Notice of Intent to Compete an Arctic Sciences Community Hub
The Arctic Sciences Section in the Office of Polar Programs (OPP) in the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) intends to carry out a competition to support community building and coordinating activities for the NSF Arctic Sciences Community through an open, merit-based, peer-reviewed process. The anticipated program solicitation is expected to result in an initial award of a five-year Cooperative Agreement (CA) with the possibility of a five-year continuation for the management of the Arctic Sciences Community Hub, which is expected to start in Calendar Year 2024. Cooperative Agreements of this type are governed in part under 2 CFR, part 200: "Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirement for Federal Awards" (Uniform Guidance), in addition to NSF standard and award-specific terms and conditions.
NSF is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861 et seq.). The Act states, in part, that the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense; by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering." In support of these goals, the NSF funds coordination and network offices to encourage cross-project collaborations, syntheses, and shared learning.
This letter provides general information on the Arctic Sciences Section, communicates that NSF anticipates initiating the aforementioned competition, provides information on provisional goals and a timeline for that competition, and invites comments and questions from eligible organizations interested in this competition. Note that such comments and questions will not bind an entity to participate in any subsequent competition.
The Arctic Sciences Section
The Arctic Sciences Section (OPP/ARC) comprises disciplinary programs that encompass atmospheric sciences, biological sciences, earth sciences, glaciology, ocean sciences, and social sciences. Interdisciplinary research in the biosciences, geosciences, and social sciences is linked through the Arctic System Science Program. The Arctic Observing Network (AON) program supports projects geared toward integrated long-term measurements and observations of Arctic system characteristics and its global connections. Support for Arctic fieldwork in proposals awarded by OPP is available through the Arctic Research and Logistics Program. The main program solicitation for proposals to ARC is Arctic Research Opportunities, and the Arctic Data Center is the repository for project metadata and data.
As such, OPP/ARC has supported a wide range of Arctic research projects over previous decades, leading to a broad and complex portfolio of individual projects that cross a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary domains. Often, these projects are led by or directly partnered with local and Indigenous Arctic communities. Each ARC-funded project is responsible for its own performance, including its core research and broader impacts. However, an Arctic Sciences Community Hub is required to coordinate the activities of funded ARC projects, engage new PIs, and promote research, education, and outreach activities of NSF Arctic Research projects. The Arctic Sciences Community Hub will also provide centralized representation of ongoing NSF Arctic research activities to the broader scientific community and the public.
ANTICIPATED COMPETITION SCHEDULE
This notice does not constitute a solicitation. Proposals are not yet sought, and no award of any kind will result from this notice. NSF anticipates that a program solicitation will be issued in the last quarter of Calendar Year 2023. The anticipated due date for full proposals in response to the program solicitation is expected to be approximately 5-6 months following its publication.
NSF anticipates that the competition for the Arctic Sciences Community Hub will be open to all categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation as identified in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter I.E.
REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION
Following release of the program solicitation, interested parties will be encouraged to request clarification of general aspects of the competition or identify any information they feel would be needed for proposal preparation. Informational webinars for interested parties are anticipated
Any questions regarding this Dear Colleague Letter or the forthcoming program solicitation should be directed to NSF and not to any incumbent managing organization. Information provided to NSF prior to issuance of the program solicitation will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact the cognizant program officer, Dr. Colleen Strawhacker (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dr. Alexandra R. Isern
Assistant Director, Directorate for Geosciences
National Science Foundation