NSF Convergence Accelerator (C-Accel)


NSF’s Convergence Accelerator effort is a new capability within NSF to accelerate use-inspired, convergence research in areas of national importance via partnerships between academic and non-academic stakeholders. The C-Accel effort provides a home for this research and advances ideas from concept to deliverables. 


  • Use-inspired and application oriented
  • Fed by basic research & discovery
  • Adopts a convergent approach
  • Integrated teams including industry, academics, not-for-profits, government entities, and others
  • Fixed term, with a focus on deliverables
  • Intensive education and mentorship
  • Proactively and intentionally managed


NSF 19-065 Request for Information on Future Topics for the NSF Convergence Accelerator Dear Colleague Letter

Submissions are due: June 24, 2019.


NSF 19-050 Convergence Accelerator Pilot Dear Colleague Letter

Research Concept Outline Target Date

April 15, 2019 and rolling thereafter

Full Proposal Deadline – proposals must include an email invitation to submit based on the Research Concept Outline

June 3, 2019 (due by 5pm submitter’s time)


An upcoming webinar for Invited Full Proposals will be held soon. Join details are provided below.

Tuesday, May 21st @ 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT

Event URL: https://nsf2.webex.com/nsf2/onstage/g.php?MTID=eb511ecd958e0dcdbe397c64f248cca24
Meeting ID/Event number: 907 678 894
Event Password: Ca2019!
Audio Conference: To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the event, or call the number below and enter the access code.
USA Toll +1-510-210-8882, Access code: 907 678 894, (Show all global call-in numbers)
To view Closed Captioning during the event go to https://www.captionedtext.com/client/event.aspx?EventID=4010009&CustomerID=3

Information from past webinars may be found below:

  • A Webinar on C-Accel was held on March 27th. Click to view the Video, Powerpoint and Transcript from the event.

  • A 2nd Webinar on C-Accel was held on April 3rd. Click to view the Video and Transcript from the event.

  • A 3rd Webinar on C-Accel was held on April 9th. Click to view the Video and Transcript from the event.

  • A Webinar on C-Accel - Invited Full Proposals was held on May 14th. Click to view the Video and PowerPoint.

Frequently Asked Questions for NSF 19-050 Convergence Accelerator Pilot


Dear Colleague Letter 19-050

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 25, 2019. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 19-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


The National Science Foundation invites interested parties to participate in a new endeavor, the NSF Convergence Accelerator (NSF C-Accel) Pilot. With this DCL, NSF's goals are to: (i) pilot a new NSF capability (the NSF Convergence Accelerator) to accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance, and (ii) initiate convergence team-building capacity around exploratory, potentially high-risk proposals in three convergence topics (tracks).

As a funder of research and education across all fields of science and engineering and with relationships with universities and funding agencies around the world, NSF is uniquely positioned to pilot this approach to accelerate discovery and innovation. NSF C-Accel brings teams together to focus on grand challenges of national importance that require a convergence approach. The teams are multidisciplinary and leverage partnerships; the tracks relate to a grand challenge problem and have a high probability of resulting in deliverables that will benefit society within a fixed term. NSF C-Accel is modeled on acceleration and innovation activities from the most forward-looking companies and universities.

The NSF C-Accel Pilot intends to support fundamental research while encouraging rapid advances through partnerships that include, or will include, multiple stakeholders (e.g., industry, academic, not-for-profits, government entities, and others). The NSF C-Accel Pilot will bring teams together in a cohort that are all focused on a common research goal of national importance, but which may be pursuing many different approaches.

NSF is planning to fund approximately 50 Phase 1 awards (up to 9 months and up to $1 million each). Additional funds will be available for a smaller number of Phase 2 awards. The first-step to become part of the NSF C-Accel Pilot is to submit a 2-page Research Concept Outline (RCO), aligned with one of the tracks described in NSF 19-050 Convergence Accelerator Pilot Dear Colleague Letter, with a target submission date of April 15, 2019.


  W. Douglas Maughan dmaughan@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-2497
  Lara Campbell lcampbel@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-7049
  Evan Heit ekheit@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-4305
  Nancy Kamei nkamei@nsf.gov Phone: 703-292-7236