Geography and Spatial Sciences Program (GSS), National Science Foundation (NSF)

Updated: over 4 years ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

Solicitation  12-570

Important Notice to Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 13-1, was issued on October 4, 2012 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 14, 2013. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 13-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Please be aware that significant changes have been made to the PAPPG to implement revised merit review criteria based on the National Science Board (NSB) report, National Science Foundation's Merit Review Criteria: Review and Revisions. While the two merit review criteria remain unchanged (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts), guidance has been provided to clarify and improve the function of the criteria. Changes will affect the project summary and project description sections of proposals. Annual and final reports also will be affected.

A by-chapter summary of this and other significant changes is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide.


Full Proposal Deadline Date:  September 5, 2013

Regular proposal submission deadline

First Thursday in September, Annually Thereafter

Full Proposal Deadline Date:  October 10, 2013

DDRI proposal submission deadline

Second Thursday in October, Annually Thereafter

Full Proposal Deadline Date:  February 13, 2014

DDRI proposal submission deadline

Second Thursday in February, Annually Thereafter

Effective in mid-2012, the Geography and Spatial Sciences (GSS) Program will conduct one annual competition for new research proposals submitted to the program.  The next deadline for submission of regular research proposals for this competition will be Thursday, September 13, 2012.  In future years, the proposal-submission deadline will be the 1st Thursday of September.  Based on the evaluation of proposals in that one annual competition, some investigators may be invited to revise and resubmit proposals for a follow-up competition, but that will be limited to proposals whose principal investigators received explicit invitations to resubmit from the GSS program officers.  Details are provided in the "Timing of Proposal Submission and Evaluation" section below.
Note that the deadlines on the 2nd Thursday of October and the 2nd Thursday of February apply only to the submission of Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) proposals.
See the GSS Program solicitation for more information.


As specified in the Geography and Spatial Sciences Program strategic plan, the goals of the NSF Geography and Spatial Sciences (GSS) Program are:

  • To promote scientific research in geography and the spatial sciences that advances theory and basic understanding and that addresses the challenges facing society.
  • To promote the integration of geographers and spatial scientists in interdisciplinary research.
  • To promote education and training of geographers and spatial scientists in order to enhance the capabilities of current and future generations of researchers.
  • To promote the development and use of scientific methods and tools for geographic research.
The Geography and Spatial Sciences Program sponsors research on the geographic distributions and interactions of human, physical, and biotic systems on the Earth's surface. Investigations are encouraged to propose plans for research about the nature, causes, and consequences of human activity and natural environmental processes across a range of scales. Projects on a variety of topics (both domestic and international) qualify for support if they offer promise of contributing to scholarship by enhancing geographical knowledge, concepts, theories, methods, and their application to societal problems and concerns. GSS encourages projects that explicitly integrate undergraduate and graduate education into the overall research agenda.

GSS provides support through a number of different funding mechanisms:

  • Regular research awards
  • Doctoral dissertation research improvement (DDRI) awards
  • Faculty early-career development (CAREER) awards
  • Awards for conferences, workshops, group-travel support, and community-development or community-serving activities
  • Research coordination network (RCN) awards
  • Rapid-response research (RAPID) awards
  • Early-concept grants for exploratory research (EAGER) and creative research awards for transformative interdisciplinary ventures (CREATIV) may be supported in rare and unusual cases.  (GSS strives to be open to ideas and approaches in early stages of development and emphasizes the potential longer-term significance of new lines of inquiry as part of its merit evaluation of all proposals.)


GSS Strategic Plan, 2011-2015
Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) Program
Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) Opportunities
Other Programs in the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS)
Programs in the Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES)
Opportunities Managed by the SBE Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (SMA)
Programs in the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB)
Programs in the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR)
Programs in the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS)
Programs in the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI)
Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) Opportunities
NSF Strategic Plan, 2012-2016

Geography and Environmental Sciences

What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program


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