LAS White Paper Submission Process for 2023 Research

The Laboratory for Analytic Sciences (LAS) at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, is pleased to announce important dates for those interested in conducting research projects beginning in January 2023. LAS brings together multidisciplinary teams of people from government, industry and academia to address intelligence community mission challenges. We apply unclassified mission-driven examples from academic and commercial partners to intelligence community goals. Participants selected for research projects will work on campus with intelligence researchers to deliver mission-relevant solutions to better support today’s intelligence analysts.

 

Call for White Papers

Monday, June 6, 2022

LAS’s call for white papers invites researchers to submit one or more white papers detailing a proposed research project to be conducted in 2023. The call for white papers provides examples of research and application areas of interest for the lab. It is derived from a careful consideration of mission needs based on discussions with intelligence community partners as well as the current expertise and interests of LAS government staff.

Collaborators’ Day Webinar

Tuesday, June 28, 2022, 2 p.m.

In this live Zoom webinar, LAS university staff share an overview of the lab and how we work, explain our 2023 technical interest topics, and conduct a Q&A session with our presenters.

Webinar Q&A

  • Can foreign nationals participate?
    Yes, although there is an additional background check process before starting the award.
  • Are submissions evaluated on a rolling basis?
    No. They will all be evaluated starting on July 29 with responses by September 30.
  • Are projects done virtually?
    For participants who aren’t local to NC State, yes, much of the work is done virtually. There can be funding to travel to LAS, and we do have a separate summer program and opportunities for student internships.
  • Is there a page limit for the white paper?
    Yes. Three pages. Please see details in the Call for White Papers. Reference lists do not count toward the page limit.
  • What are the typical TRL levels you prefer to fund?
    We fund a range, but most of our work is TRL 2-4.
  • Will hardware resources be available if a submission is accepted? Specifically, GPUs and high-RAM machines for training of models.
    Yes, but it will depend on the specifics. We utilize AWS for our unclassified infrastructure. We can budget for those resources as part of our project planning. We do have the full-range of the AWS capabilities available for use.
  • How about indirect costs or University overhead?
    Those are fully supported. We pay indirects/F&A.
  • What is your % transition success to an operational partner? If project terms are limited to 1 year, is there a path to successful transition?
    In your response to the Call for White Papers, we ask you to be specific about your one-year plan to work with LAS. However, many projects are renewed and last more than one year, which gives us more opportunities to develop successful transition paths.
  • Is there an ideal form of deliverable LAS is looking for at the end of the project?
    There are a variety of different deliverables that we are looking for — everything from research papers to software prototypes. If you have a specific question, that would be something great to discuss in office hours or through a question at lasoutreach@ncsu.edu.
  • In the operationalizing AI/ML theme, you mentioned an interest in detecting deepfakes. Is there interest in adversarial capabilities on this topic (i.e. techniques to fool deepfake detectors or defenses to protect against these attacks)?
    Our interests in this area are on the defensive / detection side.
  • Is there any expectation of faculty and students researchers composition? Can this be student run with faculty overseeing?
    Projects can be student-led, and we have had successful projects that follow this model. However, the most common model is a faculty member working with a graduate research assistant, although we are open to a variety of models.
  • For industry partners, what type of contract vehicle do you use?
    Industry partners are on a subcontract from the NC State IDIQ.
  • Is innovation judged purely on technical novelty, or is the focus more on how the intelligence community benefits?
    Impact to the intelligence community is weighted more heavily than technical novelty.
  • So, the standard award is $250K, and it is expected to support 1 month faculty salary + 12 month GA + other costs (up to $3600), right? Can we request an academic pay (such as waiving one teaching load at the University)?
    The standard industry award is $250K. The standard academic award is 1 month + GRA + ODCs. We can be flexible about how you allocate that funding and will be happy to discuss it with you.
  • Do we get feedback on our white paper if not accepted?
    Pending resource availability, we may be able to provide feedback upon request.
  • Are past abstracts / publications available?
    No.
  • What is the policy for handling existing Intellectual Property, if the work is used in proposal?
    Please do not submit anything sensitive, proprietary, classified or requiring intellectual property protection through the white papers.

Collaborators Office Hours

Tuesday, July 5 – Friday, July 22, 2022

University and government staff from LAS will host individual 15-minute Google Meet sessions to answer questions about this year’s areas of interest, ideas for project proposals, how LAS operates, and the white paper submission process. Sessions will not be recorded.

White Papers Due

Friday, July 29, 2022

Collaborators should plan to submit their white papers in PDF format through the LAS website. They are due at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Connect With Us!

LAS aims to bring together a multi-disciplinary group of academic, industry, and government researchers, analysts and managers together to re-engineer the intelligence analysis process to promote predictive analysis. LAS will do this by conducting both classified and unclassified research in a variety of areas of research. The research done in this area will serve as the foundation for mission effects and integrated back into the enterprise.

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