OSP FO# 11-170

AGENCY: National Science Foundation (NSF)/National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)/Directorate for Social, Behavioral, & Economic Sciences (SBE)/Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Science (BCS)/Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE)/Division of Information & Intelligence Systems (IIS)/Office of Polar Programs (OPP)/Division of Arctic Sciences (ARC)

PROGRAM: Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) – Data, Infrastructure and Computational Methods

OBJECTIVES: This program provides funding for fellowships and standard grants to develop and advance scientific and scholarly knowledge concerning endangered human languages. Because of the imminent death of an estimated half of the 7000 currently used human languages, DEL seeks not only to acquire scientific data that will soon be unobtainable, but to integrate, systematize, and make the resulting linguistic findings widely available by exploiting advances in information technology. Funding can support fieldwork and other activities relevant to the digital recording, documenting, and archiving of endangered languages, including the preparation of lexicons, grammars, text samples, and databases.

Principal Investigators (PIs) and Applicants for Fellowships (Applicants) may propose projects involving one or more of the following three emphasis areas:

1.  Language Description: to conduct fieldwork to record in digital audio and video format one or more endangered languages; to carry out the early stages of language documentation including transcription and annotation; to carry out later stages of documentation including the preparation of lexicons, grammars, text samples, and databases; to conduct initial analysis of findings in the light of current linguistic theory.

2.  Infrastructure: to digitize and otherwise preserve and provide wider access to such documentary materials, including previously collected materials and those concerned with languages which have recently died and are related to currently endangered languages; to create other infrastructure, including workshops and conferences to make the problem of endangered languages more widely understood and more effectively addressed.

3.  Computational Methods:to further develop standards and databases to make this documentation of a certain language or languages widely available in consistent, archiveable, interoperable, and Web-based formats; to develop computational tools for endangered languages, which present an additional challenge for statistical tools (taggers, grammar induction tools, parsers, etc.) since they do not have the large corpora for training and testing the models used to develop those tools; to develop new approaches to building computational tools for endangered languages, based on deeper knowledge of linguistics, language typology and families, which require collaboration between theoretical and field linguists and computational linguists (computer scientists).

Accomplishing the goals of the DEL program may require multidisciplinary research teams and comprehensive, interdisciplinary approaches across the sciences, engineering, education, and humanities, as appropriate. In each emphasis area, DEL encourages collaboration across academic disciplines and/or communities.

Please see the program announcement below for further program details.

ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS: A Principal Investigator may submit no more than one proposal.

Fellowships awarded under this program are not intended to support pre-Ph.D. course work or completion of a degree. Fellowship applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals who have been living in the United States or its jurisdiction for at least three years prior to the proposal deadline.

DEADLINES: September 20, 2011

FUNDING INFORMATION: The NSF anticipates the availability of $4.1 million ($3.1 million from NSF and $1 million from NEH) to support 8-12 Standard or Continuing Grants and approximately twelve Fellowships. Standard and continuing grants will be supported at a level of $12,000 to $150,000 per year for one to three years. Fellowships will be supported at a level of $4,200 per month for 6-12 months with a maximum stipend of $50,400 for a twelve-month tenure period. Funding is available for Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants as well.

All the fellowships will be funded by NEH and two to four project grants will also be funded and administered by NEH. Proposers of the projects identified for NEH funding will be instructed on how to submit documentation to NEH in order to process the award and their proposal will be withdrawn from FastLane. All other DEL awards will be funded and administered by NSF.

Joan Maling, Linguistics Program Director
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 995 N
Arlington, Virginia 22230
Telephone: (703) 292-8046
Fax: (703) 292-9068
Email: jmaling@nsf.gov
Web: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11554/nsf11554.htm

REMARKS: The Title of the proposed project should identify the specific language(s) it concerns by using the three-letter SIL codes, if possible (see: http://www.ethnologue.com/codes/). No more that three SIL codes should be used in a project title. In addition to the title requirements, the summary of the proposed project should identify the most general family(ies) to which the specific language(s) belong.

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 India Adams (adamsi@bu.edu) or A. B. Effgen (abeffgen@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 web site 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 11-554 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 X3-4365 or ospinfo@bu.edu, or visit the OSP web site at http://www.bu.edu/osp.