National Science Foundation: Strengthening American Infrastructure
Note: Conference (workshop) Proposals (encouraged) are due November 30, 2020; Proposal Concept Outlines (required) are due December 11, 2020; Full Proposals (invited) are due January 15, 2021.
The Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI) program seeks to stimulate fundamental exploratory, potentially transformative research that strengthens America’s infrastructure. The program will fund workshop and Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) that incorporate scientific insights about human behavior and social dynamics to better develop, design, rehabilitate, and maintain effective American infrastructure. (Workshops will hereafter be referred to as “conferences.”)
The SAI program will support exploratory work, in its early stages, on untested but potentially transformative research ideas that can identify and help build this new area of research. Activities stimulated through funding may be considered especially “high risk – high reward” in the sense that the program seeks radically different approaches, application of new expertise, or engagement of novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives.
Proposals should include a focus on at least one Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) program area with the lead Principal Investigator being an expert in social, behavioral, or economic science. Proposals must also demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach beyond that of any single Program or NSF Directorate.
The program has a particular interest in proposals that integrate a deep understanding of human cognition, perception, decision making, social/cultural behavior, legal frameworks, and governmental structures into the design, development, and sustainability of any kind of infrastructure—including cyber, economic, educational, physical, and social infrastructure.
SAI also seeks to support:
- Proposals that include development of new or improved performance metrics that can help stakeholders assess infrastructure usability, cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and adaptability
- Proposals that include efforts to broaden participation of underrepresented groups (women, minorities, and persons with disabilities) in the development of the research agendas
- Proposals from Minority Serving Institutions
- Proposals for opportunities for participation by undergraduate, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, K-12 students, industry representatives, and others
- Public-private partnerships can be proposed for conferences
Amount: Conference awards may not exceed $50,000 for a one-year period; EAGER awards may not exceed $300,000 for a two-year period.
Eligibility: Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs); nonprofit organizations; for-profit organizations; and state and local governments, including state educational offices or organizations and local school districts.
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