Research Directorate: Basic Research: Program Info:
National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF)

Download the latest results of the 2015 competition for NSSEFF [NSSEFF_2015winners_v2.pdf • 81.8kb].

The National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF) program is sponsored by the Basic Research Office, Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD (R&E)). NSSEFF supports basic research that may lead to extraordinary outcomes such as: revolutionizing entire disciplines, creating entirely new fields, or disrupting accepted theories and perspectives. It is the Defense Department's largest single-investigator program.

NSSEFF provides extensive, long-term financial support to distinguished university faculty and staff scientists and engineers to conduct basic research. As defined by the DoD, basic research is "systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind. It includes all scientific study and experimentation directed toward increasing fundamental knowledge and understanding in those fields of the physical, engineering, environmental, and life sciences related to long-term national security needs. It is farsighted high payoff research that provides the basis for technological progress." ( The DoD's basic research program invests broadly in many scientific fields to ensure that it has early cognizance of new scientific knowledge.

Tenured professors, staff scientists and engineers from accredited U.S. doctoral degree-granting academic institutions may apply for NSSEFF. Approximately 10 fellows will be selected each year, and each will receive up to $3,000,000 over 5 years.

The NSSEFF program started in 2008 with 8 fellows, and now has grown to 38 fellows. The complete list of Fellows along their research projects can be found: NSSEFF_Fellows.pdf

How to apply:

All applicants are required to submit a scientific white paper package. Selected finalists may submit full proposals. Three letters of recommendation from people familiar with the applicant's achievements will be required for the finalists. Full proposals will be reviewed by technical experts internal and external to the DoD. Full details of application and submission information for the most recent FOA for the NSSEFF Competition can be found at: Search for NSSEFF.

If there are any discrepancies between the information on this website and that contained in the FOA, the FOA will be followed. It is recommended that you check for amendments to the FOA before submitting your proposal.


Dr. Jiwei Lu, NSSEFF Program Manager
Basic Research Office, ASD (R&E)
E-mail Address:

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) administers the NSSEFF program.
Dr. Ellen Livingston, NSSEFF Program Manager
Office of Naval Research
E-mail Address: