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NSF 15-007

Dear Colleague Letter: Sustaining CISE Research Infrastructure

Dear Colleagues:

Through its CISE Research Infrastructure (CRI) program (NSF 14-593 -, the NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) supports world-class research infrastructure enabling focused research agendas in computer and information science and engineering. The CRI program funds both the creation of new infrastructure as well as the enhancement of existing infrastructure.

CISE recognizes the importance of stable community infrastructure for its researchers. With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), CISE notes particular interest in proposals that aim to sustain existing community research infrastructures that have provided, and continue to be of, significant value to the CISE research community. CISE also notes the importance of transitioning the infrastructures to self-sustaining resources. Specifically, these proposals should pay particular attention to the sections of the CRI program solicitation that require documentation of:

  1. Prior research and education contributions enabled by the infrastructure and the community of researchers, educators, and students served by it. Continued operational support for the purpose of community enhancement requires that the existence of an active research community be carefully documented.

  2. Compelling new CISE research opportunities enabled by the proposed operational support for the infrastructure. Proposals for continued operational support for a Community Infrastructure (CI) project must document the potential for innovative and/or expanded research opportunities, beyond previous or existing research activities.

  3. Plans for community outreach to grow the user population and to form the community structures needed for long-term sustainability of the infrastructure. It is the expectation that, at the end of the award period, the research community and/or its partners will have assumed responsibility for the infrastructure without additional NSF funds.

Proposals focused exclusively on enhancing community use and continuing operational support with a plan for long-term sustainability may request funds up to $1 million. Note: Institutional Infrastructure (II) projects are not covered by this DCL.

For questions about this Dear Colleague Letter, please contact the cognizant CRI Program Directors: Harriet G. Taylor,, and J. Bryan Lyles,


Suzanne Iacono
Assistant Director (Acting), CISE