Call for Proposals: Experimental Research in the CCI Testbeds
Watch the video to learn more about the call for proposals.
Virginia’s Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) aims to create a Commonwealth-wide ecosystem of innovation excellence at the intersection of cybersecurity, autonomous systems, and data. CCI’s mission includes research, innovation, and workforce development.
CCI has been investing in creating unique research infrastructure available for use by researchers in all CCI member institutions, in particular an AI Testbed and a 5G Testbed. Please see below for more information about the testbeds.
This call aims at funding research that uses current testbed capabilities in CCI, as well as proposals that will augment these capabilities in the CCI Nodes in Central, Coastal, Northern, and Southwest Virginia.
This call seeks proposals in two categories: (1) experimental research using the testbeds; (2) projects that expand the testbed capabilities in the CCI regional Nodes.
Experimental research: proposals in this category must articulate a research problem in the focus area of CCI (cybersecurity, autonomous systems, and data) and address the problem through experimental investigations using CCI’s AI Testbed or CCI’s 5G Testbed (or both).
Research infrastructure: proposals in this category will augment the capabilities of CCI’s AI Testbed or CCI’s 5G Testbed (or both), through the deployment of additional hardware and/or software in CCI’s regional Nodes. Each CCI node has its research focus areas. They include:
- Central Virginia: Cyber physical systems, autonomous systems, IoT as they apply to Smart Cities and Communities as well as Medical Device Security.
- Coastal Virginia: The intersection of cyber physical systems and artificial intelligence in maritime, defense, and transportation sectors. Projects are strongly encouraged to include research faculty hired with CoVA CCI funds.
- Northern Virginia: Cybersecurity in national defense, transportation, electric/power distribution, and manufacturing sectors. Also, the impact of human behavior on cyber security and resilience of cyber systems to human behavior. Proposed projects should relate to a strategy and initiative(s) in these areas as further detailed in the CCI NoVa Node Strategic Plan.
- Southwest Virginia: Cybersecurity related to wireless communications and application domains such as transportation, power systems, manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, and agriculture; cybersecurity and emerging technologies, such as quantum computing; and cryptography.
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.
Applications from under-represented groups are particularly welcome, as are applications from researchers who have not previously engaged with CCI.
- Multi-university collaborations are encouraged but not required. In multi-university collaborations, one Principal Investigator must be identified as the lead, and the grant will be made to their home institution.
- A researcher can submit at most one proposal (as a PI or co-PI) in each of the two categories being sought in the call.
- For a proposal in the “Research infrastructure” category, the infrastructure is to be deployed within a single CCI Node (Central, Coastal, Northern, or Southwest Virginia).
Because this is a CCI Node-funded program, the awardee must provide a 1:1 identified commitment to this grant. While indirect costs (IDC) are NOT eligible costs in the proposals submitted in response to this RFP, unrecovered IDC can be used to partially fulfill this requirement. No funds from other CCI-funded projects can be used as identified commitment.
Proposals and budgets should go through the appropriate approval process at the PI’s institution. For instance, many universities require researchers to include a proposal and budget which have been approved in the standard OSP pre-award procedure.
Budgets should be proportional to the anticipated scale of impact. Indirect costs (IDC) are not allowable.
Experimental research: Budgets should not exceed US$ 50,000. We anticipate funding up to 8 (eight) projects.
Research infrastructure: Budgets should not exceed US$ 150,000. We anticipate funding one proposal in each of the four CCI Nodes.
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.
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:
- Title page (one page)
Title of the proposed project, name, affiliation, and contact information for Principal Investigator (PI) and co-Principal Investigators (co-PIs).
- Proposed Project (up to 4 pages)
Experimental research: Discussion of the technical background and engineering/scientific justification. This should include a clear statement of the research question to be investigated and a case for the intellectual merit of the proposed work. Experimental plan, to include how the CCI testbed(s) will be used and specification of testbed resources required for the project.
Research Infrastructure: Description of how the hardware/software to be purchased will complement existing CCI research infrastructure, and how the CCI Node will benefit from the additional infrastructure. Discussion of research avenues that will open up through this investment.
- 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.
- Budget (up to 2 pages)
Budget items and justification.
The budget must contain both the requested amount and the identified commitment. The latter should be in the form of a table according to the following format: Download worksheet PDF
Up to 2 pages each for PI and co-PIs, using NSF format.
April 2, 2021
Request for Proposals Released
April 7, 2021
Workshop for Proposers
April 29, 2021 at 5 p.m. ET
May 28, 2021
June 15, 2021 - May 31, 2022
Proposals must be submitted to the Director of the CCI Node that the PI belongs to no later than the close of business day (5:00 p.m. ET) on April 29, 2021.
Contact information of CCI node directors:
- Central Virginial: Erdem Topsakal, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Coastal Virginia: Brian Payne, email@example.com
- Northern Virginia: Liza Wilson Durant,firstname.lastname@example.org
- Southwest Virginia: Gretchen Matthews, email@example.com
All proposals must be submitted as a single PDF document. The email should have Subject Line: “CCI Experimental Research CFP” or “CCI Research Infrastructure CFP”.
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,
- Relevance to the needs of industry and government agencies,
- Building or use of shared research infrastructure in Virginia,
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the subject line CCI Experimental Research CFP proposal in the email.