Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI)

Program, deadline May 5, 2022

The Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI) program, funds human-centered transformative research around domestic infrastructure. This solicitation follows a 2020 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) announcing the first SAI funding opportunity. This program continues to be a priority for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate, which leads the competition with support from seven additional NSF directorates. Proposals should bring together experts from one or more of the SBE science disciplines with experts across other scientific disciplines to generate “fundamental knowledge about human reasoning and decision-making, governance, and social and cultural processes enables the building and maintenance of effective infrastructure that improves lives and society and builds on advances in technology and engineering.”

For this solicitation, NSF states that the infrastructure focus of the proposed research may be of any kind,

“including physical, cyber, biological, technological, social, economic, or educational.” Proposals should focus on infrastructure that produces broad societal impact, such as those that support “transportation, energy, water, information, computing, national security, buildings, conservation, and commerce.” In addition, areas that present the greatest societal challenges are of special interest, including “equitable access to and benefit from infrastructure, sustainability, climate impact, and disaster mitigation, economic resilience, emerging technologies, and future safety, productivity, and security for all citizens.”

NSF emphasizes that proposals must identify a “specific, focal, and well-defined infrastructure.” In addition, proposals must build on a deep understanding of at least one SBE science relevant to the design, development, or sustainability of focal infrastructure. These sciences may include those of “human cognition, perception, information processing, decision-making processes, social and cultural behavior, legal frameworks, governmental structures,” and other areas of SBE science-supported across the directorate’s programs. In particular, NSF encourages proposals to include consideration of modeling approaches of both the underlying human processes and identified infrastructure. Submitted proposals must be grounded in “user-centered concepts and offer the potential to substantially improve, strengthen and transform the design, development, use, deployment, cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and maintenance of American infrastructure.” NSF plans to support SAI Planning Grants (SAI-P), SAI Research Grants (SAI-R), and SAI Conference Grants (SAI-C).

Additionally, NSF encourages proposals that include efforts to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM and underrepresented regions in the development and conduct of the research. Proposals from MSIs are highly encouraged, as are opportunities for participation by undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, K-12 students, industry stakeholders, and others.” Public-private partnerships can also be proposed.

Due Dates: Full proposal submissions are due May 5, 2022.

Award Information: NSF anticipates 35 total awards with up to 10 planning grant awards, up to 15 research grants awards, and up to 10 conference awards. The total anticipated funding amount is $10 million.  SAI-P may be requested for a total budget not to exceed $150,000 and for a period of up to one year. SAI-R grants may be requested for a total budget not to exceed $750,000 and for a period of up to three years. SAI-C grants may be requested for a total budget not to exceed $50,000 and for a period of up to one year.

Eligibility: Institutions of higher education and non-profit, non-academic organizations are eligible to apply to this solicitation. An individual may appear as PI, co-PI, senior personnel, or consultant on only one proposal submitted in response to the solicitation.

Sources and additional information:

Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems (PEOSE)

Deadline May 12, 2022

PEOSE aims to “harness the power of open-source development for the creation of new technology solutions to problems of national and societal importance.” PEOSE will fund new organizations to manage open-source ecosystems (OSEs), with each owning the development and maintenance of the infrastructure required to effectively operate an OSE based around a specific open-source product or class of products. The overarching goal is to increase the availability and coordination of open-source products, such as software, hardware, or data platforms, and developer contributions to accelerate innovation in areas of societal/national importance.

PEOSE will support managing organizations to create and grow sustainable high-impact OSEs around already-developed open-source research products. PEOSE will not support the development of open-source products or existing well-resourced open-source communities and ecosystems. PEOSE is a cross-NSF activity involving all research directorates and, therefore, projects may cover any area of research supported by NSF.

This solicitation is part of NSF’s broader focus on innovation. The program page notes that while existing NSF programs, including the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™), Partnerships for Innovation (PFI), and Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR and STTR) support the translation of basic research into new technology ventures, PEOSE will support the translation of research results into OSEs.

PEOSE will support Phase I and Phase II awards:

  • Phase I: OSE Scoping Proposals – Enable scoping activities and team formation that could lead to a Phase II proposal. Phase I proposals should describe the current context, long-term vision, and potential impact of the proposed OSE. Phase I projects will be supported up to $300,000 for one year.
  • Phase II: OSE Development Proposals – Support the transition of an open-source research product into a sustainable and robust OSE. Phase II proposals will be community-driven and include a detailed project plan. Proposals must also include a community engagement plan to ensure the successful development and maintenance of the technology and identifies users to adopt the technology. Phase II projects will be supported at $1.5 million for up to two years.

NOTE: Phase I awards are not required for the submission of a Phase II proposal.

Due Date: Phase I proposals are due May 12, 2022. Phase II proposals are due October 21, 2022.

Eligibility: This solicitation is open to Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs); Non-profit, non-academic organizations; For-profit organizations; and State and Local Governments. There are no restrictions on the number of proposals submitted by individual institutions or PIs. The solicitation states that the “PEOSE program seeks broad and diverse representation of PIs and organizations.”

Total Funding and Award Size: NSF plans to award up to 20 Phase I awards of up to $300,000 for one year, and 10 Phase II awards of up to $1.5 million for up to two years.

Sources and additional information: