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Connections in Quantum Information Science (CQIS)

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 that harnesses fundamental quantum properties to explore new scientific frontiers and develop new technologies at the interface of traditional scientific disciplines.

Supports research that harnesses fundamental quantum properties to explore new scientific frontiers and develop new technologies at the interface of traditional scientific disciplines.


Demands for novel computers, secure communication, and higher resolution sensors have pushed technology beyond the scaling limits of classical technologies, into the area of Quantum Information Science (QIS). Research in QIS spans many disciplines, relying on advances in physical sciences, materials science, computer science, mathematics, and engineering. Support is needed to advance this fundamental research and catalyze development of innovative technologies in QIS that will strongly benefit the nation’s continued scientific and economic health as well as its future workforce. The Connections in Quantum Information Science (CQIS) program will examine concepts and paradigms harnessing fundamental quantum properties for exploration of new scientific frontiers and development of new technologies that lie at the interface of traditional scientific disciplines. This will provide the fundamental knowledge and tools necessary to predict and control the quantum behavior of molecules, atoms, and electrons, creating entirely new material assemblies, devices, and engineering systems.

Research in QIS is currently supported through core programs residing in the six NSF Divisions participating in the CQIS program. The CQIS program is not intended to replace existing programs that support QIS-related research. Rather, the CQIS program will allow for the coordinated support of the QIS research community across various disciplines. A working group comprising representatives of all participating NSF funding units will manage the review of proposals submitted to the CQIS program. The group will ensure that proposals are reviewed by the most suitable NSF program and will coordinate co-review by more than one NSF program when appropriate.

Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)

The CQIS program in MPS concerns the preparation and control of the quantum mechanical states of physical systems for the purposes of information transmission and manipulation. QIS includes quantum computation, quantum communication, and quantum cryptography. Examples of specific activities include experimental research on physical realizations of qubits and devices to perform operations on them, development of algorithms and error-correcting codes for quantum computation, modeling of physical qubits, development of quantum communication protocols, and work in quantum complexity theory, quantum channel capacity theory, and quantum control theory.

Division of Chemistry (CHE): QIS‐related research includes both theoretical and experimental activities that specifically seek to improve our control over the distribution and dynamics of quantum states within atomic and molecular systems. Quantum state control often involves cold temperatures, ultrafast shaped or strong field laser pulses, and information feedback loops. Theoretical approaches may deal with quantum control landscapes, quantum optimal environment engineering, quantum entanglement, decoherence, and quantum phase transitions. The control over the quantum states of molecular systems leads to a better understanding of their structure and dynamics. The design, synthesis and characterization of molecular, supramolecular and nanostructures for understanding and controlling quantum phenomenon are of interest. Advances in QIS related chemistry and chemical physics also have clear implications for the development of quantum computing technology. CHE also funds proposals directly focused on quantum information and quantum computing. Concepts from QIS inform the development of novel methods in quantum chemistry.

Division of Materials Research (DMR): QIS involves the creation, maintenance and control and manipulation of coherent quantum states of matter, for potential applications of quantum informational processing, secure communication, quantum sensing, entanglement and its meaning in many-body systems etc. QIS research covers solids and liquids, surfaces, interfaces and defects, and includes: (a) quantum dots, electron spins in semiconductors and on helium, nitrogen vacancies and other spin-active color-center defects in wide-bandgap materials, superconducting Josephson junctions, materials hosting topological states, etc. as potential qubits, concepts of operation of quantum computers, and (b)nanoscaled materials (e.g., nanowires, quantum dots, and heterostructures) for single- and few-photon light emission and detection. The priority is fundamental research on the design, synthesis, and characterization of solids and liquids for quantum information science and on prediction and understanding of novel quantum phenomena of solids and liquids.

Division of Mathematical Sciences: The mathematical sciences, including statistics, play a central role in the study and advancement of QIS: virtually all areas across the mathematical sciences are finding extensive cutting-edge use within QIS. Mathematical sciences research in QIS includes the study of quantum algorithms, particularly those exhibiting provable exponential speedup, the extent to which quantum computers can perform efficient simulation of physical systems, error correction and fault tolerance in quantum computing, quantum control, quantum-resistant cryptography, quantum complexity theory, and the understanding of entanglement and quantum correlations. Conversely, there is tremendous promise for the development of the mathematical sciences that issues from the mathematical needs of quantum information science.

Division of Physics (PHY): QIS supports theoretical and experimental proposals that explore quantum applications to new computing paradigms or that foster interactions between physicists, mathematicians, and computer scientists that push the frontiers of quantum-based information, transmission, and manipulation. Successful proposals demonstrate a strong, practical connection to the fundamental issues of quantum information. Examples include aspects of quantum state control, demonstrations of real physical qubits, quantum memory, metrology, and entanglement.

Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)

Division of Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF): The core programs in CCF support quantum information and communication research in the following two clusters:

  • Algorithmic Foundations (AF): supports Quantum Information Science topics: new algorithms for quantum computation and communication, their complexity, quantum information, study of entanglement, decoherence, error correction and quantum information processing.
  • Communications and Information Foundations (CIF): supports theoretical underpinnings for enabling future technologies for quantum information acquisition, transmission, and processing in communications and information processing systems. Research outcomes are expected to lead to more secure and reliable communications and advanced mathematical capabilities that are applicable throughout science and engineering. 

Directorate of Engineering (ENG)

Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS): addresses fundamental research issues underlying device and component technologies, power, controls, computation, networking, communications and cyber technologies.

  • Electronics, Photonics, and Magnetic Devices (EPMD): seeks to improve the fundamental understanding of devices and components based on the principles of micro- and nano-electronics, optics and photonics, optoelectronics, magnetics, electromechanics, electromagnetics, and related physical phenomena. Successful research supported by the CQIS meta program in ECCS will focus on potentially transformative engineering research that advances the state-of-the-art in quantum devices and subsystems. This includes quantum devices on a chip, with reproducible, repeatable, and scalable attributes.

How to Apply

Proposals centered on QIS research should be submitted to the appropriate program solicitation or program description identified by the NSF Division (see the information below). Proposals must comply with the requirements of the corresponding program description or program solicitation. Investigators should identify CQIS proposals by including the identifier "CQIS:" at the beginning of the proposal title. This designation will bring the proposal to the attention of the crosscutting CQIS working group. The due date for any proposal is the due date for submission to the particular program.

Investigators are invited to indicate appropriate secondary NSF programs for co-review of a proposal. Proposals on QIS that would particularly benefit from joint review should be submitted to a primary program with secondary program(s) in another Division(s) identified in the Proposal Cover Sheet. Principal Investigators are encouraged to discuss their prospective proposals with appropriate Program Directors in the participating programs. Proposals identified with the "CQIS:" tag will be considered in regular meetings of the CQIS working group. Proposals deemed appropriate for potential co-funding will be reviewed according to the requirements of the primary program, and highly-ranked proposals will be candidates for co-funding from other programs.

Program contacts

The Connections in Quantum Information Science (CQIS) program is an activity that includes multiple Divisions within the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), and the Directorate for Engineering (ENG). The appropriate contact for the CQIS program is the Program Director for one of the participating programs listed below.

Bogdan Mihaila
bmihaila@nsf.gov (703) 292-8235 MPS/PHY
Almadena Y. Chtchelkanova
achtchel@nsf.gov (703) 292-8910 CISE/CCF
Alex Cronin
acronin@nsf.gov (703) 292-5302 MPS/PHY
Dominique Dagenais
ddagenai@nsf.gov (703) 292-2980 ENG/ECCS
Miriam Deutsch
mdeutsch@nsf.gov (703) 292-4917 MPS/DMR
Tomasz Durakiewicz
tdurakie@nsf.gov (703) 292-4892 EDU/EES
Colby A. Foss
cfoss@nsf.gov (703) 292-5327 MPS/CHE
John Gillaspy
jgillasp@nsf.gov (703) 292-7173 MPS/PHY
Daryl W. Hess
dhess@nsf.gov (703) 292-4942 MPS/DMR
Dmitry Maslov
dmaslov@nsf.gov (703) 292-8910 CISE/CCF
Andrew D. Pollington
adpollin@nsf.gov (703) 292-4878 MPS/DMS
John Schlueter
jschluet@nsf.gov (703) 292-7766 MPS/DMR
Suk-Wah Tam-Chang
stamchan@nsf.gov (703) 292-8684 MPS/CHE
Z. C. Ying
cying@nsf.gov (703) 292-8428 MPS/DMR

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