By Scott Maucione, Federal News Network
Feb 8, 2021
Robots, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and many other futuristic technologies are all projects that the Intelligence Community’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowships have worked on.
Now, in its 20th year, the program is looking for new candidates and reflecting back on some of the successes of the last two decades.
“The program supports unclassified research in partnership with U.S intelligence community partners, and it’s really targeting academic institutions,” John Beieler, director of science and technology for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. “These are academic researchers who have received their Ph.D.s that are now doing kind of their first work outside after their Ph.D.”
Each year ODNI asks members of the IC to submit areas where they would like further research done. From there grants are given to researchers on a variety of subjects.
“These research appointments are typically two years in length, and we’re currently accepting applications for the 2021 research opportunities until Feb. 26,” Beieler said. “In any given year, we’ll have a few dozen topics to go out to request responses. Not all of those get responses, obviously some topics are very hot. AI topics tend to get a ton of responses.”
The program is open to U.S. citizens only.
Beieler said looking back over the last 20 years, the IC has funded some vanguard studies.
“One current research grant is designing algorithms that allow robots to execute complex manipulation tasks, like repairing satellites,” he said. This robotic satellite repair and assembly can both reduce the cost and increase the scope and efficiency of future space missions.”