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Polar Programs

OPP
Number: 47.078
Agency: National Science Foundation

Program Information 

Program Number/Title (010):
47.078 Polar Programs
Federal Agency (030):
National Science Foundation
Authorization (040):
National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1861 et seq.
Objectives (050):
Due to an NSF realignment, activities funded by the Polar program are reported within the Geosciences Program, CFDA number 47.050, effective 05/20/2013.
Types of Assistance (060):
PROJECT GRANTS
Uses and Use Restrictions (070):
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.
Eligibility Requirements (080)
Applicant Eligibility (081):
Except where a program solicitation establishes more restrictive eligibility criteria, individuals and organizations in the following categories may submit proposals: Universities and colleges; Non-profit, non-academic organizations; For-profit organizations; State and local governments; and unaffiliated individuals. See the NSF Grant Proposal Guide Chapter I.E. for a full description of eligibility requirements: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub summ.jsp?ods key=gpg.
Beneficiary Eligibility (082):
Not applicable.
Credentials/Documentation (083):
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 No. A-21 (2 CFR Part 220) for educational institutions, No. A-87 (2 CFR Part 225) for State and local governments, and A-122 (2 CFR Part 230) for nonprofit organizations. Applicants for fellowship support must show evidence of ability such as academic records, letters of recommendation, graduate record examination scores, and grade point average. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.
Application and Award Process (090)
Preapplication Coordination (091):
Preapplication coordination may be required. Environmental impact information may be required for this program. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedures (092):
This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. By electronic submission via FastLane or Grants.gov of a formal proposal, and in some programs, a preliminary proposal, describing the planned project and the proposed amount of the grant. For guidelines, see specific funding opportunities and the Grant Proposal Guide: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub summ.jsp?ods key=gpg.
Award Procedure (093):
NSF staff members review and evaluate all proposals based on a set of criteria established by the National Science Board and, if applicable, solicitation-specific reviews criteria. In most cases review are undertaken with the advice of scientist, engineers, educators and other appropriate persons who are specialist in the fields covered by the proposals. NSF makes awards on a competitive basis. Notification of an award is transmitted electronically to the submitting organization by a NSF Grants and Agreements Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements.
Deadlines (094):
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time (095):
After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the NSF Program Officer recommends to the cognizant Division Director whether the proposal should be declined or recommended for award. NSF is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended funding within six months. The time interval begins on the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.
Appeals (096):
The principal investigator may request, in writing, within 90 days of a declination or return, that NSF reconsider its action in declining or returning any proposal application.
Renewals (097):
A renewal proposal competes with all other proposals and must be developed fully as though the proposer is applying for the first time. Renewal proposals must be submitted at least six months before additional funding is required or consistent with an established deadline, target date or submission window. Principal investigators are encouraged to discuss renewal proposals with the NSF Program Officer prior to submission.
Assistance Consideration (100)
Formula and Matching Requirements (101):
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements. Mandatory cost sharing will only be required for NSF programs when explicitly authorized by the NSF Director, the National Science Board, or legislation. In those rare instances, cost sharing requirements will be clearly identified in the program solicitation. Inclusion of voluntary, committed cost sharing is prohibited.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance (102):
Award duration of up to 5 years. Method of awarding assistance: Standard or continuing grant, fellowship, or cooperative agreement. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.
Post Assistance Requirements (110)
Reports (111):
No program reports are required. No cash reports are required. Annual Project Reports should be submitted at least 90 days prior to the end of the current budget period. Within 90 days following the expiration of the award, a Final Project Report and a Project Outcomes Report for the General Public must be submitted. Grantees are required to report the status of funds received from NSF on a quarterly basis through the submission of a Federal Financial Report (FFR). Information about reporting requirements is contained in the Award and Administration Guide:
http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub summ.jsp?ods key=agg. No expenditure reports are required. No performance monitoring is required.
Audits (112):
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.
Records (113):
Records, supporting documents, statistical records, and other records pertinent to a grant must be retained by the grantee for a period of 3 years from submission of the Final Project Report. Special record keeping requirements may apply to fellowships.
Financial Information (120)
Obligations (122):
(Project Grants) FY 12 Not Seperately Identifiable(Exp: Due to an NSF realignment, activ); FY 13 est $449,740,000; and FY 14 Not Seperately Identifiable(Exp: Due to an NSF realignment, activ) - 1) FY 2011 Obligations are the FY 2011 Appropriations Actuals;
2) FY 2012 Obligations estimates are the FY 2012 NSF Current Plan; and
3) FY 2013 Obligations estimates are the FY 2013 NSF Congressional Request.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance (123):
Range Low $1,000
Range High $41,400,000
Average $313,000.
Program Accomplishments (130):
Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: Due to an NSF realignment, activities funded by the Polar program are reported within the Geosciences Program, CFDA number 47.050, effective 05/20/2013. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature (140):
NSF Website: www.nsf.gov; 48 CFR Chapter 25; 45 CFR Chapter VI; Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=papp), which incorporates the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and Award & Administration Guide (AAG).
Information Contacts (150)
Regional or Local Office (151) :
None.
Headquarters Office (152):
Winifred Reuning 4201 Wilson Blvd, Stafford I - Ste 740, Arlington, Virginia 22230 Email: wreuning@nsf.gov Phone: 7032928033 Fax: 7032929079
Website Address (153):
http://nsf.gov/dir/index.jsp?org=opp
Examples of Funded Projects (170):
Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Criteria for Selecting Proposals (180):
Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program where they will be reviewed if they meet NSF proposals preparation requirements. All proposals are carefully reviewed by a scientist, engineer, or educator serving as an NSF Program Officer, and usually by three to ten other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. Proposers are invited to suggest names of persons they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal and/or persons they would prefer not review the proposal. These suggestions may serve as one source in the reviewer selection process at the Program Officer’s discretion. Submission of such names, however, is optional. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the proposal.

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board (NSB)-approved merit review criteria: intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed effort. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

The two NSB-approved merit review criteria are listed below. The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposals being considered and for which the reviewer is qualified to make judgments. Relevant questions are: (1) What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?; (2) How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields?; (3) 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.); (4) To what extend does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts; (5) How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity?; (6) Is the sufficient access to resources?; (7) What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?; (8) How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning?; (9) How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)?; (10) To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships?; (11) Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding?, and (12) What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:

Integration of Research and Education – 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. These institutions 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. Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities – Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens – women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities – is essential to 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.