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Office of Integrative Activities

NSF Convergence Accelerator Phases I and II for the 2021 Cohort

Name Email Phone Room
Lara  A. Campbell (703) 292-7049   
Linda  Molnar (703) 292-8316   


Solicitation  20-565

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after June 1, 2020. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 20-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Deadline Date

    May 17, 2021

        Phase II Full Proposals, only Phase I awardees are eligible


The goals of NSF’s convergence accelerator effort are to support and accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance within particular topics (tracks). NSF Convergence Accelerator tracks can be related to  Industries of the Future (IotF)NSF’s Big Ideas, or other topics, that may not relate directly to an IotF or Big Idea, however, they must have the potential for significant national impact.

The 2020 NSF Convergence Accelerator is a two-phase program.  Both phases are described in this solicitation.  Phase I awardees receive significant resources to further develop their convergence research ideas and identify crucial partnerships and resources to accelerate their projects, leading to deliverable research prototypes in Phase II. 

This solicitation invites proposals for the following Tracks: 

Quantum Technology (Track C)

AI-Driven Innovation via Data and Model Sharing (Track D)

The NSF Convergence Accelerator leverages fundamental research leading to rapid advances that can deliver significant societal impact. Proposers must first submit a Phase i preliminary proposal in order to be invited to submit a full Phase I proposal. The information required in the preliminary proposal is described in section V.

Phase I proposals must describe a team, or a process to build a team, that includes personnel with the appropriate mix of disciplinary and institutional expertise needed to build a Phase II convergence research effort. Phase I proposals must describe one or more deliverables and how those research outputs could impact society by the end of Phase II. Phase I proposals should describe the deliverable and the research plan and team formation efforts that will refine it to a proof-of-concept. Phase I will include NSF-organized convenings for training and intra- and cross-cohort collaboration. Phase I awards are expected to be for up to 9 months and up to $1M each.

Only awardees of Phase I grants under this solicitation may submit a Phase II proposal. Phase II proposers must outline a two-year research and development plan in which research transitions to practice through collaboration with end-users.

Phase II proposals must describe clear deliverables that will be produced in two years of effort and the metrics by which impacts will be assessed. The Phase II teams must include appropriate stakeholders (e.g., industry, Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), non-profits, government entities, and others), each with a specific role(s) in facilitating the transition of research outputs into practical uses. Successful proposals will be funded initially for one year. Each team’s progress will be assessed during the year through approximately six virtual and in-person meetings with NSF program staff. The overall progress will be evaluated at the end of one year, based on a report and presentation that the team will make to a panel of reviewers. Teams that show significant progress during the first year, in accordance with the agreed timetable of milestones and deliverables, will receive funding for a second year. Teams should plan on completing the effort within two years; no-cost extensions will be authorized only in extraordinary circumstances.


What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program