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Behavioral & Cognitive Sciences (BCS)

Research at the NSF in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences is supported primarily by the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE). SBE has two research divisions: Behavioral & Cognitive Sciences (BCS) and Social & Economic Sciences (SES).

The Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences supports research to develop and advance scientific knowledge on human cognition, language, social behavior and culture, as well as research on the interactions between human societies and the physical environment. BCS programs consider proposals that fall squarely within disciplines, but they also encourage and support interdisciplinary projects. These are evaluated either through joint review among programs in BCS, joint review with programs in other Divisions, or by NSF-wide multi-disciplinary panels. All programs in BCS consider proposals for research projects, conferences, and workshops. Some programs also consider proposals for doctoral dissertation improvement grants, the acquisition of specialized research and computing equipment, group international travel, and large-scale data collection. BCS participates in special initiatives and competitions on a number of topics including biocomplexity and the environment, children's research, cognitive neuroscience, human origins, and information technology. There is also infrastructure support to improve data resources, data archives, collaboratories and centers.