Published: Aug. 1, 2017

Call for Interest due 8/9: 
NSF Management and Operation of the Ocean Bottom Seismometer Instrument Center (OBSIC)

The Research & Innovation Office announces a limited submission call for interest / internal competition for the National Science Foundation's NSF Management and Operation of the Ocean Bottom Seismometer Instrumet Center (OBSIC). Please share with faculty within your unit.

An expression of interest, which is a simple statement via e-mail indicating your interest in applying to a specific program, should be sent to Ryan Reeves at by the posted deadline. If there are multiple expressions of interest, an internal campus competition may be held with instructions for internal proposals to be sent out at a later time. Questions should be sent to Ryan Reeves at

All interested applicants should review the Procedures for Limited Campus Competitions on the RIO website.

Program Summary

This solicitation seeks the services of a qualified organization to manage and operate an Ocean Bottom Seismometer Instrument Center established and sponsored by Marine Geology and Geophysics research programs within NSF's Division of Ocean Sciences. Research activities requiring the use of the existing pool of instruments supported by NSF are expected to continue well beyond the period of performance for the existing Ocean Bottom Seismometer Instrument Pool Management Office award, scheduled to expire in early 2018. The award resulting from this solicitation will be administered as a Cooperative Agreement with a single Lead Institution that will perform the OBSIC activities described herein.


  • Internal Expression of Interest Deadline: 11:59pm MST August 9, 2017
  • NSF Full Proposal Deadline: 5:00pm MST October 25, 2017


The categories of proposers eligible to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation are identified in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter I.E.

There are no restrictions or limits on who may serve as a PI.

Limited Submission Guidelines

One proposal as Lead Institution per organization. A proposed Lead Institution may serve as a SubAwardee for another proposed Lead Institution.

There are no restrictions or limits on the number of proposals per PI or co-PI. 

Award Information and Duration

  • Estimated Number of Awards: 1

A principal role of OBSIC is to serve as the central entity responsible for providing appropriate ocean bottom seismometers for high quality data acquisition and coordinating their deployment in support of scientific research programs. It is anticipated that a base amount of approximately $1.8M per year will be provided for OBSIC management and operation. Supplemental funding increments for field support of instrument deployment and recovery on specific projects will be executed through the award resulting from this solicitation. The OBSIC Program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to demand for Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS) use and the availability of funds.

The successful proposal will be awarded as a Cooperative Agreement. NSF anticipates that the initial award commitment will be for five years, with continuation for a maximum of an additional five years contingent on the availability of funds and the successful outcome of a comprehensive external review of Awardee performance in the third year of the initial period (see Section VII.B, "Special Award Conditions"). Budget amounts given in this program solicitation are for planning purposes only - actual annual funding increments will be determined on the basis of Annual Program Plans submitted by the Awardee and approved by NSF, subject to the availability of appropriated funds and contingent upon successful performance of the Awardee.

Should a new Awardee be selected to replace the current OBSIP Management Office Awardee, NSF will consider funding allowable transition costs for a period of up to six months. Relevant transition activities may include interviewing and hiring personnel, assigning subcontracts, website development, and transferring data and property. During this transition period, the new Awardee will have appropriate access to incumbent personnel and facilities.

  • Anticipated Funding Amount: $9,000,000

Base funding up to $9M total or $1.8M annually, including management, operations and data quality assurance and control. The program budget for field experiments will supplement the base funding depending on the demand for Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS) use in terms of number of awards, average award size/duration and availability of funds.

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.