National Science Foundation

NSF: International Research Network Connections (IRNC) (Backbone)

Program Summary

The International Research Network Connections (IRNC) program supports high performance network connectivity required by international science and engineering research and education collaborations involving the NSF research community.  NSF expects to make a set of awards to: (1) link U.S. research networks with peer networks in other parts of the world and leverage existing international network connectivity; (2) support U.S. infrastructure and innovation of open network exchange points; (3) drive innovation and state-of-the-art capabilities for Research and Education (R&E) Network Operation Centers (NOC); (4) stimulate the development, application and use of advanced network measurement capabilities and services across international network paths; and (5) support community engagement in training and human and network capacity building, and coordination in advanced network engineering. High performance network connections funded by this program are intended to support science and engineering research and education applications, and preference will be given to solutions which provide the best economy of scale and demonstrate the ability to support the largest communities of interest with the broadest services. Funded projects will assist the U.S. research and education community by enabling state-of-the-art international network services and access to increased collaboration and data services. Through extended international network connections, additional research and production network services will be enabled, complementing those currently offered or planned by domestic research networks.


Organizational limit of 2 applies to IRNC: Backbone proposals ONLY.  There is no organizational limit for the other categories.  An individual may be the PI or co-PI in no more than three proposals submitted in response to this solicitation. These three proposals may be any combination of categories. 

Award Information

The estimated number of awards is 8-11. Because of the nature and geographic extent of the efforts involved, interested parties are encouraged to form consortia of organizations that can work together to provide the needed services. Consortia may consist of any number of U.S. and foreign, profit and not-for-profit entities. All awards resulting from responses to this solicitation will be made to U.S. organizations as cooperative agreements, standard or continuing grants.
IRNC:Backbone awards will be for a maximum of five years. All other awards will be of three to five-year duration.
The anticipated funding amount is $25,000,000 total for this solicitation, pending availability of funds. Number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds; however NSF expects to make approximately 2-3 IRNC:Backbone awards, each at up to $1.2M/year for a maximum of 5 years, and a total of 6 to 8 awards for other award areas funded at a level of $250K to $1M per year over 3-5 years, depending on the program area.
Internal Selection Procedure 
The UI Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development has established an internal review procedure to select the UI nominees. Applications will be reviewed according to the sponsor's selection criteria. Consideration will also be given to UI institutional strengths and strategic directions. Potential applicants must submit, using the preselection link below, the following information:
  1. A two page CV
  2. A description of the proposed project. It should have the following elements:
The above materials must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 19, 2014. The selected nominee will be asked to complete the full application package in accordance with the sponsor's deadline of Monday, July 7, 2014.


Proposal Due to OVPRED05/19/2014 Not open for submission deadline passed
Date Due to DSP or UIF06/23/2014
Date Due to Sponsor06/30/2014
Required LOI Due DateN/A
Non-Required LOI Due DateN/A
Sponsor URL:

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