Geotechnical Engineering and Materials (GEM)

National Science Foundation (NSF)


Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Faculty Unaffiliated Researcher Government Entity Nonprofit For-Profit Business College / University Museum/Library/Zoo Research Scientist

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States

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Overview:

The Geotechnical Engineering and Materials Program (GEM) supports fundamental research in soil and rock mechanics and dynamics in support of physical civil infrastructure systems. Also supported is research on improvement of the engineering properties of geologic materials for infrastructure use by mechanical, biological, thermal, chemical, and electrical processes. The Program supports the traditional areas of foundation engineering, earth structures, underground construction, tunneling, geoenvironmental engineering, and site characterization, as well as the emerging area of bio-geo engineering, for civil engineering applications, with emphasis on sustainable geosystems. Research related to the geotechnical engineering aspects of geothermal energy and geothermal heat pump systems is also supported. The GEM program encourages knowledge dissemination and technology transfer activities that can lead to broader societal benefit and implementation for provision of physical civil infrastructure. The Program also encourages research that explores and builds upon advanced computing techniques and tools to enable major advances in Geotechnical Engineering. The program supports relevant research topics that address the emerging areas of geotechnical engineering and the Grand Challenges to “restore and improve urban infrastructure” and “provide access to clean water”  described in the following reports: 

National Research Council, Geological and Geotechnical Engineering in the New Millennium: Opportunities for Research and Technical Innovation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006

National Academy of Engineering, Grand Challenges for Engineering,(Grand Challenges Report)

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Eligible applicants are:

    • Universities and Colleges  Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in, the US acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.

      • Academic institutions located outside the US fall under "Foreign Organizations" in Ineligibility, below.

    • Non-profit, non-academic organizations  Independent museums, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations located in the US that are directly associated with educational or research activities.

    • For-profit organizations  US commercial organizations, especially small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education.

      • An unsolicited proposal from a commercial organization may be funded when the project is of special concern from a national point of view, special resources are available for the work, or the proposed project is especially meritorious.

      • NSF is interested in supporting projects that couple industrial research resources and perspectives with those of universities; therefore, it especially welcomes proposals for cooperative projects involving both universities and the private commercial sector.

    • State and Local Governments  State educational offices or organizations and local school districts may submit proposals intended to broaden the impact, accelerate the pace, and increase the effectiveness of improvements in science, mathematics and engineering education in both K-12 and post-secondary levels.

    • Unaffiliated Individuals  Scientists, engineers or educators in the US and US citizens may be eligible for support, provided that the individual is not employed by, or affiliated with, an organization, and the individual:

      • has demonstrated the capability and has access to any necessary facilities to carry out the project; and

      • agrees to fiscal arrangements that, in the opinion of the NSF Division of Grants & Agreements, ensure responsible management of Federal funds.

      • Unaffiliated individuals must contact the appropriate program prior to preparing and submitting a proposal.

    • Other Federal agencies  NSF does not normally support research or education activities by scientists, engineers or educators employed by Federal agencies or Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs).

      • Under unusual circumstances, other Federal agencies and FFRDCs may submit proposals directly to NSF.

      • A proposed project is only eligible for support if it meets one or more of the following exceptions, as determined by a cognizant NSF Program Officer:

        • Special Projects. Under exceptional circumstances, research or education projects at other Federal agencies or FFRDCs that can make unique contributions to the needs of researchers elsewhere or to other specific NSF objectives may receive NSF support.

        • National and International Programs. The Foundation may fund research and logistic support activities of other Government agencies or FFRDCs directed at meeting the goals of special national and international research programs for which the Foundation bears special responsibility, such as the US Antarctic Research Program.

        • International Travel Awards. In order to ensure appropriate representation or availability of a particular expertise at an international conference, staff researchers of other Federal agencies may receive NSF international travel awards.

Ineligibility:

  • Foreign organizations  NSF rarely provides support to foreign organizations.
    • NSF will consider proposals for cooperative projects involving US and foreign organizations, provided support is requested only for the US portion of the collaborative effort
  • Research focused on natural hazards, such as earthquakes, windstorms, tsunamis and landslides should be submitted to the Engineering for Natural Hazards (ENH) Program (PD 15-7396), unless the research is directed at fundamental soil/rock behavior at the micro level, rather than behavior of systems such as foundations or levees.