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Arctic Social Sciences

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.

Supports research on Arctic social and cultural systems in all areas supported by NSF's Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences.


The Arctic Social Sciences Program (ASSP) supports research on Arctic social and cultural systems, present and past, and research relevant to understanding these systems. ASSP welcomes research proposals in all social science disciplines that are funded by the NSF Directorate of Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. Topics of particular interest are outlined in the final report for the Arctic Horizons process (arctichorizons.org/final-report). These community recommended research priorities include:

  • Past and present drivers of change in the Arctic, including resource, cultural, climate, and economic changes
  • Convergent research on socioecological systems
  • Demographics of past and present migration
  • Community and social health
  • Food, water, and energy security
  • Youth and gender studies
  • Sustainability and sustainable development
  • Globalization
  • Urban and rural systems
  • Innovations in data curation, management, sharing, discoverability, and access, including those contributing to synthesis science

The Arctic Social Sciences Program encourages projects that are circumpolar and/or comparative; involve collaborations between researchers and those living in the Arctic; or form partnerships among disciplines, regions, researchers, communities, and/or students (K-12, undergraduate, or graduate). Proposals for doctoral dissertation improvement grants are accepted. The program has a special interest in a wide range of Indigenous scholarship, including Indigenous science and knowledge systems; community participatory-based research models and knowledge coproduction; Indigenous conceived and led research projects; and more. 

Projects involving research with human subjects must ensure that subjects are protected from research risks in conformance with the relevant federal policy known as the Common Rule (Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, 45 CFR 690). All projects involving human subjects must either (1) have approval from the organization's Institutional Review Board (IRB) before issuance of an NSF award or, (2) must affirm that the IRB or an appropriate knowledgeable authority previously designated by the organization (not the Principal Investigator) has declared the research exempt from IRB review. The box for "Human Subjects" must be checked on the Cover Sheet with the IRB approval date (if available). If IRB approval has not been obtained before submission, the proposer should indicate "Pending" in the space provided for the approval date. Advice is available at http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/guidance.jsp#human. If letters of permission or approval are included, such as those from Native organizations or communities in which the work will take place, please include them as supplementary documents.

The Arctic Social Sciences Program considers joint review and funding within the Office of Polar Programs and with other NSF programs, when appropriate. Special funding opportunities may also be available through the Navigating the New Arctic Program and/or social science-relevant submissions to the Arctic System Science (ARCSS) Program (https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=13426). For information regarding field support for proposals with field components, please see Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions in the Arctic Research Opportunities announcement and the Arctic Research Support and Logistics web page.  All principal investigators whose projects have the potential to affect historic sites and areas need to speak to the ASSP program officer concerning Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Program contacts

Erica Hill
Program Director, Arctic Social Sciences
erhill@nsf.gov (703) 292-4521
Colleen Strawhacker
Program Director, Arctic Social Sciences
colstraw@nsf.gov (703) 292-7432 GEO/OPP

Awards made through this program

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