Email Print Share
NSF 10-057

Dear Colleague Letter:  Announcement of Target Date for Submission of Proposals to Division of Physics for FY 2011 Funding Cycle

This document has been archived and replaced by NSF 11-058.

Dear Colleague:

The target date for proposal submission to programs in the Division of Physics varies according to program.  For proposals competing for FY 2011 (which begins October 1, 2010) funds, the target date for unsolicited proposals submitted to most programs is September 29, 2010 (except as noted below).   For FY 2011, the Division will entertain submissions in the following areas:

  • Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics
  • Education and Interdisciplinary Research
  • Elementary Particle Physics
  • Gravitational Physics and LIGO
  • NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering (Apply to NSF 09-596)
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Particle and Nuclear Astrophysics
  • Physics Frontiers Centers (Apply to NSF 10-560)  
  • Physics at the Information Frontier (Target Date is October 27, 2010)
  • Physics of Living Systems (Target Date is July 31, 2010)
  • Theoretical Physics (All sub-areas)

All proposals should be received at the Foundation by the target date.  No proposal should be submitted after the target date without having previously received acknowledgement for the late submission from the cognizant Program Director.   Delays in submissions may prohibit inclusion of the proposal within the mail and panel reviews for the program as a whole, and review of late proposals may have to be postponed until the following fiscal year in order to assure an impartial review.  We also ask that you not submit proposals any earlier than one month before the appropriate target date, unless previously approved by the cognizant Program Director.  Proposers are encouraged to browse the NSF Award Search at to ascertain the type of research supported in these programs, or to call the cognizant Program Director if they are uncertain about which program is appropriate for their proposal.  

Foundation-wide program solicitations, such as the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) or Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs, have specified target or deadline dates contained in their program announcements or solicitations.  Proposals submitted to the Division of Physics as part of these programs must be submitted by the target dates or deadlines given in the program announcement or solicitation.  Demonstrably multidisciplinary proposals sent to the Division of Physics, which are likely to be jointly reviewed with other programs within the Foundation, may be impacted by different target or deadline dates for the different programs involved. If you are contemplating submitting such a proposal, you should contact the cognizant Program Director in the Division of Physics before submission.

The Physics Division welcomes proposals that address NSF FY11 priority areas, such as Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) and Science and Engineering Beyond Moore’s Law (SEBML).  Such proposals should bring a uniquely physics perspective to research in these areas, as well as a focus on the scientific fundamentals underpinning these areas.   Proposals that might fall into one of these categories should be submitted to the disciplinary program that is closest to the physics approach used if such a program can be identified.   Physics proposals addressing one of these areas that do not have an obvious disciplinary identity should be submitted to the Education and Interdisciplinary Research program. 

Proposals submitted in response to programs listed in this Dear Colleague letter are required to be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) or the NSF Application Guide. These documents are available electronically on the NSF Website at and These documents are updated on a regular basis, so it is critical that the guidelines for all sections of the proposal, including the submission of required supplementary information, in the most recent version of the GPG or NSF Application Guide be followed, as failure to follow the instructions in detail will result in the proposal’s being returned without review.  Proposers who anticipate difficulty in meeting the 15-page limit on the length of the Project Description must request and receive a deviation in advance of proposal submission. (GPG,
Chapter II, Section A, Conformance with Instructions for Proposal Preparation, contains information about deviations from instructions provided in the GPG.) It is advisable to contact the cognizant Program Director in the Division of Physics before requesting a deviation.

There are two general merit review criteria approved by the National Science Board (NSB) and listed in the GPG: the intellectual merit of the proposed activity, and the broader impacts resulting from the proposed activity. All proposals must separately address both of the merit review criteria in the Project Summary and should describe the broader impacts as an integral part of the narrative in the Project Description. Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available electronically on the NSF Website at The Division of Physics emphasizes the importance of thinking about and communicating these connections. Please note that this is not a shift in the priorities or strategic vision of the Division. It is rather a call for greater effort in expressing the broader context of our work.

Joseph L. Dehmer
Division of Physics

NSF 10-057 (Replaces NSF 09-053)
OMB No. 3145-0058
CFDA No. 47.049 P.T. 34; K.W. 1010000