Virginia Tech® home

Research Engagement Program


The Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) is establishing Virginia as a global center of excellence at the intersection of security, autonomous systems, and data. With a mission of research, innovation, and workforce development, CCI serves as a catalyst for the commonwealth's long- term leadership in this sector through the collaboration of a central hub and four regional nodes. The Southwest Virginia Node is led by Virginia Tech (VT). The Cybersecurity Research Engagement Program exists to seed cybersecurity research efforts by investigators new to CCI.

Focus areas should be within the intersection of data, autonomy, and security.CCI Southwest Virginia has a particular emphasis on cybersecurity related to fast, secure, and customizable communications systems and technologies, including 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), defense-in-depth cybersecurity solutions, emerging technologies (such as NextG and quantum algorithms) and cryptographic protocols, applications in transportation, energy, space, autonomous systems, manufacturing, and agriculture, as well as issues surrounding human factors, privacy, ethics, and global security in society. CCI Southwest Virginia includes Radford University, University of Virginia at Wise, Virginia Military Institute, Virginia Tech, Liberty University, Danville Community College, The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research New College Institute, Mountain Empire Community College, New River Community College, Patrick and Henry Community College, Southwest Community College, Virginia Highlands Community College, Virginia Western Community College, and Wytheville Community College. 


This call is restricted to faculty members who have not served as Principal Investigator (PI) on an award from CCI or CCI Southwest Virginia.

The PI must meet the following criteria:

  1.  Be from a public institution of higher education in the CCI Southwest Virginia network
  2.  Be deemed eligible by their home institution to serve as a PI on an external grant
  3. Not have been PI on any previously funded CCI project

Women, gender and underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. PIs are advised to consider diversity and inclusion in their teams. 


Anticipated award amount: $10,000-$15,000
Period of Performance: May 10, 2022 – August 9, 2022
Use of funds is limited to summer support for faculty or student research. 

Award conditions

A successful applicant is expected to participate fully in the activities of CCI including providing materials needed for reports, participating in CCI meetings and seminars, serving as a reviewer on other CCI Call for Proposals (CFP), and responding to CCI data collection requests. All publications and presentations resulting from the grant should acknowledge support from Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI).

Proposal format

Proposals must use 1-inch margins, 12-point Calibri font and adhere to the following outline:

1.   Title page (1 page)

  • Title and contact information for Principal Investigator (PI) including unit

2.   Project description (3-5 pages)

  • Project overview and objective 

  • Statement of intellectual merit 

  • Statement of alignment with CCI mission 

  • Deliverables, such as external proposals 

  • References (not included in the page count)

3.   Budget (1 page)

  • Budget items (restricted to faculty or student support), amount, and justification 

  • Budget must be approved by the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at the PI’s 
institution prior to the deadline.

4.   Biosketch (1-2 pages)

5.   Current & pending support

Proposal submission

Proposals must be submitted to Gretchen Matthews ( with subject “REP proposal submission” by the project PI no later than 5:00 pm EDT on Friday, March 18, 2022. All proposals must be submitted as a single PDF document labeled lastname_firstname_REP_S22. 

Evaluation criteria

Proposals will be evaluated by a panel of reviewers according to the following criteria:

Intellectual merit (40%)

  • Clearly defined problem/unmet need and how proposed work will address it.

Broader impacts (20%)

  • Potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes, as it aligns with CCI mission.

Value of the funding (20%)

  • Concrete plans to use the results from this research to secure external funding or IP 

Alignment and qualifications (20%)

  • Relevance to CCI mission and suitability of team background to proposed work