Science and Technology Centers: Integrative Partnerships

Other Deadline:

Required pre-proposals are due to NSF on June 25, 2019.

The Science and Technology Centers (STC): Integrative Partnerships program supports exceptionally innovative, complex research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term awards. STCs focus on creating new scientific paradigms, establishing entirely new scientific disciplines and developing transformative technologies which have the potential for broad scientific or societal impact. STCs conduct world-class research through partnerships among institutions of higher education, national laboratories, industrial organizations, other public or private entities, and via international collaborations, as appropriate. They provide a means to undertake potentially groundbreaking investigations at the interfaces of disciplines and/or highly innovative approaches within disciplines. STCs may involve any area of science and engineering that NSF supports. STC investments support the NSF vision of creating and exploiting new concepts in science and engineering and providing global leadership in research and education.

Centers provide a rich environment for encouraging future scientists, engineers, and educators to take risks in pursuing discoveries and new knowledge. STCs foster excellence in education by integrating education and research, and by creating bonds between learning and inquiry so that discovery and creativity fully support the learning process.

NSF expects STCs to demonstrate leadership in the involvement of groups traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering at all levels (faculty, students, and postdoctoral researchers) within the Center. Centers use either proven or innovative mechanisms to address issues such as recruitment, retention and mentorship of participants from underrepresented groups.

Centers must undertake activities that facilitate knowledge transfer, i.e., the exchange of scientific and technical information with the objective of disseminating and utilizing knowledge broadly in multiple sectors. Examples of knowledge transfer include technology transfer, providing key information to public policy-makers, or dissemination of knowledge from one field of science to another.

Number of Applications
Amount of Funding

Estimated Number of Awards: up to 5 Centers. Number of awards is approximate and subject to availability of funds in FY2021.

Anticipated Funding Amount: Up to $25,000,000 annually, pending the availability of funds.


Who May Serve as PI:

The PI must be a full-time faculty member at an institution of higher education and have an established record of leading research teams.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 3

A single organization may submit a maximum of three preliminary proposals as the lead institution. Full proposals are to be submitted only when invited by NSF. There is no limit on the number of proposals in which an organization participates as a partner institution. The STC program will not support more than one Center from any one lead institution in this competition.

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI or Co-PI: 1

A PI or co-PI on one proposal in this competition may not be a participant in another STC proposal under review in the same competition. If a proposal is declined at any stage of the review process, a PI or co-PI on the declined proposal may then participate in another STC proposal. This eligibility constraint will be strictly enforced. In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals will be accepted based on the earliest date and time of proposal submission (i.e., the first compliant proposal received will be accepted and the others will be returned without review). No exceptions will be made.

Additional Eligibility Info:

Proposed STC annual budgets may range up to $5.0M per year of NSF support. Full proposals outside this range will be returned without review. Each preliminary and invited full proposal must demonstrate institutional commitment in the area proposed. Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Past members of STCs may participate in this open competition only if the proposed research and education topics or themes are substantially different from those they pursued with prior NSF Center support. The proposal must focus on a different research topic. New proposals that simply extend the methods and intent of a past STC to a slightly larger scope or a new geographic area will be returned without review.

The STC Program complements the Engineering Research Centers (ERCs), the Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSECs), Centers of Chemical Innovation (CCIs) and other NSF programs that support group research and education activities. Participation in a Center does not preclude individuals from receiving NSF support for their individual research in complementary areas.

Submission Process

Step One

Internal deadline for LOI submission is no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 12, 2019. Materials should be submitted to Stephanie Endy at LOI submissions should include the following in a single PDF file:

  1. One page cover letter including the name of the lead PI, title of the proposal, and a list of all proposed program faculty and their departments;
  2. A one page project summary that provides an overview of the proposed STC, addressing the grand challenge(s) being addressed, the breakthroughs being sought, the intended legacies of the center, and one paragraph briefly describing the research plan for the center; and
  3. An NSF style biosketch for lead PI only.
Step Two

Final nominees will be notified of their selection by May 25, 2019.

Step Three

Final preliminary proposal must be received by the Office of Research Administration by June 18, 2019 at 5:00pm EST.

Step Four

Final preliminary proposal must be received by the sponsor by June 25, 2019 at 5:00 pm EST.


Abstract or LOI to ORA Chosen Proposal Announced ORA Final Proposal Due Date Sponsor Submission Deadline Days Until Due
05/17/2019 05/24/2019 01/20/2020 01/27/2020 CLOSED