Research Proposals


General Research Proposal Information

AISC actively funds and supports research related to structural steel design and construction. The AISC Committee on Research establishes goals and areas of interest for that research. Following is a statement compiled by the AISC Committee on Research that reflects current areas of interest and a desire to receive proposals in these areas.

Research proposals should be directed toward developing next-generation structural steel systems for enhanced performance, safety, sustainability, and economy (including life cycle costs). Research oriented toward the use of structural steel in special loading conditions such as high wind, earthquake, blast, and fire applications also are encouraged. 

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • Performance-Based design/analysis criteria and procedures to achieve steel structures with targeted performance objectives. 
  • Innovative structural steel systems and components with a variety of applications including systems using advanced materials and technologies, such as shape memory alloys, special property steels, composites, etc. 
  • Connections and fastening systems using innovative configurations, components, and materials to enhance fabrication profitability, construction productivity, structural performance, and or safety. 
  • Models for analytical simulation of steel response over the entire range of behavior up to failure. 
  • Understanding the behavior and response of complete 3-D structural steel systems. 
  • System development, such as floor systems, unique high-rise framing schemes or lateral bracing systems 
  • Building system integration – integration of the building envelope with the structural system through the use of a BIM (Building Information Model) 
  • Develop scientific support for the use of structural steel in sustainable construction 
  • Develop scientific support for the adequacy of performance of structural steel construction subjected to unanticipated loads and to resist disproportionate collapse.

Note: Applicants for AISC research funding are encouraged to develop and submit complementary proposals for joint sponsorship with other government or private funding agencies. Collaboration with other institutions and researchers is also encouraged. Collaboration with investigations oriented to bridge construction may be desirable if the results of the work are applicable to and feasible in buildings.

AISC accepts unsolicited proposals.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

AISC will choose to support projects at the discretion of the Institute. Proposal characteristics that are often considered include:

  • Significance of the proposed original work
  • Qualifications of the investigators
  • The potential benefit to the steel construction and design community
  • Adequacy of equipment and facilities
  • Schedule both in terms of whether it is realistic and whether it suits pending needs
  • Project budget
  • Probability of success

Position on Overhead Expenses

AISC is a not-for-profit association with members from across the structural steel construction community, including producers, fabricators. The majority of the AISC members are engineers. We distribute our specifications free for their use. The primary goal of those specifications is the reliability of structures and through that the safety of the public.

Because AISC does not use the results of research for profit, nor do we sell reports of the research or derivatives from it, and because our work is performed in the interest of public safety, we take the position that our contribution to research institution indirect costs and overheads shall be limited to no greater than 25%. AISC may choose to fund grants or gifts at its discretion.

Proposal Budget and Schedule

Budgets should include costs of test specimen materials. AISC may choose to assist in the acquisition of such materials.

Proposals extending over multiple years are encouraged. Proposals anticipating funding from sources other than AISC are encouraged.

Model budget and schedule forms are included in the documents section below.