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National AI Research Institute Program

The NSF's National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Institutes: Accelerating Research, Transforming Society, and Growing the American Workforce program seeks to build a broader nationwide network to pursue transformational advances in a range of economic sectors and science and engineering fields. AI Research Institutes will have as their primary focus the advancement of multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder research on larger-scale, longer-time-horizon challenges in AI research than are supported in typical research grants. They will accelerate the development of transformational technologies by grounding that research in critical application sectors that can serve as motivation for foundational research advances and provide opportunities for the effective fielding of AI-powered innovation.

Funding levels are typically in the range of $16-$20 million over 4-5 years ($4 million per year on average). 

Submissions must have as a principal focus one of the following themes (detailed further in the Program Description)

  • Theme 1: Intelligent Agents for Next-Generation Cybersecurity
  • Theme 2: Neural and Cognitive Foundations of Artificial Intelligence
  • Theme 3: AI for Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry
  • Theme 4: AI for Decision Making
  • Theme 5: Trustworthy AI
  • Theme 6: AI-Augmented Learning to Expand Education Opportunities and Improve Outcomes


  • October 26, 2021: Required NOI due to VPDoR
  • November 22, 2021: Internal proposal due to VPDoR Limited Submissions 
  • January 14, 2022: Required preliminary proposal due to NSF
  • May 13, 2022: Full proposal due to NSF

Limited Submissions process

This is a Limited Submission funding opportunity. A university-wide internal selection process is required prior to proposal submission to NSF. No more than two preliminary proposals from Stanford as the lead institution are permitted.

Find more information on the selection process and submit internal applications through the Limited Submissions portal here.

For questions about the limited submissions process, please email limitedsubmissions@stanford.edu.


Program information

Stanford support for proposals

Proposal support is available through the Stanford Research Development Office, Office of STEM Outreach, and School of Engineering.

  • The Stanford Research Development Office (RDO) supports faculty across Stanford on proposal development, including advising on proposal sections, writing, editing, project management, and bringing in internal and external expertise. Please contact RDO Director Kim Baeten (kimbaeten@stanford.edu) for more information.
  • The Office of STEM Outreach can provide guidance on education, broadening participation, outreach activities, and partnerships. Contact Kyle Cole (kylecole@stanford.edu; Director, Office of STEM Outreach). School of Engineering faculty may also contact Blythe Nobleman for developing broadening participation and educational outreach plans. See details below.
  • Blythe Nobleman is the Research Development Strategist & Editor in the School of Engineering. Working closely with engineering research administrators, Blythe works with SoE faculty to identify funding opportunities, develop concepts, encourage best practices in proposal writing, and to review/edit proposals. Blythe also assists with developing broadening participation and educational outreach plans. To learn more, contact: nobleman@stanford.edu

Created: 10.12.21
Updated: 11.02.22