Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 4/18/2022

Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC)

Communities in the United States (US) and around the world are entering a new era of transformation in which residents and their surrounding environments are increasingly connected through rapidly-changing intelligent technologies. This transformation offers great promise for improved wellbeing and prosperity but poses significant challenges at the complex intersection of technology and society. The goal of the NSF Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) program solicitation is to accelerate the creation of the scientific and engineering foundations that will enable smart and connected communities to bring about new levels of economic opportunity and growth, safety and security, health and wellness, accessibility and inclusivity, and overall quality of life.

For the purposes of this solicitation, communities are defined as having geographically-delineated boundaries—such as towns, cities, counties, neighborhoods, community districts, rural areas, and tribal regions—consisting of various populations, with the structure and ability to engage in meaningful ways with proposed research activities. A “smart and connected community” is, in turn, defined as a community that synergistically integrates intelligent technologies with the natural and built environments, including infrastructure, to improve the social, economic, and environmental well-being of those who live, work, learn, or travel within it.

The S&CC program encourages researchers to work with community stakeholders to identify and define challenges they are facing, enabling those challenges to motivate use-inspired research questions. For this solicitation, community stakeholders may include some or all of the following: residents, neighborhood or community groups, nonprofit or philanthropic organizations, businesses, as well as municipal organizations such as libraries, museums, educational institutions, public works departments, and health and social services agencies. The S&CC program supports integrative research that addresses fundamental technological and social science dimensions of smart and connected communities and pilots solutions together with communities. Importantly, this program is interested in projects that consider the sustainability of the research outcomes beyond the life of the project, including the scalability and transferability of the proposed solutions.

This S&CC solicitation will support research projects in the following categories:

  • S&CC Integrative Research Grants (SCC-IRG) Tracks 1 and 2. Awards in this category will support fundamental integrative research that addresses technological and social science dimensions of smart and connected communities and pilots solutions together with communities. Track 1 proposals may request budgets ranging between $1,500,001 and $2,500,000, with durations of up to four years. Track 2 proposals may request budgets up to $1,500,000, with durations of up to three years.
  • S&CC Planning Grants (SCC-PG). Awards in this category are for capacity building to prepare project teams to propose future well-developed SCC-IRG proposals. Each of these awards will provide support for a period of one year and may be requested at a level not to exceed $150,000 for the total budget.

S&CC is a cross-directorate program supported by NSF’s Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Education and Human Resources (EHR), Engineering (ENG), and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE).


Full Proposal Accepted Anytime Until April 1, 2024

Eligibility Requirements

For the S&CC program, during any contiguous 12-month period, an individual may not participate as PI, co-PI, or Senior Personnel in more than two proposals across all proposal categories. This limit will be applied beginning with this solicitation and will continue to apply to future versions of this solicitation, unless noted otherwise.

These eligibility constraints will be strictly enforced in order to treat everyone fairly and consistently. Any proposal that exceeds this limit at the time of submission for any PI, co-PI, or Senior Personnel will be returned without review. No exceptions will be made. Proposals that are withdrawn prior to commencement of merit review, or those that are returned without review by NSF, will not count against this proposal limit.

Proposers are strongly encouraged to verify the dates of prior submissions to S&CC for all personnel on their teams to avoid their proposals being deemed non-compliant.

Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 30 to 45

Planning Grants: 20 to 30

Integrative Research Grants: 10 to 15

The estimated number of awards indicated above is for a given fiscal year and is dependent upon the proposals received and the degree to which proposals meet the solicitation goals, NSF merit review criteria, and solicitation-specific review criteria.

Proposers are strongly encouraged to consider the scope, scale, and budget of previous S&CC IRG awards: https://www.nsf.gov/cise/scc.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $26,000,000

The anticipated funding amount indicated above is for a given fiscal year and is subject to the quality of proposals received and availability of funds.