THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN REPLACED BY NSF 13-540

Antarctic Artists and Writers Program


Program Solicitation
NSF 11-549

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 08-552

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Office of Polar Programs
     Division of Antarctic Sciences

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

September 12, 2011

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.

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.

Revision Summary

Beginning with this solicitation, a competition will be held every two years, rather than every year.

Applicants selected to participate in the Artists & Writers Program in 2011 would deploy to the Antarctic either in the 2012-13 or the 2013-2014 research seasons (October to January), with deployment dates depending upon such factors as which research project or location the successful applicants wish to observe and when, logistically, it is possible to accommodate a given project.

Field teams in the Artists & Writers Program should consist of no more than one or two people. Large projects-such as television or documentary film crews or other large-scale film proposals-should apply to other NSF programs - as should representatives of the news media. See Section IX (Other NSF Programs).

International collaboration is encouraged. See Section IV (International Collaboration).

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

Antarctic Artists and Writers Program

Synopsis of Program:

The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program furnishes U.S. Antarctic Program operational support, and round-trip economy air tickets between the United States and the Southern Hemisphere, to artists and writers whose work requires them to be in the Antarctic to complete their proposed project. It does not provide funds for salary, materials, completion of the envisioned works, or any other purpose.

U.S. Antarctic Program infrastructure consists of three year-round stations and numerous austral-summer research camps in Antarctica, research ships in the Southern Ocean, and surface and air transportation. These assets support the artist and writer projects. The main purpose of the U.S. Antarctic Program is scientific research and education.

The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program supports writing and artistic projects specifically designed to increase understanding and appreciation of the Antarctic and of human activities on the southernmost continent.

The program does not support short-term projects that are essentially journalistic in nature. See Section IX (Other NSF Programs.)

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

  • Peter West, telephone: (703) 292-7530, fax: (703) 292-9079, email: pwest@nsf.gov

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 47.078 --- Office of Polar Programs

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 5 to 8

Anticipated Funding Amount: $0 (travel and field support only; refer to the text for additional information)

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit:

None Specified

PI Limit:

None specified. However, see Section IV, Additional Eligibility Information.

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):

    September 12, 2011

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: Standard NSF reporting requirements apply.

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

Through the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, NSF enables the production of professional-quality literature and art that complement the NSF's science and education programs to increase public understanding of the Antarctic continent, the surrounding oceans, and human activities there, as well as the region's unique geopolitical and other characteristics.

The program provides opportunities for artists and writers-whether promising early career practitioners or those of longstanding professional reputation and accomplishment-to make the observations at U.S. Antarctic Program research stations and field camps or aboard ships necessary to completing their projects as envisioned and as described in their proposals.

Scientific research and education projects, and their operational support, are Antarctica's principal human activities and are at the core of the Foundation's U.S. Antarctic Program, of which the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program is part.

Before starting a proposal, please consult the following NSF documents and resources: The Grant Proposal Guide and NSF Grants.gov Application Guide explain how to write and submit a proposal to NSF. The Antarctic Research (Program Solicitation NSF 11-532) describes research and infrastructure in the U.S. Antarctic Program and has instructions for proposals that are specific to the Antarctic. Science Planning Summaries describe recent U.S. Antarctic Program research projects. Additional information about the U.S. Antarctic program is available on the program's web portal at http://www.usap.gov.

NSF and the research community transact business electronically and the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program is part of this process. Proposals to NSF must be submitted electronically via either the NSF FastLane System (described in the Grant Proposal Guide) or Grants.gov.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

This solicitation is one mechanism used by NSF's Office of Polar Programs to achieve the goal of increasing public understanding of the science conducted by the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) and the uniqueness of the Antarctic continent and surrounding oceans. Specifically, this solicitation provides the opportunity for artists and writers to propose visits to Antarctica through the USAP in order to make first-hand observations that will inform their efforts to interpret and represent the scientific activities being conducted in the Antarctic and the nature of this unique ecosystem.

Integral to achieving the goals of the Artists & Writers program is a requirement to broadly disseminate the works that are produced by program participants as a public benefit; therefore the Foundation expects well-developed plans for bringing the artistic or literary works before the widest possible cross-section of the public.

Antarctic Artists and Writers Program applicants have found it helpful to learn about the other kinds of projects that have been supported in the past. The program has previously supported a broad range of work in areas as diverse as children's writing, digital media, film, graphic art, history, history of science, humanities scholarship, illustration, literature, musical composition, painting, photography, poetry, science fiction, science writing, sculpture, toponymy, underwater photography, and Web exhibition. Visit the "What has been funded" page to review descriptions of the most recent participants. Awards since 2004 can also be viewed in the Awards Database (search element code 5130; the $0 and $1 awards are Antarctic Artists and Writers). Paper applications were submitted before 2004, and are not in the NSF awards database. Instead, they are contained on another list.

Projects across the range of the humanities are eligible for the program, though some projects, such as magazine journalism or films, for example, would be more appropriate for submission to another NSF program. The majority of proposals, and of supported projects, has been in photography, painting, and writing.

What NSF Provides

The Foundation issues polar clothing for use in the field, round-trip economy air travel between a U.S. airport and a port of embarkation for the Antarctic (typically in New Zealand or Chile), travel between the embarkation point and the Antarctic, and room, board, and travel and other logistical assistance while in the Antarctic or the Southern Ocean as required by the approved project to those artists and writers whose proposals are awarded.

Award recipients may be asked to attend a meeting in the United States for detailed field planning before the Antarctic travel begins. The U.S. Antarctic Program will cover expenses incurred (within the U.S. only) while attending this meeting.

Unlike other NSF merit-reviewed programs, the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program does not award funds-but rather provides in-kind support-to participants. Successful applicants are free to seek funds elsewhere, including from other Federal agencies. See Section IX for proposals to other parts of NSF for both funding and field support of Antarctic education and outreach projects.

What the Selected Artist or Writer Provides

The selected artists and writers are responsible for meals and lodging during travel to embarkation points, which includes their stay in New Zealand or Chile before and after deployment to the Antarctic. They are responsible for incidental expenses in Antarctica (toiletries, etc.), and for all aspects and costs of completing and distributing the proposed work.

Award recipients are required to cover the costs of mandatory pre-travel medical and dental examinations (using instructions provided by the U.S. Antarctic Program) and for any remediation these examinations show to be necessary. Failure to meet U.S. Antarctic Program medical and dental standards prior to deployment results in disqualification from the program and inability to deploy to the Antarctic, regardless of any previous decision by NSF that a proposal itself merits support.

The selected artist or writer is entirely responsible for completing the project described in the proposal that is awarded. NSF does not fund, review, or participate in finishing any project once the artist or the writer returns from the Antarctic.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

Public record. If you are selected, the NSF award will become a public record. The searchable awards database will contain the award number, name and contact information, and a description of the project.

Award content. The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program does not provide funds; the financial amount of the NSF award is zero. Instead of money, the award consists of provision, without charge, of U.S. Antarctic Program field resources in areas of Antarctica and/or the Southern Ocean.

Recent activity. No competition was held in 2009. Evaluation of the 78 proposals received in 2008 resulted in selection of projects for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 Antarctic seasons. The program received 81 proposals in 2007; 42 in 2005. Typically, five to eight are selected each year for a working trip to the Antarctic. The number varies depending on availability of resources.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Organization Limit:

None Specified

PI Limit:

None specified. However, see Section IV, Additional Eligibility Information.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI:

None Specified

Additional Eligibility Info:

U.S. residents. The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program is primarily for citizens of the United States who have a substantial record of achievement in the arts and letters or who are in early career and demonstrate exceptional promise.

Individuals may apply directly or through their employing organizations.

Non-U.S. residents. Proposals are accepted from citizens of other Antarctic Treaty nations if a significant audience will be reached in the United States or the project is otherwise in the U.S. interest as, for example, helping to inform broad audiences of the role of the U.S. program in Antarctica in international partnerships, particularly when the proposed activity would also be supported by the partner nation. The program welcomes such proposals and has supported non-U.S. participants in the past.

Non-U.S. residents who are selected are not provided airline tickets from their country to the Antarctic. NSF may require attendance at a pre-Antarctic planning meeting in the United States (see Section II, What NSF Provides) and will not cover air travel from outside the United States to that meeting. Lodging while attending the meeting will be provided.

Physical and dental condition. Medical and dental care in the Antarctic is limited. Field participants must pass screenings in the six months before the planned travel. Failure to meet medical and dental criteria results in disqualification for Antarctic travel, regardless of the merits of a particular proposal. NSF does not pay for examinations, follow-up visits, or remediation needed to pass the screenings.

Ineligibility. Members of the news media, and film or other team projects that require extensive operational support are not eligible for the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. See Section IX, Other NSF Programs.

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.gov/publications/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.gov/publications/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.

In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:

Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. Chapter II, Section D.4 of the Grant Proposal Guide provides additional information on collaborative proposals.

The Proposal

A fundamental requirement of the proposal is to describe how your plan meets NSF's two review criteria: intellectual merit and broader impacts (see Section VI.A., including Additional Review Criteria). This can be difficult for artists and writers, both because the program is highly competitive and because being able, for example, to make beautiful and original photographs and find significant audiences for them may not be sufficient to meet the criteria. A theme is required: you need to convince the Foundation that your work will provide new understanding of Antarctic science or the region itself. While your own vision will inform the proposal's explanation of how the project will advance understanding, examining the work of prior participants may stimulate ideas about how to structure the proposal.

In developing the proposal, knowing the character, scope, and mission of the U.S. Antarctic Program will be indispensible. Check the Polar Programs home page at NSF, particularly science summaries and the Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics page.

The organization, clarity, and content of the proposal will reveal much about your abilities and the likelihood that the proposed project will be completed. Successful proposals tend to present topics clearly and succinctly, coming immediately to the point while following NSF's proposal preparation instructions, which impose a 15-page limit on the Project Description part of the proposal.

Supporting materials. Include in the electronic proposal samples of your work, published reviews of it, and/or letters of support (e.g. publishers or exhibit venues) to help reviewers appreciate your abilities and achievements. These materials should be regarded as an electronic portfolio demonstrating the scope and quality of previous work that puts your proposal into context, whether or not that work is specifically related to your proposed Antarctic project.

Format for supporting materials. Make portfolio and supporting images part of the electronic proposal. Embed them in the Project Description.

Put letters of recommendation or support in the Supplementary Documentation section. Do not mail or e-mail them to the Program Officer. Do not allow authors of these letters to send them directly to NSF.

If large audio or visual files are important components of your work, put the files on a storage device (CD, DVD, flash drive), and mail them to the Program Officer. Put your name on every single item you mail to NSF. The review panel will view media on a PC (no Macs) or projected on a screen. The review room will have a television, a DVD player, and an audio CD player. If photographs are necessary to demonstrate the quality of your work, also send digital copies on a storage device (CD, DVD, flash drive) to the Program Officer. Insure that each image is appropriately captioned or described and digitally watermarked with any copyright information.

Because the panelists will have a very limited time to examine materials, is it best to include only the short segment that best illustrates your work and what you propose to accomplish in Antarctica.

NSF will return mailed items only if you send a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Mail supplemental materials to:

National Science Foundation
Antarctic Artists and Writers Program
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 755
Arlington, Virginia 22230
Phone: 703.292.8033

Fieldwork

Planning the approach. There are generally three ways to plan the needed work in the Antarctic.

If you are focused on a single research project, you can propose to be made an integral (embedded) member of that project. This approach requires that you have a preliminary agreement with the leader of the project. Explain this agreement in the proposal, and include a letter from the leader of the project (which must be included with supporting documents). Since the research team would increase in size if you were to be selected for the program, NSF has to consider that increase as it allocates resources (tents, food, helicopter time and payload, and so forth) across the suite of projects being fielded that season.

A second method is to operate independently. A painter, say, may need time at one or more field sites and be focused on the landscape or activities at a given site more than a specific project. The complication is that, for safety, NSF will not allow you to work alone outside of established stations or field camps. On occasion, and only for a brief time, NSF may be able to furnish someone who is already in Antarctica as a field safety escort. One approach is to identify in the proposal an assistant or, better yet, find another artist or writer who is compatible with your project-and write a joint proposal. Several such teams have worked this way in the past. And, more than once, NSF has received two separate proposals from individuals who did not know one another and has suggested that they discuss working together – with good results.

Another method: If you wish to visit several research teams or sites over the course of your stay in the Antarctic, then contact leaders of those teams and discuss with them how your project will interact with theirs. Describe the planned interactions in the project description, ask the research leaders to give you letters indicating their support and submit them as supplementary documents to the proposal.

Team size. The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program is intended for a field team of one or two people requiring visits to the research stations and ships or to existing research camps. The program does not support projects that require significant amounts of dedicated resources, such as film or video crews. See Section IX for NSF programs that do.

Field locations and timing. Aboard ships and on the continent, resources for support of both science and the arts are limited and time-constrained, especially during the brief austral summer when sunlight is plentiful and outdoor work is practical. Even if you enjoy a well-established reputation and can almost guarantee an audience, you need to articulate a specific need to carry out your proposed project "on the ground" in Antarctica or its surrounding waters in your proposal, explaining specifically why and where you need to be in the field and for how long.

In the proposal, summarize the sites to be visited and the time needed at each. Antarctic Research describes U.S. Antarctic Program infrastructure. Science Planning Summaries describe recent research projects. There is no set minimum or maximum amount of time in the field for your project; the NSF goal is to match field support to what the proposed project needs.

Any U.S. Antarctic Program facility can be considered for austral summer or winter seasons. The three year-round stations are Amundsen-Scott South Pole, McMurdo on Ross Island, and Palmer along the Antarctic Peninsula. Palmer is accessible year-round, as are the two ice-capable research ships. McMurdo and South Pole stations and temporary field camps are accessible only during the austral summer. Early season (mid-August through September) is an option.

Access to McMurdo and Amundsen-Scott South Pole Stations is through Christchurch, New Zealand, while access to Palmer Station is through Punta Arenas, Chile. It would be expensive and extremely difficult, if not impossible, to support a project that attempts to span these two gateway cities in the same season.

Working at both McMurdo and South Pole is operationally feasible in the same season. Access to most field camps is through McMurdo. Amundsen-Scott South Pole is always crowded in summer, and only short visits are feasible. Check transportation assets on the USAP website.

The proposal must contain sufficient information for reviewers to understand the scope of the fieldwork and to determine if fieldwork is justified under the constraints previously described. If the proposal is ranked highly (see Section VI.B., Review and Selection Process), then additional detailed information about fieldwork will be solicited before a final decision by NSF.

For additional information on fieldwork, see the USAP web portal page "Information for Proposers" and "USAP Proposal Preparation Information" on the NSF web site.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited

Budget Preparation Instructions:

Populate the Proposal Budget Summary page with zeros. Field support and airline tickets are issued directly; do not budget for these items. The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program does not directly award funds.

C. Due Dates

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

    September 12, 2011

Proposals will be considered for field support in Antarctica beginning no sooner than a year after the September proposal deadline. Proposals will be considered for work aboard ship in the Southern Ocean beginning no sooner than seven months after the September proposal deadline.

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. Comprehensive information about using Grants.gov is available on the Grants.gov Applicant Resources webpage: http://www07.grants.gov/applicants/app_help_reso.jsp. 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:

    Reviewers and NSF will look for how the proposed project would satisfy the above criteria and those below.

    1. Intellectual Merit

    In addition to the above:

    • Does the proposal demonstrate the likelihood of significantly advancing knowledge, understanding, or appreciation of Antarctica or the U.S. Antarctic Program?
    • Will the project result in works that are representative of Antarctica or of activities in Antarctica?
    • Is the required presence in Antarctica, as a practical matter, available only from the U.S. Antarctic Program?
    • Is the requested travel essential to the completion of the proposed work?
    • If underwater diving is to be a part of the field program, is the need for it defended in the proposal (read Antarctic Research, Proposal Preparation and Submission, Underwater Diving)?
    • Is the artist or writer prominent in her or his field, with a substantial record of achievement and critical recognition as indicated by prior works, reviews of prior works, appointments to academic or professional positions, honors, and awards?
    • If in early career, does the artist or writer demonstrate promise in his or her field?

    2. Broader Impacts

    In addition to the above:

    • Does the proposal provide a concrete plan showing that, as a result of being in Antarctica, a significant body of work will reach a significant audience?

      • Even an accomplished artist or writer may find it difficult to convince the Foundation on this point. Normally she or he needs to collaborate with producers, publishers, art galleries, or other organizations appropriate to the genre and provide evidence of it in the proposal.
      • "Significant audience" has no firm definition. Large and/or diverse audiences can be significant. Public lectures, shows at galleries, traveling exhibitions, articles in magazines, displays in museums, sculptures in an accessible place, films, or published books can be significant. A scholarly humanities assessment or a published collection of poems can be significant. "Significant" does not need to mean "big."

    3. Operational feasibility

    The proposal must convince reviewers that presence in Antarctica is necessary. A project that is otherwise outstanding may not be selected if reviewers judge working in Antarctica to be unnecessary or if the U.S. Antarctic Program is incapable of supporting it. Operational feasibility includes resource availability, environmental protection and waste management provisions, and safety and health measures.

    If the proposal is ranked highly (see Section VI.B., Review and Selection Process), additional information about fieldwork will be solicited. Often during operational review, specialists will suggest changes that can convert an infeasible proposed plan to a feasible and supportable one.

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.

Ad hoc reviewers, who also may serve as panelists, are comprised of distinguished artists, writers, scientists, and educators; some have worked in Antarctica. At least three review each proposal individually.

The NSF Program Officer uses this advice to select the competitive proposals. The competitive proposals proceed to the panel, and the noncompetitive ones are declined.

The review panelists discuss the competitive proposals and view all portfolio materials. Near the end of their meeting, the panelists recommend either support or decline for each proposal.

These recommendations are advisory to NSF. The Program Officer carefully considers this advice in determining the top ranked proposals that will undergo operational review.

After the top proposers complete Operational Requirements Worksheets (ORW) using an online system, POLAR ICE, U.S. Antarctic Program specialists review them for operational feasibility.

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.

Declined applicants who want to propose again the next cycle may do so. Digesting and using, as appropriate, reviewers' comments is usually helpful. Only significantly revised proposals will be accepted as resubmissions.

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.

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

Please note that the program contact information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Peter West, telephone: (703) 292-7530, fax: (703) 292-9079, email: pwest@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.

Antarctic Proposals to Other NSF Programs

If your project requires NSF financial support and/or it requires fieldwork in the Antarctic, and if you determine that another NSF program is appropriate for the project -

  1. Prepare a proposal using that program's instructions.
  2. Review the Office of Polar Programs web site for U.S. Antarctic Program field capabilities. Feel free to discuss your intended Antarctic fieldwork with a program officer in the Office of Polar Programs.
  3. Define Antarctic fieldwork using U.S. Antarctic Program Operational Requirements Worksheets; see Section V.A. of NSF's Antarctic Research program solicitation.
  4. Attach the worksheets to the proposal as instructed.
  5. Submit the proposal.
  6. E-mail Jessie L. Crain, Research Support Manager, Office of Polar Programs (jlcrain@nsf.gov), giving proposal number and title. State in the e-mail that the proposal involves fieldwork in the U.S. Antarctic Program.

Even if another NSF program finds your proposal meritorious, the project may not be supportable operationally in the U.S. Antarctic Program.

Other Related NSF Programs

  • Informal Science Education Program. NSF's Informal Science Education program funds projects that increase engagement in and understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Proposals from large-scale filmmakers that require significant Antarctic resources may be appropriate for this program. Projects are expected to demonstrate strategic impact, innovation, and collaboration.
  • Polar Media Program. The Foundation's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs conducts an annual competition to select television, radio, newspaper, and magazine reporters to visit and report on U.S. facilities in the Antarctic and the Arctic. Contact NSF Public Affairs Specialist Debbie Wing (dwing@nsf.gov) to find out the specific requirements for and limitations on media visitors. Media visits, in general are much shorter, for example, than deployments under the Artists & Writers program. Do not submit Operational Requirements Worksheets to this program.

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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Last Updated:
11/07/06
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