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With the goal of encouraging research independence immediately upon obtaining one's first academic position after receipt of the PhD, the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) will award grants to initiate the course of one's independent research. Understanding the critical role of establishing that independence early in one's career, it is expected that funds will be used to support untenured faculty or research scientists (or equivalent) in their first three years in a primary academic position after the PhD, but not more than a total of five years after completion of their PhD. One may not yet have received any other grants or contracts in the Principal Investigator (PI) role from any department, agency, or institution of the federal government, including from the CAREER program or any other program, post-PhD, regardless of the size of the grant or contract, with certain exceptions noted below. Serving as co-PI, Senior Personnel, Postdoctoral Fellow, or other Fellow does not count against this eligibility rule. Grants, contracts, or gifts from private companies or foundations; state, local, or tribal governments; or universities do not count against this eligibility rule.
It is expected that these funds will allow the new CISE Research Initiation Initiative PI to support one or more graduate students for up to two years. Faculty at undergraduate and two-year institutions may use funds to support undergraduate students, and may use the additional RUI designation (which requires inclusion of a RUI Impact Statement) -- see https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5518 for additional information. In addition, submissions from all institutions may use funds for postdoctoral scholars, travel, and/or research equipment.
See encouraged topic areas in Solicitation.