DARPA Extends Young Faculty Award Program
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 02 December 2013

DARPA's Young Faculty Award program is an opportunity for junior faculty members to get involved with big, important projects and for the rest of us it provides a view into what topics DARPA thinks are hot when it comes to the new technological military.

DARPA is extending the range of topics covered by its funding program that awards grants of $500,000 ver a two-year period  for innovative defence related research and also permitting proposers to form partnerships with subcontractors.

The aim of  DARPA's Young Faculty Award (YFA) program is to:

identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions and expose them to Defense Department needs and DARPA's program development process.

The program was initiated in 2006 and has funded nearly 1000 junior faculty members. many of whom have also become engaged with DARPA and DoD in other programs. It is open to researchers employed  who are within five years of appointment to a tenure-track position in a U.S. institution of higher learning, or hold equivalent positions at non-profit research institutions who work in disciplines that are

"critical to maintaining the technical superiority of the U.S. military."

According to Mari Maeda, director of DARPA's Defense Sciences Office:

"The YFA program represents a strategic investment in fundamental research and professional development of the next generation of scientists and engineers focused on defense and national security issues."

"It also benefits the young researchers and their institutions by engaging them in valuable, high-risk, high-impact research, providing a mentoring relationship with a DARPA program manager, expanding channels for future ideas to flow, and, now, exposing them to the rigors of managing a multidisciplinary team."

For 2014 the list of research topics is being expanded from 13 to the following 18, several of which encompass computer science. 

  • Optimizing Supervision for Improved Autonomy
  • Neurobiological Mechanisms of Social Media Processing
  • Next-generation Neural Sensing for Brain-Machine Interfaces
  • Mathematical and Computational Methods to Identify and Characterize Logical and Causal Relations in Information
  • Time-Dependent Integrated Computational Materials Engineering
  • Long-range Detection of Special Nuclear Materials
  • Alternate Fusion Concepts
  • New Materials and Devices for Monitoring and Modulating Local Physiology
  • Methods and Theory for Fundamental Circuit-Level Understanding of the Human Brain
  • Hierarchically Complex Materials that Respond and Adapt
  • Disruptive Materials Processing
  • Disruptive Computing Architectures
  • Appliqué Antenna Elements for Platform Integration
  • Modeling Phonon Generation and Transport in the Near Junction Region of Wide-Bandgap Transistors
  • Advanced Automation and Microfluidic Technologies for Engineering Biology
  • Energy Recovery in Post-CMOS Technologies
  • Thin Film Transistors for High-performance RF and Power Electronics
  • Neural-inspired Computer Engineering

It is interesting that there isn't a "build a big fighting robot" category - this is a more subtle list and perhaps further away from being directly useful than you might expect. 

The other way in which the program is expanding is that  DARPA is permitting proposers to form partnerships with subcontractors, although the subcontractor relationship cannot exceed 30 percent of the total grant value. This change is designed to provide young investigators with the opportunity to manage a multidisciplinary team and gain a better understanding of the work performed by a DARPA program manager.

 

darpayfa

More Information

2014 YFA announcement

Young Faculty Award (YFA)

Related Articles

DARPA Competition For The Intelligent Defensive Computer

DARPA Robotics Challenge

Atlas Walking Over Randomness

 

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Last Updated ( Monday, 02 December 2013 )
 
 

   
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