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National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes

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NSF 23-610

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 the development of new AI Institutes that focus on one of the following themes: astronomical sciences, materials research and new methods for strengthening AI.

Supports the development of new AI Institutes that focus on one of the following themes: astronomical sciences, materials research and new methods for strengthening AI.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has advanced tremendously and today promises personalized healthcare; enhanced national security; improved transportation; and more effective education, to name just a few benefits. Increased computing power, the availability of large datasets and streaming data, and algorithmic advances in machine learning (ML) have made it possible for AI research and development to create new sectors of the economy and revitalize industries. Continued advancement, enabled by sustained federal investment and channeled toward issues of national importance, holds the potential for further economic impact and quality-of-life improvements 

The 2023 update to the National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan, informed by visioning activities in the scientific community as well as interaction with the public, identifies as its first strategic objective the need to make long-term investments in AI research in areas with the potential for long-term payoffs in AI. AI Institutes represent a cornerstone Federal Government commitment to fostering long-term, fundamental research in AI while also delivering significantly on each of the other eight objectives in that strategy.  The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) identifies AI Institutes as a key component of a bold, sustained federal push to scale and coordinate federal AI R&D funding and to reinforce the foundation of technical leadership in AI.

This program is a multisector effort led by the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the Simons Foundation (SF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Defense (DOD) Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD (R&E)), Capital One Financial Corporation (Capital One), and Intel Corporation (Intel). 

This program solicitation expands the nationwide network of AI Research Institutes with new funding opportunities over the next two years. In this round, the program invites proposals for institutes that have a principal focus in one of the following themes aimed at transformational advances in a range of economic sectors, and science and engineering fields:


  • Group 1 - Awards anticipated in FY 2024:
    • Theme 1: AI for Astronomical Sciences

  • Group 2 - Awards anticipated in FY 2025:
    • Theme 2: AI for Discovery in Materials Research
    • Theme 3: Strengthening AI

For the institute themes listed in Group 1, NSF anticipates awards to start in FY 2024; and for themes listed in Group 2, NSF anticipates awards to start in FY 2025. Each group has a specific set of due dates and review timeline pertaining only to that group. More detail is found under Due Dates and in the timeline provided in the Program Description. 

Program contacts

For general inquiries regarding this program (not theme specific) please email the program leads at: 

Program Leads (Reachable at the above address)

  • James Donlon, CISE/IIS
  • Erion Plaku, CISE/IIS

For inquiries related to the responsiveness of your ideas for the Themes listed in this solicitation, please contact the program officers listed below. You are advised to address theme-specific questions to all program contacts listed for that theme

Theme 1: AI for Astronomical Sciences

Theme 2: AI for Discovery in Materials Research

Theme 3: Strengthening AI

AI Research Institutes Program Team
AIInstitutesProgram@nsf.gov 703-292-5111

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