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News from NSF Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST)

Monday, November 19, 2012 - 11:33

Portfolio Review Report
The AST Portfolio Review Committee report was officially transmitted to the National Science Foundation on August 16. The report and the public AST response are posted at The process of responding to the report recommendations involves stakeholders throughout the federal government, so no decisions will be made about the detailed response by NSF until discussions have taken place among all the stakeholders, and the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request is released in February 2013. We had hoped to schedule a community webinar in September, but logistical constraints have forced a postponement. We now expect the webinar to occur during the (northern) autumn; the community will be notified separately about the date and the mechanism for participation in this webinar.

Fiscal Year 2013 Budget
Congress has passed, and the President has signed, a Continuing Resolution that will fund the federal government (including NSF) for the first six months of FY 2013, from October 2012 through 27 March 2013.  Since Congress has now recessed until after the November elections, any action on a final NSF budget for FY 2013 will be deferred until the post-election period.

New AAG Solicitation for Upcoming Deadline
We remind potential investigators that the previous Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Grants (AAG) solicitation NSF 05-608 has been replaced by NSF 12-589; see

The proposal submission window remains 15 September to 15 November, with a firm submission deadline of 15 November 2012 at 5 p.m. local time of the submitting institution. See the solicitation, or our article in the previous version of this Newsletter, for more details.

AST Staff Changes
Dan Evans has begun a term as a rotator Program Director in AST, arriving in September. Dan will be taking over the Education and Special Programs portfolio previously overseen by Scott Fisher, and also will be engaged in the review of other research grant proposals. AST expects to have another rotator position available beginning in March 2013; interested individuals should contact any AST staff member for further information.

James S. Ulvestad
Division Director
National Science Foundation