Visible to the public Call for Proposals: Foundational Research in Robotics (NSF)Conflict Detection Enabled

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Call for Proposals

Foundational Research in Robotics

National Science Foundation


Apply to PD 20-144Y as follows:

For full proposals submitted via FastLane: standard NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide proposal preparation guidelines apply.

For full proposals submitted via the NSF Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Guidelines applies. (Note: The NSF Application Guide is available on the website and on the NSF website at:

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after June 1, 2020. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 20-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposals are accepted anytime. The program will accept proposals anytime after August 1, 2020.

Full Proposals Accepted Anytime After August 1, 2020. Declined proposals may be resubmitted to the Robotics program after a minimum moratorium period of one year from the time of initial submission, regardless of the Units of Consideration for the original and resubmitting proposals. As required by the PAPPG, declined proposals must be substantially revised prior to resubmission. Principal Investigators are strongly encouraged to consult with a cognizant Program Officer before resubmitting a previously declined proposal.

Robotics proposals submitted to other program announcements or solicitations, including the Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER), must meet the respective deadlines of those programs; please refer to the deadline dates specified in the appropriate announcement or solicitation. Proposals for EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), Rapid Response Research (RAPID) or Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE) can be submitted at any time, but Principal Investigators (PIs) must contact the cognizant Program Officer prior to submission. Proposals for supplements or workshops, or any other type of grant, can be submitted at any time, and PIs are encouraged to contact the cognizant Program Officer prior to submission.


The Foundational Research in Robotics (Robotics) program supports research on robotic systems that exhibit significant levels of both computational capability and physical complexity. For the purposes of this program, a robot is defined as intelligence embodied in an engineered construct, with the ability to process information, sense, and move within or substantially alter its working environment. Here intelligence includes a broad class of methods that enable a robot to solve problems or make contextually appropriate decisions. Research is welcomed that considers inextricably interwoven questions of intelligence, computation, and embodiment. Projects may also focus on a distinct aspect of intelligence, computation, or embodiment, as long as the proposed research is clearly justified in the context of a class of robots.

The focus of the Robotics program is on foundational advances in robotics. Robotics is a deeply interdisciplinary field, and proposals are encouraged that explore the full range of fundamental engineering and computer science research challenges arising in robotics. However, all proposals must convincingly explain how a successful outcome will enable transformative new robot functionality or substantially enhance existing robot functionality. The proposal should clearly articulate how the intellectual contribution of the proposed work addresses fundamental gaps in robotics. Meaningful experimental validation on a physical platform is strongly encouraged. Projects that do not represent a direct fundamental contribution to robotics should not be submitted to the Robotics program.

Potential investigators are strongly encouraged to discuss their projects with a Robotics Program Officer before submission. Non-compliant proposals may be returned without review.