Gen-4 Engineering Research Centers (ERC): Convergent Research and Innovation through Inclusive Partnerships and Workforce Development

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

The ERC program supports convergent research (CR) that will lead to strong societal impact. Each ERC has interacting foundational components that go beyond the research project, including engineering workforce development (EWD) at all participant stages, diversity and a culture of inclusion (DCI) where all participants gain mutual benefit, and value creation within an innovation ecosystem (IE) that will outlast the lifetime of the ERC. The logical reasoning that links the proposed activities to the identified goals for each ERC should be clear.ear.


  • Required Letter of Intent Deadline Date: September 2, 2022

  • Required Preliminary Proposal Deadline Date: October 3, 2022

  • Full Proposal Deadline Date: May 8, 2022


Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Only U.S. universities that grant engineering degrees at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral engineering level may submit proposals as the lead university. The lead university submits the proposal, and the award is made to the lead university. Support is provided to partnering universities and any affiliated faculty from non-partner institutions through subawards.

Invited full proposals must meet all the following organizational requirements or they will be returned without review:

  • The Lead must be an institute of higher education per the Carnegie Foundational Attribute:
  • A proposed ERC must be multi-institutional, with a lead university and additional domestic university core partners. There is no maximum number of partner institutions.
  • To qualify as a core partner institution, there must be a minimum of three faculty participating in the ERC along with a minimum of three students.
  • The lead or at least one of the core partner universities must be a university that serves populations of traditionally underrepresented students interested in STEM (defined as minority serving institutions, women's colleges, or institutions where the majority of the students are students with disabilities).
  • Commitments from lead and core partner universities for cost sharing must be in place.

The Lead PI must be a faculty member at the lead university. Non-Lead PIs are the co-PIs listed on the Cover Sheet after the Lead PI and may be from institutions other than the lead university. In order to provide more flexibility for the Center's management, the Lead PI and the ERC Director are not required to be the same person, however, both must be affiliated with the lead institution.

If an institution has two active ERC awards, it does not qualify to submit an ERC preliminary proposal as a lead institution. There are no other restrictions or limits on the number of preliminary proposals submitted by a lead institution.

Full Proposals may be submitted only by invitation and only by the lead university designated in the preliminary proposal.

Amount Description

See full solicitation for details

Funding Type





Curriculum Development
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

September 2, 2022