Applied Meteorological Research

Through the Collaborative Science, Technology, and Applied Research (CSTAR) program, the NWS provides funding to the university community for highly collaborative applied research activities.

The CSTAR program creates a cost-effective transition from basic and applied research to operations and

This service-science linkage provides a foundation for the ongoing infusion of science and technology into NWS operations.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Awards are related to topics of regional and national importance such as developing an operational system for probabilistic quantitative precipitation forecasts in the U.S., improving the prediction of warm- and cool-season heavy precipitation events over the Northeastern U.S., improving forecasts of topographically-forced weather systems in the Carolinas and Virginia, and improving operational radar algorithms in the Inter-mountain West.

Agency - Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce fosters and promotes the nation's economic development and technological advancement through vigilance in international trade policy, domestic business policy and growth, and promoting economic progress at all levels.

Office - N/A.

Program Accomplishments

Projects awarded through the CSTAR program are leading to a deeper understanding of meteorological factors involved in the NWS warning and forecasting programs, which, in turn, will benefit the U.S. public with more responsive warning and forecast programs. Specifically, regional and local lightning climatologies are being developed and distributed to NWS forecast offices for use in anticipating thunderstorm development; improvements to operational hurricane prediction models are being implemented; algorithms for better detection and estimation of precipitation amounts in the complex terrain of the western U.S. are being developed; and new techniques for forecasting and warning extreme winter weather events are being developed.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The funds are used by recipients to implement programs described in proposals submitted and selected in response to calls for proposals from the CSTAR Program Office.

The CSTAR Program Office may support non-competitive awards in case specific instances or by direction from legislative language.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

College and universities in the United States.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Colleges and universities with interests in atmospheric and related sciences.


Proposals will be considered if applicants meet the qualifications listed in solicitations.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

No preapplication coordination is required.

However, since proposals must demonstrate high levels of collaboration with operational NWS components, it is recommended that applicants discuss potential interactions with relevant NWS operational personnel prior to submission.

Consultation and assistance is available through the NWS program manager.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Standard Form 424 series, certification, and other related forms must accompany formal proposals. Detailed instructions are contained in solicitations. Proposals will be submitted through the CSTAR program manager to the NOAA Grants Management Division for review and approval. The Department of Commerce will review all projects before an award is executed by the NOAA Grants Officer.

Award Procedures

Awards are selected by the NWS Office of Science and Technology and are made on the basis of proposal evaluations and technical and administrative reviews.


Deadlines are announced within solicitations published in the Federal Register.


49 U.S.C. 44720.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approval time is expected to be about four months, which includes processing the award through NWS, NOAA, and DOC financial assistance functions.




Awards are normally issued on an annual basis.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no matching requirements, however, each university normally contributes funding to further support the projects.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards are for a 12-36 month period, although only one year is funded at a time. Outyears are funded based on availability of funds and adequate progress. Funds are disbursed through the NOAA Accounting Services.

Post Assistance Requirements


Semiannual technical and financial progress reports are due within 30 days of the end of the evaluation period.

Final reports are due within 90 days of the expiration of the award.


Audits will be conducted in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-133 for universities and nonprofit organizations. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, (Revised, June 27, 2003), Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal Awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for the year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Financial records and supporting documents and all other records, i.e., property, performance work products, etc., pertinent to the agreement shall be maintained in accordance with the provisions of 15 CFR 14.53 as applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $1,544,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$100,000 to $3,700,000. Average: $460,285.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Allowable cost will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular A-87 for State and local governments and Indian Tribes; OMB Circular A-122 for nonprofit and for-profit organizations; OMB Circular A-21 for institutions of higher education; and 48 CFR Part 31 for commercial organizations. Financial assistance management will be in accordance with 15 CFR Part 14 for institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other non-profit and commercial organizations, and with 15 CFR Part 24 for State and local governments.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

CSTAR Program Manager, National Weather Service, 1325 East-West Highway, SSMC2, Room 15326, Mailcode W/OST12, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Telephone: (301) 713-557 x150.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Selection criteria are announced within solicitations published in the Federal Register. Examples of criteria used in past solicitations included operational applicability, scientific merit, technology transfer and methodology, capability of researchers, and cost effectiveness.

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