Division of Computing and Communication Foundations
NSF Quantum Computing & Information Science Faculty Fellows (QCIS-FF)
|Vipin Chaudharyfirstname.lastname@example.org||(703) 292-2254|
|Dmitri Maslovemail@example.com||(703) 292-8910|
Important Information for Proposers
A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after June 1, 2020. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 20-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.
In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) unveiled a set of “Big Ideas,” 10 bold, long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering (see https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/index.jsp). One of these ideas, "The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution,” advances quantum technologies of the future: quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum simulations and quantum sensors. Recent advances in understanding and exploiting quantum mechanics are laying the foundation for generations of new discoveries that can benefit society in unforeseen ways. This "quantum revolution" requires a highly-trained workforce that can advance the envelope of what is possible, through research and development of practical solutions for quantum technologies. Academic faculty serve a vital role in the development of this workforce, by training the next generation of students while performing vital research.
The disciplines of computer science (CS), information science (IS), and computer engineering (CE) are at the nexus of the interdisciplinary breakthroughs needed to design advanced quantum computing, modeling, communication and sensing technologies. NSF recognizes that there is inadequate research capacity in the CS/CE disciplines in the realm of Quantum Computing & Information Science (QCIS).
The QCIS-Faculty Fellows (QCIS-FF) program therefore aims to grow academic research capacity in the computing and information science fields to support advances in quantum computing and/or communication over the long term. Specifically, QCIS-FF seeks to support departments and schools in U.S. institutions of higher education that conduct research and teaching in computer science, information science, and/or computer engineering, with the specific goal of encouraging hiring of tenure-track and tenured faculty in quantum computing and/or communication. Cross-disciplinary and multi-department hires are welcomed; however, intellectual ownership and primary assignment should be with the department primarily engaged in research and teaching activities for computer and information science and engineering. NSF funding will support the entire academic year salary and benefits of the newly recruited tenure-track or tenured faculty member for a duration of up to three years. Each proposal must request support for only one faculty position. Total budget is not to exceed $750,000 per proposal, with up to two awards per institution, across all departments in any given institution.
Proposals in response to this solicitation are to be submitted by the department chair/head or his/her designee. The grants will be awarded as continuing grants, subject to assessment each year, and the funding will be released in one-year increments only if the award conditions are met, as noted in this solicitation. NSF strongly encourages proposals from universities that do not have established quantum computing and/or communication activities, as well as hires that foster cross-departmental synergies.
Eligibility: Proposals are solicited from Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and similar departments focusing on the areas of research most closely aligned with that of CISE. The designated applicant is the Department Chair/Head, or a person acting in such or similar capacity. The limit is two proposals per university. NSF expects the CS, CE and EE departments to coordinate such faculty appointments, as an early indicator of their commitments to integrative QC research; university systems can submit different proposals from multiple campuses, so long as these campuses operate independently.
Review criteria: Pre-proposals and full proposals will be reviewed in accordance with the standard NSF criteria, including Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. Additional review criteria include:
a) The commitment of the department, school, and university to building, growing, and sustaining a long-term inter-disciplinary effort in quantum computing (and, optionally, quantum communication);
b) Integration of the quantum faculty with the rest of the department;
c) How the new hire(s) enhances cross-departmental research collaborations such as those across Physics, Mathematics, Material Sciences, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science; and
d) How the new hire enables creation and support of educational programs in QC, including cross-disciplinary course offerings at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Renewal criteria: awards are given as continuing grant increments with yearly renewals. The renewals are conditional upon:
(1) The hired faculty continuing their employment with the institution receiving the award;
(2) The continued support of the institution as well as the satisfactory performance of the hired faculty in educational and research activities in quantum information science/quantum computing; and
(3) Demonstration of inter-disciplinary research collaborations that advance the state of quantum computing research.