About the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems

The NSF Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) supports enabling and transformative research at the nano, micro, and macro scales that fuels progress in engineering system applications with high societal impacts.

ECCS programs encompass novel electronic, photonic, and magnetic devices — and the integration of these devices into circuit and system environments, intelligent systems, control, and networks — for applications spanning communications and cyber technologies, energy and power, healthcare, environment, transportation, manufacturing, and other systems-related areas.

ECCS strongly emphasizes the integration of education into its research programs to ensure the preparation of a diverse and professionally skilled workforce. ECCS also strengthens its programs through links to other areas of engineering, science, industry, government, and international collaborations.

Division Programs

The Division has three program clusters, managed by teams of program directors, that reflect the increasing convergence of traditional disciplinary topics and the need for interdisciplinary approaches to emerging technological challenges.

See the ECCS organizational chart showing program directors and clusters.

The Division supports people through Foundation-wide programs such as Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER), Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and Research Experiences for Teachers (RET).

ECCS also encourages international collaborations, industry collaborations through the Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison (GOALI) program, and cross-disciplinary research and education through other NSF programs. See a list of ECCS-supported programs and solicitations.

In Fiscal Year 2020, ECCS created a new program, Addressing Systems Challenges through Engineering Teams (ASCENT), to address research issues and answer engineering challenges associated with complex systems and networks that are not achievable by a single principal investigator or by short-term projects and can only be achieved by interdisciplinary research teams. Learn more about ASCENT.

For more information about ECCS funding, please read the ECCS proposal submission information.

National Priorities and Big Ideas

ECCS makes important contributions to major national priorities such as the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) and the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) through its core programs and special activities. For example, ECCS provides lead support for the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), a network of 16 university-based user facilities that provides students and researchers from academia, companies and government with access to tools, instruments and expertise across nanoscale science and engineering disciplines.

ECCS helps shape the "10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments," research agendas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering, and makes especially strong contributions to three Big Ideas:

Quantum Leap: ECCS plays a leading role in The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution through its participation in the multiyear NSF investment for Advancing Communication Quantum Information Research in Engineering (ACQUIRE), its core investments in quantum sensing, communication and computing, and its support for the creation of a new cross-departmental educational curriculum in quantum technology. ECCS is investing in an "Ideas Lab" to help define future research directions for connected quantum computers.

Harnessing Data: ECCS is helping to lay the groundwork for Harnessing Data for 21st Century Science and Engineering by participating in NSF programs such as Energy Efficient Computing from Devices to Architectures (E2CDA), Spectrum Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Security (SpecEES), Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC), Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), and Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (CDS&E).

Human–Technology Frontier: ECCS impacts Work at the Human–Technology Frontier through its participation in the BRAIN and National Robotics Initiatives, and through core investments in ultra-low power, wearable and implantable sensing and imaging systems, as well as the interface of nanoscale photonic, electronic, and MEMS components within cells and tissue.

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