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Energy for Sustainability

CONTACTS

Name Email Phone Room
Gregory  L. Rorrer grorrer@nsf.gov (703) 292-8045   

To 2014 Applicants: Please note that NSF 13-1 explicitly states the requirements for addressing BOTH the Intellectual Merit (IM) and the Broader Impact (BI) review criteria for NSF proposals. In addition to addressing IM and BI separately in the Project Summary, a separate section on BI needs to be included in the Proposal Description (GPG: "The Project Description must contain, as a separate section within the narrative, a discussion of the broader impacts of the proposed activities") .  Furthermore, when reporting results from Prior NSF Support, two separate sections addressing explicitly IM and BI need to be included within this portion of the proposal. (GPG: " ... a summary of the results of the completed work, including accomplishments, described in two separate sections, related to the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact activities supported by the award").

 

If any of these requirements (or any other requirement from NSF 13-1 document) are not met, the proposal will not pass the NSF compliance check and will be returned without review. We would like to avoid such unfortunate instances for our Division.

PROGRAM GUIDELINES

Apply to PD 14-7644 as follows:

For full proposals submitted via FastLane: standard Grant Proposal Guidelines apply.
For full proposals submitted via Grants.gov: NSF Grants.gov Application Guide; A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov Guidelines apply (Note: The NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=grantsgovguide)

DUE DATES

Full Proposal Window:  January 15, 2015 - February 19, 2015

SYNOPSIS

This program supports fundamental research and education that will enable innovative processes for the sustainable production of electricity and transportation fuels.  Processes for sustainable energy production must be environmentally benign, reduce greenhouse gas production, and utilize renewable resources.  Current interest areas in sustainable energy technologies are highlighted below.

NOTE:  For proposals involving any aspect of chemistry, including but not limited to biochemistry or physical chemistry, consider making proposal submissions to this program (7644) with the Proposal Title as:  ‘SusChEM: Name of Your Proposal'.  See SusChEM - New NSF Emphasis Area.  Likewise for proposals involving sustainable engineering.

Biomass Conversion, Biofuels & Bioenergy.  Photosynthetic processes used by plants or algae use sunlight to convert atmospheric CO2 to energy-rich metabolites (carbohydrates, lipids, or hydrocarbons) which can be processed into transportation fuels.  Fundamental research on innovative approaches for the intensification of biofuel and bioenergy processes is an emphasis area of this program.  Specific areas of interest include: biological, thermochemical, or thermocatalytic conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels beyond cellulosic ethanol; microbial fuel cells for direct production of electricity from renewable carbon sources; process-based, scalable approaches for the biological or bio-mimetic generation of electricity directly from sunlight; hydrogen production from autotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms; hydrocarbons and lipids from autotrophic or heterotrophic microorganisms.  The proposals primarily dealing with the reactor or catalyst designs should be submitted to the Process and Reaction Engineering program or the Catalysis and Biocatalysis program, respectively. 

Photovoltaic Solar Energy.  Solar photovoltaic (PV) devices harvest and convert sunlight directly to electricity.  Fundamental research on innovative processes for the fabrication and theory-based characterization of future PV devices is an emphasis area of this program.  Specific areas of interest include:  nano-enabled PV devices containing nanostructured semiconductors, plasmonic materials, photonic structures, or conducting polymers; earth-abundant and environmentally benign materials for photovoltaic devices; photocatalytic or photoelectrochemical processe for the splitting of water into H2 gas, or for the reduction of CO2 to liquid or gaseous fuels.  The generation of thermal energy by solar radiation is not an area supported by this program, but will be considered by the Thermal Transport Processes program within CBET.  

Wind Energy.  Fundamental engineering research, supported by modeling and simulation studies, that leads to new processes to efficiently harness wind energy for the production of electrical power is an interest area of this program.  Research that focuses on materials science issues associated with wind energy systems will not be considered by this Energy for Sustainability program.  Projects involving fluid mechanics components as part of a systems approach to wind energy should be submitted to this program; projects focused on new computational fluid mechanics modeling should be submitted to the Fluid Dynamics program.

Advanced Batteries for Transportation.  Radically new battery systems or breakthroughs based on existing systems can move the US rapidly toward a more sustainable transportation future.  The focus is on high-energy density and high-power density batteries suitable for transportation applications.  Advanced systems such as lithium-air, sodium-ion, as well as lithium-ion with new cathode chemistries are appropriate.  Work on commercially available systems such as lead-acid and nickel-metal hydride will not be considered by this program.

Note: Fuel-cell projects previously submitted to this program should be directed to other CBET programs, depending on emphasis: electrocatalysis (Catalysis and Biocatalysis); membranes (Separations and Bioseparations); systems (Process and Reaction Engineering).

The duration of unsolicited awards is typically three years.  The average annual award size for the program is $100,000.  Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation with the Program Director, may be returned without review. 

Innovative proposals outside of these specific interest areas can be considered.  However, prior to submission, it is recommended that the PI contact the Program Director to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review.

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INFORMATION COMMON TO MOST CBET PROGRAMS

Proposals should address the novelty and/or potentially transformative nature http://www.nsf.gov/about/transformative_research/faq.jsp  of the concept being proposed, compared to previous work in the field.  Also, it is important to address why the proposed work is important in terms of engineering science, as well as to also project the potential impact on society and /or industry of success in the research.  The novelty or potentially transformative nature of the research should be included, as a minimum, in the Project Summary of each proposal.

Proposals submitted to this program are subject to the scope of the program's description and the availability of funds. Decisions about particular proposals are often very difficult to make and factors other than reviewer comments and ratings enter into the decision.  Comments by a reviewer must sometimes be considered in the context of other reviews by the same person. The Program Director often has additional information not available to reviewers (such as project reports). Maintaining appropriate balance among subfields, the availability of other funding, the total amount of funds available to the program, and general Foundation policies and priorities are also important decision factors. 

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program proposals are strongly encouraged.  Award duration is five years.  The submission deadline for Engineering CAREER proposals is in July every year. Please see the following URL for more information:  http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503214

Proposals for Conferences, Workshops, and Supplements:  Proposals involving these activities should ideally be submitted during the regular annual proposal window.  PIs are strongly encouraged to discuss their requests with the Program Director before submission of the proposal.

Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) and EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) are also considered when appropriate.  Please note that proposals of these types must be discussed with the Program Director before submission.  Further details are available in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) download.

Unsolicited proposals received outside of the Announced Proposal Window dates will be returned without review.

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THIS PROGRAM IS PART OF

Environmental Engineering and Sustainability


What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program

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