University of Southern California



Slots:       One                      
Nomination per School:    One  (Proposals may not be submitted directly by the PI; nominations are submitted by the School’s Research Dean’s Office.)   

LOI:     October 18, 2013 (REQUIRED)
Internal Deadline:     September 16, 2013
External Deadline:     January 13, 2014

Award Information:     

Type:  Cooperative Agreement for the Management and Operation of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Estimated Number of Awards:  1
Anticipated Amount: $200,617,888 The projected total for the 10-year duration of the award, starting 01 October 2015, subject to the availability of funding.

Materials to Office of Research: Single Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). CV– 4 pages max.

Link to Award:

Proposals are solicited to manage and operate the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). NOAO is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and operated by a managing organization under cooperative agreement with NSF. NOAO is a national center for research in ground-based, nighttime, optical and infrared (O/IR) astronomy for the U.S. astronomical community.

NOAO’s core mission is to facilitate access for all qualified professional researchers to state-of-the-art observational capabilities and data bases in O/IR astronomy, and to enable the U.S. research community to pursue a broad range of modern astrophysical challenges from small bodies within the Solar System, to the most distant galaxies in the early Universe, to indirect observations of dark energy and dark matter.

The awardee will work closely with NSF and the scientific community to ensure that NOAO continues to support, sustain and advance frontier science as enabled by unique research capabilities and as promoted through a culture of excellence. In cooperation with NSF and within available resources, NOAO will plan and execute a viable, coherent and inclusive program to facilitate research and education, consistent with the objectives and priorities of the scientific community. The awardee will manage facilities and equipment provided by NSF in accord with the scope and funding described in this solicitation. NOAO is a multidisciplinary and multiuser resource, and its programs will be carried out in collaboration with its stakeholder communities.

Proposals should describe how the proposing organization(s) will provide access to observing capabilities and scientific data; facilitate an integrated program of research, education, training and outreach; maintain instruments, facilities and infrastructure; manage and develop a skilled and diverse workforce; and establish appropriate partnerships with academic institutions, industry, private organizations and the international community to support the NOAO mission.

Within available resources and as consistent with the expectations and criteria identified in this solicitation, the successful proposal will present a compelling, sustainable vision for NOAO that supports an optimal suite of community-driven research and education activities through effective structures for management and operations.