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The George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation Research (NEESR) Planning Grants, Program Solicitation NSF 13-544, which has a proposal deadline of June 03, 2013, especially seeks proposals to configure and operate the "second generation" of NEES infrastructure, hereinafter referred to in this solicitation as "NEES2." The competed infrastructure includes the management office, experimental facilities, cyberinfrastructure, and education and community outreach. As the outcome of that competition, the intent is to award one cooperative agreement to a lead institution for NEES2 operations with an award start date of October 1, 2014, and a duration of up to five years.

To provide continuity in earthquake engineering research during the NEES2 competition period, NSF's Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) in the Directorate for Engineering (ENG) solicits proposals through this program solicitation for planning grants for research that could eventually require the advanced experimental capabilities of NEES2 facilities for follow-on research. Information about the NEES2 infrastructure will not be available until NSF issues the award for NEES2 operations. As the design of experiments in the follow-on research would be dependent on the specific NEES2 experimental facility to be used, NSF's expectation is that all preliminary testing at other than NEES2 facilities and preliminary numerical studies for proof-of-concept would have been completed under the planning grant, and researchers thus would be "NEES2-ready" to submit proposals in early FY 2015 to design experiments to directly utilize NEES2. Planning grant awardees are required to archive all experimental data generated during the research in the NEES2 operations awardee's data repository.

Potential Research Topics:

  • NEHRP Strategic Priorities
  • Integration of Smart Materials and Structural Systems
  • Advancing Earthquake Engineering Experimental Capabilities
  • International Collaboration Research Topics
  • Software Development

Common Requirements for all NEESR Planning Grants Proposals

  • "NEES2 Conceptual Project," included in the Project Description, which outlines the vision and goals for the planning grant research and potential follow-on research and describes potential NEES2 experiments to support that research.

  • The NSF-required Data Management Plan should include a plan for archiving all experimental data generated as part of the research in the NEES2 operations awardee's data repository, in accordance with the data archiving and curation policies to be announced and implemented by the NEES2 operations awardee.

    Data in this context refers to all measurements, calibrations, observations, analyses, images, commentary, reports, logs, notes, and electronic notebook entries that relate directly to the proposed experiments. Any data (as described above) that are recorded in hardcopy of any form must be transcribed or converted, without loss of information, into an appropriate searchable format onto electronic media. Hybrid simulation involving experimental and computational components must also include computational data recorded as output of the experiments conducted, and models and software codes used.

    In addition, this information must be properly characterized with appropriate metadata descriptors and then subsequently stored into one of the NEES2 operations awardee's accepted digital formats to facilitate archiving. For purposes of establishing a level of effort required for data archiving and curation, proposers may base their plan on the current NEES operations awardee's Data Sharing and Archiving Policies ( and the NEEScomm Requirements for Curation and Archiving of Research Data (

In support of their scientific inquiry, proposers may wish to use data that are available in the NEEShub Project Warehouse. Proposers planning to use such data should include the URL of the data location in the NEES Project Warehouse in the proposal.

This solicitation will not support the following research:

  • Proposals may not be submitted to conduct research during the period from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014 that requires use of any of the experimental capabilities or other resources at the 14 NEES facilities supported during that period by NSF under the current NEES operations award to Purdue University and listed on the NEEShub.
  • Proposals intending to investigate fire effects will not be supported.

NSF anticipates funding up to 20 awards, subject to the availability of funds and quality of proposals. Awards for single institution proposals and collaborative proposals will not exceed $450,000 total for up to three years.

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board (NSB)-approved merit review criteria: intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed effort. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

For proposal details, see George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation Research (NEESR) Planning Grants (NEESR Planning).

To make the proposal process easier for the NEES community, NEEScomm has complied the following resources to assist you.

  1. 1. Template for the Data Management Plan for NEESR Projects
  2. 2. Vision 2020 Report
  3. 3. China-NEES Collaboration Workshop Final Report
  4. 4. Data Sharing & Archiving Policies