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Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems

Nora F. Savage, (703) 292-7949

Apply to PD 14-1179 as follows:

For full proposals submitted via FastLane: standard Grant Proposal Guidelines apply.
For full proposals submitted via NSF Application Guide; A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Guidelines apply (Note: The NSF Application Guide is available on the website and on the NSF website at:

Important Notice to Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 13-1, was issued on October 4, 2012 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 14, 2013. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 13-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Please be aware that significant changes have been made to the PAPPG to implement revised merit review criteria based on the National Science Board (NSB) report, National Science Foundation's Merit Review Criteria: Review and Revisions. While the two merit review criteria remain unchanged (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts), guidance has been provided to clarify and improve the function of the criteria. Changes will affect the project summary and project description sections of proposals. Annual and final reports also will be affected.

A by-chapter summary of this and other significant changes is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide.

Full Proposal Window:  October 1, 2014 - November 5, 2014

The goal of the Environmental Health and Safety of Nanotechnology (Nano EHS) program is to examine and mitigate the environmental effects of nanotechnologies.  Fundamental engineering research is sought to understand, evaluate, and lessen the impact of nanotechnology on the environment and biological systems.  The program emphasizes engineering principles underlying the environmental health and safety impacts of nanotechnology.  Proposals may address methods to characterize and quantify the presence of nanomaterials in products, and the release of nanomaterials from intermediate materials or finished products during consumer use or disposal scenarios.  NanoEHS research informs and enables responsible development and sustainability. This program does not include biomedical and nanotoxicology topics involving clinical trials.

Proposals submitted to nanoEHS should address one or more of the following research areas:

  • Complex and heterogeneous engineered nanomaterials: Fundamental engineering research on the environmental and health implications of these nanomaterials is needed.  NOTE: Proposals addressing silver or gold nanomaterials will be given low priority.
  • Prevention of adverse impacts: This research area includes both applying environmentally benign methods in engineering and manufacturing nanomaterials as well using nanotechnology in preventing adverse impacts in current non-nano synthesis and manufacturing processes. 
  • Research taking a systems approach: Whether the impacted system is a natural system or an industrial system, nanoEHS engineering research must start from a systems view to justify how and where adverse impacts could occur. Research may include models and statistical techniques used to identify priorities for study within systems.
  • The development of fundamental tools: Monitoring instrumentation, sensors, models, and metrology are but a few of the tools necessary for measuring nanomaterials'  impact on the environment, health or safety.  Fundamental work on standards for measurements are also encouraged. 

Please note that it is essential to well-characterize the nanomaterials used in the proposed studies. 

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.

NOTE: For proposals involving any aspect of chemistry, including but not limited to biochemistry or physical chemistry, consider making proposal submissions to this program with the Proposal Title as: ‘SusChEM: Name of Your Proposal'.  For more information on SusChEM-related proposals visit this link.  The same applies for proposals involving sustainable engineering.

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


Proposals should address the novelty and/or potentially transformative nature of the proposed work 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.

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 CAREER URL here for more information. 

Proposals for Conferences, Workshops, and Supplements: 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 found here.  Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) proposals that integrate fundamental research with translational results and are consistent with the application areas of interest to each program are also encouraged.  Please note that GOALI proposals must be submitted during the annual unsolicited proposal window for each program. More information on GOALI can be found here.

COMPLIANCE: Proposals which are not compliant with the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) will be returned without review.

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

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



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