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NSF 16-006

Dear Colleague Letter: Interagency and International Research on North Atlantic - Arctic Oceanographic Processes

October 13, 2015

Dear Colleague:

The oceanography and ecology of the North Atlantic Ocean are fundamentally linked to the health, economy, and overall well-being of North America and Europe, and to the global climate system. The trilateral Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation of May, 2013, between the European Union (EU), Canada, and the United States (US) (available at emphasizes the need for international cooperation in discovering and understanding processes influencing this dynamic region of the oceans. In April 2014, NSF and the European Commission cosponsored a workshop on the coupled North Atlantic-Arctic System to identify critical research questions, discuss common research interests, and explore areas of potential collaboration. Participants included multidisciplinary scientists from Canada, the EU, and the US and representatives from ocean-relevant US and EU government agencies. The workshop report is available at

This Dear Colleague Letter provides guidance for US scientists who will request support from the NSF Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) and Division of Polar Programs (PLR) over the next 18 months to conduct research related to the workshop goals in collaboration with scientists from Canada or the European Union.


  1. NSF proposals should be basic-research oriented and focused on discovery at the cutting-edge of science. NSF-funded activities must be focused on basic research. Research performed by EU, Canadian, or other collaborators may involve applied science.
  2. Once the project scope is clearly defined, contact the appropriate OCE or PLR program officer by email (see and for program foci). Include a brief description of your research goals, work plan, and anticipated collaborative arrangements. If the project is interdisciplinary, consider contacting multiple programs for joint consideration. If the work is primarily Subarctic contact OCE or if primarily Arctic (ARC) contact PLR. Contact program managers well in advance of the submission date, as coordination among programs or funding agencies may be required.
  3. For proposals submitted via FastLane, standard Grant Proposal Guide proposal preparation and submission guidelines apply. For proposals submitted via, the NSF Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Guidelines applies. (Note: The NSF Application Guide is available on the website and on the NSF website at: Additional requirements with regard to logistics, data submission, etc. apply as specified in the OCE and PLR Arctic solicitations.
  4. Collaborative arrangements, including funding status and logistical arrangements for both US and non-US investigators should be thoroughly documented in the Special Information / Supplementary Documents section of the proposal.


Annual OCE Proposal Submission Target Dates * for unsolicited proposals:

February 15 and August 15.

PLR\ARC: Proposal Submission Deadline for the Arctic Research Opportunities program solicitation:

October 18, 2016
October 18, Annually Thereafter

*If either falls on a weekend day or on a federal holiday, the target date is automatically transferred to the next available weekday.


North Atlantic proposals will be reviewed alongside and compete for funding with the other proposals submitted to the same funding competition. There will not be a separate or special review process. The normal NSF review criteria as described in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide will apply.

For further information, please contact the appropriate program(s) by visiting and/or