(CLOSED) Quantum Sensing Challenges for Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems (QuSeC-TAQS) (NSF 22-630)

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

Synopsis of Program:

The Quantum Sensing Challenges for Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems (QuSeC-TAQS) program supports interdisciplinary teams of three (3) or more investigators to explore highly innovative, original, and potentially transformative research on quantum sensing. The QuSeC-TAQS program supports coordinated efforts to develop and apply quantum sensor systems, with demonstrations resulting in proof of principle or field-testing of concepts and platforms that can benefit society. The QuSeC-TAQS program aligns with recommendations articulated in the strategy report, Bringing Quantum Sensors to Fruition, that was produced by the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Quantum Information Science, under the auspices of the National Quantum Initiative.

Program Description:

Competitive proposals are expected to present interdisciplinary and collaborative projects that identify a need and describe a sound scientific and engineering approach for developing a novel sensing system with enhanced performance compared to classical technologies. Successful proposals should make a compelling case for how the proposed research project has potential to deliver breakthroughs in quantum sensing technologies that could impact society.

Proposed projects should pursue either or both of the following tracks:

  1. Explore new ideas using for enhanced sensing functionalities using quantum information science and engineering principles. Proposals should describe how the project will result in experimental tests or a proof of principle for new concepts, platforms, or approaches for enhanced sensing.
  2. Translate quantum information science and engineering discoveries into scalable quantum sensor systems or networks. Proposals should describe how the project will demonstrate advantages for targeted applications as a result of applying fundamentally quantum phenomena.

Competitive proposals will come from interdisciplinary research teams led by at least three (3) investigators who collectively contribute synergistic expertise from domains such as engineering, computer science, mathematical and physical sciences, biology, or geoscience. Competitive proposals should also address the QuSeC-TAQS programmatic considerations described below, such as the potential for transformative advances on a targeted quantum sensor technology, the potential for interdisciplinarity and convergence in the research process, plans for experimental demonstration, and the potential for broader impacts such as educational and training opportunities, partnerships, or international collaboration, student mobility and exchanges.

QuSeC-TAQS Programmatic Considerations:

The following features are deemed important under this research solicitation:

  • Quantum Sensing: It is expected that proposed research projects will focus on quantum sensing, leveraging both fundamental understanding of quantum phenomena and novel application concepts. Clear rationale as to the novelty and the potential for enhanced capabilities as compared to classical sensors and systems should be addressed.
  • Interdisciplinarity and Convergence: Progress in this field may benefit from research that draws upon expertise in multiple disciplines including (but not limited to) physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, geoscience, computer science, and engineering. Proposals should describe how the project will facilitate scientists and engineers to work together in research teams involving theory, modeling, design, characterization, device fabrication, and testing.
  • Experimental Demonstration: Proposals should describe how the project will realize a proof-of-concept for novel quantum functionalities, characterize quantum device properties, or system performance in relevant conditions for potential applications.

The QuSeC-TAQS program also encourages diverse activities with the potential to increase the impact of projects:

  • Education and Training: Proposals that in addition to research create education, training, and workforce development opportunities in areas of quantum information science and engineering related to quantum sensing are encouraged.
  • Partnerships: The creation or development of partnerships with industry, National Laboratories, or other academic institutions can be valuable for developing new concepts and platforms, for scaling up, and subsequently for commercialization of technologies based on quantum sensor concepts. Such partnerships are therefore encouraged where appropriate.
  • International Collaboration and Student Mobility and Exchange: Collaboration with international scientific teams who are leaders in the field is welcome. Travel support for principal investigators, research personnel and students may be considered. Opportunities for developing student exchange are encouraged in order to develop a globally engaged workforce for QIS technologies.
Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor LOI Deadline: 
Dec 16, 2022
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Apr 03, 2023
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_NSF-22-630_2022 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Cover Page (1 page, pdf):

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • PI name, departmental affiliations(s) and contact information
  • Senior Personnel names and departmental affiliation(s) (minimum of three senior personnel must participate)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

2. Project Description (no more than two pages, pdf) identifying the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements of the sponsor's solicitation:

  • Approach and Methodology: Describe the approach and methodology that will be used to achieve the research vision and goals.
  • Relevance to Quantum Sensing: Describe how the project leverages and/or promotes advances in quantum sensing. Please address the expected performance advantage of the quantum sensor system proposed over classical sensing systems.
  • Broader Impacts: Describe how the proposed project will benefit society, for example by enabling advances in science and technology in various disciplines, and training individuals to work with quantum technologies.

3. 2-page CV's of Investigators

Formatting Guidelines:

Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

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: 
Monday, October 10, 2022 - 4:00pm
For help or questions: 

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

Zhiqiang Mao (ECoS); Morteza Kayyalha (CoE)