National Science Foundation Critical Zone Observatories

Date Posted:
Deadline for Notice of Intent (NOI):08/30/17
Agency Deadline:See program link
Limit on Number of Proposals:One- KU-L and KUMC: Considered independent organizations.
Sponsor Website:

*Please note the National Science Foundation has not released the current RFP for the CZO program.  It is expected to be similar to the previous announcement, which is detailed below.  It is anticipated the RFP will not be released until at least October of 2017.  The deadline is currently expected to be in December 2017 or January 2018.

NSF seeks proposals to establish a networked set of Critical Zone Observatories (CZOs) that will address pressing interdisciplinary scientific questions concerning geological, physical, chemical, and biological processes and their couplings that govern critical zone system dynamics. The CZOs are expected, collectively, to 1) measure and quantify the significant processes of the critical zone on appropriate time and space scales; 2) develop a unifying theoretical framework that integrates new understanding of coupled hydrological, geochemical, geomorphological, sedimentological and biological processes; and 3) develop, couple and validate system-level models to predict how the critical zone responds to external forces such as anthropogenic, climatic, and/or tectonic processes. Each observatory must contribute to strengthening the scientific basis for decision-making, particularly with regards to impacts on health, safety, and environment due to observed and predicted changes in the critical zone.

The awards will be up to $5,000,000 over 5 years per CZO, pending availability of funds.  NSF estimates granting 8 awards for the CZO program.


Limited Submission Proposals Procedure:
Notice of Intent Procedure:

If you are interested in submitting to this opportunity, please Click Here * to submit a Notice of Intent form. You will be asked to provide your name and the names of any KU Co-PIs or senior personnel on the project team.

Please contact if you have questions or experience any difficulty submitting the NOI form.

Please submit your NOI form or send an email NOI to, by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.

If the number of interested parties exceeds the mandated limit, the respondents will be asked to submit a brief pre-proposal for review by an internal selection committee.

If you have any questions about the solicitation or the process described above, please contact Nancy Biles at or 864-7434.

Contact:Nancy Biles: 785-864-7434

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Nancy Biles
Associate Director, Pre-Award Services