NSF Quantum Sensing Challenges for Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems (QuSeC-TAQS)

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

The Quantum Sensing Challenges for Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems (QuSeC-TAQS) program will support interdisciplinary teams to explore highly innovative, original, and potentially transformative research on quantum sensing. The QuSeC-TAQS program encourages coordinated efforts to develop and translate ideas for quantum sensors into tangible quantum systems that can benefit society.

QuSeC-TAQS proposals should have the potential to deliver new concepts, new platforms, and/or new approaches to implement and utilize quantum sensors. Proposals must articulate how the project will develop quantum sensing systems that address a particular need, and can demonstrate improved capabilities or performance compared to classical systems.

Proposed projects should pursue either or both of the following tracks:

  • Explore new ideas using for enhanced sensing functionalities using quantum information science and engineering principles. Proposals should describe how the project will result in experimental tests or a proof of principle for new concepts, platforms, or approaches for enhanced sensing.
  • Translate quantum information science and engineering discoveries into scalable quantum sensor systems or networks. Proposals should describe how the project will demonstrate advantages for targeted applications as a result of applying fundamentally quantum phenomena.

The following features are deemed important under this research solicitation:

  • Quantum Sensing: It is expected that proposed research projects will focus on quantum sensing, leveraging both fundamental understanding of quantum phenomena and novel application concepts. Clear rationale as to the novelty and the potential for enhanced capabilities as compared to classical sensors and systems should be addressed.
  • Interdisciplinarity and Convergence: Progress in this field may benefit from research that draws upon expertise in multiple disciplines including (but not limited to) physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, geoscience, computer science, and engineering. Proposals should describe how the project will facilitate scientists and engineers to work together in research teams involving theory, modeling, design, characterization, device fabrication, and testing.
  • Experimental Demonstration: Proposals should describe how the project will realize a proof-of-concept for novel quantum functionalities, characterize quantum device properties, or system performance in relevant conditions for potential applications.

The QuSeC-TAQS program also encourages diverse activities with the potential to increase the impact of projects:

  • Education and Training: Proposals that in addition to research create education, training, and workforce development opportunities in areas of quantum information science and engineering related to quantum sensing are encouraged.
  • Partnerships: The creation or development of partnerships with industry, National Laboratories, or other academic institutions can be valuable for developing new concepts and platforms, for scaling up, and subsequently for commercialization of technologies based on quantum sensor concepts. Such partnerships are therefore encouraged where appropriate.
  • International Collaboration and Student Mobility and Exchange: Collaboration with international scientific teams who are leaders in the field is welcome. Travel support for principal investigators, research personnel and students may be considered. Opportunities for developing student exchange are encouraged in order to develop a globally engaged workforce for QIS technologies.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST November 7, 2022

Sponsor Preliminary Proposal Deadline: 5:00pm MST December 16, 2022

Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: 5:00pm MST April 3, 2023

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Description (5 pages maximum) including:1) Vision and Goals: Describe the vision and specific goals of the proposed research, explicitly addressing how the different PIs and research topics mesh together to achieve the research goals; 2) Approach and Methodology: Describe the approach and methodology that will be used to achieve the research vision and goals; 3) Relevance to Quantum Sensing: Describe how the project leverages and/or promotes advances in quantum sensing. Please address the expected performance advantage of the quantum sensor system proposed over classical sensing systems; and 4) Broader Impacts: Describe how the proposed project will benefit society, for example by enabling advances in science and technology in various disciplines, and training individuals to work with quantum technologies.
  • 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/6789/home


The Principal Investigator (PI) must be a faculty member employed by the submitting organization. A minimum of one (1) PI and two (2) co-PIs must participate.

No individual may appear as Senior Personnel (Principal Investigator, Co-PI, and Faculty Associate or equivalent) on more than two QuSeC-TAQS preliminary proposals. The same limit applies to invited full proposals. In the event that any individual exceeds this limit, any proposal submitted to this solicitation with this individual listed as PI, co-PI, or Senior Personnel after the first two proposals are received at NSF will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Up to two (2) preliminary proposals and up to two (2) invited full proposals may be submitted per lead institution contingent to the requirement the proposed projects are in substantially different research areas.

Award Information and Duration

Anticipated Number of Awards: 10-12

Amount: $2,500,000 over 4 years

Review Criteria

In addition to the two NSF review criteria (intellectual merit and broader impacts), additional criteria will be used in the review of both QuSeC-TAQS preliminary and full proposals:

  • Relevance to Quantum Sensing: Does the project focus on quantum functionality and leverage and/or promote advances in quantum sensing?
  • Interdisciplinary: Does the proposed research involve the convergence of diverse fields of expertise including but not limited to physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computer sciences, engineering and education, to address an important topic?
  • Experimental Demonstration: Does the proposed research include a plan for experimental demonstration, when appropriate? Examples of demonstrations include, but are not limited to, quantum devices characterization or demonstration in a system, proof-of-concept of novel quantum functionalities, algorithms demonstration on quantum hardware, etc.
  • Educational Potential: Consideration will be given to innovative plans that would contribute to growing a more diverse, inclusive, and sustainable workforce that possesses the broad range of skills needed by industry, academia, and the U.S. Government.