DOE Accelerated Research in Quantum Computing

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary

DOE seeks applications that advance the field of quantum computing by developing enabling end-to-end software infrastructures. This FOA solicits applications from large crossdisciplinary teams that will advance computer science toward a software stack that is ready to leverage multiple quantum technologies, or will develop mathematical foundations, algorithms, and software tools toward quantum utility demonstration for applications within the DOE mission.

The 2023 Basic Research Needs Workshop in Quantum Computing and Networking [6] identified several priority research directions (PRDs); this FOA targets end-to-end software toolchains to program and control quantum systems and networks at scale (PRD1), quantum algorithms delivering quantum advantage (PRD2), and resilience through error detection, prevention, protection, mitigation, and correction (PRD4). These are key components for the development of a software ecosystem that must be ready to account for modularity and interoperability on one side, and for specialization and performance on another. Research proposed in response to this FOA must primarily focus on addressing one of the two topics described below:

Topic 1 – Modular Software Stack: The diversity of quantum computing architectures and hardware technologies is expected to persist into the foreseeable future; this is an important consideration that guides the advancement of computer science sought in this topic. The development of an integrated computational ecosystem requires a general-purpose quantum software stack that is adaptable to, and takes advantage of, multiple kinds of quantum hardware. 

We seek basic research in computer science and applied mathematics that:

  • Addresses practical and fundamental bottlenecks that hinder modularity and potential synergyamong selected hardware technologies;
  • Pursues general approaches to integration that may remain relevant for future technologies; • Devises ways to embed quantum processors in parallel and distributed computing models; and
  • Integrates error management across the software stack.

Topic 2 – Quantum Utility: This topic aims to advance the research towards achievement and demonstration of quantum utility [1] by developing new algorithms and fine-tuning all levels of the software stack for a selected portfolio of promising problems within the ASCR mission. 

Applications should:

  • Choose generalizable application-inspired target problems;
  • Develop algorithms for optimized math kernels and math primitives for selected current (NISQ) and future quantum systems that significantly advance state-of-the-art performance for the selected target problems;
  • Adapt, if needed, any level of the software stack for the specific target problems; and
  • Estimate quantum resources by employing important complementary metrics, including energy-to-solution.

Verification protocols and tools are important for both Topic 1 and Topic 2 and should be discussed in the application. 

Applicants must choose and specify Topic 1 or Topic 2 as the focus of their application. In the choice of Topic 1 or 2, proposed research is encouraged to consider multiple metrics, such as qubit count, gate fidelity, and qubit connectivity.  

Out of Scope Topics

  • Research that is not primarily focused on addressing either Topic 1 or Topic 2 which are described above.
  • Development and improvement of physical qubits.
  • Cryptography and cryptanalysis.
  • Research with benchmarking and resource estimation as the primary focus.
  • Applications that are specific to a scientific discipline and are not generalizable to other areas relevant to the DOE mission.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST February 28, 2024

DOE Pre-Application Deadline: 3:00pm MST March 13, 2024

DOE Application Deadline: 9:59pm MST May 8, 2024

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Topic:
    • Topic 1 – Modular Software Stack
    • Topic 2 – Quantum Utility
  • Project Narrative (3 pages maximum): Please include: 1) Background/Introduction: explain the importance and relevance of the proposed work as well as a review of the relevant literature; 2) Project Objectives: provide a clear, concise statement of the specific objectives/aims of the proposed project; 3) Proposed Research and Methods: identify the hypotheses to be tested (if any) and details of the methods to be used including the integration of experiments with theoretical and computational research efforts; and 4) Promoting Inclusive and Equitable Research (PIER) Plan: describe the activities and strategies to promote equity and inclusion as an intrinsic element to advancing scientific excellence in the research project within the context of the proposing institution and any associated research group(s).
  • Lead PI Curriculum Vitae
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


Applications for multi-institutional teams must ensure that the lead institution performs a greater portion of the scientific and technical work than other team members. The lead PI at the lead institution will serve as team director and manage the coordination of the work within the collaboration.

The PI on a letter of intent, pre-application, or application may also be listed as a senior or key personnel, including in any role on a proposed subaward, on an unlimited number of separate submissions.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Applicant institutions are limited to no more than three letters of intent, pre-applications, or applications as the lead institution. 

Award Information

Period of Performance: 5 years

Ceiling: $3M per year

Floor: $250K per year

Review Criteria


  • What is the scientific innovation of the proposed research?
  • What is the likelihood of achieving valuable results?
  • How might the results of the proposed work impact the direction, progress, and thinking in relevant scientific fields of research?
  • How does the proposed work compare with other efforts in its field, both in terms of scientific and/or technical merit and originality?
  • Is the Data Management Plan suitable for the proposed research? To what extent does it support the verification and validation process? To what extent will research products, including data and software, be made available and reusable to advance the field of research?


  • How logical and feasible are the research approaches?
  • Are there clear hypotheses to be tested?
  • Does the proposed research employ innovative concepts or methods?
  • Are the conceptual framework, methods, and analyses well justified, adequately developed, and likely to lead to scientifically valid conclusions?
  • Does the applicant recognize significant potential problems and consider alternative strategies?
  • Does the proposed research consider expanding/reuse existing software tools or developing new ones? Is the rationale adequately discussed?
  • Is the proposed research aligned with the published priorities identified or incorporated by reference in Section I of this FOA?


  • What is the past performance and potential of the research team?
  • How well qualified is the research team to carry out the proposed research?
  • Is the lead institution proposing to perform a greater portion of the scientific and technical work than any other team member?
  • Are the research environment and facilities adequate for performing the research?
  • Does the proposed work take advantage of unique facilities and capabilities?


  • Are the proposed budget and staffing levels adequate to carry out the proposed research?
  • Is the budget reasonable and appropriate for the scope?


  • Is the proposed Promoting Inclusive and Equitable Research (PIER) Plan suitable for the size and complexity of the proposed project and an integral component of the proposed project?
  • To what extent is the PIER plan likely to lead to participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including individuals historically underrepresented in the research community?
  • What aspects of the PIER plan are likely to contribute to the goal of creating and maintaining an equitable, inclusive, encouraging, and professional training and research environment and supporting a sense of belonging among project personnel?
  • How does the proposed plan include intentional mentorship and are the associated mentoring resources reasonable and appropriate?