DARPA Young Faculty Award

Sponsor Deadline: 

Jan 25, 2022


DOD Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

UI Contact: 

DARPA Young Faculty Award
Grants.gov  https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=335976
beta.Sam.gov   https://sam.gov/opp/4802b783624c40f680abe74edca959a9/view

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Young Faculty Award (YFA) program aims to identify and engage rising stars in junior research positions in academia and equivalent positions at non-profit research institutions, particularly those without prior DARPA funding.  DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals in the areas of interest to DARPA’s six technical offices: Biological Technologies Office (BTO), Defense Sciences Office (DSO), Information Innovation Office (I2O), Microsystems Technology Office (MTO), Strategic Technology Office (STO), and Tactical Technology Office (TTO).

Topic Areas:
1. Modulation of Brown Adipose Tissue for Arctic Resilience - seeks to develop tools to understand and control the thermogenesis process and develop novel interventions to accelerate a stable adaptation to and from cold operational environments. Ideally this research will identify treatments (e.g., probiotic, mi-RNA, nutritional supplement) that could enable an individual to acclimate.
2. Engineered Cellular Symbiosis (ECS) -  research on engineering self-sustaining, biological systems composed of prokaryotic symbionts with eukaryotic cellular hosts that are interchangeable to support different functionalities (e.g., sensing different analytes or synthesis of different repair materials). 
3. Hierarchical Control of Biomaterial Structure, Function, and Organization for Injury Repair -  innovative proposals to elucidate design rules and develop novel platform strategies for control of soft biomaterial structure, function, and organization at the nanoscale, microscale, and macroscale levels.
4. Metabolic Engineering Enabling Rare Chemistries - seeks proposals focused on development of novel methods for the rapid, high throughput identification and functional evaluation of new enzymes capable of catalyzing rare and non-standard functional group chemistries in biological systems for small molecule applications.
5. Strongly Correlated Material Systems and Sensors - Van der Waals heterostructures show remarkable experimental properties that enable the realization of elusive states of matter in the laboratory. The rapid configurability and ease of prototyping inherent in these materials offer a robust platform to study strongly correlated physics and topology in quantum systems. . . . DARPA is seeking proposals that promise theoretical insight into the fundamental nature of these materials, supported by experimental verification, and propose new sensors borne from this emerging field.
6. Benchmarking Power Requirements for Electromagnetic Non-reciprocity - Kirchhoff’s Law of thermal radiation describes the fundamental electromagnetic property of reciprocity: that at a given wavelength and angle, absorption and emission are equivalent for an object at thermal equilibrium. . . .  Is there a fundamental limit to how little energy per “degree” is dissipated in order to demonstrate non-reciprocity in modulated systems? Can we identify a trend as to how much additional energy is required to be dissipated in order to violate additional “degrees” of reciprocity?
7. Autonomous Manufacturing and Repair for Austere Environments - seeks to develop and demonstrate the foundational capability for autonomous real-time measurement and correction of intrinsic material or interface strength during free-form manufacturing of structural parts and structural repairs.
8. Neuromorphic Metamaterials - Recent efforts to incorporate smart materials (piezoelectric, optical, magnetostrictive, magnetorheological, electroactive materials, etc.) have led to the creation of active metamaterials whose functional properties can be tailored in real-time. . . . . DARPA seeks proposals that will form the foundational knowledge to model, fabricate, and test neuromorphic metamaterials that are broadly applicable in applications, such as morphing structures in flying wing; autonomous underwater vehicles; adaptive optics; and noise, vibration, and harshness isolation.
9. Computational Theory of Information Control - interested in formal frameworks that leverage empirical data (e.g., network measurements or other ground truth) in order to inform the creation of models and/or frameworks that assess the technical capacity to conduct internet surveillance and/or censorship.
10. Threat Modeling of the Influence Platform Ecosystem - DARPA is seeking ways to build threat models for an expanding ecosystem of evolving online platforms to understand who is using them for malicious purposes and how; how they are used (actually or potentially) in concert with one another and offline media platforms; and which types of user populations are especially vulnerable to this activity.
11. Patch Process Leapfrogging - . DARPA is seeking proposals on work to explore code reachability requirements, centering on reasoning concepts about the behavior of “un-fuzzed” code, to include vulnerabilities in dead code, configuration-guarded vulnerabilities, and vulnerability-guarded vulnerabilities.
12. Computational Theory of Insecurity - DARPA is seeking proposals to develop abstract theories of exploit programming, emergent behaviors of computing systems, and, in particular, composability of these behaviors. Successful proposals will describe emergent behaviors of systems in terms of core computer science theories and will demonstrate the capability to anticipate new classes of unintended behaviors.
13. Effective Assurance for 5G Technologies
14. Adaptive Conventions for Human-Machine Partnership  
15. Embodied Physical Intelligence - investigate generalizable methods of realizing mechanical or physical intelligence in cyber-physical systems CPS designs and explore impacts to key performance metrics of the current electronic control architecture.
16. Physics of Charge Trapping in Bulk Dielectrics - experimental characterization of high energy-implanted, trapped-charge lifetimes in bulk dielectrics relevant to spacecraft applications; measurement and simulation of discharge phenomena; temperature-dependent effects (including thermal cycling); modeling and simulation of the chemical and structural changes in the materials resulting from thermal effects and irradiation; and methods to mitigate charge buildup.
17. In-Situ Characterization of Additively Manufactured Materials in Complex Structures - new techniques to characterize in-situ electron beam energy, profile, and position; development of real-time monitoring of electron emission as a means to predict and avoid defect formation; development of new thermo-mechanical models capable of addressing widely disparate length and time scales; and methods to provide real-time feedback to EB-PBF systems that provide high-precision control over liquid-solid phase transformation.
18. Self-Assembled Transistor Fabrication to Support Manufacturing as a Technology Differentiator -
19. Highly-reliable and Bandwidth-scalable Electrical Interconnects -
20. Intelligent Sensor Management for Undersea Environmental Characterization -
21. Distributed Machine Learning over Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTNs) -
22. Trust Architectures to Enable Space Infrastructure as a Service -
23. Scaling Challenges in Metal Additive Manufacturing
24. Platform Design Optimization Leveraging Power Beaming -  providing platform power through either an optical or radio frequency (RF) beam.
25. Integrated Perception Learning and Control for Autonomous Robots -  efficient, bundled perception, localization, planning, and control algorithms for small robots to move rapidly and accomplish a multi-robot task that does not rely on high-bandwidth networked communications nor distributed processing between robots.