Partnerships for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy (PEET)
Special Biennial Competition in Systematic Biology


Program Solicitation
NSF 07-519

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 04-606

 

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Biological Sciences
     Division of Environmental Biology

 

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

March 05, 2007

March 02, 2009

First Monday in March, Every Other Year Thereafter

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 11-1, was issued on October 1, 2010 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 18, 2011. Please be advised that the guidelines contained in NSF 11-1 apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity. Proposers who opt to submit prior to January 18, 2011, must also follow the guidelines contained in NSF 11-1.

Cost Sharing: The PAPPG has been revised to implement the National Science Board's recommendations regarding cost sharing.  Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited. In order to assess the scope of the project, all organizational resources necessary for the project must be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal.  The description should be narrative in nature and must not include any quantifiable financial information.  Mandatory cost sharing will only be required when explicitly authorized by the NSF Director.  See the PAPP Guide Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2.g(xi) for further information about the implementation of these recommendations.

Data Management Plan: The PAPPG contains a clarification of NSF's long standing data policy.  All proposals must describe plans for data management and sharing of the products of research, or assert the absence of the need for such plans.  FastLane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing a 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. Links to data management requirements and plans relevant to specific Directorates, Offices, Divisions, Programs, or other NSF units are available on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp. See Chapter II.C.2.j of the GPG for further information about the implementation of this requirement.

Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan: As a reminder, each proposal that requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers must include, as a supplementary document, a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals.  Please be advised that if required, FastLane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing a Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan. See Chapter II.C.2.j of the GPG for further information about the implementation of this requirement.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title: 

Partnerships for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy  (PEET)
Special Biennial Competition in Systematic Biology

Synopsis of Program:

In partnership with academic institutions, botanical gardens, freshwater and marine institutes, and natural history museums, the National Science Foundation seeks to enhance taxonomic research and help prepare future generations of experts. Through this Special Biennial Competition in Systematic Biology, NSF will support competitively reviewed projects that target groups of poorly known organisms for modern monographic research. Projects must train new taxonomists (two per project minimally) and must translate current expertise into electronic databases and other products with broad accessibility to the scientific community.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

  • Rafael O. de Sa, 635, telephone: (703) 292-7836, email: rdesa@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:    8 to  12   awards contingent upon availability of funds and quality of proposals each competition

Anticipated Funding Amount:   $2,500,000  million total for each competition, pending availability of funds, with individual awards not to exceed $750,000

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit: 

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • Proposals under the PEET Special Competition will be accepted from U.S. academic institutions and non-academic not-for-profit organizations including botanical gardens, freshwater and marine institutes, and natural history museums that are eligible for awards from the National Science Foundation. Non-academic organizations with university-affiliated training programs are especially encouraged to apply. Where appropriate, collaborating scientists in foreign countries can be accommodated through consultant mechanisms administered by the submitting U.S. organization. If groups of investigators from multiple organizations with complementary strengths in taxonomy wish to collaborate, a single organization must be designated to submit the proposal, with off-campus colleagues integrated through consultant or subaward mechanisms where appropriate. Collaborative proposals will not be accepted.

PI Limit: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 

None Specified

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not Applicable
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not Applicable
  • Full Proposals:

    • Full Proposals submitted via FastLane: NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Guidelines apply. The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at:
      http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg.

    • Full Proposals submitted via Grants.gov: NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov Guidelines apply (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)

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) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

    March 05, 2007

    March 02, 2009

    First Monday in March, Every Other Year Thereafter

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:   Additional reporting requirements apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

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. NSF Merit Review 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

The accelerating loss of biological diversity in the world, through habitat destruction, pollution, and ecosystem fragmentation, has been accompanied by a loss of taxonomic experts who are trained to discover, identify, describe, and classify the world's organismal diversity. Retirement of taxonomic specialists, shifts in academic recruitment and staffing, and reductions in graduate training have conjoined to impede biodiversity research and conservation, particularly on large but poorly known groups such as bacteria, fungi, protists, and numerous marine and terrestrial invertebrates. Vast numbers of species in understudied "invisible" groups constitute critical elements of food chains and ecosystems, both aquatic and terrestrial, but the high proportion of unrecognized species in these groups limits research and progress in many areas of biology and conservation. The problem of diminishing taxonomic expertise was highlighted by the National Science Board in their 1989 report on the "Loss of Biological Diversity: A Global Crisis Requiring International Solutions" (NSB 89-171) which inspired NSF in 1994 to initiate the first PEET Special Competition, to support research on the taxonomy of poorly known groups of organisms, to train new taxonomic experts, and to encourage development and use of web-accessible taxonomic resources and products. The Special Biennial Competition continues NSF support for this activity.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The NSF, in partnership with academic institutions, botanical gardens, freshwater and marine institutes, and natural history museums, seeks to stimulate and enhance taxonomic research on poorly known groups of organisms and help prepare future generations of taxonomic experts. Three major components are required in a project submitted in the PEET Special Competition: 1. Monographic Research; 2. Training; and 3. Computer Infrastructure.

Monographic Research. Applicants must present a plan of research for taxonomic revision or monograph, with emphasis to be given to organisms that are little studied or to groups for which taxonomic expertise is limited or vanishing (for example, microbes, protists, fungi, and invertebrates). Specialists on such groups are encouraged to apply. Also encouraged are investigators currently studying better known groups or other scientists with taxonomic interests who wish to extend analyses to neglected taxa, directly or by mentoring students. Choice of organisms for study must be justified in the proposal and will be evaluated by the merit review process. General guidance is provided in several reports: a 1980 National Academy of Sciences report (Committee on Research Priorities in Tropical Biology, 1980, "Research Priorities in Tropical Biology," National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC); the 1989 National Science Board report cited above (NSB 89-171); a 1992 National Academy report (Panel on Biodiversity Research Priorities, 1992, "Conserving Biodiversity: A Research Agenda for Development Agencies," National Academy Press, Washington, DC); and the 1994 report "Systematics Agenda 2000: Charting the Biosphere, Technical Report," Systematics Agenda 2000 Consortium, New York, NY). The 1980 National Academy report indicated "that a high priority ought to be set on training and support for much larger numbers of systematists oriented toward tropical organisms." Organisms mentioned in that report include fungi, nematodes, mollusks, insects, fishes, and flowering plants. The subsequent reports cited do not specify taxonomic groups but in general emphasize organisms that are poorly known or little studied; these would include bacteria and archaea, protists, fungi, and invertebrates. Potential investigators with questions about which organisms are eligible for study in the PEET special competition should contact the office identified in the Contacts section.

Training. An internship or traineeship is a required element of PEET projects, in which minimally two student taxonomists are trained as experts on the organisms under study. Whatever the training traditions for that particular group of organisms, emphasis should be given to acquiring new skills and tools in the context of a broadly interdisciplinary training program. The anticipated five-year duration of projects is designed to ensure continuous support of project personnel and to enable completion of major taxonomic revisions and monographs. Increased participation of members of groups underrepresented in science is encouraged. Foreign students enrolled at a U.S. institution are also eligible for support. PEET awards are eligible for supplementation through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program (NSF 04-584; http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?nsf04584 ) and Research Opportunity Awards programs.

Computer Infrastructure. All PEET projects are expected to incorporate computerization of various taxonomic tasks and products; specimen or culture databases, geographic information systems (GIS) mapping of ranges, artificial intelligence systems for taxon identification, computer-aided image analysis, or interactive identification keys are some examples. Specific activities or products will depend upon the state of the science for that particular taxonomic group; the suitability of proposed computerization activities will be evaluated through the merit review process. Valuable guidance and resources are available from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS, available at http://www.itis.usda.gov/), a development of the multi-agency National Biological Information Infrastructure program managed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Training in computer activities for principal investigators and students, through workshops or other means, would constitute an eligible expense under PEET awards. Examples of web-accessible taxonomic products from prior PEET awards are available from the PEET website at http://www.nhm.ku.edu/peet.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

Projects designed for five years (60 months) of effort are encouraged, with yearly budgets not to exceed $150,000 (direct plus indirect costs), or $750,000 total. NSF anticipates making 8-12 awards, mostly as continuing grants, in this PEET Special Biennial Competition; future competitions will likely adhere to similar outcomes. One-time renewals (submitted in the fourth or fifth year of the initial PEET award and for five additional years) may be considered but will compete with new proposals, and again are contingent upon availability of funds. Funding decisions will be made within six months of the relevant deadline date for submission.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Organization Limit:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • Proposals under the PEET Special Competition will be accepted from U.S. academic institutions and non-academic not-for-profit organizations including botanical gardens, freshwater and marine institutes, and natural history museums that are eligible for awards from the National Science Foundation. Non-academic organizations with university-affiliated training programs are especially encouraged to apply. Where appropriate, collaborating scientists in foreign countries can be accommodated through consultant mechanisms administered by the submitting U.S. organization. If groups of investigators from multiple organizations with complementary strengths in taxonomy wish to collaborate, a single organization must be designated to submit the proposal, with off-campus colleagues integrated through consultant or subaward mechanisms where appropriate. Collaborative proposals will not be accepted.

PI Limit: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 

None Specified

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 Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at:
    http://www.nsf.govpublications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg. Paper copies of the GPG 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:
    (http://www.nsf.govpublications/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.

Project Description (maximum 15 pages, including Results from Prior NSF Support for PI and all co-PIs): The proposal should address the following five themes in the Project Description or where otherwise indicated.

  1. Taxonomic Focus. All groups of organisms whether aquatic or terrestrial are eligible for study, but preference will be given to those designated as understudied or critical. If the target group of organisms is delimited geographically and not taxonomically, the Principal Investigator(s) should justify why the particular regional focus has been adopted; otherwise, faunistic or floristic projects (and their microbial and fungal counterparts) should be directed to the Biodiversity Surveys and Inventories Program. Projects may address large, natural genera or groups of phylogenetically related genera or families, and through collaboration with foreign colleagues may involve field work in any part of the world as well as laboratory and museum study. Standard components of taxonomic monography -- species description and diagnosis, geographic or host distribution, scientific nomenclature, identification keys, illustrations -- are expected in all projects. The proposal must include a digest of currently recognized taxonomic entities, a summary of known museum specimens or culture collections (number, quality, accessibility), and a review of pertinent literature. Proposals to study organisms that have a minimal museum (or collections) tradition should indicate this fact, discuss the form that useful collections or cultures would take as well as their impact on future taxonomic practice in the group, and present plans for implementation and curation of such collections, stocks, or cultures.

  2. Methods of Study. Practices will vary according to the organisms proposed for study, but attention should focus on collection and sampling strategies, specimen preparation with computerization of collection data, acquisition of character data in formats retrievable by computer, and explicit protocols for evaluating and synthesizing data. Field collecting may be necessary for some groups; others may be well represented in existing collections. The care of vouchers and other critical collections should be described; specimen cases and other curatorial supplies constitute eligible expenses. Where taxon ranges extend beyond the borders of the U.S.A., attention should be given to collaboration with foreign scientists and students. Prospective investigators wishing to establish collaborations with foreign scientists should review the guidance and opportunities provided through the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering (http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/int/).

  3. Training. A minimum of two collaborating experts-in-training is required for each project, whether undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate in status. As students graduate or otherwise complete their traineeship during the five-year project, new trainees should be recruited to maintain a minimum of two for each project. Trainees should be full partners in the research, conceptually and operationally. If known at the time of application, a trainee's role and qualifications should be described in a Biographical Sketch; if not known, then recruitment procedures should be described in the Project Description. The submitting institution's rules govern whether trainees (or other participants on the PEET project) can be designated as co-principal investigators on the Cover Sheet.

  4. Conceptual Issues. In the context of a highly competitive merit review, proposals must make a case for substantial impact on progress in taxonomy. The proposal should discuss how improvement in the taxonomy of the targeted organisms relates to issues fundamental to systematics. Phylogeny, character evolution, biogeography, coevolution, or ecological interactions are examples of conceptual domains relevant to taxonomic revisionary and monographic work. For additional ideas, see the report "Systematics Agenda 2000: Charting the Biosphere" cited above; the 1991 report "The Sustainable Biosphere Initiative" from the Ecological Society of America; and the 1997 report "The Microbial World: Foundation of the Biosphere" from the American Academy of Microbiology.

  5. Dissemination of Results. Publication of results in peer-reviewed outlets is expected for all projects. In addition, enhanced or supplemented media such as computer databases accessible on the web, image-based identification aids, or GIS-compatible specimen records are expected. As products come available, linkages are encouraged with the PEET website maintained currently at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum at http://www.nhm.ku.edu/peet.

Other considerations:

  • Special Information and Supplementary Documentation. Provide information such as letters of collaboration, collecting permits, environmental impact statement and other allowed items as noted in the current issuance of the GPG. Use the following option for submitting Special Information and Supplementary Documentation: include letters of support and other materials via the FastLane submission by incorporating the documents in PDF format and adding them to the Supplementary Documentation section of FastLane. This information is not counted as part of the 15 page limit of the Project Description.

  • BIO Proposal Classification Form (PCF). Complete the BIO PCF as part of the NSF FastLane submission process. The PCF is an on-line coding system that allows the Principal Investigator to characterize the project when submitting a proposal to the Directorate for Biological Sciences. Once a PI begins preparation of the proposal in the NSF FastLane system and selects a division, cluster, or program within the Directorate for Biological Sciences as the first or only organizational unit to review the program and has saved the Cover Sheet, then the PCF will be generated and available through the Form Preparation screen.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing:   Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

    March 05, 2007

    March 02, 2009

    First Monday in March, Every Other Year Thereafter

    First Mondays in March, 2007 and 2009.

D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

  • For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane:

    Detailed technical instructions regarding the technical aspects of preparation and submission via FastLane are 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.

    Submission of Electronically Signed Cover Sheets. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must electronically sign the proposal Cover Sheet to submit the required proposal certifications (see Chapter II, Section C of the Grant Proposal Guide for a listing of the certifications). The AOR must provide the required electronic certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane Website at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/fastlane.jsp.

  • 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. The Grants.gov's Grant Community User Guide is a comprehensive reference document that provides technical information about Grants.gov. Proposers can download the User Guide as a Microsoft Word document or as a PDF document. The Grants.gov User Guide is available at: http://www.grants.gov/CustomerSupport. In addition, the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide provides additional technical guidance regarding 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.

VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES   

Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program where they will be reviewed if they meet NSF proposal preparation requirements. 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 who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the 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.

A. NSF Merit Review Criteria

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board (NSB)-approved merit review criteria: intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed effort. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

The two NSB-approved merit review criteria are listed below. The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which the reviewer is qualified to make judgements.

What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?

What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/broaderimpacts.pdf.

Mentoring activities provided to postdoctoral researchers supported on the project, as described in a one-page supplementary document, will be evaluated under the Broader Impacts criterion.

NSF staff also will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:

Integration of Research and Education
One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives.

Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities
Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- 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.

    Additional Review Criteria:

    In evaluating proposals against the two standard review criteria established by the National Science Board, reviewers will look for sound and imaginative responses to the three required components of a PEET project: taxonomic monography, training of new experts, and development of computer infrastructure, and in particular they will pay close attention to the five themes described in the section on Proposal Preparation: taxonomic focus; methods of study; training; conceptual issues; and dissemination.

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 formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. 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 is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later.  The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, 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.

In all cases, 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 and 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.

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 letter, 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 letter; (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 letter. 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
http://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 Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at
http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=aag.

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 at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require more frequent project reports). Within 90 days after 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 that PI. 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 FastLane, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports.  Such reports provide information on activities and findings, project participants (individual and organizational) publications; and, other specific products and contributions.  PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system.  Submission of the report via FastLane constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete. The project outcomes report 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.

The Principal Investigator shall provide a summary, in the "Special Requirements" section of each annual and final project report, of all permits, licenses, or other necessary approvals associated with specimen collection. The information should include the names of all permits/licenses/necessary approvals, the granting authority, date acquired, duration, and the purpose of the permit/license/approval.

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Rafael O. de Sa, 635, telephone: (703) 292-7836, email: rdesa@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, National Science Foundation Update is a free e-mail subscription service 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 Regional Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail when new publications are issued that match their identified interests. Users can subscribe to this service by clicking the "Get NSF Updates by Email" link on the NSF web site.

Grants.gov provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this new 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 40,000 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 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 provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II, Section D.2 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 http://www.nsf.gov

  • Location:

4201 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22230

  • 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
Division of Administrative Services
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230



  Policies and Important Links

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National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: (703) 292-5111, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749

Last Updated:
11/07/06
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