A Convergence Directorate at the National Science Foundation
Author: Dean M. Evasius
Convergence is a compelling novel paradigm and a potent force for advancing scientific discovery via transdisciplinary collaboration. It is also a useful framework for multi-sector partnerships. The next administration should form a Convergence Directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to accelerate research and innovation and help ensure U.S. leadership in the industries of the future.
In forming the Directorate, NSF should:
Commit resources that are commensurate with the importance of the Directorate’s mission.
Provide the sustained focus needed to realize the tremendous potential of convergence.
Ensure that the Directorate is organized to reflect the principles of convergence in its structure and operations.
About the Author
Dean M. Evasius is the Associate Vice President for Research Development at the University of Virginia. He previously served at the National Science Foundation in a variety of roles: the Division Director for the Division of Graduate Education, the Head of the Office of Multidisciplinary Activities in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Program Director in the Division of Mathematical Sciences. After receiving a PhD in mathematics from the California Institute of Technology he served as a member of the research staff at the National Security Agency, where he worked on problems in mathematics, data science, and cybersecurity. While at NSF he served as the chair of the NSF Convergence working group that developed the characterization of convergence research at NSF, as well as the first funding opportunity highlighting convergence research as one of the NSF Big Ideas: the Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 17-065) Growing Convergence Research at NSF.