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Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes (QLCI)

Status: Not accepting proposals

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.


Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes are large-scale interdisciplinary research projects that aim to advance the frontiers of quantum information science and engineering.  Research at these Institutes will span the focus areas of quantum computation, quantum communication, quantum simulation and/or quantum sensing.  The institutes are expected to foster multidisciplinary approaches to specific scientific, technological, educational workforce development goals in these fields.  Two types of awards will be supported under this program: (i) 12-month Conceptualization Grants (CGs) to support teams envisioning subsequent Institute proposals and (ii) 5-year Challenge Institute (CI) awards to establish and operate Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes. This activity is part of the Quantum Leap, one of the research Big Ideas promoted by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes program is consistent with the scope of NSF multidisciplinary centers for quantum research and education as described in the National Quantum Initiative Act [1].

In 2016, the NSF unveiled a set of “Big Ideas,” ten bold, long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering (see https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/index.jsp). The Big Ideas represent unique opportunities to position our nation at the cutting edge of global science and engineering leadership by bringing together diverse disciplinary perspectives to support convergence research. Although proposals responding to this solicitation must be submitted to the Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (OMA) in the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), they will subsequently be managed by a cross-disciplinary team of NSF Program Directors.

[1] National Quantum Initiative Act, H.R. 6227, December 21, 2018.

Program contacts

The central email alias (QLCI@nsf.gov) provides a single point of contact for community inquiries regarding the Quantum Leap Challenge Institute program. Prospective proposers are encouraged to email their inquiries to QLCI@nsf.gov.

Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes
QLCI@nsf.gov 703-292-4861

Awards made through this program

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