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Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL)

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This document has been archived.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.

Site Selection and Technical Design Development


Multiple scientific and engineering communities have identified the need for a deep underground laboratory infrastructure in order to address frontier research questions in a broad, multidisciplinary array of subfields.  This solicitation invites proposals to conduct design and development activities for a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) for a specific site.  Based on the detailed competitive review of the resulting proposals, a down-select will be made to a single site, and an award will be made for design and development activities leading toward a detailed cost/schedule/scope/management baseline plan. 

The process for development of an executable baseline plan for DUSEL will be conducted in accordance with the NSF Guidelines for Planning and Managing the MREFC Account (Guidelines, NSF-03-049, http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/docs/mrefcguidelines1206.pdf).  This solicitation requests proposals that demonstrate a prior level of planning and design at the site sufficient to meet the requirements for completing the Conceptual Design phase, as well as a plan for continuing design and development through the Preliminary Design phase and subsequent pre-construction development.  These design phases are defined in the Guidelines.

The scope of the design work will include: (1) the infrastructure necessary to support the initial science and engineering program, (2) the initial suite of experiments, (3) a commissioning, operations and management plan for a DUSEL, and (4) any additional groundwork in the form of engineering, studies, or additional infrastructure that might be required to accommodate a long term science and engineering program.  The science and engineering scope will be based on the extensive planning by the several scientific and engineering communities requiring DUSEL for their research.  

The guiding principle governing the review process for the proposals in response to this solicitation is to select and develop the site-specific plan that shows the greatest potential for development of a world-leading DUSEL at the best cost/risk value to the government, and that would enable the science and engineering activities defined by the relevant communities, as referenced below.  The initial suite of experiments are to be of sufficient impact to justify the construction of a DUSEL, and the site-specific plan is to be visionary, in that the plan could be extended in future phases to accommodate the most important scientific goals defined by the research communities.  The pursuit of these new directions of study could call for next-generation experiments that require development of additional infrastructure at a DUSEL.

Program contacts

Jonathan Kotcher
jkotcher@nsf.gov (703) 292-8235
Richard Fragaszy
rfragasz@nsf.gov (703) 292-8360
David Lambert
dlambert@nsf.gov (703) 292-8558

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