Geography and Spatial Sciences Program

National Science Foundation (NSF)

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Next deadline: Sep 1, 2022

Later deadlines: Sep 7, 2023, Sep 5, 2024, Sep 4, 2025, Sep 3, 2026, Sep 2, 2027, Sep 7, 2028, Sep 6, 2029, Sep 5, 2030, Sep 4, 2031

Grant amount: US $40,000 - US $400,000

Fields of work: Geography

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States


As specified in the Geography and Spatial Sciences Program strategic plan, the mission of the NSF Geography and Spatial Sciences (GSS) Program is to promote:

  • Basic scientific research in geography and spatial science that advances theory, fundamental understanding, and scientific approaches and addresses the challenges facing society.
  • The education and training of geographers and spatial scientists in order to enhance the capabilities of current and future generations of researchers.
  • The involvement of geographers and spatial scientists in interdisciplinary research.
The Geography and Spatial Sciences Program supports basic research about the geographic distributions and interactions of human, physical, and biotic systems on Earth. Investigators are encouraged to propose plans for research about the nature, causes, and consequences of human activity and natural environmental processes across a range of scales. Projects about a broad range of topics may be appropriate for support if they offer promise of enhancing fundamental geographical knowledge, concepts, theories, methods, and their application to societal problems and concerns.

GSS provides support through a number of different funding mechanisms:
  • Regular research awards
  • Doctoral dissertation research improvement (DDRI) awards (Note that there is a separate solicitation for DDRI proposals to be submitted to GSS.)
  • Faculty early-career development (CAREER) awards
  • Awards for conferences, group travel, and community-development activities
  • Research coordination network (RCN) awards
  • Rapid-response research (RAPID) awards.
In rare and unusual cases, GSS may support early-concept grants for exploratory research (EAGER), research advanced by interdisciplinary science and engineering (RAISE) awards, and other special kinds of award mechanisms established by NSF. Investigators must discuss the rationale for submitting any of these kinds of proposals with GSS program directors prior to the submission of a proposal. These types of proposals are permitted by GSS only in rare and unusual cases because GSS strives to be open to ideas and approaches in early stages of development, and GSS emphasizes the potential longer-term significance of new lines of inquiry as part of its merit evaluation of all types of proposals, including regular research proposals.

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This page was last reviewed June 15, 2017 and last updated June 15, 2017