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Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility requirements are the same for all SPARC programs.


The project must be affiliated with an institution and/or organization that would otherwise be eligible for NSF support.

Generally non-US institutions and organizations are not eligible unless partnering with a US entity.

We encourage the Principal Investigator or a senior member of the technical staff to contact us for a preliminary consultation.

The SPARC program does not support projects where the type of activity is one routinely acquired through commercial providers.

Eligibility FAQs


I am a graduate student working on a dissertation/thesis project. Am I eligible to apply for an award?

Yes, graduate students may apply for an award to support their thesis or dissertation project. Graduate students should include a letter of support from their supervisor or thesis committee chair in their application. Graduate students must demonstrate that theywill be enrolled in their current graduate rogram for the whole period covered by the award for which they're applying.


I am an archaeologist at a non-US institution. Am I eligible to apply for an award?

Because SPARC is funded by the National Science Foundation, you are only eligible for an award if you are eligible to otherwise receive NSF support. Archaeologists at non-US institutions generally must apply through a US-based partner.


I want to apply for a Fieldwork, Data & Analytics or Publication award, but my project will only go forward if I receive funding from a pending grant application. What should I do?

Apply for the SPARC Award, and note in your application:

  • the name of the organization to which you have submitted a related application.
  • the date by which you expect to be notified about the success of the related award.

If you receive a SPARC award to support your work, but cannot take it up because a related grant application was not successful, you may defer once, and instead up the award the next relevant project cycle.

Total Available Support

SPARC provides research staff, field equipment and travel for SPARC staff to project locations within the limits of its current NSF funding. For the period January 2014 through December 2014 the Center can provide:

  • a total of 35 supported person-weeks of SPARC staff time.
  • a limited amount of funds to support SPARC staff travel to field projects. Individual project’s travel costs are capped at $2000.
  • use of field equipment at no cost to the project.

Support Overview

How Support is Allocated

Proposals are ranked based on Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts by the SPARC advisory panel. All project PI’s should consult with SPARC staff at sparc@cast.uark.edu prior to submitting a proposal. During this consultation, a project under consideration will be assigned a provisional feasibility score (see Review Board notes for details). This provisional score will be provided, with comments, to the PI, so that they have the opportunity to resolve outstanding technical and feasibility problems. After the full proposal is submitted a final feasibility score will be assigned and only projects with a final feasibility score of 2 or higher will be considered by the panel. Funds will be allocated beginning with the highest ranked proposal and moving down the list until all resources (staff time, travel and equipment use) are allocated. Projects that are structured to enhance the submitting organization’s technical capabilities are given higher rankings. In addition to the overall NSF funding limits key support constraints arise from the limited time window for many field projects. SPARC will do its best to coordinate both staff travel and equipment use but timing and funding flexibility by a project can increase its potential for support. Scheduling conflicts among selected projects - 2 or more projects requesting fieldwork and/or field equipment on the same dates - will be resolved through discussions between project PI’s and SPARC research staff. SPARC staff will make every effort to accommodate all projects but If the calendar conflict cannot be resolved then the highest ranked proposal will be supported.

Application Questions for Fieldwork Applications:


Project Information
  • General Application Information: Title, Region, Project Dates, & Locations
  • PI Information: Name, Institution, & NSF Formatted CV (pdf) - up to four
Project Description
  • Describe the Intellectual Merit & Broader Impacts of the Project (Text or pdf)
  • What spatial archaeometric data acquisitions are being proposed and how will this fieldwork contribute to achieving the scientific goals of the project?
    Please be sure to address the techniques to be used, planned approaches to data processing and analysis, and why these methods are well suited to the project. If you are uncertain about technical points, please consult with SPARC staff before completing this part of the application. (Text or PDF)
Additional Information
  • Have all required permissions for the proposed project already been secured?
  • What are the sources of funding for the project? If pending grants are not awarded, are there alternative plans?
  • What resources are available to support the project beyond the data acquisition period?
  • Are there weather-related or seasonal constraints on the successful execution of the proposed fieldwork?
  • List the equipment you are requesting for your fieldwork project. If you are uncertain about technical points, please consult with SPARC staff.
  • Describe any plans for related fieldwork which would be performed in parallel with the proposed project.
  • If the project's ideal dates are unavailable, are there alternative dates that would be acceptable?
  • Please describe any other constraints or requirements.
Other Useful Comments
  • Knowledge about CAST-archaeometry opportunities from?
  • Please describe the training benefits of the proposed project for the project's team.
  • If this project would take place in the context of a field school, briefly describe the potential training benefits for field school participants.
  • If possible, please list 2 scientific reviewers that CAST may contact.
Appendices
  • Upload Maximum 5 pages of additional figures or data. (PDF only)
  • Works Cited

Application Questions for Data & Analytics Applications:


Project Information
  • General Application Information: Title, Region, Project Dates, & Locations
  • PI Information: Name, Institution, & NSF Formatted CV (pdf) - up to four
Project Description
  • Describe the Intellectual Merit & Broader Impacts of the Project (Text or pdf)
  • What spatial archaeometric analyses are being proposed and how these will contribute to achieving the scientific goals of the project?
    Please be sure to address the techniques to be used, planned approaches to data processing and analysis, and why these methods are well suited to the project. If you are uncertain about technical points, please consult with SPARC staff before completing this part of the application. (Text or PDF)
Additional Information
  • Have all required permissions for the proposed project already been secured?
  • What are the sources of funding for the project? If pending grants are not awarded, are there alternative plans?
  • What, if any, resources are available to support the project beyond the analysis phase?
  • Please note any special software requirements for this project, if known. If you are uncertain about technical points, please consult with SPARC staff.
  • What, if any, are the scheduling constraints for this analytical project?
  • Please describe any other constraints or requirements.
Other Useful Comments
  • Knowledge about CAST-archaeometry opportunities from?
  • Please describe the training benefits of the proposed project for the project's team.
  • If possible, please list 2 scientific reviewers that CAST may contact.
Appendices
  • Upload Maximum 5 pages of additional figures or data. (PDF only)
  • Works Cited

Application Questions for Archival & Publication Support Applications:


Project Information
  • General Application Information: Title, Region, Project Dates, & Locations
  • PI Information: Name, Institution, & NSF Formatted CV (pdf) - up to four
Project Description
  • Describe the Intellectual Merit & Broader Impacts of the Project (Text or pdf)
  • What innovative publication or archiving activities are being proposed and how will this contribute to the scientific goals of the project? (Text or pdf)
Additional Information
  • Have all required permissions for the proposed project already been secured?
  • What are the sources of funding for the project? If pending grants are not awarded, are there alternative plans?
  • List the resources, e.g. hardware and software, that are required for the project. If you are uncertain about technical points, please consult with SPARC staff.
  • What, if any, are the scheduling constraints for this analytical project?
  • Please describe any other constraints or requirements.
Other Useful Comments
  • Knowledge about CAST-archaeometry opportunities from?
  • Please describe the training benefits of the proposed project for the project's team.
  • Upload Maximum 5 pages of additional figures or data. (PDF only)
  • Works Cited

*All questions primarily accept text input unless stated otherwise.