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National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived. See NSF 23-610 for the latest version.

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 institutes focused on long-term, high-reward AI research, with themes including next-generation cybersecurity, neural and cognitive foundations of AI, climate-smart agriculture and forestry, trustworthy AI, and AI-augmented learning.


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 2019 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 publicidentifies 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 AIThe National AI Research Institutes program enables longer-term research and U.S. leadership in AI through the creation of AI Research Institutes.

This program is a joint government effort between the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Department of Education (ED) Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), 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)), and IBM Corporation (IBM). 

This program solicitation expands upon the nationwide network established by the first 18 AI Research Institutes to pursue transformational advances in a range of economic sectors, and science and engineering fields. In this round, the program invites proposals for institutes that have a principal focus in one of the following themes, detailed in the Program Description:


  • Theme 1: Intelligent Agents for Next-Generation Cybersecurity
  • Theme 2: Neural and Cognitive Foundations of Artificial Intelligence
  • Theme 3: AI for Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry 
  • Theme 4: AI for Decision making
  • Theme 5: Trustworthy AI
  • Theme 6: AI-Augmented Learning to Expand Education Opportunities and Improve Outcomes

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
  • Rebecca Hwa, 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: Intelligent Agents for Next-Generation Cybersecurity

Theme 2: Neural and Cognitive Foundations of Artificial Intelligence

Theme 3: AI for Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry 

Theme 4: AI for Decision Making

Theme 5: Trustworthy AI

Theme 6: AI-Augmented Learning to Expand Education Opportunities and Improve Outcomes

Other Agency Contacts


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

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