Research and Academic

Cisco Research Center (CRC) connects researchers and developers from Cisco, academia, governments, customers, and industry partners with the goal of facilitating collaboration and exploration of new and promising technologies.

First and foremost, we are interested in exploring issues, topics, and problems that are relevant to our core business of improving the Internet.

We're also deeply interested in adjacent technologies that leverage the power of the network to change the world around us.

What We Do

We have a broad portfolio of research interests and activities!

  • Gifts, Grants, and Sponsorships
  • Government Research Programs
  • Research Conferences & SIGs
  • Graduate & Undergraduate Student Programs
  • Co-Research with Customers, Partners, and Academic Institutions
  • Open Source Projects, Industry Consortia, Standards Bodies, and Working Groups

Research Interests


Networking is our core, and we are deeply interested in all related topics, as well as adjacencies that drive change in the way networks need to operate. New networking technologies—things we are exploring in labs today—have introduced a number of interesting problems that must be solved if we are to realize their promise. Examples include:

  • Deployment, performance, security, and scaling issues introduced by different programmable network architectures
  • Evaluation and advancement of controller information models
  • Challenges with data collection, transport, analysis, security, and performance in scaled-out implementations of networked devices with high volumes of telemetry (e.g. in IoT deployments)
  • Automation, usability/UX, and application/network interaction in programmable networks (e.g. natural language processing to drive business rules, and intelligent interpretation and presentation of network analytics)
  • Moving and distributing workloads across multiple software and hardware infrastructures (automation, security, usability, intelligent placement, etc.)
  • Migration strategies and intermediate technologies to facilitate the transition of legacy networks to future network architectures
  • New network coding schemes to improve throughput in fixed, wireless, and mobile networks
  • Software-based forwarding techniques
  • New management techniques that span fixed, wireless, and mobile networks; and traditional and programmable infrastructure
  • Dynamic spectrum access, policy, and control in mobile networks
  • Architectural and deployment issues in IPv4->IPv6 migration (and beyond)
  • Methods for assessing and delivering significant improvements in QoS & QoE over fixed, wireless, and mobile networks


Cisco is leading the industry in the transition to programmable networks, but hardware is still a critical element to ensuring reliability, performance, and scalability; and getting more value out of smaller and cheaper hardware is one of the challenges immediately ahead of us with IoT deployments. As such, we’re still deeply interested in hardware! Here are a few examples of things we’re interested in exploring:

  • Advanced memory technologies
  • Advancements in optical & silicon photonics
  • Software radios
  • Multi-dimensional ASIC design
  • Homomorphic encryption
  • New uses of GPUs & FPGAs for specialized HPC tasks
  • Improvement of energy consumption, power management, and thermal/cooling technologies
  • Process, reliability, layout, circuit, architecture, simulation and performance of multi-gate transistors


We have always been interested in security, but there are a plethora of new and interesting problems in this space! Examples:

  • Impacts to network measurement and monitoring when new security technologies are deployed
  • Security new network architectures, including software-based network infrastructure, IoT deployments
  • Security across hybrid networks, and new methods for solving security challenges during network migration
  • New techniques in applied cryptography
  • New methods for intelligent threat detection and mitigation (including distributed computation and trusted computing) across fixed, wireless, and mobile networks
  • Securing promising new network architectures, like NDN
  • Policy-aware network security
  • Security in workload mobility and distributions
  • Application awareness of network and data center security
  • Secure storage
  • Predicting and mitigating security vulnerabilities in software components and systems
  • Securing wired & wireless sensor networks


Those are just a few examples of topics that interest us. We are, of course, also always interested in “the big questions,” and in pioneering ideas with the potential to drive material disruption in the industry. E.g.

  • Named Data Networking
  • When will IP run out of steam, and what will replace it?
  • Internet economic models & policy impact

Requests for Proposals

A submission neither creates nor implies any obligations on the part of Cisco, its affiliates, or partners, and Cisco's decision regarding your proposal is at the sole discretion of Cisco and are not subject to appeal.

RFP Title Link
RFP_All Use this if your proposal doesn't fit cleanly into any of the topic areas below, or if it crosses multiple areas Apply
{{rfp.rfp_number}}  {{rfp.rfp_name}} {{rfp.rfp_name}} Apply

How to Submit a Proposal

Right now, we use the CyberGrants tool to gather data and track our sponsored engagements. Love it or hate it, if you are planning to apply for a grant or sponsorship, you will need to create a CyberGrants account. After you read through the posted RFPs above (all listed are active), please select one and click ‘Apply’ to populate the ‘Invitation Code’ field and start your application. There are NO deadlines and proposals are reviewed and funding decisions are made on a rolling basis. You will be asked for the following:


Something descriptive, please


A clear description of your ask, and the outcome you’d like to achieve (usually about 2-3 paragraphs)

Detailed Proposal

If this is a research or prototyping proposal, clearly describe the hypothesis, what exactly you would do, what resources you need (including money, time, and anything else), and how you will measure the outcomes (usually 2-3 pages for a prototype or early research idea; 5-10 pages for a detailed research proposal)

Cisco Sponsors

…If you have them … If not, just leave it blank. Please do not give us names of people who don’t know you… we check!


Select as many as applicable, or add your own. This will help us search for things. Don’t worry, though … This is not like one of those online resume submission tools. We actually do read and respond to these things. All of them.

Budget Info

Budgets depend on the institution and geography, since costs vary. Research funds are to cover costs associated with:

  • Graduate or post graduate students employment
  • Limited release time (1-2 months) for PI
  • Research support costs (e.g., equipment, laptops, incidental costs)
  • Travel associated with research (e.g., conferences, standards)
  • Overhead for research gifts is limited to 5%
Shoot us an email