NIST Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program – Mission Critical Voice Quality of Experience

Funding Agency:
Department of Commerce

The NIST Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program (PSIAP) is seeking applications from eligible applicants for activities to measure the impact of impairments to mission critical voice (MCV) systems and quantify the quality of experience (QoE) for first responders.

Specifically, PSIAP-Mission Critical Voice Quality of Experience (MCVQoE) is seeking applications that address all five of the following goals: (1) Simulated Land Mobile Radio (LMR) Equipment Development, (2) Development of Test Facilities, Test Scenarios, and Test Protocols for MCV QoE Tests, (3) Development of Public Safety Testing Cadre, (4) Test and Measurement of Public Safety Users’ Performance, and (5) Analysis and Modeling of Public Safety User QoE. These goals, and specific technical areas of research in the PSIAP-MCVQoE program, are discussed in detail in Section I.D. of this NOFO.

The intent of this NOFO is to generate publicly-released data sets and a QoE model that correlates impairments in the communications systems that first responders currently use across the United States to real task performance. Award recipients will help achieve this by creating test devices and infrastructure to simulate these impairments, develop a test capability/methodology for human testing, and apply these tests to a diverse pool of first responders representing multiple disciplines, regions, and demographics while performing critical tasks in realistic operating conditions. This research data will be key in quantifying the impact on real users of public safety mission critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) systems and their corresponding QoE. The data will in turn be used to compare existing land mobile radio (LMR) performance against emerging and future communications technologies (currently 4G/5G broadband) for the entire United States public safety community.

NIST will only consider one application per applicant; however, an applicant entity may be proposed as a sub-recipient, contractor, or unfunded collaborator within applications submitted by other entities. 

  • Duke Internal Deadline: July 9, 2018
  • Sponsor Deadline: Aug. 3, 2018

If the internal deadline has passed and you are interested in this opportunity, please email Anastasia Maddox at to find out if it is still open.

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

This NOFO is open to all non-Federal entities. Eligible applicants include institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, state and local governments, Indian tribes, hospitals, foreign public entities, and foreign governments. Please note that individuals and unincorporated sole proprietors are not considered “non-Federal entities” and are not eligible to apply under this NOFO. Although Federal entities are not eligible to receive funding under this NOFO, they may participate as unfunded collaborators. 



Amount Description

Anticipated Amounts: In FY2019, NIST anticipates funding several awards for $250,000 to $1,000,000 per year with project performance periods of up to three (3) years. Funding for the first year of awards is anticipated to total up to approximately $3,000,000.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Social Sciences

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

* A letter of support from dean or chair - 1 to 1.5 pages
* Project summary - 2 to 4 pages
* CV or Biosketch of project leader

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal. (Code ILN)

Instructions for setting up your account and uploading internal applications can be found here:

Internal Deadline

July 9, 2018

External Deadline

August 3, 2018