Dear Colleague Letter: Supporting Research on Food and Agricultural Challenges Facing Local Communities through the Civic Innovation Challenge

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

November 23, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA) announce their intention to jointly fund Stage 2 proposals submitted to the Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC). CIVIC is a federal research and action competition that accelerates the transition to practice of foundational research and emerging technologies into communities through civic-engaged research and is comprised of two focused challenge tracks.

Track A for CIVIC is centered on pre-disaster action around adaptation, mitigation, and resilience in community systems, services, and economic drivers that are vulnerable in the face of a changing climate. Track B is centered on enhancing peoples’ access to essential resources and services—through efforts at the level of communities—where better accessibility could significantly improve quality of life and community resilience.

This DCL is aligned with ongoing collaborative support from NSF and USDA/NIFA for foundational and applied research at the intersection of computational, engineering, agricultural, and social sciences. The CIVIC program is designed to build on these efforts through its support for pilot projects that transition foundational advancements in areas such as automation and artificial intelligence into transformative, research-driven solutions addressing local community challenges. Additionally, CIVIC flips the community-university dynamic, with communities identifying civic priorities ripe for innovation and then partnering with researchers to address those priorities. The program supports proposals with pilots that can be scaled and sustained long-term within the partnering community and have aspects that are transferable to other communities across the US.

Only teams with active CIVIC Stage 1 awards from NSF 22-565 are eligible to submit CIVIC Stage 2 proposals pursuant to this DCL.

Proposals pursuant to this DCL should aim to develop resilient, sustainable, and equitable solutions that address food and agricultural challenges facing local communities within the context of either track of CIVIC.  Proposals that include partnerships with rural communities are of particular interest as are proposals involving urban, indoor, and emerging agriculture and their civic partners.

Deadline for Stage 2 proposals: March 1, 2023

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Only teams with active CIVIC Stage 1 awards from NSF 22-565 are eligible to submit CIVIC Stage 2 proposals pursuant to this DCL.

Funding Type





Community Outreach and Engagement
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

March 1, 2023