NSF Call for Proposals: Sustainability Research Networks Competition

Deadlines: Nominations are due at the Graduate School on Friday, September 16; Applications are due for internal review TBD.

Project Description:

Sustainability Research Networks will engage and explore fundamental theoretical issues and empirical questions in sustainability science, engineering, and education that will increase our understanding of the ultimate sustainability challenge – maintaining and improving the quality of life for the nation within a healthy Earth system. The goal of the Sustainability Research Networks (SRN) competition is to support the development and coalescence of entities to advance collaborative research that addresses questions and challenges in sustainability science, engineering, and education. SRNs will link scientists, engineers, and educators, at existing institutions, centers, networks, and also develop new research efforts and collaborations.

Each SRN network will be built upon an ambitious and nationally important sustainability theme. Possible themes include Energy & Materials Issues in Sustainability; Urban Sustainability; Large Scale Energy Production and Consumption Dynamics; Coastal System Vulnerability & Resilience; Altered Biogeochemistry of Earth Systems; Sustainability of Freshwater Supplies; and Food Security & Land Use Change.  Proposers will be tasked with choosing a specific theme for their network, identifying the research already being done in this area, proposing methods for linking existing research efforts, and then proposing research needed to advance their specific research theme. SRNs will foster new knowledge and tools at a frontier of research that significantly crosses and melds the boundaries of diverse disciplines, and creates the integrated science and engineering disciplines of the future. SRNs will pursue new opportunities in science, engineering and educational research that truly require the scale, scope, and facilities enabled by such a network.

Three to four SRNs will be awarded.  Proposals are expected to be 4-5 years in duration with costs not exceeding $12M per award.

The number of pre-proposals UW–Madison may submit is limited to three.  Full proposals are by invitation only.

This contains additional information on the program and specific application instructions, etc.

Internal Competition Application Instructions:

Notice of intent: Send an email message to with the subject line “NSF SRN” by Friday, September 16, 2011 to inform us of your intention to submit a proposal. Please include the following in your email message:

–name and full contact information for the PI
–names and departments of the Co-Is
–SRN Theme including a sentence or two explaining the theme.

Application Instructions – PIs will be notified if an internal competition is needed.

For the projects selected, the pre-proposals must be submitted using FastLane or Information about campus procedures for FastLane and is posted on the RSP Web site. The pre-proposal is due on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 5 pm CST.

If you have any questions about this procedure, please contact Heather Daniels (608) 263-7274 or Petra Schroeder (608) 265-4868

cc: School/College Research Administrators, Associate Deans for Research, and Biological, Physical and Social Sciences Department and Research Administrators