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GeoPRISMS Program

Grants to USA IHEs, Nonprofits, and Agencies
for Geological Sciences Research and Activities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Science Foundation (NSF) and Divisions of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Deadline Date:

03/02/20 - Deadline for Type 2 and Type 3 Proposals


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Grants to USA IHEs, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and federally-funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) for research activities to enhance the understanding of complex geological processes that affect the evolution of continental margins.

GeoPRISMS is a community-driven Program that is designed to enhance understanding of the complex processes governing global continental margin evolution. Mechanical, chemical, biological and fluid processes act in concert to drive the initiation, evolution and eventual destruction of continental margins, as well as the accumulation of resources in these regions. GeoPRISMS expands the dimensions of the preceding MARGINS program in several fundamental ways: (1) integration of scientific emphases to define two main initiatives (SCD and RIE); (2) explicit inclusion of surface processes and their feedbacks in the evolution of continental margins; (3) consideration of ancient and exhumed margins to understand parts of the system that are not accessible at active margins; (4) implementation of science objectives through a combination of primary sites and thematic based investigations; (5) further integration through overarching scientific themes that cross-cut tectonic categories; (6) expanded emphasis on issues with direct societal impact; and (7) a vertically-integrated education and outreach program supporting development from K-12 to early career scientists. GeoPRISMS emphasizes multidisciplinary research and studies that cross the shoreline, recognizing that the shoreline is where much of continental evolution takes place, and is also where the dynamics of the solid Earth have the largest impact on human populations.

This phase of GeoPRISMS is focused on facilitating the integration of previously acquired data, the synthesis of results within and across disciplines, and dissemination through collaboration, education, and legacy products. This will be accomplished via awards that support one or more of the following types of activities. These activity types may be submitted individually or combined as part of one project:

- Type 1: Integrative research projects that bring together multiple disciplines and datasets to address a specific research problem or knowledge gap within the scope of GeoPRISMS or MARGINS science.
- Type 2: Conferences and short courses that enable synthesis and integration of multidisciplinary datasets and models. These should not just bring together existing collaborative teams, but seek to educate a broader community of researchers.
- Type 3: Legacy products such as curricular resources, mobile and/or web applications, books, or other products that promote dissemination and use of GeoPRISMS data and models. Type 3 proposals could involve the creation, exploration, or implementation of tools, resources, and models that show particular promise for increasing the engagement of a range of stakeholders, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, decision-makers, or the public.
- Postdoctoral Scholar Program: The GeoPRISMS Postdoctoral program is aimed at providing opportunities for early-career scientists to solidify research skills, build a track record, and establish peer relationships. NSF's GeoPRISMS Program provides support for postdoctoral researchers to conduct up to two years of multi-disciplinary research at institutions of higher education in the United States. The intention is to encourage individuals, typically within five years after award of their Ph.D., to diversify their expertise relative to that used in their thesis research.

For more information on the activity types, see the Program Solicitation:

For details on the scientific objectives and priority areas, see the Program Solicitation:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 158577

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Estimated Number of Awards: 10

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.

Nonprofit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

Other Federal Agencies and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs): Contact the appropriate program before preparing a proposal for submission.

Who May Serve as PI:
-Only PIs employed by the types of organizations described above may apply.
- Postdoctoral Scholar proposals must be submitted by a US institution of higher education.

Additional Eligibility Info:

Postdoctoral Scholar proposals must be submitted by a US institution of higher education. For all other proposals, the categories of proposers identified in the PAPPG are eligible to submit proposals under this program solicitation.

Pre-Application Information:

Full Proposal Target Date(s):

- August 16, 2019: Type 1 and Postdoc Proposals
- March 2, 2020: Type 2 and Type 3 Proposals

Proposers may opt to submit proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via FastLane,, or

- Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system.
- Conference proposals must be submitted via FastLane or
- To prepare and submit a proposal via FastLane, see detailed technical instructions available at:
- To prepare and submit a proposal via, see detailed technical instructions available at:
- For Proposals Submitted Via Before using for the first time, each organization must register to create an institutional profile. Once registered, the applicant's organization can then apply for any federal grant on the website. Comprehensive information about using is available on the Applicant Resources webpage:

HTML version of the Program Solicitation:

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For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

Jennifer Wade
(703) 292-4739

Deborah Smith
(703) 292-7978

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:

NSF 19-581

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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