THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN REPLACED BY NSF 13-530

Campus Cyberinfrastructure - Network Infrastructure and Engineering Program (CC-NIE)


Program Solicitation
NSF 12-541

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Office of Cyberinfrastructure

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

     May 30, 2012

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES

Important Reminders

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

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

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

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

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title:

Campus Cyberinfrastructure - Network Infrastructure and Engineering Program (CC-NIE)

Synopsis of Program:

The "Campus Cyberinfrastructure - Network Infrastructure and Engineering (CC-NIE)" program invests in improvements and re-engineering at the campus level to leverage dynamic network services to support a range of scientific data transfers and movement. The program also supports Network Integration activities tied to achieving higher levels of performance, reliability and predictability for science applications and distributed research projects. Two types of CC-NIE awards will be made. Data Driven Networking and Infrastructure for the Campus and Researcher awards will be supported at up to $500,000 total for up to 2 years. Network Integration and Applied Innovation awards will be supported at up to $1,000,000 total for up to 2 years.

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.

  • Kevin Thompson, Program Director, telephone: (703) 292-4220, email: kthompso@nsf.gov

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

  • 47.080 --- Office of Cyberinfrastructure

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 10 to 20

Anticipated Funding Amount: $12,000,000 to $15,000,000 will be available for this competition in FY 2012. Data Driven Networking Infrastructure for the Campus and Researcher awards will be supported at up to $500,000 total for up to 2 years. Network Integration and Applied Innovation awards will be supported at up to $1,000,000 total for up to 2 years.

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.

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):

         May 30, 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

Many NSF research communities are organized for conducting research around major pieces of infrastructure, but often campuses do not have the network access, or end-to-end engineered high performance connectivity to those research or scientific instruments to enable communities to make full use of national and international data- and compute-intensive facilities. Examples of these facilities, which span scientific and engineering research disciplines, including the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and comparable instruments and projects in Astronomy, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), Earthscope, Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and iPlant, among others. The use of remote instruments and shared computer and data resources requires not only high bandwidth, but also security, reliability, quality of service, and other end-to-end characteristics that enable research and collaboration among facilities, campuses, labs, researchers, and students.

The NSF Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure (ACCI) charged a set of task forces in 2009 to make recommendations to NSF in strategic areas of Cyberinfrastructure (CI). In March 2011, the Campus Bridging task force final report stated that "the goal of campus bridging is to enable the seamlessly integrated use among: a scientist's or engineer's personal cyberinfrastructure; cyberinfrastructure on the scientist's campus; cyberinfrastructure at other campuses; and cyberinfrastructure at the regional, national, and international levels; so that they all function as if they were proximate to the scientist." The report also describes 6 major findings, 6 strategic recommendations, and 3 tactical recommendations to NSF, strongly encouraging significant CI investment at the campus level.

Central to the Campus Cyberinfrastructure - Network Infrastructure and Engineering (CC-NIE) program is:

"Strategic Recommendation to the NSF #3: The National Science Foundation should create a new program funding high-speed (currently 10 Gbps) connections from campuses to the nearest landing point for a national network backbone. The design of these connections must include support for dynamic network provisioning services and must be engineered to support rapid movement of large scientific data sets." - pg. 6, National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure Task Force on Campus Bridging, Final Report, March 2011

The ACCI Campus Bridging task force report took as input a set of workshop reports, including the "Data and Networking Issues Workshop Report" from April 2010. Among other salient recommendations from the workshop are statements on related end-to-end measurement and identity management adoption:

"Campuses should deploy and operate perfSONAR and related tools to systematically measure, debug, record, and display the measured performance."(pg. 43)

"...encourage the use of the InCommon Federation global federated system by using it in the services it deploys and supports..." (pg. 31)

"[NSF should] design its [CI] programs...to incent campus cyberinfrastructure investment. The desired outcome is a balanced and at-least-partially coordinated pattern of investments in campus and national cyberinfrastructure". (pg. 4)

NSF has a rich history of investment in domestic and international networking support for research and education. While OCI has in recent years focused on international connectivity needs through the International Research Network Connections (IRNC) program, NSF investment in networking cyberinfrastructure dates back 25 years to NSFNET, followed in the mid-1990's with vBNS and continuing through 2003 with the High Performance Network Connections (HPNC) program. Over 200 universities and research facilities received NSF high performance connections awards through those programs. More recently, EPSCoR has supported intra-campus and inter-campus network connections through its Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII C2) program, and almost 20% of the proposals submitted to the Academic Research Infratsructure (ARI) program were in the area of campus and regional networking.

In 2010, the Department of Commence awarded $62.5M in federal stimulus funding through its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program to establish a 100Gbps national backbone, the Unified Community Anchor Network (UCAN), to link regional networks with thousands of schools and libraries. Internet2 as a result is currently building an 8+ Terabit-per-second capacity national backbone with 100 Gbps links between switching and routing nodes. The NSF community, in order to most effectively leverage emerging network backbone capacities and capabilities, must be supported end-to-end. This means removing barriers, re-engineering with an end-to-end perspective, upgrading facilities and connections, and introducing new services that extend through regional and state optical networks to the location of the NSF researchers and students - the campus.

The "Campus Cyberinfrastructure - Network Infrastructure and Engineering (CC-NIE)" program invests in improvements and re-engineering at the campus level to leverage dynamic network services to support a range of scientific data transfers and movement. The program also supports Network Integration activities tied to achieving higher levels of performance, reliability and predictability for science applications and distributed research projects. Two types of CC-NIE awards will be made. Data Driven Networking and Infrastructure for the Campus and Researcher awards will be supported at up to $500,000 total for up to 2 years. Network Integration and Applied Innovation awards will be supported at up to $1,000,000 total for up to 2 years.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Campus Cyberinfrastructure - Network Infrastructure and Engineering (NIE) program welcomes proposals in two categories: Data Driven Networking Infrastructure for the Campus and Researcher, and Network Integration and Applied Innovation.

Data Driven Networking Infrastructure for the Campus and Researcher

Proposals submitted to this area should address network infrastructure improvements at the campus level to enable national and global high-performance end-to-end access to dynamic network services that in turn enable rapid, unimpeded movement of diverse and distributed scientific data sets. These networking improvements include, but are not limited to, the following types of activities:

  • network upgrades within a campus network to support a wide range of science data flows (including large files, distributed data, sensor networks, and real-time data sources)
  • re-architecting a campus network to support large science data flows, for example by designing and building a "science DMZ" (see http://fasterdata.es.net/fasterdata/science-dmz/ for more information on the "science DMZ" approach)
  • campus network upgrades addressing sustainable infrastructure through improvements in energy efficient networking.
  • campus network upgrades addressing the growing needs in mobile networking.
  • Network connection upgrade for the campus connection to a regional optical exchange or point-of-presence that connects to Internet2 or National Lambda Rail.

Proposals must address scientific and engineering project and application drivers that require network engineering or upgrades of their existing infrastructure. Proposals must also present project-specific end-to-end scenarios for data movement, distributed computing, and other end-to-end services driving the networking upgrade. Data movement scenarios are encouraged to describe end-to-end data transfers that include access to and use of wide area dynamic circuit networking services. Institutions who are recipients of data network related instruments, such as the MRI program supported "DYNES", or other NSF-supported networking or data movement instrumentation are expected to leverage such resources in their approach.

Proposals must include a Campus Cyberinfrastructure plan within which the proposed network infrastructure improvements are conceived, designed, and implemented in the context of a coherent campus-wide strategy and approach to CI that is integrated horizontally intra-campus and vertically with regional and national CI investments and best practices. This Campus CI plan must be included as a supplementary document and is limited to no more than 5 pages. The plan should also address campus IPv6 deployment and use of the InCommon Federation global federated system.

All proposals must document explicit partnerships or collaborations with the campus IT/networking organization, as well as one or more domain scientists, research groups, and educators in need of the new network capabilities. Partnership documentation from personnel not included in the proposal as PI, Co-PI, or Senior Personnel should be in the form of a letter of commitment located in the supplementary documents section of the proposal. Proposals are expected to describe an approach to end-to-end network performance measurement based on the perfSonar framework with associated tool installation and use; proposals may describe an alternative approach to perfSonar with sufficient justification.

An award in this program area is not the appropriate mechanism to provide support for individual faculty research projects. Requests for support of such projects should be directed to NSF's research grant programs.

Proposals in this area will have titles that begin with "CC-NIE Network Infrastructure:".

Network Integration and Applied Innovation

This program area supports end-to-end network CI through integration of existing and new technologies and applied innovation. The goal is to take advantage of research results, prototypes, and emerging innovations to use them to enable specified researchers in a networking context. Proposals in this area may leverage new and existing investments in network infrastructure, services, and tools by combining or extending capabilities to work as part of the CI environment used by scientific applications and users. A broad range of activities is covered by this area, including but not limited to:

  • Integration of networking protocols and technologies with application layer code and processes
  • Tool development supporting native IPv6 environments
  • Transitioning successful research prototypes in Software Defined Networking (SDN), activities supported by NSF's Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) and Future Internet Architectures (FIA) programs, and others, to distributed scientific environments and campus infrastructure
  • Development and deployment of mobile communication protocols and capabilities to support remote sensor and instrument access, real-time and adaptive steering, and energy efficiency.
  • Applying new energy efficient algorithms and techniques to production networking environments
  • Network engineering support through the creation and application of teams, defined procedures and common tools for solving end-to-end network performance issues, especially for dynamically constructed network services.
  • Applying network test, monitoring, measurement, or security tools and capabilities, including PerfSonar, Bro, and Web10G, to scientific domains, project end systems, and distributed environments.
  • Experimental deployment of new networking protocols and technologies

Proposals in this area must identify one or more supported science or engineering research projects or applications and describe how the proposed network integration activities will support those projects, particularly in the context of addressing data movement, throughput, and predictable performance end-to-end. Proposals in this area must include clear project goals and milestones. Any software development under proposed activities must be made available under an open source license.

Proposals in this area will have titles that begin with "CC-NIE Integration:"

III. AWARD INFORMATION

$12,000,000 - $15,000,000 will be available for this competition in FY 2012. Data Driven Networking Infrastructure for the Campus and Researcher awards will be supported at up to $500,000 total for up to 2 years. Network Integration and Applied Innovation awards will be supported at up to $1,000,000 total for up to 2 years.

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.

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.

For Data Driven Networking Infrastructure for the Campus and Researcher Proposals:

Proposals in this area require titles that begin with "CC-NIE Network Infrastructure:".

Refer to Section II, Program Description, for additional information about requirements for CC-NIE proposals. In particular, a Campus CI Plan must be included, with a limit of up to 5 pages, as a supplemental document, for CC-NIE Infrastructure proposals.

All proposals must document explicit partnerships or collaborations with the campus IT/networking organization, as well as one or more domain scientists, research groups, and educators in need of the new network capabilities. Partnership documentation from personnel not included in the proposal as PI, Co-PI, or Senior Personnel should be in the form of a letter of commitment located in the supplementary documents section of the proposal.

For Network Integration and Applied Innovation Proposals:

Proposals in this area require titles that begin with "CC-NIE Integration:"

Proposals in this area must identify one or more supported science or engineering research projects or applications and describe how the proposed network integration activities will support those projects, particularly in the context of addressing data movement, throughput, and predictable performance end-to-end. Where appropriate, proposals are encouraged to document explicit partnerships or collaborations with the campus IT/networking organization. Proposals in this area must include clear project goals and milestones. Any software development under proposed activities should identify the open source license used.

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):

         May 30, 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 judgments.

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

All CC-NIE projects will be reviewed with careful attention to the following:

  • The expected impact on the deployed environment described in the proposal.
  • The extent to which the value of the work is described in the context of a needed capability required by science and engineering, and potential impact across a broader segment of the NSF community.
  • A project plan that addresses in its goals and milestones the end result of a working system in the target environment.
  • Where applicable, how resource access control, federated identity management, and other cybersecurity related issues and community best practices are addressed.
  • Additionally for CC-NIE Network Infrastructure projects: Cyberinfrastructure Plan - How well does the cyberinfrastructure plan support and integrate with the institutions' science and technology plan? To what extent is the cyberinfrastructure plan likely to enhance capacity for discovery, innovation, and education in science and engineering? How well does the plan as presented position the proposing institution(s) for future cyberinfrastructure development? Are IPv6 deployment and InCommon federation addressed?
  • Additionally for CC-NIE Integration projects: Tangible metrics described to measure the success of the integrated systems and any associated software developed, and the steps necessary to take the systems from prototype status to production use.

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.

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:

  • Kevin Thompson, Program Director, telephone: (703) 292-4220, email: kthompso@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.

Related Programs:

NSF Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure Task Force on Campus Bridging, Final Report, March 2011. Available from: http://www.nsf.gov/od/oci/taskforces/TaskForceReport_CampusBridging.pdf

Reference material on the "Science DMZ" concept is available at: http://fasterdata.es.net/fasterdata/science-dmz/

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 55,000 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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