Science, Technology, and Society

The National Science Foundation's Science, Technology, and Society Program (STS) supports interdisciplinary research related to scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) fields, including medical science. The funding program supports proposals across broad STS research areas, including historical, philosophical, and social scientific methods to investigate STEM theory and practice.

STS researchers make use of methods from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, communication studies, history, philosophy, political science, and sociology. STS research includes interdisciplinary studies of ethics, equity, governance, and policy issues. STS studies may be empirical or conceptual.

The STS program supports proposals across the broad spectrum of STS research areas, topics, and approaches. Examples include, but are by no means limited to:

  1. Societal aspects of emerging high-tech technologies (e.g., nanotechnology, synthetic biology, neuroscience, robotics, drones, ubiquitous computing, crowd sourcing, remote-sensing)
  2. Societal aspects of emerging low-tech technologies (e.g., paper microscopes; whirlwind wheel chairs)
  3. Issues relating to equity, ethics, governance, sustainability, public engagement, user-centeredness, and inclusiveness.
  4. Integration of traditional STS approaches with innovative perspectives from the arts or humanities.
  5. Ethical, policy, and cultural issues regarding big data, surveillance and privacy in an increasingly networked world, and
  6. The science of broadening participation in STEM disciplines.

Successful proposals will clearly present the research questions, describe and explain the suitability of the methods to be used to address those questions, and provide a detailed work plan with a timeline that demonstrates adequate resources and access to any required data. Successful proposals will also make a strong case for broader impacts, such as disseminating results to multiple audiences outside of the academic sphere.

Proposals are accepted two times per year, with deadlines on February 2 and August 3 annually.

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We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
— Albert Einstein