NSF Brain Initiative Opportunities

As part of the Brain Initiative, there is a new NSF program on Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems  (NSF-NCS) that can provide opportunities for some CS theory research.  For “Integrative Foundations” proposals submitted direclty to the NSF-NCS program ($500k-$1m over 2-4 years), letters of intent need to be submitted by tomorrow (December 10).  But it is also possible to submit a “Core+Extensions” project as a supplement (up to $100k) to a proposal to another NSF program (such as the Algorithmic Foundations program, deadline January 14 for small proposals).

Bala Kalyanasundaram (bkalyana@nsf.gov) is a good program officer to contact with questions about submitting proposals related to CS theory.

New NSF program: Algorithms in the Field

Research Opportunity from NSF for Algorithms in the Field

Guest post from Tracy Kimbrel, NSF Program Director for Computing and Communication Foundations

The National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Computer Science and Engineering (CISE) recently announced a new program solicitation, Algorithms in the Field (AitF), which aims to promote collaboration between theory researchers and those in more applied areas.

The program originated from interest and excitement among the theory community and researchers in many applied fields during a well-attended workshop held in May 2011.

Bridging the gap between theory and practice in the design, analysis, implementation, and evaluation of algorithms can lead to new fields as well as broader cutting-edge applications. The premise is that by working jointly “in the field” researchers from these different communities will continually inform each other, innovate in their respective areas, and forge algorithms that are simultaneously validated by theory, systems, and applied communities.

The program synopsis reads as follows:

Algorithms in the Field encourages closer collaboration between two groups of researchers: (i) theoretical computer science researchers, who focus on the design and analysis of provably efficient and provably accurate algorithms for various computational models; and (ii) applied researchers including a combination of systems and domain experts (very broadly construed – including but not limited to researchers in computer architecture, programming languages and systems, computer networks, cyber-physical systems, cyber-human systems, machine learning, database and data analytics, etc.) who focus on the particular design constraints of applications and/or computing devices. Each proposal must have at least one co-PI interested in theoretical computer science and one interested in any of the other areas typically supported by CISE. Proposals are expected to address the dissemination of the algorithmic contributions and resulting applications, tools, languages, compilers, libraries, architectures, systems, data, etc.

I want to emphasize that lists of possible “field areas” such as those in the synopsis and other parts of the solicitation are not exhaustive and do not imply any limitation on scope.

NSF looks forward to the new research that will be supported through this endeavor.  The deadline for submissions is February 9, 2015.  Please read the full program solicitation for more information. A webinar will be held December 18, 2014 at 3 pm ET; details will be provided soon on the AitF page.

NSF Secure & Trustworthy Cyberspace solicitation and joint program with US-Israel BSF

(1) The new NSF Secure and Trusthworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) solicitation has been released.  Note that Frontiers (up to $10M) have been replaced by Large (up to $3M) proposals.  The submission deadlines are:

  • Small: January 14, 2015
  • Medium: November 10, 2014
  • Large: November 20, 2014
  • Education:    December 19, 2014

(2) NSF and the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) have developed a collaboration arrangement whereby US researchers may receive funding from the NSF and collaborating Israeli researchers may receive funding from the BSF. Proposals may be submitted to the SaTC Small category, with the identical proposal submitted to BSF to support Israeli collaborators.  Proposals will be reviewed by NSF; those selected for funding will have separate agreements with NSF (for US researchers) and BSF (for Israeli researchers).

US-Israel BSF joint program with NSF

Information from Dr. Yair Rotstein, executive director of the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation:


Dear Colleague:

The US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) is pleased to announce the second round of its joint funding program in Computer Sciences with the US National Science Foundation.

The framework of the program is as follows:

  1. The BSF will carry its own regular competition in Computer Sciences (submission deadline is Nov. 13, 2014).
  1. The NSF will publish a new solicitation later this year, which will be open only for those US PIs who applied to the 2014 competition of the BSF. NSF awards in this competition will be for travel of the US PIs and their groups to the institutions of their Israeli partners.

NSF solicitation for the previous round can be found using the link: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504828

  1. The NSF will not carry a full independent evaluation of the proposal it receives in this program, but rather rely on the data collected by the BSF. NSF staff will attend BSF panel meetings as observers.
  1. This program is unrelated to a new NSF-BSF joint funding program in Cyber Security and Privacy, which is expected to be announced later this summer.

We hope to see you among the applicants to this program.


Dr. Yair Rotstein
Executive Director
U.S. – Israel Binational Science Foundation
8 Hamarpeh St.
P.O.B. 45086
Jerusalem, 91450
Tel: 972-2-5828239 ext. 105
Cellular: 972-52-6020454
Fax: 972-2-5828306

  1. bsf.org.il




Program Director opportunity at NSF

NSF has an opening for a Program Director with expertise in Algorithms.  It is a 2-3 year IPA (or “rotator”) position.

Serving as a program director is a very important contribution to the research community, and it can be quite interesting and rewarding.

To find out more about the position, contact a member of CATCS or the CCF Division Director, Rao Kosaraju.

NSF BIGDATA program and Brain Initiative

Proposals for the NSF program on Critical Techniques and Technologies for Advancing Big Data Science & Engineering (BIGDATA) are due June 9, 2014.   Proposals involving theorists (ideally in collaboration with more applied researchers) are particularly encouraged this year.  Grants will range from $200,000 to $500,000 over 3-4 years.   Program director Bala Kalyanasundaram (bkalyana@nsf.gov) can answer questions about the program, particularly with respect to TCS work.

As part of its new Brain Initiative, NSF will also be funding Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGERs) for work with the potential to transform our ability to analyze brain function underlying behavioral and cognitive processes.  Interested researchers should submit 2-page summaries of research ideas by May 1, 2014and then may subsequently be invited to submit full proposals.

NSF Exploiting Parallelism & Scalability deadline 2/24

A reminder that the deadline for the NSF Exploiting Parallelism and Scalability (XPS) program is February 24.

Theorists who work on issues related to parallel computing are encouraged to consider applying to XPS program.  See the solicitation, the webinar by Tracy Kimbrel, and the FAQ for more information.

TOMORROW: NSF Exploiting Parallelism & Scalability Webinar

The Exploiting Parallelism and Scalability (XPS) program (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504842) aims to support groundbreaking research leading to a new era of parallel computing.   Theorists who work on issues related to parallel computing are encouraged to consider applying to XPS program.

Tomorrow’s webinar (1:30-2:30pm EST, Friday January 10) will cover the objectives of the XPS program, award types, and submission requirements.  It will conclude with a question and answer session.  Questions about the solicitation can also be submitted in advance to Tracy Kimbrel (tkimbrel@nsf.gov).

Register for webinar at https://nsf.webex.com/nsf/j.php?ED=232884922&RG=1&UID=0&RT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D by 11:59pm EST on Thursday January 9, 2014.

The webinar will be archived for later viewing and linked to the XPS  program web page at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504842  within a few days.

See http://www.nsf.gov/events/event_summ.jsp?cntn_id=129984 for more information the webinar.


NSF Deadlines

NSF has extended the deadline for CCF Deputy Division Director position applications to January 10.

And here are some upcoming TCS-related NSF grant proposal deadlines:

Cybersecurity Education proposals: December 19.

Algorithmic Foundations small proposals: January 14.

Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) small proposals: January 14.  

Exploiting Parallelism and Scalability exploratory and full proposals: February 24.

Expeditions in Computing preliminary proposals: March 1

Deadline for NSF CCF Deputy Division Director position

NSF is searching for a new Deputy Division Director for Computer & Communications Foundations.  The deadline to apply is in just a few days: December 6. 

See https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/354640300 for more details, and we (CATCS) are happy to help in finding out more about the position.


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