Please see the full solicitation (linked above) for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Note the letter of intent requirement detailed below.
The Science and Technology Centers (STC): Integrative Partnerships program supports exceptionally innovative, complex research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term awards. STCs focus on creating new scientific paradigms, establishing entirely new scientific disciplines and developing transformative technologies which have the potential for broad scientific or societal impact. STCs conduct world-class research through partnerships among institutions of higher education, national laboratories, industrial organizations, other public or private entities, and via international collaborations, as appropriate. They provide a means to undertake potentially groundbreaking investigations at the interfaces of disciplines and/or highly innovative approaches within disciplines. STCs may involve any area of science and engineering that NSF supports. STC investments support the NSF vision of creating and exploiting new concepts in science and engineering and providing global leadership in research and education.
Centers provide a rich environment for encouraging future scientists, engineers, and educators to take risks in pursuing discoveries and new knowledge. STCs foster excellence in education by integrating education and research, and by creating bonds between learning and inquiry so that discovery and creativity fully support the learning process.
NSF expects STCs to both involve individuals who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering at all levels within the Center (faculty, staff, students, and postdoctoral researchers) as well as be a leader in broadening participation in STEM. Individuals who may be underrepresented in STEM include those who identify as women, persons with disabilities, Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders. The terms for these racial and ethnic populations are derived from the US government's guidance for federal statistics and administrative reporting (OMB Statistical Policy Directive No. 15, Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Reporting). Although these social identities are listed separately, they do not exist in isolation from each other and the intersection of one of more of these social identities may need to be considered when designing plans for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the STC Center. Centers may use either proven, or innovative mechanisms based on the relevant literature, to address issues such as recruitment, retention, success, and career progression of all individuals in the Center.
Centers must undertake activities that facilitate knowledge transfer, i.e., the exchange of scientific and technical information with the objective of disseminating and utilizing knowledge broadly in multiple sectors. Examples of knowledge transfer include technology transfer, providing key information to public policy-makers, or dissemination of knowledge from one field of science to another.
All STCs must:
Internal Letter of Intent Requirements (in PDF format)
Internal Proposal Requirements (all in PDF format)
The PI must be a full-time faculty member at an institution of higher education and have an established record of leading research teams.
A PI or co-PI on one proposal in this competition may not be a participant in another STC proposal under review in the same competition. If a proposal is declined at any stage of the review process, a PI or co-PI on the declined proposal may then participate in another STC proposal. This eligibility constraint will be strictly enforced. In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals will be accepted based on the earliest date and time of proposal submission (i.e., the first compliant proposal received will be accepted and the others will be returned without review).
Limited Submission Guidelines
A single organization may submit a maximum of three preliminary proposals as the lead institution. Full proposals are to be submitted only when invited by NSF. There is no limit on the number of proposals in which an organization participates as a partner institution. The STC program will not support more than one Center from any one lead institution in this competition.
$6,000,000 annually for an initial period of five years with a possibility of continuation for five additional years.
Estimated Number of Awards: up to 5