NSF Accepting Applications for Engineering Research and Robotics Funding Opportunities

Feb 2, 2018

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Directorate (ENG) has developed an initiative called the Professional Formation of Engineers, aimed at providing professional development to Engineers, such as the “development of identity as an engineer and its intersection with other identities…” To ensure longevity and long-term success, the engineering profession must be flexible and able to adapt to society’s ever-evolving needs, while continuing to attract a wide pool of future engineers. A key way to remain a fluid, enticing professional field through passionate, capable faculty that will “create and support an innovative and inclusive engineering profession for the 21st Century.”

The NSF is currently accepting applications for its PFE: Research Initiation in Engineering Formation (PFE: RIEF) funding opportunity. The opportunity allows engineering faculty with limited experience conducting social science research to do so on best practices in educating future engineering students, and receive mentorship on incorporating the social sciences into their approach.  The primary objective of PFE: RIEF is “enabling engineering faculty…to initiate collaborative partnerships in research related to the professional formation of engineers” with a focus on “faculty development and cross-disciplinary collaboration.” The deadline for PFE: RIEF applications is February 22 at 5pm local time.

Applicants interested in the PFE with prior engineering education research or other social science research experience can apply for the PFE: Research in the Formation of Engineers (PFE: RFE) funding opportunity. PFE: RFE is accepting proposals under two categories: Research Projects, which “address fundamental questions of professional formation,” and Design and Development Projects, which “provide new approaches to achieving professional formation.” PFE: RFE projects are expected last 36 months, with an average award of $350,000. The deadline for PFE: RFE applications is September 26.

The National Robotics Initiative –2.0: Ubiquitous Collaborative Robots (NRI: 2.0) program is an extension of the original National Robotics Initiative program that was developed to “support fundamental research in the United States that will accelerate the development and use of collaborative robots (co-robots) that work beside or cooperatively with people.” The goal of NRI—2.0 is to build on the research done under the original NRI program, specifically focusing on the “seamless integration” of robots into everyday life. NRI–2.0 projects can be submitted under one of four main areas of research:

  • Scalability
  • Customizability
  • Lowering barriers to entry
  • Societal impact

Coordination amongst sectors is encouraged to strengthen links between “fundamental science and engineering and technology development, deployment, and use.”
The deadline for NRI—2.0 applications is February 20 at 5pm local time.

For more information on the PFE: RIEF opportunity, click here: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503603

For more information on the PFE: RFE opportunity, click here: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503584

For more information on the NRI—2.0 opportunity, click here: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503641

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