NSF Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA): Future Research Directions for the Engineering Research Community

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

The National Science Foundation Directorate for Engineering (NSF/ENG) invites the engineering research community to establish an organization that will serve to identify and develop bold and societally impactful new engineering research directions and thereby catalyze the engineering research community's pursuit of innovative, high-impact research. Specifically, NSF/ENG calls on the engineering research community to establish an Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA) that ENG will support to facilitate the articulation of compelling research visions that align with national and global challenges. This organization will be charged with obtaining and integrating input from all stakeholders with interest in engineering research, including academia, industry, societies, government agencies and the public. A reciprocal goal of the organization will be to communicate coordinated information on nascent opportunities and priorities in engineering research to these stakeholders. It is anticipated that through its activities the ERVA will strengthen connectivity across these diverse stakeholders, and increase coordination among engineering disciplinary communities.

The ERVA should have membership/representation of academic, industrial and other stakeholders, and should be inclusive of all engineering disciplines. Through its proposed activities, the ERVA should provide the engineering community with a process for identifying future research challenges and enable the engineering research community to speak with a unified voice.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST April 13, 2020

Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: 5:00pm MST July 8, 2020

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MST August 12, 2020

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (2-3 pages maximum): Please include the following: organization structure and project staffing; ERVA management plan with milestones and strategies for achieving full participation of women and underrepresented minorities; communication strategy; and evaluation plan with proposed metrics.
  • 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: https://cuboulderovcr.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/6481/home


Either the PI or a co-PI should hold a primary appointment at an institution of higher education. There is no constraint on the role of the Principal Investigator (PI) within the submitting organization. The proposal must document the PI’s experience with leading and managing an organization involving and/or representing diverse constituents from the broad engineering community.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An organization may submit only one ERVA proposal on which it is the lead institution.

Award Information

Award Amount: $5,000,000 - $8,000,000

Expected Number of Awards: 1

Award Duration: Up to 5 years

Review Criteria

In addition to the standard NSF criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts, reviewers will be asked to comment explicitly on the issues discussed below for each proposal:

  • How well does the submitting organization represent the broad engineering research community, particularly academic and industry communities including the communities supported by the NSF Directorate for Engineering? Is the proposed organization sufficiently broad to play a community proxy role?
  • Does the proposing team have the appropriate perspective on current engineering research activities and priorities?
  • Is the organization and management structure sufficient to meet the project goals? Does the organizational structure involve the necessary stakeholder range? Does the submitting organization have experience with similar types of projects? How qualified are the PIs and other named personnel to meet the project goals? Are appropriate milestones and associated activities included?
  • Are the proposed visioning approaches/activities well-positioned to catalyze the identification of bold and high-impact research directions?
  • Does the submitting organization have access to appropriate physical space, resources and infrastructure to achieve the goals of the ERVA?
  • Does the proposal include effective and timely mechanisms for gathering from the engineering research community and other stakeholders critical information and insights on future engineering research directions?
  • Does the proposal include a clear and compelling plan for communicating future research visions to all relevant stakeholders?
  • Does the proposal include a credible evaluation plan with appropriate metrics?