion, and (3) to ensure the future of the Navy’s research enterprise by providing new career entry pathways for talented STEM professionals.


This program invites university PI’s who are currently supported by an NSF award from the Directorate for Engineering (ENG), or have a Science and Technology Center (STC), Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT), Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team (NIRT), or Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) award to apply for support for their eligible students who are working in areas of interest to one of the Navy’s R&D Centers.The faculty member must also partner with a scientist or engineer at one of the Navy R&D Centers and have that person listed as co-PI on the proposal. Proposals submitted without a Navy co-PI will be returned without review. The funding will be provided for up to two years of fellowship/scholarship support plus a cost of education allowance. At the completion of their degrees, the students will accept civilian employment at a Navy R&D Center for one year for each year of support received.

Areas of technical interest to the Navy are described along with relevant contact information at the following website: In addition to the areas listed on the website, any research related to countering the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) remains a high priority for the Navy. Fundable proposals will provide clear evidence of collaboration with Navy R&D Centers both in the formulation of the proposal and the completion of the proposed research. Specifically, in addition to Co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) status it is expected that appropriate Center personnel will serve on the advisory committee of the students who are supported in this program, play an active role in the development of a student’s research project and its execution, and will work with the student and the student’s advisor to find suitable Center employment upon the student’s graduation. It is expected that a student will spend some portion of each calendar year while supported by this program working at the collaborating Center on a summer internship or similar arrangement.

In addition to funding for students, this program provides the PI with the opportunity for close interaction with colleagues at the Center and opportunities for funded professional development. Preference will be given to proposals with comprehensive and innovative plans to promote the professional development of the student. For undergraduate students, an identification of features that will be added to the traditional curriculum to develop and enhance the students’ research skills is encouraged. An effective plan for recruiting a highly qualified and diverse pool of students should be included in the proposal.

It is critical that the proposals contain a clear plan to evaluate and assess the effectiveness of this program in terms of the student and program outcomes in both the near and far term as viewed by the students, the PI, and the collaborating Center. Proposals should include (as a minimum) provisions for measuring:

  • The quality of the students’ interactions with the personnel and programs of the collaborating Center
  • The importance and quality of the technology transfer associated with this program
  • The increased attractiveness, as perceived by the students, of the Navy as a career destination
  • The extent to which this program has facilitated:
    • Recruitment of students in increased numbers and diversity into the program
    • Improvements in student mentoring leading to enhancements in student retention and professional development
    • Increases in the number and quality of collaborative university/Center projects


NSF’s Fastlane system should be used to prepare and submit these requests for supplemental funding ( The Supplemental Funding Request can be accessed through the “Awards Status” function, under the “Award and Reporting” functions. The Budget, Justification for Supplement, and Supplementary Docs sections of the Supplemental Funding Request should be completed according to the guidelines below.

In the Justification for Supplement, awardee institutions are expected to clearly articulate management and administrative plans for the following program elements:

  • Verification of scholarship candidates' eligibility, including the recipients' academic merit, eligibility for security clearance (see below), and enrollment in a nanotechnology-related program.
  • Provision of scholarship amounts to be used for expenses normally incurred by full-time students in the institution, including tuition, room and board, and equipment. These shall be included in participant support costs.
  • Provision of academic-year stipends at the levels specified below.
  • Provisions for tracking the academic progress of students to determine their continued eligibility throughout the academic part of the program.
  • Evaluation of student and program outcomes.

The Justification for Supplement should not exceed 8 pages.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) will provide assistance in identifying potential partners within the naval research enterprise. Proposals should include a letter of support in the Supplementary Docs section from the partner Navy R&D center indicating the nature and level of the proposed collaborative activity.


Eligible undergraduate students must be US citizens who are juniors or seniors eligible for security clearance (see below) with a GPA of 3.0/4.0 or greater. Eligible graduate students must be US citizens who are eligible for security clearance (see below) and ready to commence full-time research, having passed any required qualifying exams and completed most or all of the required course work, and be involved in projects of mutual interest to their advisors and the Navy. The award amounts will be:

  Stipend Cost-of-Education Allowance
Undergraduate Scholarship $8,000 Actual tuition, fees, room, board and books
Master’s Fellowship $20,000 $10,500
Doctoral Fellowship $30,000 $10,500

These costs should be included in the budget as participant support. Funding should be requested to cover student travel to conferences and a minimum of one NNCS required event per year. This should also be included in the budget as participant support.

The Navy will administer the awards with the students and ensure compliance with service requirements. Undergraduate and Masters students who complete their degrees while supported by this program and who elect to pursue an advanced degree will be allowed to re-apply for support from this program.


After the award is made to the university, students recruited into the program must demonstrate to the Navy their eligibility for a security clearance. The student must provide a written curriculum vita and proof of United States citizenship to the Navy in the form of either a copy of a state birth certificate or passport. All students will be expected to sign a contract agreeing to provide one year of full-time service as a civilian employee of the Navy following the completion of their degree for each year of support they receive. Failure to provide the required service will obligate the student to repay the full amount of the stipend and tuition assistance received.


No indirect costs may be charged on these supplements, but PIs may request up to 10 percent of the total participant support budget to address the management and administrative costs associated with the program and may request up to an additional 5 percent of the total participant support budget to cover expenses for curriculum, laboratory, and faculty development costs in support of the program.

The Navy will provide support for the participation of mentors/co-PI at the partnering naval facility.


A panel selected by NSF /Navy staff will review the proposals.


The deadline for supplement proposals is June 30, 2006. Awards will be made by August 31, 2006.


Depending on the availability of funds and quality of proposals we anticipate that we will fund up to a total of 14 awards for two years at an award size not to exceed $250,000. The anticipated funding amount for the NNCS Fellowship/Scholarship program is $3,500,000 for FY 2006 awards.


Potential PIs are encouraged to contact Dr. Deba Dutta, Acting Director, Division of Graduate Education, 703-292-7415) at NSF to discuss details of the program. Those seeking help with identifying potential Navy partners should contact Dr. Ernest McDuffie, Deputy Director, N-Star (, 703-696-6816) at ONR.

We look forward to reviewing innovative and competitive proposals.


Richard O. Buckius
Acting Assistant Director, Directorate for Engineering



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 mission of the Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. For more information about the US Navy please visit The Office of Naval Research (ONR) coordinates, executes, and promotes the science and technology programs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps through schools, universities, government laboratories, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations. It provides technical advice to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary of the Navy and works with industry to improve technology manufacturing processes. For more information about ONR please visit