This document has been archived and replaced by NSF 09-521.

Human Origins (HOMINID)
Moving in New Directions

Program Solicitation
NSF 08-512

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 01-120


NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences
     Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences


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

February 25, 2008

Last Monday in February, Annually Thereafter


A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 09-1, was issued on October 1, 2008 and is effective for proposals submitted on or after January 5, 2009. Please be advised that the guidelines contained in NSF 09-1 apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity. Proposers who opt to submit prior to January 5th, 2009, must also follow the guidelines contained in NSF 09-1.

One of the most significant changes to the PAPPG is implementation of the mentoring provisions of the America COMPETES Act. Each proposal that requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers must include, as a separate section within the 15-page project description, a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. Proposals that do not include a separate section on mentoring activities within the Project Description will be returned without review (see the PAPP Guide Part I: Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II.C.2.d for further information).

Starting in Fiscal Year 2008, HOMINID encourages researchers to think broadly, inviting proposals spanning the full temporal and spatial scale of human evolution.


General Information

Program Title: 

Human Origins  (HOMINID)
Moving in New Directions

Synopsis of Program:

This competition is directed towards increasing our knowledge of the complex biological, physical, and behavioral interrelationships that led to the development of our species and that are responsible for both the shared and variable features that characterize living human populations. It recognizes that understanding of the processes and pathways of human evolution requires input from a wide range of disciplines which examine our species from multiple perspectives and across both time and space. Accomplishing this goal requires a large scale initiative which allows research activities that go beyond the smaller, shorter duration, single investigator awards that disciplinary programs have been able to provide in the past. The Human Origins: Moving In New Directions (HOMINID) competition will support large scale, long term, integrative research and infrastructure projects through awards of up to $500,000 per year for up to five years. Contingent on the availability of funds, the program expects to make two awards in each fiscal year.

It is intended that HOMINID awards will provide for transformative approaches to long-standing questions about the history of our species. Infrastructure development is also eligible for support either as a stand alone project or as part of a research award. One goal of the competition is to develop a portfolio of awards that reflects the multiple approaches to the understanding of human origins. It is expected that the combination of awards will complement each other and prove to be mutually informative as they progress.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

  • Mark L. Weiss, 995 N, telephone: (703) 292-7272, email:

  • John E. Yellen, 995 N, telephone: (703) 292-8759, fax: (703) 292-9068, email:

  • Elizabeth  Tran, 907 N, telephone: (703) 292-5338, email:

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

  • 47.075 --- Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award:  Continuing Grant

Estimated Number of Awards:    2   Estimated program budget, number of awards, and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Anticipated Funding Amount:   $1,000,000  per year for new awards, pending availability of funds

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit: 

None Specified

PI Limit: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 1 

An individual may be the lead Principal Investigator (PI) on only one proposal submitted for any deadline. There is no restriction on the number of proposals for which an individual may serve as a co-PI.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not Applicable
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: 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:  Not Applicable
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

C. Due Dates

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

    February 25, 2008

    Last Monday in February, 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:   Additional award conditions apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Reporting Requirements:   Standard NSF reporting requirements apply.


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


The pathways of change traversed during the course of our species' evolution have fascinated anthropologists, archaeologists, and others for decades. Fossil data provide the primary evidence of morphological change over time and archaeological data illuminate behavioral change. Underlying both the behavioral and anatomical change is genetic variation. Describing these changes is a significant goal, yet description is only partially satisfying. Understanding the environmental and ecological context within which these changes occurred, the genetic processes involved, and the evolutionary forces that drove the evolution of our species are strongly compelling issues.

NSF's Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) provides funding for human origins research through its Physical Anthropology and Archaeology programs. Both programs fund smaller-scale individual researcher projects designed to investigate limited aspects of the origins of our species. The scope of past investigations has been limited by the resources of individual programs as well as by prevailing technology. BCS recognizes that human origins researchers are poised, due both to technological and theoretical developments, to make major advances in our understanding of human evolution through larger-scale, multidisciplinary research. Biotechnology allows the sequencing of genes present in people living thousands of years ago. Trace element analysis can lead to insights into the paleoenvironments within which our ancestors functioned. Imaging technologies can provide insights into the structure of our ancestors' brain and the development of human cognitive abilities. Novel ways of analyzing artifacts and other materials from archaeological sites can fundamentally alter our understanding of the behaviors of past human populations and those of their ancestors.

Human Origins: Moving In New Directions (HOMINID) aims to foster large scale integrative research and infrastructure projects through awards up to $500,000 per year and of up to five years in duration. Contingent on availability of funds, it is expected that two awards will be made each year and that the competition will continue on an annual basis, with a goal of developing a portfolio of awards that reflects the multiple approaches to understanding human origins. HOMINID awardees are encouraged to disseminate results broadly and exchange findings with other awardees, in order to increase the potential impacts of the research. Projects exploring human origins defined broadly (in terms of either temporal or spatial scope) are encouraged, however, the research must be firmly placed in the context of human evolution.

NSF is deeply committed to providing training and education opportunities to a varied and diverse group of students.  Intellectually and ethnically diverse research teams that integrate students at all stages of their training are essential to the long-term success and vitality of human evolution research and to the dissemination of  knowledge of our species' adaptations and evolution.  While diversity is enhanced by the inclusion of students from a wide range of disciplines, we are particularly dedicated to the training and participation of individuals from underrepresented minority groups. Researchers are thus strongly encouraged to specifically indicate their plans for including students (undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral) with particular attention to those from underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as participants in the proposed research.  Proposals that demonstrate tangible mechanisms for establishing research and education collaborations with students and researchers from underrepresented groups or from minority-serving institutions, undergraduate institutions, and colleges for women are strongly encouraged.


Through the mechanism of substantial long term awards this competition provides an essential complement to "standard" research projects appropriately funded through discipline-based NSF programs. It recognizes that effective pursuit of human origins questions often involves sustained, large scale, and integrative, multidisciplinary initiatives. The competition invites researchers to pursue innovative broad scale projects which exceed not only in scale, but also scope, the single investigator projects supported by disciplinary programs. While, given the nature of human origins research, many projects will be multidisciplinary and such approaches are encouraged, this is not a requirement. It is recognized, for example, that some research or infrastructure projects, e.g. molecular anthropology laboratory support, dating facility support, long-term paleoanthropological field work, would greatly benefit from significantly larger budgets over longer periods of support than individual programs have previously been able to provide. These too are eligible to compete under the HOMINID program. Proposals which focus on or incorporate infrastructure development into a research design -- for example laboratory support or database development -- are welcome. Given the multinational nature of much human origins research, applicants may include elements which strengthen international collaboration in their proposals. All proposals, whether research or infrastructure focused, must explicitly address issues relevant to the broad scope (both in time and space) of human evolution.

Researchers are encouraged to apply a broad range of approaches and techniques to tightly defined and clearly justified questions of human origins. To illustrate -- but not limit -- the potential range, projects might focus on:

  • Examining extant and past genetic diversity and establishing data or sample repositories
  • Acquiring and analyzing paleontological and archaeological data through, for example, long term fieldwork
  • Constructing relevant chronological geological and environmental contexts for human origins
  • Developing systems (including software and supporting infrastructure) applicable to human origins
  • Conducting comparative studies of extant humans and other primate species, whether in terms of physical adaptations, socioecology, morphology, or molecular aspects
  • Supporting laboratories in multiple disciplines to develop and apply new technologies to the clarification of human origins issues
  • Using new technologies to clarify the evolution of human cognitive skills
  • Investigating the evolution of developmental regimes and control as they relate to human evolution
  • Analyzing long-term interaction between ancestral human populations and their biotic and abiotic landscapes, and the effects of those impacts on those ancestral populations themselves
  • Examining the nature, impacts, and results of the colonization of novel landscapes
HOMINID is designed to complement and not duplicate research currently funded by NSF programs. Contingent on available funds, approximately $1 million will be available annually to permit approximately two new awards, each of up to five years in duration. Continuations to current awards are not a program priority. Upon expiration of a grant, a PI may apply for a new HOMINID award, but must make explicit how the proposed project differs from the previously funded research.


Anticipated Type of Award: Continuing Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 2 Estimated program budget, number of awards, and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $1,000,000 per year for new awards, pending availability of funds


Organization Limit: 

None Specified

PI Limit: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 1 

An individual may be the lead Principal Investigator (PI) on only one proposal submitted for any deadline. There is no restriction on the number of proposals for which an individual may serve as a co-PI.


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.

Because of the size and duration of the awards, as well as the often interdisciplinary nature of the research or infrastructure supported, PIs are allowed 20 pages (instead of the standard 15 page limit) for the project description. Up to three pages of the 20-page project description should be devoted to a management plan. Further, because it is intended that any data or specimens obtained through support via this competition should become rapidly and widely available, PIs must submit a one to two page data access plan, describing the mechanisms and time frame under which they intend to accomplish this goal.

Management Plan (3 pages maximum as part of the 20 page project description): Each Full Research proposal must contain a management plan, which includes 1) the specific roles of the PI, co-PIs, other senior personnel and paid consultants at all organizations involved, 2) how the project will be managed within and across organizations and disciplines, 3) identification of the specific coordination mechanisms that will enable cross-institution and/or cross-discipline scientific integration (e.g., regular meetings or teleconferencing, yearly workshops, graduate student exchange, project meetings at conferences, videoconferences, software repositories, etc.), and 4) pointers to the budget line items that support these coordination mechanisms.

Data Access Plan (2 pages maximum as part of the Supplementary Documentation section): Under NSF's data sharing policy, the Foundation expects investigators to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the data, samples, physical collections, and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of the work. To implement that policy, with this competition HOMINID will require that all proposals include a one to two page detailed description of the applicant's data access plan in the "Supplementary Documentation" section. This page will be in addition to the standard 20-page project description. Applications lacking this statement will not be reviewed. HOMINID realizes that individual cases may differ widely and recognize that any absolute timeline or rigid set of rules is not possible. It also recognizes that revision and adjustment may often be required as the work proceeds. The data access plan, however, will be considered an integral part of the project and therefore subject to reviewer and panel evaluation. Major departure from it will constitute a significant project change and require NSF approval. Successful applicants will be required to address this issue in every progress and final report. PIs on all awards made under these guidelines will be expected to discuss implementation of their plans in the "Results of Prior Research" section when they submit subsequent applications.

B. Budgetary Information

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

Other Budgetary Limitations:  Proposals should include travel funds to participate in a 1.5 day annual meeting of all awardees at NSF.

C. Due Dates

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

    February 25, 2008

    Last Monday in February, 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 where they will be reviewed if they meet NSF proposal preparation requirements. 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 of interest with the proposal.

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 also 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 general criteria described above, the following criteria will be considered by peer reviewers and NSF staff in evaluating proposals submitted in response to this solicitation:

    • Does the data access plan specifically address the mechanisms and time frame under which data and specimens obtained through support via this competition will be made rapidly and widely available?
    • Do the researchers indicate the mechanism(s) by which they will ensure that the research is responsive to the needs of interested communities?
    • Infrastructure proposals only: Does the proposal address the question of project support after the expiration of the HOMINID award?

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 deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later.  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 Research 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

Special Award Conditions:  It is intended that researchers supported through this program will attend an annual PI meeting to discuss both research and management issues.

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.


General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Mark L. Weiss, 995 N, telephone: (703) 292-7272, email:

  • John E. Yellen, 995 N, telephone: (703) 292-8759, fax: (703) 292-9068, email:

  • Elizabeth Tran, 907 N, telephone: (703) 292-5338, email:

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

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

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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:

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