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.

Dear Colleague Letter

Aligning Fundamental Research and Education in Advanced Manufacturing with the Objectives of the Manufacturing USA Institutes

Invites proposals that address critical needs in research and education and develop the workforce for advanced manufacturing. Proposed projects should involve collaboration with Manufacturing USA Institutes and enable innovation in their technical focus areas.

Dear Colleagues:

Manufacturing USA is a national network of manufacturing institutes established in 2014 by the multi-agency collaboration that guided its formation. Each Institute focuses on a specific manufacturing technology and the education of a skilled workforce to advance it and has the corresponding expertise, facilities, infrastructure and university and industrial membership to undertake projects that transition manufacturing technologies from Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 4 (laboratory demonstration) to MRL 7 (implementation in an environment representative of production). The objectives of the Manufacturing USA institutes are highly complementary to those of the National Science Foundation (NSF), which focus on MRL 1 (basic research) to MRL 3 (proof of concept), providing opportunities to speed the translation of NSF-sponsored research and educational innovations to use.

Manufacturing USA Institutes cover a wide range of topical areas that span the challenging and high-tech world of advanced manufacturing, from biopharmaceutical production and tissue printing to robotics and cybersecurity. NSF is interested in receiving proposals addressing critical fundamental research on and workforce development needs for advanced manufacturing that enable innovations in the technical focus areas of one or more of the Manufacturing USA Institutes.

This DCL encourages the submission of research and educational proposals that align with the technical focus areas of the Manufacturing USA Institutes to established NSF programs in the Directorates for Engineering (ENG), STEM Education (EDU), and Technology Innovation and Partnerships (TIP). Proposal submissions should detail explicit collaborations with Institutes to facilitate the transition of promising research results and educational programs to them, leverage the programs, facilities, infrastructure, expertise, and member companies of one or more Institutes, and/or provide experiential learning opportunities for students. Proposal submissions that include internship opportunities for student researchers in the institutes and their member companies are strongly encouraged.

Submission Process

This is not a new program. Proposals must be submitted to established NSF programs in the ENG, EDU and TIP Directorates in accordance with the guidance contained in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and any program specific requirements, including deadlines.. Proposals submitted in response to this DCL should be clearly identified by including a proposal title that is prefixed by "Manufacturing USA:" after any program specific title requirements.

Special Note: AIM Photonics has provided a detailed protocol for collaboration, as specified in NSF 23-054, Dear Colleague Letter: Research on Integrated Photonics Using AIM Photonics Capabilities. Proposals for collaboration with AIM Photonics must follow the procedures indicated in NSF 23-054, and their titles must be prefixed by "PIC:" instead of "Manufacturing USA:"

Principal investigators are encouraged to think broadly about opportunities for proposal submission to the NSF. Examples include the following DCLs, program descriptions and program solicitations:

Accelerating Innovations in Biomanufacturing Approaches (NSF-DOE/ABF Collaboration)
Advanced Manufacturing (AM)
Advanced Technological Education (ATE)
A New Supplemental Funding Opportunity for Skills Training in Advanced Research & Technology (START)
Cellular and Biochemical Engineering (CBE)
Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (CDS&E)
Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS)
Cyber Physical Systems (CPS)
Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF)
Electronics, Photonics and Magnetic Devices (EPMD)
Engineering Design and Systems Engineering (EDSE)
Engineering Research Centers (ERC)
Environmental Sustainability
Foundational Research in Robotics (FRR)
Future of Semiconductors (FuSe)
Future Manufacturing (FM)
Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC)
Manufacturing Systems Integration (MSI)
Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN) Supplemental Funding Opportunity
Operations Engineering (OE)
Partnerships for Innovation (PFI)
Process Systems, Reaction Engineering and Molecular Thermodynamics
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites and Supplements
Research on Integrated Photonics Utilizing AIM Photonics Capabilities
Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC)

Contacts for assistance in identifying the most appropriate NSF program for proposal submission are:

Bruce Kramer (, 703-292-5348)
Andrew Wells (, 703-292-7225)


Susan Margulies
Assistant Director for Engineering (ENG) and NSF Lead in the National Advanced Manufacturing Program
National Science Foundation

Erwin Gianchandani
Assistant Director for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships
National Science Foundation

James L. Moore III
Assistant Director for STEM Education
National Science Foundation