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October 2, 2007

Dear Colleague,

Greetings from the NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate! CISE is committed to support not only basic, long-term research, but also bold and potentially transformative research agendas. We look forward to learning about your most creative, exciting, and visionary ideas.

This letter is to share with the entire CISE community, for the first time in one place, a list of all research-focused program announcements and solicitations currently active or under development. By providing you with this preview, we aim to give you a sense of the breadth of research areas we fund and to help you better plan for proposal preparation for this and coming years. We hope you find this information useful. Stay tuned for future Dear Colleague Letters that will give an overview of CISE's infrastructure and education programs.

We encourage you to read through the entire list: There are both brand new opportunities and continuing opportunities that you may not be aware of. The new ones are: CreativeIT, Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI), Expeditions in Computing, Foundations of Data and Visual Analytics, and Software for Real-World Systems. Please take some time to look at the continuing ones, too, as you may discover topics covered by programs outside your usual research purview.

We also strongly recommend that you carefully and selectively identify the most appropriate funding opportunity for your proposed work. Experience has shown that the most effective strategy for a PI is to focus on fewer high-quality proposals, rather than submitting numerous proposals. As more PIs submit multiple proposals, the burden on the merit review process increases and the quality and timeliness of the merit review process deteriorates as well. Since many of the funding opportunities described below will be offered again in future fiscal years, you might also consider beginning to formulate a proposal for a future year's competition.

The continued excellence in our field depends on your active participation in our community. Here are some ways we seek your involvement: submit to the new Computing Community Consortium your grand vision ideas not only to excite our nation's young to consider computing careers but also to attract more funding to our field; engage in NSF's merit review process as a panel or ad-hoc reviewer; and finally, come to NSF on a rotational assignment as a CISE Program Director, CISE Division Director, NSF Assistant Director, or even NSF Director in the coming years.

Good luck in the FY 2008 competitions!

Jeannette Wing
Assistant Director for CISE


The list below reflects major research opportunities and previews the range of program announcements and solicitations currently active or under development that may be of interest to you. Please refer to the NSF website for a complete list of activities. A synopsis of other funding opportunities, including research infrastructure and education programs, will be detailed in a subsequent Dear Colleague Letter.


Advanced Learning Technologies (joint with NSFs Directorate for Education and Human Resources)
Scientific Foci: Research on computer science and cognitive science challenges posed by human learning environments and learning technology platforms. Projects must pursue both learning and technology questions, and focus on science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) education.

Proposal Deadline: April 25, 2008

Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (joint with the National Institutes of Health and other NSF directorates)

Scientific Foci: Interdisciplinary research in computational neuroscience, providing a theoretical foundation and set of technological approaches that enhance understanding of nervous system function and may also have a significant impact on the theory and design of engineered systems.

Proposal Deadline: TBD. Solicitation to be released in January 2008.

CreativeIT **NEW in FY 2008**
Scientific Foci: Focus on research that improves our understanding of creativity while producing simultaneous advances in computer science and information technologies with digital arts, cognitive science, engineering design, and physical and life science.

Proposal Deadline: September 21, 2007

Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI ) **NEW in FY 2008**
Scientific Foci: Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI) is NSF's bold five-year initiative to create revolutionary science and engineering research outcomes made possible by innovations and advances in computational thinking, where computational thinking is defined comprehensively to encompass computational concepts, methods, models, algorithms, and tools. CDI seeks ambitious, transformative, multidisciplinary research proposals within or across the following three thematic areas: From Data to Knowledge; Understanding Complexity in Natural, Built, and Social Systems; and Building Virtual Organizations. PIs are encouraged to submit CDI proposals that are truly distinctive from proposals submitted to other CISE programs.

Letter of Intent Deadline (mandatory): November 30, 2007
Preliminary Proposal Deadline: January 8, 2008
Full Proposal Deadline: April 29, 2008

Community-Based Data Interoperability Networks
Scientific Foci: This program supports research community efforts aimed at broad digital data interoperability through the development of mechanisms such as robust data and metadata conventions, ontologies, and taxonomies. Support is provided for community consensus-building activities and, based on community consensus, for developing associated technical standards with supporting implementation tools and resources.

Proposal Deadline: July 23, 2008

Sustainable Digital Data Preservation and Access Network Partners (DataNet)
Scientific Foci: DataNet will create a set of exemplar national and global data research infrastructure organizations that integrate library and archival sciences, cyberinfrastructure, computer and information sciences, and domain science expertise to: provide reliable digital preservation, access, integration, and analysis capabilities for science and/or engineering data over a decades-long timeline; continuously anticipate and adapt to changes in technologies and in user needs and expectations; engage at the frontiers of computer and information science and cyberinfrastructure with research and development to drive the leading edge forward; and serve as component elements of an interoperable data preservation and access network.

Preliminary Proposal Deadline: January 7, 2008
Full Proposal Deadline: March 21, 2008

Foundations of Data and Visual Analytics (joint with Department of Homeland Security) **NEW in FY 2008**
Scientific Foci: CISE will establish a network of projects focused on the creation of the mathematical and computational sciences foundations required to transform data in ways that permit visual-based understanding. This is a one-time solicitation with 5-7 awards anticipated; no subsequent competitions are envisioned.

Proposal Deadline: November 20, 2007

High End Computing University Research Activity (with DARPA)
Scientific Foci: Research and education projects in languages, programming models and programming environments for high-end computing.

Proposal Deadline: TBD. Solicitation to be released fall 2007, with a proposal deadline winter of 2007-2008. Stay tuned for more information.

Mathematical Sciences: Innovations at the Interface with Computer Sciences
Scientific Foci: Supports collaborative research in fundamental mathematics and statistics, and computer science with a focus primarily on mathematical and statistical challenges posed by large data sets, managing and modeling uncertainty, and modeling complex nonlinear systems.

Proposal Deadline: Spring 2008

Software for Real-World Systems (SRS) **NEW in FY 2008**
Scientific Foci: SRS calls on researchers to discover, define, and apply fundamental scientific principles, engineering methods, and educational methods to the challenges of developing, analyzing, and maintaining software for real-world systems of today and tomorrow.

Proposal Deadline: January 17, 2008



Core program announcements have recurring annual deadlines and are critical to the vitality and stability of the academic-based computing and information research and education community. Core programs contribute in several ways: 1. they target particular scientific fields or subfields within computing and information; 2. they target subsets of the computing and information community (e.g., new faculty, undergraduate students, etc.); or 3. they target specific project modalities (e.g., team awards of larger funding levels and longer durations.)

Computer Systems Research
Scientific Foci: Innovative research that has potential to augment our fundamental understanding of these increasingly large and complex systems and lead to major advances in systems software, service architectures and abstractions, system modeling and simulation, virtualization, cross-system integration, real-time and pervasive computing, storage and file systems, networked sensing and control, flexible assured system composition, and design for dependability and resiliency under uncertainty.

Proposal Deadline: TBD. Solicitation to be released fall 2007, with a proposal deadline early spring 2008.

Cyber Trust
Scientific Foci: Research leading to computer-based systems and networks that function as intended, especially in the face of cyber attack, that process, store and communicate sensitive information according to specified policies, and that reflect privacy concerns of citizens. Proposals may address any aspect related to security, privacy, dependability, reliability and safety of systems and networks.

Proposal Deadline: TBD. Solicitation to be released fall 2007, with a proposal deadline early spring 2008.

Engineering Research Centers (ERCs)
Scientific Foci: Create a culture of innovation in engineering research and education that links scientific discovery to technological innovation through transformational engineered systems research in order to advance technology and produce engineering graduates who will be creative innovators in a global economy.

Letter of Intent Deadline (required): February 02, 2007
Preliminary Proposal Deadline (required): May 03, 2007
Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer's local time): December 10, 2007

Emerging Models and Technologies
Scientific Foci: Frameworks and foundations for novel computing models that will lead to better computing and communication systems, including, for example: modeling and simulation of bio-systems; design of bio-inspired computing models for solving complex problems; investigation of various aspects of quantum-based approaches to processing information; and nanoscale science and engineering approaches.

Proposal Deadline: TBD. Program announcement to be released fall 2007; proposal deadline winter 2007-2008.

Expeditions in Computing **NEW in FY 2008**
Scientific Foci: New research program to tap the great reservoir of opportunities that fundamental research advances in computing and information promise for the future. Investigators in the computer and information science and engineering fields and beyond are encouraged to come together within and/or across departments or institutions in the development of compelling, transformational research agendas that promise disruptive innovations in computing and information for many years to come. Three five-year awards, each totaling $10 million, will be supported this year, with three new awards to be made each year in subsequent years.

Letter of Intent Deadline (Mandatory): November 5, 2007
Preliminary Proposal Deadline: December 30, 2007
Full Proposal Deadline: April 1, 2008

Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER)
Scientific Foci: A foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organizations.

Proposal Deadline: Midsummer 2008

Foundations of Computing Processes and Artifacts
Scientific Foci: Transformative research to advance at a fundamental level the design, verification, evaluation, utilization, and understanding of computing and communication systems. Projects may focus on processes, such as design methods for hardware or software, especially programming models for parallel computing; they may also focus on artifacts, such as new tools for validation of a system design, new languages, or new techniques for graphics, visualization, and animation.

Proposal Deadline: December 7, 2007

Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI)
Scientific Foci: Synergize university-industry partnerships by making project funds or fellowships/traineeships available to support an eclectic mix of industry-university linkages. Program targets high-risk/high-gain research with a focus on fundamental topics, new approaches to solving generic problems, development of innovative collaborative industry-university educational programs, and direct transfer of new knowledge between academe and industry.

Proposal Deadline: Proposals accepted in all CISE programs at relevant deadlines.

Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program (I/UCRC)
Scientific Foci: Develops long-term partnerships among industry, academe, and government. The centers are catalyzed by a small investment from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and are primarily supported by industry center members, with NSF taking a supporting role in their development and evolution.

Letter of Intent Deadline: January 4, 2008
Proposal Deadline: March 28, 2008
Letter of Intent Deadline: June 27, 2008

Information and Intelligent Systems: Advancing Human-Centered Computing; Information Integration and Informatics; and Robust Intelligence

Scientific Foci: The IIS Division has a single yearly solicitation that funds core activities in all three programmatic areas covered by IIS:

Human-Centered Computing studies the roles of and relationships between people and the computing and information technologies they develop and use, focused both on the design of computational artifacts in support of human activities and on the study of the impact these technologies have on individuals, groups, and society at large.

Information Integration and Informatics focuses on processes and technologies for creating, storing, querying, representing, organizing, integrating, updating, analyzing, preserving, protecting, and interacting with digital content at scales ranging from individuals to globally-distributed dynamic networked repository systems.

Robust Intelligence encompasses computational understanding and modeling of the many human and animal capabilities that demonstrate intelligence and adaptability in unstructured and uncertain environments. This programmatic area includes research in robotics, speech, vision, natural language processing, and other areas of artificial intelligence.

Each year, this solicitation also focuses on a number of cross-cutting technical areas. The current solicitation includes two such areas:

Integrative Intelligence, targeting the challenges involved in creating more broadly capable intelligent systems; and

Next-Generation Networked Information, seeking the development of information systems that anticipate future distributed networking environments.

Proposal Deadlines (by project size): October 23, 2007 (Medium); November 19, 2007 (Large); and December 10, 2007 (Small).

Networking Technology and Systems
Scientific Foci: Supports forward looking, basic and experimental, research to increase our understanding of how complex, dynamic networks behave, how they can be designed to deliver sustainable end-to-end performance and services, and how they can be managed and controlled to rapidly adapt to changes with a high degree of reliability and minimal service disruption. Both evolutionary proposals which focus on radical approaches to address challenges related to the current Internet and revolutionary, clean-slate proposals, which seek to create a future Internet, are welcome.

Proposal Deadline: Winter 2007-2008

Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE)
Scientific Foci: Enable U.S. institutions to establish collaborative relationships with international groups or institutions in order to engender new knowledge and discoveries at the frontier and to promote the development of a globally-engaged, U.S. scientific and engineering workforce.

Proposal Deadline: The next PIRE competition is being planned for 2009. Please check the link below for updates.

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Sites
Scientific Foci: Supports active research participation by undergraduate students in all research areas funded by CISE. REU Sites engage a number of undergraduate students in research and may be based in a single discipline or academic department, or on interdisciplinary or multi-department research opportunities with a coherent intellectual theme.

Proposal Deadline: August 18, 2008

Research in Undergraduate Institutions
Scientific Foci: Supports research by faculty members of predominantly undergraduate institutions through the funding of (1) individual and collaborative research projects, (2) the purchase of shared-use research instrumentation, and (3) Research Opportunity Awards for work with NSF-supported investigators at other institutions.

Proposal Deadline: Proposals accepted in all CISE programs at relevant deadlines.

Science of Learning Centers (SLCs)
Scientific Foci: Offers awards for large-scale, long-term centers that create the intellectual, organizational and physical infrastructure needed for the long-term advancement of Science of Learning research. It supports research that harnesses and integrates knowledge across multiple disciplines to create a common groundwork of conceptualization, experimentation and explanation that anchor new lines of thinking and inquiry towards a deeper understanding of learning.

Proposal Deadlines: February 4, 2008 and August 4, 2008

Science and Technology Centers (STCs)
Scientific Foci: Enables innovative research and education projects of national importance that require a center mode of support to achieve the research, education, and knowledge-transfer goals shared by the partners. Science and Technology Centers conduct world-class research in partnerships among academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities to create new and meaningful knowledge of significant benefit to society.

Proposal Deadline: Deadlines TBD.

Small Grant for Exploratory Research (SGER)
Scientific Foci: SGER proposals are for small-scale, exploratory, high-risk research in the fields of science, engineering, and education normally supported by the NSF. While not a program, per se, the SGER is a mechanism NSF uses to catalyze rapid and innovative advances by supporting preliminary work on untested and novel ideas and/or ventures into emerging and potentially transformative research ideas. SGER awards cannot exceed $200,000 for a period of two years, however most are for smaller amounts and/or for shorter durations. Interested researchers are strongly encouraged to contact program directors in their disciplines to discuss the opportunities for SGER awards.

Proposal Deadline: Please speak to a CISE program director.

Theoretical Foundations
Scientific Foci: Basic research on algorithms, complexity, and theory that enables scientific advances in and reveals the potential limitations of computation, communications, signal processing, numerical computing and optimization, symbolic and algebraic computation, and the applications of these insights to other areas of science and engineering.

Proposal Deadline: TBD. Solicitation to be released fall 2007, with a proposal deadline winter 2007-2008.