Strengthening Teamwork for Robust Operations in Novel Groups (STRONG)

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

: The future vision for the U.S. Army includes teams of humans and intelligent agents working together to accomplish missions. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has established this new collaborative program, Strengthening Teamwork for Robust Operations in Novel Groups (STRONG), with the goal of developing the foundation for enhanced teamwork within heterogeneous humanintelligent agent teams. This collaborative venture will bring together diverse, multidisciplinary expertise to support scientific breakthroughs relevant to specific and critical scientific questions that must be addressed to enable this future vision. 

STRONG focuses directly on coordination and cooperation in human-agent teams via individualized and adaptive technologies. It has a specific long-term goal to identify and implement the fundamental research necessary to develop individualized, adaptive technologies that promote effective teamwork in novel groups of humans and intelligent agents. This effort addresses the teamwork (states and processes) that is critical to the future vision of human-agent teaming in the military. Decostanza et al. (IEEE, 2018; provide a detailed vision and discussion of some of the scientific questions critical to achieving this goal. Importantly, this interactive paper also provides a public forum for commentary and feedback from the scientific community at large and will serve as a valuable resource for understanding the research objectives of this program.  

STRONG addresses a critical objective within a broader Army goal to enable effective integration of Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML) in the battlefield. This program has been developed in coordination with other related ARL-funded collaborative efforts (see descriptions of ARL collaborative alliances at and shares a common vision of highly collaborative academia-industry-government partnerships; however, it will be executed with a program model different than previous ARL Collaborative Research/Technology Alliances. 

Proposals due for Cycle 1: 21 December 2018 

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

It is our goal for the program to include a diverse group of Applicants with varied long-term interests. During performance, it is envisioned that there will be two primary categories of participants from an Awardee (junior investigators and senior investigators, defined above), based upon their experience and time within their respective fields. Participants may be institutions of higher education, an industrial company, or non-profit organization. Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) may propose as well, with effort as allowed by their sponsoring agency and in accordance with their sponsoring agency policy. Proposals may consist of teams from any combination of organizations (e.g., prime and subawardees), but this is not a requirement and award will only be made to a single entity. For each Cycle, only those Applicants awarded a seedling CA will be eligible for consideration of an option period for that Cycle. All eligible Applicants may submit an application for future topics under future cycles. Future cycles are expected to be released annually as amendments to this FOA.  

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

December 21, 2018