Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Value to Universities



Build new, sustainable funding paths.


Industry Insight

Learn about cutting-edge industrial needs.


Student Placement

Train and place students in highly relevant research areas.

Start a Center

  • Ideation

    • Search the Directory to learn about the focus and nature of Center research programs
    • Explore Existing Centers where there is possible similarity/synergy/overlap. Discover Center breakthroughs and accomplishments.
    • Engage in discussions with prospective industry members. SEARCH DIRECTORY
  • Get NSF input

    • Formulate a clearly defined Center theme and share the initial concept with NSF for guidance.
    • Understand the NSF funding opportunity (solicitation) and IUCRC model. Evaluate the option for creating a new Center or joining and existing Center. VIEW SOLICITATION
  • Decide to start or join a Center

    • Determine whether to start a new Center or join an existing Center, based on NSF input.
    • Connect with existing Centers to explore the possibility of joining. Observe an active Center's operations by attending a Center meeting as a guest. VIEW CENTER DIRECTORY
  • Get industry support

    • Engage in discussions with a variety of key stakeholders in industry.
    • Identify the most interested industry members.
  • Submit a Planning Grant Proposal for $20,000

    • NSF merit review process (3-6 months).
  • Begin Planning Grant Activities (if awarded) (over the course of 12 months)

    • Attend IUCRC Planning Grant Boot Camp.
    • Engage in intensive customer discovery activities.
    • Invite members from industry and government.
    • Hold a Planning Grant Meeting.
    • Converge on cutting-edge research thrusts of strong industrial interest.
    • Obtain financial commitments and letters from prospective members.
  • Submit a Full Center Proposal

    • NSF merit review process (3-6 months).
  • Receive NSF funding ($150,000 per year for Phase I Centers)

    • Begin research.
    • Continue to engage new industry members.
    • Hold biannual IAB meetings.

Program Solicitation and Resources

Official NSF publication about how to prepare a proposal

Learn More
Topic Image Right

Credit: Becky Kirkland, North Carolina State University

Strategic Engagements

Industry and government agencies can participate as Center members or by partnering directly with NSF at the strategic level to inspire new areas of research.

Learn More
Topic Image Right

Credit: NSF ERC for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials, North Carolina State University