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Office of Polar Programs

Arctic Social Sciences

Name Email Phone Room
Colleen  Strawhacker (703) 292-7432  W7178  


16-595  Program Solicitation

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 25, 2019. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 19-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


The Arctic Social Sciences Program (ASSP) encompasses all social sciences supported by NSF. These include, but are not limited to anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, linguistics, political science, psychology, science and technology studies, sociology, traditional knowledge and related subjects.

Although unsolicited proposals in any of the social sciences mentioned above are welcome, areas of particular interest include culture and environment, resources and economic change, development of social and political institutions, ethnic (cultural) and regional identities, and knowledge systems. These five research areas are identified and explained in the report, Arctic Social Sciences: Opportunities in Arctic Research (Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, June 1999, Fairbanks, Alaska. Available through the Arctic Research Consortium at

The Arctic Social Sciences Program especially encourages projects that are circumpolar and/or comparative; involve collaborations between researchers and those living in the Arctic; or form partnerships among disciplines, regions, researchers, communities, and/or students (K-12, undergraduate, or graduate). Dissertation research proposals will be accepted.

Projects involving research with human subjects must ensure that subjects are protected from research risks in conformance with the relevant federal policy known as the Common Rule (Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, 45 CFR 690). All projects involving human subjects must either (1) have approval from the organization's Institutional Review Board (IRB) before issuance of an NSF award or, (2) must affirm that the IRB or an appropriate knowledgeable authority previously designated by the organization (not the Principal Investigator) has declared the research exempt from IRB review. The box for "Human Subjects" must be checked on the Cover Sheet with the IRB approval date (if available). If IRB approval has not been obtained before submission, the proposer should indicate "Pending" in the space provided for the approval date. Advice is available at If letters of permission or approval are included, such as those from Native organizations or communities in which the work will take place, please include them as supplementary documents.

The Arctic Social Sciences Program considers joint review and funding within OPP and with other NSF programs, when appropriate. Special funding opportunities may also be available through the human dimensions component of the Arctic System Science (ARCSS) Program. For information regarding field support for proposals with field components, please see Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions in the Arctic Research Opportunities announcement and the Arctic Research Support and Logistics web page.  All principal investigators whose projects have the potential to affect historic properties need to speak to the ASSP program officer concerning Sec. 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.


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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program