PIs may submit proposals in PDF format online at the Submission page.
Please consult the Online Submission
Instructions page for detailed information on submitting a proposal
through the online system.
Grants for Research in Mathematics
The NSA MSP supports self-directed, unclassified research in
the areas of Algebra, Number Theory, Discrete Mathematics, Probability, and
Statistics. The program does not support research in cryptology.
Awards for all four types of
grants: Young Investigators, Standard, Senior, and Conferences/Workshops/Special Situations (including Research Experiences for Undergraduates, REUs)
will be made on the basis of factors that demonstrate the
scientific merit of the proposal, including:
The prospect that the research will lead to important discoveries.
The prospect that the research will produce innovations or significant
improvements in investigative methods, including methods of computation.
The investigator's scientific qualifications and accomplishments.
The investigator's demonstrated awareness of previous approaches to the
The NSA MSP attempts to have a wide geographic and institutional
distribution of support, and NSA encourages proposals from traditionally
Research proposals are reviewed by mathematicians at NSA and/or by a
Mathematics Review Panel, which is appointed and administered by the American
Mathematical Society (AMS). The Mathematics Review Panel members choose peer
reviewers to evaluate each proposal. Members of the panel meet annually to
discuss, rank, and order the proposals according to the scientific merit of the
proposed research and the Principal Investigator's ability, utilizing the peer
reviews and the expertise of the panel members. If graduate student support is
requested, the principal investigator's proven ability at advising graduate
students will be considered. The final AMS ordering will be used by the NSA
Mathematical Sciences Program Office to make funding decisions.
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION
Although it is the intent of the NSA MSP that the research it supports will
produce only unclassified results, it should be recognized that research in
sensitive areas might produce information where disclosure could harm U.S.
national security. Thus, the following disclosure policy is incorporated in
each NSA grant:
"It is expected that the recipient may make formal public disclosure of
the scientific and technical information resulting from this agreement (e.g.,
release articles for appropriate professional publications or present papers at
scientific meetings or symposia). Such disclosure is authorized as long as a
copy of the article, paper, report, etc., shall be provided to the government,
preferably in advance, but at least concurrent with public disclosure. It is
also understood and agreed that the recipient may utilize the scientific and
technical information resulting from this work in consulting or discussing this
and related information with other qualified individuals or groups of
individuals, where appropriate, for furthering research. In the event that the
researcher believes information generated during the research may require
classification, the researcher shall notify NSA and request that the
information be reviewed for classification prior to further
Awards will be made only to non-profit institutions. Awards will be based on
a formal proposal submitted by an organization on behalf of the principal
investigator(s). Research proposals should be submitted for no more than two years
of support. The Young Investigator Grants provide up to two months of summer
salary, and the Standard Grants provide one month of summer salary.
PIs whose research is supported by another government agency are not eligible
to receive NSA MSP support for their research during the same time period.
WHO MAY SUBMIT
It is NSA's intent to maintain America's high capabilities in mathematics.
Therefore, for mathematics grants, the principal investigators supported by the
grant must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents; students and postdoctoral
researchers supported by the grant must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
who fully intend to become U.S. citizens after the requisite waiting period. To
be eligible for an award, the organization must have submitted a certificate of
Assurance or Compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and be
constantly in compliance with the Act.
WHEN AND HOW TO SUBMIT
The NSA MSP no longer accepts hard-copy submissions. Please submit proposals using
the electronic submission system.
The deadline for receipt of research or conference/workshop/special situation grant
proposals in the mathematical sciences is 6pm (PST) on October 15, 2012.
Selection notifications will be sent to the PI in the summer of 2013, and awards
will be made when NSA receives its grant allocation during fall 2013. Therefore,
it is anticipated that grant awards will occur between February 2014 and May 2014
I. The Young Investigators Grant
This award is available to promising investigators within ten years after
receiving the Ph.D. at the time of the proposal submission deadline. The basic
award has a bottom line figure of $20,000 per year
for each of two years. Awards cover the direct costs of up to two months of
summer salary per year plus fringes, a small amount for travel and expenses,
and a university payment in lieu of indirect cost of 15% of the direct costs.
Subject to the same 15% in lieu of indirect, a Young Investigator proposal may
also request graduate student support (other than tuition) not to exceed $5,000
per student per year, as well as limited funds for computer equipment, as long
as the total costs of the project fall within $20,000. Please see the
Investigator's Budget Page for more information.
II. The Standard Grant
This type of grant has been in place since the inception of the NSA MSP in
1987. Awards in this category include support for no more than one month of
summer salary each year for the principal investigator (PI) and miscellaneous
expenses for supplies, travel, etc. The Standard Grant may also include financial
support for a named graduate student who is working with the principal investigator
toward a degree in addition to one postgraduate assistant. The PI can request up to
$7,000 each for these individuals to include fringes and indirect costs but their
summer support cannot exceed two summer months. In this case, in addition to describing
the proposed research, the individual should list the names of any graduate students who
have received degrees under his or her direction in the last ten years.
An applicant for a Standard Grant may not also submit a proposal for a Young Investigators
Grant or a Senior Investigators grant. Any Young Investigator proposal that is in substantial
violation of the program description in I above is likely to be considered a Standard Grant
proposal. The section entitled FINANCIAL SUPPORT provides additional information concerning
budgets. See also the
Sample Standard Grant Budget Page for more details.
III. The Senior Investigators Grant
The purpose of this grant is to support mathematical scientists who have
demonstrated their effectiveness in the supervision of graduate students and
who are actively pursuing research in one of the areas of mathematics funded by
the NSA MSP. The grant will pay no salary to the PI, but will provide partial
support of up to $7,000 each for two graduate students. Support for travel for
the PI and graduate students (not to exceed $3,000 per year), equipment, and
other miscellaneous expenses may also be requested. In addition to describing the
proposed research, the applicant should list the names of all graduate students who have
received degrees under her or his direction in the last ten years. Each graduate student
to be supported should be identified. Please see the Sample
Senior Grant Budget Page for more information.
IV. Conferences, Workshops and Special Situations
Proposals for conferences or workshops or to mark special events may be for up to two-years
of support. These types of grants can also fund other innovative programs at a university
in one of the five designated research areas. Efforts to promote attendance by minorities
and women are highly encouraged. It is expected that conference proposals will be submitted
to and may be partially funded by other agencies as well as by the NSA. The stipend awarded by
NSA will normally range between $10,000 and $15,000. The budget may include travel expenses
and honoraria for principal speakers, and travel, meals, and housing expenses for participants.
Registration fees should be set at a level to encourage the participation of students.
Grant funds cannot be used to pay for coffee breaks or refreshments; we recommend using
registration fees to pay for these items (please see the
Conferences, Workshops and Special Situations Grant Budget Page for an example of
how to write this into the budget). The budget for this category must not include
any salary reimbursement. Therefore, it is inappropriate that any university
indirect costs be incurred in this category. Conferences, Workshops and Special Situations
proposals are reviewed by either the NSA and/or the AMS. Proposals must be submitted by
October 15, 2012 and awarded by late spring 2013. The MSP does not authorize
pre-award spending and thus PIs of spring conferences need to apply for funding two
years prior to the conference. Please note that all participants whose expenses will be covered by the NSA MSP grant must be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
WHAT TO SUBMIT
PIs should be prepared to submit PDF files for each separate part of the
proposal listed below. The proposal must contain the following:
Summary: A one-page summary of the work
being proposed. The summary should be self-contained, avoid symbols, and be
expressed in language understandable to a scientifically literate reader.
Please put your name and proposal title at the top of the page.
Description of Proposed Research: A detailed
description (no more than 20 pages) of the research to be undertaken, its
objectives and approach, and its relationship to the state of knowledge in the field
and to comparable work in progress elsewhere. In this section, the PI is also required to provide additional pages that list pertinent literature citations of references for the description of proposed research (literature citations are not counted in the 20-page limit for this section).
Budget Page: For all proposals, a budget
must be submitted for each academic year of the proposed time period. See the links to
sample budgets at the bottom of this page and in the grant descriptions given
MSP Young Investigator, Standard Research, and Senior Investigator grants allow
grant recipients to distribute their funding across various categories, such as
summer salary, travel, equipment, and graduate student support. Similarly,
recipients of Conference, Workshop, and Special Situation grants may allocate
their funds to pay for the travel of plenary speakers, advertising costs, and
As an example, a standard research grant supported by the NSA MSP for a
single investigator might include funding for the following items in a single
- One month of summer salary support for the principal
investigator, including fringe benefits.
At most, $7,000
per year to support a graduate student (including fringes and indirect). Please note
that the NSA does not pay tuition expenses. The NSA only supports graduate assistants
who are working toward a degree under the direction of the PI. Persons for whom support
is requested, if not named in the proposal, must be identified to the Program Director
before funding can commence.
At most $7,000
for up to two months of support for a postdoctoral research assistant; as with
graduate assistants, the person for whom support is requested, if not named in the
proposal, must be identified to the Program Director before funding can commence.
Computer support and/or software of up to $2,500 required by
the research with justification. Matching dollars are often available from special
institution funds for purchase of equipment such as computers and software.
Up to $3,000 for travel
expenses per year (Foreign + Domestic Travel).
Each grant application must include a Budget Page, which is an itemized
estimate of the total cost of the research project. The Budget Page is a
breakdown of funds by category and year, and must follow the format
given in the sample pages. Budgets given in narrative format will
not be accepted. Links to the various types of sample budget
pages may be found at the bottom of this web page and in the above descriptions
of the four types of grants. If a portion of the total research cost is to be furnished
by the proposing institution, or another funding agency, then the source and amount
should be set forth separately from that money requested from NSA and should be
indicated in a "cost share" column on the Budget Page.
The cost principals of OMB Circular A-21 will be applicable to agreements
with educational institutions and the cost principals of OMB Circular A-122
shall be applicable for nonprofit organizations. For projects of more than one
(1) year duration, separate estimates are required for each year.
Additional Considerations and Reminders:
Collaborators/Consultants: The MSP recognizes collaborative efforts of the PI
and his/her colleagues when performing math research. Travel arrangements that are
made to cover the travel expenses of a collaborator/consultant must come from the PI's
travel allocation, which is $3,000 per year. Note that the MSP will NOT pay for any
Collaborators'/Consultants' salary. As with all persons benefiting from the grant,
the collaborator/consultant must be either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Travel: The total travel budget (domestic + foreign) per year is $3,000.
The MSP requires that all foreign travel (defined as any travel outside of the United
States to include Canada and Mexico) receive prior approval a month before the travel occurs.
Technology Budget: Note that the budget for technology expenses such as computers, software,
etc. is $2,500. All technology purchases must have appropriate documentation justifying the
qualifications of the principal investigator(s) and the time the principal
investigator(s) will devote to the research are important factors in the
selection of proposals for NSA support. See the section entitled WHO MAY SUBMIT
for citizenship/immigration requirements.
For the principal investigator and the senior staff, include
a short biography and a selective list of major and/or current
information on other commitments of time, such as sabbatical or
extended leave; and
proportion of time to be devoted to this and other research.
State whether the principal investigator or other key personnel have applied
for or received support from other agencies for this or for other research.
List (by name if possible) postdoctoral, student, or other
research assistants, and their training and experience.
Give the names of other technical personnel who will be
working on the research, and describe their association with the project.
Privacy Act Statement: Authority for
collecting the requested information is 10 U.S.C. §2358. DoD's Blanket Routine
Uses (found at Appendix C of 32 CFR Part 310) apply to this information. The
information provided will be used to evaluate the qualifications of those persons
who will perform the proposed research. This information may be disclosed to the
American Mathematical Society and to U.S. Government Agencies as appropriate.
Disclosure of the requested information is voluntary; however, failure to provide
the requested information will delay or prevent evaluation of the proposal.
Bibliography: Include a complete
bibliography for each individual. When relevant to the proposed research or
indicative of the applicant's ability, include summaries of these and preprints
or reprints of research not yet available in readily accessible journals.
Facilities and Equipment Available:
Facilities and existing equipment available for the research should be
described on this page. Indicate N/A if this does not apply to the proposal.
Proprietary Data: Identify any proprietary
data within the proposal that is to be used for evaluation purposes only.
Indicate N/A if this does not apply to the proposal.
Other Sponsors: Provide the names of other
parties that have funded, are funding, or have been asked to fund proposed
research by any of the investigators during the period of time covered by this
proposed grant. Please use the format provided in the sample
and Pending Support Title Page. Indicate N/A if this does not apply to the
Confirmation of Indirect Rates: Include the name, address,
and phone number of the federal government audit agency that will confirm the
indirect rates proposed in the budget, and a copy of the latest rate agreement
(usually with the Department of Health and Human Services) covering at least the
requested starting date of the grant.
Additionally, you will be asked to provide the following basic information
in the screens in the electronic system. For detailed instructions about the
online submission process and more information about these items, please go to
the Online Submission Instructions page.
Title of Proposed Research
Mathematics Subject Classification code(s)
Number of PIs working on the proposed research:
Please be aware that if you are doing the proposed research with a co-PI from
a different institution, then each PI will have to apply and submit his/her
proposal separately. Indicate the co-PI's name in the proposal as this will
enable the panelists to conduct reviews of the proposals at the same time.
If you are submitting a proposal with a co-PI from the same institution, then
only one of the PIs needs to apply and submit the proposal.
PI first name, middle name (or initial), last name
PI Contact Information
Area of Proposed Research
Type of Proposal
Starting Date and Time Period of the proposed research
Suggested Reviewers/Suggested Non-reviewers
Organizational Endorsement and Approval Section:
The investigator will be asked to provide the full name, postal address, e-mail
address, and the office phone and FAX numbers for the official authorized to
endorse and approve proposals for your institution.
The NSA Office of Contracting administers the non-technical aspects of grants.
Further details, including General Provisions for NSA Grants and Cooperative
Agreements, may be obtained from the following address.
Maryland Procurement Office
9800 Savage Road, Suite 6508
Ft George G. Meade, MD 20755-6508
Telephone Number: 301-688-1944
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Dr. Floyd B. Cole, Director
NSA Mathematical Sciences Program
Ms. Barbara Johnson, Program Administrator
NSA Mathematical Sciences Program
Mathematical Sciences Program
National Security Agency
ATTN: R1, Suite 6557
9800 Savage Road
Ft. George G. Meade, MD 20755-6557
SAMPLE TITLE PAGE
Current and Pending Support Title Page
SAMPLE BUDGET PAGES
Sample Young Investigator's Budget Page
Sample Standard Grant Budget Page
Sample Senior Grant Budget Page
Conferences, Workshops and Special Situations Grant Budget Page