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CCI Fellows Program

Rolling submissions until: December 2024

CCI Fellows play key leadership roles in competing for large-scale research projects and provide guidance on research directions.


Virginia’s Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) is creating a Commonwealth-wide ecosystem of innovation excellence at the intersection of cybersecurity, autonomous systems, and intelligence. CCI’s mission includes research, innovation, and workforce development.

More than 300 researchers across Virginia are affiliated with CCI, providing the breadth and depth of expertise needed to compete for large research awards. Increasing Virginia’s success in attracting center-scale awards is one of the objectives of CCI.

This call aims at funding center-scale research proposal efforts requiring major coordination and proposal-writing work.

Applications from under-represented groups are particularly welcome, as are applications from researchers who have not previously engaged with CCI. Women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.


This call will fund CCI researchers to lead center-scale proposals. Principal investigators (PIs) funded under this call will be designated CCI Fellows.

Proposals must involve at least two CCI institutions of higher education (from any Node). A CCI institution of higher education must play a coordination role in the project. The budget associated with CCI institutions in the center-scale proposal must be at least $2 million.

Proposals must be in response to a published call or a direct solicitation from a funding agency or company.


Researchers and faculty members at public institutions of higher education in CCI who are deemed eligible by their home institution to serve as a Principal Investigator (PI) on an external grant are eligible to apply.


Budgets should not exceed $50,000.

Funds can be used for faculty time (if approved by the home institution), team building activities, personnel to help with proposal writing. Indirect costs (IDC) are not allowable.

Rolling submissions: proposals will be accepted at any time through Dec. 31, 2024.

Successful applicants are expected to participate fully in the activities of CCI, including providing materials needed for reports, participation in CCI meetings, and responding to data collection requests by CCI. All publications and presentations resulting from the grant should acknowledge support from the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI). Grant award letters will supply an example of this acknowledgement.

Proposal Format

Proposals must use 1-inch margins, 11-point font or larger (Arial or Helvetica) and single line spacing. The following outline is to be followed:

1. Title page (one page)

  • Title of the proposed project, name, affiliation, and contact information for Principal Investigator (PI) and co-Principal Investigators (co-PIs).

2. Proposed Project (up to 2 pages)

  • Provide information about the solicitation for proposals, including a summary of the call and a link to the call, if available.
  • Provide the anticipated total budget for each CCI institution involved in the center-scale proposal to be written by the team. 
  • Describe the vision for the center-scale proposal and its alignment with CCI’s focus on the intersection of cybersecurity, autonomous systems, and intelligence.
  • Describe the team’s expertise and competitiveness for the center-scale award.
  • Discuss proposal-building activities envisioned and the timeline to submission.

3. Impact to the Commonwealth (up to 1 page)

  • Address the expected impact of the project to Virginia. This may include, for example: specific plans for extramural funding that will be pursued as a result of the project, potential for commercialization and economic development, and/or workforce development in the Commonwealth.

4. Budget (up to 2 pages)

  • Budget items and justification.

5. Biographies

  • Up to 2 pages each for PI and co-PIs, using NSF format.





Request for Proposals Released

December 15, 2021

Proposals Accepted

Through Dec. 31, 2024

Proposal Submission

The proposal must be submitted via email to, with copy to the appropriate CCI Node Director (in the case of researchers affiliated to one of the CCI Nodes) or CCI Executive Director (in the case of researchers in the CCI Hub).

All proposals must be submitted as a single PDF document. The email should have Subject Line: “CCI Fellows Program 2024”

Evaluation Criteria

A committee including representatives from CCI will review the proposals and make funding recommendations. Evaluation criteria will include:

  • Strong intellectual merit relevant to CCI’s mission and to the topic of this call,
  • Strong broader impacts related to CCI’s mission,
  • Competitiveness of the team for center-scale funding,
  • Potential to generate additional funding and revenue.

Specific questions concerning this RFP and the requirements set forth herein should be directed in writing to the email address: