DHS S&T Center of Excellence for Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense - Partner

Funding Agency:
Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Office of University Programs (OUP) is requesting applications from U.S. colleges and universities to serve as a partner institution for the Center for Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense (CBTS). OUP is also posting a separate NOFO for eligible applicants to submit lead proposals for consideration.

The DHS COEs are university consortia that work closely with DHS Components and their partners to conduct research, develop and transition mission-relevant science and technology, educate the next generation of homeland security technical experts, and train the current workforce in the latest scientific applications. Each COE is led by a U.S. college or university and involves multiple partners for varying lengths of time. COE partners include other academic institutions, industry, DHS Components, Department of Energy National Laboratories and other Federally-Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), other federal agencies that have homeland security-relevant missions, state/local/tribal governments, non-profits, and first responder organizations. DHS envisions the COEs as long-term trusted academic partners that provide an array of resources to help DHS and its partners achieve their missions, and improve their operations. OUP maintains both financial assistance and contract mechanisms for DHS to access COE capabilities. The COEs that make up the COE network are listed at https://www.dhs.gov/st-centersexcellence. The new Center will be a fully-integrated component of the COE network and will take advantage of the network's resources to develop missioncritical research, education, and technology transition programs. 

The Cross Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense Center of Excellence will research and develop solutions, protocols, and capabilities to enhance the ability of DHS and its partners to detect, assess, and respond to known and unknown biological threats and hazards that could adversely impact the Nation’s people, agriculture, and economy. There are numerous organizations across the public and private sector that have a role in detecting threats and mitigating consequences. This Center will support DHS improve its operational capabilities that contribute the Nation’s layered defense. 

COEs should describe how technologies and concepts could be integrated into DHS operations to enhance screening and bio-threat identification, assessment, and prevention. Potential approaches include the utilization of innovative technologies (e.g., screening physical cargo and passengers and data analysis to identify potential conditions that warrant greater scrutiny), optimized operational procedures, and a skilled workforce trained in latest methods to identify and respond to biological threats and their corresponding impact on health and the economy.

S&T expects any Partner institution awarded under this NOFO to become a fully integrated component of the COE. Partner applicants must select and clearly identify if their proposed project aligns with the Research Program or the Workforce Development Program. Applicants may only propose 1 project per proposal; however they may submit more than 1 proposal.

Deadline: Aug. 4, 2017

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

  • Topic Area One: Detecting Threats and Disruptions to People and Global Supply Chains
  • Topic Area Two: Data Integration and Analytics 
  • Topic Area Three: Novel Operational Methods to Use Emerging Tools to Reduce Risk
  • Topic Area Four: Workforce Development 
  • Topic Area Five: Time Critical Response Support 

Eligibility Requirements

The Center Partner designation is restricted to an accredited institution of higher education in the United States, in accordance with 6 U.S.C. 188(b)(2)(A) which specifies: "The Secretary, acting through the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, shall designate a university-based center or several university-based centers for homeland security."

Proposals must be submitted by an accredited U.S. institution of higher education that, along with its chosen partners, has the ability and capacity to conduct the required research. The applicant institution must be identified as the official lead for proposal submission and subsequent negotiations. 

Applicants must submit only 1 project per proposal. Applicants may submit more than 1 proposal. Principal Investigators that are already Partners under a Center Lead application may not submit the same application under this Partner NOFO.



Amount Description

Applicants may propose projects lasting up to 2 years, with total budgets up to $500,000. However, Center projects are funded in 1-year increments. Subsequent to the first year, Center and project funding is dependent on successful performance in prior years, the relevance of project outcomes to current homeland security research priorities, and availability of funds. Multi-year project proposals should provide a summary of their long-term vision, timeframe, research and education outcomes, technology transfer or transition pathway, and potential realworld applications. 

Funding Type





Curriculum Development
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Social Sciences

External Deadline

August 4, 2017