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Addressing Systems Challenges through Engineering Teams (ASCENT)

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived. See NSF 23-541 for the latest version.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.

Supports research collaborations among the devices, circuits, algorithms, systems and networks research communities focusing on two research themes: future semiconductor technology, and sustainable micro- and nano-electronics.


The Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) Division supports enabling and transformative research that fuels progress in engineering applications with high societal impacts. ECCS programs encompass novel electronic, photonic, and magnetic devices; communication systems, novel integrated circuits, antennas, sensors; machine learning, control, and networks, to name a few. The fundamental research supported by ECCS impacts a wide range of applications such as communications, energy and power, healthcare, environment, transportation, manufacturing, and other areas. ECCS strongly emphasizes the integration of education into its research programs to support the preparation of a diverse and professionally skilled workforce. ECCS also strengthens its programs through links to other areas of engineering, science, industry, government, and international collaborations.

The Addressing Systems Challenges through Engineering Teams (ASCENT) program is a strategic investment of ECCS that emphasizes new collaboration modalities among the various ECCS supported sub-disciplines. ASCENT encourages robust collaborations among the devices, circuits, algorithms, systems, and networks research communities to develop innovative projects. ASCENT seeks proposals that are bold and ground-breaking transcending the perspectives and approaches typical of disciplinary research efforts. ASCENT projects are expected to lead to disruptive technologies or nucleate entirely new research fields motivated by the most pressing societal challenges the global community faces.

In response to the national priority that calls for sustained scientific leadership and continued growth in semiconductor technology, this ASCENT solicitation will focus on two specific research themes: Future Semiconductor Technology (FST) and Sustainable Micro- and Nano-Electronics (SMN). Creation of new knowledge and disruptive innovations in microelectronics and their enabling semiconductor technology are critical challenges facing the engineering community. Targeting their bottleneck issues by ASCENT teams will help unlock their boundless potential and capture their incalculable benefits bestowed to 21st century society and beyond. The ASCENT will support innovative projects that address those themes through a deep-integrated or a convergent research approach driven by fundamental knowledge and cross-disciplinary expertise central to ECCS core programs, while potentially leveraging advanced materials, power electronics, novel computing architectures and emerging design, learning, and fabrication technologies.

Assuming sufficient funding is provided in the NSF budget, it is anticipated that the ASCENT competition will continue with research themes and priorities subject to changing in the subsequent years.

Program contacts

Ruyan Guo
rguo@nsf.gov (703) 292-7718
Aranya Chakrabortty
achakrab@nsf.gov (703) 292-8113 ENG/ECCS
Zhengdao Wang
zwang@nsf.gov (703) 292-7823

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