Submission Window Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):
Medium Projects: August 1, 2009 - August 30, 2009, August 1 - August 30, Annually Thereafter
Large Projects: November 1, 2009 - November 28, 2009, November 1 - November 28, Annually Thereafter
Small Projects: December 1, 2009 - December 17, 2009, December 1 - December 17, Annually Thereafter
The Division's interest in and support for research in the areas of computer graphics and visualization has been clarified.
Please be advised that the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) includes revised guidelines to implement the mentoring provisions of the America COMPETES Act (ACA) (Pub. L. No. 110-69, Aug. 9, 2007.) As specified in the ACA, each proposal that requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers must include a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. Proposals that do not comply with this requirement will be returned without review (see the PAPP Guide Part I: Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II for further information about the implementation of this new requirement).
SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
Synopsis of Program:
Cognizant Program Officer(s):
Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):
Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 200 - It is anticipated that up to 200 awards will be made each year.
Anticipated Funding Amount: $90,000,000 Approximately $90 million each year, dependent upon the availability of funds.
Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 2
Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
A. Proposal Preparation Instructions
B. Budgetary Information
C. Due Dates
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: Standard NSF reporting requirements apply.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS) studies the inter-related roles of people, computers, and information. IIS supports research and education activities that 1) develop new knowledge about the role of people in the design and use of information technology; 2) increase our capability to create, manage, and understand data and information in circumstances ranging from personal computers to globally-distributed systems; and 3) advance our understanding of how computational systems can exhibit the hallmarks of intelligence.
II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
IIS CORE PROGRAMS
IIS supports three core programs as described below
To reflect the changing landscape of research in computer graphics and visualization, particularly the increasing interest that IIS has in them, IIS now leads CISE's management of the review process for proposals in computer graphics and visualization. Graphics research targets all topics within the modeling, rendering, and display pipeline for computer graphics and closely related topics. Visualization research targets the use of computer graphics and closely related themes to facilitate the understanding of wide-ranging types of information. Computational geometry proposals not tightly coupled to computer graphics should be submitted to the Algorithmic Foundations core program within CCF.
Proposals in these areas are handled by a team of Program Directors spanning all three core programs. To simplify our Program Directors' identification of proposals in this area, we ask PIs to include "computer graphics" or "visualization" as key words in their Project Summary as described in Section V.A below.
Proposals submitted to this solicitation must be consistent with one of three project classes defined below. Proposals will be considered for funding within their project classes.
CISE investments in Small, Medium and Large projects complement the directorate’s investments in the Expeditions in Computing program, where projects are funded at levels of up to $10,000,000 total for durations of up to 5 years. The Expeditions solicitation can be accessed at https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf08568&org=NSF.
IMPORTANT PROJECT CHARACTERISTICS
The submission of far-reaching, creative research and education projects is encouraged. Funds will be used to support potentially transformative research with high-impact potential. In this way, CISE will catalyze exciting new research activities with the potential to make significant advances in the state-of-the-art.
Interdisciplinary, international and/or academic-industry collaborations that promise to result in major science or engineering advances are welcome. The directorate hopes to attract proposals from faculty at a broad range of academic institutions, including faculty at minority-serving and predominantly undergraduate institutions.
Proposals submitted should demonstrate that enriching learning experiences will be provided for a diverse population of students, and may describe the development of innovative curricula or educational materials that advance literacy about and expertise in areas supported by CISE.
Proposals that extend beyond the scope of one CISE core program are welcome. In such cases, PIs should identify the most relevant program(s) in the proposal submission process (see Proposal Preparation Instructions later in this document). CISE Program Officers will work with their NSF colleagues to ensure that these proposals are appropriately co-reviewed and considered for funding.
III. AWARD INFORMATION
Approximately $90 million each year, dependent upon the availability of funds, for up to 200 awards. Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.
IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION
Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 2
Additional Eligibility Info:
V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
A. Proposal Preparation Instructions
Full Proposal Instructions: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidelines specified in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg . Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-PUBS (7827) or by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org .
The following information SUPPLEMENTS (not replaces) the guidelines provided in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG).
Proposal Titles: Proposal titles must begin with an acronym that indicates the most relevant core program. Select an acronym from the following list:
The acronym should be followed with a colon, then the project class followed by a colon and the title of your project. For example, if you are submitting a Small proposal to Human-Centered Computing core program, then your title would be HCC: Small:Title. If you submit a proposal as part of a set of collaborative proposals, the title of the proposal should begin with the acronym that indicates the most relevant core program followed by a colon, then the project class followed by a colon, then "Collaborative Research" followed by a colon, and the title. For example, if you are submitting a collaborative set of proposals for a Large project to the Robust Intelligence core program, the title of each would be RI: Large:Collaborative Research: Title. Proposals from PIs in institutions that have RUI (Research in Undergraduate Institutions) eligibility should begin their proposal title with the acronym that indicates the most relevant core program, followed by a colon then the project class, followed by a colon then “RUI”, followed by a colon and then the title, for example, III:Medium:RUI:Title.
Proposals that extend beyond the scope of one CISE core program are welcome. In such cases, PIs should identify the acronym for the most relevant core program, followed by any other relevant program acronym(s) separated by colons (for example, III:RI:Small:Title). CISE Program Officers will work with their NSF colleagues to ensure that these proposals are appropriately co-reviewed and considered for funding.
Project Summary: All proposals must provide up to 6 sets of key words at the end of the Project Summary. These key words should describe the main scientific/engineering areas explored in the proposal. Key words should be prefaced with "Key Words" followed by a colon and each key word separated by semi-colons. Key words should be of the type used to describe research in a journal submission. They should be put at the end of the project summary and might appear, for example, as Key Words: formal logic; computer graphics; multi-modal interfaces; sensor networks; information visualization; privacy.
Project Description: Since the success of collaborative research efforts are known to depend on thoughtful coordination mechanisms that regularly bring together the various participants of the project, all Medium proposals that include more than one investigator and all Large proposals must include a Collaboration Plan. Relevant Medium proposals and all Large proposals that fail to include a Collaboration Plan will be returned without review. While the length of the Project Description for Small proposals is limited to 15 pages, for Medium and Large proposals up to 3 additional pages are allowed for Collaboration Plans. The length of and degree of detail provided in the Collaboration Plan should be commensurate with the complexity of the proposed project. Where appropriate, the Collaboration Plan might include: 1) the specific roles of the project participants in all organizations involved; 2) information on how the project will be managed across all the investigators, institutions, and/or disciplines; 3) identification of the specific coordination mechanisms that will enable multi-investigator, cross-institution, and/or cross-discipline scientific integration (e.g., yearly workshops, graduate student exchange, project meetings at conferences, use of the grid for videoconferences, software repositories, etc.), and 4) specific references to the budget line items that support collaboration and coordination mechanisms.
Proposals that incorporate curriculum development activities should describe the curriculum development activities in a separate section of the Project Description entitled "Curriculum Development Activities."
Supplementary Documents: In the Supplementary Documents Section, include a list of all PIs, Co-PIs, Senior Personnel, paid Consultants, Collaborators and Postdocs to be involved in the project. This list should be numbered and include (in this order) Full name, Organization(s), and Role in the project, with each item separated by a semi-colon. Each person listed should start a new numbered line. For example:
PIs from predominantly undergraduate institutions should also include a Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) Impact Statement and Certification of RUI Eligibility in this Section.
Proposers are reminded to identify the program solicitation number (Populated with NSF Number at Clearance) 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.
B. Budgetary Information
Cost Sharing: Cost sharing is not required under this solicitation.
C. Due Dates
D. FastLane Requirements
Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this program solicitation through use of the NSF FastLane system. Detailed instructions regarding the technical aspects of proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm . For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail email@example.com . The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this program 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: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/fastlane.jsp .
VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES
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.
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: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/broaderimpacts.pdf .
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:
For Medium and Large proposals only, reviewers will be asked to:
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.
VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION
A. Notification of the Award
Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program 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 https://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/award_conditions.jsp?org=NSF . Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org .
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 https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=aag .
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.
VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS
General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:
For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:
In addition to the Program Officers identified as program points of contact above, the following IIS Program Officers also support IIS core programs as indicated below:
Human-Centered Computing (HCC)
Information Integration & Informatics (III)
Robust Intelligence (RI)
IX. OTHER INFORMATION
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, National Science Foundation Update is a free e-mail subscription service 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 when new publications are issued that match their identified interests. Users can subscribe to this service by clicking the "Get NSF Updates by Email" link on the NSF web site .
Grants.gov 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 Grants.gov may be obtained at http://www.grants.gov .
ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
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.
PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS
The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; 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
The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA