request for proposal

Critical Techniques, Technologies and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering (BIGDATA)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Program Solicitation

NSF 17-534

Submission Window Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

March 15, 2017 - March 22, 2017

Synopsis of Program

The BIGDATA program seeks novel approaches in computer science, statistics, computational science, and mathematics, along with innovative applications in domain science, including social and behavioral sciences, education, biology, the physical sciences, and engineering that lead towards the further development of the interdisciplinary field of data science.

The solicitation invites two categories of proposals:

  • Foundations (F): those developing or studying fundamental theories, techniques, methodologies, and technologies of broad applicability to big data problems, motivated by specific data challenges and requirements; and
  • Innovative Applications (IA): those engaged in translational activities that employ new big data techniques, methodologies, and technologies to address and solve problems in specific application domains. Projects in this category must be collaborative, involving researchers from domain disciplines and one or more methodological disciplines, e.g., computer science, statistics, mathematics, simulation and modeling, etc.

Proposals in both categories must include a clear description of the big data aspect(s) that have motivated the proposed approach(es), for example: the scalability of methods with increasing data volumes, rates, heterogeneity; or data quality and data bias; etc. Innovative Applications proposals must provide clear examples of the impacts of the big data techniques, technologies and/or methodologies on (a) specific domain application(s).

Proposals in all areas of sciences and engineering covered by participating NSF directorates and partnering agencies [the Office of Financial Research (OFR)], are welcome.

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant or Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 27 to 35

About 27-35 projects will be funded, subject to availability of funds.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $26,500,000

Up to $26,500,000 will be invested by NSF and the Office of Financial Research (OFR), in proposals submitted to this solicitation, subject to the availability of funds. Up to $9,000,000 will be invested by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft (up to $3,000,000 each) in the form of cloud credits/resources.

Projects will typically receive NSF funding in the range of $200,000 to a maximum of $500,000 per year, for 3 to 4 years of support. The minimum award size will be $600,000 of total NSF/OFR funding, reflecting the minimum expected level of effort for BIGDATA projects, which are expected to be multidisciplinary in nature and include significant student involvement. Any allocation of cloud credits/resources from AWS, Google or Microsoft will be in addition to the NSF/OFR funding.

Eligibility Information

Who May Submit Proposals:

The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter I, Section E.

Who May Serve as PI:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

There are no restrictions or limits.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1

An individual may participate as PI, co-PI, Senior Personnel, consultant, or any other role in no more than one proposal, or related subaward, submitted in response to this solicitation.

In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, any proposal submitted to this solicitation with this individual listed as a PI, co-PI, senior personnel, consultant or any other role after the first proposal is received at NSF will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made.

Proposals submitted in response to this solicitation may not duplicate or be substantially similar to other proposals concurrently under consideration by NSF.

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions:

  • Letters of Intent: Not required
  • Preliminary Proposal Submission: Not required
  • Full Proposals:

    • Full Proposals submitted via FastLane: NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide, Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Guidelines apply. The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at:
    • Full Proposals submitted via NSF Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Guidelines apply (Note: The NSF Application Guide is available on the website and on the NSF website at:

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements:

    Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:

    Not Applicable

  • Other Budgetary Limitations:

    Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

  • Submission Window Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

         March 15, 2017 - March 22, 2017


Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, and Microsoft are now participating in the solicitation by providing cloud credits/resources to qualifying projects. The solicitation provides details regarding the participation of these companies, and the use of their cloud resources.