Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Human and Social Dynamics (HSD) (NSF 05-520)


Question: What type(s) of inter-institutional collaborations is NSF encouraging?

Answer: The HSD Program expects that proposers will put together the best team possible to carry out the project. Simultaneously, HSD encourages research-intensive and extensive universities to partner with other types of colleges and universities, especially ones serving underrepresented minority populations. Large research universities have an opportunity to expand and enrich research and education in Human and Social Dynamics beyond their institutions.

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Question: If multiple institutions are cooperating in the proposed project, what are the mechanisms for submitting a proposal?

Answer: NSF has two mechanisms for submission of proposals from multiple institutions: as a single proposal, in which a single award is being requested (with subawards administered by the lead organization); or by simultaneous submission of proposals from different organizations, with each organization requesting a separate award. In either case, the lead organization’s proposal must contain all of the requisite sections as a single package to be provided to reviewers (that will happen automatically when procedures below are followed.) All collaborative proposals must clearly describe the roles to be played by the other organizations, specify the managerial arrangements, and explain the advantages of the multi- organizational effort within the project description.

These collaborative proposals are described more fully in the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) The GPG also includes instructions for submission of these types of proposals.

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Question: One of the institutions involved in our project is in an EPSCoR state. How do we get EPSCoR certification?

Answer: In order to get an EPSCoR certification for a university or college located in an EPSCoR state, that institution must submit a proposal to NSF. Proposers in institutions in EPSCoR states, who are involved in a collaborative project, may want to submit a collaborative proposal from multiple organizations so that certification can be obtained. For more information on EPSCoR go to

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Question: My question is not in this list and is not answered in the solicitation. What should I do?

Answer: Send an email to

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