Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived. The latest version is NSF 19-568.

NSF 07-550: Antarctic Artists and Writers Program

Program Solicitation

Document Information

Document History

Program Solicitation NSF 07-550

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 06-554


NSF Logo

National Science Foundation

Office of Polar Programs
     Division of Antarctic Sciences


Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

June 08, 2007

Revision Notes

In furtherance of the President's Management Agenda, NSF has identified programs that will offer proposers the option to utilize to prepare and submit proposals, or will require that proposers utilize to prepare and submit proposals. provides a single Government-wide portal for finding and applying for Federal grants online.

In response to this program solicitation, proposers are required to submit full proposals via with the following exception:

Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. See Section V.A. Proposal Preparation Instructions, for further information.

Summary Of Program Requirements

General Information

Program Title: 

Antarctic Artists and Writers Program

Synopsis of Program:

The purpose of the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program is to enable serious writings and works of art that exemplify the Antarctic heritage of humankind. In particular, the program seeks to increase public understanding of the Antarctic region, including the continent and the surrounding oceans, as well as the associated research and education endeavors.

The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program provides opportunities for professional artists and writers to travel to Antarctica --- at research stations, field camps, and aboard ships --- to make the observations necessary to complete their proposed projects. While the majority of award recipients are established artists and writers, the program also seeks to support early career artists and writers in an effort to broaden participation.

The National Science Foundation funds and manages the U.S. Antarctic Program, which is devoted mainly to scientific research and education in support of the national interest in the Antarctic. The program’s research and support infrastructure enables access to much of the Antarctic region for selected Antarctic Artists and Writers Program projects. It does not typically provide direct financial support to selected applicants.

International Polar Year

A concerted worldwide effort is underway to plan scientific and educational activities for the upcoming International Polar Year (IPY). Scheduled to officially begin in March 2007, IPY promises to advance our understanding of how the Earth's remote polar regions impact global climate systems, to bring about fundamental advances in many areas of science, and to fire the enthusiasm of young men and women for future careers in science and engineering. The Foundation has placed special emphasis on IPY in recent proposal solicitations and expects to support a wide array of IPY projects. This international event represents a significant opportunity for artists and writers to convey the importance of the polar regions to the world. The submission of IPY-related Antarctic Artists and Writers program proposals are strongly encouraged. For more information on IPY visit:

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

  • Kim L. Silverman, Antarctic Artists and Writers Program Director, 755 S, telephone: (703) 292-7530, fax: (703) 292-9081, email:

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 47.078 --- Office of Polar Programs

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award:  Standard Grant

Estimated Number of Awards:    5 to  8  

Anticipated Funding Amount:   $0   (travel and field support only; refer to the full text of the solicitation for additional information)

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit: 

None Specified

PI Limit: 

See section IV, "Additional Eligibility Information."

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 

None Specified

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not Applicable
  • Full Proposal Preparation Instructions: Full proposals must be submitted via

    • NSF Application Guide: A Guide for Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Guidelines applies. (Note: The NSF Application Guide is available on the website and on the NSF website at: ( To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package: click on the Apply tab on the website, then click on the Apply Step 1: Download a Grant Application Package and Application Instructions link and enter the funding opportunity number, (the program solicitation number without the NSF prefix) and press the Download Package button.

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements: Cost Sharing is not required by NSF.  
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:  Not Applicable
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

         June 08, 2007

Proposal Review Information Criteria

Merit Review Criteria:   National Science Board approved criteria. Additional merit review considerations apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions:   Standard NSF award conditions apply

Reporting Requirements:   Standard NSF reporting requirements apply

  • Agency Contacts

  • Other Information
  • I. Introduction

    For most people, the Antarctic is inaccessible. There are no indigenous people on the continent and the only existing infrastructure was established by national governments in support of science. Research and its operational support are the principal human activities on both the continent of Antarctica and its surrounding Southern Ocean.

    Scientific research, and operational support of that research, are the principal activities supported by the United States Government in Antarctica. The goals are to expand fundamental knowledge of the region, to foster research on global and regional problems of current scientific importance, and to use the region as a platform from which to support research and education.

    In addition to its scientific value, NSF recognizes that the Antarctic region’s unique geographical, political, and cultural characteristics are of intrinsic value and interest to the American public. As custodian of the United States Antarctic Program, the National Science Foundation seeks to enhance the understanding of Antarctica and the research through its Antarctic Artists and Writers Program.

    II. Program Description

    What NSF Provides

    For selected artists and writers, the Foundation provides polar clothing on loan, round-trip economy air travel between a U.S. airport and a port of embarkation for the Antarctic (typically in New Zealand or Chile), travel between there and the Antarctic, and room, board, and travel while in the Antarctic and/or the Southern Ocean as required by the approved project.

    Award recipients may be asked to attend a meeting in the United States for detailed field planning before the Antarctic travel begins. The U.S. Antarctic Program will cover expenses incurred (within the U.S. only) while attending this meeting.

    The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program normally does not award funds. Successful applicants are free to seek funds elsewhere, including from other Federal agencies. See section IX, for proposals to other parts of NSF for funding.

    What the Selected Artist or Writer Provides

    The selected artists and writers are responsible for food and lodging during travel to embarkation points, which includes their stay in New Zealand or Chile before and after deployment to the Antarctic region. They are also responsible for incidental expenses in Antarctica (toiletries, etc.), and for all aspects and costs of completing and distributing the proposed work.

    Award recipients are also required to cover the costs of pre-travel medical and dental examinations (using instructions provided to their physicians and dentists) and for any remediation these examinations show to be necessary. Failure to meet U.S. Antarctic Program medical and dental standards results in disqualification.

    List of Former Participants

    Antarctic Artists and Writers Program applicants have found it helpful to learn about the other kinds of projects that have been supported, in the past, by the program. Visit the Abstract of Recent Awards page, to review the project descriptions of last year's participants. Awards since 2004 can also be viewed in the Awards Database (search Antarctic Coordination and Info.). Paper applications were submitted before 2004. Therefore, artists and writers who received awards before 2004, are not in the NSF awards database. Instead, they are listed here.

    III. Award Information

    In recent years the number of proposals submitted to the program have been on the rise. In 2005 NSF received 42 proposals and in 2006, 72 proposals were received. The numbers of proposals are expected to continue increasing, as is the competition. Typically, five to eight are selected each year for a working trip to the Antarctic, however this number varies depending on the availabilty of resources.

    For most National Science Foundation programs, a grant typically provides financial support to the awardee. However, the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program normally does not provide direct financial support, and the financial amount of the NSF "grant" will be zero. Instead of money, the award consists of the provision, without charge, of U.S. Antarctic Program field resources in areas of Antarctica and/or the Southern Ocean. See section II.

    The grant, when awarded, will become a matter of public record. The searchable NSF awards database will contain the award number, name and contact information, and a short description of the project.

    IV. Eligibility Information

    Organization Limit: 

    None Specified

    PI Limit: 

    See section IV, "Additional Eligibility Information."

    Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 

    None Specified

    Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 

    None Specified

    Additional Eligibility Info:

    This program is primarily for citizens and permanent residents of the United States who have a substantial record of achievement in the arts and letters or are early careerists who demonstrate promise within their respective fields. Individuals may apply directly or through their employing organizations.

    Non-U.S. Proposals

    Proposals can be accepted from citizens of other Antarctic Treaty nations. A proposal must demonstrate that a significant audience will be reached in the United States or that the project is in the U.S. interest in some comparable way. Proposals would be stronger if they represent a project that would exemplify the Antarctic heritage of both nations. Consequently, partnerships between national Antarctic programs are encouraged. For more information on national Antarctic programs, visit the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat website.

    NSF does not provide airline tickets to non-U.S. residents who are selected. Also, NSF may require attendance at a pre-Antarctic travel planning meeting in the United States (see “What NSF provides” in section II), but will not cover the airline cost from outside the United State. However, lodging expenses while in the U.S. may be reimbursable.

    Physical and Dental Condition

    The U.S. Antarctic Program has limited medical facilities in the Antarctic; therefore, field participants must be in good health and must pass medical and dental screenings within 6 months preceding the planned travel. Instructions for these medical and dental examinations will be provided but also can be downloaded from the U.S. Antarctic Program web portal at Failure to meet U.S. Antarctic Program medical and dental criteria will result in disqualification for Antarctic travel. NSF does not pay for the examinations, for any required follow-up visits, or for any remediation procedures that may be needed to pass the screening.

    Media Representatives

    Members of the media wishing to report on the Antarctic are not eligible for the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. The Foundation's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA) conducts a separate, annual competition to select television, radio, newspaper, and magazine reporters to visit and report on U.S. research and facilities in the Antarctic. For more information on the media program and other programs of interest, see section IX.

    V. Proposal Preparation And Submission Instructions

    A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

    Full Proposal Preparation Instructions: Proposers are required to submit proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via

    • Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation via should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the NSF Application Guide: A Guide for Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via The complete text of the NSF Application Guide is available on the website and on the NSF website at: ( To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package, click on the Apply tab on the site, then click on the Apply Step 1: Download a Grant Application Package and Application Instructions link and enter the funding opportunity number, (the program solicitation number without the NSF prefix) and press the Download Package button. Paper copies of the Application Guide also may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from
    • Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation that meet the identified exception should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from Proposers are reminded to identify this program solicitation number in the program solicitation block on the NSF Cover Sheet For Proposal to the National Science Foundation. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

    Antarctic Artists and Writers Program proposal preparation-- Supplemental instructions

    The following instructions supplement the NSF Application Guide.

    Submit the Proposal Electronically

    NSF requires applicants to submit proposals electronically as described in section V. D. The electronic proposal system provides a single, secure and reliable source for applying for Federal grants online, simplifying the grant application process and reducing paperwork. To learn the process for applying for grants, start at the Get Started page. Get Started provides you with detailed instructions about finding, applying, and submitting grants using

    • Contact Center: If you, the registered individual or your organization, which is also called an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail:

    The use of is mandatory and even though it may not seem ideal to an artist or a writer, you will be assured of full NSF consideration of your proposal. Try to use the system creatively to describe your project, even though some of its features may not be normal to your genre. For example, on the cover sheet, give your project a working title even if a title may seem unnecessary at this early stage.

    To ensure that your proposal meets all of the NSF proposal submission requirements, you should follow the instructions provided in the NSF Application Guide. Conformance with all preparation and submission instructions is required and will be strictly enforced unless a deviation has been approved in advance of proposal submission.

    Supplemental Materials

    To supplement your proposal, you are encouraged to include samples of your work, written reviews of your work, and/or letters of support (e.g. publishers or exhibit venues), which will help reviewers appreciate your abilities and achievements and better assess the subsequent broader impacts of your proposal.

    Format for Portfolio and Other Supplemental Materials

    Submission of electronic portfolio and supplemental materials is required due to the large volume of proposals received. NSF strongly suggests that supplemental materials be limited to photos submitted as electronic images, embedded within the proposal. When including digital images via the electronic proposal system, please upload them in the supplementary documents section of the application. This allows reviewers and/or panelists the ability to view the material with the proposal, prior to the panel meeting. All materials submitted via constitute the complete proposal.

    If you feel that audio and/or visual files are important, please save the files onto a CD or DVD and mail them to the program officer. All materials mailed to NSF will be used during the panel meeting. At the panel meeting all electronic media, to include images, multimedia DVDs, and CDs will be viewed with the use of a PC (no Macs) and projected (when applicable) onto a large screen during the panel meeting, when the proposal is discussed.

    The room in which external panelists and NSF staff will review the proposals will also have a television with a DVD player; Microsoft Windows computers (no Macs) with disk and CD drives and access to the Internet.

    Please note that the CDs will be returned only if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is included. Submitted materials that do not include return postage will be destroyed once the panel has met.

    All supplemental materials, which are not included in the electronic proposal should be mailed to:

    National Science Foundation
    Antarctic Artists and Writers Program
    4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 755
    Arlington, Virginia 22230
    Phone: 703.292.8033


    In the proposal, summarize the places or research sites to be visited, and state the approximate amount of field time needed. NSF's program solicitation, Antarctic Research, describes the operational capabilities of the U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Antarctic Program Science Summaries list contains links to descriptions of recent research projects. There is no set minimum or maximum amount of time in the field; the NSF goal is to match field support to the requirement of the proposed project.

    It is also important to give thought to the size of the project being proposed. Resources available to support projects in the Antarctic, both aboard ships and on the continent, are limited. NSF expects to see compelling reasons in terms of the two major review criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts (see section VI.A.) for all proposed projects.

    Depending on existing commitments for research activities, the location and timing during the season of the proposed project could also influence NSF's decision. Nevertheless, work at any U.S. Antarctic Program facility can be considered for both austral summer and winter seasons. The U.S. Antarctic Program maintains three year-round stations on the Antarctic continent: Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, McMurdo Station on Ross Island, and Palmer Station on the Antarctic Peninsula. Palmer Station is accessible year-round as are the U.S. Antarctic Program's two ice-capable research ships. McMurdo and South Pole stations and temporary field camps are only accessible during the austral summer. However, the McMurdo Winfly period (mid-August through September) could be an option for some kinds of projects. For more information, see Antarctic Research.

    Please note that it is not operationally feasible to support a project that spans both Palmer and McMurdo Stations in the same season. Also note that resource constraints at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station do not allow for more than a few days, at most, on station.


    When writing the proposal, ignore the budget sheet in the system. Field support is allocated in accordance with the project's needs and available resources. For U.S. citizens, airline tickets from a U.S. airport are issued directly, whereas foreign citizens must provide their own transportation to the point of embarkation to the Antarctic region. Do not budget for these items in your proposal. The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program typically does not directly award funds.

    The Proposal

    The organization, content, and clarity of the proposal itself will reveal much about an artist's or a writer's abilities and the likelihood that the proposed project will be completed. Successful proposals tend to present topics clearly and briefly, getting right to the point. Specifically, it is important to address NSF's review criteria --- intellectual merit and broader impacts. (See section VI. A. for definitions of each criteria.)

    B. Budgetary Information

    Cost Sharing:   Cost sharing is not required by NSF in proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation.

    C. Due Dates

    • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time):

      June 08, 2007

    D. Requirements

    Proposals Submitted Via

    Before using for the first time, each organization must register to create an institutional profile. Once registered, the applicant's organization can then apply for any federal grant on the website. The's Grant Community User Guide is a comprehensive reference document that provides technical information about Proposers can download the User Guide as a Microsoft Word document or as a PDF document. The User Guide is available at: In addition, the NSF Application Guide provides additional technical guidance regarding preparation of proposals via For user support, contact the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or by email: The Contact Center answers general technical questions related to the use of Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this solicitation.

    Submitting the Proposal: Once all documents have been completed, the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must submit the application to and verify the desired funding opportunity and agency to which the application is submitted. The AOR must then sign and submit the application to The completed application will be transferred to the NSF FastLane system for further processing.

    VI. NSF Proposal Processing And Review Procedures   

    Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program and, if they meet NSF proposal preparation requirements, for review. 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 with the proposer.

    A. NSF Merit Review Criteria

    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 proposal being considered and for which the reviewer is qualified to make judgements.

    What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
    How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? 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.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?

    What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
    How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? 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 the 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.

      Additional Review Criteria:

      The review panel and NSF will look for how the proposed project would satisfy the above criteria and those below.

      1. Intellectual Merit

      In addition to the above:

      • Is the artist or writer prominent in her or his field, with a substantial record of achievement and critical recognition as indicated by prior works, reviews of prior works, appointments to academic or professional positions, honors, and awards?
      • In the case of an early career artist or writer, does the proposal demonstrate the likelihood of making a significant contribution to enhance programmatic goals --- advancing knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Antarctic Program?
      • Will the project result in works that are representative of Antarctica or of activities in Antarctica?
      • Is the required travel to Antarctica, as a practical matter, available only from the U.S. Antarctic Program?
      • Is the requested travel essential to the completion of the proposed work?
      • If underwater diving is to be a part of the field program, is the need for it defended in the proposal? (Read the "Underwater diving" section under “Proposal preparation and submission” in the Antarctic Research program solicitation.)
      • If photography is the main goal of the proposal, will the project convey new understanding using the medium of photography, or will it simply add, however competently, to the Antarctic photographic stock?

      2. Broader Impacts

      In addition to the above:

      • The proposal must provide a concrete plan showing that, as a result of being in Antarctica, a significant body of work will reach a significant audience. Even an accomplished artist or writer may find it difficult to convince the Foundation on this point. Normally it is essential that she or he collaborate with producers, publishers, art galleries, or other organizations appropriate to his or her genre to assure sufficient exposure of the results of the Antarctic experience.
      • There is no firm definition of “significant audience” in the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. However, having your work experienced by large and/or diverse audiences can be seen as significant. Some formats for showing your work could include public lectures, shows at major galleries, traveling exhibitions, major articles in general circulation magazines, and/or a book published by a major publisher.
      • To increase interest, engagement, and understanding of Antarctic research, applicants are encouraged to explore various methods of informal education, which include activities such as films, museum exhibitions, public lectures, and book readings. Project activities may be carried out in any location that reaches the intended target audience outside of formal education settings, such as in a museum (e.g., science-technology center, natural history museum, zoo, aquarium, planetarium, arboretum or botanical garden, history or art museum); community center; library; or theater.

      3.  International Polar Year

      The National Science Foundation has identified International Polar Year activities as a major emphasis for the 2007-2009 time period and has funded or will fund IPY research in a wide array of activities. In particular, a special IPY proposal solicitation in FY2006 emphasized Study of Environmental ARctic CHange (SEARCH), Life in the Cold and Dark, Polar Ice Sheet Dynamics, and Education and Outreach. A second special IPY solicitation with a deadline in mid March 2007 emphasizes Understanding Environmental Change in Polar Regions, Human and Biotic Systems in Polar Regions, and Education and Outreach. Finally, the regular solicitation for Antarctic research is open to IPY proposals outside of these emphasis areas. Because of the high priority placed on IPY research, NSF strongly encourages submissions to this solicitation that will highlight and build on IPY research investments. For the 2007 and 2008 competitions, the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program will give priority to those projects that will best highlight IPY activities.

      See the web site for a periodically updated list of NSF IPY awards and/or contact the cognizant NSF program officers.

      4.  Operational Feasibility

      A two-staged procedure will be used to evaluate the applications.

      In the first stage, the Foundation, using advice from ad hoc reviewers and/or a panel of experts assembled for the purpose, will place proposals in one of two groups: those judged not qualified for the program and those that are highly ranked. Applicants will be so advised normally by the end of October of the year in which the proposal was submitted.

      In the second stage, the proposals ranked highly in the first stage will be considered in light of their operational requirements and the ability of the U.S. Antarctic Program to meet those requirements. To prepare for this stage, NSF will require that Operational Requirements Worksheets (ORW) be completed via an online system. Section V.A. of the Antarctic Research program solicitation describes the system, POLAR ICE. The completed worksheets will be required in October of the year in which the proposal was submitted. The worksheets and their help screens contain substantial information about support capabilities of the U.S. Antarctic Program.

      Most, but not all, of the highly ranked proposals will be selected for participation in the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Final approval notifications normally will be given by February following the year in which the proposal was submitted.

      Travel can begin thereafter in accordance with the approved plan. Typically, a project proposed in June of a given year will start its fieldwork no sooner than 15 months later--in the October-February austral summer of the next year.

    B. Review and Selection Process

    Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by Ad hoc Review and/or Panel Review.

    Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

    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 for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the date of receipt.  The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

    A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Officer.  In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

    In all cases, after programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications and the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at their own risk.

    VII. Award Administration Information

    A. Notification of the Award

    Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See Section VI.B. for additional information on the review process.)

    B. Award Conditions

    An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (GC-1); * or Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Terms and Conditions * and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreements also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC) and the applicable Programmatic Terms and Conditions. NSF awards are electronically signed by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer and transmitted electronically to the organization via e-mail.

    *These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from

    More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at

    C. Reporting Requirements

    For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the Principal Investigator must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require more frequent project reports). Within 90 days after expiration of a grant, the PI also is required to submit a final project report.

    Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports will delay NSF review and processing of any future funding increments as well as any pending proposals for that PI. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

    PIs are required to use NSF's electronic project-reporting system, available through FastLane, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports.  Such reports provide information on activities and findings, project participants (individual and organizational) publications; and, other specific products and contributions.  PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system.  Submission of the report via FastLane constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete.

    VIII. Agency Contacts

    General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

    • Kim L. Silverman, Antarctic Artists and Writers Program Director, 755 S, telephone: (703) 292-7530, fax: (703) 292-9081, email:

    For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

    • Desiree Marshall, Antarctic Lead Program Assistant, 755 S, telephone: (703) 292-7433, fax: (703) 292-9079, email:

    For questions relating to contact:

    • Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail:

    IX. Other Information

    The NSF Website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. Use of this Website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, MyNSF (formerly the Custom News Service)is an information-delivery system designed to keep potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies and procedures, and upcoming NSF Regional Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail or the user's Web browser each time new publications are issued that match their identified interests. MyNSF also is available on NSF's Website at provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this new mechanism. Further information on may be obtained at

    Proposals to Other NSF Programs for Funding

    The Antarctic Artists and Writers Program provides access to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, but normally not direct financial support. If you want to request financial support from another NSF program for a project that otherwise meets the objectives of the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, do not submit a proposal to the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Instead, submit the proposal to the funding program. In that proposal, define the required Antarctic fieldwork using operational requirements worksheets as instructed in section V.A. of NSF's Antarctic Research program solicitation.

    To assure effective coordination between the two NSF programs, please contact the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program Director (see section VIII. for contact information).

    Other NSF Programs

    • Polar Media Program. The Foundation's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs conducts a separate annual competition to select television, radio, newspaper, and magazine reporters to visit and report on U.S. facilities in the Antarctic and Arctic. For more information, contact NSF Public Affairs Specialist, Peter West ( in NSF’s Office of Legislative and Public Affairs.
    • Informal Science Education Program. NSF's Directorate for Education and Human Resource supports an Informal Science Education (ISE) program, which invests in projects that develop and implement informal learning experiences designed to increase interest, engagement, and understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by individuals of all ages and backgrounds, as well as projects that advance knowledge and practice of informal science education. Projects may target either public audiences or professionals whose work directly affects informal STEM learning. ISE projects are expected to demonstrate strategic impact, innovation, and collaboration. For more information on the program and solicitations, please visit the ISE web page.
    Note: Even if another NSF program finds your proposal meritorious, the project may not be operationally supportable in the Antarctic. Please review the Office of Polar Programs web site for U.S. Antarctic Program field capabilities. Discussion of your intended Antarctic field program with a program director in the Office of Polar Programs can be helpful when writing a funding proposal to another NSF program.

    About The National Science Foundation

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering."

    NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

    NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.

    Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II, Section D.2 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.

    The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090 and (800) 281-8749, FIRS at (800) 877-8339.

    The National Science Foundation Information Center may be reached at (703) 292-5111.

    The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

    To get the latest information about program deadlines, to download copies of NSF publications, and to access abstracts of awards, visit the NSF Website at

    • Location:

    4201 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22230

    • For General Information
      (NSF Information Center):

    (703) 292-5111

    • TDD (for the hearing-impaired):

    (703) 292-5090

    • To Order Publications or Forms:

    Send an e-mail to:

    or telephone:

    (703) 292-7827

    • To Locate NSF Employees:

    (703) 292-5111

    Privacy Act And Public Burden Statements

    The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; and project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to proposer institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies or other entities needing information regarding applicants or nominees as part of a joint application review process, or in order to coordinate programs or policy; and to another Federal agency, court, or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records, " 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding the burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

    Suzanne H. Plimpton
    Reports Clearance Officer
    Division of Administrative Services
    National Science Foundation
    Arlington, VA 22230