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

Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST Centers) Interest in Engineering Research

Invites the submission of new CREST Center proposals with a focus on engineering research that will increase research capacity and infrastructure at minority-serving institutions.

Dear Colleagues:

This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) encourages the submission of new CREST Center proposals with a focus on engineering research. The CREST program supports the creation of research centers that will lead to strong societal impacts. Projects supported under the CREST program are 5-year research awards that increase research capacity and infrastructure at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) as defined in NSF 23-595. Successful completed projects under this DCL could further compete for an Engineering Research Center (ERC) as a lead institution.

The CREST Centers are large-scale, interdisciplinary research centers that establish collaborative partnerships with other Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), National laboratories, private sector research laboratories, and non-profit organizations in pursuit of the CREST Center’s vision and goals. The collaborations should augment, aid, and/or enhance research thrusts or tasks to achieve the research, capacity-building, and broadening participation goals.

This DCL calls for CREST Center proposals that may include, but are not limited to, the following research areas in engineering:

  1. Microelectronic and semiconductor technology
  2. Wireless communication
  3. Clean energy technology

This DCL is a collaborative effort between the Directorate for STEM Education's Division of Equity for Excellence in STEM (EDU/EES) and the Directorate for Engineering’s Division of Engineering Education and Centers (ENG/EEC) responding to the White House initiatives to position the Nation at the cutting edge of global science and engineering leadership by harnessing cross-cutting, interdisciplinary research at MSIs. Proposals responding to this DCL must be submitted to the CREST program. They will be subsequently managed by a cross-disciplinary team of NSF Program Directors across EDU/EES and ENG/EEC.


Preliminary proposals are required and should follow CREST solicitation requirements (NSF 23-595). In advance of submitting a preliminary proposal in response to this DCL, proposers are strongly encouraged to discuss their project ideas with cognizant program directors.

Preliminary proposals submission due date (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time): Friday, December 1, 2023

Invited Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time): Wednesday, December 06, 2024

Inquiries should be submitted to


James L. Moore III, PhD
Assistant Director for Directorate for STEM Education (EDU)

Susan S. Margulies, PhD
Assistant Director for Directorate for Engineering (ENG)

Cognizant Program Directors
Luis Cubano, e-mail:
Nadia El-Masry, e-mail:
Sonal Dekhane, e-mail:
Sandra Cruz-Pol, e-mail: