Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC)

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    47.041; 47.049; 47.070; 47.075; 47.076

    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    National Science Foundation (NSF)


    The goals of the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program are aligned with the Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan (RDSP) and the National Privacy Research Strategy (NPRS) to protect and preserve the growing social and economic benefits of cyber systems while ensuring security and privacy. The NPRS, which complements the RDSP, identifies a framework for privacy research, anchored in characterizing privacy expectations, understanding privacy violations, engineering privacy-protecting systems, and recovering from privacy violations. In alignment with the objectives in both strategic plans, the SaTC program takes an interdisciplinary, comprehensive and holistic approach to cybersecurity research, development, and education, and encourages the transition of promising research ideas into practice.The RDSP identified six areas critical to successful cybersecurity R&D:

    1. scientific foundations;
    2. risk management;
    3. human aspects;
    4. transitioning successful research into practice;
    5. workforce development; and
    6.  enhancing the research infrastructure.

    The SaTC program welcomes proposals that address cybersecurity and privacy, and draw on expertise in one or more of these areas: computing, communication and information sciences; engineering; economics; education; mathematics; statistics; and social and behavioral sciences. Proposals that advance the field of cybersecurity and privacy within a single discipline or interdisciplinary efforts that span multiple disciplines are both encouraged.

    Proposals must be made in one of the following areas:

    Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace core research (CORE) Designation

    The scope of the SaTC core research program is broad and interdisciplinary, and welcomes foundational research on security and privacy from researchers in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and social, behavioral, and economic sciences. SaTC views cybersecurity as a socio-technical challenge and encourages proposals that advance the field of cybersecurity within a single discipline or multiple disciplines.

    This track focuses only on research directly supporting a safe, secure, resilient, and trustworthy cyberspace, conducted ethically with the highest scientific standards. Of special interest are proposals that are transformative, forward-looking, and offer innovative or clean-slate approaches that provide defenders a distinct advantage. Proposals whose security science exposes underlying principles having predictive value that extends across different security domains are especially encouraged. The program discourages proposals that address a sole vulnerability or device without advancing security science or considering the broader consequences of the proposed remedy. The SaTC program likewise discourages research focused primarily on the design and development of offensive techniques for exploiting vulnerabilities of systems that could be harmful to the operation of existing cyberinfrastructure.

    Some specific research topics of interest for CORE proposals are included in the full program solicitation.

    Transition to Practice (TTP) Designation

    The objective of the TTP designation is to support the development, implementation, and deployment of later-stage and applied security or privacy research into an operational environment in order to bridge the gap between research and production. A TTP-designated proposal must specifically describe how the successful research results will be operationally deployed into an organization or technology. Collaborations with industry are strongly encouraged. The outcome of a TTP project is not solely intended to be commercialization, although the TTP may be a stepping stone to a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) proposal, an NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) team, or a commercial venture.

    A TTP may transition later-stage research by other means such as licensing to commercial or government end users or deployment into scientific research cyberinfrastructure or Research and Education Networks. Proposals that target the security of the scientific research cyberinfrastructure, and enable robust and reliable science through advances in reproducibility, provenance, and privacy are highly encouraged. Topics of interest include: tools to detect behavioral anomalies across cyberinfrastructure systems, including detecting the tools and techniques of an attack and methods to mitigate security threats; tools to ensure the integrity of data as it traverses multiple environments such as mobile, cloud(s), and networks. 

    Cybersecurity Education (EDU) Designation

    The EDU designation is interested in inquiry into and the development of evidence-based and evidence-generating approaches that will improve cybersecurity education and workforce development at the K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and professional education levels. EDU supports projects that: improve cybersecurity learning and learning environments, conduct education research, develop new educational materials and methods of instruction, develop new assessment tools to measure student learning, promote teacher recruitment and training in the field of cybersecurity, and improve the diversity of the cybersecurity workforce. In addition to innovative work at the frontier of cybersecurity education, the program also encourages replications of research studies at different types of institutions and with different student bodies to produce deeper knowledge about the effectiveness and transferability of findings.

    Proposals submitted to the EDU designation are expected to leverage successful results from previous and current basic research in cybersecurity and research on student learning, both in terms of intellectual merit and broader impacts, to address the challenge of expanding existing educational opportunities and resources in cybersecurity. This may include, but is not limited to, the following efforts:

    • Conduct research that advances improvements in teaching and student learning in cybersecurity;
    • Based on the results of basic research in cybersecurity, define a cybersecurity body of knowledge and establish curricular activities for new courses, degree programs, and educational pathways leading to wide dissemination and adoption
    • Investigate approaches to make cybersecurity education and workforce development broadly diverse and inclusive, including the effects of instructional strategies on the culture of the STEM classroom
    • Design and implement graduate programs to produce future faculty and cybersecurity professionals with research expertise in critical areas, such as the secure use of AI, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing, and emerging wireless technologies
    • Improve teaching methods for delivering cybersecurity content to K-12 students that promote correct and safe online behavior, and understanding of the foundational principles of cybersecurity
    • Develop and implement activities to help K-12 teachers integrate cybersecurity into formal and informal learning settings
    • Support institutional collaborations between community colleges and four-year colleges and universities
    • Develop educational approaches or pathways to foster industry-relevant skills for cybersecurity jobs of the future
    • Develop effective evidence-based co-curricular activities for students studying cybersecurity at the K-12, undergraduate, or graduate level;
    • and Evaluate the effectiveness of cybersecurity competitions and other engagement, outreach, and retention activities

    Broadening Participation in Computing  (Medium proposals only)

    CISE has long been committed to Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC). The underrepresentation of many groups in computing, including women, Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities, deprives large segments of the population with the opportunity to be creators of technology, and it deprives the computing ecosystem of their potentially valuable contributions. Specifically, each Medium project with a lead or non-lead organization (department, school, or institute) that primarily carries out research and education in computer science, computer engineering, information science, and/or other closely-related field, must, at the time of submission, include a BPC plan.

    A meaningful BPC plan can answer positively to the following five elements:

    1. Context: Does the plan describe a goal using institutional or local data?
    2. Intended population(s): Does the plan identify the characteristics of participants from an underrepresented group listed above, including school level (e.g.,. African-American undergraduates or female high-school students)?
    3. Strategy: Does the plan describe activities that address the goal(s) and intended population(s)? Is there a clear role for each PI and co-PI?
    4. Preparation: Does the plan describe how the PI is prepared (or will prepare or collaborate) to do the proposed work?
    5. Measurement: Is there a plan to measure the outcome(s) of the activities?


    History of Funding

    Previous recipients can be viewed online at https://nsf.gov/awardsearch/advancedSearchResult?WT.si_n=ClickedAbstractsRecentAwards&WT.si_x=1&WT.si_cs=1&WT.z_pims_id=504709&ProgEleCode=&BooleanElement=Any&BooleanRef=Any&ActiveAwards=true&#results.

    Additional Information

    All proposals must include a prioritized list of 1-3 keywords separated by ";". The keywords must be drawn from the list of topic areas listed below, described in detail in Section II Program Description, that best characterizes the project. Proposals submitted to the EDU designation must choose Cybersecurity Education as one of the keywords, and proposals submitted to the TTP designation must choose Transition to Practice as one of the keywords.

    • Authentication and Access Control
    • Cryptography, Applied
    • Cryptography, Theory
    • Cyber-Physical Systems
    • Cybersecurity Education
    • Data Science, ML and AI
    • Formal Methods and Language-based Security
    • Hardware Security Architecture
    • Hardware Security Design
    • Human-Centric Computing
    • Information Authenticity
    • Intrusion Detection
    • Mathematics and Statistics
    • Networking, Wired
    • Networking, Wireless
    • Privacy, Applied
    • Privacy, Theory
    • Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences
    • Software Systems
    • Transition to Practice


    Nina Amla

    Nina Amla

    , (703) 292-8910

    SaTC Questions

    SaTC Questions
    4201 Wilson Boulevard
    Arlington, VA 22230

    Victor P. Piotrowski

    Victor P. Piotrowski
    Directorate for Education and Human Resources
    4201 Wilson Boulevard
    Arlington, VA 22230
    (703) 292-5141
    (703) 292-9015

    Jeremy Epstein

    Jeremy Epstein
    4201 Wilson Blvd
    Artlington, VA 22230
    (703) 292-8338

  • Eligibility Details

    Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

    • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs): Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members.
      • Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.
    • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

    Deadline Details

    Proposals accepted anytime for SMALL, MEDIUM, and EDU projects.

    Please note SaTC will NOT be accepting LARGE proposals in FY22 and FY23.

    Award Details

    The estimated total funding available for FY23 is $69,000,000. Cost-sharing is not required. The NSF anticipates approximately 15 EDU awards, 35 Small awards and 25 Medium awards, and 3 Large awards.

    CORE and TTP proposals may be submitted in one of the following project size classes:

    • Small projects: up to $500,000 in total budget, with durations of up to three years; and
    • Medium projects: $500,001 to $1,200,000 in total budget, with durations of up to four years.

    CORE proposals (but not TTP or EDU proposals) may also be submitted in the following project size class:

    • Large projects: $1,200,001 to $3,000,000 in total budget, with durations of up to five years.
    • Please note SaTC will NOT be accepting LARGE proposals in FY22 and FY23.

    EDU proposals

    • Limited to $400,000 in total budget, with durations of up to three years.
    • Proposals that demonstrate collaboration, reflected in the PI, co-PI, and/or Senior Personnel composition, between a cybersecurity subject matter expert (researcher or practitioner) and an education researcher may request up to $500,000 for three years. 

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • NSF Funding for Campus Cyberinfrastructure in Higher Education - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available
    • Funding High Performance Computing in Support of University Research – Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available
    • Getting A Virtualization Project Funded - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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