DARPA Risers Eligibility and Nomination Procedures

About DARPA Risers

DARPA Risers provides individuals in the beginning stages of their independent research career a unique opportunity to be recognized for their notable work and present their ideas directly to DARPA. As part of the DARPA FORWARD Conference Series, Washington State University (WSU) will identify and nominate 5 individuals to participate in this prestigious event as a member of the 2022 DARPA Risers Class. This DARPA Risers event will be held in the morning of Tuesday, September 13, 2022 directly prior to the DARPA FORWARD Conference.

The event is designed to showcase new people and ideas. DARPA is excited that WSU can help identify nominees who may not have established or deep connections to DARPA, but whose work could be relevant in projects related to national security, even if broadly. University nominators should plan to work with their chosen participants as mentors to prepare them for the event.

DARPA Risers is designed as an intimate event where a small, elite group of early career scientists and engineers interact with current DARPA staff and university faculty. The event consists of a 90-minute poster session, during which the selected Risers will present a poster to assigned reviewers from DARPA and university faculty. These reviewers will then select five (5) Risers to present a 5-minute talk to the assembled Riser event participants.

All selected Risers will be acknowledged on the DARPA FORWARD website and given a free ticket to the DARPA FORWARD Conference to be held at WSU on September 13th and 14th. DARPA will arrange for travel and per diem compensation for non-local participants for the duration of the Riser and DARPA FORWARD events at WSU.


At the time of nomination to the DARPA Risers program, the nominee must be in the beginning of their independent research career, which for these purposes is defined as:

+ A graduate student, post-doc, or assistant professor not more than five years since receiving their highest educational degree (i.e., Ph.D., M.S., or equivalent); and

+ Not yet held the position of Principal Investigator on a competitively awarded federal grant or contract.

Other characteristics of an excellent nominee include:

+ The potential to perform innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology relevant to the mission of DARPA;

+ A commitment to service to our nation, as demonstrated through scientific leadership, education, or community outreach;

+ Potential to be a future DARPA PI or even PM.

Nomination Procedures

Application includes the following elements and are due no later than April 1, 2022.

  1. Name of the nominee and advisor;
  2. A resume or curriculum vitae with, minimally, degrees and dates (there are no format requirements);
  3. A one-page title/abstract describing what you would want to present at DARPA Risers event. This can be a wholly new
    concept, an extension of existing work, an idea for a DARPA program, a Heilmeier-questions-inspired description of an
    opportunity, or other narrative.

Requirements for Selected Participants

  • One printed 48” x 48” poster that represents their scientific idea;
  • A 5-minute presentation with accompanying slides (1-5) should they be chosen as one of five presenters at the event.

NOTE: Selected Risers and their mentors will be given explicit direction for all requirements.

Nomination Form – Due April 1, 2022