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Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences

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This federal aid program is managed by:

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Objectives:

To contribute to the scientific strength and welfare of the Nation through the promotion of basic research and education in the social, behavioral and economic sciences and through monitoring and understanding the resources invested in science and engineering in the United States. Supported activities include research and education in the following disciplines: Anthropological and geographic sciences; cognitive, psychological and language sciences; economics, decision risk and management sciences; sociology, political sciences; innovation and organizational change, measurement methods and statistics, law and social science and science and society. Other SBE grants build infrastructure, and develop methods, support science and technology centers, including climate change and science of learning centers, and fund research workshops, symposia, and conferences. Educational activities include awards to improve the quality of doctoral dissertations in the behavioral and social sciences; grants for graduate traineeships and postdoctoral fellowships; and grants to promote K-12 education in the SBE sciences. Support is also provided for junior faculty and mid-career development opportunities, undergraduate student research, and for research opportunities for women, minorities, and the differentially abled. The Directorate also funds science studies; studies of scientists and engineers, R&D funding and expenditures, and educational attainment in science, mathematics and engineering.

Funding obligations:

(Grants) FY 07 $214,540,000; FY 08 est $215,130,000; and FY 09 est not reported.

Uses and Use Restrictions:

Programs in social, behavioral and economic sciences and in science resources statistics provide funds that may be used for paying costs necessary to conduct research or studies, such as salaries and wages, equipment and supplies, travel, publication costs, and other direct and indirect costs. Primary responsibility for the supervision of grant activities rests with the grantee institution; the project director or principal investigator is responsible for the execution of the research activities, as well as for submitting progress and final reports on research activities. Grants are made on a competitive basis. Funds must be used for purposes specified in the proposal.

Examples of Funded Projects:

Topics of recently funded research include: brain activity associated with truth and deception; the influence of fear on perceptions and decision making; network modeling; rebuilding from disasters; and the effects of terrorist assaults and natural disasters on people removed from physical harm but emotionally engaged with those who have directly suffered. With major support from the SBE-managed Human and Social Dynamics priority area and SBE's core programs, NSF recently announced new Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER) awards to study the impact of Hurricane Katrina on people and social systems in the hard-hit Gulf Coast region. SGER awards are limited in size and support exploratory, high-risk research and have proven to be especially well-suited for rapid-response situations in which the need for timely response is crucial in order to capture time-sensitive and perishable data. SBE previously used SGERs effectively to field research teams in the aftermath of both the September 11th terrorist attacks and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Other recently funded projects investigate the human dimensions of ecological issues such as climate change and the social and ethical issues that surround advances in nanotechnology. SBE also provides statistical data for critical analyses of the role of foreign citizens in the U.S. science and engineering workforce. In addition, SBE awards foster the development of new information technology systems and software, the sharing of data within and across disciplines, the development of new social research infrastructures, and education at all levels in the SBE sciences.

Program Accomplishments:

In fiscal year 2007, 4,284 competitive proposals were received and 1,143 awards were made, and in fiscal year 2008 approximately 4,250 competitive proposals are expected to be received and about 1,148 awards will be made.

Types of Assistance:

Project Grants.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:

$1,100 to $4,980,000; $85,395.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:

Up to 5 years.

Applicant Eligibility:

Public and private colleges and universities; Non-profit, non-academic organizations; For-profit organizations; State and Local Governments; and unaffiliated scientists under special circumstances. See the Grant Proposal Guide for a full description of eligibility requirements.

Beneficiary Eligibility:

See the Grant Proposal Guide, Section I.E. for a full description of eligibility requirements.

Award Procedure:

NSF staff members review and evaluate all proposals. To assist them, they usually obtain the advice of scientists and engineers who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Proposals are supported on the basis of merit to the extent permitted by available funds.

Contact Info for Headquarters Office:

Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Suite 905, Arlington, VA 22230. Telephone: (703) 292-8700. Division of Science Resources Statistics, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Suite 965, Arlington, VA 22230. Telephone: (703) 292-8780. http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs. Division of Social and Economic Sciences, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Suite 995, Arlington, VA 22230. Telephone: (703) 292-8760. http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/ses. Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Suite 995, Arlington, VA 22230. Telephone: (703) 292-8740. http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/bcs.

Website Address:

http://www.nsf.gov .

Related Programs:

 

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