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Cyberinfrastructure for Public Access and Open Science (CI PAOS)

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 early-stage socio-technical partnerships focused on research data infrastructure ecosystems.

Supports early-stage socio-technical partnerships focused on research data infrastructure ecosystems.


The Cyberinfrastructure for Public Access and Open Science (CI PAOS) program within the Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC) aims to catalyze new and transformative socio-technical partnerships supporting research data infrastructure ecosystems across domains through early-stage collaborative activities between cyberinfrastructure researchers, scientists, research computing experts, data management experts, research labs, university libraries, and other communities of practice. 

The CI PAOS program supports the NSF Public Access Initiative by encouraging innovation across the CI ecosystem to address accessibility, discoverability, reliability, reproducibility, sustainability, and utility of data products in alignment with NSF and national goals for public access and open science [See: NSF Public Access Initiative, Office of Science and Technology Policy Memorandum on Ensuring Free, Immediate, and equitable Access to Federally funded Research, and Desirable Characteristics of Data Repositories for Federally Funded Research]CI PAOS builds on previous investments including those through Dear Colleague Letters NSF19-069,NSF20-068, NSF 23-018, and the FAIROS Research Coordination Networks (RCNprogram solicitation (NSF 22-553).  

NSF accepts proposals pursuant to this Program Description year-round. From time to time, NSF may also issue Dear Colleague Letters to encourage proposals on special thematic interests and opportunities related to this program. 


A primary feature of successful CI PAOS projects is a robust, synergistic collaborative team comprising skills from across communities of science/engineering, research data science, and information science discipline(s) and expertise in leveraging connections between cyberinfrastructure researchers and providers and data specialists.  Leveraging international collaboration to build shared norms and address challenges related to developing and implementing PAOS policies and practices is encouraged.  Research and education in science and engineering benefit immensely from international cooperation. Proposals with an international component are also welcome [See: International Collaborations Opportunities at NSF]. Proposers must target one or more of the following themes/pathways:Competency Building, Capability Building, and/or Community Building.  

Competency Building 

Open science/engineering-driven collaboration. A socio-technical collaborative approach in addressing disciplinary, interdisciplinary, domestic, and international data lifecycle challenges is critical to informing and guiding the development of principles, requirements, and standards of a CI ecosystem that fosters pipelines to good data management and pathways to access. Proposals should clearly describe the goals, challenges, and rationale for the proposed data science and engineering project and include an explanation of the potential for transformative research and broader impacts on the open science ecosystem [See: U.S. NSF Broader Impacts]Successful proposals will also clearly identify utilization science scenarios and use cases. 

Capability Building 

Exploratory and pilot activities. Proposals are welcomed that support early-stage exploratory efforts that may comprise analysis, community planning, and pilot-level activities that inform future development and deployment of appropriately useful capabilities. Proposals for full-scale technical research data science efforts leading to development/deployment of larger scale capabilities should be directed to other appropriate NSF programs. Successful proposals will also clearly identify leveraging of existing cyberinfrastructure, funded projects, and resources. 

Community Building 

Integrative and accelerative approaches. Proposals are particularly welcomed that address common needs or gaps across multiple research disciplines and communities of practice; leverage and accelerate the impact of existing CI investments in infrastructure, resources, and services in one or more disciplinary domains; facilitate coordination, advance alignment, and/or build community with the international CI PAOS community; aim to reduce barriers to broader adoption of CI-enabled research data and open science/engineering approaches; and/or integrateas appropriate different aspects and elements of CI to achieve ecosystems with generative science/engineering and multi-discipline impact. 

Requirements to contact NSF Cognizant Program Officers. CI PAOS activities are inherently focused on collaborative research between fields of data and computer and information science and engineering researchers and other domain researchers. Successful CI PAOS projects will typically involve co-funding from the relevant disciplinary research programs within NSF. Consequently, before submitting a proposal to CI PAOS, proposermust discuss their project with a cognizant CI PAOS Program Officer and with the relevant NSF disciplinary research program officer(s) to ensure that CI PAOS is the appropriate venue and that there is adequate disciplinary interest in the proposed effort. 

Proposals that have been declined by CI PAOS or any other NSF program may not be resubmitted to CI PAOS without substantial revision. Proposals that do not align with CI PAOS program objectives and guidance may be returned without review. 

Program contacts

Plato Smith
plsmith@nsf.gov (703) 292-4278 CISE/OAC

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