Slots: 3. A single organization may submit a maximum of three preliminary proposals as the lead institution. Full proposals are to be submitted only when invited by NSF. There is no limit on the number of proposals in which an organization participates as a partner institution. The STC program will not support more than one Center from any one lead institution in this competition.
Internal Deadline: Closed.
Preliminary Proposal: February 1, 2022
External Deadline: August 29, 2022
Award Type: Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Number of Awards: 5
Anticipated Award Amount: $30 million
Who May Serve as PI: The PI must be a full-time faculty member at an institution of higher education and have an established record of leading research teams.
Link to Award: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2022/nsf22521/nsf22521.htm
Process for Limited Submissions
PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal: https://rii.usc.edu/oor-portal/.
Materials to submit include:
- (1) Single Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 1-page limit will be excluded from review.
- (2) CV – (5 pages maximum)
Note: The portal requires information about the PIs and Co-PIs in addition to department and contact information, including the 10-digit USC ID#, Gender, and Ethnicity. Please have this material prepared before beginning this application.
The Science and Technology Centers (STC): Integrative Partnerships-Discovery and Innovation to Address Vexing Scientific and Societal Challenges program supports exceptionally innovative, complex research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term awards. STCs focus on creating new scientific paradigms, establishing entirely new scientific disciplines, and developing transformative technologies that have the potential for broad scientific or societal impact. STCs conduct world-class research through partnerships among institutions of higher education, national laboratories, industrial organizations, other public and private entities, and via international collaborations, as appropriate.
The STC program supports potentially groundbreaking investigations at the interfaces of disciplines or highly innovative approaches within disciplines. When appropriate teams are encouraged to embrace convergence to achieve deep integration across disciplines and sectors. STCs may involve any area of science and engineering that NSF supports. STCs exploit opportunities in science, engineering and technology where the complexity of the research agenda requires the duration, scope, scale, flexibility, and facilities that center support can provide. They help enable U.S. leadership in research in a world in which discovery, learning, and innovation enterprises are increasingly interconnected and increasingly global. Centers offer the science and engineering community a venue for developing effective mechanisms to integrate scientific and technological research and education activities; to explore better and more effective ways to educate students; to broaden participation of underrepresented groups and underresourced institutions; and to ensure the timely transfer of research and education advances made in service to society. STC partner organizations work together with the lead institution as an integrated whole to achieve the shared research, education, broadening participation, and knowledge-transfer goals of the Center. The STC program seeks to ensure a diverse portfolio of centers including diversity among types of institutions leading centers and diversity amongst center directors.
Objectives of the STC Program are to:
- Support potentially groundbreaking investigations at the interfaces of disciplines or highly innovative approaches within disciplines;
- Support research and education of the highest quality, in a center-based environment, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts;
- Exploit opportunities in science, education, engineering and/or technology where the complexity of the research agenda requires the advantages of scope, scale, flexibility, duration, equipment, and facilities that a Center can provide;
- Support the creation of new scientific paradigms, establishment of new scientific disciplines, and development of transformative technologies;
- Foster science and engineering in service to society;
- Engage and develop the Nation’s intellectual talent, including groups underrepresented in the sciences, mathematics and engineering, in the conduct of research and education activities;
- Increase the participation of minority-serving institutions in center-scale science and engineering research;
- Promote organizational connections and linkages within and between campuses, K-12 educational institutions, and the world beyond (e.g., state, local, Federal agencies, national labs, industry, international collaborations), capitalizing upon cyberinfrastructure and modern communication technologies to facilitate these linkages;
- Focus on integrative learning and discovery and the preparation of U.S. students for a broad set of career paths; and
- Support research collaborations that energize the Nation’s economic competitiveness, sustain its global leadership in science and engineering, expand the geography of innovation, and improve the quality of life for everyone.
Additional Eligibility Info: Proposed STC annual budgets may range up to $6.0M per year of NSF support. Full proposals outside this range will be returned without review. Each preliminary and invited full proposal must demonstrate institutional commitment in the area proposed. Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.
Past directors of STCs may participate in this open competition only if the proposed research and education topics or themes are substantially different from those they pursued with prior NSF Center support. The proposal must focus on a different research topic. New proposals that simply extend the methods and intent of a past STC to a slightly larger scope or a new geographic area will be returned without review.
The STC Program complements the Engineering Research Centers (ERCs), the Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSECs), Centers of Chemical Innovation (CCIs), National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes, and other NSF programs that support group research and education activities. Teams that aspire to develop center proposals in the future are encouraged to consider applying to Growing Convergence Research program to crystalize their vision and develop team integration. STCs may involve any area of science and engineering that NSF supports. Participation in a Center does not preclude individuals from receiving NSF support for their individual research in complementary areas.
Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.