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Selection and Review Criteria

Seed proposals are reviewed by the NCALM Steering Committee and follow National Science Foundation guidelines, specified below, for intellectual merit and broader impacts.

Intellectual Merit

  • What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
  • How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields?
  • How well qualified is the graduate student (individual or team) to conduct the project?
  • To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?
  • How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity?

Broader Impacts

  • What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
  • How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding, while promoting training and learning?
  • How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of under-represented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, or geographic)?
  • To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships?
  • Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding?
  • What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

Applicants can expect to hear whether their proposal has been selected by February of the year following submission.

In order to maximize the number of seed awards, all seed projects are flown with other larger, funded projects. This helps cover most of the expenses for mobilization and de-mobilization for the airplane, pilot, and field crew. Unfortunately, larger funded projects may or may not be known at the time of the seed award. Therefore, seed projects may not be flown due to unforeseen circumstances, even after being selected. In such situations, NCALM will work with the individual awardee to collect the data in the future.