Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 3/1/2022

Research Security Training for the United States Research Community

With the goal of strengthening research security in the U.S., NSF is working in partnership with three other federal research funding agencies to find a balanced approach to research security. This effort includes the development and implementation of training—to recipients of federal research funding—in best practices to optimize research security. This training is an essential step toward mitigating foreign government risks and threats to U.S. government-funded research and may be used to fulfill the research security program requirement in NSPM-33.

Full Proposal Deadline: May 23, 2022

Areas of Interest

This solicitation will support the development of training modules (curriculum and technical solutions) to be made publicly available and which are designed to increase the security and integrity of U.S. federally funded research by providing a wider knowledge base on the application of research security measures in the proposal and award process. The goal of the training is to better protect U.S. research interests from both domestic and foreign risks and threats. Training modules proposed must be:

  • Internet-based and widely accessible to the end user; and
  • Scalable and flexible, designed to accommodate new modules that can be added as new training needs are identified among the partner federal agencies.

Each training module proposal must address ONE of the following four topical areas. A proposer, however, is authorized to submit separate proposals for more than one topical area.

1. Why is research security an important issue?

Proposers will develop training that discusses the issues of research security and why research security for federally funded research is important for the U.S. government and national security.

2. What is a disclosure policy and how will it be used?

Proposers will develop training that explains federal funding agency disclosure policies — why this information is important and how it will be used. The training module should emphasize and clarify the types of information that must be disclosed in the federal research proposal. The training should also discuss how grants administrators can identify anomalies in proposals during the submission process that might indicate transgressions such as:

  • Conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment;
  • Undisclosed research duplication and researcher commitments to research entities outside their U.S. employer;
  • Compromises to the merit review system; and
  • Unauthorized use of pre-publication data and information.

3. What actions can federally funded research recipients take to manage and mitigate risk?

Federal research agencies are making significant efforts to alert the research community to existing and emerging risks to the global research ecosystem. Through enhanced outreach efforts, federal research agencies have come together at outreach events with researchers and administrators to discuss issues and share information. This effort has led to clarifications of proposal preparation and award administration requirements and the issuance of new policies and directives in the proposal and award process.

4. Is international collaboration encouraged?

International collaboration is essential to pursuing the frontiers of science. A great asset of U.S. research and engineering enterprise is the diversity of talent — domestic and international. Recipients should develop training that emphasizes that principled international collaboration is critical to success, but that improper foreign influence is a threat to international collaboration in the S&T enterprise. It is important to distinguish the difference.

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.
  • For-profit organizations: U.S. commercial organizations, especially small businesses with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education.

Each training module proposal must address ONE of the four topical areas identified in Section II Program Description. A proposer, however, is authorized to submit separate proposals for more than one topical area. There are no limits on the number of proposals per organization.

Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 1 to 3

Anticipated Funding Amount: $1,500,000

$1,500,000 for this competition, pending the availability of funds.

Subject to availability of funds and quality of proposals, each project is anticipated to total up to $500,000, inclusive of both direct and indirect costs.

Funding Type