Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (SPAR)
National Science Foundation's Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER)
NSF Submission Checklist (Word File)
Proposals for small-scale, exploratory, and high-risk research in the fields of science, engineering, and education normally supported by NSF may be submitted to individual programs. Such research is characterized as preliminary work on untested and novel ideas; ventures into emerging research ideas; the application of new expertise or new approaches to "established" research topics; having extreme urgency with regard to availability of or access to data, facilities, or specialized equipment, including quick-response research on natural disasters and similar unanticipated events; and efforts of similar character likely to catalyze rapid and innovative advances.
NSF strongly encourages investigators to contact the NSF program officer(s) most germane to the proposal topic before submitting an SGER proposal. This will make it easier to determine whether the proposed work meets the SGER guidelines described here and the availability for funding, or whether it would be more suitable for submission as a fully reviewed proposal.
The project description must be two to five pages long. It should include a clear statement that explains why the proposed research should be considered particularly exploratory and high risk and the nature and significance of its potential impact on the field. In addition, an explanation should be included as to why an SGER grant would be the best means of supporting the work.
Brief biographical information is required for the principal investigator (PI) and co-PI(s) only, and should include a list of no more than five significant publications or other research products. The box for "Small Grant for Exploratory Research" must be checked on the cover sheet.
These proposals will be subject to internal NSF merit review only. Renewed funding of SGER awards may be requested only through submission of a non-SGER proposal that will be subject to full merit review. The maximum SGER award amount will not exceed $100,000. Although the maximum award amount is $100,000, the award amount usually will be substantially less than a given program's average award amount. The project's duration will normally be 1 year, but may be up to 2 years.
For participating directorates and at the discretion of the program officer with the concurrence of the division director, a small fraction of especially promising SGER awards may be extended for up to 6 additional months and supplemented with up to $50,000 in additional funding.
These award extensions will be possible for awards with an initial duration of 2 years or less. Requests for extensions must be submitted 1 to 2 months before the expiration date of the initial award. A project report and an outline of the proposed research (not to exceed five pages) must be included.
If you are interested in submtting a SGER proposal,
please contact SPAR at (646) 312-2205
Last updated 10/07/2011