NSF Convergence Accelerator (C-Accel)

Posted on: March 28, 2019   |   Categories: Announcements, News & Updates
Convergence Accelerator Banner V07


NSF’s Convergence Accelerator effort is a new capability within NSF to accelerate use-inspired, convergence research in areas of national importance via partnerships between academic and non-academic stakeholders. The C-Accel effort provides a home for this research and advances ideas from concept to deliverables.


  • Use-inspired and application oriented
  • Fed by basic research & discovery
  • Adopts a convergent approach
  • Integrated teams including industry, academics, not-for-profits, government entities, and others
  • Fixed term, with a focus on deliverables
  • Intensive education and mentorship
  • Proactively and intentionally managed


NSF 19-050 Convergence Accelerator Pilot Dear Colleague Letter

Research Concept Outline Target Date

April 15, 2019 and rolling thereafter

Full Proposal Deadline – proposals must include an email invitation to submit based on the Research Concept Outline

June 3, 2019 (due by 5pm submitter’s time)


Webinars to answer questions about the submission process or about C-Accel broadly will be held on March 27 and April 3 at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. No pre-registration is required.

Coming Soon: Frequently Asked Questions for NSF 19-050 Convergence Accelerator Pilot


Dear Colleague Letter 19-050

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 25, 2019. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 19-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


The National Science Foundation invites interested parties to participate in a new endeavor, the NSF Convergence Accelerator (NSF C-Accel) Pilot. With this DCL, NSF’s goals are to: (i) pilot a new NSF capability (the NSF Convergence Accelerator) to accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance, and (ii) initiate convergence team-building capacity around exploratory, potentially high-risk proposals in three convergence topics (tracks).

As a funder of research and education across all fields of science and engineering and with relationships with universities and funding agencies around the world, NSF is uniquely positioned to pilot this approach to accelerate discovery and innovation. NSF C-Accel brings teams together to focus on grand challenges of national importance that require a convergence approach. The teams are multidisciplinary and leverage partnerships; the tracks relate to a grand challenge problem and have a high probability of resulting in deliverables that will benefit society within a fixed term. NSF C-Accel is modeled on acceleration and innovation activities from the most forward-looking companies and universities.

The NSF C-Accel Pilot intends to support fundamental research while encouraging rapid advances through partnerships that include, or will include, multiple stakeholders (e.g., industry, academic, not-for-profits, government entities, and others). The NSF C-Accel Pilot will bring teams together in a cohort that are all focused on a common research goal of national importance, but which may be pursuing many different approaches.

NSF is planning to fund approximately 50 Phase 1 awards (up to 9 months and up to $1 million each). Additional funds will be available for a smaller number of Phase 2 awards. The first-step to become part of the NSF C-Accel Pilot is to submit a 2-page Research Concept Outline (RCO), aligned with one of the tracks described in NSF 19-050 Convergence Accelerator Pilot Dear Colleague Letter, with a target submission date of April 15, 2019.


Lara Campbell Phone: 703-292-7049
Evan Heit Phone: 703-292-4305
Nancy Kamei Phone: 703-292-7236