An academic career often does not provide the uninterrupted stretches of time necessary for acquiring and building new skills to enhance and advance one’s research program. Mid-career scientists, in particular, are at a critical career stage where they need to advance their research programs to ensure long-term productivity and creativity but are often constrained by service, teaching, or other activities that limit the amount of time devoted to research.
The MCA (Mid-Career Advancement) solicitation (NSF 21-516) offers an opportunity for scientists and engineers at the Associate Professor rank (or equivalent) to substantively enhance and advance their research program through synergistic and mutually beneficial partnerships, typically at an institution other than their home institution.
Projects that envision new insights on existing problems or identify new but related problems previously inaccessible without new methodology or expertise from other fields are encouraged.
You can find more information on this solicitation here at 21-516.
The target date for proposal submission is February 7, 2022.
Additional guidance is provided here: