Living Stock Collections (LSC)

Program Solicitation
NSF 06-574

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 05-521


NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Biological Sciences
     Division of Biological Infrastructure


Full Proposal Target Date(s):

September 06, 2006

July 04, 2007

First Wednesday in July, Annually Thereafter


In furtherance of the President's Management Agenda, NSF has identified programs that will offer proposers the option to utilize to prepare and submit proposals, or will require that proposers utilize to prepare and submit proposals. provides a single Government-wide portal for finding and applying for Federal grants online.

In response to this program solicitation, proposers may opt to submit proposals via or via the NSF FastLane system. In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:

Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. Chapter II, Section D.3 of the Grant Proposal Guide provides additional information on collaborative proposals.


General Information

Program Title: 

Living Stock Collections  (LSC)

Synopsis of Program:

The Living Stock Collections (LSC) program supports operation of and improvements in outstanding collections of living organisms used in basic biological research. The program provides support for two types of projects. Short-term projects are one-time awards (up to 36 months) leading to innovative handling of living stocks or to well-defined improvements in existing collections, including those not otherwise supported by LSC. Long-term projects (up to 60 months) support ongoing operation of significant collections. Collections receiving long-term support are expected to receive support from user fees.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

  • Diane  Okamuro, LSC Program Director, 690 N, telephone: (703) 292-8470, fax: (703) 292-9063, email:

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

  • 47.074 --- Biological Sciences

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award:  Standard Grant or Continuing Grant

Estimated Number of Awards:    2 to  4  

Anticipated Funding Amount:   $1,000,000  (approximately) will be available for new and renewal LSC awards in FY 2007, pending availability of funds.

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit: 

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • The LSC Program accepts proposals from U.S. colleges, universities and non-profit organizations. Submission of proposals that are similar or identical to proposals submitted to another federal agency is allowed with the prior approval of NSF and of the other agency. Proposers planning such dual submission must contact the LSC Program Director in advance.

PI Limit: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 

None Specified

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not Applicable
  • Full Proposals:

    • Full Proposals submitted via FastLane: NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Guidelines apply. The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at:

    • Full Proposals submitted via NSF Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Guidelines apply (Note: The NSF Application Guide is available on the website and on the NSF website at:

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements: Cost Sharing is not required under this solicitation.  
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:  None.
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Target Date(s): 

    September 06, 2006

    July 04, 2007

    First Wednesday in July, Annually Thereafter

Proposal Review Information Criteria

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.


Summary of Program Requirements

  1. Introduction

  2. Program Description

  3. Award Information

  4. Eligibility Information

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

  6. NSF Proposal Processing and Review Procedures
    1. NSF Merit Review Criteria
    2. Review and Selection Process

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

  8. Agency Contacts

  9. Other Information


Since the 1970s, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has supported the operation and improvement of outstanding collections of living organisms through the Living Stock Collections (LSC) Program and its predecessors. Such collections have played a key role in the advancement and preservation of knowledge by providing well-characterized and documented experimental organisms to U.S. and foreign researchers at modest cost. The Living Stock Collections Program is administered by the Division of Biological Infrastructure with the goal of strengthening infrastructure critical to the conduct of basic research in areas within the purview of the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO). Thus, requests for support by the Program are expected to describe stock collection activities that emphasize maintenance and provision of living organisms needed for basic research in the biological sciences. In addition to the collected organisms, biological reagents relevant to their study (such as isolated DNA, DNA libraries, antibodies, etc.) may be included in the collection when appropriate. To facilitate public access to collections supported on an ongoing basis by the LSC Program, all such collections must have an up-to-date web site that provides information about the contents of the collection and about procedures for ordering strains. In addition to requests for long-term support of basic collections activities, the LSC program accepts requests for short-term support for the development of innovative approaches to handling living stocks, and for one-time improvements in operations of established collections, including collections not otherwise supported by the LSC program. Requests for short-term funding to move valuable established collections to a new institutional home are also considered. In general, such requests must include an explicit plan to incorporate the collection into another collection. The LSC program does not expect to renew awards for support of these short-term projects. The program does not support the establishment of new collections.


The goal of the LSC Program is to support the operation and improvement of collections of living organisms used actively and widely in basic biological research. Thus, the LSC Program does not provide ongoing support for collections that are primarily archival or otherwise intended to document biodiversity. While the Program encourages the incorporation of biological reagents into collections, it does not provide significant direct support for the development of such reagents, and only limited support for their storage and distribution. Similarly, the Program does not provide funds to conduct research beyond normal and appropriate curatorial efforts. Support for development of biological reagents or for original research by collection staff should be sought from appropriate research programs at the NSF and at other public and private agencies. In identifying requests that deserve highest priority for funding, the Program will consider the following general characteristics:

  • The importance of the collected organism(s) to basic biological research in the US. This could reflect, for example, the utility of the organism as a "model system" following years of concerted research effort by many investigators.
  • The uniqueness of the collection, both within and outside the US.
  • The breadth of usage of the collection by the potential user community. Both the types of use and numbers of users are considered to reflect the worth of the collection to the research community.
  • The relevance of the collection's usage to the goals of the Directorate for Biological Sciences. Thus, collections of organisms whose principal uses are in research areas supported by the NSF are given priority in selecting projects for support.
  • The active involvement of a scientifically-qualified collections manager with expertise in handling of the collected organism.
  • The location of the collection in an active research environment.
  • The availability of all relevant information about the collection via the internet.
  • The participation of an active external advisory group whose membership includes current or potential users drawn from areas of research under the purview of the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences. Such groups play an important role in advising the collection on matters of policy and practice including, for example, user fees and acquisition policies.

Potential proposers are strongly encouraged to contact the LSC Program Director before beginning the effort of preparing a proposal. Potential proposers are also encouraged to seek support from other appropriate public and private sources of funding.


NSF anticipates making 2 to 4 standard or continuing grants. The anticipated funding amount is $1 million for new and renewal LSC awards in FY 2007. Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds. Awards for short-term projects are usually made as standard grants of 12 to 36 months in duration; awards for long-term projects are usually made as continuing grants of up to 60 months in duration. In general, short-term support is provided for projects with well-defined aims that can be accomplished within the period of the award. Thus, renewal of support should not be expected. Long-term awards are for projects that, by their nature, are expected to continue for the forseeable future. Requests for renewal of support of such projects are anticipated.


Organization Limit: 

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • The LSC Program accepts proposals from U.S. colleges, universities and non-profit organizations. Submission of proposals that are similar or identical to proposals submitted to another federal agency is allowed with the prior approval of NSF and of the other agency. Proposers planning such dual submission must contact the LSC Program Director in advance.

PI Limit: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 

None Specified

Additional Eligibility Info:

Organization Limit: The LSC Program accepts proposals from U.S. colleges, universities and non-profit organizations. Submission of proposals that are similar or identical to proposals submitted to another federal agency is allowed with the prior approval of NSF and of the other agency. Proposers planning such dual submission must contact the LSC Program Director in advance.

PI Eligibility Limit: None Specified.

Limit on Number of Proposals: None Specified.


A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal Preparation Instructions: Proposers may opt to submit proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via or via the NSF FastLane system.

  • Full proposals submitted via FastLane: Proposals submitted in response to this program 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: Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from Proposers are reminded to identify this program solicitation number in the program solicitation block on the NSF Cover Sheet For Proposal to the National Science Foundation. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.
  • Full proposals submitted via Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation via should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the NSF Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via The complete text of the NSF Application Guide is available on the website and on the NSF website at: ( To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package, click on the Apply tab on the 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 Application Guide also may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from

In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:

Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. Chapter II, Section D.3 of the Grant Proposal Guide provides additional information on collaborative proposals.

The following information supplements the NSF Application Guide.

  1. Cover Sheet. Begin the title of the proposal with "LSC:" followed by the name of the collection.

  2. Project Summary (not more than 1 page in length). Provide a brief summary that describes the collection, including the number of species or strains in the collection, the number of samples provided annually, the approximate number of users, and any interesting aspects of the collection or its use. Indicate if this is a long-term or short-term project. The project summary must clearly address in separate statements: (1) the intellectual merit of the proposed collections activities, and (2) the broader impacts of these activities.

  3. Project Description. This section describes the project in detail and is limited to 15 pages, including the discussion of prior support.

    • For short-term projects aimed at improving the methodology or technology of stock collection operations, the presentation should be consistent with that in a research proposal, including specific aims and sufficient technical detail to assess the need for and likely success of the project, and its expected impact on operation of stock collections. The anticipated timeline, with milestones as appropriate, should be included.
    • For other short-term projects, including collection relocation, present sufficient detail to assess the need for the activity and the likely outcome if an award is not made. The content of such short-term requests should emphasize topics in items 1 through 7 and item 14 in the following guidelines for descriptions of long-term projects. Information relevant to other items is helpful; however, the suggested extensive detail, especially for cost analysis (item 10), is not required. Collections requesting short-term support are not required to have an external advisory committee.
    • For long-term projects, the project description should describe the current and future operation of the collection in detail. Required lists and tables should be presented in the Supplementary Documents section of the proposal (see below). The project description should include the following:
    1. Historical perspective and statement of goals. This introductory section should describe origins of the collection, the goals of its operation, and the areas of research that benefit from use of the collected organisms.
    2. Description of the collection. Provide a general summary description, including number of stocks and, where appropriate, number of mutant strains, species, genera, etc. Describe types of services and products other than stocks, if any. Provide the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for the collection’s homepage. In the event that a list of stocks is not available on line, you may include a list as item 9 in the Supplementary Documents section (below). However, if the list is longer than 10 pages, the LSC Program Director must be consulted before the proposal is submitted.
    3. Use of the collection. Provide summary comments on use of the collection in the last five years, with attention to changing patterns of use, new types of uses, etc. Indicate the fraction of orders received by World Wide Web-based forms, other electronic means, phone and mail in each of the last three years. Detailed quantitative information must be provided in the supplementary documents section (below).
    4. Management structure. Describe the roles, qualifications and responsibilities of the Director of the collection, the collection manager, and any other key personnel. NSF expects that the manager will have a Ph.D. or equivalent research experience. Identify the academic department or other organizational unit in which the collection is located and the organizational official(s) to whom the Director of the collection reports. If extensive, this may be provided as a diagram.
    5. Acquisition policy. Describe the policies for addition and removal of stocks; indicate how these reflect the statement of goals in item 1. Estimate the number of stocks added to, or removed from, the collection in each of the last three years. Indicate the number of duplicate or unidentified stocks at the current time. Justify the presence of any duplicates, and describe plans to identify any unknown stocks.
    6. Relationship to similar collections. Identify other national or foreign collections of the same organism(s), if any, and estimate overlap in collection contents.
    7. Documentation and ordering. Describe the use of electronic databases in operation of the collection and in provision of public access to information about the collection, including the frequency with which such public information is updated. Describe the ordering procedure.
    8. Quality control practices. Describe procedures and practices intended to assure integrity of the individual stocks and other resources, and any steps to assess the quality of service provided to the community.
    9. Future goals. Describe any expected changes in the scope of the collection, in its manner of operation, in staffing, or in facilities. Describe short and long term plans for the collection in the event of unanticipated changes in ability of the key personnel to participate.
    10. Cost analysis. Estimate the staff time and other costs (pro rata cost of glassware, growth media, cage charges, etc.) required for accession and for yearly maintenance of a typical stock. List the fraction of the annual cost of operation of the collection currently provided by: 1) NSF; 2) Other Federal agencies; 3) User charges; and, 4) other sources, such as private foundations, endowments, and personal contributions. Estimate the expected change, if any, in this total cost of operation over the period for which funding is requested. Proposers should anticipate that the fraction of total cost borne by NSF will decrease over time, and that the actual amount of direct NSF support may itself decrease.
    11. User charges. Describe the accounting basis or other strategy for establishment of user fees and use of fees to offset operational costs of the collection. Collections with long-term LSC support are expected to recover a significant fraction of the cost of operation through user fees. The fees for any additional services or products (i.e., those provided in addition to samples of living stocks from the collection) are expected to reflect the cost to the collection of providing the services or products. In the Supplementary Documents section (see below), provide a current list of all user fees and the date on which these were last changed as part of Table 1.
    12. External advisory committee. All collections supported on a long-term basis are required to have an external advisory committee that provides guidance to the collection and to the host organization with respect to collection operations and policies, including user fees, new acquisitions, other improvements, long-term plans, etc. The committee should also serve as a resource for user community input into assessment of the quality of services and products. The committee is expected to meet annually, and to provide a written report to the collection's Director following the meeting. The PI should include a summary of the report as part of the collection's annual progress report to NSF. In this section of the project description, outline the functions of the advisory committee and the mechanisms for assuring that the committee broadly represents the research community that uses the collection. The term of service of members and the mechanism for their selection should be described. A list of current membership of the advisory committee should be presented in the Supplementary Documents section as Table 5 (see below).
    13. Organizational role. Describe the host organization's long term plans for maintaining the collection, including a view to the future beyond the period of requested support. Include a financial projection of support from all sources for the first year of operation following termination of the NSF support being requested.
    14. Prior Support (maximum 5 pages). Briefly describe the outcome of any prior support of the collection by the NSF in the last five years, irrespective of the PI or organization that received the support, and list all publications that resulted. If this is a renewal proposal, state the title, amount of funds received and duration of the award for which renewal is sought. Describe any accomplishments that are not included in the narrative section. Do not describe the results of other prior support received by the current PI, unless the support was intended to improve operation of the collection. This portion of the Project Description is limited to five pages.

  4. References Cited.

Provide any references necessary to support the project description (e.g., those cited in discussion of prior support).

  1. Budget and Budget Justification.

Provide a budget for each year of requested support. Budgets for short-term projects are limited to 36 months. Long-term projects may request up to 60 months support. Use the budget justification section to explain and justify the need for funds in each budget category. The following direct costs will be considered allowable under the terms of the grant:

  1. Personnel and technical assistance (non-research).

  2. Limited administrative assistance.

  3. Equipment.

  4. Travel. Include only travel directly related to collection activities. Support for travel to scientific meetings is not provided on long-term awards unless justified as necessary for the collection's operation.

  5. Participant support. Include funds needed for annual advisory committee meetings (long-term projects only). No honoraria for committee members may be provided from NSF funds.

  6. Other direct costs. Include cost of materials and supplies, periodic publication of stock lists, development and maintenance of electronic databases and collection web site, and minor renovations (long-term projects only). In general, funds will not be provided for items that would normally be part of an individual research grant (such as salaries of investigators or research assistants, supplies for research or special equipment for particular research projects), except in the case of short-term projects aimed at improving methods or techniques.

  1. Current and Pending Support.

Provide information about current and pending support for the PI and any other key personnel.

  1. Biographical Sketches.

Provide a biographical sketch for the PI and for other key personnel in accordance with NSF application guide (limited to 2 pages per person).

  1. Supplementary Documentation.

Provide the following information about use of the collection, using a tabular format for items 1 – 5. These supplementary documents should be attached in Block 11 of the R&R Other Project Information Form.

  1. Table 1: Services and categories of products available to users. List user fees associated with stocks and any other individual services or products. If some stocks (or products or services) are priced differentially, indicate the number in each price category. Thus, if some stocks are more expensive than others, indicate the number of stocks at each price.

  2. Table 2: Organizational usage of the collection. Show numbers of orders and of stocks sent to U.S. and foreign organizations; if known, categorize types of organizations - academic or non- profit research organizations, industrial, or governmental, internal versus external users, educational versus research, etc. on an annual basis for the past five years.

  3. Table 3: Individual usage of the collection. Indicate the total number of users, total number of orders, total number of stocks sent, and total user fees collected in each of the five years covered by Table 2. If the collection provides other products or services, give separate figures for stocks and for these other products or services.

  4. Table 4: Top individual users. Provide individual data for top 25 users of the collection in each of the last two full years, including number of orders and of stocks provided to each. If possible, combine usage by a single research group or laboratory. In providing this list, an anonymous identifier (e.g.,'user A' or 'group A') may be assigned to users, using the same identifier for each user or group from year to year. Each user's country (U.S., etc.) and organizational type (academic, medical, commercial, governmental) should be indicated.

  5. Table 5: Members of External Advisory Committee.

  6. Other productive use of the collection. For example, provide a list of researchers visiting the facility in the last five years with purpose of visits, organizational affiliation and duration of stay; source of funding. List any courses, workshops, etc. offered by the collection and provide a selected list of publications resulting from research based on the collection.

  7. As appropriate, provide letters documenting agreement to collaborate or provide other resources. Letters of endorsement may not be included.

  8. Provide a statement assuring that all pertinent regulations will be followed in receiving and sending the living stocks. All perishable biological materials must be shipped in compliance with postal regulations. Other applicable regulations may include Public Health Service regulations governing transportation of etiologic agents, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's regulations governing transportation of animal and plant disease agents. For genetically engineered organisms, all pertinent permits must be obtained from appropriate agencies.

  9. List of stocks if not available online (optional; see Project Description above, item 2).

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing:   Cost sharing is not required under this solicitation.

Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:  None.

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Target Date(s):

    September 06, 2006

    July 04, 2007

    First Wednesday in July, Annually Thereafter

D. FastLane/ Requirements

  • For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane:

    Detailed technical instructions regarding the technical aspects of preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this funding opportunity.

    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. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane Website at:

  • For Proposals Submitted Via
  • Before using 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 website. The's Grant Community User Guide is a comprehensive reference document that provides technical information about Proposers can download the User Guide as a Microsoft Word document or as a PDF document. The User Guide is available at: In addition, the NSF Application Guide provides additional technical guidance regarding preparation of proposals via For user support, contact the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or by email: The Contact Center answers general technical questions related to the use of 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 and verify the desired funding opportunity and agency to which the application is submitted. The AOR must then sign and submit the application to The completed application will be transferred to the NSF FastLane system for further processing.


Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program and, if they meet NSF proposal preparation requirements, for review. All proposals are carefully reviewed by a scientist, engineer, or educator serving as an NSF Program Officer, and usually by three to ten other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. Proposers are invited to suggest names of persons they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal and/or persons they would prefer not review the proposal. These suggestions may serve as one source in the reviewer selection process at the Program Officer's discretion. Submission of such names, however, is optional. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer.

A. NSF Merit Review Criteria

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board (NSB)-approved merit review criteria: intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed effort. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

The two NSB-approved merit review criteria are listed below. 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 the reviewer is qualified to make judgements.

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, original, or potentially transformative 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?

Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available electronically on the NSF website at:

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 standard NSF review criteria, reviewers of LSC proposals are asked to consider the following:

    • Feasibility of a project's aims and, particularly in the case of requests for long-term support, the importance of the collected organism for basic biological research;
    • Size, quality and uniqueness of the collection;
    • Capability and qualifications of the PI, collections manager, and other staff;
    • Management provisions, including acquisitions policy, user fee structure, and external advisory committee;
    • Usage of the collection by the scientific community and host organization; and
    • Long-term commitment of the host organization to the collection's maintenance.

B. Review and Selection Process

Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by Ad hoc Review 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.

After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the NSF Program Officer recommends to the cognizant Division Director whether the proposal should be declined or recommended for award. NSF is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the date of receipt.  The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's 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 Officer.  In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

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.


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 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.B. 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 (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 agreements also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC) and the applicable Programmatic Terms and Conditions. NSF awards are electronically signed by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer and transmitted electronically to the organization via e-mail.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the Principal Investigator must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require more frequent project reports). Within 90 days after expiration of a grant, the PI also is required to submit a final project report.

Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports will delay NSF review and processing of any future funding increments as well as any pending proposals for that PI. 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.  Such reports provide information on activities and findings, project participants (individual and organizational) 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.  Submission of the report via FastLane constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete.

Annual reports for long-term projects should summarize salient features of collection operation over the past year of support. The report must include up-to-date versions of Tables 1 - 5 as described in the Supplementary Documentation section of the proposal. The report must also include a summary of the most recent written report of the external advisory committee, and a summary of the collection's written response to the report, if any. Verbatim copies of the annual report and collection response are not required, but may be provided in lieu of the summaries. Any workshop or course conducted by the collection's staff should be described. Plans for operation of the collection in the coming year, including new acquisitions, date and location of the external advisory committee meeting if known, and any changes in user fees, should be outlined.


General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Diane Okamuro, LSC Program Director, 690 N, telephone: (703) 292-8470, fax: (703) 292-9063, email:

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

  • Jessie Brown, Science Assistant, 615 N, telephone: (703) 292-7712, email:

For questions relating to contact:

  • Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail:


The NSF Website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. Use of this Website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, MyNSF (formerly the Custom News Service) is an information-delivery system designed to keep potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies and procedures, and upcoming NSF Regional Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail or the user's Web browser each time new publications are issued that match their identified interests. MyNSF also is available on NSF's Website at provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this new mechanism. Further information on may be obtained at


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering."

NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II, Section D.2 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090 and (800) 281-8749, FIRS at (800) 877-8339.

The National Science Foundation Information Center may be reached at (703) 292-5111.

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

  • Location:

4201 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22230

  • For General Information
    (NSF Information Center):

(703) 292-5111

  • TDD (for the hearing-impaired):

(703) 292-5090

  • To Order Publications or Forms:

Send an e-mail to:

or telephone:

(703) 292-7827

  • To Locate NSF Employees:

(703) 292-5111


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; and 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 proposer 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 or other entities needing information regarding applicants or nominees as part of a joint application review process, or in order to coordinate programs or policy; 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," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records, " 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004). 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 Office of Management and Budget (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 the burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

Suzanne H. Plimpton
Reports Clearance Officer
Division of Administrative Services
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230


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National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: (703) 292-5111, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749

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