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Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER)

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NSF 24-520

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 renewal awards for active Long-term Ecological Research sites.


Supports renewal awards for active Long-term Ecological Research sites.


To address ecological questions that cannot be resolved with short-term observations or experiments, NSF established the Long-Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) in 1980. Two components differentiate LTER research from projects supported by other NSF programs: 1) the research is located at specific sites chosen to represent major ecosystem types or natural biomes, and 2) it emphasizes the study of ecological phenomena over long periods of time based on data collected in five core areas.  Ongoing research at LTER sites is expected to contribute to the development and testing of fundamental ecological theories and significantly advance understanding of the long-term dynamics of populations, communities, and ecosystems. It often integrates multiple disciplines and, through cross-site interactions, may examine patterns or processes over broad spatial scales. Recognizing that the value of long-term data extends beyond use at any individual site, NSF requires that data collected by all LTER sites be made publicly accessible in compliance with NSF data requirements. 

NSF currently supports 27 LTER sites and a network office. The program is on-going and proposals for new LTER sites are periodically invited when a need is identified to balance the LTER portfolio or when funding opportunities arise to support new LTERs. These opportunities are announced through separate solicitations. This solicitation governs submission of renewal proposals for active LTER site awards, not new sites. 

Program contacts

William G. Ambrose
wambrose@nsf.gov (703) 292-8048 GEO/OPP
Roberto Delgado
robdelga@nsf.gov (703) 292-2397 GEO/OPP
Rebecca Gast
rgast@nsf.gov (703) 292-2356 GEO/OPP
Kendra Mclauchlan
kmclauch@nsf.gov (703) 292-2217 BIO/DEB
Francisco (Paco) B. Moore
fbmoore@nsf.gov (703) 292-5376 BIO/DEB
Robyn Smyth
rsmyth@nsf.gov (703) 292-2996 BIO/DEB
Cynthia L. Suchman
csuchman@nsf.gov (703) 292-2092 GEO/OCE
Daniel Thornhill
dthornhi@nsf.gov (703) 292-8143 GEO/RISE
Betsy von Holle
mvonholl@nsf.gov (703) 292-4974 BIO/DEB
John E. Yellen
jyellen@nsf.gov (703) 292-8759 SBE/BCS

Awards made through this program

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Map of recent awards made through this program