NSF seeks Big Ideas proposals to spark research and innovation for future NSF investments

The National Science Foundation recently issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL): Growing Convergence Research at NSF to catalyze new research directions and advance scientific discovery and innovation across the 10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments.
The Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) of the Engineering Directorate invites organizations to submit proposals relevant to the following four Big Ideas, as they intersect with core CMMI topics defined in CMMI program descriptions:
  • Work at the Human-Technology Frontier: Shaping the Future;
  • Navigating the New Arctic;
  • Harnessing the Data Revolution for 21st Century Science and Engineering; and
  • Understanding the Rules of Life: Predicting Phenotype.

Proposals may be submitted to CMMI core programs during the CMMI unsolicited proposal submission windows. Principal investigators are strongly encouraged to contact their program director(s) before proposal preparation and submission to determine if their research topic falls within the scope of the program. In the proposal, principal investigators should indicate the relevance of their proposed research to any of the Big Ideas identified above in both the overview statement in the Project Summary and the Project Description.

Principal investigators are also encouraged to develop proposals for submission to the LEAP HI solicitation (Leading Engineering for America's Prosperity, Health, and Infrastructure). LEAP HI projects require sustained and coordinated effort from interdisciplinary research teams, with goals that are not achievable through a series of smaller, short-term projects. LEAP HI proposals addressing any of the Big Ideas identified above must also satisfy all requirements defined in the LEAP HI solicitation. Proposers are reminded that LEAP HI proposals require submission of a Letter of Intent prior to proposal submission; the next deadlines for Letters of Intent are December 15, 2017 and July 16, 2018. For LEAP HI proposals, principal investigators are strongly encouraged to contact the program director, Bruce Kramer (, before proposal preparation and submission to determine proposal fit.