Internal Deadline
Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 4/18/2022

Science and Technology Centers: Integrative Partnerships: Discovery and Innovation to Address Vexing Scientific and Societal Challenges

The Science and Technology Centers (STC): Integrative Partnerships program supports exceptionally innovative, complex research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term awards. STCs focus on creating new scientific paradigms, establishing entirely new scientific disciplines and developing transformative technologies which have the potential for broad scientific or societal impact. STCs conduct world-class research through partnerships among institutions of higher education, national laboratories, industrial organizations, other public or private entities, and via international collaborations, as appropriate. They provide a means to undertake potentially groundbreaking investigations at the interfaces of disciplines and/or highly innovative approaches within disciplines. STCs may involve any area of science and engineering that NSF supports. STC investments support the NSF vision of creating and exploiting new concepts in science and engineering and providing global leadership in research and education.

Centers provide a rich environment for encouraging future scientists, engineers, and educators to take risks in pursuing discoveries and new knowledge. STCs foster excellence in education by integrating education and research, and by creating bonds between learning and inquiry so that discovery and creativity fully support the learning process.

NSF expects STCs to both involve individuals who are members of groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering at all levels within the Center (faculty, staff, students, and postdoctoral researchers) as well as be a leader in broadening participation in STEM.  Individuals who may be underrepresented in STEM include those who identify as women, persons with disabilities, Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders. The terms for these racial and ethnic populations are derived from the US government's guidance for federal statistics and administrative reporting (OMB Statistical Policy Directive No. 15, Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Reporting).  Although these social identities are listed separately, they do not exist in isolation from each other and the intersection of one of more of these social identities may need to be considered when designing plans for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the STC Center.  Centers may use either proven, or innovative mechanisms based on the relevant literature, to address issues such as recruitment, retention, success, and career progression of all individuals in the Center.

Centers must undertake activities that facilitate knowledge transfer, i.e., the exchange of scientific and technical information with the objective of disseminating and utilizing knowledge broadly in multiple sectors. Examples of knowledge transfer include technology transfer, providing key information to public policy-makers, or dissemination of knowledge from one field of science to another.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 3


  • Duke Internal deadline: Nov. 30, 2021
  • REQUIRED Preliminary Proposal Due: Feb. 1, 2022
  • Invited Full Proposal Due: Aug. 29, 2022


Eligibility Requirements

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Preliminary proposals and invited full proposals may only be submitted by domestic (United States) institutions of higher education that are located in the United States, its territories or possessions, and have doctoral degree-granting research and education programs in any area of research supported by NSF. The lead institution is expected to develop partnerships or arrangements with other universities, colleges, or other institutions, such as national laboratories, research museums, private sector research laboratories, state and local government laboratories, and international organizations as appropriate to enable the Center to attain its strategic goals.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 3. A single organization may submit a maximum of three preliminary proposals as the lead institution. Full proposals are to be submitted only when invited by NSF. There is no limit on the number of proposals in which an organization participates as a partner institution. The STC program will not support more than one Center from any one lead institution in this competition.

The PI must be a full-time faculty member at an institution of higher education and have an established record of leading research teams.

A PI or co-PI on one proposal in this competition may not be a participant in another STC proposal under review in the same competition. If a proposal is declined at any stage of the review process, a PI or co-PI on the declined proposal may then participate in another STC proposal. This eligibility constraint will be strictly enforced. In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals will be accepted based on the earliest date and time of proposal submission (i.e., the first compliant proposal received will be accepted and the others will be returned without review).

Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: up to 5

Centers. Each award will be made as a cooperative agreement to the lead institution, with an initial commitment for five years of support and a possibility of continuation for five additional years. Number of awards is approximate and subject to availability of funds in FY2023.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $30,000,000

Up to $30,000,000 annually, subject to the appropriation of funds.

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.

  1. Provide a 1-2 page description of the proposed STC, including:

  2. Center vision addressing a grand challenge reflecting "vexing scientific and societal challenges."
  3. Potential team description.
  4. Summary of the potential intellectual merit describing how the proposed research areas/themes will integrate with each other to realize the Center's vision.
  5. Summarize the broader impacts related to education, diversity and inclusion, and knowledge transfer.


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

Instructions for creating an account (if needed) and submitting your materials:


Funding Type