(CLOSED) NSF 23-610 National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Institutes: Accelerating Research, Transforming Society, and Growing the American Workforce

Sponsor Name: 
National Science Foundation
Description of the Award: 

Please note that this is a mandatory notice of intent. If interest exceeds the NSF limit of 2 proposals across all themes the OSVPR will coordinate a downselect review. Internal timeline and down-select materials required are listed in the Internal Application Below.

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 2023 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. AI Institutes represent a cornerstone Federal Government commitment to fostering long-term, fundamental research in AI while also delivering significantly on each of the other eight objectives in that strategy. The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) identifies AI Institutes as a key component of a bold, sustained federal push to scale and coordinate federal AI R&D funding and to reinforce the foundation of technical leadership in AI.

This program is a multisector effort led by the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the Simons Foundation (SF), the 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)), Capital One Financial Corporation (Capital One), and Intel Corporation (Intel).

This program solicitation expands the nationwide network of AI Research Institutes with new funding opportunities over the next two years. In this round, the program invites proposals for institutes that have a principal focus in one of the following themes aimed at transformational advances in a range of economic sectors, and science and engineering fields. Theme descriptions are included in section II.B and II.C of the NSF solicitation:

  • Group 1 - Awards anticipated in FY 2024 (preliminary proposal due October 31, 2023):
    • Theme 1: AI for Astronomical Sciences
  • Group 2 - Awards anticipated in FY 2025 (preliminary proposal due January, 2024):
    • Theme 2: AI for Discovery in Materials Research
    • Theme 3: Strengthening AI

For the institute themes listed in Group 1, NSF anticipates awards to start in FY 2024; and for themes listed in Group 2, NSF anticipates awards to start in FY 2025. Each group has a specific set of due dates and review timeline pertaining only to that group. More detail is found in the solicitation under Due Dates and in the timeline provided in the Program Description.

Award Information

NSF plans to make two awards in Theme 1, one award in theme 2, and two or more awards in Theme 3, subject to the availability of funds. 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.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Oct 31, 2023
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested faculty should complete the form to submit their mandatory notice of intent by 4:00PM on the internal submission deadline of August 17.

If interest exceeds the NSF limit of 2 proposals, those who submit NOI are asked to prepare the following materials for a down-select review coordinated by the OSVPR.

Full down-select materials would be due on Thursday, September 7 and would include:

  • 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 (6 page max.)
    • This corresponds to the Project Description section of the NSF Preliminary Proposal as described in Section V.A. of the NSF Solicitation
  • References Cited in Project Description
  • (optional) Review comments from previous submission and 1-page addendum steps you have taken to address those comments in your resubmitted proposal
  • NSF 3-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.
Penn State OSVPR NOI Deadline: 
Thursday, August 17, 2023 - 4:00pm
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:
For help or questions: 

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

Vasant Honavar (IST); Eric Ford (ECoS)