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Astronomical Sciences (AST)

Astro2010 Decadal Survey and Portfolio Review

Dear Colleague Letter: AST Response to the Decadal Survey (NSF 15-044)

Dear Colleague Letter: MPS/AST Portfolio Divestment Options (NSF 14-022)

Report of the Portfolio Review Committee Released

Special Announcements

NEW! AST Facilities - Environmental Review (Arecibo Observatory)

Dear Colleague Letter: Concepts for Future Operation of the Arecibo Observatory (NSF 16-005)

Dear Colleague Letter: NSF/AST Response to the NRC Report "Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System" (NSF 15-115)

Dear Colleague Letter – Optics and Photonics (NSF 14-091)

MPS Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate - Graduate Research Supplements (AGEP-GRS) Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 13-071)

Note about FY16 AAG Proposals

AST continues to be concerned about the burden placed on the community in the writing and reviewing of proposals, especially in light of low funding rates. Guided by this, AST is seriously considering placing a limit on the number of proposals submitted by an individual principal investigator (PI) or co-PI at the November 2016 AAG deadline. Other divisions of the NSF Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences already have taken similar steps with varying levels of restrictions. In preparation for this possible change, AST encourages members of the community to be responsible when considering whether or not to submit multiple proposals at the November 2015 deadline.

Broadening Participation

AST has a strong commitment to broadening participation of underrepresented groups including women, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities. For further information, please see http://www.nsf.gov/mps/ast/broadening_participation/index.jsp.

MPS/AST: Advice to PIs on Data Management

NSF has published a revised version of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 11-1) that will require, in all proposals submitted , or due, on or after January 18, 2011, a supplementary document of no more than  two pages describing a Data Management Plan for the proposed research.  Fastlane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing the Data Management Plan.  The Data Management Plan will be reviewed as part of the intellectual merit or broader impacts of the proposal, or both, as appropriate.   The goal is to provide clear, effective, and transparent implementation of the long-standing NSF Policy on Dissemination and Sharing of Research Results. 

Each Division within MPS has developed a set of information items to provide guidance to the communities served by that Division in preparing a Data Management Plan that will meet the goals of the NSF plan.  For more information on the policy and process click here.

For the NSF FAQs on this subject, click here.

Programs and Funding Opportunities

Key: Crosscutting Crosscutting | NSF Wide Flag NSF-wide

Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (ATI)
Arecibo Observatory
Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Grants (AAG)
Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA)
Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (CDS&E)
Education and Special Programs in the Astronomical Sciences (ESP)
bullet Faculty Early Career Development Program  (CAREER) NSF Wide Flag
bullet Partnerships in Astronomy & Astrophysics Research and Education  (PAARE)
bullet Research Experiences for Undergraduates  (REU) NSF Wide Flag
Electromagnetic Spectrum Management (ESM)
Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS)
Gemini Observatory
Management and Operation of the Gemini Observatory
Management and Operation of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)
Management and Operation of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)
Mid-Scale Innovations Program in Astronomical Sciences (MSIP) (MSIP)
National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)
National Solar Observatory (NSO)
NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowships (AAPF)
NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering
Optics and Photonics (OP) Crosscutting
Planning a Partnership Model for a Giant Segmented Mirror Telescope
Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2-SSE&SSI) Crosscutting
Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics Networks (TCAN)
University Radio Observatories Program (AST-URO)

Featured NSF-wide Programs

ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers NSF Wide Flag

Faculty Early Career Development Program NSF Wide Flag

Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry NSF Wide Flag

Facilitating Research at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions: NSF Wide Flag

View All NSF-wide Programs

NSF Educational Opportunities by Audience

For Undergraduate Students

For Graduate Students

For Postdoctoral Fellows

For K-12 Educators

Recently Announced Funding Opportunities See All

NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering
(NSF  16-564) Posted May 9, 2016

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program Track-1:
(NSF  16-557) Posted March 31, 2016

Innovation Corps- National Innovation Network Sites Program
(NSF  16-547) Posted February 26, 2016

Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum
(NSF  16-537) Posted February 4, 2016

Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation
(NSF  16-532) Posted January 19, 2016

Upcoming Due Dates See All

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program Track-1:
(NSF  16-557) Letter of Intent: July 5, 2016

Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program
(NSF  16-504) Full Proposal: July 11, 2016

Faculty Early Career Development Program
(NSF  15-555) Full Proposal: July 20, 2016, BIO, CISE, EHR

Faculty Early Career Development Program
(NSF  15-555) Full Proposal: July 21, 2016, ENG

Faculty Early Career Development Program
(NSF  15-555) Full Proposal: July 22, 2016, GEO, MPS, SBE

News See All

an image of the galaxy AGC 198691 Small blue galaxy could shed new light on Big Bang, IU astronomers say
Released May 12, 2016
News From the Field
NGC 1332, a galaxy with a black hole Measuring a black hole 660 million times as massive as our sun
Released May 5, 2016
News From the Field
Supernova 2013ej Nearby massive star explosion 30 million years ago equaled detonation of 100 million suns
Released April 26, 2016
News From the Field
simulated view of a supermassive black hole Lonely black hole relic shines light on young universe
Released April 6, 2016
News From the Field
the massive galaxy NGC 1600 Supermassive black holes may be lurking everywhere in the universe
Released April 6, 2016
News From the Field

Discoveries See All

cosmic dust All we are is dust in the interstellar wind
NSF-funded researcher creates a map of dust in the Milky Way galaxy
Released  March 9, 2016

ACEAP participants at sunset Spreading the word
'Educator ambassadors' learn, then share #NSFastronomy
Released  December 10, 2015

White House Astronomy Night Gearing up for Astronomy Night 2015
10 tips for gathering friends to stargaze
Released  October 13, 2015

sun filtered in blue and red Techniques to prove or disprove existence of other planets
Astronomers developed technology while studying Gliese 581
Released  March 6, 2015

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