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Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation

Geotechnical Engineering and Materials  (GEM)


Name Email Phone Room
Richard  J. Fragaszy rfragasz@nsf.gov (703) 292-7011  545 S  


Apply to PD 15-1636 as follows:

For full proposals submitted via FastLane: standard Grant Proposal Guide proposal preparation guidelines apply.
For full proposals submitted via Grants.gov: the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide; A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov Guidelines applies. (Note: The NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=grantsgovguide)

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 16-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 16-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Accepted Anytime

Henceforth, investigators can submit proposals to the Program at any time. Proposals submitted to other program solicitations, such as CAREER, or other CMMI programs should continue to meet their respective deadlines.


The Geotechnical Engineering and Materials Program (GEM) supports fundamental research in soil and rock mechanics and dynamics in support of physical civil infrastructure systems. Also supported is research on improvement of the engineering properties of geologic materials by mechanical, biological, thermal, chemical, and electrical processes. The Program supports the traditional areas of foundation engineering, earth structures, underground construction, tunneling, geoenvironmental engineering, and site characterization, as well as the emerging area of bio-geo engineering, for civil engineering applications, with emphasis on sustainable geosystems. Research related to the geotechnical engineering aspects of geothermal energy and geothermal heat pump systems is also supported. The GEM program encourages knowledge dissemination and technology transfer activities that can lead to broader societal benefit and implementation for provision of physical civil infrastructure. The program supports relevant research topics that address the emerging areas of geotechnical engineering and the Grand Challenges to “restore and improve urban infrastructure” and “provide access to clean water” described in the following reports:

  • National Research Council, Geological and Geotechnical Engineering in the New Millennium: Opportunities for Research and Technical Innovation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006, http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11558

  • National Academy of Engineering, Grand Challenges for Engineering, http://www.engineeringchallenges.org (Grand Challenges Report)

    Research focused on natural hazards, such as earthquakes, windstorms, tsunamis and landslides should be submitted to the Engineering for Natural Hazards (ENH) Program (PD 15-7396), unless the research is directed at fundamental soil/rock behavior rather than system behavior such as foundations or levees. The GEM program does not support non-fundamental research that is more appropriate for mission oriented federal agencies, such as nuclear power plants and transportation structures. Research on natural resource exploration or recovery is not supported by this Program.

    Display additional information


    RSI Cluster Core Programs Overview


    What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

    Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program



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