Strengthening the Cyberinfrastructure Professionals Ecosystem (SCIPE) (NSF 23-521)

Sponsor Name: 
Description of the Award: 

The overarching goal of this solicitation is to democratize access to NSF’s advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) ecosystem and ensure fair and equitable access to resources, services, and expertise by strengthening how Cyberinfrastructure Professionals (CIP) function in this ecosystem. It aims to achieve this by (1) deepening the integration of CIPs into the research enterprise, and (2) fostering innovative and scalable education, training, and development of instructional materials, to address emerging needs and unresolved bottlenecks in CIP workforce development. Specifically, this solicitation seeks to nurture, grow and recognize the national CIP workforce that is essential for creating, utilizing and supporting advanced CI to enable and potentially transform fundamental science and engineering (S&E) research and education and contribute to the Nation's overall economic competitiveness and security. Together, the principal investigators (PIs), technology platforms, tools, and expert CIP workforce supported by this solicitation operate as an interdependent ecosystem wherein S&E research and education thrive. This solicitation will support NSF’s advanced CI ecosystem with a scalable, agile, diverse, and sustainable network of CIPs that can ensure broad adoption of advanced CI resources and expert services including platforms, tools, methods, software, data, and networks for research communities, to catalyze major research advances, and to enhance researchers' abilities to lead the development of new CI.

All projects are expected to clearly articulate how they address essential community needs, will provide resources that will be widely available to and usable by the research community, and will broaden participation from underrepresented groups. Prospective PIs are strongly encouraged to contact the Cognizant Program Officers in CISE/OAC and in the participating directorate/division relevant to the proposal to ascertain whether the focus and budget of their proposed activities are appropriate for this solicitation.

NSF invites proposals that identify the emerging and outstanding community needs in training, education, and career development that require significant innovations and will result in transformative changes. NSF seeks proposals that will also pioneer innovative solutions to the challenge of broadening CI access and adoption of best practices by those disciplines and institutions with low CI adoption as well as increasing participation from underrepresented groups. NSF expects proposals to describe methods to closely integrate with the Computation Science Support Network (CSSN) of the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem of Services and Support (ACCESS) program. Proposals should engage the relevant set of partners required as investigators, collaborators, expert advisors, resource providers, or early adopters, and include plans for effective outreach to, and recruiting with, stakeholder communities.

Key challenges include identifying the roles of CI professionals in the institutional (or cross-institutional, for multi-institution projects) research enterprise, and establishing sustainable career paths to embed such professionals in the research community. Proposals should define a long-term vision for enabling CI professionals to employ their skills to maximize the productivity of advanced CI in S&E research. Such proposals will articulate how collaboration between CI professionals and domain experts will enable research institutions to recognize all the benefits that advanced CI can provide to the entire research enterprise, within and/or across disciplines.

Prospective principal investigators are encouraged to engage the relevant stakeholders, to the extent possible, by forging alliances and forming backbones employing "collective impact" or an alternative strategy to inform forward-looking curriculum/instructional material development for the Nation's S&E workforce (John Kania & Mark Kramer, "Collective Impact," Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2011). PIs may seek public and private partnerships to increase relevance, enrichment, sustainability, and pursuit of national and international dimensions. Stakeholders may include colleges and universities (e.g., educators, researchers, and professional staff); supercomputing centers and related entities; professional/disciplinary associations; public and private institutions; government and industry research labs; industry; authors and publishers; and federal, state, and local agencies. Stakeholders may also include international partners (note that NSF funds may only be used to support U.S.-based researchers). A board of expert advisors, or a network of funded/unfunded collaborators that is representative of the stakeholder communities, should provide periodic guidance and help evaluate the project methods.

Please carefully review the sponsor's website and guidelines for any requirements and expectations related to eligibility, budget, collaboration, priority research areas, letter of intent requirements, and review criteria before submitting to this internal competition.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Jan 18, 2024
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: [Last name]_NSF23-521_2023) no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Cover Letter (1 page, pdf):

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • PI name, departmental affiliations(s) and contact information
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • 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, principal investigators, collaborators, and partner organizations. References may be included on an additional page.

3. Estimated Budget (1 page, including cost share details, if applicable)

4. 3-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.
OSVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Tuesday, October 3, 2023 - 4:00pm
For help or questions: 

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to