THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN REPLACED BY NSF 13-511

Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2)
Scientific Software Innovation Institutes (S2I2)


Program Solicitation
NSF 11-589

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Office of Cyberinfrastructure

Directorate for Biological Sciences

Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

Directorate for Engineering

Office of Integrative Activities

Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences

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

     December 14, 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.govbfa/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:

Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation
Scientific Software Innovation Institutes

Synopsis of Program:

NSF's vision of a Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) identifies advancing new computational infrastructure as a priority for driving innovation in science and engineering. Software is an integral enabler of computation, experiment and theory and a central component of the new computational infrastructure. Scientific discovery and innovation are advancing along fundamentally new pathways opened by the development of increasingly sophisticated software. Software is also directly responsible for increased scientific productivity and significant enhancement of researchers' capabilities. In order to nurture, accelerate and sustain this critical mode of scientific progress, NSF has established the Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) program (http://www.nsf.gov/si2/), with the overarching goal of transforming innovations in research and education into sustained software resources that are an integral part of the cyberinfrastructure. SI2 is a long-term investment focused on catalyzing new thinking, paradigms, and practices in developing and using software to understand natural, human, and engineered systems. It is NSF's expectation that the SI2 investment will result in robust, reliable, usable and sustainable software infrastructure that is critical to the CIF21 vision and will transform science and engineering while contributing to the education of next generation researchers and creators of future cyberinfrastructure. Education at all levels will play an important role in integrating such a dynamic cyberinfrastructure into the fabric of how science and engineering is done.

The SI2 program includes three classes of awards:

1. Scientific Software Elements (SSE): SSE awards target small groups that will create and deploy robust software elements for which there is a demonstrated need that will advance one or more significant areas of science and engineering.

2. Scientific Software Integration (SSI): SSI awards target larger, interdisciplinary teams organized around the development and application of common software infrastructure aimed at solving common research problems. SSI awards will result in sustainable community software frameworks serving a diverse community.

3. Scientific Software Innovation Institutes (S2I2): S2I2 awards will focus on the establishment of long-term hubs of excellence in software infrastructure and technologies that will serve a research community of substantial size and disciplinary breadth.

This solicitation is focused on the Scientific Software Innovation Institutes (S2I2) class of awards. Two subclasses of awards are planned for the S2I2 part of this program: Conceptualization Awards, which are planning awards aimed at organizing an interdisciplinary community and understanding their software requirements and challenges, and Implementation Awards, which will be made to implement community plans for software infrastructure, such as those developed by the conceptualization awards. Only S2I2 Conceptualization Awards will be made in FY12.

Please note that successful proposals will demonstrate clear and compelling science-driven goals that are responsive to research priorities identified across and within participating units. It is strongly recommended that prospective PIs contact program officers from the list of Cognizant Program Officers to ascertain that the scientific focus of the proposed work is appropriate for this solicitation.

Proposals submitted to NSF in response to this solicitation must have a clear relevance to the overall SI2 program and should be responsive to this solicitation and its review criteria. Proposals that are not relevant or not responsive to the solicitation will not be considered for funding and will be returned without review.

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.

  • Gabrielle Allen, Program Director, OD/OCI, telephone: (703) 292-2598, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Beverly Berger, Program Director, MPS/PHY, telephone: (703) 292-7372, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Maria K. Burka, Program Director, ENG/CBET, telephone: (703) 292-7030, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Almadena Y. Chtchelkanova, Program Director, CISE/CCF, telephone: (703) 292-8910, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Clark Cooper, Program Director, ENG/CMMI, telephone: (703) 292-7899, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Evelyn Goldfield, Program Director, MPS/CHE, telephone: (703) 292-2173, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Sol Greenspan, Program Director, CISE/CCF, telephone: (703) 292-8910, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Daryl W. Hess, Program Director, MPS/DMR, telephone: (703) 292-4942, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Peter H. McCartney, Program Director, BIO/DBI, telephone: (703) 292-8470, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Eduardo A. Misawa, Program Director, ENG/EEC, telephone: (703) 292-5353, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Andrew D. Pollington, Program Director, MPS/DMS, telephone: (703) 292-4878, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Thomas F. Russell, Program Director, OD/OIA, telephone: (703) 292-4863, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

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

  • 47.041 --- Engineering
  • 47.049 --- Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • 47.070 --- Computer and Information Science and Engineering
  • 47.074 --- Biological Sciences
  • 47.080 --- Office of Cyberinfrastructure

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 8 to 12 - The actual number of S2I2 Conceptualization awards may vary based on the quality of proposals, responsiveness to the solicitation, and availability of funds. No S2I2 Implementation awards will be made in FY12.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $5,000,000 - Estimated program budget, size and number of awards is subject to the availability of funds. Pending availability of funds, approximately $5,000,000 will be available for proposals submitted in response to this solicitation.

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • Universities and Colleges - Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

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):

         December 14, 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: Additional award conditions apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

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

Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) is a bold and long-term investment focused on realizing the Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) vision and catalyzing new thinking, paradigms and practices in science and engineering. CIF21 envisions a linked cyberinfrastructure architecture that integrates large-scale computing, high-speed networks, massive data archives, instruments and major facilities, observatories, experiments, and embedded sensors and actuators, across the nation and the world, and that enables research at unprecedented scales, complexity, resolution, and accuracy by integrating computation, data and experiments in novel ways. CIF21 has the potential for revolutionizing virtually every discipline by providing unique insights into complex problems, and thus creates unique opportunities for understanding natural, human and engineered systems.

Software is a primary modality through which CIF21 innovation and discovery will be realized. It permeates all aspects and layers of cyberinfrastructure (from application codes and frameworks, programming systems, libraries and system software, to middleware, operating systems, networking and the low-level drivers). The CIF21 software infrastructure must address the complexity of this cyberinfrastructure, accommodating disruptive hardware trends, ever-increasing data volumes, complex application structures and behaviors and emerging concerns such as fault-tolerance and energy efficiency. It is clear that the community must redefine research, development, and maintenance of software in the context of CIF21 and make significant long-term investments commensurate with hardware investments. The resulting program must focus on building robust, reliable and sustainable software that will support and advance sustained scientific innovation and discovery.

The Office of CyberInfrastucture (OCI) is partnering with Directorates and Offices across the foundation to support SI2, a long-term comprehensive program focused on realizing a sustained software infrastructure that is an integral part of CIF21. The goal of this program is to catalyze and nurture the interdisciplinary processes required to support the entire software lifecycle, and result in the development of sustainable community software elements and reusable components at all levels of the software stack. The program addresses all aspects of cyberinfrastructure, from embedded sensor systems and instruments, to desktops and high-end data and computing systems, to major instruments and facilities.

The goal of the overall SI2 program is to create a software ecosystem that scales from individual or small groups of software innovators to large hubs of software excellence. It is envisioned that the SI2 program will collectively support vibrant partnerships between academia, government laboratories and industry, including international entities, for the development and stewardship of a sustainable software infrastructure that can enhance productivity and accelerate innovation in science and engineering, while contributing to the education of next generation researchers and creators of future cyberinfrastructure.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Scientific Software Innovation Institutes (S2I2) will focus on the establishment of long-term hubs of excellence in software infrastructure and technologies, which will serve a research community of substantial size and disciplinary breadth. It is expected that outcomes of S2I2 goes beyond the software itself and also includes the infrastructure and process by which software is developed and sustained in response to, and to successfully enable, transformative new science. These institutes will provide expertise, processes and architectures, resources, and implementation mechanism to transform computational science and engineering innovations and community software into robust and sustained software infrastructure for enabling science and engineering, which in turn will transform research practices and productivity. S2I2 proposals are expected to bring together interdisciplinary teams of scientists, engineers, and educators together with software engineers and technologists.

An S2I2 proposal must describe the vision and rationale for the proposed institute as a multi-faceted enterprise with credible connections to the community it serves. The proposal must make a compelling case for the institute's need and scope, and state its anticipated impact on the target communities. Furthermore, in addition to innovating in the domain (or domains) and the computational and computer science aspects of the software, the proposals must also focus on the required processes and services necessary to support the community. The institutes will provide necessary structures and mechanisms for support, outreach, and workforce development, with a proactive approach to diversity, and will stimulate interaction between all stakeholders through various means including the definition of joint research directions, community standards and models, and collaborative development activities. The institutes will also provide pathways for community involvement, enabling software elements developed within the community to be transitioned to conform to community software frameworks, standards and processes, and to be made accessible, usable and extendible by the community. Institutes are encouraged to leverage existing infrastructure investments. Where appropriate, involvement with industry and government laboratories, and partnering with international efforts are encouraged. Proposals should identify a clear set of near- mid- and long-term goals, and how it will organize itself to accomplish those goals. Finally, it should also include a model for longer-term sustainability of the institute itself.

S2I2 awards are subdivided into Conceptualization and Implementation awards which are described below. Only Conceptualization awards will be made in FY12.

(a) Conceptualization Awards: S2I2 Conceptualization Awards are planning awards aimed at organizing an interdisciplinary community and understanding their software requirements and challenges. Example activities that may be undertaken as part of this award include focused workshops, special sessions at professional meetings, sandpits, focus groups, etc. These awards will typically be 1 year in duration. The product of a conceptualization award will be a strategic plan for enabling science and education through a sustained software infrastructure that will be freely available to the community, and will address the following elements:

  • the science community and the specific grand challenge research questions that the S2I2 will support;
  • specific software elements and frameworks that are relevant to the community, the sustainability challenges that need to be addressed, and why addressing these challenges will be transformative;
  • appropriate software architectures and lifecycle processes, development, testing and deployment methodologies, validation and verification processes, end usability and interface considerations, and required infrastructure and technologies;
  • the required organizational, personnel and management structures and operational processes;
  • the requirements and necessary mechanisms for human resource development, including integration of education and training, mentoring of students, postdoctoral fellows as well as software professionals, and proactively addressing diversity and broadening participation;
  • potential approaches for long-term sustainability of the software infrastructure as well as the software; and
  • potential risks including risks associated with establishment and execution, necessary infrastructure and associated technologies, community engagement, and long-term sustainability.

The strategic plan resulting from the conceptualization phase is expected to serve as the conceptual design upon which a subsequent S2I2 Implementation proposal could be based.

(b) S2I2 Implementation Awards: The S2I2 Implementation Awards will be made to implement community strategic plans, such as those outlined in conceptualization phase described above. It is expected that proposals for Implementation Awards will be considered in response to specific areas that are explicitly identified by NSF. The size of these awards as well as the structure of the institute will be based on the targeted community and its needs. Awards are expected to be cooperative agreements between NSF and the awardee(s), and funds will be released annually subject to agreed-to milestones, and based on approval by NSF and the availability of funds. New S2I2 awards will be funded for 5 years and will consist of the following two phases:

S2I2 Design Phase: The goal of the S2I2 design phase is to support required institute design and ramp-up activities and to demonstrate readiness for the execution phase. This phase is expected to last up to 2 years. The S2I2 design phase will focus on concrete design and implementation activities necessary for the execution of the institute, and will result in a Project Execution Plan that provides the following: a detailed breakdown of the products and services that will be provided by the institute; the policies and mechanisms for community software integration as well as its integration with concomitant cyberinfrastructure ecosystems; software architecture and development methodologies and lifecycle processes; staffing and organizational structure; metrics, governance structures and advisory and oversight mechanisms; schedule for implementation with milestones; detailed budget requirements and basis for cost estimates; and a summary of the major risks and mitigation and contingency plans. The Project Execution Plan will be reviewed to assess readiness of the project to move to the execution phase.

S2I2 Execution Phase: In the S2I2 execution phase, the institute is expected to be completely staffed and operational, and fulfilling the proposed mission. 18 Months prior to the end of the award, the institute will be evaluated by an external committee based on the goals of the SI2 programs as well as specific metrics outlined in the proposal. Depending on the outcome of the review NSF may choose to implement a phase-down plan for the remaining duration of the award. Successful institutes will continue to receive the planned support through the remainder of the grant period.

Industry and International Participation in SI2: NSF encourages participation by industry and international collaborators in all classes of SI2 awards where it clearly strengthens the proposed activity (e.g., involvement of specific and unique expertise or resources or addressing sustainability).

  • International participants are encouraged to seek support from their funding organizations. NSF funds may not be used to support the expenses of international researchers at their home institution. However, NSF funds may be used for travel expenses for US scientists and students in exchange integral to the project, or for international collaborators to participate in activities in the US. For those who plan to submit a proposal with international counterparts, please consult NSF Policies and Practices for International Engagements.
  • The SI2 program recognizes that software is a fundamental infrastructure that cross-cuts academic, government, civic, and commercial organizations. The program encourages proposals to explore novel partnerships beyond academe wherever beneficial and permissible within the guidelines of the NSF GPG.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

Estimated program budget, size and number of awards is subject to the availability of funds. Pending availability of funds, approximately $5,000,000 will be available for proposals submitted in response to this solicitation. The typical size of a S2I2 Conceptualization award is expected to be $500,000 for 1 year.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Organization Limit:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • Universities and Colleges - Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

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.

Cover Sheet: Provide a short informative title for the proposed S2I2 project. The system allows one PI and at most four Co-PIs to be designated for each proposal. If your project involves international partners, check the international activities box and list the countries involved. If needed, additional lead personnel should be designated as non co-PI, Senior Personnel on the Budget form.

Project Summary (1-page limit): Provide a summary description of the S2I2 project, including its transformative research and education goals, the innovative software infrastructure being proposed, and the community (communities) that will be impacted. In separate statements, provide a succinct summary of the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed project. Full proposals that do not address the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed project in separate statements will be returned without review.

Project Description

S2I2 Conceptualization Proposals (15-page limit): The Project Description should clearly describe:

  • The rationale for the envisioned institute, it mission and goals, and it responsiveness to community needs and to programmatic areas of interest to the SI2 program and associated DCLs.
  • The scientific communities and software elements/frameworks targeted, and the specific software sustainability challenges that will be addressed.
  • Approaches for reaching out to the relevant communities and engaging them in the conceptual design process.
  • The anticipated impact to the scientific communities in terms of research, innovation and productivity.
  • The overarching approach as well as specific steps that will be taken towards the conceptual design of the envisioned institute.
  • A steering committee composed of leading members of the targeted community that could assume key roles in the leadership and/or management of the envisioned institute. A brief biography of the members of the steering committee and their role in the conceptualization process should be included.

The proposal should also clearly outline what qualifies the PIs to lead the conceptualization effort for the envisioned institute.

Required Documents

In addition to Data Management Plan and the Postdoctoral Research Mentoring Plan (if required), the following items are the only items permitted as supplementary documentation, single copy documents, or appendices. Unless otherwise instructed, documentation should be saved and uploaded as a single Portable Document Format (PDF) file.

Project Personnel (a text-searchable PDF document uploaded as a Single Copy Document). List all Senior Personnel in the project. For each person, provide the last name, first name, and institution/organization. In the main body of the proposal, a corresponding biographical sketch should be provided for all individuals included on this list, as instructed in Section II.C.2.f of the Grant Proposal Guide.

List of Personnel, Collaborators and Affiliates (electronic document, proposers must send the following document immediately after submission of the proposal)

On receipt of the proposal number after submission, send an e-mail to si2@nsf.gov. The subject heading of the e-mail should note the proposal number and the lead institution. Attach a file in CSV "flat text" format (e.g., by saving an Excel spreadsheet as a CSV file), which lists the full names and institutional affiliations of all people having potential conflicts of interest (COI) with any PIs, Co-PIs, and other senior personnel (SP). Potential conflicts of interest, as specified in the NSF's Grant Proposal Guide, include co-authors/editors and collaborators (within the past 48 months), all graduate advisors and advisees, and any other individuals or institutions with which the investigator has financial ties. The columns of the spreadsheet should be "proposal number", "PI/SP Last Name", "PI/SP First Name", "PI/SP Institution", "COI Last Name", "COI First Name", "COI Institution". This list will be used by NSF to check for conflicts of interest in assembling the review community. The filename should be the proposal number (which begins with "11"; not the temporary proposal number used during proposal preparation) followed by the three characters "coi" (for example, for a proposal number 1123456, this file name will be 1123456coi.csv). The 7-digit proposal number beginning with "11" should appear in every row of the file. Each project participant should be listed (repeatedly) in all rows that name his/her conflicted individuals.

NOTE: Full proposals that fail to provide the above listed documents with proper information and according to the required format will be returned without review.

Letters of Commitment (Optional): Include only official letters of commitment with specific commitments of resources from participating institutions or organizations anticipated to receive subawards, or from organizations that will provide resources for the project. Scan your signed letters and upload them into the Supplementary Documents section of Fastlane or Grants.gov, but do not send originals. Do not submit letters of support, which do not provide specific commitments of resources. For example, letters of endorsement and letters of a laudatory nature for the proposed project are not acceptable.

No other items or appendices are to be included. Full proposals containing items other than those required above or by the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) will not be reviewed.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing: Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited

Budget Preparation Instructions:

All awardees are expected to participate in an annual SI2 PI meeting with travel costs supported by the award. These travel costs should be included in the FastLane budget.

C. Due Dates

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

         December 14, 2011

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

S2I2 Conceptualization Awards

  • The rationale for the envisioned institute, its mission and goals, and its responsiveness to community needs.
  • The appropriateness and readiness of the scientific communities and software elements/frameworks targeted and the specific software sustainability challenges that will be addressed.
  • The effectiveness of the approaches for reaching out to the relevant communities and engaging them in the conceptual design process.
  • The anticipated impact to the scientific communities in terms of research, innovation, education and productivity.
  • The appropriateness of the overarching approach as well as specific steps that will be taken to towards the conceptual design of the envisioned institute.
  • The qualifications and experience of the PIs.

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 and/or Panel Review.

Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the NSF Program Officer recommends to the cognizant Division Director whether the proposal should be declined or recommended for award. NSF is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Officer. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

In all cases, after programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications and the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at their own risk.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See Section VI.B. for additional information on the review process.)

B. Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (GC-1); * or Research Terms and Conditions * and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreements also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC) and the applicable Programmatic Terms and Conditions. NSF awards are electronically signed by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer and transmitted electronically to the organization via e-mail.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at http://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/award_conditions.jsp?org=NSF. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from nsfpubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=aag.

Special Award Conditions:

All awardees are expected to participate in an annual SI2 PI meeting with travel costs supported by the award.

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 exactlyas 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 tothe points of contact.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Gabrielle Allen, Program Director, OD/OCI, telephone: (703) 292-2598, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Beverly Berger, Program Director, MPS/PHY, telephone: (703) 292-7372, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Maria K. Burka, Program Director, ENG/CBET, telephone: (703) 292-7030, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Almadena Y. Chtchelkanova, Program Director, CISE/CCF, telephone: (703) 292-8910, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Clark Cooper, Program Director, ENG/CMMI, telephone: (703) 292-7899, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Evelyn Goldfield, Program Director, MPS/CHE, telephone: (703) 292-2173, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Sol Greenspan, Program Director, CISE/CCF, telephone: (703) 292-8910, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Daryl W. Hess, Program Director, MPS/DMR, telephone: (703) 292-4942, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Peter H. McCartney, Program Director, BIO/DBI, telephone: (703) 292-8470, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Eduardo A. Misawa, Program Director, ENG/EEC, telephone: (703) 292-5353, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Andrew D. Pollington, Program Director, MPS/DMS, telephone: (703) 292-4878, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

  • Thomas F. Russell, Program Director, OD/OIA, telephone: (703) 292-4863, email: SI2Queries@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

For questions relating to Grants.gov contact:

  • Grants.gov Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from Grants.gov within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail: support@grants.gov.

IX. OTHER INFORMATION

The NSF Website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. Use of this Website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, National Science Foundation Update is a free e-mail subscription service designed to keep potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies and procedures, and upcoming NSF Regional Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail when new publications are issued that match their identified interests. Users can subscribe to this service by clicking the "Get NSF Updates by Email" link on the NSF web site.

Grants.gov provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this new mechanism. Further information on Grants.gov may be obtained at http://www.grants.gov.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering."

NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and 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

|

Privacy | FOIA | Help | Contact NSF | Contact Web Master | SiteMap

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
Text Only