SIAM News Blog

NSF Releases Funding Opportunities on Experiential Learning and Expanding AI Capacity Building and Partnerships

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – October 24, 2022

NSF recently released two funding opportunities, ExLENT and ExpandAI. Please find more information below.

Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT)

The Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT) program, launched by the Directorates for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) and Education and Human Resources (EHR), aims to support experiential learning opportunities in emerging technology fields for individuals with diverse professional and educational backgrounds. The program aims to increase access and interest in career pathways in emerging technology fields. Examples of emerging technologies cited by NSF include advanced manufacturing, advanced wireless, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, quantum information science, semiconductors, and microelectronics.

The solicitation has three tracks: Pivots, Beginnings, and Explorations.

The first full proposal deadline for the Pivots and Beginnings tracks is March 2, 2023. The first full proposal deadline for the Explorations track is September 14, 2023, which is also the second full proposal deadline for the Pivots and Beginnings tracks. NSF hosted an “Introduction for ExLENT” webinar for interested applicants on November 1, 2022.

To note, this opportunity aligns with the workforce development section in the Climate Task Force Report which called on NSF and agencies to support training programs that connect researchers and students with community stakeholders and non-profits.

Expanding AI Innovation through Capacity Building and Partnerships (ExpandAI)

The ExpandAI program aims to broaden participation in AI research, education, and workforce development by providing partnerships and capacity building opportunities for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) through the NSF National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes (AI Institutes).  ExpandAI will support Capacity Building Pilot (CAP) awards that will establish new AI activities at MSIs to explore opportunities to build towards ExpandAI Partnership (PARTNER) awards, which will enable MSIs to scale-up AI research and education activities and collaborate with NSF AI Institutes. ExpandAI is a cross-NSF program that involves the Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, TIP, EHR, Engineering, Geosciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. For this new initiative NSF has partnered with the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Defense’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

Additionally, proposers are encouraged to utilize NSF-supported high-performance and cloud computing resources.

NSF anticipates funding 15 to 25 projects in fiscal year 2023, of which 10–15 will be CAP awards, and 5-10 will be PARTNER awards. Proposals to this solicitation must be submitted by an MSI. This program requires Concept Outlines, which can be submitted at any time. After concept outlines have been submitted and reviewed, proposers must wait to receive an official invitation from NSF prior to submitting a full proposal.  Full proposals may be submitted in various designated submission windows.  In 2023 there are submission widows from January 9 through March 13, March 14 through June 26, and June 27 through October 20.  

Sources and additional information

The full solicitation for the ExLENT program is available here.

Additional information on the ExLENT program is available here

The ExpandAI program page is available here

The full solicitation for the ExpandAI program can be found here.

Information on NSF AI Institutes is available here

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