This program has been archived.

Network Science and Engineering  (NetSE)


See program guidelines for contact information.


In the past few decades the Internet has undergone radical changes, evolving from a small number of interconnected computer networks to a global socio-technical infrastructure.  As we have become increasingly dependent upon the Internet to perform critical societal functions, we have come to recognize that its design must evolve to embody key societal values such as security and privacy and to provide for economic sustainability.  Further, it must demonstrate critical systems characteristics such as resiliency, manageability and evolvability, including the ability to support as yet unforeseen technologies, applications and services.  To design socio-technical networks of the future effectively requires that we develop a deeper understanding of the dynamics and behaviors of such networks.

The NetSE program seeks to develop science and engineering knowledge about these networks, yielding new scientific understanding about their complexity and informing their future design.  The program specifically challenges individuals and teams with different perspectives and with different domain expertise to come together to develop this understanding.

Future networks must be designed to provide users with timely and coherent access to massive quantities of highly distributed information.  Consequently, the NetSE program encourages research on Internet-scale, topologically-aware models for accessing, processing and aggregating multiple high-volume information flows; and on cognitive capabilities, context-awareness, and architectures that enable the discovery, invocation and composition of globally distributed, highly evolving services and information systems.  These new kinds of models, capabilities, and architectures in turn enable the exploration of new applications that provide information based on both content and context, and the improvement of existing classes of applications, such as telemedicine, gaming, virtual worlds, augmented reality and telepresence. NetSE encourages work on network models that incorporate human values at multiple levels and scale and give coherence to the highly diverse ways users might create and access information in the future.

NetSE also encourages research proposals focused on exploring "clean slate" approaches to innovations in network architecture, complementing the FY 2011 Future Internet Architectures portfolio of awards, .  Researchers are empowered to rethink network functions, layers and abstractions in the context of a range of scientific, technical and social challenges and opportunities.  NetSE emphasizes integrative activities focused on creating and synthesizing network components into theoretically grounded architectures that address fundamental policy and design trade-offs, support sound economic models, and promote societal benefits.

NetSE proposals should include a description of how research ideas will be validated, for example, through formal verification, simulation, modeling, proof-of-concept development, prototype evaluation on a experimental platform(such as the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI), or when applicable, usability evaluation involving human subjects. NetSE proposals must involve CISE-related networking expertise and additional expertise across CISE or other NSF directorates. Proposals with natural homes in one of CISE's Core Programs (for example, Networking Technology and Systems (NETS)) should not be submitted to NetSE.

Network Science and Engineering Point of Contact:  Darleen L. Fisher, Point of Contact, Network Science and Engineering Program, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email:

Funding Opportunities for Network Science and Engineering (NeTSE):

CISE Cross-Cutting Programs: FY 2011  NSF 10-575