NSF's Response to Gulf Oil Spill



Under its statutory authority, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) is using its Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism to support research on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. NSF issued a “dear colleague” letter on 27 May reminding the U.S. academic research community that RAPID awards are a special grant mechanism developed specifically by the foundation to respond to unanticipated events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and other natural and man-made disasters where a timely response is essential to achieving research results.

To date, NSF has received more than 90 unsolicited proposals for research and related activities from scientists and engineers at U.S. academic institutions wanting to launch or continue research in the Gulf of Mexico and along its shorelines related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. On the basis of reviews from NSF program officer teams, the foundation has funded 46 awards so far in fiscal year 2010, totaling $4.6 million for research and $2.5 million for ship costs.