Science of Science: Discovery, Communication, and Impact

National Science Foundation (NSF)

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Next deadline: Feb 10, 2022

Later deadlines: Sep 9, 2022, Feb 10, 2023, Sep 9, 2023, Feb 10, 2024, Sep 9, 2024

Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Fields of work: Science Communications

Applicant type: Organizations, Faculty, Research Scientist

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

Overview:

The Science of Science: Discovery, Communication, and Impact (SoS:DCI) program is designed to increase the public value of scientific activity. The program pursues this goal by supporting basic research in three fundamental areas:

  • How to increase the rate of socially beneficial discovery;
  • How to improve science communication outcomes; and
  • How to expand the societal benefits of scientific activity.

The SoS:DCI program, which builds upon the former Science of Science & Innovation Policy (SciSIP) program, funds research that builds theoretical and empirical understandings of these three areas. With this goal in mind, proposals should:

  • Develop data, models, indicators, and associated analytical tools that constitute and enable transformative advances rather than incremental change.
  • Identify ethical challenges and mitigate potential risks to people and institutions.
  • Provide credible metrics and rigorous assessments of their proposed project’s impact.
  • Include robust data management plans with the goal to increase the usability, validity, and reliability of scientific materials. See PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.j and Data Management for NSF SBE Directorate Proposals and Awards for additional information.

The SoS:DCI program places a high priority on broadening participation. It encourages leadership from junior faculty, women, members of historically underrepresented groups, and proposals from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Research Undergraduate Institutions (RUIs), and EPSCoR states. Of particular interest are proposals that have the highest potential to strengthen America’s global leadership in science and increase national competitiveness across a broad range of domains. These include proposals that analyze strategies for strengthening and diversifying the scientific workforce, as well as ways to more effectively cultivate high-impact discovery across sectors.

The program strongly encourages convergent research and collaboration. RAPIDs and EAGERs SoS:DCI supports small grants that are time-critical and small grants that are high-risk and of a potentially transformative nature. See Chapter II.E.1 and Chapter II.E.2 of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1) for guidance on submitting Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) and EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals.

Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE) SoS:DCI supports interdisciplinary projects whose scientific advances lie in great part outside the scope of a single program or discipline, such that substantial funding support from more than one program or discipline is necessary. See Chapter II.E.3 of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1) for guidance on submitting a RAISE proposal.

Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) SoS:DCI supports collaboration between academic research institutions and industry. See Chapter II.E.4 of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1) for guidance on submitting a GOALI proposal.

Conferences SoS:DCI funds conferences and interdisciplinary research activities that strengthenunderstanding and dissemination of the research topic among the social and behavioral sciences, policy community and the larger scientific community. See Chapter II.E.7 of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1) for guidance on submitting Conference proposals.

Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (DDRIGs) The Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants funding opportunity is designed to improve the quality of dissertation research. DDRIG awards provide funds for items not normally available through the student's university such as enabling doctoral students to undertake significant data-gathering projects and to conduct field research in settings away from their campus. For program specific guidelines and submission instructions on the Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants (DDRIGs) in SoS:DCI, please review the SoS:DCI DDRIG solicitation which may be accessed via the SoS:DCI DDRIG web site.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Except where a program solicitation establishes more restrictive eligibility criteria, individuals and organizations in the following categories may submit proposals:
    • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members.
      • IHEs located outside the US fall under paragraph 6. below.
      • Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs
        • If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.
    • Non-profit, Non-academic Organizations -Independent museums, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations located in the US that are directly associated with educational or research activities.
    • For-profit Organizations - US commercial organizations, especially small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education.
      • An unsolicited proposal from a commercial organization may be funded when the project is of special concern from a national point of view, special resources are available for the work, or the proposed project is especially meritorious.
      • NSF is interested in supporting projects that couple industrial research resources and perspectives with those of universities; therefore, it especially welcomes proposals for cooperative projects involving both universities and the private commercial sector.
    • State and Local Governments - State educational offices or organizations and local school districts may submit proposals intended to broaden the impact, accelerate the pace, and increase the effectiveness of improvements in science, mathematics and engineering education in both K-12 and post-secondary levels.
    • Unaffiliated Individuals - Unaffiliated individuals in the US and US citizens rarely receive direct funding support from NSF.
      • Recipients of Federal funds must be able to demonstrate their ability to fully comply with the requirements specified in 2 CFR § 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
      • As such, unaffiliated individuals are strongly encouraged to affiliate with an organization that is able to meet the requirements specified in 2 CFR § 200.
      • Unaffiliated individuals must contact the cognizant Program Officer prior to preparing and submitting a proposal to NSF.
    • Foreign organizations - NSF rarely provides funding support to foreign organizations.
      • NSF will consider proposals for cooperative projects involving US and foreign organizations, provided support is requested only for the US portion of the collaborative effort.
      • In cases however, where the proposer considers the foreign organization’s involvement to be essential to the project (e.g., through subawards or consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain why local support is not feasible and why the foreign organization can carry out the activity more effectively.
      • In addition, the proposed activity must demonstrate how one or more of the following conditions have been met:
        • The foreign organization contributes a unique organization, facilities, geographic location and/or access to unique data resources not generally available to US investigators (or which would require significant effort or time to duplicate) or other resources that are essential to the success of the proposed project; and/or
        • The foreign organization to be supported offers significant science and engineering education, training or research opportunities to the US.
        • Other Federal Agencies - NSF does not normally support research or education activities by scientists, engineers or educators employed by Federal agencies or FFRDCs. Under unusual circumstances, other Federal agencies and FFRDCs may submit proposals directly to NSF.
        • A proposed project is only eligible for support if it meets one or more of the following exceptions, as determined by a cognizant NSF Program Officer:
          • Special Projects. Under exceptional circumstances, research or education projects at other Federal agencies or FFRDCs that can make unique contributions to the needs of researchers elsewhere or to other specific NSF objectives may receive NSF support.
          • National and International Programs. The Foundation may fund research and logistical support activities of other Government agencies or FFRDCs directed at meeting the goals of special national and international research programs for which the Foundation bears special responsibility, such as the US Antarctic Research Program.
          • International Travel Awards. In order to ensure appropriate representation or availability of a particular expertise at an international conference, staff researchers of other Federal agencies may receive NSF international travel awards.
      • Proposers who think their project may meet one of the exceptions listed above must contact a cognizant NSF Program Officer before preparing a proposal for submission.
        • In addition, a scientist, engineer or educator who has a joint appointment with a university and a Federal agency (such as a Veterans Administration Hospital, or with a university and a FFRDC) may submit proposals through the university and may receive support if he/she is a faculty member (or equivalent) of the university, although part of his/her salary may be provided by the Federal agency.
        • Preliminary inquiry must be made to the appropriate program before preparing a proposal for submission.

Ineligibility:

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This page was last reviewed September 27, 2021 and last updated October 10, 2020