This program has been archived.
Important Information for Proposers
A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.
The goal of the Biophotonics program is to explore the research frontiers in photonics principles, engineering and technology that are relevant for critical problems in fields of medicine, biology and biotechnology. Fundamental engineering research and innovation in photonics is required to lay the foundations for new technologies beyond those that are mature and ready for application in medical diagnostics and therapies. Advances are needed in nanophotonics, optogenetics, contrast and targeting agents, ultra-thin probes, wide field imaging, and rapid biomarker screening. Low cost and minimally invasive medical diagnostics and therapies are key motivating application goals.
Research topics in this program include:
- Macromolecule Markers: Innovative methods for labeling of macromolecules. Novel compositions of matter. Methods of fabrication of multicolor probes that could be used for marking and detection of specific pathological cells. Pushing the envelope of optical sensing to the limits of detection, resolution, and identification.
- Low Coherence Sensing at the Nanoscale: Low coherence enhanced backscattering (LEBS). N-dimensional elastic light scattering. Angle-resolved low coherence interferometry for early cancer detection (dysplasia).
- Neurophotonics: Studies of photon activation of neurons at the interface of nanomaterials attached to cells. Development and application of biocompatible photonic tools such as parallel interfaces and interconnects for communicating and control of neural networks.
- Micro- & Nano-photonics: Development and application of novel nanoparticle fluorescent quantum-dots. Sensitive, multiplexed, high-throughput characterization of macromolecular properties of cells. Nanomaterials and nanodevices for biomedicine.
- Optogenetics: Novel research in employing light-activated channels and enzymes for manipulation of neural activity with temporal precision. Utilizing nanophotonics, nanofibers, and genetic techniques for mapping and studying in real-time physiological processes in organs such as the brain and heart.
Innovative proposals outside of these specific interest areas may 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.
The duration of unsolicited awards is generally one to three years. The typical award size for the program is around $100,000 per year for individual investigators and $200,000 per year for multiple investigators. Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation with the Program Director, may be returned without review.
INFORMATION COMMON TO MOST CBET PROGRAMS
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.