(CLOSED) NSF 20-549 Navigating the New Arctic Community Office (NNA-CO)

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 


Navigating the New Arctic (NNA), one of NSF's 10 Big Ideas, embodies the Foundation's forward-looking response to profound challenges and opportunities caused by rapid changes in the Arctic. NNA addresses convergent scientific, engineering, and educational research in, and related to, the rapidly changing Arctic. Recognizing that Arctic change has local and global impacts, one of the key goals of NNA is to expand Arctic-related research and Arctic-related research communities to engage in more expansive ways in the Arctic and beyond. The solutions to these challenges are needed to understand and forecast environmental change; advance economic prosperity; promote human and ecological health; and preserve security for the United States, the circumpolar Arctic region, and the globe.

NNA has been building a growing portfolio of research and planning grants at the intersection of the built, social, and natural environments to improve understanding of Arctic change and its local and global effects. NSF anticipates that there will be strong benefits for an enhanced exchange of experiences and results among NNA projects at all stages of those projects. We expect that the outcomes of projects in the NNA portfolio will produce meaningful impact for northern communities and other key stakeholders in local, state, national and international governance, as well as industry. It will be valuable for these outcomes and impacts to be presented as a holistic set rather than as a disparate set. Also, as many of the projects have proposed linkages to northern communities, either in a co-produced or other engagement framework, it is essential that projects coordinate with northern communities or regional entities to ensure a strong positive impact and avoid becoming a burden to communities with limited capacity.

Given this extensive investment in multidisciplinary projects, the creation of new research communities, and the engagement of PIs new to the Arctic, a central body to foster collaboration and coordination among NNA-funded PIs is essential. This solicitation for an NNA Community Office (NNA-CO) requests proposals from all interested and capable organizations to develop and operate the NNA-CO.


The NNA-CO is intended to foster coordination and collaboration among all NNA-funded projects and share outcomes with the broad scientific community and the public in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner. The NNA-CO will provide infrastructure to NNA projects to enable the facilitation and synthesis of NNA-funded research, education, and outreach activities. Coordinating activities may evolve based on dialogue with the community. NSF will select a highly qualified organization having the requisite skills and experience to effectively facilitate the next five years of NNA community activities.

We envision two overlapping primary thrusts for the community office:

Internal coordination among NNA projects:

  • Foster coordination, collaboration, and communication among all NNA projects.
  • Coordinate an annual NNA PI Community Meeting and assist with other NNA and broader community-initiated relevant workshops and short courses.
  • Provide communication tools, including developing and maintaining an NNA community website and communication list(s), providing networking opportunities, and facilitating active social media presences.
  • Distribute information to NNA-funded investigators and the broader community regarding best practices for work involving local and Indigenous residents and organizations.
  • Assist with other NNA-funded and broader community-initiated relevant workshops and short courses.
  • Work with the NNA community to identify opportunities for synthesis and future research opportunities.


Provide information to external (non-NNA project) stakeholders:

  • Ensure that NNA data, outcomes, and discoveries and their implications reach a broad spectrum of local, regional, national and international audiences, including scientists, educators, students, landowners, policymakers, and the general public.
  • Work with NNA projects to ensure strong engagement plans that coordinate support for the broader NNA community at appropriate research and educational conferences and public outreach events. These efforts may include outreach to local, regional, national and international audiences of scientists, educators, students, and others.
  • Develop resources to broaden participation in NNA-related activities.

NSF anticipates that the above activities would be funded with a budget of approximately $500,000 per year.

Duties of the NNA Community Office are not necessarily limited to those listed above. Other creative ideas for community coordination activities are encouraged. The NNA-CO may pursue additional activities that are compatible with the major goals of the NNA Big Idea. Any additional activities proposed should provide substantial, innovative, and/or creative enhancements for the NNA and related communities. These activities should focus on service to the NNA and related communities. It is expected that any such proposed additional activities should be justified and may be included in a budget exceeding $500,000 per year.

NNA Community Office Structure

NSF anticipates that successful operations and management of the NNA Community Office will require at least one scientist (the proposal PI), who serves as the Office Director, and additional support staff who will perform the other functions of the office.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Jul 10, 2020
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_NSF-20-549_2020 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Cover Letter (1 page, pdf):

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • PI name, departmental affiliations(s) and contact information
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

2. Project Description (no more than two pages, pdf) and identify the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements, principal investigators, collaborators, and partner organizations.

3. 2-page CV's of Investigators

Formatting Guidelines:

Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)
Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Monday, May 11, 2020 - 4:00pm
No Applicants