Sponsor:  National Science Foundation (NSF)

Sponsor Program Solicitation: NSF 11-522
Funding Amount: $5,000,000 per year
Duration: 5 years

Status of this Limited Submission Opportunity

Closed - Submitting PI: 1) Alex Vespignani (Phus/CIS/Health Sci) and David Lazar (Pol Sci/CIS); 2) Brian Helmuth (MES/PPUA)


NU Pre-Proposal Deadline: 06/30/2014
Sponsor Deadline: 12/11/2014

Eligibility and Nomination Requirements

Only three applications per institution is allowed. If you are interested in applying, please contact Horst Wittmann (x3836) as early as possible and by June 30, submit a 4-page pre-proposal following a modification of the university’s Limited Submissions guidelines provided in the university’s Procedure for Programs with Limited Submissions.

We anticipate that the NSF will release an announcement for the Science and Technology Centers (STC) during FY14.

STCs are the science and education flagships of the NSF.  There are currently about 20 active STCs, of which at least five will re-compete. The competition will be fierce and many universities are already assembling their STC teams. While the structure of this year’s competition is still unknown, please see the summary and URL for 2011 announcement below. The FY11 RFP allowed institutions to submit up to three (3) preliminary proposals; three awards were made in 2013.

NSF requests that each STC must:

•            be focused on research and education at the frontier of an area of science, engineering, social science or education supported by NSF

•            have scope and scale to justify funding through the center mechanism

•            demonstrate institutional commitment to achieving strategic goals

•            establish multi-institutional collaborations or linkages with other universities/colleges, national laboratories, research museums, private sector laboratories, state and local government organizations, and international collaborations as appropriate

•            include diverse teams an  all organizational levels

•            facilitate knowledge transfer

Funding Areas

The Science and Technology Centers (STC): Integrative Partnerships program supports innovative, potentially transformative, complex research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term awards. STCs conduct world-class research through partnerships among academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities, and via international collaborations, as appropriate. They provide a means to undertake significant investigations at the interfaces of disciplines and/or fresh approaches within disciplines. STCs may involve any areas of science and engineering that NSF supports. STC investments support the NSF vision of advancing discovery, innovation and education beyond the frontiers of current knowledge, and empowering future generations in science and engineering.

Centers provide a rich environment for encouraging future scientists, engineers, and educators to take risks in pursuing discoveries and new knowledge. STCs foster excellence in education by integrating education and research, and by creating bonds between learning and inquiry so that discovery and creativity fully support the learning process.

NSF expects STCs to demonstrate leadership in the involvement of groups traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering at all levels (faculty, students, and postdoctoral researchers) within the Center. Centers use either proven or innovative mechanisms to address issues such as recruitment, retention and mentorship of participants from underrepresented groups.

Centers must undertake activities that facilitate knowledge transfer, i.e., the exchange of scientific and technical information with the objective of disseminating and utilizing knowledge broadly in multiple sectors. Examples of knowledge transfer include technology transfer with the intention of supporting innovation, providing key information to public policy makers, or dissemination of knowledge from one field of science to another.