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NSF Funds NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center

NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center and NSF logos

NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center and NSF logos

June 25, 2021

The U.S. National Science Foundation funds fundamental research to increase our scientific understanding of our world and our surroundings. NSF renewed funding for the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) with a $17 million grant over 5 years to operate the NANOGrav Physics Frontiers Center (PFC). The NANOGrav PFC will be transformative in detecting and characterizing low-frequency gravitational waves.   

“The NANOGrav PFC has made significant progress over the last five years, remaining at the frontier of fundamental physics research,” said Jim Shank, the program director for NSF’s PFC program. “The center now seems close to making a breakthrough discovery in gravitational waves and the way we perceive the universe.”

Originally founded in 2007, NANOGrav has since grown to become a highly collaborative center working with over 40 institutions around the world. Over 200 students and scientists have worked with NANOGrav PFC and will continue to support research and student training in multi-messenger astrophysics.

NSF currently supports ten other PFCs, which range in research areas from theoretical biological physics and the physics of living cells to quantum information and nuclear astrophysics. Information about Physics Frontiers Centers can be found on NSF's website, as well as a full list of awards made in fiscal year 2021.



The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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