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Developmental Sciences (DS)

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived. See NSF 24-544 for the latest version.

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 the cognitive, linguistic, social, cultural and biological processes involved in human development across the life span — illuminating the developmental processes that support individuals in living productive lives as members of society.


DS supports basic research that increases our understanding of cognitive, linguistic, social, cultural and biological processes related to human development across the lifespan. Research supported by this program will add to our knowledge of the underlying developmental processes that support social, cognitive and behavioral functioning, thereby illuminating ways for individuals to live productive lives as members of society.

DS supports research that addresses developmental processes within the domains of cognitive, social, emotional and motor development across the lifespan by working with any appropriate populations for the topics of interest including infants, children, adolescents, adults and non-human animals. The program also supports research investigating factors that affect developmental change, including family, peers, school, community, culture, media, physical, genetic and epigenetic influences. Additional priorities include research that incorporates multidisciplinary, multi-method, microgenetic and longitudinal approaches; develops new methods, models and theories for studying development; includes participants from a range of ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures; and integrates different processes (e.g., memory, emotion, perception, cognition), levels of analysis (e.g., behavioral, social, neural) and time scales.

The budgets and durations of supported projects vary widely and are greatly influenced by the nature of the project. Investigators should focus on innovative, potentially transformative research plans and then develop a budget to support those activities, rather than starting with a budget number and working up to that value.

While there are no specific rules about budget limitations, a typical project funded through the DS program is approximately three years in duration with a total cost budget, including both direct and indirect costs, between $100,000 and $200,000 per year. Interested applicants are urged to explore the NSF awards database for the DS program to review examples of awards that have been made.

The DS program also accepts proposals for workshops and small conferences. These typically have total cost budgets, including direct and indirect costs, of approximately $35,000. Prospective PIs are encouraged to send a 1-page summary of the proposed activities to the DS program directors in advance of submitting a conference/workshop proposal to ascertain its fit to the program.

In addition to consulting the NSF awards database, it is often useful for interested applicants to submit (via email) a summary of no more than one page so that a program director can advise the investigator on the fit of the project for DS prior to preparation of a full proposal. New investigators are encouraged to solicit assistance in the preparation of their project proposals via consultation with senior researchers in their area, pre-submission review by colleagues and attendance at symposia and events at professional conferences geared towards educating investigators seeking federal funding.

The Developmental Sciences Program is always interested in identifying new reviewers. Potential reviewers should have a Ph.D. in psychology or a related field and have a demonstrated area of expertise relevant to developmental science. Individuals interested in reviewing for the program should send a short description of their areas of expertise (two sentences) and their CV to a Developmental Sciences program director.

Program contacts

Leher Singh
Program Director
lsingh@nsf.gov (703) 292-7257 EDU/OAD
Anna V. Fisher
Program Director
avfisher@nsf.gov (703) 292-8451 SBE/BCS
Tanika M. Malloy
tmalloy@nsf.gov (703) 292-2484 SBE/BCS

Awards made through this program

Browse projects funded by this program
Map of recent awards made through this program