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Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences - (SBE) - #47.075

Programs in social, behavioral and economic sciences and in science resources statistics provide funds that may be used for paying costs necessary to conduct research or studies, such as salaries and wages, equipment and supplies, travel, publication costs, and other direct and indirect costs. Primary responsibility for the supervision of grant activities rests with the grantee institution; the project director or principal investigator is responsible for the execution of the research activities, as well as for submitting progress and final reports on research activities. Grants are made on a competitive basis. Funds must be used for purposes specified in the proposal.




Proposals must be signed electronically by an official authorized to commit the institution or organization in business and financial affairs and who can commit the organization to certain proposal certifications. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular Nos. A-21 for colleges and universities and A-122 for nonprofit organizations. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

The National Science Board approved revised criteria for evaluating proposals on March 28, 1997 (NSB 97-72). All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of two merit review criteria: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts (see Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) chapter III.A). In some instances NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities. On July 8, 2002, the NSF Director issued Important Notice 127, Implementation of new Grant Proposal Guide Requirements Related to the Broader Impacts Criterion. This Important Notice reinforces the importance of addressing both criteria in the preparation and review of all proposals submitted to NSF. Chapter II of the GPG specifies that Principal Investigators must address both merit review criteria in separate statements within the one-page Project Summary. This chapter also reiterates that broader impacts resulting from the proposed project must be addressed in the Project Description and described as an integral part of the narrative. Effective October 1, 2002, NSF will return without review proposals that do not separately address both merit review criteria within the Project Summary. While proposers must respond to both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which they are qualified to make judgments. Below are considerations that help define the two merit review criteria. These considerations are suggestions; not all will apply to any given proposal. (1) What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity? How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources? (2) What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity? How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society? Additionally, in making funding decisions NSF will also give careful consideration to integrating research and education, and integrating diversity into NSF programs. One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. This supports these institutions in their efforts to provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives. Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports and enriches research through the diversity of learning perspectives. Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects,andActivities. Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.

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