Apply for a One-on-One Engagement with CTSC

One of CTSC'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.  When you are ready to apply, click the link below and complete the online form.

NOTE:  Currently, we are not accepting engagement applications while we review and revise our process.  In Summer 2017, we will place the application link here, and begin accepting applications for consideration for execution in the first half of CY2018.  If you have near term need to make contact with us, don't hesitate to email 

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. If you are seeking a letter of support for a proposal, please contact

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

Important Dates:

  • July 2017:  Kick off new engagements for July - December 2017
  • Summer 2017:  Begin accepting applications forfor consideration for execution in the first half of CY2018.

Application Review Processing & Phases

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

  1. Initial Processing. Upon receipt, applications undergo initial processing: (a) an application owner is assigned within the CTSC 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. More Information Required for Review.  If more information is needed, the assigned application owner will make that inquiry with the prospective engagee, and provide a deadline.

  3. Under Review. The applications received and ready for review within the application period will be formally considered by center leadership.  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 several factors:

    1. Urgency. Is there an urgent, time-sensitive need for this engagement, or is scheduling flexible?

    2. Criticality.  Is there a critical need for this engagement, such as a known threat to the science mission?

    3. Engagee Resources.  Is the prospective engagee able and willing to commit effort and resources to the engagement?

    4. Completeness.  Has the engagee provided the information requested in the application?

    5. Supporting NSF Science.  Will undertaking this engagement involve supporting NSF science?

    6. Community Impact.  Is this engagement likely to produce public reports, tools, narratives, or other deliverables that will positively impact the science community?

    7. Prior Engagement.  Has the project or personnel involved had a prior engagement with CTSC?  If so, when?

    8. CTSC Availability and Effort. Does CTSC have the available personnel and hours to perform the engagement?

    9. CTSC Expertise.  Does CTSC have the requisite expertise to bring value to the engagement?

    10. CTSC Growth.  Does the engagement pose an opportunity for CTSC to grow its experience or expertise?

  4. Under Negotiation.  We may determine that some negotiation with the prospective engagee is warranted before we can make an optimized decision around accepting, deferring, or declining an engagement.  If so, the application owner will coordinate that discussion.

  5. Determination Made.  CTSC's determination and the basis for it will be communicated to you in writing.  We have three primary end states for an application.  

  • Accepted. Applications are accepted when CTSC and the engagee have agreed to engage and have scheduled engagement planning and execution.
  • Deferred. Under some circumstances, CTSC may decide to defer review of an application until a later specified date. 
  • Declined. Unfortunately, we may be unable to accept or defer every application.