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Sustainable Energy Pathways  (SEP)  Crosscutting Programs

This program has been archived.
Name Dir/Div Name Dir/Div
Zeev  Rosenzweig (MPS/Co-Chair)   George  Maracas (ENG/Co-Chair)  
Linda  S. Sapochak (MPS/DMR)   Tong  Ren (MPS/CHE)  
Ram  B. Gupta (ENG/CBET)   Richard  J. Fragaszy (ENG/CMMI)  
Stephen  S. Harlan (GEO/EAR)   Anjuli  S. Bamzai (GEO/AGS)  
Krishna  Kant (CISE/CNS)   Antoinette  WinklerPrins (SBE/BCS)  
Tobias  Fischer (GEO/EAR)   Graham  M. Harrison (OD/OISE)  
Alphonse  T. DeSena (EHR/DRL)   Michael  Reksulak (SBE/SES)  
Thyagarajan  Nandagopal (CISE/CNS)   Carol  Bessel (MPS/CHE)  

SEP is supported by the Directorate of Engineering (ENG), Directorate for Computer & Information Science & engineering (CISE), Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS), Directorate of International Science & Engineering (OISE), Directorate for Social, Behavioral, & Economic Sciences (SBE), and the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR). Inquiries can be sent to

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Solicitation  11-590

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.




A sustainable world is one in which human needs are met equitably without harm to the environment, and without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.  Growing evidence for the role of energy use in global change and awareness of limitations in our energy choices are motivating a search for pathways that are technologically innovative as well as environmentally and economically sustainable at all scales of energy usage. This is a grand challenge to the scientific community that cuts across disciplinary boundaries. 

The creation of a secure and prosperous future for humanity depends on the contributions that science, engineering, and education will make towards building sustainable pathways to meet the energy needs of future generations.   The dual roles of NSF - to support basic research and education - are ideally suited to stimulate vibrant science and engineering discovery and innovation efforts that will be needed to meet the challenge of building a sustainable energy future. 

Sustainable Energy Pathways is part of the NSF-wide initiative on Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES).  The Sustainable Energy Pathways solicitation calls for innovative, interdisciplinary basic research in science, engineering, and education by teams of researchers for developing systems approaches to sustainable energy pathways based on a comprehensive understanding of the scientific, technical, environmental, economic, and societal issues.  

The SEP solicitation considers scalable approaches for sustainable energy conversion to useful forms, as well as its storage, transmission, distribution, and use.   The following Topic Areas illustrate the broad scope of sustainable energy interest areas of this solicitation:  Energy Harvesting & Conversion from Renewable Resources; Sustainable Energy Storage Solutions; Critical Elements & Materials for Sustainable Energy; Nature-Inspired Processes for Sustainable Energy Solutions; Reducing Carbon Intensity from Energy Conversion & Use; Sustainable Energy Transmission & Distribution; Energy Efficiency & Management.