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Interdisciplinary Research (IDR)

This program has been archived.


Name Email Phone Room
Rajinder  Khosla rkhosla@nsf.gov (703) 292-5376   
Bruce  M. Kramer bkramer@nsf.gov (703) 292-5348   
Aleksandr  L. Simonian asimonia@nsf.gov (703) 292-4826   


PD 11-7951




ENG Unsolicited Cross-Divisional Interdisciplinary Research (IDR)

The Directorate for Engineering (ENG) welcomes the submission of transformative, interdisciplinary research proposals to its Divisions.  Many programs within ENG already support interdisciplinary proposals.  This guidance is for FY 2011 and is only for those interdisciplinary proposals with a domain of research that is beyond the scope of a single Division of ENG.  For general information about Interdisciplinary Research at NSF please visit:


Characteristics of ENG IDR Proposals

  • Unsolicited Cross-Division IDR submissions will have a level of interdisciplinary content not covered in any of the existing core programs in the Directorate for Engineering.
  • To be funded as an unsolicited cross-Divisional IDR project, the proposal must ultimately attract funding from at least two programs in at least two different divisions in any of the NSF directorates.   However, the primary funding division must be within the Directorate for Engineering.
  • Unsolicited cross-divisional IDR proposals may be on any topic relevant to engineering and, in particular, should not be constrained by the current program structures.  It is hoped that new fields of research will eventually emerge from IDR awards.
  • Unsolicited cross-divisional IDR proposals will typically be submitted by a small team of 2-4 investigators.
  • The typical anticipated total award size for an unsolicited cross-divisional IDR project will be $400,000-$600,000 (for up to three years), although requests of lesser or greater size, up to a total of $1,000,000, will be considered, consistent with the scope of the proposed work.

Submission of ENG IDR Proposals

  • Unsolicited cross-divisional IDR proposals must be submitted within the Spring 2011 acceptance window for unsolicited proposals of the primary funding division.  Check the websites of the relevant Divisions (i.e CBET, CMMI, or ECCS) for the specific dates of the submission windows.
  • It is essential that Principal Investigators talk to the Program Directors who they envision being interested in reviewing and potentially co-funding their IDR project.
  • Proposals must have a proposal title that begins with "IDR:".
  • Proposals must contain letters of acknowledgement from at least 2 NSF Program Directors in at least 2 different divisions stating that they will consider co-funding the project from their program, depending on the results of the NSF review process.  The primary Program Director must be in the Directorate for Engineering.  These letters of acknowledgement must be included in the Supplementary Documentation section of the proposal.

ENG IDR Coordinators:

For further questions regarding IDR proposals you may contact your Program Director or one of the following IDR Coordinators.






Rajinder Khosla - ECCS


(703) 292-5376 


Bruce  M. Kramer - CMMI


(703) 292-5348 


Aleksandr  L. Simonian - CBET


(703) 292-4826 



What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program


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