Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 9/27/2023

Competition for the Management of Operation and Maintenance of the National Geophysical Facility

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is soliciting proposals for managing the operation and maintenance of the National Geophysical Facility (hereafter referred to as NGF) an NSF-funded major facility. The NGF is designed to enable the research community to ask, and address, questions about a variety of Earth processes from local to global scales. NGF will operate global and regional networks of sensors; provide a lending library of instrumentation and support services to enable PI-led field experiments; support archiving, quality control, and delivery of geophysical data and data product development; and provide education, outreach, workforce development, and community engagement activities that serve a wide range of audiences. NGF will be a single facility, with a single operator that will succeed NSF’s current geophysical facilities, the Seismological Facility for the Advancement of GEoscience (SAGE) and the Geodetic Facility for the Advancement of GEoscience (GAGE).

The award recipient will work closely with NSF and the scientific community to ensure that NGF capabilities support, and advance, Earth Sciences and related disciplines. In cooperation with NSF, and within available resources, the recipient will plan and execute a viable, coherent, and inclusive program to: (1) streamline the management and operations of existing geophysical facility capabilities into one consolidated geophysical facility; (2) enhance existing facility capabilities in instrumentation, data services and cyberinfrastructure; and (3) implement a bold vision to broaden participation and foster a culture of equity and inclusion in the Earth Sciences and related disciplines.

The NSF Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) in the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) has primary responsibility for the programmatic oversight of NGF and activities will be coordinated with the Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE), Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS), and Office of Polar Programs (OPP). 

A single award will be made as a cooperative agreement with a duration of five years. NSF may renew the award for an additional five years, subject to availability of funds, the recipient's satisfactory performance, and review of a cost proposal for the second 5-year period. NSF’s decision will be informed by the National Science Board Statement on Recompetition of Major Facilities (NSB 2015-45 or its successor).

An organization may only submit 1 proposal as the lead. There is no limit on the number of proposals on which an organization can be included as a sub-recipient. Interested applicants from within Duke should contact fundopps@duke.edu as early as possible.


  • Required Letter of Intent: Dec. 1, 2023
  • Full Proposal: June 13, 2024
Eligibility Requirements

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations located in the U.S. that are directly associated with educational or research activities.
  • For-profit organizations: U.S.-based commercial organizations, including small businesses, with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education and a passion for innovation.

The Principal Investigator (PI) must be an employee of the proposing organization.

An organization may only submit 1 proposal as the lead. There is no limit on the number of proposals on which an organization can be included as a sub-recipient.

Since the PI must be an employee of the managing organization, which can only submit one proposal, an individual may serve as PI or co-PI on only one proposal.

Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 1

Anticipated Funding Amount: $223,000,000

For planning purposes, proposers can assume a base budget of approximately $39.5 million during the first year of the award, beginning October 2025 and should plan for no more than a 6% budget increase in each of the subsequent years. All budget amounts given herein are tentative and for initial planning purposes only. Actual annual funding increments will be determined based on the detailed cost estimate required per Section VII.C below and an Annual Plan and Budget submitted by the recipient to, and approved by, NSF. Funding increments are subject annually to the availability of funds and will be contingent on the performance of the recipient. Ongoing recapitalization of instrumentation, and escalation factors used for cost estimating, should be articulated in the Cost Estimating Plan.

Transition funding of up to $1,000,000 for a duration of up to six (6) months will be available for organizations other than the incumbent organization. Relevant transition activities include interviewing and hiring personnel, establishing subcontracts, transferring data and property, and obtaining permits and licenses. Should a transition period be necessary, the incumbent will retain responsibility for management of NGF and the new recipient will have the appropriate level of access to incumbent personnel and facilities associated with NGF as determined by NSF. The funding request for a transition period should be made within the Transition Plan and should not be included in the formal cost estimate or proposed budget for the initial 5-year period but must conform to the same requirements.

Funding Type