NSF's Navigating the New Arctic (NNA) — FY 2020 Program Solicitation

By: Roberto Delgado Program Director, Arctic Observing Network, Section for Arctic Sciences, Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation

NSF's Navigating the New Arctic (NNA)

The FY 2020 solicitation for the National Science Foundation's Big Idea, Navigating the New Arctic (NNA), is informed by the FY 2019 competition and other feedback from the research community. For FY 2020, the NNA solicitation (NSF 20-514) has several significant revisions: NNA's major goals have been expanded; the research foci for Track 1 have been revised and expanded; guidance for Track 2 proposals has been simplified and clarified; the solicitation includes a new section titled, "Special Considerations for Collaborations with Arctic Communities in NNA Proposals" that provides additional guidance, when appropriate, related to co-production of knowledge, community engagement, and guidelines for NNA research sites near Arctic residents; the deadline date has been changed to 11 February 2020; there is a new limit of three (3) proposals that include any one individual as Principal Investigator (PI), co-PI, or Senior Personnel; the section on Budget Preparation Instructions gives more explicit guidance on budgeting for participation in the NNA PI meetings; and the Additional Solicitation-specific Review Criteria have been refined.
NNA's goals for FY 2020 include:

  • Improved understanding of Arctic change and its local and global effects that capitalize on innovative and optimized observation infrastructure, advances in understanding of fundamental processes, and new approaches to modeling interactions among the natural environment, built environment, and social systems;
  • New and enhanced research communities that are diverse, integrative, and well-positioned to carry out productive research on the interactions or connections between natural and built environments and social systems and how these connections inform our understanding of Arctic change and its local and global effects;
  • Research outcomes that inform national security, economic development, and societal well-being, and enable resilient, sustainable Arctic communities; and
  • Enhanced efforts in formal and informal education that focus on the social, built, and natural impacts of Arctic change on multiple scales and broadly disseminate research outcomes.

NNA requests proposals that fall within two tracks. Track 1: Research Grants must have a budget of no more than $3,000,000 and a maximum duration of five years. Track 2: Planning Grants must have a total budget of no more than $250,000 and a maximum duration of 24 months.

Track 1 proposals must address at least one, and preferably more than one, of the following five research focus areas (For more guidance, see: solicitation and FAQs):

  • Arctic Residents
  • Data and Observation
  • Education
  • Forecasting
  • Global Impact
  • Resilient Infrastructure

Under Track 2, NNA calls for proposals to support planning activities leading to convergence research team formation and capacity-building within the research community to address the important challenges of the changing Arctic, its global impact, and advancing Arctic science and engineering through education. Proposals should show clear potential to develop novel, leading-edge research ideas and approaches that integrate natural, social, and built environments to target significant societal challenges, build meaningful educational opportunities, and/or engage internationally and with local and Indigenous communities, when appropriate.
For more information, please participate in virtual office hours with NNA Program Officers:

NNA Office Hours Information and How to Join

The deadline for proposal submission is Tuesday, 11 February 2020. For further questions, please review carefully the Frequently Asked Questions. If you still have questions after reviewing the FAQs, then you may reach the NNA Working Group by sending an email to NNA [at] nsf.gov.


About the Author

Roberto DelgadoRoberto Delgado is the program director for the Arctic Observing Network (AON) in NSF's Office of Polar Programs (OPP). He was previously with the National Institutes of Health, where he served as a Program Chief; co-led the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC) Health and Wellbeing Collaboration Team; coordinated the Arctic Council's RISING SUN initiative; and managed research grants focused on resilience and well-being among rural, global, Arctic, and American Indian and Alaska Native communities. He earned his doctorate in biological anthropology and anatomy (now evolutionary anthropology) from Duke University, with expertise in evolutionary ecology, terrestrial ecosystems, and wildlife biology. He also previously held research faculty positions at Hunter College of the City University of New York and the University of Southern California. In addition to directing AON, he is a Co-Chair of the interagency U.S. Arctic Observing Network (US AON), one of the US national representatives for the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) initiative, and a member of NSF's Navigating the New Arctic Working Group. He may be reached at his office at 703-292-2397 or via email at robdelga [at] nsf.gov">robdelga [at] nsf.gov.