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This federal aid program is managed by:



To strengthen and enhance the national scientific enterprise through the expansion of fundamental knowledge and increased understanding of the integrated Earth system through the support of basic research in the atmospheric, earth and ocean sciences. Major objectives include the discovery of new knowledge of the atmosphere from the sun to the Earth's surface over the entire spectrum of physical and chemical phenomena; a better understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological character of the Earth and the processes that govern its evolution; and increased insight into the world's oceans, their composition, structure, behavior, and tectonics. Support is also provided for science and technology centers, undergraduate Student research, facility enhancement, instrumentation, and laboratory equipment; and for research opportunities for women, minority, and disabled scientists and engineers.

Funding obligations:

(Grants) FY 07 $745,850,000; FY 08 est $752,660,000; and FY 09 est not reported.

Uses and Use Restrictions:

Grant funds may be used for paying costs necessary to conduct research or studies such as salaries and wages, permanent equipment and supplies, computer services, travel, publication costs, and other direct and indirect costs. Primary responsibility for general supervision of all grant activities rests with the grantee institution; the principal investigator is responsible for the scientific work. Funds may not be used for purposes other than those specified in the proposal.

Examples of Funded Projects:

Atmospheric Sciences: Research on meteorology, climate, paleoclimate, chemistry and physics of the lower and upper atmosphere; and solar-terrestrial relationships. Earth Sciences: Research on structure, composition, history, and the physical, chemical, and biological processes affecting the Earth. Ocean Sciences: Research on physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes in the ocean.

Program Accomplishments:

In fiscal year 2007, 4,373 proposals were received and 1,347 awards were made, and in fiscal year 2008 approximately 4,500 proposals are expected to be received and approximately 1,400 awards will be made.

Types of Assistance:

Project Grants.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:

$1,000 to $60,000,000; $147,857.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:

Normally 1 to 5 years.

Applicant Eligibility:

Public and private colleges and universities; Non-profit, non-academic organizations; For-profit organizations; State and Local Governments; and unaffiliated scientists under special circumstances. See the Grant Proposal Guide for a full description of eligibility requirements.

Beneficiary Eligibility:

See the Grant Proposal Guide, Section I.E. for a full description of eligibility requirements.

Award Procedure:

NSF staff members review and evaluate all proposals, usually with the assistance and advice of other qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Awards are made based on merit and program relevance to the extent permitted by available funds. States will be notified of Federal assistance awards through the Federal Assistance Awards Data System (FAADS).

Contact Info for Headquarters Office:

National Science Foundation; 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230. Atmospheric Sciences: Dr. Jarvis Moyers, Telephone: (703) 292-8520; Fax: (703) 292-9022; Earth Sciences: Dr. Arthur Goldstein Telephone: (703) 292-8550; Fax: (703) 292-9025; Ocean Sciences: Dr. Julie Morris, Telephone: (703) 292-8580; Fax (703) 292-9085.

Website Address:

NSF World Wide Web site URL: Geosciences World Wide Web site URL:

Related Programs:


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