NSF Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention Phase II (PIPP Phase II Centers Program)

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

Program Summary

Despite decades of research, scientists do not fully understand the dynamic nature of pathogen and disease emergence. Emerging (and re-emerging) pathogens represent a continuing risk to national security because they threaten health (animal, human, and ecosystem) and economic stability. Often, society falls short on the coordination and breadth of expertise needed to respond to such threats. Effective responses to emerging pathogens will require sustained, global-scale efforts of researchers and organizations. This can only be accomplished by synergistic integration of innovative scientific and technological advances across disciplines and scales, and effective knowledge transfer into practice. As part of these efforts, NSF is organizing a set of activities around the broad theme of Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention (PIPP).

The PIPP initiative focuses on foundational research and development activities needed to tackle grand challenges in infectious disease pandemics through prediction and prevention. The PIPP Phase II Centers Program expands upon the Phase I Development Grant Program and is the NSF's flagship program to establish a network of Centers or large-scale awards/investments that will support interdisciplinary team-based approaches to accelerate research and development activities in emerging infectious diseases and pandemics. The overall goal of the PIPP Phase II Centers program is to support research and development activities needed to transform society's ability to forecast the likelihood of pandemic-scale events, detect outbreaks early, and respond efficiently.

Continued advancement, enabled by sustained federal investment channeled toward issues of national importance holds the potential for further economic impact and public health improvements.

Informed by visioning activities in the scientific community as well as a previous round of development grant activities (PIPP Phase I), the program invites proposals for Centers that have a principal focus in one of the following multidisciplinary themes:

  • Theme 1: Pre-emergence - Predicting and detecting rare events in complex, dynamical systems
  • Theme 2: Data, AI/ML and Design - Computing, manufacturing and technology innovation for pandemics
  • Theme 3: The Host as the Universe - Identifying host-pathogen tipping points that dictate control or spread of an infection
  • Theme 4: Human Systems - The role of human behavior, activities and environments in disease emergence, transmission, and response or mitigation


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST August 14, 2023

Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: 5:00pm MST August 25, 2023

Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: 5:00pm MST December 8, 2023

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Letter of Intent: Please include: 1) The proposal title, which must indicate the PIPP Phase II program, followed by a colon, then the title of the project ("PIPP Phase II: Theme n (where n is the theme number, if known): Title"). The title should describe the project in concise, informative language that is understandable to a technically literate reader; 2) Project synopsis (2500 characters) outlining the specific goals of the Center and highlighting innovative aspects of the work and the significance of potential outcomes in the field of predictive intelligence for pandemic prevention. Other comments (2500 characters) should also be included explaining how the project will address the Additional Solicitation Specific Criteria; 3) Optional Data Fields: Identify the disciplines in which the research is grounded (255 characters) and include DOI and/or ISBN for key references cited in the Letter of Intent, if applicable (255 characters). 4) A list of PI/coPIs and other Senior Project Personnel and Participating Organizations.
  • 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: https://cuboulderovcr.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/6897/home


The Lead PI must be a faculty member or equivalent at the lead organization. A letter of commitment from the Dean or equivalent at the lead organization must be submitted as part of the proposal to NSF given the broad focus of the centers. An individual may be designated as PI or co-PI (this doesn't include non PI/co-PI senior personnel) on at most one full proposal to this solicitation. If an individual exceeds this limit at the full proposal submission stage, proposals will be accepted based on earliest date and time of submission, i.e., the first compliant full proposal will be accepted, and the remainder will be returned without review.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An organization may submit no more than one Letter of Intent to this solicitation as lead organization. An organization may submit up to one full proposal that corresponds to a Letter of Intent submitted to this solicitation. A full proposal that does not correspond to a Letter of Intent submitted to the program will be returned without review.

Award Information and Duration

Anticipated Number of Awards: 4-7

Amount: $15-18M over 7 years 

Review Criteria

In addition to the National Science Board merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to apply the following criteria when reviewing proposals submitted to this solicitation:

  1. Foundational research and development activities: How well does the proposed Center contribute new knowledge or methods toward predictive intelligence for pandemic prevention?
  2. Use-inspired insights to critical problems: How well does the proposed Center leverage the use-inspired research context to provide insights to critical problems relating to predictive intelligence for pandemic prevention that accelerate translation of research results to practice.
  3. Strategic impact: What is the potential for the Center to make a lasting strategic impact beyond its research outcomes? Specifically:
    • How will the proposed Center actively nurture and grow the next generation of talent?
    • To what extent is the proposed Center comprised of a multidisciplinary group of scientists, engineers, practitioners and/or educators appropriate to the project?
    • How well does the proposed Center leverage multiple organizations to create significant new research capabilities in new Centers of pandemic preparedness and leadership and create a network for broadening participation from groups underrepresented in STEM to encourage participation of the full spectrum of diverse talent that society has to offer and diverse institutions?
    • How well does the proposal exhibit plans to operate as a nexus point for collaborative efforts for research across a multitude of science and engineering fields, and engages externally to add to a diverse Center that is more than just the sum of the parts?