DOE National Quantum Information Science Research Centers

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 SC hereby announces its interest in receiving applications from multi-institutional, multidisciplinary teams (requesting support between $10 and $25 million per year) to establish National Quantum Information Science Research Centers referred to in the rest of this announcement as “Centers.” The goal of this FOA is to select applications that will accelerate the transformational advances in basic science and quantum-based technology needed to develop world-leading capabilities in Quantum Information Science (QIS), and in support of the National Quantum Initiative Act.

This FOA is open to multi-institutional proposals submitted as a single application by the lead institution. Submitted applications must follow the guidelines and criteria provided in the supplementary information below and the following sections. Pre-applications are required and must be submitted by 02/10/2020. A response encouraging or discouraging the submission of a proposal will be provided by 03/10/2020. Only encouraged applications will be considered for merit-review. Applications submitted on behalf of investigators that did not submit a preapplication and applications that do not follow the guidelines and criteria established below may be declined without merit review.

The ability to exploit intricate quantum mechanical phenomena to create fundamentally new ways of obtaining and processing information is at the threshold of a revolution. The rapid progress in this field promises profound impacts on scientific discovery and technological innovation in the coming decades. In competitive terms, QIS is creating potentially transformative opportunities and technically complex, urgent challenges for the Nation, as growing international interest and investments fuel accelerating global activity in quantum science and technology. These opportunities and challenges demand a long-term, large-scale commitment of U.S. scientific and technological resources to multi-institutional, multidisciplinary efforts that are commensurate with world leadership in this pivotal field. This has been recognized on the Federal level with the recent issuance of a National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science in September 20182 and the subsequent enactment of the National Quantum Initiative Act in December 2018.1 DOE, with its unparalleled breadth and depth of activity as the Nation‘s leading supporter of basic research in the physical sciences, and drawing on the unique expertise and capabilities of the DOE National Laboratory complex, has key resources and infrastructure that are integral to this strategic and targeted U.S. initiative.

DOE SC will provide support for the establishment of Centers to accelerate the transformational advances in basic science and quantum-based technology needed to assure continued U.S. leadership in QIS, consistent with the National Quantum Initiative. The purpose of these Centers will be to push the current state-of-the-art science and technology toward realizing the full potential of quantum-based applications, from computing, to communication, to sensing. The multi-disciplinary nature of the field, the reliance on complex, sophisticated, and precise physical arrangements in order to observe and utilize quantum behavior, and the potential for substantial economic consequences are the major drivers of the National Quantum Initiative. The Centers, coupled with a robust core research portfolio stewarded by the individual SC programs, will create the ecosystem needed to foster and facilitate advancement of QIS with public benefits in national security, economic competitiveness, and leadership in scientific discovery.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST January 28, 2020

Sponsor Pre-Application Deadline: 3:00pm MST February 10, 2020

Sponsor Full Application Deadline: 3:00pm MST April 10, 2020

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (up to 5 pages maximum, minimum text font size of Times New Roman 12 point and margins no smaller than one inch on all sides. Figures and references, if included, must fit within the five-page limit).
    • Please include the following: a clear and concise mission and scope of proposed Center; justification for Center-scale investment as an integrated, synergistic whole; R&D methods and approaches, and metrics that will assess Center’s impact; significance of the proposed research and development and potential national scientific, technological, and competitiveness impact; and a description of how the Center:
      • Assembles a large, multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary effort with a domestic organization designated as the Lead Institution
      • Incorporates each of the five Essential Components as described in Section I
      • Addresses and integrates at least three levels of the QIS S&T Innovation Chain
      • Includes Fundamental Science as one of the levels of the Chain that it addresses
      • Integrates sub-topics from at least two of the Technical Areas of Interest as described in Section I
  • Lead PI/Center Director 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:


There are no special eligibility requirements.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An individual may be the Center Director on no more than one application. An institution may be the Lead Institution on no more than one application. There is no limitation on the number of applications in which an institution may participate.

Award Information

Award Amount: $10,000,000 - $25,000,000 per year per award

Expected Number of Awards: 2-5

Award Duration: 5 years