Metadata for Long-standing Large-Scale Social Science Surveys (META-SSS)


Program Solicitation
NSF 11-583

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences
     Division of Social and Economic Sciences

Office of Cyberinfrastructure

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

January 31, 2012

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.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

Metadata for Long-standing Large-Scale Social Science Surveys (META-SSS)

Synopsis of Program:

The American National Election Studies (ANES), General Social Survey (GSS) and Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) are long-term survey projects that form key research infrastructure for the social and behavioral sciences. The value of these three projects depends in part on data accessibility and ease of use. These data dissemination activities provide value far beyond the original data collection effort. That value consists of providing access and tools that enable dissemination to a wide range of user communities-- from social scientists to advance knowledge and test theories, to teachers in secondary schools to explain basic statistical and analytic methods, to citizens outside of the higher education and research communities who use the data to generate basic descriptive statistics and graphs.

The ANES is a 60-year time series of survey data collections that began in 1948. The ANES conducts national surveys of the American electorate during election years as well as conducts research and development work through pilot studies. The ANES is considered the 'gold standard' data source for election studies; it sheds light on how American democracy works by exploring the causes and consequences of citizen opinion, vote choices, and electoral outcomes. The GSS has provided data on contemporary American society since 1972, serving as a barometer of social change and trends in attitudes, behaviors, and attributes of the United States adult population. The GSS is a nationally representative personal interview survey of the United States adult population that collects data on a wide range of behavioral items, personal psychological evaluations, and demographic characteristics of respondents and their parents. Lastly, the PSID is a longitudinal survey of a nationally representative sample of US families that began in 1968. The PSID is the world's longest running nationally representative panel survey. With over forty years of data on the same families and their descendents, the PSID is considered a cornerstone of the data infrastructure for empirically-based social science research in the US and the world.

Over the course of the extensive survey cycles the three survey projects have accumulated important metadata, or "data about data" including technical reports, survey instruments and other information that describe the survey process. These metadata exist in many different formats (text and non-text-based) and have been stored in different ways depending on the date of the original data collection, the available technologies at that date (paper, scanned into PDF, and other formats), and access to storage facilities. Currently, these metadata are not in a format that allows for easy analysis within any one survey and the surveys do not have common data formats that would enable analysis of data across surveys. The lack of metadata limits the usefulness of the legacy data from early survey waves. Researchers interested in using the data under current conditions must invest significant time and effort to understand the data structure. This limits the ability of interdisciplinary scientists to analyze data from two or more of the surveys. And finally it limits the availability of the survey results from all three surveys to the broad public that is interested in questions about democracy, family well being, and social attitudes.

This solicitation seeks proposals that will develop tools to bridge data collection and dissemination by first, collecting and coding metadata associated with future waves of the ANES, GSS, and PSID surveys as collection and processing techniques evolve; and second, migrating (or "retrofitting") metadata associated with earlier (i.e., legacy) waves of these surveys into formats and schema that are compatible with current and future collection efforts. The goal is to fund projects that will help make the many years of legacy data available to researchers who seek to answer current scientific questions.

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.

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

  • 47.075 --- Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences
  • 47.080 --- Office of Cyberinfrastructure

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 1 to 2 One or two awards, depending on the scope of projects submitted. We prefer proposals which incorporate metadata for all three surveys. However, given the additional complexity of metadata for panel surveys, proposals which code metadata for the PSID alone, or for the cross-sectional ANES and GSS together, excluding the PSID, will also be considered.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $400,000 to $1,000,000 The FY2012 budget is $1 million. One or two awards are anticipated with a duration of 24 months, subject to the availability of funds. Grantees may be eligible for supplemental funding after the initial two-year project based on the outcomes after the first year and NSF review of evaluation and performance reports.

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit:

None Specified

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):

    January 31, 2012

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

In 2007, the National Science Foundation (NSF) held a workshop in which representatives of the social science research and data user communities discussed enhanced future directions for the General Social Survey (GSS). Among the recommendations outlined in the workshop report, The GSS: The Next Decade and Beyond, was a call for greater data transparency, easier data access for the user community, and more user-friendly dissemination modes (especially, an improved website and online search tools). In addition, the report called for the use of digital technologies to capture metadata and the development of cooperative relationships with the American National Election Studies (ANES) and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to share best practices for the incorporation of new technologies in data collection, access and dissemination. These recommendations also echoed suggestions expressed in the NSF Cyberinfrastructure Vision for the 21st Century Discovery Report, published the same year.

Building on these reports, the Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES) of the Directorate of Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) convened a meeting on Future Investments in Large-Scale Survey Data Access and Dissemination on July 26-27, 2010 in Arlington, Virginia. The meeting was part of a broad strategy in the social and behavioral sciences to address federal government goals to make information, including data, more broadly accessible.

The three surveys, American National Election Studies (ANES), General Social Survey (GSS) and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), are long standing pillars of the social science research enterprise and represent major investments in the social science data infrastructure. As SBE maintains and re-evaluates its investments in research infrastructure, it continuously seeks substantive and methodological innovation in ways data resources are developed and disseminated. Although the meeting focused on these three long-standing survey data collections, meeting participants spoke to broader infrastructure and data needs for the social and behavioral sciences. At the conclusion of the meeting they outlined several recommendations for enhanced data access, management, standards and stewardship. One primary recommendation was to collect ANES, GSS and PSID legacy metadata in machine actionable formats to enable interoperability across surveys. The ultimate goal is to make major methodological and technical advances in survey data access, including searchability, extraction, documentation, analysis, and dissemination.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The ANES, GSS and PSID are long-term survey projects that are building research infrastructure for the social and behavioral sciences. A major goal of the three survey projects is accessibility and ease of use. This data dissemination mission creates additional value far beyond the original data collection effort. That value consists of providing access and tools that enable dissemination to wide ranging user communities-- from social scientists to advance knowledge and test theories, to teachers in secondary schools to explain basic statistical and analytic methods, to citizens outside of the higher education and research communities who use the data to generate basic descriptive statistics and graphs.

The ANES is a 60-year time series of survey data collections that began in 1948. The ANES conducts national surveys of the American electorate in election years as well as conducts research and development work through pilot studies. In presidential election years, the study is typically conducted both before and after the election (that is, a pre-election study and a post-election study); while for congressional election years the study has typically been conducted only after the election (a post-election study). Pilot Studies, normally conducted in years when there is not a national election, are done to test new or refine existing instrumentation and study designs. The ANES produces high quality data on voting, public opinion, and political participation over time.

The GSS has provided data on contemporary American society since 1972, serving as a barometer of social change and trends in attitudes, behaviors, and attributes of the United States adult population. The GSS is a nationally representative personal interview survey of the United States adult population that collects data on a wide range of topics: behavioral items such as group membership and participation; personal psychological evaluations including measures of well-being, misanthropy, and life satisfaction; attitudinal questions on such public issues as crime and punishment, race relations, gender roles, and spending priorities; and demographic characteristics of respondents and their parents.

The PSID is a longitudinal survey of a nationally representative sample of US families that began in 1968. The PSID is the world's longest running nationally representative panel survey. With over forty years of data on the same families and their descendents, the PSID is considered a cornerstone of the data infrastructure for empirically-based social science research in the US and the world. The long panel, genealogical links, and broad content of the data provide a unique opportunity to study evolution and change within the same families over a considerable time span. The PSID collects information on the dynamics of human and social behavior. These data can be used to systematically investigate a myriad of questions in a variety of scientific disciplines involving the study of life-cycle opportunities and trajectories over time.

The ANES, GSS, and PSID have volumes of metadata that are not in machine readable format. The three surveys do not have common schema or formats and are currently not interoperable. Accessibility and dissemination of the data from each survey are limited and interdisciplinary research that could combine data from the different surveys is cumbersome and extremely difficult. This solicitation seeks proposals to develop metadata for these surveys and to create common standards for machine readability of the ANES, GSS and PSID legacy data and on-going data collections.

There are three major categories of metadata for the kinds of data collected in the surveys:

  1. Machine language which enables computers to interpret, render and display data
  2. Human schema and coding of the data (e.g., codebooks), including provenance (that is, the succession of survey waves or survey cycles)
  3. Contextual information that governed the data collection (e.g. sampling strategies, instructions, guidelines, policies, and decisions).

Legacy metadata of various forms exist for all three surveys. However, in the years since the earliest survey was conducted (1948), the technical environment, standards and practices have evolved. Each survey has migrated across platforms to ensure their continued availability to the professional community while adding additional complexity. To meet this challenge, proposals should demonstrate a metadata system that accomplishes the following:

  1. Addresses all three dimensions of metadata described above
  2. Be interoperable across the surveys; the system should collect and document metadata from multiple surveys and users should be able to compare the metadata directly
  3. Be extensible to other social science data collections
  4. Support data integration with other systems
  5. Preserve participant confidentiality
  6. Support future migrations across platforms and formats and related documentation and provenance
  7. Support long term preservation, management and storage
  8. Allow for appropriate access controls based on user, intended use, and sensitivity of the information

Proposals should either present a plan for creating a metadata system for all three surveys, or for only the cross-sectional surveys (GSS and ANES) or for only the panel survey (PSID). We envision making either one or two awards, depending on the composition.

Proposers are encouraged to build upon existing systems, for example, the Data Documentation Initiative - DDI (http://www.ddialliance.org/) but need not be limited to them. Developers are encouraged to adhere to widely accepted standards and current best practices.

Successful applications will demonstrate the ability to mount a viable pilot together with plans to extend the pilot to the entirety of the subject survey collections. Therefore successful applications will demonstrate the research team's ability to coordinate with the principal investigators leading the three large surveys. Successful applications will also include provision for (1) appropriate documentation of any software developed and a user guide and (2) communication of the findings to the scientific community. Documentation and user guides should be clearly written for users who may not be familiar with the surveys and should be readily accessible.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 1 to 2 One or two awards, depending on the scope of projects submitted. We prefer proposals which incorporate metadata for all three surveys. However, given the additional complexity of metadata for panel surveys, proposals which code metadata for the PSID alone, or for the cross-sectional ANES and GSS together, excluding the PSID, will also be considered.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $400,000 to $1,000,000 The FY2012 budget is $1 million. One or two awards are anticipated with a duration of 24 months, subject to the availability of funds. Grantees may be eligible for supplemental funding after the initial two-year project based on the outcomes after the first year and NSF review of evaluation and performance reports.

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter I, Section E.

Organization Limit:

None Specified

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.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.

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):

    January 31, 2012

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.

Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria

In addition to the NSF Merit Review Criteria, proposals will also be evaluated using the following additional review criteria:

  • Ability to develop and extend a pilot metadata documentation system across survey collections
  • Plans for coordination of metadata efforts across the ANES, GSS and PSID
  • Capability for documentation of software and provision of a user guide
  • Capacity for broad dissemination of products to the social and behavioral science research and education

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.

B. Review and Selection Process

Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by Ad hoc 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.

Additional Information on Reviewer Selection and Review Process:

Reviewers will be selected for intellectual and disciplinary diversity, expertise in the substantive areas of the proposed projects, and experience in survey research data collection, documentation and dissemination.

A committee of program officers will be convened to appraise the proposals and reviewer comments, and make award recommendations and funding levels. The committee will include representatives from the Economics, Political Science, and Sociology programs, from OCI, and other programs as appropriate.

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:

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 Arctic 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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