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Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research

Protein Data Bank (PDB) browser software on C-Wall (virtual reality wall) at Calit2, UC-San Diego

A virtual reality wall displays interactive visualizations of proteins.

Credit: Jurgen Schulze, UC-San Diego

PIRE Exchange Program with China

PIRE Exchange Program with China.

Credit: R. Sabinelli

NSF has long recognized the value of interdisciplinary research in pushing fields forward and accelerating scientific discovery. Important research ideas often transcend the scope of a single discipline or program. NSF also understands that the integration of research and education through interdisciplinary training prepares a workforce that undertakes scientific challenges in innovative ways. Thus, NSF gives high priority to promoting interdisciplinary research and supports it through a number of specific solicitations. NSF also encourages researchers to submit unsolicited interdisciplinary proposals for ideas that are in novel or emerging areas extending beyond any particular current NSF program.

This site is meant to be a guide to the different mechanisms through which NSF promotes and supports interdisciplinary research. Here we provide information on whom to contact for assistance in deciding where and how to submit an interdisciplinary proposal. A primary purpose of this site is to assist investigators in submitting an unsolicited interdisciplinary proposal for which there may not be a natural "home" in one of the existing NSF programs.

Those with an interest in interdisciplinary research are also encouraged to visit NSF's Convergence Research web-pages.