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Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation - SSE & SSI (SI2-SSE&SSI)

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived. See NSF 22-632 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.


Software is an integral enabler of computation, experiment and theory and a primary modality for realizing the Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) vision, as described in http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2010/nsf10015/nsf10015.jsp. Scientific discovery and innovation are advancing along fundamentally new pathways opened by development of increasingly sophisticated software. Software is also directly responsible for increased scientific productivity and significant enhancement of researchers' capabilities. In order to nurture, accelerate and sustain this critical mode of scientific progress, NSF has established the Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) program, with the overarching goal of transforming innovations in research and education into sustained software resources that are an integral part of the cyberinfrastructure.

SI2 is a long-term investment focused on catalyzing new thinking, paradigms, and practices in developing and using software to understand natural, human, and engineered systems. SI2's intent is to foster a pervasive cyberinfrastructure to help researchers address problems of unprecedented scale, complexity, resolution, and accuracy by integrating computation, data, networking, observations and experiments in novel ways. NSF expects that its SI2 investment will result in robust, reliable, usable and sustainable software infrastructure that is critical to achieving the CIF21 vision and will transform science and engineering while contributing to the education of next generation researchers and creators of future cyberinfrastructure. Education at all levels will play an important role in integrating such a dynamic cyberinfrastructure into the fabric of how science and engineering is performed.

It is expected that SI2 will generate and nurture the interdisciplinary processes required to support the entire software lifecycle, and will successfully integrate software development and support with innovation and research. Furthermore, it will result in the development of sustainable software communities that transcend scientific and geographical boundaries. SI2 envisions vibrant partnerships among academia, government laboratories and industry, including international entities, for the development and stewardship of a sustainable software infrastructure that can enhance productivity and accelerate innovation in science and engineering. The goal of the SI2 program is to create a software ecosystem that includes all levels of the software stack and scales from individual or small groups of software innovators to large hubs of software excellence. The program addresses all aspects of cyberinfrastructure, from embedded sensor systems and instruments, to desktops and high-end data and computing systems, to major instruments and facilities. Furthermore, it recognizes that integrated education activities will play a key role in sustaining the cyberinfrastructure over time and in developing a workforce capable of fully realizing its potential in transforming science and engineering.

The SI2 program includes three classes of awards:

1. Scientific Software Elements (SSE): SSE awards target small groups that will create and deploy robust software elements for which there is a demonstrated need that will advance one or more significant areas of science and engineering.

2. Scientific Software Integration (SSI): SSI awards target larger, interdisciplinary teams organized around the development and application of common software infrastructure aimed at solving common research problems faced by NSF researchers in one or more areas of science and engineering. SSI awards will result in a sustainable community software framework serving a diverse community or communities.

3. Scientific Software Innovation Institutes (S2I2): S2I2 awards will focus on the establishment of long-term hubs of excellence in software infrastructure and technologies, which will serve a research community of substantial size and disciplinary breadth.

This solicitation includes SSE and SSI classes of awards only.

Please refer to (i) A Vision and Strategy for Software for Science, Engineering, and Education (NSF 12-113) and (ii) Implementation of NSF Software Vision (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504817) for further information about NSF's vision for software as part of cyberinfrastructure and the programs that support this vision.

Prospective Principal Investigators (PIs) should be aware that SI2 is a multi-directorate activity and that they are encouraged to submit proposals for software with broad, interdisciplinary interest. PIs are encouraged to refer to core program descriptions, Dear Colleague Letters, and recently posted initiatives on directorate and divisional home pages to gain insight as to the priorities for the relevant area(s) of science to which their proposal may be responsive.

As not all divisions are participating at the same level and division priorities differ, it is strongly recommended that prospective PIs contact program officer(s) from the list of Cognizant Program Officers in the division(s) that typically support the scientists and engineers who would make use of the proposed work, to ascertain that the scientific focus and budget of the proposed work are appropriate for this solicitation.

Please note that some NSF units have additional specific information about their participation in this program:

  • Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE)
    • The Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) manages the SI2 program, and is interested in proposals that develop multidisciplinary and omnidisciplinary software cyberinfrastructure.
    • CISE's other divisions (CCF, CNS, IIS) are interested in supporting SSE and SSI proposals that advance software infrastructure to sustain progress in CISE research areas and that advance and adapt Software Engineering research to impact the software sustainability needs of other scientific disciplines.
  • Biological Sciences (BIO) is primarily interested in SSI proposals that impact both BIO-supported researchers and those supported by other directorates.   PIs wishing to submit Scientific Software Elements (SSE) level projects that focus on biological sciences should consider submitting to Advances in Biological Informatics (ABI) — http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5444 — for the August deadline.
  • Education and Human Resources (EHR) is interested in proposals that focus on innovative software infrastructure that supports the Directorate’s research areas.
  • Engineering (ENG) is primarily interested in proposals that focus on innovative computational tools that enable advances and scientific discovery in the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET), the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI), and the Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) research areas. SSE proposals that are planned to become part of larger SSI-type integrated software systems, leading to increased community involvement, will be given priority in SSE funding decisions. ECCS is particularly interested in proposals which provide wider, more flexible access to more advanced general algorithms in the areas of electronic and photonics device simulation (accounting for quantum manybody effects), computational intelligence, nonlinear optimization or energy system design. Systems which facilitate porting to massively parallel architectures such as cellular neural networks, memristive systems, or GPU networks would be of special interest.
  • Geosciences (GEO) is interested in software development projects that serve the academic geosciences (atmosphere and geospace, ocean, earth and polar sciences).   Projects must demonstrate strong connections with geosciences end-users and their research needs. Understanding of and integration with GEO and/or NSF investments in cyberinfrastructure, participation in EarthCube and interaction between  geo- and cyber/computer scientists will be considered in prioritizing funding of SSI and SSE projects. PIs should contact and consult with both the SI2 GEO Program Officer, as well as Program Officers in the relevant geosciences domains.
  • Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS):
    • The Division of Materials Research (MPS/DMR) is particularly interested in projects that develop software tools to enable and support research under the Materials Genome Initiative, such as Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF; see NSF 13-026), and under Sustainable Chemistry, Engineering, and Materials (SusChEM; see NSF 12-097).
    • The Chemistry Division (MPS/CHE) will consider proposals that focus on innovative computational tools that enable advances in the division's research areas.
    • The Physics Division (MPS/PHY) will consider proposals that focus on innovative computational tools that enable advances in the division's research areas.
    • The Division of Astronomical Sciences (MPS/AST) will consider proposals to support the development of sustainable software that will enable broad community progress on key questions in astronomy and astrophysics.
    • The Division of Mathematical Sciences (MPS/DMS) would welcome proposals building computational tools that have broad application in mathematical sciences and related areas.
    • MPS supports education and community development in cyberinfrastructure, for example, through proposals that include visitor support (particularly for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers), postdoctoral opportunities, or short training courses that increase interactions of domain scientists and software and/or cyberinfrastructure specialists.
  • The Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE) is interested in proposals that focus on innovative software infrastructure that supports the Directorate’s research priorities, such as those outlined in SBE 2020 (http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/sbe_2020/ ).  In particular, SBE is interested in proposals that will further the goals of SBE and at least one of the other directorates participating in this solicitation.

Program contacts

Daniel S. Katz
Program Director, CISE/ACI
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-2254
Rudolf Eigenmann
Program Officer, CISE/ACI
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-2598
William Y. B. Chang
Program Director, OD/IIA
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-7239
John C. Cherniavsky
Senior Advisor, EHR
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-5136
Almadena Y. Chtchelkanova
Program Director, CISE/CCF
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-8910 CISE/CCF
Cheryl L. Eavey
Program Director, SBE/SES
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-7269 SBE/SES
Evelyn Goldfield
Program Director, MPS/CHE
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-2173
Sol Greenspan
Program Director, CISE/CCF
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-8910 CISE/CCF
Daryl W. Hess
Program Director, MPS/DMR
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-4942 MPS/DMR
Peter H. McCartney
Program Director, BIO/DBI
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-8470
Bogdan Mihaila
Program Director, MPS/PHY
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-8235 MPS/PHY
Dimitrios V. Papavassiliou
Program Officer, ENG/CBET
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-4480
Andrew D. Pollington
Program Officer, MPS/DMS
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-4878 MPS/DMS
Barbara Ransom
Program Director, GEO/OCE
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-7792 GEO/RISE
Nigel A. Sharp
Program Director, MPS/AST
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-4905 MPS/PHY
Thomas Siegmund
Program Director, ENG/CMMI
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-7060
Paul Werbos
Program Director, ENG/ECCS
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-8339
Eva Zanzerkia
Program Director, GEO/EAR
SI2Queries@nsf.gov (703) 292-8556 GEO/EAR

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