Creating Visions for Computing Research

Last revised September 2014
History: Issued June 2007; Revised December 2007, June 2008, October 2008, April 2011, September 2011, January 2012, September 2013, September 2014 | PDF version

Visioning Webinar Slides


The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) invites proposals for visioning workshops that will catalyze and enable innovative research at the frontiers of computing.  Successful activities will articulate new research visions, galvanize community interest in those visions, mobilize support for those visions from the computing research community, government leaders, and funding agencies, and encourage broader segments of society to participate in computing research and education.  Past examples can be found at here.

Workshop organizers are expected to bring together a group of scientists and practitioners in the area of interest, and to formulate a program that encourages new ideas, innovative thinking, and broad discussion. Workshops can be of varying sizes, typically ranging from 20 to 100 participants.  It is important that the participants cover a broad spectrum to ensure full coverage of the area, both in terms of content area representation and employment (academia, industry, research labs, and policy and funding organizations).

Workshops are expected to have a tangible output – for example, a whitepaper (or set thereof) or a workshop report. Workshop outcomes should be targeted to multiple audiences (the research community, science policy groups or funding agencies, the general public), and the deliverables should be tailored for easy dissemination.  CCC will help to support both workshop organization and the subsequent generation and communication of the output.

The CCC encourages creative ideas from all segments of the computing research community on topics ranging from the formulation of new basic research areas and technologies to the use of new or existing research ideas and technologies to address important scientific or societal challenges.

Preparing a Proposal

Proposed activities can take many forms. A small group of people might have an idea and want to engage a larger, more established, community to create a vision for a new research program that broadens the scope of the topic and creates community interest in it. A group of researchers may wish to re-energize a community by organizing a series of workshops to create a roadmap for the field.  An interdisciplinary group may need to bring multiple communities together to create a new interdisciplinary research area.  In all cases, the proposing group is expected to have the research expertise, visibility, and leadership skills necessary to make the proposed effort a success.

The length of the project description should be commensurate with the scope of the proposed activities, but not longer than six (6) pages. *Note that we seek workshops that create visions for broad research agendas, not proposals whose primary purpose is to secure future funding for the participants.

A well-formulated proposal should do the following:

  • describe the visioning topic area and its current state of development within the field,
  • explain the proposed activities in detail (if more than one activity, be sure to demonstrate the differences between the activities, the rationale for more than one activity, and the mechanisms to coordinate across activities),
  • connect the activity and the vision: how does the former support/foster the latter?
  • justify why this vision and this activity are appropriate now,
  • specify the intended outcomes of the workshop, and
  • describe how those outcomes can be used to advance the visioning topic area.

A complete proposal must also

  • identify the organizing committee,
  • include biographical sketches of the organizers,
  • propose a representative set of potential workshop invitees (be sure to include representation from policy and funding organizations),
  • provide a budget with justification, and
  • articulate how the success of the workshop and its outcomes can be assessed.

Projects are expected to last from one to two years. Requested support can range from funding for one or two small workshops to funding for a lengthy study group. Budgets can range in size from $10,000 to as much as $200,000, depending on the size and scope of effort that will be supported. The PIs are expected to lead the effort on behalf of the community, so the CCC will not cover salary support for PIs. Exceptions to these guidelines need to be very well justified.  Budget questions should be sent to the email address below.

Review Process and Review Criteria

Each proposal will be reviewed based on its potential to be a compelling vision and to engage a large segment of the research community, policy, and funding agencies.  The entire CCC Council will review the proposal and provide comments in a timely manner (typically within 4-8 weeks).

Proposals may be submitted by email anytime to as an attachment in PDF, Postscript, or Word. For CCC planning purposes, proposals with start dates prior to September 2015 should be submitted by December 1, 2014.

Questions about this RFP should also be sent to

Future Solicitations

The CCC expects to re-issue this solicitation periodically.

Visioning Best Practices Guide

This guide shares further insight about the visioning process, from idea conception through program formation.  It includes suggested activities, sample wording and a timeline.  This docuemt will be updated periodically.