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NSF Announces Funds for New Science and Technology Centers

November 07, 1997

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Office of Science and Technology Infrastructure (OSTI) has announced that funds will be available for additional Science and Technology Centers (STC). NSF is currently soliciting proposals from qualified candidates for the Science and Technology Centers: Integrative Partnerships Program.

NSF established the STC Program in 1987, and charged it with pursuing university-based multidisciplinary research, encouraging knowledge transfer to non-academic sectors of society, and establishing innovative education activities.

Two competitions led to the establishment of 25 STCs - 11 in FY 1989 and 14 in FY 1991. Currently 24 STCs remain: five in the biological sciences, three in computer and information science, one that spans both behavioral science and computer and information science, five in the geosciences, and ten in the mathematical and physical sciences. The average annual budget per center in 1995 was $2.6 million.

U.S. academic institutions with significant research and education programs in any area of science and engineering normally supported by NSF may submit proposals.

Existing STCs or group members from such STCs who propose to focus on radically different research topics or themes may participate in this open competition. If successful, the new awards will not commence until the end of the Center's current term of support.

Applicants compete for support from the STC program in a two-stage process. In the first stage, applicants submit a preproposal that outlines the planned Center activity. In the second, invited applicants submit a full proposal. Research teams intending to submit a preproposal should submit a notice of intent addressed to the STC Program via e-mail to stc@nsf.gov by January 6, 1998. Preproposals are due to NSF by February 12, 1998. Full proposals are due September 3, 1998.

Awards are expected to be announced by August 1999. The amount of funds available for this competition is approximately $25 million in FY 2000, and NSF expects to make about eight to ten awards. The awards will be made as cooperative agreements with an initial commitment of five years and a potential duration of ten years. Proposed STC annual budgets may range from $1.5 million to $4.0 million of NSF support per year.

A copy of the Science and Technology Centers: Integrative Partnerships Program solicitation may be found on the Internet at http://www.nsf.gov/od/osti/centers/nsf9813/nsf9813.html