2018 NSF Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) Aspiring PI Workshop

Kansas City, MO, USA, Sept. 17, 2018

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The inaugural Aspiring PI Workshop for US National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) Program will be held in Kansas City, MO, on Monday, September 17th, 2018.

The workshop is co-located with the 4th IEEE International Smart Cities Conference (ISC2), the flagship conference sponsored by IEEE Smart Cities Technical Community which is the coalition of multiple technical societies within the IEEE. The S&CC Aspiring PI workshop will assemble a group of aspiring PIs with diverse backgrounds across disciplines and sectors, ranging from economists and sociologists to computer scientists and engineers to city and community stakeholders. The workshop will place particular emphasis on exploring the integrative research and community engagement aspects of the S&CC program goals. The workshop will include talks and panels by NSF Program Directors as well as the current program awardees. The agenda will also include a session for small group discussions among aspiring PIs and panelists for mentoring on research concepts. The workshop will aid early- and mid-career researchers in developing a research agenda that effectively advances science, while aiding communities in improving safety, security, economic prosperity, well-being, and quality of life.

The workshop will foster the growth of the S&CC community by emphasizing recruitment and participation of early- and mid-career faculty and underrepresented minorities (URMs). Recipients of travel grants will be selected based upon the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts of one to two-page position statements submitted in advance. The participation of early- and mid-career faculty and URMs will be strengthened by recruiting from multiple women in computing networks, Hispanic serving institutions, historically black colleges and universities, primarily undergraduate institutions, as well as city and community stakeholders interested in the S&CC program. The co-location of the S&CC Aspiring PI Workshop and IEEE ISC2 will have a strong synergistic impact. The conference will attract the interests of potential PIs and their collaborators. The workshop will also promote IEEE ISC2 to become an impactful venue for current and future NSF S&CC PIs to disseminate their project results to an international audience. The outcomes of the workshop, including presentation materials and submission and acceptance information, will be shared following the workshop.

Aspiring SCC PIs from diverse disciplines and potential collaborators from municipal governments, civic organizations, and industrial partners are encouraged to attend. Limited travel funds will be awarded on a competitive basis. The application is with a brief project idea/plan, and the deadline is August 10, 2018.  The travel grants will be given with a preference to aspiring PIs from under-represented groups including women, minorities, people with disabilities, and faculty members from historically black colleges and universities (HBCU), Hispanic serving institutions (HSI) and minority education institutions (MEI).

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  • 11:15 am – 12:10 pm   Welcome & NSF SCC Program Overview by Program Directors [Slides][Video]
  • 12:10 pm – 1:00 pm     lunch
  • 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm    Presentations by current SCC PIs and Panel Q&A
  • 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm    Developing a Successful SCC NSF Proposal and Common Mistakes by NSF Program Directors, and Q&A [Slides][Video]
  • 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm    Break
  • 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm    Breakout sessions: Mock review panel  – peer  discussion
    • Lightning Talks (small group)
  • 5:15 pm – 5:30 pm    Closing Remarks -Breakout session report [Video]
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Meghan Houghton,
NSF S&CC Program Director
Jonathan Sprinkle,
NSF S&CC Program Director
Shashi Shekhar,
University of Minnesota,
PI of an S&CC grant
Tischa Munoz-Erickson,
Research Social Scientist of USDA,
Co-PI of the S&CC Planning grant
Sajal Das,
Missouri University of Science & Technology,
Co-PI of an S&CC RCN grant, former NSF PD


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Glenn Ricart, Founder and
CTO of US-Ignite
Sachin Shetty,
Old Dominion University
Indu B. Singh,
President, and CEO of
Planet Defense LLC
James Sterbenz,
University of Kansas
Driss Benhaddou, University of Houston
Aaron Deacon, KC Digital Drive
Baek-Young Choi, University of Missouri – Kansas City


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To attend this NSF S&CC Aspiring PI workshop (with or without travel grants), please register here. 

Travel Grant Application:

Application deadline: Aug 10, 2018

Notification date: Aug 15, 2018


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Baek-Young Choi, University of Missouri – Kansas City

Aaron Deacon, KC Digital Drive

Sajal Das, Missouri University of Science and Technology

James Sterbenz, University of Kansas

Driss Benhaddou, University of Houston