General & Age-Related Disabilities Engineering (GARDE)

ISSUED BY: National Science Foundation


TheGeneral & Age Related Disabilities Engineering(GARDE)program supportsfundamental engineering research that will lead to the development of new technologies, devices, or software that improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities. Research may be supported that is directed toward the characterization, restoration, and/or substitution of human functional ability or cognition, or to the interaction of persons with disabilities and their environment. Areas of particular interest are disability-related research in neuroengineering and rehabilitation robotics. Emphasis is placed on significant advancement of fundamental engineering knowledge that facilitates transformative outcomes. We discourage applications that propose incremental improvements. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Program Director prior to submitting a proposal. GARDE no longer directly supports Undergraduate Engineering Design projects targeting the needs of people with disabilities (PwD), but will rather shift interest to supporting Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) activities focused on improving the quality of life for PwD. These REUs can be funded as supplements to existing GARDE awards or by submitting proposals for REU Sites throughNSF 13-542, which will be reviewed in collaboration with the Program Director for the GARDE program. We encourage those interested in supporting undergraduate student participation in active research focused on improving the quality of life of PwD to apply to the REU program following the respective solicitation guidelines. Innovative proposals outside of the above specific interest areas may be considered. However, prior to submission, it is recommended that the PI contact the Program Director to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review. The duration of unsolicited awards generally is one to three years. The typical award size is approximately $100,000 per year. Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation with the Program Director, may be returned without review. INFORMATION COMMON TO MOST CBET PROGRAMS Proposals should address the novelty and/orpotentially transformative natureof the proposed work compared to previous work in the field. Also, it is important to address why the proposed work is important in terms of engineering science, as well as to also project the potential impact on society and/or industry of success in the research. The novelty or potentially transformative nature of the research should be included, as a minimum, in the Project Summary of each proposal. Faculty Early Career Development(CAREER)program proposals are strongly encouraged. Award duration is five years. The submission deadline for Engineering CAREER proposals is in July every year. Please see the CAREER URLherefor more information. Proposals for Conferences, Workshops, and Supplements: PIs are strongly encouraged to discuss their requests with the Program Director before submission of the proposal. Grants forRapid Response Research(RAPID)andEArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research(EAGER)are also considered when appropriate. Please note that proposals of these types must be discussed with the program director before submission. Further details are available in theProposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide(PAPPG)download foundhere.Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI)proposals that integrate fundamental research with translational results and are consistent with the application areas of interest to each program are also encouraged. Please note that GOALI proposals must be submitted during the annual unsolicited proposal window for each program. More information on GOALI can be foundhere. COMPLIANCE: Proposals which are not compliant with theProposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG)will be returned without review. Unsolicited proposals received outside of the Announced Proposal Window dates will be returned without review.

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General Information:






August 9, 2016


October 28, 2016


October 20, 2017