Leading Engineering for America's Prosperity, Health, and Infrastructure (LEAP HI)

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

The LEAP HI program challenges the engineering research community to take a leadership role in addressing demanding, urgent, and consequential challenges for advancing America's prosperity, health and infrastructure. LEAP HI proposals confront engineering problems that are too complex to yield to the efforts of a single investigator — problems that require sustained and coordinated effort from interdisciplinary research teams, with goals that are not achievable through a series of smaller, short-term projects. LEAP HI projects perform fundamental research that may lead to disruptive technologies and methods, lay the foundation for new and strengthened industries, enable notable improvements in quality of life, or re imagine and revitalize the built environment.

  • LEAP HI supports fundamental research projects involving collaborating investigators, of duration up to five years, with total budget between $1 million and $2 million.
  • LEAP HI proposals must articulate a fundamental research problem with compelling intellectual challenge and significant societal impact, particularly on economic competitiveness, quality of life, public health, or essential infrastructure. One or more CMMI core topics must lie at the heart of the proposal, and integration of disciplinary expertise not typically engaged in CMMI-funded projects is encouraged.
  • LEAP HI proposals must include an Engineering Leadership Plan that creatively communicates the excitement of engineering research to the general public, and particularly to future engineers, as the project unfolds.
  • LEAP HI proposals must demonstrate the need for a sustained research effort by an integrated, interdisciplinary team and include a Research Integration Plan that provides a timeline for research activities and clearly explains how the project will be managed to ensure effective integration of project thrusts.


  • Required Letter of Intent: July 15, 2022; July 15, Every Other Year Thereafter
  • Full Proposal Window:  August 15, 2022 - September 15, 2022; August 15 - September 15, Every Other Year Thereafter

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 labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

PIs, co-PIs, or other senior project personnel must hold primary, full-time, paid appointments in research or teaching positions at US-based campuses/offices of eligible organizations.

No individual may be a PI, CoPI, or Senior Investigator on more than one LEAP HI proposal in a given year. Please be advised that if an individual's name appears, in any of the above-mentioned capacities, on more than ONE proposal, all submittals after the first proposal (based on time-stamp) will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made.

Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 3 to 6 will be made each year.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $6,000,000 to $12,000,000

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

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

July 15, 2022