Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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DEPSCoR Research Collaboration

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)


    The aim of DEPSCoR- Research Collaboration (RC) is to improve the research capabilities at institutions of higher education (IHE) in eligible States/Territories to perform competitive basic research in science and engineering that is relevant to the DoD mission and reflect national security priorities. To address the program's aim, DEPSCoR will focus on capacity building through human and technical resources by soliciting applications in a DEPSCoR – RC competition. The program is seeking proposals that will advance knowledge in basic science involving bold and ambitious research that may lead to extraordinary outcomes such as disrupting accepted theories and perspectives.

    The DEPSCoR competition intends to encourage collaborations on basic research projects of interest to the Department. The program is structured to form a 2-person team between 1) a researcher who has never served as a principal investigator (PI) on a prior DoD-funded award and 2) a collaborator/co-principal investigator who will provide mentorship and has served as a PI on a DoD-funded research award actively between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2022.

    The FY22 DEPSCoR- RC competition seeks proposals addressing the topics listed below:

    1. Unsteady Aerodynamics and Turbulent Flows 
    2. Condensed Matter Physics 
    3. GHz – THz Electronics and Materials
    4. Solid State Electronics and Electromagnetics
    5. Electrochemistry
    6. Mechanical Behavior of Materials 
    7. Synthesis and Processing of Materials
    8. Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMP)
    9. Ocean Seabed Characterization
    10. Sustained Adaptability
    11. Biological Soft Solid Mechanics
    12. Adjustable Wavelength and Pulse Duration Sources and/or Adaptive Optics for Ultra Short Pulse Lasers (USPL)
    13. Mathematical Optimization 

    In order to achieve its congressional mandate, the Basic Research Office developed three major thrusts for DEPSCoR – 1) augment funding to an existing tri-Service program, 2) solicit applications for a stand-alone collaborative competition, and 3) outreach meetings. DEPSCoR Objectives as mandated by Congress: 

    • Enhance the capabilities of institutions of higher education (IHE) in eligible State/Territories to develop, plan, and execute science and engineering (S&E) research that is relevant to the mission of the DoD and competitive under the peer-review systems used for awarding Federal research assistance
    • Increase the number of university researchers in eligible States/ Territories capable of performing S&E research responsive to the needs of the DoD
    • Increase the probability of long-term growth in the competitively awarded financial assistance that IHE in eligible States/Territories receive from the Federal Government for S&E research

    History of Funding

    Approximately $12.6 million was available for FY21.

    2019 awardees can be found here: https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Releases/Release/Article/2172557/dod-invests-36-million-for-the-defense-established-program-to-stimulate-competi/

    Additional Information

    Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Program Officer prior to submitting a white paper, preferably by email to discuss the current state of the art in his/her area of interest and how your research would advance it.

    As the Applicant and Collaborator, both must hold a tenured or tenure-track position with your IHE, otherwise your proposal must include a letter from your IHE stating that you will be considered for a tenured or tenure-track position if you currently hold a short-term appointment. You are not eligible to submit a white paper or proposal if you do not meet this requirement.

    While each member of the collaboration should be in a tenure-track appointment or tenured at IHE in DEPSCoR-eligible States/Territories, you do not need to be in the same state. Likewise, the Applicant and Collaborator can have appointments at the same IHE.

    None of the following entity types are eligible to submit proposals as primary award or subaward recipients under this announcement:

    • Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs);
    • Federal agencies (to include Military Educational Institutions).


    Elaina Barker

    Elaina Barker
    875 N. Randolph, Ste.325
    Arlington, VA 22203
    (703) 696-7797

    Jennifer Becker

    Jennifer Becker
    875 N. Randolph, Ste.325
    Arlington, VA 22203
    (703) 696-7797

  • Eligibility Details

    Tenured or tenure-track faculty members with appointments at IHE, in the following States/Territories are eligible to apply for DEPSCoR opportunities under this announcement: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

    Though this is a collaboration between the Applicant and Collaborator, the Applicant's IHE will submit the proposal. The Applicant and Collaborator are eligible to apply to this announcement if both IHE are located in an eligible State/Territory AND Contains an advanced degree-granting program in science, mathematics, and/or engineering.

    Deadline Details

    White Paper and Supporting Documentation are to be submitted by September 19, 2022. Full applications by invitation only are due on February 21, 2023. A similar deadline is anticipated annually.

    Award Details

    For FY22, approximately $15 million is available in total funding for 25 awards. The maximum award amount per applicant is $600,000 (total cost). Each grant award will be funded up to $200,000 (total cost) per year for three (3) years. Cost-sharing is not required. The award start date is determined at the time of the award but is most likely projected for a July 2023 start date.

    In addition to this DEPSCOR - Research Collaboration FOA, the Basic Research Office anticipates funding up to 4 awards under the DEPSCoR – Capacity Building FOA-AFRL-AFOSR-2022-0007 to support university capacity building activities in DoD-relevant fields. This additional competitive research funding is separate than this announcement and is also set aside for IHEs in DEPSCoR-eligible States/Territories. 

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

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    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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