Quantum Information Science

UC Noyce Initiative 
2024 Quantum Information Science 
Call for Applications 


Call for application announcement: March 25, 2024
Application deadline: April 24, 2024 by 6 p.m.
Award start: July 1, 2024


The UC Noyce Initiative is a partnership between five University of California campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara) that honors the legacy of Robert N. Noyce and Ann S. Bowers by advancing research collaborations in critical areas of digital technology and innovation to drive informed, ethical and timely discovery for the public good. To further this aim, the UC Noyce Initiative supports innovative research efforts that have the potential for high impact and hold a strong promise for follow-on funding. 

As a pioneer in the early days of the semiconductor industry, Robert Noyce helped to pioneer the integrated circuit which led to decades of exponential improvements and applications of semiconductors in computing, sensing, and communication that were unimaginable in those early years. Quantum technology has the potential to further revolutionize the field, making classically intractable problems solvable and providing new types of devices for observation and measurement. These capabilities could, for example, fundamentally change the use of encryption to protect data, create more accurate simulations for developing novel chemicals for energy and agriculture, and enable optimization of industrial processes and planning at an unprecedented scale. Quantum sensing also offers enormous advantages in sensitivity, with potential applications that range from fundamental physics to improved diagnosis of disease and injury of the human brain.

While quantum techniques have proven advantages over classical ones, quantum technologies are facing some of the same reliability, scaling, and integration challenges as the earliest days of semiconductors. The goal of this program is to significantly advance the applicability of quantum technology for applications in the physical world through co-development of integrated hardware and new algorithms. This will bring together experimental and theoretical researchers to develop integrated quantum devices with improved reliability and co-developed algorithms to initiate and perform reliable quantum simulations. The hardware devices must address the challenges that arise from integration, such as the need for controlled communication between components along with isolation from unintended interference for reliability. Similarly, the full power of quantum sensing will only be realized with multiple devices working cooperatively to collect and analyze data.

In 2024, the UC Noyce Initiative intends to support collaborative research to address these three critical areas of quantum information science.

These challenges are: 

  • Quantum Hardware Challenge: Improve the integration and scaling of quantum hardware for use in computing by navigating the conflicting requirements of isolation and control.  Specific approaches of interest include the use of photonics to replace wires and the development of new techniques to reduce and mitigate noise.
  • Quantum Simulation Challenge: Develop new algorithms and improve understanding of quantum simulation used for natural phenomena (e.g., chemistry, materials, and physics problems) on integrated quantum devices through techniques for initial state preparation (e.g., ground, thermal, and non-equilibrium states). 
  • Quantum Sensing Challenge: Advance useful applications of quantum sensors to observe the physical world through improvement of existing sensors, development of new sensors, and leveraging the interactive power of multiple sensors through integration and networking. 

Award Details

The UC Noyce Initiative anticipates awarding up to three multi-campus partnership awards. Partnerships must focus on addressing one of the challenges outlined above and include at least three Initiative campuses. Partnerships can request up to $800,000 over the two-year award duration. 

Award Type Budget Maximum Award Duration  Partnership Requirements
Multi-campus partnership: Quantum Up to $600,000 for three campuses and $800,000 for four or five campuses Two years Inclusion of at least three initiative campuses


  1. Principal Investigator (PI) status at one of the Initiative campuses.
  2. A researcher may only serve as PI on one application.
  3. Current and previous UC Noyce Initiative award recipients are eligible to apply. 

How to submit your application

Please submit your application via the following application form. Be sure to include the following information:

Proposal Title: Please insert the title of your proposal  

Have you previously received a UC Noyce Initiative award: (Yes/No). Please note this will be used for Initiative tracking purposes only.

PI Names and Campuses: Please enter the names and campus affiliations for all co-PIs on the application 

Challenge Area: 

  • Quantum Hardware  
  • Quantum Simulation
  • Quantum Sensing

Abstract: (500 word max)Please outline why the research is needed/important and the potential broader impact it would have on society; an overview of the scientific methods to be used; and a statement about the promise of the proposed project to later leverage additional funding sources from federal or industry sources.  

Impact Statement: (200 words max) Explain how the proposed research may have a broader impact on your field, technology, and society. 

Research Narrative: (Five pages max)The research narrative should include the following information:

  • Background/Rationale
  • Research methodology and specific aims 
  • Innovation: Highlight the innovation involved in the approach, technology, solution etc.  
  • Impact: Explain the potential impacts of this research on your field and society and, if applicable, the translational potential of the proposed research.
  • Collaboration: Explain how the proposed collaboration will advance your research and impact. Please comment also on how the collaboration will work across the campus partners. 

Please ensure that the research narrative is no longer than five pages not including references using no smaller than 11-pt font and 1-inch margins.  

Budget and Budget Justification: Please complete the following budget template to outline how the requested funding will be utilized, as well as a 1-page budget justification briefly explaining the proposed costs in each category. Awards may be used to cover relevant research expenses, including salary support, graduate student/postdoctoral research support, supplies & materials, computing expenses, equipment, publication expenses, and travel costs. Indirect costs should not be included.
CVs: Please provide a CV (five page maximum) for each PI and co-investigators participating on the project. We also welcome NIH or NSF biosketch formats. Be sure to call out any special qualifications that uniquely qualify you for this project.

Review Criteria 

Applications will undergo peer review by faculty in relevant fields from Initiative campuses. The peer reviewers will assess applications on the following review criteria, which applicants are encouraged to consider when developing their proposals.   

The outcome from the review committee will be provided to the UC Noyce Initiative leadership who will finalize the award decisions. 

Scientific Merit (50% scoring weight)
Are the proposed approaches and methodologies clearly outlined, scientifically rigorous, and appropriate for the proposed research? Is the problem being addressed important and timely? Is the proposed approach innovative? Are appropriate data protection/management systems in place? If the research involves human subjects, are necessary protections outlined and appropriate?   

Impact (25% scoring weight) 
How impactful would the proposed research be in advancing knowledge, methodologies and/or technology in the indicated thematic area? What is the translational potential of the proposed research? What is the impact on society? How likely is the proposed research to impact follow-on funding?

Strength of the Collaboration (15% scoring weight)
Does the collaboration across the partner campuses strengthen the proposed research? Is the partnership complementary and/or synergistic? Does the proposal outline a meaningful engagement plan across the participating campus partners? 

Expertise and Capacity (10% scoring weight)
Do the PIs have the experience and expertise to conduct the proposed research? Does the application include collaborators with complementary expertise and the appropriate levels of support to complete the proposed research? Does the proposal outline that the collaboration has the needed equipment, space, or mechanisms in place to successfully achieve the stated goals? Is the requested budget and justification reasonable and appropriate for the successful completion of the research? 

Annual reporting and symposium 

All award recipients will provide an annual progress report. Awardees will also be invited and encouraged to participate in the annual UC Noyce Initiative Symposium.

Contact information

Should you have any questions about the application process, please contact ucnoyceinitiative@berkeley.edu.