Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 4/18/2022

DHS S&T Engineering Secure Environments from Targeted Attacks (ESE) Center of Excellence (COE) - Lead

The DHS S&T Office of University Programs (OUP) is requesting applications from accredited U.S. colleges and universities to lead a consortium of universities for an ESE COE. The DHS COEs are university consortia that work closely with DHS Components 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 an accredited U.S. college or university and involves multiple partners for varying lengths of time. COE partners include other academic institutions, commercial 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, territorial (SLTT) governments, non-profits, and first responder organizations. DHS envisions the COEs as long-term trusted partners that provide an array of resources to help DHS improve operations.

In addition to a multidisciplinary research team, COEs should include experts in finance, project management, education, training, outreach and marketing, intellectual property management, technology development, and technology transfer. Applicants should understand how to translate research to practice including intellectual property issues, licensing, the ability to work with transition partners, and an understanding of federal acquisition.

DHS will accept only one (1) application for Center Lead from any single university for review.


  • Duke Internal: Interested applicants from within Duke should contact dukeiln@duke.edu as early as possible.
  • Sponsor Deadline: March 10, 2021
Areas of Interest

Theme Area One: Protecting Crowded Spaces and Transportation Environments

  • Topic 1A. Risk Assessments of Transportation Environments and Public Venues and Crowded Spaces
  • Topic 1B. Security Guidelines and Investment Strategies for Local Governments
  • Topic 1C. Advanced Detection Technologies for Public Spaces

Theme Area Two: Improving Collaboration Across Public and Private Environments

  • Topic 2A. Secure Vetting: Transferring Trust and Data Confidence Across Platforms and Jurisdiction
  • Topic 2B. Data Architecture and Standardization for Transportation Systems and Facility Technologies
  • Topic 2C. 5G and Sensors Integration and Data Sharing

Topic Area Three: New Approaches to Secure Crowded Spaces with Novel Engineering Design Concepts

  • Topic 3A. Threat Prevention through Environmental and Engineering Design
  • Topic 3B. Building Layered Security in the Architecture of Public Spaces
  • Topic 3C. Blast and Hostile Vehicle Mitigation
Eligibility Requirements

The Center Lead 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."

Funding Type