Funding News | Two New NSF Interdisciplinary Funding Opportunities

National Science Foundation logo - image of globe with NSF on top

The National Science Foundation recently announced two major initiatives to support accelerated interdisciplinary collaboration to address national and global priorities. Please visit the links below for details. We encourage any who are interested in these funding opportunities to review the Dear Colleague Letters and other NSF information linked below, and for the TIP program, to sign up for one of the upcoming webinars and road-show. If you are interested in developing a proposal, the UMass Office of Research Development is your guide, and ISSR is here to support. Please contact ISSR Associate Director Krista Harper to get connected:

1) NSF TIP Regional Innovation Engines | Concept notes due June 30

The NSF's Dear Colleague Letter, dated 5/3, outlines Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines), a "bold new initiative aimed at significantly expanding our Nation's innovation capacity by investing in key areas of national interest and economic promise in every region of the United States. Prior to submission of proposals, teams are required to submit a Concept Outline, which is due June 30, 2022, for both proposal types. Approval of a Concept Outline from a cognizant NSF Program Officer is required to submit a full proposal. Other program deadlines are noted in the BAA.NSF has organized a number of webinars, office hours, and regional seminars - register for any of these events coming up in May here.  

NSF Engine Award Types:

Type 1: Up to $1 Million and Up to Two Years

  • Type-1 awards enable awardees to lay the groundwork for establishing a new NSF Engine in their region for a given topic area. 
  • The Type-1 award begins and ends in the Development Phase, where the Engine develops its structure and scope and begins to establish partnerships. 
  • At the end of the Type-1 award period, awardees are expected to be well-prepared to set up an NSF Engine in the Nascent phase.

Up to $160 Million and Up to 10 years

  • Type-2 awards fund Engines across three distinct phases—the Nascent, Emergent and Growth Phases.
  • Throughout the three phases, the Engine
    • Creates firm partner and stakeholder commitments
    • Seeks continuing growth of its innovation ecosystem through expansion of scientific, technical, education, and workforce development
    • Help its regional innovation ecosystems emerge as a national leader in its topic area during the Growth Phase

2) NSF-SSRC Partnership to Advance Scientific Knowledge about the Impact of Public Health Guidance | Proposals due on regular NSF Program cycle dates

The NSF and SSRC Partnership to Advance Scientific Knowledge about the Impact of Public Health Guidance is a  $20M effort to help focus research on what we know and can learn about how individuals, groups and institutions make decisions related or in response to public health issues. Interested parties can find details in the NSF DearColleague Letter, dated 5/2/22:

A few details of the NSF-SSRC Partnership from the news release:

  • The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) will donate up to $7.5 million to NSF over the next two years to support fundamental research exploring the effects of public health guidance on society. NSF will invest $12.5 million for a combined total of up to $20 million in research funding.
  • The challenge of understanding the diverse effects that public health guidance can have on U.S. society and the economy has been underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and well-being of individuals, communities and entire regions of the U.S. can be fortified through fundamental scientific insights into how public health guidance is created and distributed and how people perceive it.
  • NSF and SSRC invite research proposals that can reveal the complex factors that contribute to effective public health guidance and provide rigorous evidence that will be useful for decision-makers seeking to improve and protect the health of their communities.

See the DLC for instructions on preparing/submitting proposals and a list of participating NSF programs. As noted in the DCL: “This is not a new funding opportunity or a call for additional proposals. The purpose of the DCL is to inform the community of the opportunity for joint NSF-SSRC award support. Investigators must indicate their interest in being a candidate for joint NSF-SSRC funding support by using the "NSF-SSRC:" prefix in the proposal’s title, as well as indicating their potential contribution to advancing knowledge about the impact of public health guidance.”

Those wishing to learn more should contact the relevant NSF Program Officer/s.