Division of Integrative Organismal Systems Core Programs

Program Solicitation
NSF 18-586

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 17-508

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Biological Sciences
     Division of Integrative Organismal Systems

Full Proposal Deadline(s):

     Proposals Accepted Anytime

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

This revision introduces no deadline full proposal submission: proposals may be submitted any day, any time.

This solicitation introduces a second submission track: Rules of Life (RoL).

This solicitation includes information about international collaborative research opportunities with the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation as described in Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 17-120).

Important Reminders:

Submission to either the Plant Biotic Interactions program, which supports proposals on plant-microbial symbioses of all types and the Plant Genome Research Program solicitations counts under the submission limits to the Core Programs track.

Requests for supplemental funding for expected REU, RET, RAHSS or ROA activities may be included in the proposal at submission. Post-award requests for supplemental funding are expected to reflect unanticipated opportunities that arise after an award is made.

Any proposal submitted in response to this solicitation should be submitted in accordance with the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 18-1), which is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 29, 2018.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

Division of Integrative Organismal Systems Core Programs

Synopsis of Program:

The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) supports research aimed at understanding why organisms are structured the way they are and function as they do. Proposals are welcomed in all of the core scientific program areas supported by the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS). Areas of inquiry include, but are not limited to, developmental biology and the evolution of developmental processes, nervous system development, structure, modification, function, and evolution; biomechanics and functional morphology, physiological processes, symbioses and microbial interactions, interactions of organisms with biotic and abiotic environments, plant and animal genomics, and animal behavior. Proposals should focus on organisms as a fundamental unit of biological organization. Principal Investigators (PIs) are encouraged to apply systems approaches that will lead to conceptual and theoretical insights and predictions about emergent organismal properties.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

  • Behavioral Systems Program Directors, telephone: (703) 292-8423, email: IOSBSC@nsf.gov

  • Developmental Systems Program Directors, telephone: (703) 292-8417, email: IOSDSC@nsf.gov

  • Neural Systems Program Directors, telephone: (703) 292-8421, email: IOSNSC@nsf.gov

  • Phys. & Struct. Systems Program Directors, telephone: (703) 292-8413, email: IOSPSS@nsf.gov

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: 250

Anticipated Funding Amount: $60,000,000

IOS estimates that approximately $60,000,000 will be available for new and continuing awards per fiscal year. Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter I.E.

Who May Serve as PI:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI:

Core Programs Track:

One submission as PI or Co-PI per fiscal year (October 1- September 30) to IOS.

Proposals submitted to the PGRP solicitation, the PBI solicitation or the RUI/ROA Solicitation (NSF 14-579) also count toward the limit for the Core Programs Track.

Rules of Life Track:

One submission as PI or Co-PI per fiscal year (October 1- September 30) to the Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO).

PIs or Co-PIs who submit to the Rules of Life track in IOS may not submit to the Rules of Life track in another division in the Directorate for Biological Sciences. A PI or coPI may only submit one Rules of Life proposal in the Directorate of Biological Sciences in a fiscal year.

In a fiscal year, an individual may participate as a PI or Co-PI on no more than one proposal submitted to the Core Programs track in response to this IOS Core Program Solicitation and no more than one proposal submitted to the Rules of Life track.

There is no limit on the number of proposals per fiscal year that an investigator can participate in as a non-Co-PI lead of a sub-award or Other Senior Personnel. Thus, the number of proposals on which an investigator can be listed as collaborator is unlimited. Proposals in excess of the limit for any person will be returned without review in the reverse order received. It is the responsibility of the submitters to confirm that the entire team is within the eligibility guidelines. Changes to the team post-submission to meet the eligibility limits will not be allowed.

For the purposes of this solicitation senior personnel include the Principal Investigator (PI), any Co-PIs, and as “Other Senior Personnel”, any other researchers actively involved in achieving and managing the intellectual merit or broader impacts goals of the project. Senior personnel may include individuals who will provide essential expertise and intellectual engagement in a small but significant component of the overall project. Named postdoctoral researchers may be considered senior personnel. Students, collaborators, or consultants who provide specific technical expertise on a limited portion of the project are not considered senior personnel.

This limit does not pertain to proposals submitted to other solicitations not associated with the IOS Core Programs track (e.g., EDGE, Research Coordination Networks, CAREER) or to solicitations in other BIO divisions (e.g. Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, Division of Environmental Biology). However, individual solicitations may have their own limit guidelines; therefore be sure to review those solicitations carefully for details.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not required
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not required

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements:

    Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

    Not Applicable

  • Other Budgetary Limitations:

    Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s):

         Proposals Accepted Anytime

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

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/Grants.gov Requirements

  6. NSF Proposal Processing and Review Procedures
    1. Merit Review Principles and 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

I. INTRODUCTION

IOS supports research aimed at improving our understanding of organisms as integrated units of biological organization. The division welcomes diverse approaches to research addressing organismal questions, and especially encourages integrative and interdisciplinary perspectives on complex problems in organismal biology. The goal is to predict why organisms are structured the way they are and function as they do in a variety of developmental, social, physiological, and natural environments. Projects that innovatively apply approaches that combine experimentation, computation, and modeling, and which lead to new conceptual and theoretical insights and testable predictions about integrated organismal properties are encouraged. Research that integrates data across spatial/temporal/biological scales, leads to transformative methods, tools and resources, and/or seeks breakthroughs in the areas of phenotypic plasticity and organismal robustness and resilience is also emphasized. However, research motivated by relevance to human health or addressing the mechanisms of human disease is not appropriate for IOS and will be returned without review.

IOS continues to support projects that provide unique educational and training opportunities for the next generation of researchers, scientific educators and scientifically literate citizens. In order to address the Broader Impacts review criterion, proposals can contain the development of innovative educational, broadening participation, and outreach activities or substantive participation in existing institutional infrastructure for education, training and outreach. Successful proposals often demonstrate close integration of the scientific and educational goals.

The division will continue to support projects addressing any of these opportunities across the full range of conceptual scales, and durations (1-5 years) with associated budget requests commensurate with the scope, scale, and duration of the work. IOS recognizes the interest of the scientific community in projects that are smaller in scope, potentially shorter in duration, and that require relatively modest support compared to the present norm. Therefore, the division reminds proposers that there are no budget minimums and it will continue to support both small-scale projects and larger requests as appropriate for the work proposed.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

IOS accepts proposals into two tracks, the Core Programs track and the Rules of Life track.

  1. Core Programs track
  2. Proposals are welcomed in all of the core scientific program areas supported by the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems, including projects that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. IOS is organized into five clusters, that contain the core scientific programs. Click on a cluster name to go to the cluster web page and learn more about each cluster and its programs.

    Biological questions, rather than techniques or approaches, should guide program selection.

    After reading the cluster and program descriptions, discuss any questions about the potential fit of a project to one of the clusters with the Program Director you believe is most closely associated with your field of interest. Please consult the IOS web page for information about specific Program Directors associated with each program. This interaction can be a critical aspect for ensuring that your proposal is assigned to the most appropriate program for review.

    The four clusters in IOS which are participating in submissions to this solicitation are:

    Behavioral Systems Cluster

    The Behavioral Systems cluster contains the Animal Behavior Program.

    Developmental Systems Cluster

    Programs within the Developmental Systems Cluster are: the Plant, Fungal and Microbial Developmental Mechanisms Program, the Animal Developmental Mechanisms Program and the Evolution of Developmental Mechanisms Program.

    Neural Systems Cluster

    Programs within the Neural Systems Cluster are the Organization Program, the Activation Program and the Modulation Program.

    Physiological and Structural Systems Cluster

    Programs within the Physiological and Structural Systems Cluster are: the Symbiosis, Defense and Self-recognition Program (SDS), the Physiological Mechanisms and Biomechanics Program (PMB), the Integrative Ecological Physiology Program (IEP) and the NSF-NIFA Plant Biotic Interactions Program (PBI).

    Important Note: PBI is jointly managed by the NSF and USDA-NIFA. Proposals intended for PBI should be submitted directly through its solicitation. See the PBI web page for the program summary.

    The fifth cluster in IOS is the Plant Genome Research Program.

    The Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) focuses on research on functional plant genomics and the development of tools, technologies and resources for genome-scale research including: basic plant biology, economically important processes, and other relevant societal issues. Proposals intended for PGRP should be submitted directly through its solicitation.

  3. Rules of Life (RoL) track
  4. The Rules of Life track seeks to support integrative research and training that aims to identify the underlying general principles that operate across hierarchical levels of living systems, from molecules to organisms to ecosystems, and that explain emergent properties, e.g., robustness, adaptability. Discovery of fundamental principles through integrative research and enabling infrastructure will advance understanding and further predictive capability of how key properties of living systems emerge from the interaction of genomes, phenotypes, and environment. Research activities under Rules of Life should lead to new understanding of how higher-order structures and functions result from the interactions of heterogeneous biological components, as shaped by genomic, developmental, environmental and evolutionary processes.

    Proposals submitted to the Rules of Life (RoL) track must integrate research activities across multiple levels of biological organization, and thereby span funding programs beyond a single division in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO). It is expected that RoL proposals will bring together diverse teams of scientists to create novel framings and solutions for conceptual problems in biology.

    To be responsive to the RoL track proposed activities must:

    • Engage or enable innovative approaches to fundamental questions in biology.
    • Promise results or approaches that are generalizable beyond particular study systems.
    • Seek to discover, enable and/or test foundational principles (rules, theory) that explain or predict the emergence of complex phenomena in biology.
    • Apply integrative approaches that span levels of biological organization beyond the funding programs within a single BIO division.

    Additional priorities for Rules of Life proposals include projects that:

    • Emphasize scaling and feedback mechanisms across hierarchical levels of biological organization;
    • Use or develop novel approaches or tools to fill significant gaps in understanding structure and function of biological systems;
    • Leverage existing infrastructure, data products, and other resources to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of research and training activities;
    • Effectively integrate research and cross-disciplinary training throughout the duration of the project; and
    • Build research capacity among traditionally underrepresented groups.

    The Rules of Life track is common to each of the core research program solicitations in the Divisions of Biological Infrastructure, Environmental Biology, Integrative Organismal Systems, and Molecular and Cellular Biosciences.

    Proposals submitted to this track will be evaluated by co-review or joint review across two or more of these BIO divisions. Proposals should be submitted to a program in one of these divisions, and also must identify one or more programs in other BIO divisions for co-review. Proposal titles should start with the designation “RoL:”. Prior to external review, proposals will be discussed among program directors from the two or more BIO divisions named in the proposal. If judged to be relevant to only one division, the proposal will be returned without review as non-responsive to the RoL track. Returned proposals do not count against the submission cap.

    Please note that for both the Core Programs track and the Rules of Life (RoL) track you must select a program name on the Fastlane cover page during submission.

  5. Additional Information for Other Types of Proposals under this Solicitation
  6. Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) Proposals

    Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) proposals may be submitted in response to this solicitation in response to either track and count against the limit for that track. Information on the scope of RUI projects and the format of these proposals, including the additional RUI statement, can be found on the RUI/ROA program page.

    Mid-Career Investigator Awards in Integrative Organismal Biology (MCA-IOS).

    MCA-IOS activities may be included in full proposals submitted to this solicitation. A "mid-career" investigator is defined here as any researcher who is post-tenure and not retired. The MCA-IOS opportunity provides support for mid-career researchers/scientists to acquire new skills to use genomics and bioinformatics tools and/or novel technologies to answer organismal questions. Requests may include support for research visits, for participation in training opportunities in other laboratories, and for the use of genome research facilities not available at the applicant's institution. Support can be requested for an investigator’s own activities or to host an eligible mid-career investigator and can include a request for salary support during periods of training. Investigators interested in the MCA-IOS activity are strongly encouraged to contact a program director for further guidance prior to submission of a proposal containing these activities.

    Research Coordination Network (RCN) Proposals

    This solicitation will accept Research Coordination Network (RCN) Proposals. RCN proposals should be submitted to the appropriate program in the Core Programs Track. Information on the scope of RCN projects and the format of these proposals can be found on the RCN program page.

    Accomplishment Based Renewal (ABR) Proposals

    This solicitation will accept Accomplishment Based Renewal (ABR) Proposals. ABR proposals should be submitted to the appropriate program in the Core Programs Track. Information on eligibility and the scope and format for ABR submissions can be found in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). If you are considering an ABR submission you MUST contact a program director in the relevant cluster prior to submission. Failure to do so may result in your proposal being returned without review.

    U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) Collaborative Proposals

    Proposals for international research in accordance with the Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 17-120) describing an international collaborative activity with the BSF will be accepted under this solicitation. These international collaborative proposal submissions (whether reviewed by NSF or the international partner) will be subject to the submission limits in this solicitation for any PI or Co-PI. Complete instructions for proposal submission can be found in the Dear Colleague Letter. Questions about this activity should be directed to NSF-IOS-BSF@nsf.gov.

    International Activities

    Investigators may include well justified international components in proposals submitted to any relevant NSF program or request supplemental funding for projects already supported by NSF. Additional information about opportunities for research involving international partners can be found in NSF’s Office for International Science and Engineering (OISE).

  7. Additional Funding Opportunities
  8. These additional opportunities are available through the PAPPG such as conference proposals, requests for supplemental funding, and RAPID or EAGER proposals, or through separate solicitations. Please note that other individual solicitations may have their own guidelines and submission limits, therefore PIs should review those solicitations carefully for details.

    Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER).

    CAREER proposals are not covered by this solicitation or its limits on submission. CAREER proposals should be submitted at the deadline for BIO submission indicated in the CAREER Solicitation (NSF 17-537). Additional information and Directorate and Division Contacts for CAREER can be found on the CAREER program page.

    Enabling Discovery Through GEnomic Tools (EDGE)

    EDGE is designed to provide support for development and rapid dissemination of functional genomic tools, approaches, and associated infrastructure to enable direct tests of hypotheses about gene function in diverse non-model organisms for which such resources are presently unavailable. The EDGE program web page contains Program contacts, prior webinars, FAQ, submission deadlines and a link to the current EDGE solicitation.

    Conferences, Symposia, and Workshops

    IOS supports conferences, symposia, and workshops in areas of science supported by IOS that bring experts together to discuss current research, expose other researchers or students to new research methods, and discuss future directions. Conferences will be supported only if equivalent results cannot be obtained at regular meetings of professional societies or established conference series. Please consult the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and IOS Conference, Symposia and Workshops web page for guidance on preparing proposals for meeting support. Proposers are strongly encouraged to contact a program director about the suitability of the proposed activity for IOS support prior to submission.

    EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER)

    EAGER proposals may be used to request funding to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This work may be considered especially "high risk-high payoff" in the sense that it, for example, involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives. These exploratory proposals may be submitted directly to an NSF program at any time, but the EAGER mechanism should not be used for projects that are appropriate for submission as "regular" (i.e., non-EAGER) NSF proposals. PIs must contact the NSF Program Director(s) whose expertise is most germane to the proposal topic prior to submission of an EAGER proposal. This will aid in determining the appropriateness of the work for consideration under the EAGER mechanism; this suitability must be assessed early in the process. For guidelines, see the most recent version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

    Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID)

    The RAPID proposals are used for research having a severe urgency with regard to availability of, or access to, data, facilities or specialized equipment, including quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic disasters and similar unanticipated events. PI(s) must contact the NSF Program Director(s) whose expertise is most germane to the proposal topic before submitting a RAPID proposal. This will facilitate determining whether the proposed work is appropriate for RAPID funding. For guidelines, see the most recent version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

    Supplemental Funding Requests

    REU, RET, RAHSS and ROA. The target date for most IOS programs for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), Research Experiences for Teachers (RET), Research Assistantships for High School Students (RAHSS), and Research Opportunity Award (ROA) supplement requests is March 1 annually (or next business day if that is a weekend or holiday). See the IOS supplemental Funding Requests web page for guidance on preparation of requests for supplemental funding. Note: Supplemental funding is intended for unanticipated opportunities only and should be justified on this basis. Requests for support of planned REU, RET, RAHSS, and ROA activities may be included in the full proposal budget at the time of submission.

    Career Life Balance Supplements. The Division will continue to support Career Life Balance (CLB) supplements. Instituted in 2012, NSF’s Career-Life Balance (CLB) Initiative builds on family-friendly practices among individual NSF programs to expand them to activities NSF-wide. Funded Principal Investigators (PIs) are invited to submit supplemental funding requests to support additional personnel (e.g., research technicians or equivalent) to sustain research when the PI is on family leave. These requests may include funding for up to 3 months of salary support, for a maximum of $12,000 in salary compensation. The fringe benefits and associated indirect costs may be in addition to the salary payment and therefore, the total supplemental funding request may exceed $12,000.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 250

Anticipated Funding Amount: $60,000,000

IOS estimates that approximately $60,000,000 will be available for new and continuing awards per fiscal year. Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Who May Submit Proposals:

The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter I.E.

Who May Serve as PI:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI:

Core Programs Track:

One submission as PI or Co-PI per fiscal year (October 1- September 30) to IOS.

Proposals submitted to the PGRP solicitation, the PBI solicitation or the RUI/ROA Solicitation (NSF 14-579) also count toward the limit for the Core Programs Track.

Rules of Life Track:

One submission as PI or Co-PI per fiscal year (October 1- September 30) to the Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO).

PIs or Co-PIs who submit to the Rules of Life track in IOS may not submit to the Rules of Life track in another division in the Directorate for Biological Sciences. A PI or coPI may only submit one Rules of Life proposal in the Directorate of Biological Sciences in a fiscal year.

In a fiscal year, an individual may participate as a PI or Co-PI on no more than one proposal submitted to the Core Programs track in response to this IOS Core Program Solicitation and no more than one proposal submitted to the Rules of Life track.

There is no limit on the number of proposals per fiscal year that an investigator can participate in as a non-Co-PI lead of a sub-award or Other Senior Personnel. Thus, the number of proposals on which an investigator can be listed as collaborator is unlimited. Proposals in excess of the limit for any person will be returned without review in the reverse order received. It is the responsibility of the submitters to confirm that the entire team is within the eligibility guidelines. Changes to the team post-submission to meet the eligibility limits will not be allowed.

For the purposes of this solicitation senior personnel include the Principal Investigator (PI), any Co-PIs, and as “Other Senior Personnel”, any other researchers actively involved in achieving and managing the intellectual merit or broader impacts goals of the project. Senior personnel may include individuals who will provide essential expertise and intellectual engagement in a small but significant component of the overall project. Named postdoctoral researchers may be considered senior personnel. Students, collaborators, or consultants who provide specific technical expertise on a limited portion of the project are not considered senior personnel.

This limit does not pertain to proposals submitted to other solicitations not associated with the IOS Core Programs track (e.g., EDGE, Research Coordination Networks, CAREER) or to solicitations in other BIO divisions (e.g. Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, Division of Environmental Biology). However, individual solicitations may have their own limit guidelines; therefore be sure to review those solicitations carefully for details.

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal Preparation Instructions: Proposers may opt to submit proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via Grants.gov 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 Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). The complete text of the PAPPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=pappg. Paper copies of the PAPPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov. 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 Grants.gov: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation via Grants.gov should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov. The complete text of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: (https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=grantsgovguide). To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package, click on the Apply tab on the Grants.gov 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 Grants.gov Application Guide also may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

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. PAPPG Chapter II.D.3 provides additional information on collaborative proposals.

See PAPPG Chapter II.C.2 for guidance on the required sections of a full research proposal submitted to NSF. Please note that the proposal preparation instructions provided in this program solicitation may deviate from the PAPPG instructions.

Full Proposal Preparation Instructions:

Generally preparation of Core Track proposals follows the guidance in the PAPPG. Below we provide additional information and resources to aid preparation:

  • Results from Prior NSF Support. Results from prior NSF support must be reported for each PI or Co-PI identified on the proposal who has received any NSF funding with an end date in the past five years and any current funding, regardless of whether the support was directly related to this proposal or not. Funding includes not just salary support, but any funding awarded by NSF. Results from prior NSF support must follow the format described in the PAPPG.
  • Biographical Sketches and Current and Pending Support. Biographical sketches and Current and Pending Support Statements should be submitted for all senior personnel in the full proposal, including Israeli investigators if submitting NSF- BSF collaborative proposal. Biographical sketches should follow the format described in the PAPPG. All senior personnel biographical sketches should be placed in that section of the proposal. Biographical sketches for post-doctoral fellows can optionally be included, but if included, must be added as Non PI/Co-PI Senior Personnel. Biographical sketches may not be included in supplementary documents. Biographical sketches should not be included for anyone providing a "Letter of Collaboration". Note: Do not bundle Biographical Sketches or Current and Pending Support documents for multiple individuals into a single file. Use the "Add/Delete Non-Co-PI Senior Personnel" button on the FastLane proposal preparation screen to enable submission of separate files for individuals not listed on the cover page.
  • Collaborators & Other Affiliations (COA) Information. Information regarding collaborators and other affiliations must be provided for each individual who has a biographical sketch in the proposal using the NSF COA template as specified in the PAPPG. This template must be saved in .xlsx or .xls format, and directly uploaded into FastLane as a Collaborators and Other Affiliations Single Copy Document. Note: Collaborations involving junior authorship on a multi-authored papers (>5 authors) may be limited to the senior author. Additional information and FAQ about using the COA template can be found on the Collaborators and Other Affiliations Information page. This information is used in the selection of reviewers to help identify potential conflicts or bias.
  • Data Management Plan. The PAPPG requires the inclusion of a Data Management Plan with all full proposal submissions. The Data Management Plan can be no longer than 2 pages and must be inclusive of the entire project. The Directorate for Biological Sciences provides additional context and guidance to PIs on the preparation of Data Management Plans. All projects must ensure that data and biological materials are collected, archived, digitized, and made available using methods that allow current and future investigators to address new questions as they arise. Funded projects must disseminate project data broadly, using widely accepted electronic data standards. Investigators are strongly encouraged to make use of appropriate community infrastructure for data management.
  • For REU activities, a Supplementary Document (limited to three pages) should be included that describes (1) the nature of each prospective student's involvement in the research project; (2) the experience of the PI (or other prospective research mentors); (3) the nature of the mentoring that the student(s) will receive; and (4) the process and criteria for selecting the students(s). If a student has been selected, the grounds for selection and a brief biographical sketch of the student should be included. Please note that this section should not include a project description. Additional guidance can be found in the REU solicitation and on the REU program page.
  • Letters of Collaboration. Supplementary Documents may include letters of collaboration from individuals or organizations that are integral to the proposed project but are neither senior personnel nor supported by subawards. This may include subsidiary involvement in some aspect of the project, cooperation on outreach efforts, or documentation of permission to access materials or data. The format of letters of collaboration should follow the format in the PAPPG, Chapter II.C.2.i. Requests to collaborators for letters of collaboration should be made by the PI well in advance of the proposal submission deadline, because they must be included at the time of the proposal submission. Note: Endorsements of the potential value or significance of the project, letters of general support and inclusion of extra description of collaborative activities are not allowed.

Rules of Life (RoL) track Full Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Cover Page: Proposals for the RoL track are submitted to a core program/cluster through the IOS core programs solicitation, but PIs must select at least one secondary program in a different BIO Division on the cover page of the proposal.
  • Project Title: The proposal title for RoL track proposals must begin with “RoL:” followed by the substantive title.
  • Project Summary: The Overview section of the Project Summary for RoL track proposals must specify the secondary relevant BIO division(s) and program(s).

Proposal Checklist for Compliance (Both Tracks)

  • The proposal must be submitted to this solicitation or the RUI/ROA solicitation, if eligible and providing required documentation. Do not submit the full proposal to the PAPPG.
  • The proposal is compliant with the provisions of this solicitation and the PAPPG. Where the two differ, this solicitation takes precedence.
  • The proposal is responsive to one of the two track descriptions in this solicitation, CORE or RoL-Integrative Biology.
  • Cover sheet- the title includes any necessary prefix(s) (e.g. "Collaborative Research:"; "RoL:"). Appropriate boxes have been checked, and requisite information provided.
  • Project Summary (maximum 1 page) includes as separate sections an Overview, the Intellectual Merit, and the Broader Impacts of the proposed activity.
  • The Project Description (maximum 15 pages) includes as separate sections, the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts of the proposed research, and the Results from Prior NSF Support, if appropriate.
  • The References cited includes bibliographic citations only and does not provide parenthetical information outside of the 15-page project description.
  • The proposal budget format follows the PAPPG guidelines, including a budget justification for the proposal and any proposed subawards.
  • For the Biographical Sketches (maximum 2 pages, each) for all senior personnel, do not bundle multiple biographical sketches into a single file, and do not put biographical sketches in Supplementary Documents.
  • The Data Management Plan (maximum 2 pages), and where applicable, the Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan (maximum 1 page) have been uploaded into Supplementary Documents.
  • REU, RET, ROA and RAHSS activities, if planned, are described in 3 pages maximum, uploaded into Supplementary Documents, and included in the budget request.
  • Letters of Collaboration focus solely on affirming the collaboration and are loaded into Supplementary Documents. General letters of support are not allowed.
  • Contact a cognizant Program Officer if you have questions about these or other Supplementary Documents that you plan to upload.
  • Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information document has been included as Single Copy Document.
  • It is highly recommended that a list of 6-12 suggested reviewers who are not listed on the Collaborators and Other Affiliations Information is submitted by the PI or Co-PI(s) be submitted as a Single Copy Document in FastLane, including the individuals' names, institutions, and areas of expertise, email addresses, and URLs if available.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing:

Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s):

         Proposals Accepted Anytime

D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane:

To prepare and submit a proposal via FastLane, see detailed technical instructions available at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov. 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.

For Proposals Submitted Via Grants.gov:

Before using Grants.gov 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 Grants.gov website. Comprehensive information about using Grants.gov is available on the Grants.gov Applicant Resources webpage: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants.html. In addition, the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide (see link in Section V.A) provides instructions regarding the technical preparation of proposals via Grants.gov. For Grants.gov user support, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or by email: support@grants.gov. The Grants.gov Contact Center answers general technical questions related to the use of Grants.gov. 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 Grants.gov and verify the desired funding opportunity and agency to which the application is submitted. The AOR must then sign and submit the application to Grants.gov. The completed application will be transferred to the NSF FastLane system for further processing.

Proposers that submitted via FastLane are strongly encouraged to use FastLane to verify the status of their submission to NSF. For proposers that submitted via Grants.gov, until an application has been received and validated by NSF, the Authorized Organizational Representative may check the status of an application on Grants.gov. After proposers have received an e-mail notification from NSF, Research.gov should be used to check the status of an application.

VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES

Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program for acknowledgement and, if they meet NSF 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 either as ad hoc reviewers, panelists, or both, who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with 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. In addition, Program Officers may obtain comments from site visits before recommending final action on proposals. Senior NSF staff further review recommendations for awards. A flowchart that depicts the entire NSF proposal and award process (and associated timeline) is included in PAPPG Exhibit III-1.

A comprehensive description of the Foundation's merit review process is available on the NSF website at: https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/merit_review/.

Proposers should also be aware of core strategies that are essential to the fulfillment of NSF's mission, as articulated in Building the Future: Investing in Discovery and Innovation - NSF Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2018 – 2022. These strategies are integrated in the program planning and implementation process, of which proposal review is one part. NSF's mission is particularly well-implemented through the integration of research and education and broadening participation in NSF programs, projects, and activities.

One of the strategic objectives in support of NSF's mission is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions must recruit, train, and prepare a diverse STEM workforce to advance the frontiers of science and participate in the U.S. technology-based economy. NSF's contribution to the national innovation ecosystem is to provide cutting-edge research under the guidance of the Nation's most creative scientists and engineers. NSF also supports development of a strong science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce by investing in building the knowledge that informs improvements in STEM teaching and learning.

NSF's mission calls for the broadening of opportunities and expanding participation of groups, institutions, and geographic regions that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines, which 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.

A. Merit Review Principles and Criteria

The National Science Foundation strives to invest in a robust and diverse portfolio of projects that creates new knowledge and enables breakthroughs in understanding across all areas of science and engineering research and education. To identify which projects to support, NSF relies on a merit review process that incorporates consideration of both the technical aspects of a proposed project and its potential to contribute more broadly to advancing NSF's mission "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes." NSF makes every effort to conduct a fair, competitive, transparent merit review process for the selection of projects.

1. Merit Review Principles

These principles are to be given due diligence by PIs and organizations when preparing proposals and managing projects, by reviewers when reading and evaluating proposals, and by NSF program staff when determining whether or not to recommend proposals for funding and while overseeing awards. Given that NSF is the primary federal agency charged with nurturing and supporting excellence in basic research and education, the following three principles apply:

  • All NSF projects should be of the highest quality and have the potential to advance, if not transform, the frontiers of knowledge.
  • NSF projects, in the aggregate, should contribute more broadly to achieving societal goals. These "Broader Impacts" may be accomplished through the research itself, through activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. The project activities may be based on previously established and/or innovative methods and approaches, but in either case must be well justified.
  • Meaningful assessment and evaluation of NSF funded projects should be based on appropriate metrics, keeping in mind the likely correlation between the effect of broader impacts and the resources provided to implement projects. If the size of the activity is limited, evaluation of that activity in isolation is not likely to be meaningful. Thus, assessing the effectiveness of these activities may best be done at a higher, more aggregated, level than the individual project.

With respect to the third principle, even if assessment of Broader Impacts outcomes for particular projects is done at an aggregated level, PIs are expected to be accountable for carrying out the activities described in the funded project. Thus, individual projects should include clearly stated goals, specific descriptions of the activities that the PI intends to do, and a plan in place to document the outputs of those activities.

These three merit review principles provide the basis for the merit review criteria, as well as a context within which the users of the criteria can better understand their intent.

2. Merit Review Criteria

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board approved merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

The two merit review criteria are listed below. Both criteria are to be given full consideration during the review and decision-making processes; each criterion is necessary but neither, by itself, is sufficient. Therefore, proposers must fully address both criteria. (PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.d(i). contains additional information for use by proposers in development of the Project Description section of the proposal). Reviewers are strongly encouraged to review the criteria, including PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.d(i), prior to the review of a proposal.

When evaluating NSF proposals, reviewers will be asked to consider what the proposers want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful. These issues apply both to the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the project may make broader contributions. To that end, reviewers will be asked to evaluate all proposals against two criteria:

  • Intellectual Merit: The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge; and
  • Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.

The following elements should be considered in the review for both criteria:

  1. What is the potential for the proposed activity to
    1. Advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and
    2. Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?
  2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?
  3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?
  4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?
  5. Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?

Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to achievement of societally relevant outcomes. Such outcomes include, but are not limited to: full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); improved STEM education and educator development at any level; increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology; improved well-being of individuals in society; development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce; increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others; improved national security; increased economic competitiveness of the United States; and enhanced infrastructure for research and education.

Proposers are reminded that reviewers will also be asked to review the Data Management Plan and the Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan, as appropriate.

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria

Rules of Life -Integrative Biology (RoL) track

Proposals will be evaluated with respect to their potential to discover, enable and/or test foundational principles that explain or predict the emergence of complex phenomena in biology.

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 evaluate proposals using two National Science Board approved merit review criteria and, if applicable, additional program specific criteria. A summary rating and accompanying narrative will generally be completed and submitted by each reviewer and/or panel. 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 strives to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. Large or particularly complex proposals or proposals from new awardees may require additional review and processing time. The time interval begins on the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director acts upon the Program Officer's recommendation.

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. After an administrative review has occurred, Grants and Agreements Officers perform 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.

Once an award or declination decision has been made, Principal Investigators are provided feedback about their proposals. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers or any reviewer-identifying information, 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.

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 notice, 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 notice; (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 notice. 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 nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter VII, available electronically on the NSF Website at https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=pappg.

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 no later than 90 days prior to the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require submission of more frequent project reports). No later than 120 days following expiration of a grant, the PI also is required to submit a final project report, and a project outcomes report for the general public.

Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports, or the project outcomes report, will delay NSF review and processing of any future funding increments as well as any pending proposals for all identified PIs and co-PIs on a given award. 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 Research.gov, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports. Such reports provide information on accomplishments, project participants (individual and organizational), publications, and other specific products and impacts of the project. Submission of the report via Research.gov constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete. The project outcomes report also must be prepared and submitted using Research.gov. This report serves as a brief summary, prepared specifically for the public, of the nature and outcomes of the project. This report will be posted on the NSF website exactly as it is submitted by the PI.

More comprehensive information on NSF Reporting Requirements and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter VII, available electronically on the NSF Website at https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=pappg.

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Please note that the program contact information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Behavioral Systems Program Directors, telephone: (703) 292-8423, email: IOSBSC@nsf.gov

  • Developmental Systems Program Directors, telephone: (703) 292-8417, email: IOSDSC@nsf.gov

  • Neural Systems Program Directors, telephone: (703) 292-8421, email: IOSNSC@nsf.gov

  • Phys. & Struct. Systems Program Directors, telephone: (703) 292-8413, email: IOSPSS@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

For questions relating to Grants.gov contact:

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

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, "NSF Update" 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 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. "NSF Update" also is available on NSF's website.

Grants.gov provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this 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 55,000 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 Arctic 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 (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide Chapter II.E.6 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 https://www.nsf.gov

  • Location:

2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314

  • 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:

nsfpubs@nsf.gov

or telephone:

(703) 292-7827

  • To Locate NSF Employees:

(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
Reports Clearance Officer
Office of the General Counsel
National Science Foundation
Alexandria, VA 22314



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