NSF Science and Technology Centers: Integrative Partnerships Solicitation

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 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 demonstrate leadership in the involvement of groups traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering at all levels (faculty, students, and postdoctoral researchers) within the Center. Centers use either proven or innovative mechanisms to address issues such as recruitment, retention and mentorship of participants from underrepresented groups. 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.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST April 11, 2019

Sponsor Preliminary Proposal Deadline: 5:00pm MST June 25, 2019

Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (by invitation only): 5:00pm MST January 27, 2020

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (1 page maximum): Provide an overview of the proposed STC, addressing separately the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the Center.
  • Project Description (2 pages maximum): Please address the following: center rationale (grand challenge being addressed, breakthroughs being sought, potential impacts, intended legacies), center plan (research plan overview in context of national and global landscapes of relevant scientific fields), team description (role and assets each participating organization brings & roles of key personnel), integration strategies (how the proposed research areas/themes integrate with one another to realize the Center’s research vision).
  • PI Biosketch (2 pages maximum)
  • Budget Overview (up to 1 page): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit: https://colorado.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/home/6346


The PI must be a full-time faculty member at an institution of higher education and have an established record of leading research teams.

The lead institution is expected to develop partnerships or arrangements with other universities, colleges, or other institutions, such as national laboratories, research museums, private sector research laboratories, state and local government laboratories, and international organizations as appropriate to enable the Center to attain its strategic goals.

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. 

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). No exceptions will be made.

Limited Submission Guidelines

A single organization may submit a maximum of three preliminary proposals as the lead institution. The STC program will not support more than one Center from any one lead institution in this competition.

Award Information

Total Program Funding Amount: Up to a total of $25 million may be available, pending the availability of funds, for first-year support of newly funded Centers beginning in FY 2021. The amount of NSF’s investment in each Center will depend upon the needs, plans, and opportunities offered by the Center, as well as the availability of NSF funds. 

Estimated Number of Awards: 5

Award Duration: Cooperative Agreement – initial commitment of 5 years with the possibility of a 5-year continuation.