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Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems
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 Biosensing program is part of the Engineering Biology and Health cluster, which also includes 1) Biophotonics; 2) Cellular and Biochemical Engineering; 3) Disability and Rehabilitation Engineering; and 4) Engineering of Biomedical Systems.
The Biosensing program supports fundamental engineering research on devices and methods for measurement and quantification of biological analytes. Examples of biosensors include, but are not limited to, electrochemical/electrical biosensors, optical biosensors, plasmonic biosensors, paper-based and nanopore-based biosensors. In addition to technology development, submissions that address critical needs for biomedical research, public health, food safety, agriculture, forensic, environmental protection, and homeland security are highly encouraged. Proposals that incorporate emerging nanotechnology methods are especially encouraged.
Areas of interest include: 1) multiplex biosensing platforms that exceed the performance of current state-of-the-art devices; 2) novel transduction principles, mechanisms and sensor designs suitable for measurement in practical matrix and sample-preparation-free approaches, including error-free detection of pathogens and toxins in food matrices, waterborne pathogens, parasites, toxins, biomarkers in body fluids, neuron chemicals, and others that improve human condition; 3) biosensors that enable measurement of biomolecular interactions in their native states, transmembrane transport, intracellular transport and reactions, and other biological phenomena; 4) biosensing performance optimization for specific health applications such as point-of-care testing and personalized health monitoring; and 5) miniaturization of biosensors for lab-on-a-chip and cell/organ-on-a-chip applications to enable measurement of biological properties and functions of cell/tissues in vitro.
The Biosensors Program does not encourage proposals addressing surface functionalization and modulation of bio-recognition molecules, development of basic chemical mechanisms for biosensing applications, circuit design for signal processing and amplification, computational modeling, and microfluidics for sample separation and filtration. Medical imaging-based measurements are out of the scope of the program interests. Proposals that rely heavily on descriptive approaches are given lower priority. Proposals for optimizing and/or utilizing established methods for specific applications should be directed to programs focused on the application.
Innovative ideas outside of the above specific interest areas may be considered. However, prior to submission, it is recommended that the PI contact the Program Director to avoid the proposal being returned without review.
NOTE: Projects related to water/soil quality may be jointly supported with the Environmental Engineering program (CBET 1440) and CBET Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) program. Photonic devices with medical imaging and/or optogenetics should be submitted to Biophotonics (CBET 7236). Devices for tissue engineering should be submitted to Engineering of Biomedical Systems (CBET 5345). Basic chemical/biochemical sensing mechanism should be submitted to the program of Chemical Measurement and Imaging (CHE/CMI 6880). Proposals for dynamic biosensing systems, including circuit design for signal/data processing and amplification, and sensing systems through communication and machine learning should be submitted to Communications, Circuits, and Sensing-Systems (ECCS/CCSS 7564).
The duration of unsolicited awards is generally one to three years. The typical award size for the program is approximately $100,000 per year, with allowance of up to $120,000 per year for multidisciplinary collaborative projects or $180,000 per year for those involving investigators from multiple institutions. 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.