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Division of Physics

Particle Astrophysics  (PA)


Name Email Phone Room
Jean  Cottam Allen jcallen@nsf.gov (703) 292-8783  1015 N  
James  Whitmore jwhitmor@nsf.gov (703) 292-8908  1015 N  


14-576  Program Solicitation

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 15-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after December 26, 2014. The PAPPG is consistent with, and, implements the new Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) (2 CFR 200). NSF anticipates release of the PAPPG in the Fall of 2014. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 15-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Deadline Date:  October 28, 2015

Last Wednesday in October, Annually Thereafter


Particle physics plays an essential role in the broader enterprise of the physical sciences. It inspires U.S. students, attracts talent from around the world, and drives critical intellectual and technological advances in other fields. It is entering an era of unprecedented potential as a result of new discoveries about matter and energy in the Universe. Particle Physics seeks to explore the fundamental nature of matter, energy, space, and time. It asks such questions as: What are the origins of mass? Can the basic forces of nature be unified? How did the universe begin? How will it evolve in the future? What are dark matter and dark energy? Are there extra dimensions of space-time? Formerly separate questions in cosmology (the universe on the largest scales) and quantum phenomena (the universe on the smallest scales) become connected through our understanding that the early universe can be explored through the techniques of particle physics.

At the NSF, research related to particle physics is supported by four programs within the Division of Physics: (1) the Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics Program; (2) the Theoretical Particle Astrophysics/Cosmology Program; (3) the Experimental Elementary Particle Physics (EPP) Program, which supports particle physics at accelerators; and (4) the Experimental Particle Astrophysics (PA) Program, which supports non-accelerator experiments.

The Particle Astrophysics program supports university research in many areas of particle astrophysics, including the study of ultra-high energy particles reaching Earth from beyond our atmosphere, experiments or research and development projects for underground facilities and non-accelerator-based experiments studying the properties of neutrinos.

Currently supported activities include: ultra-high energy cosmic-ray, gamma-ray and neutrino studies; the study of solar, underground and reactor neutrino physics; neutrino mass measurements; searches for the direct and indirect detection of Dark Matter; searches for neutrino-less double beta decay; and studies of Cosmology and Dark Energy.

It should be noted that proposals that are submitted to the PA program and are requesting in excess of $1,000,000/year may, at the discretion of the Program Officer, be subjected to an additional level of scrutiny in the form of a cost review that would take place before the annual PA panel that meets to discuss all of the submitted proposals.


The Physics Division has replaced its annual Dear Colleague Letter (the most recent version was NSF 12-068) with a solicitation: Division of Physics: Investigator-Initiated Research Projects (NSF 14-576).

The solicitation follows most of the requirements in the Grant Proposal Guide, but has additional requirements that relate primarily to proposers who anticipate having multiple sources of support, and proposals involving significant instrumentation development. The solicitation also has deadlines instead of target dates.
All proposals submitted to the Physics Division that are not governed by another solicitation (such as CAREER) should be submitted to this solicitation; otherwise they will be returned without review.


Division of Physics: Investigator-Initiated Research Projects

EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS: Funding Opportunities

What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program


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