Supports research on the nature, causes and consequences of the spatial dimensions of human activities and/or environmental processes across a range of scales.
The objective of the Human-Environment and Geographical Sciences Program is to support basic scientific research about the nature, causes and/or consequences of the spatial distribution of human activity and/or environmental processes across a range of scales. Contemporary geographical research is an arena in which diverse research traditions and methodologies are valid. Recognizing the breadth of the field’s contributions to science, the HEGS Program welcomes proposals for empirically grounded, theoretically engaged, and methodologically sophisticated, generalizable research in all sub-fields of geographical and spatial sciences.
Because the National Science Foundation’s mandate is to support basic scientific research, the NSF Human-Environment and Geographical Sciences program does not fund research that takes as its primary goal humanistic understanding or applied research. HEGS welcomes proposals that creatively integrate scientific and critical approaches, and that engage rigorous quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods in novel ways. However, a proposal that applies geographical/spatial methods to a social problem but does not propose how that problem provides an opportunity to make a theory-testing and/or theory expanding contributions to geographical science will be returned without review. HEGS supported projects are expected to yield results that will enhance, expand, and transform fundamental geographical theory and methods, and that will have positive broader impacts that benefit society. A proposal to the HEGS Program must also articulate how the results are generalizable beyond the case study.
It should be noted that HEGS is situated in the Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences Division of the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate at NSF. Therefore, it is critical that research projects submitted to the Human-Environment and Geographical Sciences Program illustrate how the proposed research questions engage human dimensions relevant and important to people and societies.
A proposal that fails to be responsive to these program expectations will be returned without review.