Research Directorate: Basic Research: Program Info:
Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship (VBFF)

The Department of Defense (DoD) named 13 distinguished university faculty scientists and engineers as the 2017 class of Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellows on March 29,2017.
News Release - Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellows

The Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship program is sponsored and managed by the Basic Research Office, Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. This program is formerly known as the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship (NSSEFF), and both program names will be used for this round of competition during the transition phase.

The Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship provides extensive, long-term financial support to distinguished university faculty and staff scientists and engineers to conduct basic research. It is oriented towards bold and ambitious “blue sky” research that may lead to extraordinary outcomes such as: revolutionizing entire disciplines, creating entirely new fields, or disrupting accepted theories and perspectives.

Objectives of the program are to:

  • Support unclassified basic scientific and engineering research that could be the foundation for future revolutionary new capabilities for DoD
  • Educate and train student and post-doctoral researchers for the defense workforce
  • Foster long-term relationships between university researchers and the DoD
  • Familiarize university researchers and their students with DoD’s current and projected future challenges
  • Increase the number of talented technical experts that DoD can call upon.
Tenured professors, staff scientists and engineers from accredited U.S. doctoral degree-granting academic institutions may apply. Approximately 10 fellows will be selected each year, and each will receive up to $3,000,000 over 5 years.

The Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship program started in 2008 with 8 fellows, and now has grown to 71 fellows (45 current). The complete list of Fellows along their research projects can be found: 2008-2016_NSSEFF_Fellows.pdf

Applicants can read the overview of this Faculty Fellowship program Presentation pdf, and Q&A Q&A pdf from a recent webinar. 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 can be found at:

If there are any discrepancies between the information on this website and that contained in the FOA, the FOA will be followed. Contacts
Dr. Jiwei Lu, Program Manager

Basic Research Office, ASD (R&E)
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) administers the Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship program.
Dr. Ellen Livingston, Program Manager
Office of Naval Research