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DCL: Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS): Innovative Solutions to Sustainable Chemistry Program (CAS-SC)

November 15, 2022

Dear Colleague Letter (DCL): Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS): Innovative Solutions to Sustainable Chemistry Program (CAS-SC),

With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces the establishment of the Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS): Innovative Solutions to Sustainable Chemistry Program (CAS-SC), under the CAS metaprogram umbrella.[1] The CAS-SC Program recognizes the importance of sustainable chemistry in addressing many societal challenges and aims to encourage the expansion of the Nation’s research capacity in this topic area through submissions of research proposals. Proposals that emphasize a detailed and quantitative understanding of sustainable chemistry and include industrial partnerships are of particular interest.

The practice of sustainability, which conscientiously exploits resource and technology development in harmony to meet human needs and aspirations, benefits society in numerous ways. Meeting growing global demands for the use of sustainable chemistry in consumer and commercial products will create significant value and an economic opportunity for U.S. manufacturing. Reducing waste and maximizing the use of resources benefit the environment and contribute to mitigating climate change. NSF also provides opportunities aimed to increase the impact of discoveries through partnerships, to develop sustainable chemistry technologies into prototypes or proof of concept designs, and to learn how to develop and implement a technology development roadmap and create a business model.

Proposals in response to this DCL should be submitted to existing programs in the participating NSF divisions, adhering to the respective submission deadlines and requirements. After any solicitation or PAPPG specific requirements, titles should include the prefix "CAS-SC:". CAS-SC proposals are expected to contain a compelling, detailed, and quantitatively-supported description of how the proposed research would address sustainable chemistry.

Prior to submission of a full proposal, potential research teams are required to submit a concept outline identifying the appropriate participating division where the primary research lies using the Program Suitability and Proposal Concept Tool (ProSPCT) webform at For more information, please see the DCL announcement for details.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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