Date Open: 
National science foundation
Agency Deadline: 
Limit per Institution: 
Important Notes: 
Waiting for new RFP

National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Institutes  - Accelerating Research, Transforming Society, and Growing the American Workforce
NSF 20-604

A webinar will be held to introduce the National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes program solicitation NSF 20-604 on September 21, 2020, 3:30-5:00 PM. The goal of this program is to enable multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder research on large-scale, long-time-horizon challenges in areas of national importance, through the growth of the network of National AI Research Institutes. The webinar will also describe funding opportunities, and address questions about the program. To participate, register at:

Limited Submission - Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 2
  • An organization may submit no more than two proposals to this solicitation as lead institution. Organizations wishing to contribute to more Institute proposals are encouraged to participate as non-lead organizations in Institute proposals in a manner that helps to create significant new research capabilities in new centers of AI leadership throughout the country. 
  • Limit on Number of Proposals for Senior Personnel: 1
  • An individual may be designated as senior personnel (which includes but is not limited to PI or co-PI) on at most one project team submitting to this solicitation. In the event that an individual exceeds this limit, proposals will be accepted based on earliest date and time of proposal submission, i.e., the first proposal will be accepted, and the remainder will be returned without review.

Research Office Internal Letter of Intent Deadline:  September 18, 2020

Review complete and teams notified - September 28, 2020

Full Proposal Deadline Date: December 04, 2020

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

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:  2 or 3 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. 


  • Please note if this project is a resubmit or is brand new.
  • 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!)
  • 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?


In addition to the National Science Board merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to apply the following criteria when reviewing proposals submitted to this solicitation:

  • How well does the proposed Institute advance foundational AI research in areas of direct relevance to AI, and in areas in clear need of larger efforts over longer timeframes?
  • How well does the proposed Institute conduct use-inspired research that both informs foundational AI advances and drives innovations in related sectors?
  • How well does the proposed Institute actively nurture and grow the next generation of talent for a diverse, well-trained workforce?
  • To what extent is the proposed Institute activity comprised of a multidisciplinary group of scientists, engineers, and educators appropriate to the project?
  • How well does the proposed Institute leverage multiple organizations to create significant new research capabilities in new centers of AI leadership and create a network for broadening participation from underrepresented groups and diverse institutions?
  • How well does the proposed Institute activity serve as a nexus point for collaborative efforts meaningfully integrated into a diverse Institute that is more than just the sum of the parts? B. Review and Selection Process


For the Research Office Internal Review Process - recommend 1 or 2 reviewers.

Suggested Reviewers:  Include

  • Name
  • Title
  • Contact
  • Area of expertise

Submit your Notice of Intent to the: 



Problems with the Smartsheet platform - or questions.  Email