Department of Homeland Security

S&T Critical Infrastructure Resilience Center of Excellence (CIRC) – Center Lead


S&T Critical Infrastructure Resilience Center of Excellence (CIRC) – Center Partner


The Research Office, Office for Research Development is requesting letters of intent for the Department of Homeland Security’s S&T Critical Infrastructure Resilience Center of Excellence (CIRC) – Center Lead and Center Partner programs.

Office for Research Development Letter of Intent submission deadline: Monday, August 18, 2014

Agency Deadline:  Friday, September 26, 2014   

Synopsis of Program:

The DHS solicitation S&T Critical Infrastructure Resilience Center of Excellence (CIRC) – comes in two flavors where applicants can submit proposals as either a Center Lead or as a Center Partner.  The Center Lead option is a heavy lift, must address multiple themes, and only one application per institution is allowed.  Moreover, while the Lead institution can include preferred partners in its application, it is DHS who decides who the partners will be and tells the Lead which of its proposed projects it will fund, and how much of the Lead’s  $4M per year to subcontract to the Partners.  On the upside, if the Center Lead option is not pursued, institutions may submit an unrestricted number of Center Partner proposals (5 pages maximum) without having to identify a Center Lead.  The available funding for a Center Partner is up to $500K over two years.  It is important to note that DHS does not fund research for research’s sake.  DHS funds research that ultimately protects the US and provides better tools and processes for getting industries and regional economies working again as soon as possible after a catastrophic event.  With that in mind, DHS will find ways to continue to fund certain projects that address real homeland security challenges beyond the performance period if the research is meeting DHS’s objectives.  As of July 16th you can access the informational webinar for more information through

Information:  Mary Phillips, Director, Office for Research Development at

General guidance for preparation of letters of intent to the Research Office:

COVER SHEET (1 page)

  • Solicitation Name and Descriptive Title
  • Project Summary:  3 or 4 sentences or bullet points that provide an overview of the objective of your proposed research, how you plan to do it, and the expected outcome.
  • Unique Aspects:  3 or 4 sentences or bullet points that highlight how your research/approach is different/better.
  • Key PI/co-PIs:  5 or 6 sentences or bullet points that highlight team expertise as it relates to the project.
  • Budget:  Example:  The total cost of the project is anticipated to be $ X, with $ Y being requested from the NSF.  NSF funds will be used for: $ A for personnel; $ B for operations, and $ C for broader impacts/subcontracts etc. 
  • Justification for NSF support: One paragraph explaining why this research fits with the RFP and strategic goals of NSF. 


  • Problem statement : Clear and concise statement of 1) research question(s) and how the project will address the research question(s); 2) what technical barriers need to be overcome to perform the research; and 3) how the proposed research can lead to the advancement of research/knowledge in this area.
  • Conceptual framework: Conceptual framework describing, for example, how the synthesis of various project components, approaches, and participant expertise are linked together to address the problem of interest.  Graphics may be used.
  • Proposed activities: Describe the project to be undertaken and provide the technical specifications of the research activities and timelines that will be undertaken.
  • Expected results: Describe the outcome you anticipate from the research. (Remember your initial motivation for wanting to do this!)
  • Peer Groups: Who else is doing something similar, why their discoveries are useful for you, and what discriminates you.
  • Broader Impact/Metrics for Success: What metrics are the most appropriate for evaluating the success of the proposed project (e.g., peer-reviewed papers, policy-directed efforts, databases, models, development of new resources, etc.)? If successful, who would most likely use the knowledge or tools developed?
  • Fundraising:  List any matching fund requests, industry commitments etc.  List any similar current proposals pending.

Suggested Reviewers: (1 page) Optional – but as you write envision who might be a reviewer of your proposal or the Program Officer.

  • Reviewer 1: Area of expertise
  • Name
  • Title
  • Contact 
  • State why you think this person would be a good reviewer.

·    Submit electronically as a PDF document to:

Monday, August 18, 2014
Date Open: 
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Department of Homeland Security