New Funding Opportunities for the CISE Community

CATEGORIES: Announcements

New Funding Opportunities for the CISE Community

Dear Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Community,

We are pleased to share with you a number of recent funding opportunities that the NSF has issued in the last few months and are likely to be of significant interest to the CISE community. We’re calling these to your attention since they are all new, “first-time” solicitations that are in addition to CISE’s existing core and cross-cutting programs. These funding opportunities intersect with NSF, Administration, and Congressional priorities, and truly demand engagement and expertise from the CISE community. Thus, we think it’s particularly critical that researchers from the CISE community are fully engaged in these new programmatics.

NSF’s 10 Big Ideas

Nearly three years ago, NSF Director Dr. France A. Córdova unveiled NSF’s 10 Big Ideas. These bold, long-term research and process ideas motivate new, potentially transformative and convergent research that will enable advances at the frontiers of science and engineering. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, NSF is making focused investments in each of the Big ideas through new and continuing programs; opportunities for CISE research, infrastructure, and workforce development span nearly all of the Ideas. We know that many of you have already responded to earlier funding opportunities related to the Big Ideas. Here are currently-open Big Ideas funding opportunities likely to be of interest to the CISE community:

1) Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR): HDR encourages NSF’s research community to pursue a broad, interdisciplinary research agenda in data science and engineering, exploring the foundations and applications of data science in the context of nearly all areas of science, engineering, and society. HDR enables the pursuit of fundamental research in data science and engineering, the development of a cohesive, federated, national-scale approach to research data infrastructure, and the development of a 21st-century data-capable workforce.

Upcoming Deadlines: · Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR): Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science (TRIPODS) Phase I: Intentionally bringing together the electrical engineering, mathematics, statistics, and theoretical computer science communities, TRIPODS seeks to develop the foundations of data science through integrated research and training activities. o Letter of Intent Deadline: March 25, 2019. o Full Proposal Window: April 24, 2019-May 8, 2019.

Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR): Institutes for Data-Intensive Research in Science and Engineering – Frameworks (I-DIRSE-FW). One of two “conceptualization paths” aimed at developing institutes to accelerate discovery and innovation in data-intensive science and engineering, I-DIRSE-FW encourages applications from teams of researchers proposing frameworks for integrated sets of science and engineering problems and data science solutions. Full Proposal Deadline: May 7, 2019.

For more information about HDR programmatics, see the slides, transcripts, and audio file from the HDR webinar held in mid-February 2019.

2) Quantum Leap (QL): QL aims to advance quantum technologies of the future, to include quantum computing, communication, simulation, and sensing. Recent advances in understanding and exploiting quantum mechanics are laying the foundation for generations of new discoveries that can benefit society in unforeseen ways. This “quantum revolution” also requires a highly-trained workforce that can advance the envelope of what is possible through research and development of practical solutions for quantum technologies.

Upcoming Deadlines: Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes (QLCI): Seeking to establish large-scale interdisciplinary research projects that aim to advance the frontiers of quantum information science and engineering, QLCI supports two categories of proposals: 12-month Conceptualization Grants and 5-year Challenge Institutes. Letter of Intent for Conceptualization Grants: April 1, 2019. Full Proposal Deadline for Conceptualization Grants: June 3, 2019. Letter of Intent for Round I QLCI: June 3, 2019. Preliminary Proposal Deadline for Round I QLCI: August 1, 2019. Full Proposal Deadline for Round I QLCI: January 2, 2020.

NSF Quantum Computing & Information Science Faculty Fellows (QCIS-FF): To grow academic research capacity in the computing and information science fields to support advances in quantum computing and/or communication, QCIS-FF encourages hiring of tenure-track and tenured faculty in quantum computing and/or communication. Preliminary Proposal Deadline: July 1, 2019. Full Proposal Window: September 17, 2019 – September 27, 2019.

3) Growing Convergence Research (GCR): Research relying on convergence is needed to solve complex scientific, engineering, and societal problems that require integrating knowledge, methods, and expertise from different disciplines and forming novel frameworks to catalyze scientific discovery and innovation. This research is driven by a specific and compelling problem and features deep integration across disciplines.

Upcoming Deadlines: Growing Convergence Research (GCR): Supports multi-disciplinary team research that crosses directorate or division boundaries and is currently not supported by NSF programs and initiatives, including the other Big Ideas. Proposal Deadline: May 8, 2019

CISE actively participates in several other Big Ideas, such as Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier, Navigating the New Arctic, Understanding the Rules of Life, and Mid-Scale Research Infrastructure. While FY 2019 funding opportunities for these Big Ideas have already passed, we anticipate additional opportunities in FY 2020.

Advancing Artificial Intelligence

A few weeks ago, we wrote that the President signed an Executive Order, Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence, establishing the American AI Initiative and directing the Federal Government “to prioritize research and development of America’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.”

Aligned with this initiative, NSF and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are teaming up through a new Real-Time Machine Learning (RTML) program to explore high-performance, energy-efficient hardware and machine learning architectures that can learn from a continuous stream of new data in real time. NSF and DARPA are issuing separate RTML funding opportunities that will offer collaboration opportunities to awardees from both programs throughout the duration of their projects. We believe this partnership will help lay the foundation for next-generation co-design of RTML algorithms and hardware. The deadline for full proposals is June 6, 2019.

Computing in Undergraduate Education

In February, NSF/CISE launched a new program – Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Computing in Undergraduate Education (IUSE: CUE) – to support institutions of higher education as they re-envision the role of computing in undergraduate education, restructuring curricula, programs, and pathways in recognition of the increasingly ubiquitous role that data and computation play across many other disciplinary and interdisciplinary pursuits. CUE aims to support teams of like colleges and universities working together as Networked Improvement Communities (NICs; click here for details), and to create a community among these teams via national convenings and workshops. CUE provides support for teams to begin the process of re-envisioning computing in undergraduate education at their institutions. We’re incredibly excited about CUE, and believe it will be a very important program for the community; you might be interested in our CRA blog post last week on CUE.

The deadline for IUSE: CUE is May 9, 2019.

To learn more about IUSE: CUE, join NSF for a webinar on Thursday, March 14, 2019, at 2pm EDT. Details about the webinar are available here. And please also join us for a Twitter chat @NSF_CISE ( on Friday, March 15, 2019, at 2pm.

Keep Your Eyes Out for Additional Solicitations

The programs listed above constitute currently-open funding opportunities. There will likely additional funding opportunities that will be of tremendous interest to the CISE community. For example, as part of the Big Ideas, NSF has previously announced its intention to support a new capability (the NSF Convergence Accelerator) that will accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance, and initiate convergence team-building capacity around exploratory, potentially high-risk proposals in selected areas. We encourage you to stay tuned for more in the coming weeks.

Please Join Us

Investments in CISE research, education, and research infrastructure have returned exceptional dividends to our Nation – driving economic growth and competitiveness. Working together, and working in new and emerging areas such as those outlined above, we can ensure that our work continues to profoundly impact the world in which we live. We invite you to continue to work with us to develop the discoveries and discoverers that will transform our society in the decades ahead.


Jim and Erwin

Jim Kurose, Assistant Director of NSF for CISE Erwin Gianchandani, Deputy Assistant Director of NSF for CISE

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