NSF Releases Two Dear Colleague Letters, Opportunities for FABBS Scientists

November 12, 2020

Earlier this month, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a Dear Colleague Letter: Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI). This is an important opportunity for FABBS members as NSF is particularly interested in proposals that integrate a deep understanding of human cognition, perception, information processing, decision making, social and cultural behavior and related areas into the design, development, and sustainability of infrastructure. (Also see “Strengthening American Infrastructure initiative empowers a human-centered approach“)

This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) invites workshop and Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals that incorporate scientific insights about human behavior and social dynamics to better develop, design, build, rehabilitate, and maintain strong and effective American infrastructure. Conference proposals are due November 30, 2020.

NSF also released a DCL for Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) Institutes for Data-Intensive Research in Science & Engineering with a virtual meeting scheduled for November 17 2020, from 2:00pm to 3:15pm ET. HDR is a national-scale activity to enable new modes of data-driven discovery that will allow fundamental questions to be asked and answered at the frontiers of science and engineering. Behavioral and cognitive scientists are central to this effort.

This solicitation will establish a group of HDR Institutes for data-intensive research in science and engineering that can accelerate discovery and innovation in a broad array of research domains. According to NSF, the HDR Institutes will support convergence between science and engineering research communities as well as expertise in data science foundations, systems, applications, and cyberinfrastructure. In addition, the HDR Institutes are intended to enable breakthroughs in science and engineering through collaborative, co-designed programs to formulate innovative data-intensive approaches to address critical national challenges.

Proposals will be managed by a cross-disciplinary team of NSF Program Directors. Researchers from diverse disciplines should not be discouraged that proposals are submitted through the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC) within the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). The proposal deadline date is January 21, 2021.

By way of background, in 2016, the NSF unveiled a set of “Big Ideas,” 10 long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering.

NSF hopes that these solicitations will incentivize interdisciplinary collaborations. FABBS encourages behavioral and cognitive scientists to consider responding to these letters, even if not immediately obvious that these calls our open to our disciplines. To this end, FABBS generated several submissions to the recent NSF invitation for ideas for Convergence Accelerators.