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Thermal Transport Processes


Name Email Phone Room
Sumanta  Acharya sacharya@nsf.gov (703) 292-7494  565.55  


Apply to PD 14-1406 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)


Full Proposal Window:  August 15, 2014 - September 17, 2014


 The Thermal Transport Processes (TTP) program supports engineering research aimed at gaining a basic understanding of the thermal transport phenomena at nano/micro and macro scales. Core application areas of interest include:

(1) Cooling and heating of components, devices and equipment.

(2) Thermal processes in energy conversion, power generation, propulsion and thermal energy storage. 

(3) Thermal transport in the synthesis and processing of materials including advanced manufacturing. Note that proposals that focus primarily on issues pertaining to materials, synthesis and/or processing are not of interest to the TTP program,  and  should be directed to the Materials Engineering and Processing (MEP) program in CMMI/ENG or DMR/MPS as appropiate. 

(4) Thermal phenomena in biological systems.  Only two topics are of interest in this area: cryopreservation and the role of heat transfer and thermal management in the treatment of cancer cells. 

The program supports transformational research in transport processes that are driven by thermal gradients, and manipulation of these processes to achieve engineering goals. Mass transport or system-design oriented efforts are not of interest to this program. Priority is given to insightful investigations of fundamental problems with clearly defined economic, environmental and societal impacts.

Transformative research of specific interest and current focus to the program, and relevant to applications listed as (1)-(4) above, include:

Active or Passive Control of Thermal Transport Processes in Devices/Systems and in Materials Processing for Improved Performance. Example areas of interest include material structure/interfaces and thermal (phonon) transport, surface (or geometry)-design including nano/micro structuring for improved thermal behavior (e.g higher heat transfer coefficient, critical heat flux, condensation rates), hydrodynamic and thermal instabilities and their control. This will often require understanding and manipulating the dynamics or structure at the scales of interest.

Simulation and Diagnostics of Flow and Heat Transport Bridging Information across Scales leading to Device/System-level Studies. This will often require physics-based upscaling models. Validation and Verification are important elements for consideration. 

Thermal Properties and Processes as applicable to Advanced Manufacturing, High Energy-Density Batteries, and High-Density Electronics. Other applications of demonstrable national needs such as renewable energy, sustainability, and health where thermal transport plays a critical role are also appropriate. 

The above topics will be given priority in funding decisions.

Proposals at the interface of computational/mathematical sciences and thermal transport are encouraged, but should be submitted to the Computation and Data Enabled Science & Engineering (CDESE) Program. See the following link for details http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504813&org=CBET&from=home

Proposals that deal with the development and characterization of low cost, sustainable and scalable-manufactured materials with improved thermal properties are encouraged and should add “SusCHEM:” in front of the title of the proposal.

Proposals that deal with new materials with improved thermal properties and that integrate computations  and experiments should be submitted with “DMREF:” in front of the title of the proposal. Note that this program is largely supported by DMR and CMMI.

The duration of unsolicited awards is generally one to three years.  The average annual award size for the TTP program is $100,000, and typically ranges from $90,000 per year for a single PI to less than $125,000 per year for multiple PIs. Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation and approval from the Program Director, is likely to be returned without review. GOALI Proposals that integrate fundamental research with translational results and consistent with the four application areas and interest focus described above are encouraged.

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 with a white paper to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review.



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.



Transport and Thermal Fluids Phenomena

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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program


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