Thursday, April 18, 2019

Leverage Trusted CI in your NSF SaTC Proposal

NSF SaTC solicitations are focused on areas critical to cybersecurity research and development. NSF's current Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace Frontiers Solicitation (LOI Due July 5th, Proposal due Sept 30th) in conjunction with the SaTC program solicitation NSF 18-572 includes the following guidance:
The goals of the SaTC program are aligned with the Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan (RDSP) and the National Privacy Research Strategy (NPRS) to protect and preserve the growing social and economic benefits of cyber systems while ensuring security and privacy. The RDSP identified six areas critical to successful cybersecurity research and development: (1) scientific foundations; (2) risk management; (3) human aspects; (4) transitioning successful research into practice; (5) workforce development; and (6) enhancing the research infrastructure.
Trusted CI, the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, has engaged practitioners in research, academia, industry, and government to identify top cybersecurity needs and gaps which might be filled through successful transitioning of cybersecurity research into practice , as reported on the Trusted CI TTP blog. We may be able to connect you with practitioners enunciating needs which your project innovations may address. We have identified NSF funded cybersecurity researchers actively working to address some of the top cybersecurity needs, with whom we can connect you to enable collaboration for NSF research transition.

We offer the following suggestions to engage us in these areas.

Reach out to us at to let us know the focus for your project, and the types of practitioners or researchers you would like to collaborate with to support your proposal. 

Participate in the Cybersecurity TTP Program. Request an invitation to attend the June 19, 2019 Cybersecurity TTP workshop in Chicago, where you will meet researchers and practitioners.

Indicate Your Intent to Approach the CCoE regarding your proposal. We invite proposing NSF SaTC projects to indicate their intention to approach Trusted CI once they are funded. Proposers are free to include language showing an awareness of cybersecurity of a specific issue and showing you are aware of Trusted CI, how we can help, and that you plan to approach us if funded to collaborate. You can do this unilaterally without any commitment from Trusted CI (and please be aware it does not commit Trusted CI, we do our best to help all NSF projects, but are subject to our own resource availability). We ask that you let us know if you reference Trusted CI, this way to help us plan ahead.

Possible language to include in a proposal:
Our proposal team recognizes [the need to collaborate with operational leaders and cybersecurity researchers to enable practical cybersecurity innovations to be accelerated into operational environments in our areas of focus including xxx]. To address this we plan to approach the NSF-funded Cybersecurity Center of Excellence ( The Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (CCoE) engages researchers and practitioners to identify and help address cybersecurity challenges and maintain the trustworthy nature of cyberinfrastructure. We understand that engagements with CCoE are collaborative, and have budgeted resources in our project to work with CCoE on our challenge.
Trusted CI can also provide a letter of collaboration for your proposal using this template.

Include the CCoE in your Proposal. You can include one or more of the CCoE Partners (IU, Internet2, LBNL, NCSA, PSC, U. Wisconsin) via a subcontract on your proposal, a process that provides a firm commitment of our participation. Please contact us to discuss which partner would be most appropriate, whether the commitment would be exclusive for a given solicitation, and the level of effort that would be involved. In this case, we would provide a custom letter of collaboration indicating our agreement to the terms of the subcontract.

If you are preparing a SaTC, CICI, or other NSF proposal and would like additional assistance from Trusted CI, don't hesitate to contact us to discuss how Trusted CI can help.