LINGUIST List 4.206

Fri 19 Mar 1993

FYI: NSF Initiative: Research on Human Language Technology

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  1. , Research on human language technology: Program Announcement

Message 1: Research on human language technology: Program Announcement

Date: 19 Mar 93 13:10 EST
From: <pchapinnsf.gov>
Subject: Research on human language technology: Program Announcement

The NSF and DARPA have announced a significant new initiative for
funding research on human language technology. The text of the
announcement follows.

Paul Chapin, NSF
************************
RESEARCH ON
 HUMAN LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGY
_______________

Joint Initiative Announcement
_______________

Deadline for Receiving Proposals:
May 17, 1993

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
Division of Information, Robotics and Intelligent Systems

AND

DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY
SOFTWARE AND INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY OFFICE

ANNOUNCEMENT No. NSF-93-19
 INTRODUCTION
Beginning in 1993, the Information, Robotics and Intelligent
Systems Division of the Computer, Information Science and
Engineering Directorate of NSF and the Software and Intelligent
Systems Technology Office of DARPA will support jointly
innovative, multi-disciplinary, research projects in the general
area of human language technology. The motivation for this
initiative is the favorable research environment provided by
continuing advances in computer technology. This was recognized
and encouraged in the 1992 report of the NSF-sponsored Workshop
on Spoken Language Understanding. Computing systems now
available and affordable for research are proving adequate to
support major advances in natural language understanding, speech
recognition, machine translation, and other human language
technologies. It is now becoming possible to create realistic
computer models of human language mechanisms. We also take
account of the synergistic advantage of the combined common
research interests of NSF and DARPA in artificial
intelligence and human language technology. Therefore, the time
is ripe for accelerating efforts in these areas of artificial
intelligence.

This NSF/DARPA joint research initiative has the following
objectives:
 1) To support the long-term goal of achieving effective,
general, human-computer communication through the medium of human
language.
 2) To accelerate progress in the development of the
scientific and technical foundations of automatic human language
processing by computer.
 3) To broaden the scope of research on human language
technology by including novel ideas and approaches beyond those
now being pursued in ongoing research programs.
 4) To facilitate technology transfer by building on NSF's
interest in basic science and DARPA's interest in technology and
system-level functionality. To this end, industrial/university
collaboration is required in the proposed research.

Proposals should be submitted to NSF s Interactive Systems
Program. The selection of projects for funding will be made
through the normal NSF merit review process with DARPA s
participation. Successful proposals will receive support for a
three-year period.

AREAS OF INTEREST
This initiative is dedicated to the general area of human
language technology and, in particular, to aspects of human
language understanding. There is special interest on fundamental
issues common to different languages and to different
communication modalities, and on both language production and
language recognition/comprehension. Projects with general technical
applicability across various languages and modalities are
encouraged.

Human language is an area of empirical study, and carefully
designed corpora for research play a key role in the success of a
project. Since the creation of such corpora is a costly endeavor
we anticipate that prospective investigators needing such data
will make full use of existing corpora. The Linguistic Data
Consortium (LDC, 441 Williams Hall, U. of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA 215/898-0464, e-mail ehodasunagi.cis.upenn.edu)
is a good source of available corpora supporting research on
human language.

SCOPE OF SUPPORT
This is a one-time solicitation that extends over a three year
effort and is expected to provide funding up to $2 million per
year. The number and size of awards is contingent on the quality
of proposals and the availability of funds. An upper limit of
$300,000 per year for three years for research teams of 2-3
researchers is suggested. Awards under this initiative may
provide support for principal investigators, graduate students,
postdoctoral research associates, specialized equipment and
software and databases necessary for the research proposed.
Industrial participation is required and collaborative cost-
sharing is encouraged. Cost-sharing arrangements must be clearly
described in the proposal.

PROPOSAL EVALUATION AND AWARD
Proposal evaluation and selection will be carried out in a two-
stage process. First, proposals will be subject to the usual NSF
merit review process. Criteria by which the proposals will be
judged are the intrinsic merit of the research, the technical
soundness and innovation of the approach, the capability of the
investigators, the impact of the proposed research on the
infrastructure of science and engineering, and, additionally, by
its technology transfer potential.

Those proposals identified as being most promising will then be
evaluated by a panel of reviewers from the research community for
relevance to the objectives of this announcement as listed in the
INTRODUCTION and to the areas of interest described under AREAS
OF INTEREST. NSF and DARPA will jointly make the final
selection, considering the recommendations of the external
reviewers. Awards to successful projects will be made through
NSF from funding provided by both agencies.

INQUIRIES
Proposals should be submitted to NSF following the guidelines of
the publication NSF 92-89, Grants for Research and Education in
Science and Engineering: An Application Guide. For technical
information, prospective applicants may contact either NSF or
DARPA program office:
 NSF: Dr. Oscar N. Garcia: (202)-357-9554; ogarciansf.gov; Fax:
(202)-357-0320.
 DARPA: Dr. George R. Doddington: (703)-696-2259;
doddingtondarpa.mil; Fax: (703)-696-2202.
Recent DARPA and NSF publications related to this initiative,
including information on existing corpora developed under NSF or
DARPA sponsorship, will be provided upon request by contacting
the NSF Interactive Systems Program Assistant at (202)-357-9554.

WHEN AND WHERE TO APPLY
Fifteen (15) copies of the proposal must be addressed to:

ANNOUNCEMENT NO. NSF-93-19
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION - PPU
1800 G STREET NW ROOM 233
WASHINGTON DC 20550-0002

and must be received following the guidelines of the publication
NSF 92-89 mentioned above by the deadline of May 17, 1993. The
cover sheet (NSF Form 1207) must show the Interactive Systems
Program as the NSF Organizational Unit to consider the proposal,
and the Program Announcement No. NSF-93-19.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND PARTICIPATION IN RESEARCH: The Foundation
provides awards for research in the sciences and engineering.
The awardee is wholly responsible for the conduct of such
research and preparation of the results for publication. The
Foundation, therefore, does not assume responsibility for such
findings or their interpretation.
The Foundation welcomes proposals on behalf of all qualified
scientists and engineers, and strongly encourages women,
minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in any
of the research and research-related programs described in this
document.
In accordance with Federal statutes and regulations and NSF
policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national
origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in,
denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under,
any program or activity receiving financial assistance from the
National Science Foundation.
The Telephonic Device for the Deaf number is (202) 357-7492.
Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with
Disabilities provides funding for special assistance or equipment
to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other
staff, including student research assistants) to work on an NSF
project. See the program announcement, or contact the program
coordinator in the Director for Education and Human Resources.
ELECTRONIC DISSEMINATION: Information can be obtained rapidly
through STIS (Science and Technology Information System), NSF's
on-line publishing system, described in NSF 91-10, "STIS flyer".
To get a paper copy of the flyer, call the NSF Publications
Section at (202) 357-7861. For an electronic copy, send an e-
mail message to stisflynsf.gov (Internet) or stisflynsf
(BITNET).
ORDERING BY ELECTRONIC MAIL OR BY FAX: If you are a user of
electronic mail and have access to either BITNET or Internet, you
may order publications electronically. BITNET users should
address requests to pubsnsf and Internet users to
 pubsnsf.gov . In your request include the NSF publication
number and title, number of copies, your name and a complete
mailing address. Printed publications may be ordered by FAX
(703/644-4278). Publications should be received within 3 weeks
after receipt of request.
NATIONAL SECURITY, PRIVACY ACT and PUBLIC BURDEN : The Foundation
does not have original classification authority and does not
normally support classified projects. It therefore does not
anticipate supporting research projects that would be
classifiable. Information requested on NSF application material
is solicited under the authority of the National Science
Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. It will be used in
connection with the selection of qualified proposals and may be
used and disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as
part of the review process and to other government agencies. See
System of Records, NSF-50,
 Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records 56
Federal Register 54907 (October 23, 1991). Submission of the
information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete
information, however, may reduce the possibility of your
receiving an award. Public reporting burden for this collection
of
information is estimated to average 120 hours per response,
including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments
regarding this burden estimate or any other aspects of this
collection of information to: Herman G. Fleming, Reports
Clearance Officer, Division of Human Resource Management, NSF,
Washington, DC 20550; and to Office of Management and Budget,
Paperwork Reduction Project (3145-0058), Washington, DC, 20503.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance #47.070, Computer and
Information Science and Engineering.
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