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NSF/VMware Partnership on Software Defined Infrastructure as a Foundation for Clean-Slate Computing Security  (SDI-CSCS)

Name Email Phone Room
Nina  Amla (703) 292-8910   
Jack  . Brassil (703) 292-8950   
Darleen  L. Fisher (703) 292-8950   
Mimi  McClure (703) 292-8950   
Gurdip  Singh (703) 292-8950   


Solicitation  16-582

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.




As the digital and physical worlds become increasingly intertwined, the real-world consequences of cyber-threats will become more pronounced. To mitigate foreseeable risks, fundamental advances in security are needed. This program will therefore explore the hypothesis that software defined infrastructure (SDI) enables realistic opportunities to revisit and improve the foundations of end-to-end computing security.

SDI is an architectural approach in which compute, storage, and networking resources are virtualized; that is, abstractions of physical capabilities are made available to applications or higher-level services in a way that is decoupled from the underlying physical infrastructure. To date, SDI has been realized most fully in the context of datacenters, but it can also be viewed as a foundation for related emerging contexts such as the Internet of Things (IoT). Novel security properties of SDI have been demonstrated, and meanwhile, compute, storage, and network virtualization techniques are rapidly maturing. An intriguing opportunity is to systematically explore and identify the full potential of SDI as a new foundation for clean-slate computing security (CSCS).

The goal of this joint solicitation between NSF and VMware is to foster novel, transformative, multidisciplinary research that spans systems, networking, and security with the aim of exploring and creating groundbreaking new approaches to security based on the concept of SDI. The program also aims to support a research community committed to advancing research and education at the confluence of SDI-CSCS technologies, and to transition research findings into practice. NSF and VMware will support multiple projects with funding of up to $3,000,000 each over three years, and it is intended that NSF and VMware will co-fund each project.

This NSF/VMware partnership combines CISE’s experience in developing and managing successful large, diverse research portfolios with VMware’s significant expertise in SDI, virtualization technology, distributed systems, cloud computing, and other aspects of large-scale software infrastructure and infrastructure management.


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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program