The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is soliciting proposals for the next round of funding in its long-running Precision Measurement Grant Program (PMGP). The program provides support for experiments to make novel, high-precision measurements of important physical properties or fundamental constants of nature.
Begun in 1970, the PMGP grew out of NIST's core mission to develop state-of-the-art measurement technologies and scientific data to support U.S. industry, commerce and research. The grants have primarily funded work at universities and colleges in basic measurement related research. Typical PMGP projects have included precise measurements of variations in local gravity, improved measurements of the fine-structure constant (fundamental to quantum mechanics and electrodynamics), and tests of charge-parity-time (CPT) symmetry (one of the core tenets of physics.) The program also is intended to make it possible for researchers to pursue new ideas for which other sources of support may be difficult to find.
PMGP projects may run for up to 3 years, funded at $50,000 per year. NIST anticipates awarding up to $100,000 this year to fund the first year of two new projects. Funding for additional years is contingent on satisfactory performance and the availability of funds.
PMGP proposals are evaluated on the importance of the proposed research and its relationship to the NIST mission and the institution's ongoing work, the feasibility of the proposed project and the qualifications of the proposer.
The application process includes the submission of an abbreviated proposal by 5 p.m. Eastern time, February 2, 2012. Selected finalists must then submit a full proposal by 5 p.m. Eastern time, May 3, 2012. Final selections are expected to be made in August 2012.
The initial abbreviated proposals may be submitted on paper to Peter J. Mohr, National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST Precision Measurement Grant Program, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8420, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8420, or by email to pmg [at] nist.gov.
Full details of the program, including eligibility rules, required documentation, the proposal process and other matters, are in NIST's Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) for the Precision Measurement Grant Program, available from Grants.gov or the NIST Website (links removed; no longer active). The Funding Opportunity Number (used at Grants.gov) for this solicitation is 2012-NIST-PMGP-01, and it is indexed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under CFDA Number 11.609. Proposers without Internet access may obtain the standard application package upon request to Gail Newrock, National Institute of Standards and Technology, PMGP, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8420, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8420, phone: (301) 975-3200.