Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 12/18/2023

Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI)

Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI) is an NSF program seeking to stimulate human-centered, use-inspired, fundamental and potentially transformative research aimed at strengthening America‚Äôs infrastructure. Effective infrastructure provides a strong foundation for socioeconomic vitality and broad improvement in quality of life. Robust, reliable and effective infrastructure spurs private-sector innovation, grows the economy, creates jobs, makes public-sector service provision more efficient, strengthens communities, promotes equal opportunity, protects the natural environment, enhances national security and fuels American leadership. Achieving these objectives requires the integration of expertise from across all science and engineering disciplines. SAI focuses on how fundamental knowledge about human reasoning and decision-making, governance, and social and cultural processes enables the building and maintenance of effective infrastructure that improves lives and society and builds on advances in technology and engineering. Successful projects will represent a convergence of expertise in one or more social, behavioral or economic sciences, deeply integrated with other disciplines to support substantial and potentially pathbreaking fundamental research applied to strengthening a specific focal infrastructure.

General inquiries regarding this funding opportunity should be sent to NSF-SAI@nsf.gov.

Full Proposal Deadline: March 12, 2024

Areas of Interest

Proposals must bring deep leadership expertise in at least one SBE disciplinary program area, and provide details on how such SBE disciplinary expertise and leadership will contribute to strengthening American infrastructure. Proposals must also bring relevant expertise in the focal infrastructure itself, which is likely to be in one or more research areas represented in the programs supported by the participating NSF directorates and offices:

Proposals must describe how this diverse expertise will be deeply integrated and applied to the specific infrastructure that is the focus of the proposed research. Successful proposals will demonstrate an interdisciplinary and convergent approach beyond that of any single NSF program, division or directorate and will seek to advance both the SBE fields as well as the partnering fields in which they are based.

For the purpose of this solicitation, the focal infrastructure of the proposed research may be of any kind, including, for example, physical, cyber, social, economic, biological, technological or educational. However, the proposal must identify a specific, focal and well-defined infrastructure. Proposals must be led by and build on a deep understanding of at least one SBE science relevant to the design, development or sustainability of the focal infrastructure. These sciences may include those of psychology, learning, linguistics, anthropology, geography, network science, sociology, economics, decision science, organizational behavior, science and technology studies, law and science, governmental structures and other areas of basic SBE science supported in the disciplinary programs of the SBE directorate.

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 laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations located in the U.S. that are directly associated with educational or research activities.

PIs must hold appointments at U.S.-based campuses/offices of eligible organizations (IHEs or Non-profit, non-academic organizations). There are no restrictions on who may serve as co-PIs, Senior Personnel or Consultant.

An individual may appear as PI, co-PI, senior personnel or consultant on only one proposal submitted in response to this solicitation. This eligibility constraint will be strictly enforced. In the event an individual exceeds this limit, the first proposal received prior to the deadline will be accepted and the remainder will be returned without review. This limitation includes proposals submitted by a lead organization, collaborative non-lead proposals, and any subawards included as part of a collaborative proposal involving multiple institutions. No exceptions will be made.

Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 15

The number of awards is dependent upon the proposals received and the degree to which proposals meet the solicitation goals and NSF merit review criteria.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $9,600,000

Up to $9.6 million pending the availability of funds and quality of proposals.