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Dear Colleague Letter: Catalyzing Human-Centered Solutions through Research and Innovation in Science, the Environment and Society
May 9, 2023
The National Science Foundation (NSF) seeks to build research capacity and infrastructure to address complex and compounding national and global crises whose solutions require a human-centered approach. To help generate effective and long-lasting solutions that benefit the U.S. public, NSF is providing this funding opportunity to inform possible future Centers for Research and Innovation in Science, the Environment and Society (CRISES).
The envisioned centers will catalyze new research and research-based innovations to address seemingly intractable problems that confront our society. They will develop evidence-based solutions that address fundamental quality-of-life issues, such as those involving the environment, extreme weather and sustainability; workforce and the economy; equity and access to opportunities; and well-being.
This funding opportunity is led by NSF's Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) in partnership with NSF's directorates for Engineering (ENG) and Geosciences (GEO).
SBE supports research to understand the social and behavioral aspects of our rapidly changing world and how these issues are affected by our social, economic and natural environments. Fundamental and use-inspired research supported by the directorate advances our understanding of people, organizations and society, while revealing emerging opportunities to address challenges affecting our ability to live healthy and productive lives.
Through this funding opportunity, NSF seeks to invest in ideas that can potentially serve as the basis for a larger, center-scale activity. This DCL is the first step in that process.
NSF supports a variety of centers that contribute to its mission and goals. Centers leverage opportunities in science, engineering and technology when the complexity of the research program or the resources needed to solve the problem require greater scope, scale, duration, equipment, research infrastructure, facilities and people. Centers are a principal means by which NSF fosters interdisciplinary research.
In this first call, NSF invites proposals of the following types that will bring together experts across disciplines to seed ideas and help inform the possible full-scale implementation of a CRISES center:
- Conference proposals for up to $100,000.
- Planning proposals for up to $100,000.
Proposals must include the following:
- A lead principal investigator who is a social, behavioral or economic scientist (with a degree in the SBE sciences or significant publications in SBE journals).
- A focus on at least one program area currently supported by the SBE directorate.
- Planned activities that will bring together experts from a range of disciplines to explore the creation of a center to study and develop solutions to one or more pressing societal issues.
Additional principal investigators included in proposals can be experts in other disciplines. Given overlapping interests focusing on developing societal and environmental resilience, co-investigators from fields within engineering or the geosciences are encouraged. Proposals must demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach beyond that of any single disciplinary program or NSF directorate.
- The target date for full proposal submissions for both types of proposals is 5 p.m. Eastern time on June 26, 2023.