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NIST Accepting Proposals for Fundamental Measurement Grants

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is soliciting proposals to support significant research in the field of fundamental measurement or the determination of fundamental constants.

While the fundamental constants such as the speed of light or electron mass are just that—constant—our definitions of them are refined with improvements in measurement science, which is one of the reasons NIST's Precision Measurement Grant Program (PMGP) has provided funding in this area since 1970. The program is designed to encourage basic, measurement-related research in universities, colleges and other research laboratories and to foster contacts between NIST scientists and other researchers and institutions actively engaged in such work. The program counts four Nobel Laureates among its former grantees: Steven Chu, Theodor Hänsch, Daniel Tsui and Carl Wieman.

The PMGP also is intended to allow researchers to pursue new ideas for which other sources of support may be difficult to find. Proposed projects must be consistent with NIST's ongoing work in the field of basic measurement science, but there is some latitude in research topics that will be considered. Visit the Physical Measurement Laboratory Web pages to learn more about NIST's research:

NIST anticipates supporting at most two projects, depending on the availability of funding, for up to three years at $50,000 per year.

Proposers must first submit abbreviated proposals, from which NIST will select "finalists" who will be requested to submit a full proposal. Abbreviated proposals must be received by NIST no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Time, on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. The full proposals must be received by NIST by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.

Both the abbreviated and full proposals will be evaluated on the importance of the proposed research, the relationship of the proposed research to NIST's ongoing work, the feasibility of the research and the potential impact of the project/award, and the qualifications of the proposer. Each of these factors will be given equal weight in the evaluation process.

Eligible proposers are accredited institutions of higher education; hospitals; nonprofit organizations; commercial organizations; state, local and Indian tribal governments; foreign governments; organizations under the jurisdiction of foreign governments; international organizations; and federal agencies with appropriate legal authority.

For full details on the PMGP opportunity, see the full grant announcement online. (link removed because it is no longer active)

Released January 24, 2013, Updated January 24, 2023