ACED: Accelerating Computing-Enabled Scientific Discovery

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

The ACED program seeks to harness computing to accelerate scientific discovery, while driving new computing advancements. The intent is to catalyze advancements on both sides of a virtuous cycle that: (a) benefit scientific disciplines through computational technologies and (b) foster novel computing technologies that will enable advances beyond the specific use cases or domains originally targeted. The program seeks continuous collaborations between at least two groups of researchers. One group is expected to consist of researchers in computing, which, for the purposes of this solicitation are those disciplines that are supported by the Core Programs of National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) directorate. The other group of researchers are expected to represent another scientific or engineering discipline, which, for the purposes of this solicitation, are defined as those supported within existing programs of the following NSF directorates: Biological SciencesEngineering, or Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

The ACED program solicits proposals in two tracks: 

Track I: Emerging Ideas Proposals: This track is intended to support speculative multidisciplinary projects that explore bold new research directions. The goal of these projects should be to obtain preliminary results, refine the overall research plan based on these results, and garner insights into whether these advances generalize beyond the targeted use case or domain. Projects are limited to $500,000 in total budget, with durations of up to 18-24 months. Proposals accepted in 2024 Deadline Date.

Track II: Discovery Proposals: The objective of this track is to support transformative interdisciplinary research that will significantly advance both computing and the scientific discipline(s) to be studied. Proposals should clearly identify the scientific problem(s) to be addressed; the specific computing techniques to be developed; and be supported by preliminary collaborations and/or results that demonstrate the potential of the proposed ideas. Projects are limited to $750,000 per year for a duration of up to 4 years for a total budget of up to $3,000,000.  Proposals accepted in 2025-2026 Deadline Dates.

Full Proposal Deadlines:

  • May 13, 2024: Emerging Ideas Proposals Only
  • Jan. 14, 2025: Discovery Proposals Only 2025 and 2026

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations located in the U.S. that are directly associated with educational or research activities.

Who May Serve as PI:


Interdisciplinary teams are expected to include at least one researcher from a CISE discipline and one researcher from another NSF discipline.

By the submission deadline, any PI or co-PI must hold either:

  • a tenured or tenure-track position, or
  • a primary, full-time, paid appointment in a research or teaching position

Be at a US-based campus of an organization eligible to submit to this solicitation (see above), with exceptions granted for family or medical leave, as determined by the submitting organization. Individuals with primary appointments at for-profit non-academic organizations or at overseas branch campuses of US IHEs are not eligible.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or co-PI: 1

An investigator may participate as Principal Investigator (PI) or co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) in no more than one (1) proposal submitted in response to any category of this solicitation per deadline.

These eligibility constraints will be strictly enforced in order to be fair and consistent. In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, the proposal with the earliest date and time of proposal submission will be accepted and the remainder will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made.

Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 42

Approximately 30 Track I awards are anticipated in year one, and approximately 12 Track II awards are anticipated over the next two years, subject to availability of funds and quality of proposals received.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $15,000,000

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

May 13, 2024