Data Infrastructure Building Blocks
Important Notice to Proposers
A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 13-1, was issued on October 4, 2012 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 14, 2013. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 13-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.
Please be aware that significant changes have been made to the PAPPG to implement revised merit review criteria based on the National Science Board (NSB) report, National Science Foundation's Merit Review Criteria: Review and Revisions. While the two merit review criteria remain unchanged (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts), guidance has been provided to clarify and improve the function of the criteria. Changes will affect the project summary and project description sections of proposals. Annual and final reports also will be affected.
A by-chapter summary of this and other significant changes is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide.
Waiting for New Publication
Science and engineering research and education are increasingly digital and increasingly data-intensive. Digital data are not only the output of research but their analysis provide input to new hypotheses, enabling new scientific insights, driving innovation and informing education. Therein lies one of the major challenges of this scientific generation: how to develop, implement and support the new methods, management structures and technologies to store and manage the diversity, size, and complexity of current and future data sets and data streams.
NSF's vision for a Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) considers an integrated, scalable, and sustainable cyberinfrastructure as crucial for innovation in science and engineering (see www.nsf.gov/cif21). Data Infrastructure Building Blocks is an integral part of the CIF21 portfolio and seeks to provide support for the following research activities:
Conceptualization: Conceptualization Awards are planning awards aimed at further developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary communities' understanding of their data storage and management requirements with the goal of developing an initial prototype. Any activity that brings the community together to address common problems, further refine requirements and avoid unnecessary and wasteful duplication of resources and efforts will be eligible for funding. Funded activities could include focused workshops, special sessions at professional meetings, focus groups, etc. Awards will be up to 1 year in duration. The output of a conceptualization award will be design specifications for creating a sustainable data infrastructure that will be discoverable, searchable, accessible, and usable to the entire research and education community.
Implementation: Implementation awards will support development and implementation of technologies addressing a subset of elements of the data preservation and access lifecycle, including acquisition; documentation; security and integrity; storage; access, analysis and dissemination; migration; and deaccession. These data preservation and access technologies will enable science and engineering research, such that the scientific and engineering problems serve as use cases for data technology development. Awards will be up to 5 years in duration.
Interoperability: Interoperability awards will develop frameworks that provide consistency or commonality of design across communities and implementation for data acquisition, management, preservation, sharing, dissemination, etc. This includes data and metadata format and content conventions, standardized constructs or protocols, taxonomies, or ontologies. The development of interoperability frameworks through community-based mechanisms provides a means for ensuring that existing conventions and practices are appropriately recognized and integrated, that implementation is made realistic and feasible, and, most importantly, that the real needs of the community are identified and met. Awards will be up to 3 years in duration.
The Office of CyberInfrastucture (OCI) is partnering with Directorates and Offices across the foundation to support DIBBs, a program to develop data infrastructure usable by multiple scientific disciplines, recognizing these disciplines may vary in their current state of development. The goal of DIBBs is to foster cross-community infrastructure development that solves common problems, while building blocks of data infrastructure that can support and provide data solutions to a broader range of scientific disciplines while reducing duplicative efforts.
In particular, the Geosciences Directorate is interested in using DIBBs to support its EarthCube activities, seeking to develop data infrastructure building blocks needed across and beyond the geosciences community. Context and objectives for EarthCube can be found at EarthCube.ning.com. Math and Physical Sciences will use DIBBs in support of existing efforts to ensure disparate data are widely interoperable; will consider proposals for efforts that are complementary to existing infrastructure; and will consider proposals that offer availability, accessibility, and broad usability to heterogeneous data sets. The Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences encourages SBE scientists to utilize DIBBS to follow-up on activities begun by our other CIF21 initiatives: META-SSS (www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11583/nsf11583.htm) and, together with the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, BCC-SBE/EHR (www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504747&org=OCI). For information on the priorities of other Offices/Directorates please contact the appropriate CIF21 representative, listed on the CIF21 contact page (www.nsf.gov/cif21).
June 7 Informational Webinar
What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)
Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program