NSF Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI)
Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI) is an NSF Program seeking to stimulate human-centered fundamental and potentially transformative research aimed at strengthening America’s infrastructure. Effective infrastructure provides a strong foundation for socioeconomic vitality and broad quality of life improvement. Strong, reliable, and effective infrastructure spurs private-sector innovation, grows the economy, creates jobs, makes public-sector service provision more efficient, strengthens communities, promotes equal opportunity, protects the natural environment, enhances national security, and fuels American leadership. Achieving these objectives requires the integration of expertise from across all science and engineering disciplines. SAI focuses on how fundamental knowledge about human reasoning and decision-making, governance, and social and cultural processes enables the building and maintenance of effective infrastructure that improves lives and society and builds on advances in technology and engineering. Successful projects will represent a convergence of expertise in one or more SBE sciences deeply integrated with other disciplines to support substantial and potentially pathbreaking, fundamental research applied to strengthening a specific and focal infrastructure.
Submitted projects must be grounded in user-centered concepts and offer the potential to substantially improve, strengthen and transform the design, development, use, deployment, cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and maintenance of American infrastructure. The social, behavioral, and economic sciences bring substantial expertise and insight to the design and implementation of infrastructure, including basic understanding of barriers to equitable participation, uneven societal impacts, open access to information and data, health disparities, and other human and societal dimensions that interact with the needs for and benefits provided by infrastructure.
Proposals must bring deep expertise in at least one SBE disciplinary program area, and provide details on how such SBE disciplinary expertise will contribute to strengthening American infrastructure. Proposals must also bring relevant expertise in the focal infrastructure, which is likely to be in one or more research areas represented by the Programs supported by the NSF Office of Integrated Activities (OIA) and/or the other participating NSF Directorates:
- Biological Sciences (BIO)
- Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)
- Education and Human Resources (EHR)
- Engineering (ENG)
- Geosciences (GEO)
- Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)