Division of Astronomical Sciences
Management and Operation of the Virtual Astronomical Observatory
Important Notice to Proposers
A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 13-1, was issued on October 4, 2012 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 14, 2013. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 13-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.
Please be aware that significant changes have been made to the PAPPG to implement revised merit review criteria based on the National Science Board (NSB) report, National Science Foundation's Merit Review Criteria: Review and Revisions. While the two merit review criteria remain unchanged (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts), guidance has been provided to clarify and improve the function of the criteria. Changes will affect the project summary and project description sections of proposals. Annual and final reports also will be affected.
A by-chapter summary of this and other significant changes is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide.
Proposals are solicited to manage and operate the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) through a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The Virtual Astronomical Observatory will serve to link a multitude of astronomical data sets into an integrated system that allows automated search and analysis among all cataloged objects. The VAO will provide access to data sets, create and maintain data protocols and standards, and provide analysis tools and services to the astronomical research and educational community. The VAO is expected to act as an enabling and coordinating structure to facilitate the development of tools, protocols, and collaborations necessary to utilize fully the scientific potential of current and future astronomical data.
Any implementation of the VAO and its ongoing operation will build on the framework for virtual observatories being developed by the U.S. National Virtual Observatory (NVO) project and the NASA astrophysics data centers, within the international context provided by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). Any proposed implementation of the VAO must utilize the IVOA and NVO established standards and protocols for unified content descriptors, catalog, data and database access, data models, and documents. NVO tools and services should be incorporated in any proposed implementation of the VAO. Proposals must include a transition plan describing how the framework established by the NVO project and its current activities will be continued and evolve into the proposed management structure and long-term operations of the VAO.
What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)
Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program