Agency/Sponsor: National Science Foundation


EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) 

The EAGER funding mechanism may be used to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches.  This work may be considered especially "high risk-high payoff" in the sense that it, for example, involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives.  These exploratory proposals may also be submitted directly to an NSF program, but the EAGER mechanism should not be used for projects that are appropriate for submission as "regular" (i.e., non-EAGER) NSF proposals. PI(s) must contact the NSF program officer(s) whose expertise is most germane to the proposal topic prior to submission of an EAGER proposal. This will aid in determining the appropriateness of the work for consideration under the EAGER mechanism; this suitability must be assessed early in the process.

  • The Project Description is expected to be brief (five to eight pages) and include clear statements as to why this project is appropriate for EAGER funding, including why it does not "fit" into existing programs and why it is a "good fit" for EAGER.  Note this proposal preparation instruction deviates from the standard proposal preparation instructions contained in this Guide; EAGER proposals must otherwise be compliant with the GPG.
  • The "EAGER" proposal type must be selected in the proposal preparation module in FastLane.
  • Only internal merit review is required for EAGER proposals.  Under rare circumstances, program officers may elect to obtain external reviews to inform their decision.  If external review is to be obtained, then the PI will be so informed in the interest of maintaining the transparency of the review and recommendation process.  The two standard NSB-approved merit review criteria will apply.
  • Requests may be for up to $300K and of up to two years duration.  The award size, however, will be consistent with the project scope and of a size comparable to grants in similar areas.
  • No-cost extensions and requests for supplemental funding will be processed in accordance with standard NSF policies and procedures.
  • Renewed funding of EAGER awards may be requested only through submission of a proposal that will be subject to full external merit review.  Such proposals would be designated as “EAGER renewals.”

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