Arcadia: Department of Defense Grant for Biofilm Research

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is awarding grants to all responsible sources capable of providing research on biofilm, bacteria control and microbial community manipulation that will satisfy the United States Government. Experiments related to biofilm manipulation must be conducted in the laboratory as well as in the field to ensure real-world results that will help us understand and render biofilm beneficial to our government and society through for real-world applications.




No restrictions.


4 years


Proposal Abstract: October 25, 2021, 4:00 PM ET 
Full Proposal: December 15, 2021, 4:00 PM ET





For more information, visit the grant page.

DARPA Defense Sciences Office BAA – Habitus for Cognitive Science, Computation & Defense

This Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) constitutes a public notice of a competitive funding opportunity as described in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 6.102(d)(2) and 35.016 as well as 2 C.F.R. § 200.203. Any resultant negotiations and/or awards will follow all laws and regulations applicable to the specific award instrument(s) available under this BAA, e.g., FAR 15.4 for procurement contracts.

The Defense Sciences Office (DSO) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA) is soliciting innovative research proposals to create self-sustaining, adaptive,
generalizable, and scalable methods for generating causal system models based on local
knowledge to aid operational decision making. Understanding how to work with and influence local systems to support stability operations is critical for operational decision making and is most challenging in undergoverned regions in which the systems themselves are often in flux or illegible. Establishing stability in such regions requires we facilitate actions that are in line with local views, yet our current means for understanding local systems such as the political, socioeconomic, and/or those related to health and infrastructure are limited.

Humans develop causal cognitive representations – or cognitive models – of systems of which they are a part. These models include factors (or variables), relationships among factors, and contexts that affect both. The knowledge behind these models is often hyper-localized, changing dramatically with regional and/or population dependent interactions of factors such as terrain, industries, population density (urban, rural), shared history, formal and informal power structures, religion, and ethnicity. These cognitive models, though often implicit, allow one to estimate which factors are most important for a given outcome and how those factors interact to anticipate future outcomes based on history, current events, and trends.

DARPA Young Faculty Award Program

Federal Agency Name: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Defense Sciences Office (DSO)

Due Dates:

  • Executive Summary (strongly encouraged): September 18, 2019, 4:00 p.m.
  • Full Proposal: November 19, 2019, 4:00 p.m.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award (YFA) program aims to identify and engage rising stars in junior faculty positions in academia and equivalent positions at non-profit research institutions and expose them to Department of Defense (DoD) and National Security challenges and needs. In particular, this YFA will provide high-impact funding to elite researchers early in their careers to develop innovative new research directions in the context of enabling transformative DoD capabilities. The long-term goal of the program is to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers in the research community who will focus a significant portion of their future careers on DoD and National Security issues. DARPA is particularly interested in identifying outstanding researchers who have previously not been performers on DARPA programs, but the program is open to all qualified applicants with innovative research ideas.

Participation in the YFA program is limited to any current tenure-track Assistant or Associate Professors and to tenured Assistant or Associate Professors within three (3) years of their tenure appointment at a U.S. institution of higher education or equivalent at a U.S. non-profit science and technology research institution.

Topic Areas:

  • Unlocking the Secrets of Roman Concrete – Developing new, extremely durable, and crack resistant materials for use in the marine environment is of great national interest.
  • In Vivo Biosensors – To monitor biological changes in response to military-relevant injuries, DARPA is seeking innovative biosensor technologies and platforms to detect a range of relevant biomolecules. These minimally invasive sensors should collect and transmit the concentration of a target molecule in real-time or near real-time and should be biocompatible for use in vivo.
  • Decision Making Algorithm for Medical Countermeasure (MCM) Development – DARPA seeks to develop algorithms to address the ability to predict the translation efficiency of a monoclonal antibody from a nucleic acid construct in vivo. It is envisioned that the proposed work will consist primarily of three components: data generation, computational analysis and in vivo validation of the computational results.
  • Microbial Community Modeling – For this YFA topic, novel modeling approaches are sought to generate predictive models of dynamic multi-organism systems and their environmental interactions that account for the following: intracellular metabolism, extracellular chemical/biochemical processes, maintenance of membrane chemical/charge potentials, associations with other organisms, and dynamic extracellular conditions.
  • Biological Systems for Sensing, Reporting, and Mitigating Air Contamination – The aim of this topic is to develop platform technologies that allow complex engineered living communities to sense, report, and mitigate airborne pollutants and toxins.
  • Distributed Intelligence in Flexible Robots – This YFA topic area builds upon this material computation concept that utilizes the computing power inherent in the diverse dynamics of actuating soft materials to achieve a form of distributed intelligence.
  • Bioinspired Soft-Matter Electrical Circuits – DARPA is interested in new approaches to develop ion-based circuit models that incorporate soft-matter components with functionality that may be inspired by a biosystem.
  • Room-temperature Chip-scale Quantum Opto-mechanical Sensors – This topic seeks development of technologies that enable the coupling between single phonons and photons, i.e. quantum optomechanic, to enable mechanical sensors with ultimate sensitivity.
  • AI System Engineering – This effort should focus on extending state-of-the-art software and system engineering design, implementation, application, and evaluation methods, techniques, and tools that are appropriate, effective, and scalable for large, complex, heterogeneous, adaptable cyber-physical systems comprising AI and other types of components.
  • Advanced Corrosion Control – This topic seeks combined theoretical-experimental efforts to connect atomic-level corrosion nucleation mechanisms with mesoscale chemistry and the surface/interface microstructural features conducive to nucleation. An understanding of how transient environmental conditions affect nucleation kinetics is also desired.
  • Economics-driven Secure Multiparty Computation (MPC) – This effort should focus on looking to further bridge the gap of using sophisticated understandings of economics in order to create novel secure multiparty computation that critically rely on understanding of economics notions (e.g., utility functions, equilibrium theories) to enable breakthrough new capabilities for MPC, particularly those that examine more realistic use cases (and greater incentives for use) via economic analyses.
  • Cross-Cultural Extrapolation of Privacy-Oriented Human-Technology Interactions – This effort looks to create greater understandings of human-technology interaction for privacy amongst communities that have not previously been examined.
  • Scientific Model Aware Computing – Model Aware Computing would be the automated generation of specialized, optimal software tailored to the needs of a specific scientific model under consideration without the complexity of highly generic simulations capable of representing many possible phenomena, which fundamentally changes how scientists interact with software development. Model Aware Computing will support the improvement of scientific software and the automating of scientific reasoning, but it will also expose, represent, and realize the interconnected nature of the modeling structures within and between scientific domains.
  • Push Science – This topic seeks the development of technologies to build and maintain rich models of complex systems (scientific, social, etc.) by identifying new data and information resources automatically, extracting useful information (causal relations, correlations, context, parameters, etc.), and integrating this into machine-curated expert models.
  • Visualization Innovations for Cyber Terrain Operations Representation (VICTOR) – VICTOR research efforts should be focused on disruptive and novel approaches to a physics of cyberspace. This physics will aid situational awareness for US cyberwarriors operating in cyber terrain, e.g., heatmaps, selective revelation of information, and its urgency and persistence.
  • Reducing Errors in Quantum Systems – This topic seeks to accomplish two objectives: 1) improve the realism of error correction in gate-based quantum computation and 2) finding advantages for computation and/or sensing by combining error correction and sensing techniques.
  • Dielectrics for High-Temperature CMOS FETs – Investments in wide bandgap (WBG) materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) have enabled new commercially available power electronics. The WBG material foundation can be leveraged for other applications such as high temperature capable electronics.
  • A Physics-Based Re-exploration of Spectrum Allocation – In this topic, DARPA wants to rethink approaches to EMS management through a holistic and physics-driven methodology. The research should first contextualize the problem based on the history of applications, spectrum regulations, and technology. The work should produce a new perspective on EM spectrum device capabilities to inform new approaches to spectrum sharing and point the way to inform the next generation of EM devices.
  • Detecting Cognitive Dissonance & Belief Shift Over Time – This topic seeks to develop and validate methods: 1) for detecting and identifying cognitive dissonance – or when a person or community holds two beliefs that are in conflict, and specifically when a belief is in conflict with an action, and 2) for predicting when confronted with the conflict, what action the conflicted will take to resolve the tension (e.g., change beliefs, change actions, add rationalizing thoughts, trivialize the inconsistency, etc.). Of particular interest is how repeated and recursive cycles of confrontation and resolution shift belief and/or actions over time – weeks, months or even years.
  • Chip-scale Blind Sampled Wideband Periodogram and Time Transfer by Machine Learning – This topic seeks to explore how machine learning chip-scale solutions can provide low latency detection, synchronization and timing transfer of accurate clocks between cognitive mobile devices operating in the absence of centralized reference clock signals, such as provided by a basestation or GPS.
  • Practical Antineutrino Detectors – This topic seeks to advance antineutrino detector technology toward the practical use of antineutrinos as a tool for national security applications.
  • RF Power Harvesting for Remote Sensing – DARPA is seeking innovative methods for harvesting RF energy with high efficiency in regions with low RF power (<<1mW).
  • Low Loop Latency Distributed Time Transfer – This topic seeks innovative solutions for significantly reducing the effect of loop latency for the purpose of maintaining tightly synchronized reference clocks from multiple radios (>10) across long distances (>> 1 km) despite the presence of substantial phase nose.
  • High-Entropy Alloys Study – DARPA seeks proposals that investigate ultra-low density materials (<1% wt. bulk) comprised of high-entropy alloys, that could be used for a low density “skin”. We also seek ideas for deposition of these skins (such as electrodeposition from ionic solutions) or their creation via in situ nuclear decay.
  • Ocean Object Identification via Distributed Sensors – This topic seeks new methods or technologies that enable detection of man-made objects in an ocean environment utilizing ‘through the sensor’ environmental data from large distributed arrays of in-situ sensors.
  • Flame Stability and Ignition in Partially-Premixed High-Speed Flows – This effort should be focused on the application of modern diagnostics and computational modeling to better understand the mechanisms by which these flames ignite and stabilize relative to flame stratification, degree of partial-premixing, and burning location.
  • On-Orbit Servicing Architectures for Proliferated Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Constellations – This topic seeks innovative approaches to on-orbit servicing of proliferated LEO constellations.

Additional information can be found on the DARPA YFA FedBizOpps page or in the Research Announcement, available on