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Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences

Geography and Spatial Sciences Program - Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Awards  (GSS-DDRI)

Geography and Spatial Sciences Program - Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Awards (GSS-DDRI) Webinar

The GSS DDRI Urban Myths 2018 Webinar that occurred on November 8, 2018 was recorded. The entire recording is 1 hour and 6 minutes long and you may access it now via the Play Recording Link.

Notice of Updates to the GSS-DDRI Solicitation

On June 9, 2017, the NSF Geography and Spatial Sciences (GSS) Program released new solicitations which replace those released in 2014. The program continues the use of two solicitations, one for the DDRI competition, one for all the other competitions.

This page and the solicitation highlighted below should be used by doctoral students and their advisors planning to submit Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) proposals to GSS.

The second solicitation provides information for individuals and groups interested in submitting proposals for regular research project awards for conferences, group-travel support, and community-development or community-serving activities, and for research coordination network (RCN) awards. That solicitation also contains additional information for individuals planning to submit Faculty Early-Career Development (CAREER) proposals to GSS. That solicitation can be accessed via  

Name Email Phone Room
Scott  M. Freundschuh- Pgm Director (703) 292-7076   
Jacqueline  Vadjunec-Program Director (703) 292-7064   
Cori  Jacildone-Pgm Specialist (703) 292-8740   


Solicitation  17-567

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after June 1, 2020. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 20-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Accepted Anytime

        Effective July 1, 2017, there are no proposal-submission deadlines. Investigators should submit a proposal when they believe it is ready for submission. A doctoral student may submit a DDRI proposal to GSS only two times.


As specified in the Geography and Spatial Sciences Program strategic plan, the mission of the NSF Geography and Spatial Sciences (GSS) Program is to promote:

  • Basic scientific research in geography and spatial science that advances theory, fundamental understanding, scientific approaches, and that addresses the challenges facing society.
  • The education and training of geographers and spatial scientists in order to enhance the capabilities of current and future generations of researchers.
  • The involvement of geographers and spatial scientists in interdisciplinary research.

The Geography and Spatial Sciences Program supports basic research about the geographic distributions and interactions of human, physical, and biotic systems on Earth.  Investigators are encouraged to propose plans for research about the nature, causes, and consequences of human activity and natural environmental processes across a range of scales.  Projects about a broad range of topics may be appropriate for support if they offer promise of enhancing fundamental geographical knowledge, concepts, theories, methods, and their application to societal problems and concerns.

As part of its effort to encourage and support projects that explicitly integrate education and basic research, GSS provides support to improve the conduct of doctoral dissertation projects undertaken by doctoral students enrolled in U.S. universities when the dissertation research is conducted in a scientifically sound manner and it offers strong potential for enhancing more general scientific knowledge.

This solicitation addresses the preparation and evaluation of proposals for Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) awards.

Instructions for submission of proposals for regular research awards; proposals for awards for conferences, group-travel support, and community-development activities; proposals for research coordination network (RCN) awards; and proposals for rapid-response research (RAPID) awards appear in another GSS solicitation (


This program provides educational opportunities for  Graduate Students. Individuals interested in applying for funding should see the program guidelines above.


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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program