National Security Science & Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF)


Eligible Individuals Faculty with tenure and full-time research staff with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to conduct the proposed research as the principal investigator (PI) are invited to submit an application. Applicants should have a record of substantial scientific contributions. The PI must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

The PI may submit only one (1) application in response to this FOA. There is no limit to the number of applications that an institution may submit.

Only one (1) PI may be designated on the application. While collaborations are encouraged, co-PIs are not permitted.

Applicants invited to submit full proposals who have submitted Recommendation Letters for the NSSEFF program in a prior year must obtain and submit new letters. Previously submitted letters will not be retrieved. Documents dated prior to the posting date of this FOA will not be accepted.

Deadline Details: 

15 Aug 2016: Acqutrak registration (1-2 minute process)

17 Aug 2016: White Papers

09 Jan 2017: Full Proposals

NSSEFF is oriented towards bold and ambitious “blue sky” research that may lead to extraordinary outcomes such as revolutionizing entire disciplines, creating entirely new fields, or disrupting accepted theories and perspectives.

Objectives of the program are to:

  • Support unclassified basic scientific and engineering research that could be the foundation for future revolutionary new capabilities for DoD
  • Educate and train student and post-doctoral researchers for the defense workforce
  • Foster long-term relationships between university researchers and the DoD
  • Familiarize university researchers and their students with DoD’s current and projected future challenges
  • Increase the number of talented technical experts that DoD can call upon

This FOA is for single investigator grant proposals for basic research in one or more of the following technical subject categories of interest to the DoD:

  • Engineering Biology
  • Quantum Information Science
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Novel Engineered Materials
  • Applied Mathematics (theory and experiments) and Statistics
  • Manufacturing Science

Other fields of research with high potential (Proposed research in areas of relevance to DoD will be considered (e.g., fluid mechanics, propulsion, etc.) as long as there is a transformative science problem to be investigated and whose solution may open new ways of thinking about the phenomena that are being studied.)

Quantum Information Science

Quantum Information Science (QIS) focuses on the creation, control, and manipulation of non-classical states of light and matter with potential for exceeding classical limits in communications, sensing, metrology, imaging, computing and simulation. The development of QIS was precipitated by the demonstration of a "quantum advantage" in computing due to development of Shor's factoring algorithm and Grover's search algorithm in the mid-1990s, which offered quantum speedups (in the former case, what seems to be an exponential speedup). The potential impacts of QIS on DoD capabilities may include ensuring information security, enabling novel materials design, attaining precise navigation and positioning even without GPS, improved sensing, and accomplishing significant improvements in high resolution imaging. Developments of new algorithms that provide a "quantum advantage" are needed for quantum computing to be more than a niche application. Beyond computing, and even beyond QIS per se, of great interest is the development of small- or medium-sized quantum systems to enable the study of exotic physics that could lead to novel future technologies. This program seeks ambitious proposals that are expected to either advance the knowledge of QIS, or to disrupt the current research directions of QIS. Exploration of the limitations of QIS is highly encouraged.