Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR)

The PAWR program aims to enable experimental wireless communications research across devices, communication techniques, networks, systems, and services conceived by the US academic and industrial wireless research community and deployed in partnership with local communities. PAWR seeks to accelerate the Nation’s wireless innovation ecosystem, thereby enhancing broadband connectivity; enabling the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), next-generation cellular xG standards and heterogeneous wireless connectivity technologies; and sustaining US leadership and economic competitiveness for decades to come. Each research platform conceived under the PAWR program will enable at‐scale experimentation by supporting the geographic size, technical diversity, and user density representative of a small city/community.

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) has established the PAWR Project Office (see to support the design, deployment, and operations of the PAWR research platforms. Working closely with NSF and the wireless research community, the PPO has assumed responsibility for overseeing the design, deployment, and operations of a set of research platforms. Subject to the availability of funds/contributions, the PPO is soliciting proposals for up to two at‐scale platforms for advanced wireless research with each proposal to be funded by up to $9 million in cash from NSF and up to $15 million of in‐kind contributions from the PAWR Industry Consortium.


Number of Applications
Amount of Funding

Up to $9 million in cash from NSF and up to $15 million of in‐kind contributions from the PAWR Industry Consortium per platform over five years, subject to the availability of funds/contributions.


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. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions. Non‐profit, non‐academic organizations Local governments, community‐owned utilities, research labs, foundations, economic development organizations, research and startup incubators, professional societies and similar organizations in the US associated with economic development, educational or research activities.

Academic institutions and non‐profit organizations such as local governments are strongly encouraged to form teams to respond to this RFP to adequately achieve the goals of the PAWR program. Teams comprising both academic institutions and local non‐profit/municipal leadership will be considered the strongest and most sustainable teams. For‐profit organizations that are not members of the PAWR Industry Consortium may also participate on proposing teams, but may not lead proposal teams.

Submission Process

Step 1

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss the scope of work and project vision with their associate dean for research before submitting their LOI.

In ONE PDF, please provide:

  1. A cover sheet with:

    • PI Name

    • PI Department/Division and School/College

    • Project Title

    • A list of the names and institutions of anticipated collaborators

    • A brief statement of the potential of the project to contribute more broadly to advancing the nation’s health, prosperity, and welfare.

  2. Summary of Project, no longer than two pages, with 12-point font and one-inch Margins.  This summary must follow the Vision and Technical Merit section of the call for proposals requirements.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to shape this section in alignment with the review criteria for this aspect of the project which may be found on page 21 of the RFP..

  3. Federal-grant-style Biosketch (usually NIH or NSF)

Please send these documents as a single PDF document to Stephanie Endy ( by 8/21/2018.

Step 2

Final nominees will be notified of their selection by 8/27/2018

Step 3

Final proposal must be received by the Office of Research Administration by 9/21/2018 at 5:00pm EST.

Step 4

Final proposal must be received by the sponsor by 9/28/2018 at 5:00pm EST.


Abstract or LOI to ORA Chosen Proposal Announced ORA Final Proposal Due Date Sponsor Submission Deadline Days Until Due
08/21/2018 08/27/2018 09/21/2018 09/28/2018 CLOSED