OSP FO# 11-023

AGENCY: National Science Foundation (NSF)/Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)/Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO)/Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE)/Directorate for Education & Human Resources (EHR)/Directorate for Engineering (ENG)/Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)/Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS)/Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE)/Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI)/Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE)/Office of Polar Programs (OPP)

PROGRAM: Science and Technology Centers (STC): Integrative Partnerships

OBJECTIVES: This program supports innovative research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term investments. STCs conduct world-class research through partnerships among academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities, and via international collaborations. These partnerships build intellectual and physical infrastructure within or between disciplines and facilitate the creation, integration, and transfer of new knowledge.

The STC program supports important investigations at the interfaces of disciplines or fresh approaches within disciplines. STCs may involve any areas of science and engineering that NSF supports. STCs exploit opportunities in science, engineering and technology where the complexity of the research agenda requires the duration, scope, scale, flexibility, and facilities that Center support can provide. They help enable U.S. leadership in research in a world in which discovery, learning and innovation enterprises are increasingly interconnected, and increasingly global. Centers offer the science and engineering community a venue for interaction and an effective mechanism to undertake long-term, integrated scientific and technological research and education activities; to explore better and more effective ways to educate students; to broaden participation of underrepresented groups; and to develop approaches to ensure the timely transfer of research and education advances made in service to society. STC partner institutions work together with the lead institution as an integrated whole to achieve the shared research, education, diversity, and knowledge-transfer goals of the Center.

ELIGIBLITY RESTRICTIONS: A single organization may submit a maximum of three preliminary proposals as the lead institution. The STC program will not provide support for more than one proposed Center from any one lead institution in this competition.

Past members of STCs may participate in this open competition only if the proposed research and education topics or themes are substantially different from those they pursued with prior NSF Center support. The proposers must focus on a different research topic. New proposals that simply extend the methods and intent of a past STC to a slightly larger scope or a new geographic area will be returned without review.

The STC Program complements the Engineering Research Centers (ERCs), the Centers for Excellence in Materials Research and Innovation (CEMRI)—formerly known as Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSECs), the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSEC), Science of Learning Centers (SLCs) and other NSF programs that support group research and education activities. Proposals that might typically be eligible for such programs are welcome in the STC program. However, simultaneous submission of duplicate or substantially similar proposals to other NSF programs is not permitted, and such proposals will be returned without review. Participation in a Center does not preclude individuals from receiving NSF support for their individual research in complementary areas.

Internal BU deadline: March 25, 2011
Preliminary Proposals (required): May 30, 2011
Full Proposals (by invitation only): February 3, 2012

FUNDING INFORMATION: Approximately $30 million is expected to be available for first-year support of newly funded centers in FY 2013. NSF expects to make up to 6 awards, contingent on availability of funds. Each award will be made as a Cooperative Agreement to the lead institution, with an initial commitment for five years of support and a possibility of renewal for five additional years. Proposed STC annual budgets may range up to $5 million per year of NSF support. Proposals outside this range will be returned without review.

Dragana Brzakovic, Senior Staff Associate
Office of Integrative Activities
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 935 N
Arlington, VA 22230
Telephone: (703) 292-8040
Fax: (703) 292-9040
Email: dbrzakov@nsf.gov
Web: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11522/nsf11522.htm

INTERNAL REVIEW PROCESS: To screen potential proposals for this competition, an internal deadline has been established. Principal Investigators (PIs) interested in submitting a proposal should provide the following proposal information to their Associate Dean by Friday, March 25, 2011 for internal review purposes:

1. Project description (maximum length 4 pages) should include items a–e:
(a) describe the vision, mission and goals of the proposed Center;
(b) outline plans for the proposed research and education themes and indicate how the research and education are to be integrated;
(c) list the partner organizations involved with the proposed Center and discuss the major contributions of each;
(d) provide a management plan;
(e) address the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed activity (the NSF Merit Review criteria).

2. Budget and budget justification (2 pages).

3. Biographical sketches: include 2-page NSF format biographical sketch for the PI and Co-PIs.

4. Review comments from any previous STC submission.

Following the Dean’s assessment of the internal application, it will be forwarded to OSP-CRC Director Joan Kirkendall for review and then to the Office of the VP for Research for final selection. PIs will be informed if their proposal is selected for submission in time to complete and process their proposal for final review.

REMARKS: Applications must be submitted electronically using either the NSF FastLane system or Grants.gov. Collaborative proposals must be submitted via FastLane. For more information about FastLane, or to register as a FastLane user, please contact Alex Effgen (abeffgen@bu.edu) or Elmer Smith (esmith2@bu.edu)in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at x3-4365. Information about Grants.gov for BU Investigators can be obtained on the OSP website at: http://www.bu.edu/osp/proposal-preparation/electronic-submission/. In addition, for investigators interested in submitting proposals via Grants.gov, NSF has published the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide which may be found online at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovguide.pdf. Investigators should contact the OSP Assistant Director assigned to their school or department as soon as possible to coordinate submission through either FastLane or Grants.gov.

Complete program guidelines and application material (NSF 11-522 and NSF GPG 11-1) may be obtained from the web site listed above or from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please distribute this notice to any faculty or staff members who might be interested in the information. For more information, please contact the OSP at X3-436