The Department of Homeland Security is inviting cooperative agreement applications for the Center Lead of the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Center of Excellence.  The DHS COEs are university consortia that work closely with DHS to conduct research, develop and transition mission-relevant science and technology, and educate the next generation of homeland security technical experts. DHS envisions COEs as long-term trusted academic partners that provide an array of resources to help DHS achieve its missions and carry out its operations. The COEs that make up the existing COE network are listed at https://www.dhs.gov/st-centers-excellence.

The CIRC will conduct research and education to enhance the resiliency of the Nation’s critical infrastructures and the businesses and public entities that own and operate them. The research will provide a better understanding of the complex business of risk management in the context of potential catastrophic disruptions to infrastructure operations. The Center should develop tools and analyses that infrastructure owners and operators and policy makers can use to increase the infrastructures’ resilience. Applicants must address the following research themes:

  1. Understanding resilient critical infrastructure systems
  2. The application of critical infrastructure research in the real world
  3. The business case for infrastructure resiliency
  4. The future of resilience

Each COE is led by a U.S. college or university and has multiple partners. COE partners include other academic institutions, private industry, DHS components, DOE National Laboratories and other Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, other federal agencies that have homeland security-relevant missions, state/local and tribal governments, and first-responder organizations.

$20 million is available for one award of $4 million annually for five years.  The program does not require cost sharing, but encourages it as an important consideration.

The campus may submit only one proposal. Since the topic area is extremely restricted, we do not anticipate that an internal competition will be needed.   In order to verify this, however, interested applicants must send an Expression of Intent to the Office of Research by Friday, August 8th.  This Expression of Intent may consist of an email from the PI with a 1-paragraph overview of the Center and its participants, and should be sent to OR@research.uci.edu.

A campus internal competition will only be held if multiple parties express interest. The deadline for full proposals is September 23, 2014.

For more information about the CIRC program, including application materials, please see http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=258673.   Questions about our internal campus review process may be directed to Greg Ruth at greg.ruth@uci.edu or x4-0372.
John C. Hemminger
Vice Chancellor for Research