Convergence research funding for ‘Trust and Authenticity’ and the ‘Networked Blue Economy’

An illustration of one hand shaking another in a style suggesting digital networks.

Social, behavioral and economic science researchers are encouraged to submit proposals.


March 25, 2021

Families, communities and businesses across the U.S. depend on electronic communication systems for a range of important activities, like finding employment opportunities, education, technological innovation, assessing security threats and more. Those activities are jeopardized by misinformation and other disruptions to the trustworthiness and accuracy of information provided by our communication systems.

To address this critical national challenge, the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator program is providing a new funding opportunity aimed at fostering greater trust and authenticity in communication systems. The Convergence Accelerator program focuses on high-impact societal challenges by transitioning fundamental research and discoveries into practice.

Multidisciplinary research proposals should describe methods to develop original tools, techniques or educational materials that can effectively mitigate or prevent critical threats to our communication systems and thus increase their public value.

Required letters of intent are due by May 5, 2021. For additional deadlines and requirements see the Convergence Accelerator funding opportunity.

“The massive and often automated dissemination of false information and other inauthentic behaviors on electronic networks has created serious challenges. It threatens our country’s economic growth and national security and inhibits our ability to use the internet for collaboration and innovation. Addressing this issue is one of the defining scientific challenges of our time and we believe our research community is up to the task,” says Arthur Lupia, NSF Assistant Director and head of the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate.

A second focus of the Convergence Accelerator funding opportunity is the “Networked Blue Economy.” The initiative supports multidisciplinary research on ocean innovation, exploration and sustainable utilization.

Researchers in the social, behavioral and economic sciences are invited to submit proposals to both efforts.

Informational webinars will be held on April 8 and April 20. Visit the Convergence Accelerator webinar registration page for details.

For full program details and the solicitation, see NSF Convergence Accelerator Phases I and II for the 2021 Cohort.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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