The oceans cover over 70% of the planet, and despite relevance to geohazards, mineral resources, and biological diversity, the seafloor and sub-seafloor remain largely unexplored and poorly understood. The seafloor environment is a harsh and dynamic place where the deep ocean presents barriers to most electromagnetic radiation including light and radio communication because of its high pressure, its corrosive composition, cold temperature, and opaqueness. These conditions make it challenging to obtain data to characterize geological, physical, chemical, and biological processes. Most data transmitting systems, autonomous instrumentation, and communication technologies used on land are not possible in the deep ocean and this compounds the problems of obtaining data in real-time. Existing sensors that work under normal terrestrial conditions need to be re-engineered or re-imagined for the deep-sea environment. Building new technology to overcome the conditions found within and beneath the oceans will be an engineering grand challenge and will drive engineering innovation. Enhanced partnerships between the Engineering and the Marine Geology and Geophysics (MG&G) research communities are needed to advance sensing capabilities. To stimulate these partnerships, NSF requests proposals to support conferences that focus on appropriate engineering and marine science challenges and stimulate debate, discussion, visioning, and collaboration between the two research communities. Workshops typically support 20-80 attendees. The budget of a workshop proposal is generally limited to $50,000 but under exceptional circumstances may be supported up to $100,000. Workshop proposals must be submitted by November 15, 2017 for consideration.
The Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) contributes to the IUSE initiative through the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into Geoscience (IUSE: GEOPATHS) funding opportunity. IUSE: GEOPATHS invites proposals that specifically address the current needs and opportunities related to undergraduate education within the geosciences community. The primary goal of the IUSE: GEOPATHS funding opportunity is to increase the number of undergraduate students interested in pursuing undergraduate degrees and/or post-graduate degrees in geoscience through the design and testing of novel approaches for engaging students in authentic, career-relevant experiences in geoscience. In order to broaden participation in the geosciences, engaging undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented groups or from non-geoscience degree programs is a priority. The IUSE: GEOPATHS solicitation features two funding tracks: (1) Engaging students in the geosciences through extra-curricular experiences and training activities (GEOPATHS-EXTRA), and (2) Improving pathways into the geosciences through institutional collaborations and transfer (GEOPATHS-IMPACT). Full proposal deadline: October 10, 2017.
The Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative approaches to STEM graduate education training. The program seeks proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. IGE focuses on projects aimed at piloting, testing, and validating innovative and potentially transformative approaches to graduate education. IGE projects are intended to generate the knowledge required for their customization, implementation, and broader adoption. The program supports testing of novel models or activities with high potential to enrich and extend the knowledge base on effective graduate education approaches. The program addresses both workforce development, emphasizing broad participation, and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. Strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers, informal science centers, and academic partners are encouraged. Full Proposal Deadline: October 25, 2017.
The Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) awards Postdoctoral Fellowships to recent recipients of doctoral degrees to carry out an integrated program of independent research and professional development. Fellowship proposals must address scientific questions within the scope of EAR disciplines and must align with the overall theme for the postdoctoral program. The program supports researchers for a period of up to two years with fellowships that can be taken to the institution of their choice (including institutions abroad). The program is intended to recognize beginning investigators of significant potential, and provide them with research experience, mentorship, and training that will establish them in leadership positions in the Earth Sciences community. Because the fellowships are offered only to postdoctoral scientists early in their career, doctoral advisors are encouraged to discuss the availability of EAR postdoctoral fellowships with their graduate students early in their doctoral programs. Fellowships are awards to individuals, not institutions, and are administered by the Fellows. Full Proposal Deadline: October 25, 2017.
The Division of Ocean Sciences, NSF, is pleased to announce that they are partnering with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), NASA, and NSF’s Office of Polar Programs (OPP), via the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP), in a “Broad Agency Announcement” (ONR BAA # N000014-17-S-B016) regarding three ocean research and technology topics of mutual and emerging interest. Up to $18.5 million over five years may be available for this solicitation, subject to appropriation, availability of funds, and final approval by the participating NOPP agencies. The BAA provides research opportunities for the following three topics, and please note that Topic 3 is further subdivided:
- Topic 1. CubeSat Sensors for Investigating Littoral Ocean & Atmospheric Dynamics
- Topic 2. Improved & Routine Production, Stewardship and Application of the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) Data;
- Topic 3. In-situ Ocean Sensor Research & Technology Development
- 3A. Power Reduction and/or Miniaturization of In-situ Ocean Sensors and Improved On Board Processing (Arctic/ Antarctic to Tropical and full water column)
- 3B. Sensor Research & Advanced Technology
- 3B1. Soft Matter Electronics and Ocean Sensors
- 3B2. In-situ Ocean Sensors for “’omics”
- 3B3. Next Generation Autonomous In-situ Ocean Sensors
- 3C. Improving Technology Readiness Levels of Existing & Emerging Autonomous In-situ Ocean Sensors.
For Topic 3, Letters of Intent are required by October, 16 2017 and full proposals are due January 29, 2018. Additional information may be found at http://www.nopp.org/2017/fy-18-nopp-funding-announcement/ and http://www.nopp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/N00014-17-S-B016.pdf.
This solicitation seeks the services of a qualified organization to manage and operate an Ocean Bottom Seismometer Instrument Center established and sponsored by Marine Geology and Geophysics research programs within NSF’s Division of Ocean Sciences. Research activities requiring the use of the existing pool of instruments supported by NSF are expected to continue well beyond the period of performance for the existing Ocean Bottom Seismometer Instrument Pool Management Office award, scheduled to expire in early 2018. The award resulting from this solicitation will be administered as a Cooperative Agreement with a single Lead Institution that will perform the OBSIC activities described herein. Full Proposal Deadline: October 25, 2017.
The U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) supports scientific research in Antarctica and provides operational research support. The NSF Office of Polar Programs Antarctic Sciences Section (ANT) supports research to: 1) expand fundamental knowledge of the Antarctic region, 2) improve understanding of interactions between the Antarctic region and global earth systems, and 3) utilize the unique characteristics of the Antarctic continent as an observing platform. Antarctic fieldwork is supported for research that can only be performed or is best performed in Antarctica. ANT encourages research using existing samples, data, and models that do not require fieldwork. ANT encourages research that crosses and combines disciplinary perspectives and approaches. Full proposal deadline: May 23, 2017.
On behalf of the entire NSF STC network of Centers, we invite PhD students and postdocs to apply to this NSF sponsored professional development workshop – PrePARE (Paths Afforded by the Research Enterprise). The all expenses paid workshop will run from August 6 to August 11, 2017 in Indianapolis, IN. In its third year, the workshop is designed to help participants succeed in both academic and industry careers by providing them with a wide range of important professional skills and knowledge. The workshop has been developed with input from STC students, post docs and staff, along with guidance from a range of academic, industry, and career services professionals from the STC network and beyond. Nominees should be Ph.D. students at any level. Post Docs that will be entering the job market and have an interest in this professional development opportunity will also be considered. Participants should be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents. International students will be considered if they show high promise for joining the U.S. workforce. NSF particularly encourages the nomination of U.S. citizens and applicants from underrepresented groups. Applications are due by June 9, 2017.
Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) is a comprehensive national initiative designed to enhance U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations focused on NSF’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and broadening participation in these fields. NSF INCLUDES supports efforts to create networked relationships among organizations whose goals include developing talent from all sectors of society to build the STEM workforce. This initiative seeks to improve collaborative efforts aimed at enhancing the preparation, increasing the participation, and ensuring the contributions of individuals from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise: women, persons with disabilities, African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, and persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Significant advancement in the inclusion of these groups will result in a new generation of STEM talent and leadership to secure our nation’s future and long-term economic competitiveness. Full proposal deadline: May 16, 2017.
The Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces that proposals will now be accepted for U.S. researchers to use the drill ship JOIDES Resolution to collect cores using the Advanced Piston Coring (APC) system up to sub-bottom depths of 100 meters to address research on multiple aspects of the ocean basins. This program, referred to as “JR100,” was outlined in a previous Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 17-018). This new NSF Dear Colleague Letter provides the specific dates and geographic area of operation for the first JR100 cruise and updates information previously provided on proposal preparation requirements. JOIDES Resolution is scheduled to be transiting from Papeete, Tahiti, to Punta Arenas, Chile, from 19 December 2018 to 18 January 2019. Approximately thirteen (13) days during this transit period will be available for cruise operations (including coring and site-to-site transit time) with the remaining seventeen (17) days allocated to the direct transit route between ports. The cruise participants will stay on the ship during the entire thirty days. For a successful proposal, the NSF science program to which the proposal is submitted will provide funding for the types of items normally included in an ARF-based coring proposal including, but not limited to, funding for PI and cruise participant salaries, core shipments, non-standard analytical equipment required at sea, and post-cruise research funding. Funding sources for the ship operations to implement successful proposals will be determined through conversations between cognizant NSF Program Directors.
EarthCube is a community-driven activity sponsored through a partnership between the NSF Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) and the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering’s (CISE) Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) to transform research in the academic geosciences community. EarthCube aims to create a well-connected and facile environment to share data and knowledge in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner, thus accelerating our ability to understand and predict the Earth system. EarthCube Integration projects must demonstrate two essential components, 1.) implementation of a technical capability across resources that improves interoperability, and 2.) innovative, cross-disciplinary geosciences research outcomes. EarthCube RCNs are intended to advance geosciences cyberinfrastructure through interaction, discussion and planning between geoscientists and cyberinfrastructure experts. RCNs provide opportunities for academic geosciences communities to organize, seek input, come to consensus and prioritize data, modeling, and technology needs, as well as standards and interoperability within and across domains. Proposal deadline: March 14, 2017.
This US National Science Foundation sponsored Antarctic Biology Course will be held during January 2018 in Antarctica, at the United States Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Station. The training program is designed to provide early-career scientists with opportunities to work in Antarctica and to study polar biology. Applications are invited from graduate students currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program and researchers who have completed a Ph.D. within the past five years. This is an international training program, open to all nationalities. Partial support is available to cover the cost of travel from each participant’s home institution. While in Antarctica, full support is provided for room & board and science activities. The emphasis of the Antarctic Biology Course is on integrative biology, with laboratory- and field-based projects focused on adaptations to extreme polar environments. This program will also provide opportunities to understand and appreciate the complexities and logistical challenges of undertaking successful science in Antarctica. A diverse instructional faculty will offer participants the opportunity to study a wide range of Antarctic organisms (bacteria, algae, invertebrates, fish), using different levels of biological analysis (spanning molecular biology, physiological ecology, species diversity, and evolution). Deadline for receipt of completed applications is April 17, 2017. More information and the on-line application form are at https://www.usfca.edu/arts-sciences/antarctic-biology-training-program and https://goo.gl/forms/7zAH4pzRf85x5Tt62.
Despite centuries of discovery, most of our planet’s biodiversity remains unknown. The scale of the unknown diversity on Earth is especially troubling given the rapid and permanent loss of biodiversity across the globe. The goal of the Dimensions of Biodiversity campaign is to transform, by 2020, how we describe and understand the scope and role of life on Earth. This campaign promotes novel integrative approaches to fill the most substantial gaps in our understanding of the diversity of life on Earth. It takes a broad view of biodiversity, and focuses on the intersection of genetic, phylogenetic, and functional dimensions of biodiversity. Successful proposals must integrate these three dimensions to understand interactions and feedbacks between and among them. While this focus complements several core programs in BIO, it differs by requiring that multiple dimensions of biodiversity be addressed simultaneously, in novel ways, to understand their synergistic roles in critical ecological and evolutionary processes, especially pertaining to the mechanisms driving the origin, maintenance, and functional roles of biodiversity. Full proposal deadline date: February 21, 2017.
The Oceanographic Technology and Interdisciplinary Coordination (OTIC) Program supports a broad range of research and technology development activities. Unsolicited proposals are accepted for instrumentation development that has broad applicability to ocean science research projects and that enhance observational, experimental or analytical capabilities of the ocean science research community. Specific announcements for funding opportunities are made for additional projects involving Improvements in Facilities, Communications, and Equipment at Biological Field Stations and Marine Laboratories (FSML) and the National Ocean Partnership Program. Full Proposal Target Date: February 15, 2017.
The Chemical Oceanography Program supports research into the chemical components, reaction mechanisms, and geochemical pathways within the ocean and at its interfaces with the solid earth and the atmosphere. Major emphases include: studies of material inputs to and outputs from marine waters; orthochemical and biological production and transformation of chemical compounds and phases within the marine system; and the determination of reaction rates and study of equilibria. The Program encourages research into the chemistry, distribution, and fate of inorganic and organic substances introduced into or produced within marine environments including those from estuarine waters to the deep sea. Full Proposal Target Date: February 15, 2017.
The Biological Oceanography Program supports research in marine ecology broadly defined: relationships among aquatic organisms and their interactions with the environments of the oceans or Great Lakes. Projects submitted to the program for consideration are often interdisciplinary efforts that may include participation by other OCE Programs. (See information provided under Related URLs below). Full Proposal Target Date: February 15, 2017.
Are you a community college student who has a novel idea that uses science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM)? The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) present the third annual Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC) that asks student teams to innovate a STEM-based solution to a real-world problem. Teams will submit projects in one of three themes: Maker to Manufacturer, Energy and Environment, and Security Technologies. Form your team with a faculty mentor and community and/or industry partner to enter. An entry consists of a written portion and a 90-second video. Visit the Promotional Toolkit, where you can download posters, postcards and more. Entry period closes February 15, 2017.
The Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) awards Postdoctoral Fellowships to recent recipients of doctoral degrees to carry out an integrated program of independent research and education. The research and education plans of each fellowship must address scientific questions within the scope of EAR disciplines.The program supports researchers for a period of up to two years with fellowships that can be taken to the institution of their choice (including facilities abroad). The program is intended to recognize beginning investigators of significant potential, and provide them with research experience, mentorship, and training that will establish them in leadership positions in the Earth Sciences community. Because the fellowships are offered only to postdoctoral scientists early in their career, doctoral advisors are encouraged to discuss the availability of EAR postdoctoral fellowships with their graduate students early in their doctoral programs. Fellowships are awards to individuals, not institutions, and are administered by the Fellows. Full proposal deadline January 10, 2017.
The DIBBs program encourages development of robust and shared data-centric cyberinfrastructure capabilities, to accelerate interdisciplinary and collaborative research in areas of inquiry stimulated by data. DIBBs investments enable new data-focused services, capabilities, and resources to advance scientific discoveries, collaborations, and innovations. The investments are expected to build upon, integrate with, and contribute to existing community cyberinfrastructure, serving as evaluative resources while developments in national-scale access, policy, interoperability and sustainability continue to evolve. Effective solutions will bring together cyberinfrastructure expertise and domain researchers, to ensure that the resulting cyberinfrastructure address researchers’ data needs. The activities should address the data challenges arising in a disciplinary or cross-disciplinary context. (Throughout this solicitation, ‘community’ refers to a group of researchers interested in solving one or more linked scientific questions, while ‘domains’ and ‘disciplines’ refer to areas of expertise or application.) The projects should stimulate data-driven scientific discoveries and innovations, and address broad community needs, nationally and internationally. Full proposal deadline January 3, 2017.
The Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) Program supports the generation of extended time series of data to address important questions in evolutionary biology, ecology, and ecosystem science. Research areas include, but are not limited to, the effects of natural selection or other evolutionary processes on populations, communities, or ecosystems; the effects of interspecific interactions that vary over time and space; population or community dynamics for organisms that have extended life spans and long turnover times; feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes; pools of materials such as nutrients in soils that turn over at intermediate to longer time scales; and external forcing functions such as climatic cycles that operate over long return intervals. The Program intends to support decadal projects. Funding for an initial, 5-year period requires submission of a preliminary proposal and, if invited, submission of a full proposal that includes a 15-page project description. Proposals for the second five years of support (renewal proposals) are limited to a ten-page project description and do not require a preliminary proposal. Preliminary proposal due date: January 23, 2017.
The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) supports fundamental research on populations, species, communities, and ecosystems. Scientific emphases range across many evolutionary and ecological patterns and processes at all spatial and temporal scales. Areas of research include biodiversity, phylogenetic systematics, molecular evolution, life history evolution, natural selection, ecology, biogeography, ecosystem structure, function and services, conservation biology, global change, and biogeochemical cycles. Research on organismal origins, functions, relationships, interactions, and evolutionary history may incorporate field, laboratory, or collection-based approaches; observational or manipulative experiments; synthesis activities; as well as theoretical approaches involving analytical, statistical, or computational modeling. Preliminary proposal due date: January 23, 2017.
IUSE: EHR supports a broad range of projects, including: research and development of innovative learning resources; design research to understand the impact of such resources; strategies to implement effective instruction in a department or multiple departments, within or across institutions; faculty development projects; design and testing of instruments for measuring student outcomes; and proposals for untested and unconventional activities that could have a high impact on learning and contribute to transforming undergraduate STEM education. Proposals are particularly encouraged that address immediate challenges and opportunities facing undergraduate STEM education, as well as those that anticipate new structures (e.g. organizational changes, new methods for certification or credentialing, course re-conception, Cyberlearning, etc.) and new functions of the undergraduate learning and teaching enterprise. Exploration and Design Tier for Engaged Student Learning & Institution and Community Transformation proposal deadline: November 02, 2016.
The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) awards Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology to recent recipients of the doctoral degree for research and training in selected areas supported by BIO and with special goals for human resource development in biology. The fellowships encourage independence at an early stage of the research career to permit Fellows to pursue their research and training goals in the most appropriate research locations regardless of the availability of funding for the Fellows at that site. For FY 2015 and beyond, these BIO programs are (1) Broadening Participation of Groups Under-represented in Biology, (2) Research Using Biological Collections, and (3) National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. Full Proposal Deadline Date: November 1, 2016.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites investigators at U.S. organizations to submit proposals to the Arctic Sciences Section, Division of Polar Programs (PLR) to conduct research about the Arctic region. The goal of this solicitation is to attract research proposals that advance a fundamental, process, and systems-level understanding of the Arctic’s rapidly changing natural environment and social and cultural systems, and, where appropriate, to improve our capacity to project future change. The Arctic Sciences Section supports research focused on the Arctic region and its connectivity with lower latitudes. The scientific scope is aligned with, but not limited to, research challenges outlined in the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (https://www.nsf.gov/geo/plr/arctic/iarpc/start.jsp) five-year plans. The Arctic Sciences Section coordinates with programs across NSF and with other federal and international partners to co-review and co-fund Arctic proposals as appropriate. The Arctic Sciences Section also maintains Arctic logistical infrastructure and field support capabilities that are available to enable research. Proposals accepted anytime.
There are three program tracks. All projects are expected to build on prior ADVANCE work and gender equity research and literature to broaden the implementation of organizational and systemic strategies to foster gender equity in STEM academic careers. 1) The Institutional Transformation (IT) track supports the development of innovative organizational change strategies to produce comprehensive change within one non-profit two-year or four-year academic institution across all STEM disciplines. IT projects are also expected to contribute new research on gender equity in STEM academics. Projects that do not propose innovative strategies may be more appropriate for the Adaptation track. 2)The Adaptation track supports the adaptation and implementation of evidence-based organizational change strategies, ideally from among those developed and implemented by ADVANCE projects. Adaptation awards may support the adaptation and implementation of proven organizational change strategies within a non-profit two-year or four-year academic institution that has not had an ADVANCE IT award. 3) The Partnership track will support partnerships of two or more non-profit academic institutions and/or STEM organizations to increase gender equity in STEM academics. Letter of intent due date: December 14, 2016.
OCE is seeking written expressions of interest regarding new financial and/or managerial models that would provide the marine seismic capabilities to meet the expected needs of academic research scientists. The expressions of interest may be oriented towards but not limited to one or more of the examples presented, may or may not involve to varying degrees R/V Langseth, and should be cognizant of potential environmental compliance issues. Additionally, the expressions of interest should reflect that OCE anticipates spending an average of ~$8M per year for ship support and ~$2M for technical support, funding permitting, supporting seismic infrastructure that can achieve the scientific goals currently met by the capabilities provided by R/V Langseth. Please submit written responses by November 11, 2016.
The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education. NSF especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, veterans, and undergraduate seniors to apply. Application deadlines: October 22-28, 2016.
Featuring C-DEBI scientist Alex Michaud.
Three recent publications by early career researchers at three different institutions across the country provide the first look into the biogeochemistry, geophysics and geology of subglacial Lake Whillans, which lies 800 meters (2,600 feet) beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
The findings stem from the Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Collectively, the researchers describe a wetland-like area beneath the ice. Subglacial Lake Whillans is primarily fed by ice melt, but also contains small amounts of seawater from ancient marine sediments on the lake bed. The lake waters periodically drain through channels to the ocean, but with insufficient energy to carry much sediment.