NSF

The National Medal of Science Nominations are Open

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has officially announced the Call for Nominations for the National Medal of Science. The National Medal of Science is the highest recognition the nation can bestow on scientists and engineers. The presidential award is given to individuals deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, engineering, or social and behavioral sciences, in service to the Nation. Nominate colleagues and peers who have made extraordinary contributions that have advanced the scientific enterprise. Nominations are due by May 3. Learn more about the nomination and review process here.

NSF Releases Dear Colleague Letter Opportunity for Bias, Prejudice, and Discrimination

The Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate within the National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) encouraging research dedicated to understanding and mitigating issues of bias, prejudice, and discrimination (BPD). The DCL highlights three interests for SBE programs, including investigations of BPD in under-studied populations, the effects of environmental factors on BPD, and the development and origins of BPD. A list of participating NSF programs can be found here. Any questions about the DCL should be directed to bpd@nsf.gov.

NSF Launches New National AI Research Resource Pilot

On January 24, the National Science Foundation (NSF), in collaboration with various agencies, launched the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR) pilot. This initiative takes a first step towards creating a research infrastructure aimed at both strengthening and democratizing access to the essential resources required for responsible AI discovery and innovation. The NAIRR pilot is designed to equip U.S.-based researchers and educators with access to advanced computing power, extensive datasets, sophisticated models, cutting-edge software, and comprehensive training and support. By fostering collaboration across academia, industry, the nonprofit sector, and government, the program intends to utilize cross-sector partnerships. According to NSF,…

NSF Announces New ReDDDoT Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has launched the Responsible Design, Development, and Deployment of Technologies (ReDDDoT) program, calling for multidisciplinary, multi-sector teams to explore responsible technological innovation. This program aims to embed ethical, legal, and societal considerations into the lifecycle of technology development, with an emphasis on the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 goal of fostering partnerships across academia, industry, and non-profits (see previous COSSA coverage). With a budget of $16 million, subject to the availability of funds, the NSF anticipates making 28 to 36 awards through this program. If interested in participating, learn more here.

NCSES Releases Knowledge Base to Improve Understanding of Data

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) in the National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a Knowledge Base, a new user resource on NCSES tools and data. The website provides robust information on how to understand and use NCSES data as well as answers to frequently asked questions and a glossary for commonly used terms. The Knowledge Base is intended to help people navigate NCSES data while simultaneously providing support in an easy and accessible way. This resource comes as NCSES works towards making their data more available for public use. Questions can be sent to ncsesdata@nsf.gov. 

Tess deBlanc-Knowles Appointed as Special Assistant to the Director for AI at NSF

On December 12, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the appointment of Tess deBlanc-Knowles as the new Special Assistant to the Director for Artificial Intelligence. Alongside this role, she’ll continue her duties within NSF’s Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships as Strategic Advisor for Technology Policy and Strategy. As a former OSTP Senior Policy Advisor, deBlanc-Knowles led policy efforts to strengthen the nation’s AI innovation by co-chairing the National AI Research Resource Task Force, oversaw the the National AI Research and Development Strategic Plan: 2023 Update and led the process in crafting the nation’s first strategy to advance privacy-enhancing technologies. Now, as the lead in the…

NSF Unveils First-Ever Accelerating Research Translation Awards to Boost Economic Growth Through Academic Research

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced its first-ever investment in the Accelerating Research Translation (ART) initiative. More than $100 million will be dedicated to 18 teams at academic institutions nationwide to accelerate the pace and scale of translational research aimed to foster economic growth across the nation. The ART program is set to award up to $6 million over four years to each selected institution. These funds will be used to identify and develop academic research with potential for technology transfer, ensure the availability of staff with technology transfer expertise, and support the education and training of entrepreneurial faculty…

NCSES Opens Applications for Two New Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunities

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) has announced two new postdoctoral fellowships. These fellowships are designed to support recent doctoral graduates interested in the study of ethical and responsible research. Each program offers one slot for a dedicated and passionate fellow: Applications are due January 24 and can be submitted here.

NSF Announces EducateAI for Nationwide AI Education

The National Science Foundation (NSF) launched EducateAI, an initiative aimed at enhancing artificial intelligence (AI) education across the United States. This program targets a broad audience, from K-12 to graduate students and adults seeking formal AI training. The initiative’s core objective is to empower educators and students with essential AI knowledge and skills, fostering an inclusive environment for learning about AI technology. The initiative’s first step involves publishing the EducateAI Dear Colleague Letter, calling for proposals that advance inclusive computing education and integrate innovative AI-focused curricula. Funded by NSF’s CISE and STEM Education directorates, the call for proposals seeks to develop comprehensive…

NSF Signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

On November 14, Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The agreement is intended to foster a collaborative research partnership between the United States and Canada on various subjects including artificial intelligence (AI), healthcare, climate change, and more, through building on current projects and developing new opportunities. Some of these current projects include the NSF-led Global Centers, the NSERC-NSF AI/Quantum Lead Agency Opportunity, and the Canadian-led New Frontiers in Research Fund. Stay tuned to COSSA for continued coverage. 

Special Assistant Appointed to the NSF Director for Sexual Assault and Harassment Prevention and Response Implementation

On November 2, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the appointment of RenĂ©e V. Ferranti as the special assistant to the NSF director for sexual assault and harassment prevention and response implementation. In this new role, Ferranti will lead cross-agency efforts, implement sexual assault prevention policies, and recommend organizational improvements by providing expert evaluation of existing policies, procedures, and resources. Establishing this role is the most recent measure in the agency’s ongoing initiatives to address and prevent sexual assault and harassment (see previous COSSA coverage). Ferranti has over 25 years of experience in sexual assault prevention and response. She previously served as the director of…

NSF Press Conference: A Stride Towards Pandemic Prediction and Prevention

In an upcoming press conference, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is set to unveil the Phase II Centers Program of the Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention (PIPP) initiative, marking a significant stride towards understanding, predicting, and preventing infectious disease pandemics. This event will provide an overview of the PIPP Phase II Centers Program, discuss the roles of NSF Directorates, and highlight the necessity of broad expertise and collaboration across various research communities. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with NSF representatives, ask questions, and gain a deeper understanding of the community’s collective role in transforming society’s ability to forecast, detect, and…

AAU Launches “Fund American Science” Campaign

The Association of American Universities (AAU) has launched a new campaign titled, “Fund American Science: Congress Must Act Now to Fund the CHIPS and Science Act” in response to the insufficient funding for the science portion of the CHIPS and Science Act (see previous COSSA coverage). The AAU stresses that budget constraints and disagreements in Congress pose further threats to catching up to CHIPS and Science’s funding goals. This campaign calls on Congress to fully fund the amounts that CHIPS and Science authorized for the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Science, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National…

NSF Invests $18.8M in Inaugural Cohort for ExLent Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced its inaugural cohort of the Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT) program, investing $18.8 million across 27 teams at U.S. institutions of higher education to expand practical learning opportunities and grow talent nationwide. This includes support for teams from minority-serving institutions and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Initiated by NSF’s Directorates for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) and STEM Education (EDU), ExLENT is primed to offer hands-on learning experiences in sectors outlined in the CHIPS and Science Act. This spans areas like advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, quantum information science, and…

NSF Supports Efforts to Broaden Participation in the Nation’s Technology Workforce

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has pledged a commitment of nearly $5.8 million towards two pivotal projects, partnering with the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS). Aimed at promoting inclusivity in the advanced degree programs across key technological areas identified in the CHIPS and Science Act, this investment will bolster data resources and aide endeavors in the recruitment and retention of domestic graduate students from diverse backgrounds in STEM fields. Their collaborative goal with CGS is to broaden the scope of existing survey designs to collect data on graduate applications, admissions, enrollment, and completion rates. Encompassing around 60 institutions, this survey is expected to…

NSF Announces the Establishment of a New Research Security and Integrity Information Sharing Analysis Organization

The National Science Foundation (NSF), via the Office of the Chief of Research Security Strategy and Policy (OCRSSP), announced the establishment of an independent Research Security and Integrity Information Sharing Analysis Organization (RSI-ISAO). This initiative aims to bolster the U.S. research community, which encompasses institutions of higher education, non-profit research institutions, and small to medium-sized for-profit organizations. Its objective is to address foreign government interference, champion security-informed decision-making, and bridge the research community with U.S. government agencies. The NSF is inviting proposals that detail an actionable strategy for the RSI-ISAO. Anyone interested in submitting a proposal is encouraged to present…

NCSES Launches Website for the National Secure Data Service Demonstration Project

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) statistical agency, the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), has launched a website for the National Secure Data Service Demonstration Project (NSDS-D). NSDS-D is one of the required projects authorized under the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (see previous COSSA coverage). The project is intended to inform the ongoing work to improve the governments’ data infrastructure system, including new ways of collecting and linking data.  More details can be found on their website. 

National Science Foundation Job Opportunities and Announcements

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is gearing up for a busy start to the season and the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate is welcoming a new acting deputy assistant director to help. Dr. Evan Heit has been announced to fill the role, succeeding Dr. Antoinette WinklerPrins, following his recent position as the division director for the Division of Research on Learning within the STEM Education Directorate. Dr. Heit holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University and has a background serving in leadership for different programs including Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier.  The NSF is also still…

Nominations Open for the Alan T. Waterman Award

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking nominations for the Alan T. Waterman Award, which recognizes an early career researcher in any field of science or engineering supported by the NSF. The award winner will receive a medal and a grant of $1 million to use over a five-year period for scientific research or advanced study in the mathematical, physical, biological, engineering, social, or other sciences at the institution of the recipient’s choice. Nominations will be accepted through September 15, 2023. Read more about the award’s criteria, the application, and the selection process here. 

NSF to Launch New Program on Research Security

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has disclosed its plans to introduce a program centered around the critical domain of research security. Named the Research on Research Security Program (RRSP), the objective is to review the nuances, breadth, challenges, and potential of research security. Key focus areas under this initiative include cybersecurity, security concerning foreign travel, training on research security, and instruction on export controls. The program will aim to fund initiatives that evaluate methodologies to pinpoint research security hazards and the tactics to prevent and minimize threats. This will equip researchers with key insights on safeguarding their work, amplifying transparency and cooperation,…

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