Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 10/2/2023

Ethical and Responsible Research (ER2)

The Ethical and Responsible Research (ER2) program aims to support fundamental research about what constitutes or promotes responsible and ethical conduct of research (RECR). The ER2 program seeks to encourage science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) researchers, practitioners and educators at all career stages to conduct research with integrity and to educate others about RECR. Research questions of interest to the program could address ethical issues involving diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, bias, culture, transparency and mentoring or other interpersonal behaviors in research environments, as well as the following:

  • What constitutes responsible and ethical conduct of research (RECR) and why?
  • What are the similarities and differences between RECR norms in different fields, sectors (for example, academia, industry and non-profit), or locations (states, regions or countries), and what can they learn from one another in terms of promoting ethical research practices?
  • Which organizational practices, contexts, and incentives promote ethical and responsible STEM research and why?
  • Which practices contribute to establishing and maintaining ethical cultures, and how can these practices be transferred and integrated into other research and learning settings?

Proposals from or involving substantial collaboration with organizations in EPSCoR-eligible jurisdictions, minority-serving institutions, women’s colleges or organizations primarily serving persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged. Proposals that include international collaborations are encouraged if the unique resources, expertise, facilities or locations of international partners enhance the merit of the proposed work. Please see the NSF PAPPG for guidance on international collaborations.


Full Proposal Deadline Date: January 25, 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.

The leadership of project teams must have appropriate expertise. This might include expertise in the STEM domains on which the project focuses, or in ethics, values, evaluation and pedagogy. For an Institutional Transformation Research Project proposal, it is highly recommended that at least one senior member of the submitting organization's administration (for example, the provost, a vice provost, and/or the campus president) serve as the PI or co-PI on the project.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or co-PI: 2

An individual may appear as PI, co-PI, or Senior Personnel on no more than two proposals submitted in response to this solicitation.

In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, the first two proposals received prior to the target date will be evaluated by the program for review, and the remainder of the individual's proposals will be returned without review. This limitation includes proposals submitted by a lead organization and any subawards included as part of a collaborative proposal involving multiple institutions. No exceptions to this rule will be made.

Amount Description

This solicitation will consider proposals for four types of projects:

  • Conference Projects with a total budget of $50,000 and a maximum duration of 12 months.
  • Incubation Projects with a total budget of up to $90,000 and a maximum duration of 12 months.
  • Standard Research Projects with a total budget of up to $400,000 and a maximum duration of 3 years.
  • Institutional Transformation Research Projects with a total budget of up to $700,000 and a maximum duration of 5 years.

Project durations and budgets must be commensurate with the scope of the work proposed and with guidance provided elsewhere in this solicitation regarding anticipated program resources. NSF anticipates a portfolio of awards with a range of budgets and durations up to the maximum amount.

Estimated program budget, number of awards, and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.


Funding Type