National Science Foundation (NSF)

Blue, gold and white NSF logo

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds high-quality research initiated extramurally in the U.S. scientific community. Although NSF receives proposals throughout the year, most programs have published target or deadline dates. Submission dates remain the same from year to year for unsolicited proposals and ad hoc submission dates for special initiatives. Depending upon the program, proposals may be evaluated by mail review, panel review, or most commonly a combination of the two. Funded research projects deriving from unsolicited proposals are reviewed annually by the appropriate managing program officers through a combination of annual progress reports received from principal investigators, participation in professional society meetings, and site visits. By supporting workshops and conferences, and by fostering cooperative efforts with U.S. and foreign agencies, NSF encourages the scientific community to envision and to set forth for consideration innovative ideas for development as special research initiatives.

Carbon cycle science at NSF is supported by unsolicited proposals to a wide range of individual programs, as well as by a changing palate of focused solicitations on particular topics.  PIs should explore these various avenues with the responsible program officers.  Particular programs to contact include the Geoscience Directorate Divisions of Oceanography, Earth Science or Atmospheric Sciences, the Office of Polar Programs and the Biological Sciences Directorate Division of Environmental Biology.