Facility and Instrumentation Request Process (FIRP)

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

The Facility and Instrumentation Request Process (FIRP) solicitation describes the mechanism by which the research community can propose projects that require access to instrumentation and facilities sponsored by the Facilities for Atmospheric Research and Education (FARE) Program in the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS).  FARE provides funding to a variety of organizations to make specialized instrumentation and facilities available to the atmospheric science research community through the Lower Atmosphere Observing Facilities (LAOF) and the Community Instruments and Facilities (CIF) programs. FIRP allows for parallel evaluation of intellectual merit and broader impacts along with the feasibility of the proposed project.

All proposals to AGS that require the use of FARE-sponsored assets must be submitted through this solicitation. 

The FIRP solicitation offers three proposal submission tracks based on the type and purpose of the request:  

  • Track 1 - Education and Outreach.
  • Track 2 - Single Facility Request.
  • Track 3 - Field Campaigns.   

Preference for funding will be given to proposals submitted to programs in the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) in the Geosciences Directorate (GEO). If you are planning to submit a proposal to a program outside AGS, including NSF-wide or Directorate-wide solicitations, please contact the FARE program director, Shree Mishra at fare@nsf.gov to discuss the timelines, review process, and budget request for the use of FARE assets. 


Full proposal accepted anytime

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Track 1 (Education and Outreach): Track 1 proposals are requests for limited field or laboratory activities that target education and outreach. Track 1 proposals must include educational activities in formal and/or informal settings aimed at providing hands-on student training in field and/or laboratory based observational research, and/or provide significant public outreach through coordinated events. The total proposal cost must be under $75,000. No more than $50,000 of the total budget may be requested for facility use.

PIs of funded or proposed field campaigns should include education and outreach in their original research proposal and not rely on Track 1 proposals to augment the campaign. The primary focus of Track 1 proposals must be education and outreach; projects with substantial research components should usually be submitted under Track 2 or Track 3.

Track 2 (Single Facility Request): Track 2 proposals are primarily for U.S.-based research projects that require a single CIF, such as a laboratory facility or a single mobile radar/lidar facility, or a single instrument/instrument system within the LAOF facility pool, such as the Integrated Sounding System (ISS). Small international campaigns with straightforward logistics may be requested for Track 2 with approval from the FARE program director.

Deployments including aircraft or a network of instruments, or multi-year field deployments, are not eligible under Track 2. NSF may accept a multi-year request for the use of laboratory-based equipment as a Track 2 request depending upon the complexity of the request. Final determination will be made by the FARE program after reviewing the Statement of Interest (SoI).

Track 3 (Field Campaigns): Track 3 proposals are for the deployment of major LAOF such as aircraft, multiple CIF, or a combination of LAOF and CIF. A proposal for a multi-year research campaign will fall under Track 3. Examples of Track 3 activities include research aircraft-based deployments, coordinated mobile remote sensing studies, and deployment of observing networks.

Eligibility Requirements

If a PI has had a Track 1 award with a particular facility, they may not submit another Track 1 proposal requesting the same facility within 3 years of the start date of the previous Track 1 award.

Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 5 to 15

The number of awards will vary depending on the number of proposals received, their scientific merit and programmatic considerations.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $10,000,000 to $20,000,000

Projects awarded under the FIRP solicitation will be funded by a combination of disciplinary science program and FARE program funding. Research proposal costs, such as PI salary, student support, travel and publications, materials and supplies will be funded by the relevant disciplinary science program(s). Field deployment and usage costs for LAOF and CIF will be funded by the FARE program.

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

Funding Type





Curriculum Development
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences