ECCS announces new ASCENT program for interdisciplinary engineering teams


November 6, 2019

The Division of Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems (ECCS) within the NSF Directorate for Engineering announces a new program, Addressing Systems Challenges through Engineering Teams (ASCENT).

ASCENT offers the engineering community the opportunity to address research issues and answer engineering challenges associated with complex systems and networks that are not achievable by a single principal investigator (PI) or by short-term projects, and can only be achieved by interdisciplinary research teams.

ECCS envisions a connected portfolio of transformative and integrative projects that create synergistic links by investigators across its three core program clusters: Communications, Circuits, and Sensing-Systems (CCSS), Electronics, Photonics and Magnetic Devices (EPMD), and Energy, Power, Control, and Networks (EPCN), yielding novel ways of addressing challenges of engineering systems and networks.

ECCS seeks proposals that are bold and ground-breaking, transcend the perspectives and approaches typical of disciplinary research efforts, and lead to disruptive technologies and methods or enable significant improvement in quality of life. In addition:

  • ASCENT supports fundamental research projects involving at least three collaborating PIs and co-PIs, up to four years in duration, with a total budget between $1 million and $1.5 million.
  • ASCENT proposals must highlight the engineering leadership focus of the proposal within the scope of ECCS programs.
  • ASCENT proposals must articulate a fundamental research problem with compelling intellectual challenge and significant societal impact. The topic at the heart of the proposal must lie within the scope of at least one of the three ECCS clusters (CCSS, EPMD, EPCN). Research proposals spanning multiple clusters are highly encouraged.
  • ASCENT proposals must demonstrate the need for a concerted research effort by an integrated and interdisciplinary team, and strongly justify the interdisciplinary nature of the proposed work.

If you plan to submit a proposal, please pay attention to the following:

  • Letter of Intent (mandatory) Deadline: January 7, 2020
  • Full Proposal Deadline: February 19, 2020

Please visit the links below for details.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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