(CLOSED) NSF 22-502 National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Institutes: Accelerating Research, Transforming Society, and Growing the American Workforce

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has advanced tremendously and today promises personalized healthcare; enhanced national security; improved transportation; and more effective education, to name just a few benefits. Increased computing power, the availability of large datasets and streaming data, and algorithmic advances in machine learning (ML) have made it possible for AI research and development to create new sectors of the economy and revitalize industries. Continued advancement, enabled by sustained federal investment and channeled toward issues of national importance, holds the potential for further economic impact and quality-of-life improvements.

The 2019 update to the National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan, informed by visioning activities in the scientific community as well as interaction with the public, identifies as its first strategic objective the need to make long-term investments in AI research in areas with the potential for long-term payoffs in AI. The National AI Research Institutes program enables longer-term research and U.S. leadership in AI through the creation of AI Research Institutes.

This program is a joint government effort between the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Department of Education (ED) Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Defense (DOD) Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD (R&E)), and IBM Corporation (IBM).

This program solicitation expands upon the nationwide network established by the first 18 AI Research Institutes to pursue transformational advances in a range of economic sectors, and science and engineering fields. In this round, the program invites proposals for institutes that have a principal focus in one of the following themes, detailed in the Program Description:

  • Theme 1: Intelligent Agents for Next-Generation Cybersecurity
  • Theme 2: Neural and Cognitive Foundations of Artificial Intelligence
  • Theme 3: AI for Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry
  • Theme 4: AI for Decision making
  • Theme 5: Trustworthy AI
  • Theme 6: AI-Augmented Learning to Expand Education Opportunities and Improve Outcomes

    • TRACK A: AI-Driven Digital Platforms to Expand and Accelerate STEM Learning in PreK-12 Settings
    • TRACK B: AI-Augmented Learning for Individuals with Disabilities

Award Information

Institute awards will be made for between $16,000,000 and $20,000,000 for four to five years ($4,000,000 per year on average). Proposals outside this range may be returned without review. Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Estimated Number of Awards

7 Estimated number of awards description- NSF plans to make approximately one Institute award in each of themes 1-5, and one award to each of the two tracks listed in theme 6 as described.

Sponsor Final Deadline: 
May 13, 2022
Other Deadline Dates: 
Preliminary Proposal Deadline: 1/14/2022
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Upload the following documents ion sequence in a single PDF no later than 4:00PM on the internal submission deadline:

  • Cover page to include:

    • Project title
    • Contact information for PI and all identified co-PIs
    • Theme to which you are applying
    • Name and title of this funding opportunity
  • List of:

    • Project personnel, their affiliations, and their roles in the center;
    • External collaborating organizations
  • Project Description (3 page max.) Identify the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements outlined in the solicitation'

    • Vision and integrated research goals of the Institute. (~half-page)
    • Foundational AI research (~half-page)
    • Use-Inspired Research (~half-page)
    • Broader Impacts (~half-page)
    • Key Personnel and prospective organization (~half-page)
  • References Cited
  • (optional) Review comments from previous submission
  • 2-page CV of PI and co-PI's
To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OSVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 4:00pm
For help or questions: 

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu.

Vijay Narayanan (CoE); Dinghao Wu (IST)