Apply for a One-on-One Engagement with Trusted CI

The application period for first half 2020 engagements is closed. If you have questions email Kelli Shute (

Thank you.

One of Trusted CI's core activities is conducting one-on-one engagements with NSF projects and facilities.  To manage scheduling and learn about prospective engagees, we have instituted an engagement application process that is described on this page and also in our recorded webinar video.

When you are ready to apply, click the application link at the bottom of this page and complete the online form.

Our Application Review Cycle & Current Status

We review applications and plan engagements on a six-month cycle, unless an expedited process is undertaken for a particular application.  Most of our engagements are executed over a 1 to 6 month period.

We encourage early application (before the deadline) to help us process applications efficiently and thoroughly.

Important Dates:

  • August 14, 2019:  Begin accepting applications for engagements to be executed Jan-June 2020.

  • Oct. 2,2019:  Application deadline for engagements to be executed Jan-June 2020.

  • Nov 5, 2019:  Applicants notified of decisions.

  • Jan 2020 :  Kick-off new engagements for Jan-June 2020.

  • Early March 2020 (tentative): Begin accepting applications for engagements to be executed July-Dec 2020.

Expected Number and Types of Engagements

Topics for engagements include anything broadly in the scope of information security and can include development of new cybersecurity programs, assessing existing cybersecurity programs, software assurance, identity management, recommendations on new software features. Examples of prior engagements can be found on our blog and website.

All engagements are contingent on Trusted CI having the available effort and expertise given necessary deadlines and other commitments. Trusted CI personnel have specific areas of expertise and the degree of overlap in required skills by simultaneous engagements will impact what Trusted CI can undertake.

For the upcoming application period of July-December 2019, Trusted CI expects to accept 3 applications, with one (at most) in the area of software security and one in the area of identity management. Based on prior application periods, we expect to accept less than half of the applications

Engagement Application Review Criteria

Applications providing positive information responsive to these criteria will cause a proposal to be reviewed favorably. We assess the strength of the entire application. Strength or weakness on any single criterion will not necessarily result in an accept or decline.

  1. NEED. How will this engagement impact the applicant and ultimately impact NSF science?

    • Note: Many NSF projects and facilities have institutional or other readily available cybersecurity resources. To clearly demonstrate the need for Trusted CI assistance, applicants are encouraged to provide context on the availability and utilization of these other resources.

  2. BROADER IMPACT. Is this engagement likely to produce broader impacts (e.g., public reports, tools, narratives, or other deliverables that will positively impact the science community beyond the engagee)? What other communities, organizations, or projects will benefit directly or indirectly from this engagement?

    • Note: To foster broader impact, submissions on behalf of multiple projects or communities are encouraged, as are those that collaborate with institutional or other information security teams.

  3. APPLICANT COMMITMENT. Trusted CI’s engagements are inherently collaborative and always require significant effort on the part of the engagee. Does the applicant have the appropriate managerial support, time, and resources to collaborate on the engagement and follow through with resulting recommendations?

Application Review Processing & Phases

One of our goals is a transparent process with clear communication.  We take each application through several phases, and may communicate with prospective engagees along the way. If you have questions regarding the status of your application, please contact the Trusted CI staff member assigned to your application -or-

  1. Initial Processing. Upon receipt, applications undergo initial processing: (a) an application owner is assigned within the Trusted CI team; (b) a determination is made regarding whether enough information was provided in order to review the application; and (c) if the applicant has requested expedited review, we have determined whether to undertake that expedited review.

  2. Under Review. The applications received within the application period will be formally considered by center leadership (leadership with significant organizational or funding conflicts of interest will recuse themselves). Applications under expedited review will be reviewed at the earliest convenience to the center leadership, depending on the circumstances.  The decision of whether to accept an application, and (if so) when to agree to execute on the engagement is based on the criteria given above.

  3. Determination Made.  Trusted CI's determination to accept or decline the application and the basis for that decision will be communicated to you in writing. Accepted applications will be made public (e.g., announced on our blog). Declined applications are not announced publicly, but may be shared with our advisory committee and NSF to seek feedback on our application decisions.


If you have questions regarding the application process or status of your application, please contact