Foundational Research in Robotics (Robotics)

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


The Foundational Research in Robotics (Robotics) program supports research on robotic systems that exhibit significant levels of both computational capability and physical complexity. For the purposes of this program, a robot is defined as intelligence embodied in an engineered construct, with the ability to process information, sense, and move within or substantially alter its working environment. Here intelligence includes a broad class of methods that enable a robot to solve problems or make contextually appropriate decisions. Research is welcomed that considers inextricably interwoven questions of intelligence, computation, and embodiment. Projects may also focus on a distinct aspect of intelligence, computation, or embodiment, as long as the proposed research is clearly justified in the context of a class of robots. 

The focus of the Robotics program is on foundational advances in robotics. Robotics is a deeply interdisciplinary field, and proposals are encouraged that explore the full range of fundamental engineering and computer science research challenges arising in robotics. However, all proposals must convincingly explain how a successful outcome will enable transformative new robot functionality or substantially enhance existing robot functionality. The proposal should clearly articulate how the intellectual contribution of the proposed work addresses fundamental gaps in robotics. Meaningful experimental validation on a physical platform is strongly encouraged. Projects that do not represent a direct fundamental contribution to robotics should not be submitted to the Robotics program.

Potential investigators are strongly encouraged to discuss their projects with a Robotics Program Officer before submission. Non-compliant proposals may be returned without review.

Program Contacts

Jordan M. Berg (703) 292-5365 ENG/CMMI
Peter Brass (703) 292-2182 CISE/CCF
David Corman (703) 292-8754 CISE/CNS
Irina Dolinskaya (703) 292-7078 ENG/CMMI
Erion Plaku (703) 292-8695 CISE/IIS
Siddiq M. Qidwai (703) 292-2211 ENG/CMMI
Juan P. Wachs (703) 292-8930 CISE/IIS
Ralph F. Wachter (703) 292-8950 CISE/CNS
Zhengdao Wang (703) 292-7823 ENG/ECCS
Donald Wunsch (703) 292-7102 ENG/ECCS

Awards Made Through This Program

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Map of recent awards made through this program