The Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Community Research Infrastructure (CCRI) program drives discovery and learning in the core CISE disciplines of the three participating divisions [(Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF), Computer and Network Systems (CNS), and Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)] by funding the creation and enhancement of world-class research infrastructure. This research infrastructure will specifically support diverse communities of CISE researchers pursuing focused research agendas in computer and information science and engineering. This support involves developing the accompanying user services and engagement needed to attract, nurture, and grow a robust research community that is actively involved in determining directions for the infrastructure as well as management of the infrastructure.
The CCRI program supports two classes of awards:
- New awards support the creation of new CISE community research infrastructure with integrated tools, resources, user services, and community outreach to enable innovative CISE research opportunities to advance the frontiers of the CISE core research areas. The New award class includes Grand Ensemble (Grand), Medium Ensemble (Medium), and Planning awards.
- Enhance/sustain (ENS) awards support the enhancement and sustainment of an existing CISE community infrastructure to enable world-class CISE research opportunities for broad-based communities of CISE researchers that extend well beyond the awardee organization(s).
Each CCRI project provides compelling new research opportunities for a broad-based community of CISE researchers that extends well beyond the awardee organization(s) and that are not limited to a small closed group of universities. Furthermore, each CCRI award may support the operation of such infrastructure, ensuring that the awardee organization(s) is (are) well positioned to provide a high quality of service to CISE community researchers expected to use the infrastructure to realize their research goals. Each CCRI project should include a vision for future long-term community sustainability and operation of the infrastructure.
Each CCRI project must include substantial involvement of CISE researchers and enable a focused research agenda related to the core CISE disciplines. Proposals must provide compelling evidence that a diverse community of investigators will find the proposed infrastructure valuable to their research endeavors. Each Grand and ENS project must include provisions for an Advisory Board drawn from the user community, to help guide the development and future directions of the infrastructure to best meet the needs of the associated research community. Advisory Board members must be drawn from the broader user community and shall not be from the organizations receiving the CCRI award nor be collaborators of the PIs or co-PIs of the CCRI award.
Community involvement is an essential component of all CCRI awards. This includes services to ensure that the infrastructure is readily available to other researchers, as well as community involvement in the overall organization and management of the infrastructure. It includes significant outreach to build and nurture a robust and diverse user community. Each Grand award must designate one PI or co-PI as the Community Outreach Director. This person will lead a team that has responsibility for the overall community outreach and engagement related to the development, use, and enhancement of the infrastructure. The Community Outreach Director must be a faculty member who will be directly involved with the project and provide visible leadership within the research community. Award budgets should provide for expenses for community participation and outreach commensurate with the sizes of the awards. Both Grand New and ENS projects are expected to devote substantial portions (approximately 20-25%) of their budgets to community and user engagement and outreach activities.
Organizations may submit New and ENS proposals without having previously received Planning grants. However, it is expected that New proposals will benefit from a significant planning activity, which is the purpose of the CCRI Planning awards. (Note that receipt of a Planning grant does not guarantee support for a subsequent CCRI New proposal.)
Experience has shown that a successful CCRI project will:
- Provide infrastructure that enables research with a clear intellectual focus related to the CISE core disciplines supported by the three participating CISE divisions (CCF, CNS, IIS). A clear research agenda that is enabled by the implementation of the infrastructure is the central element of a successful CCRI project. In particular, each CCRI project supports a research agenda associated with a group of researchers with expertise in the CISE sub-disciplinary focus area.
- Involve participation by a group of CISE-focused researchers and leadership by CISE disciplinary researchers. Projects may enable other faculty and interdisciplinary groups, but clear CISE participation, involvement, and interest in the research is essential.
- Require teams of researchers, often across collaborating organizations, with the synergistic expertise needed to develop all aspects of the project.
- Include a well-designed and integrated suite of ancillary resources and user services that facilitate optimal use of the infrastructure and enhance its value to the community.
- Make use of state-of-the-art project planning tools and resource-sharing modules.
- Catalyze CISE research that would be difficult or impossible without the infrastructure, and that advances CISE research frontiers.
- Give the research community a voice in the future directions and management of the infrastructure, including regular community meetings and community Advisory Boards for Grand and ENS projects.