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Sustainable Regional Systems Research Networks (SRS RNs)

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NSF 24-533

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 multi-organizational teams to collaboratively produce convergent research, education and outreach that addresses grand challenges in sustainable regional systems.

Supports multi-organizational teams to collaboratively produce convergent research, education and outreach that addresses grand challenges in sustainable regional systems.


The United States is made up of regional systems comprising interdependent urban and rural systems and every community category between urban and rural. Urban systems and rural systems are interdependent for the provisioning of food, energy sources, water, other materials and natural resources, markets, manufactured goods, and medical resources. These systems are also connected by ecological processes that both influence and are influenced by human behavior. The vital interconnection of urban-rural systems underscores the critical need for the advancement of sustainable regional systems (SRS). The goal of this solicitation is to fund convergent research and education that will advance sustainable regional systems science, engineering, and education to facilitate the transformation of current regional systems to enhance sustainability. To further the advancement of SRS science, engineering, and education, NSF will support proposals for Sustainable Regional Systems Research Networks (SRS RNs).

Sustainable regional systems are connected urban and rural systems that are transforming their structures and processes collaboratively with the goal of measurably and equitably advancing the well-being of people and the planet. The purpose of the SRS RNs competition is to develop and support interdisciplinary, multi-organizational teams working collaboratively to produce cutting-edge convergent research, education, and outreach that addresses grand challenges in sustainable regional systems. SRS RNs will study multiscale regional systems to further SRS science, engineering, and education. Key elements will include new data, methods, and models to understand interactions between natural, human-built, and social systems; improved understanding of interdependencies, mutual benefits, and trade-offs of different wellbeing outcomes for humans and the environment; new and generalizable theories of change relevant to SRS; the co-production of knowledge; and exploration of concepts of social equity in sustainable regional systems across spatial and temporal scales. SRS RN outcomes will have the potential to inform societal actions for sustainability across urban systems and the connected rural communities that make up regional systems.

Subject to availability of funds and quality of proposals, this SRS RN solicitation will support:

  • SRS RN Awards. These awards will support fundamental convergent research, education, and outreach that addresses engineering, chemistry, biology, geosciences, mathematics, statistics, environmental, data, computational, education, and social, behavioral, and economic sciences of sustainable regional systems in partnerships that may embrace universities, colleges, federal, state, and local governments, tribal communities, non-governmental and international bodies, non-profit organizations, industry, practitioners, and other community groups. The award size is up to $15 million total with a duration of 5 years.

SRS RNs will conduct innovative and pioneering fundamental research and education that is of a scale and complexity that would not be possible within a single organization, center, or through the normal collaborative modes of NSF research support in core programs.

Program contacts

Bruce K. Hamilton
Program Director
SRS@nsf.gov (703) 292-7066 ENG/CBET
Thomas Evans
Program Director
SRS@nsf.gov (703) 292-4891 GEO/RISE
Laura Lautz
Program Director
SRS@nsf.gov (703) 292-7775 GEO/EAR
Robyn Smyth
Program Director
SRS@nsf.gov (703) 292-2996 BIO/DEB
Anne-Marie Schmoltner
Program Director
SRS@nsf.gov (703) 292-4716 MPS/CHE
Fengfeng Ke
Program Director
SRS@nsf.gov (703) 292-2411 EDU/DRL
Rajesh V. Mehta
Program Director
SRS@nsf.gov (703) 292-2174 TIP/TI
Keith Chanon
Program Director
SRS@nsf.gov (703) 292-7305 OD/OISE
Hongmei Luo
Program Director
SRS@nsf.gov (703) 292-8867 OD/OIA

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