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Division of Chemistry

Chemistry and Materials Research in Cultural Heritage Science  (CHS)

Name Email Phone Room
Dr. Kelsey  D. Cook (703) 292-7490   
Dr. Lynnette  D. Madsen (703) 292-4936   
Dr. Zeev  Rosenzweig (703) 292-7719   
Dr. Michael  J. Scott (703) 292-4771   


Solicitation  12-530

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 National Science Foundation (NSF) seeks to enhance opportunities for collaborative activities between conservation scientists, chemists and materials scientists to address grand challenges in the field of science of cultural heritage.  A 2009 workshop, which was co-sponsored by NSF and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, concluded that the field of cultural heritage science could greatly benefit from collaboration between conservation scientists, primarily located in US museums, and chemists and materials scientists in academic institutions.  Largely in line with the workshop report, which can be found at the program solicits collaborative proposals between researchers in US museums and academic institutions that aim to: a) develop new and improved analytical techniques and instruments with high sensitivity and spatial resolution (large and small scale) for restricted volume and/or standoff detection of component materials, degradation products and deterioration markers that are suitable for non-destructive analysis of cultural heritage objects; b) study dynamic changes leading to degradation of cultural heritage objects; c) design new multi-functional treatment materials for cultural heritage objects; d) develop new theoretical models to predict dynamic processes in cultural heritage objects that lead to their degradation while taking into account their molecular and materials properties and their surface and bulk interactions with environmental perimeters.  While the current solicitation is limited to chemistry and materials research topics, it is envisioned that the program will be expanded in future years to include additional areas of interest to the field of cultural heritage science. The program seeks highly innovative 3-year collaborative projects that break new ground and demonstrate a high level of synergy between the collaborating investigators. Formation of new collaborations is strongly encouraged. Investigators who have been collaborators must demonstrate that the proposed project represents a new research direction for the collaborative team. The program will not accept proposals for projects that are currently funded by other funding sources. The program will also not accept proposals for projects that largely overlap or are closely related to research projects that are currently funded by other sources nor will it accept projects that only constitute an incremental extension of projects that are already carried out in the collaborators’ laboratories.  The program also requires that the proposed projects will meaningfully involve the participation of undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral research associates, including those from underrepresented groups. The program also encourages the development and use of cyber infrastructure to increase the level of synergy of the proposed projects.



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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program