Editor’s Note, December 12, 2000: Proposals for NSF funding may be submitted by U.S. institutions of higher education, independent nonprofit research institutions, research museums, and legally documented incorporated consortia. NSF programs encourage collaborative partnerships, including international and industrial, and the participation of women and underrepresented minorities.

Win Aung, Ph.D., Dr.h.c., P.E., Editor,

  1. Press Statement by Dr. Rita Colwell, NSF Director - October 12, 2000, on NSF Funding in FY2001 Appropriations Legislation

In her statement, Dr. Colwell indicates that she is pleased by the Fiscal Year 2001 (October 1, 2000 – September 30, 2001) funding levels for the National Science Foundation provided by the Senate today, characterizing it as truly ”an historic action, for which I am extremely grateful”.

The Senate action today recommends $4.424 billion for NSFoverall in Fiscal Year 2001 - $526 million over Fiscal Year 2000, representing the largest dollar increase the Foundation has ever received, in real or current dollars. According to Dr. Colwell, this increase also puts NSF on the path towards doubling the NSF budget in five years, a goal championed by leading members of the U.S. Senate.

”The funding recommended in this bill will benefit the nation by enabling new discoveries and innovations across the frontiers of science and engineering. It will spark needed investments in information technology, nanotechnology and biocomplexity research,” Dr. Colwell said.

For the full press press statement see:

  1. Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Supplement to Current NSF Awards

In a letter to Directorate for Engineering (ENG) awardees on October 31, 2000, Dr. Louis A. Martin-Vega, Acting Assistant Director, announces the availability of funds to encourage participation of K-12 teachers in on-going NSF projects. These funds will supplement existing NSF/ENG awards or within new proposals for new or renewal awards.

Dr. Martin-Vega indicates that the purpose of this endeavor is to facilitate professional development of K-12 teachers through strengthened partnerships between institutions of higher education and local school districts. ”ENG at NSF is particularly interested in encouraging its researchers to build mutually rewarding partnerships with teachers at inner city schools and less well endowed school districts,” he says.

For additional details, see:

  1. Nanoscale Science and Engineering

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announces a program on collaborative research in the area of nanoscale science and engineering. The goal of this program is to catalyze synergistic science and engineering research in emerging areas of nanoscale science and technology, including: biosystems at nanoscale; nanoscale structures, novel phenomena, and quantum control; device and system architecture; design tools and nanosystems specific software; nanoscale processes in the environment; multi-scale, multi-phenomena modeling and simulation at the nanoscale; and studies on societal implications of nanoscale

science and engineering. Individual investigator research in nanoscale science and engineering will continue to be supported in the relevant Programs and Divisions outside of this solicitation. This solicitation will provide support for: Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Teams, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers, and Nanoscale Exploratory Research.

Approximately $150 million has been planned for the various components of this solicitation in FY 2001, subject to availability of funds. (Additional funding for individual awards and focused areas is available through the relevant NSF programs.)

Deadline for FY 2001: (a) For Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers: Preproposals: past; Full proposals: January 30, 2001; (b) Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Teams: November 2, 2000; (c) Nanoscale Exploratory Research: November 2, 2000. See:

  1. Biophotonics Partnership Initiative II

The Division of BioEngineering and Environmental Systems of NSF announces a Biophotonics Partnership initiative seeking high risk/high return, multidisciplinary studies of novel concepts in biophotonics. Incremental advances of existing technologies will not be considered. NIH and DARPA will participate in the reviews and identify proposals of mutual interest and may provide co-funding for programs of high quality that meet their programatic and relevancy requirements. The reviews and panels will be run by NSF utilizing the NSF merit review process. All awards will be made by NSF and will be subject to NSF terms and conditions.

Estimates are for 8 awards to be made for a total funding of $3 million in FY 2001.

Due date for proposal is March 12, 2001. Full details are available at

  1. Research for Mixed Signal Electronic Technologies: A Joint Initiative Between NSF and SRC

The goal of this initiative is to support research activities directed at the

development of innovative research for mixed signal electronic technologies. In the context of this initiative mixed signal electronic technology relates to the integration of analog and digital components on a single chip with the ultimate goal of a system-on-a-chip. The challenge of this initiative, and its goal, is

the creation of new knowledge that will lead to new mixed signal systems with orders of magnitude performance improvement in terms information throughput, reduced power consumption and cost reduction. The research needs associated with advancing Mixed Signal Technology encompass all ideas, approaches, and techniques that ultimately lead to a system on a chip. Research topics may range

from basic research to more applied research in design, manufacturing and technology. The development of this capability will have a profound impact on the performance of current and future fabrication facilities.

A total of 12-15 awards will be made for a total of $6 million over 3 years. Proposals must be submitted by March 23, 2001. See:

  1. Interagency Announcement of Opportunities in Metabolic Engineering

This Announcement describes a collaborative effort among the Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (National Institutes of Health), and the National Science Foundation. The intent of this Inter-Agency Announcement is to provide an opportunity for an Inter-Agency granting activity in the area of Metabolic Engineering (ME). The eight participating Agencies (or Departments) are to make available up to a total of $4.5M from current research funding (including agency in-kind support ie, equipment, laboratory space,

personnel time, materials, etc.) in support of this Announcement. This is the third competition in an anticipated total of five competitions.

March 2, 2001 is the deadline for proposals. The website is:

  1. Instrument Development and Acquisition Solicitation

The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) is designed to increase access to scientific and engineering equipment for research and research training in our Nation's academic institutions. The MRI Program assists in the acquisition or development of major research instrumentation by U.S. institutions that is, in general, too costly for support through other NSF programs. The maintenance and technical support associated with these instruments is also supported. Proposals may be for a single instrument, a large system of instruments, or multiple instruments that share a common or specific research focus.

Approximately $75 million will be available for the MRI program in FY 2001, distributed across all NSF Directorates. Proposal deadline is February 7, 2001. See:

  1. Information Technology Research

Advances in Information Technology (IT) have dramatically transformed the way in which our entire society lives, works, learns, communicates, and does business. In particular, the conduct of science and engineering has been profoundly altered, so that it is possible today to work on problems in these areas at unprecedented levels of speed, precision, and detail. In education, IT has the potential to make available in the remotest corners of earth the highest levels of learning, information, and analysis. To enhance the positive effects of these transformations, the NSF research programs must be expanded considerably, and the supply of high-quality trained personnel must be substantially increased. The NSF wishes to fund innovative, high payoff research, which explores new scientific, engineering, and educational areas in IT. This is the second year for the Information Technology Research (ITR) Program. This year’s solicitation is considerably broadened to include not only fundamental research in IT, but also new applications of IT in all scientific, engineering, and educational areas, as well as innovative infrastructure to support IT research and education.

Approximately $125 million will be available for ITR in FY 2001. See:

Deadlines are: For Small Projects: Full Proposals due January 22-24, 2001; Group Projects: Pre-proposals due date passed (November 27-29, 2000), Full Proposals due April 9-11, 2001; and for Large Projects: Pre-Proposals due December 4-6, 2000, Full proposals due April 23-25, 2001.

  1. Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT)

Initiated in 1997, the IGERT program was developed to meet the challenges of educating Ph.D. scientists and engineers with the multidisciplinary backgrounds and the technical, professional, and personal skills needed for the career demands of the future. The program is intended to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education, for students, faculty, and universities, by establishing new, innovative models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment

for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. It is also intended to facilitate greater diversity in student participation and preparation and to contribute to the development of a diverse, globally-aware, science and engineering workforce.

Estimated Number of Awards: 20; Anticipated Funding Amount: Up to $2.7 million per award over 5 years.

Proposal due date for 2001 Competition: Preproposal: June 28, 2001; Full Proposal: January 18, 2002; see:

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