NSF's Directorate for Engineering (ENG) seeks to improve the quality of life and the economic strength of the Nation by fostering innovation, creativity, and excellence in engineering education and research. Specifically, ENG enables the Nation's long- term capacity to perform by: (1) Investing in the creation of new engineering knowledge and the development of human capital within disciplines and at their interfaces; (2) making critical investments to enable an intelligent, agile and adaptable physical infrastructure for engineering education and research; (3) improving the quality and effectiveness of engineering education and research through the integration of and systemic reform of these processes; and (4) enabling knowledge transfer connections among diverse constituencies and communities. Areas of research include: tissue engineering; metabolic pathway engineering; bioinformatics; protein drug processing, fluid flow; combustion; heat transfer; fuel cells; sensors; integrated modeling of the behavior of materials and structures; civil infrastructure; structures and mechanical systems; engineering in geologic materials; reducing risks of natural and technological hazards; enterprise-level integration technologies; innovative design strategies; manufacturing processes and materials; production systems; microelectronic, nanoelectronic, micromagnetic, photonic, and electromechanical devices and their integration into circuits and microsystems; design and analysis of systems and the convergence of control, communications and computation; Engineering Research Groups through the Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) program; Engineering Research Centers; Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers; Engineering Education; Human Resources Development; cross cutting activities and special studies and analyses. Support is also provided for undergraduate student research, graduate research fellowships, Broadening Participation in Engineering (BPE), research equipment and instrumentation, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) and Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI). ENG also provides support for NSF-wide programs including the NSF Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM) program, Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program, NSF Research Traineeships (NRT), Risk and Resilience, Understanding the Brain (UtB), Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS), and the Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners that have been Underrepresented for Diversity in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) program.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Agency: National Science Foundation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Fiscal Year 2014: In Fiscal Year 2014, 11,900 proposals were received, and 2,200 awards were made. Fiscal Year 2015: In Fiscal Year 2015, approximately 12,200 proposals will be received and about 2,300 awards will be made. Fiscal Year 2016: In Fiscal Year 2016, approximately 12,600 proposals will be received and 2,300 awards will be made.
National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, 42 U.S. C. 1861 et seq.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Except where a program solicitation establishes more restrictive eligibility criteria, individuals and organizations in the following categories may submit proposals: Universities and colleges; Non-profit, non-academic organizations; for-profit organizations; State and local governments; and unaffiliated individuals. See the NSF Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter I.E. for a full description of eligibility requirements:
www.nsf.gov/publications/pub summ.jsp?ods key=gpg.
Proposals must be signed electronically by an official authorized to commit the institution or organization in business and financial affairs and who can commit the organization to certain proposal certifications. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular Nos. A-21 (2 CFR Part 220) for educational institutions, No. A-87 (2CFR Part 225) for State and local governments, and A-122 (2 CFR Part 230) for nonprofit organizations. Applicants for fellowship support must show evidence of ability such as academic records, letters of recommendation, graduate record examination scores, and grade point average. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-application coordination may be required. Environmental impact information may be required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. By electronic submission via FastLane or Grants.gov of a formal proposal, and, in some programs, a preliminary proposal, describing the planned project and the proposed amount of the grant. For guidelines, see specific funding opportunities and the Grant Proposal Guide. http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub summ.jsp?ods key=gpg
NSF staff members review and evaluate all proposals based on a set of criteria established by the National Science Board and, if applicable, solicitation-specific review criteria. In most cases reviews are undertaken with the advice of scientists, engineers, educators, and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the fields covered by the proposals. NSF makes awards on a competitive basis. Notification of an award is transmitted electronically to the submitting organization by a NSF Grants and Agreements Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Many NSF programs accept proposals at any time. Other programs, however, establish dues dates for submission of proposals. NSF uses target dates, deadline dates, and submission windows. Consult the Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter I.F. for further information about these types of due dates: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg.
The principal investigator may request, in writing, within 90 days of a declination or return, that NSF reconsider its action in declining or returning any proposal or application.
A renewal proposal competes with all other proposals and must be developed fully as though the proposer is applying for the first time. Renewal proposals must be submitted at least six months before additional funding is required or consistent with an established deadline, target date or submission window. Principal investigators are encouraged to discuss renewal proposals with the NSF program officer prior to submission.
How are proposals selected?
Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program where they will be reviewed if they meet NSF proposals preparation requirements. All proposals are carefully reviewed by a scientist, engineer, or educator serving as an NSF Program Officer, and usually by three to ten other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. Proposers are invited to suggest names of persons they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal and/or persons they would prefer not review the proposal. These suggestions may serve as one source in the reviewer selection process at the Program Officer’s discretion. Submission of such names, however, is optional. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the proposal.
All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board (NSB)-approved merit review criteria: intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed effort. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.
The two NSB-approved merit review criteria are listed below. The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposals being considered and for which the reviewer is qualified to make judgments. Relevant questions are: (1) What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?; (2) How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields?; (3) How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.); (4) To what extend does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts; (5) How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity?; (6) Is the sufficient access to resources?; (7) What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?; (8) How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning?; (9) How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)?; (10) To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships?; (11) Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding?, and (12) What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?
NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:
Integration of Research and Education – One of the principal strategies in support of NSF’s goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives. Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities – Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens – women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities – is essential to health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.
How may assistance be used?
Funds may be used for paying costs to conduct research, such as salaries and wages, equipment and supplies, travel, publication costs, other direct costs, and indirect costs. This program does not provide support for inventions, product development, marketing, pilot plant efforts, technical assistance, or research requiring security classifications. Primary responsibility for general supervision of all grant activities rests with the grantee institution; the principal investigator is responsible for the scientific work. Funds may not be used for purposes other than those specified in the proposal.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
No program reports are required. No cash reports are required. Unless otherwise specified in the award, Annual Project Reports should be submitted at least 90 days prior to the end of the current budget period. Within 90 days following the expiration of the award, a Final Project Report and a Project Outcomes Report for the General Public must be submitted. Grantees are required to report the status of funds received from NSF on a quarterly basis through the submission of a Federal Financial Report (FFR). Information about reporting requirements is contained in the Award and Administration Guide:
http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub summ.jsp?ods key=aag. No performance monitoring is required.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
Records, supporting documents, statistical records, and other records pertinent to a grant must be retained by the grantee for a period of 3 years from submission of the Final Project Report. Special record keeping requirements may apply to fellowships.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements. Mandatory cost sharing will only be required for NSF programs when explicitly authorized by the NSF Director, the National Science Board, or legislation. In those rare instances cost sharing requirements will be clearly identified in the program solicitation. Inclusion of voluntary, committed cost sharing is prohibited.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Award durations of up to 5 years. Method of awarding assistance: Standard or continuing grant, fellowship, or cooperative agreement. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices.
Darren Dutterer 4201 Wilson Blvd, Staffore I-505, Arlington, Virginia 22230 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 7032924494 Fax: 7032929013
(Project Grants) FY 14 $833,120,000; FY 15 est $892,310,000; and FY 16 est $949,220,000 - 1) FY 2014 Obligations are the FY 2014 Appropriations Actuals,
2) FY 2015 Obligations estimates are the FY 2015 NSF Current Plan, and
3) FY 2016 Obligations estimates are the FY 2016 NSF Congressional Request.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range Low $3,000
Range High $1,250,000
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
NSF Website: www.nsf.gov; 48 CFR Chapter 25; 45 CFR Chapter VI; Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub summ.jsp?ods key=papp), which incorporates the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and Award & Administration Guide (AAG).
Examples of Funded Projects