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Chemistry and Materials Research in Cultural Heritage Science  (CHS)

This program has been archived.
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 17-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 30, 2017. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 17-1 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.


NSF Chemistry Division Homepage

NSF Division of Materials Research Homepage

2009 NSF and Andrew W. Mellon Workshop Report

NSF Grant Proposal Guide

2nd International Conference on Surface Metrology (October 25-27, 2010; Worcester, Massachusetts)

NU-AIC Seminar "Nanotechnology for Art Conservation" (October 28, 2010; Northwestern University; Evanston, Illinois)

Materials in Art Symposium (November 12, 2010; Clayton Hall, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware)

MRS Meeting (Symposium WW: Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology IX) (November 29-December 3, 2010; Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts)

Beneath the Surface:The Intersection of Science, Engineering, and Art Lecture Series (March 8, 2011 at the National Gallery of Art; March 22, 2011 at George Washington University)

Partnerships and New Analytical Methodologies at the Interface of Chemistry and Art Symposium (March 27-31, 2011; ACS National Meeting and Exposition, Anaheim, California)

Group for Multi-Field Processes Contributing to Archaeology Symposium (April 11-15, 2011; every two years; Universite de Liege, Liege (Beligique))

Application of Raman Spectroscopy in Art and Archaeology Symposium (September 5-8, 2011; every two years; Parma, Italy)

European Meeting on Ancient Ceramics (September 29th-October 1, 2011; every two years; Vienna, Austria)

Synchrotron Radiation in Art and Archaeometry (every two years; last held in Amsterdam, 2010)

Digging into Data Challenge

Symposium 8: Cultural Heritage and Archaeological Issues in Materials Science at the XX International Materials Research Congress (August 14-19, 2011; Cancun, Mexico)

THIS PROGRAM IS PART OF Cross Division/Directorate Funding Opportunities

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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program