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National Science Foundation: Smart and Connected Communities

Deadline: November 30, 2016

Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) calls for integrative research and research capacity-building that, when undertaken with meaningful community engagement, will secure far-reaching impacts in physical, geographically-defined communities often consisting of diverse and varied populations. Generally, smart and connected communities are those that integrate people and information, communication, engineering and other technologies to improve the quality of life for those who live, travel, and work in them. Smart and connected communities can be considered systems of systems: physical, social, and technical. The initiative seeks fundamental, multidisciplinary advances in understanding and designing smart and connected communities. To support the expansion and development of the S&CC research community, it also calls for projects that seek to build or leverage research capacity across a wide variety of disciplinary areas. As a third component of the initiative, meaningful community engagement will help frame the research directions, provide access to input for such research, and provide means of understanding the results that emerge from such research efforts.

Unless stated otherwise, communities are physical, geographically-defined entities, such as towns, cities, or incorporated rural areas, often consisting of various populations, with a governance structure and an ability to engage in meaningful ways with the proposed research.

S&CC will support research projects in four categories:

  1. S&CC Integrative Research Grants (IRGs) Track 1. Awards in this category will support the conduct of fundamental, multidisciplinary, integrative research and the building of research capacity.
  2. S&CC IRGs Track 2. Awards in this category will support the conduct of fundamental, multidisciplinary, integrative research and the building of research capacity. It is anticipated that Track 1 and 2 proposals will be distinguished by the sizes of the teams as well as the scope and duration of the proposed activities.
  3. S&CC Research Coordination Networks (RCNs) Track 3. Awards in this category support the establishment of a network of multidisciplinary researchers and others who will collectively and significantly advance S&CC research through active exchange of ideas, development of fundamental research directions, and other approaches.
  4. S&CC Planning Grants Track 4. Awards in this category will provide one year of support to stimulate research capacity through multidisciplinary team-building and the development of high-impact, fundamental research concepts.

In each of these categories, successful proposals will reflect integrative, multidisciplinary research, tangible research capacity-building, and meaningful community engagement, the nature of which will vary by the proposal category.

Amount: A total of $18,500,000 is anticipated to be available. The number of awards in each category will be dependent on the overall mix of proposals and the degree to which they meet the solicitation goals, merit review criteria, and solicitation specific review criteria. NSF anticipates up to one to three IRG Track 1 awards, five to eight IRG Track 2 awards, two to three RCN awards, and 10 to 15 Planning grants, as follows:

  • Track 1 awards will provide three to five years of support for projects at a level not to exceed $5,000,000 for the total budget.
  • Track 2 awards will provide three or four years of support for projects at a level not to exceed $1,000,000 for the total budget.
  • Track 3 awards will provide four or five years of support for projects at a level not to exceed $500,000 for the total budget.
  • Track 4 awards will be at a level not to exceed $100,000 for the total budget.

Eligibility: Universities and colleges; nonprofit, nonacademic organizations; for profit organizations; state and local governments; unaffiliated individuals (e.g. scientists, engineers, or educators in the US and US citizens); and foreign organizations, if there is a cooperative project involving U.S. and foreign organizations, provided support is requested only for the U.S. portion of the collaborative effort.

Link: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16610/nsf16610.htm#awd_info

Note: The November 30, 2016 deadline is for the required preliminary proposal. The full proposal deadline is February 16, 2017.

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