NSF INSPIRE

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NSF

The Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE) pilot continues to support bold interdisciplinary projects in all NSF-supported areas of science, engineering, and education research in FY16. INSPIRE has no targeted themes and serves as a funding mechanism for proposals that are required both to be interdisciplinary and to exhibit potentially transformative research (IDR and PTR, respectively). Complementing existing NSF efforts, INSPIRE was created to handle proposals whose:

  • Scientific advances lie outside the scope of a single program or discipline, such that substantial funding support from more than one program or discipline is necessary.
  • Lines of research promise transformational advances.
  • Prospective discoveries reside at the interfaces of disciplinary boundaries that may not be recognized through traditional review or co-review.

To receive funding as an INSPIRE-appropriate project, all three criteria must be met. INSPIRE is not intended to be used for interdisciplinary projects that can be accommodated within other NSF funding mechanisms or that continue well-established practices.

The implementation of the INSPIRE pilot is based on two overarching goals:

Goal 1: To emphasize to the science, mathematics, engineering and education research community that NSF is welcoming to bold, unconventional ideas incorporating creative interdisciplinary approaches. INSPIRE seeks to attract unusually creative high-risk/high-reward “out of the box” interdisciplinary proposals.

Goal 2: To provide NSF Program Officers (POs) with additional tools and support to engage in cross-cutting collaboration and risk-taking in managing their award portfolios.

INSPIRE supports projects that lie at the intersection of traditional disciplines, and is intended to 1) attract unusually creative high-risk/high-reward interdisciplinary proposals; 2) provide substantial funding, not limited to the exploratory stage of the pursuit of novel ideas (unlike NSF’s EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research, or EAGER); and 3) be open to all NSF-supported areas of science, mathematics, engineering, and education research.