February 2012 Grant Announcements:


National Science Foundation (2/28/2012)

  • Molecular and Cellular Biosciences: Investigator-Initiated Research Projects
  • Supports fundamental research and related activities designed to promote understanding of complex living systems at the molecular, subcellular and cellular levels. The division supports research across a broad spectrum of model and non-model organisms, especially microbes and plants. Typical research in areas supported by MCB integrates theory and experimentation. Four thematic clusters: Biomolecular Dynamics, Structure and Function; Cellular Processes; Genetic Mechanisms; and Networks and regulation.
  • Deadline: May 21, 2012
  • See http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503626   


National Science Foundation (2/27/2012)

  • Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (TUES)
  • (Previously the Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement - CCLI - program)
  • This program supports projects to improve STEM education for all undergraduate students. It especially encourages projects that have potential to bring about widespread adoption of classroom practices that embody understanding of how students learn most effectively.

    Examples of projects include:

    • A project that develops materials that use a new instructional approach based on the current understanding of how students learn, or introduces content from current research into an existing course.
    • A project that integrates new instrumentation or equipment into undergraduate laboratories or field work in a way that demonstrably improves student learning.
    • A collaborative project between faculty from two-year and four-year schools that develops a model to provide the needed courses for a seamless transfer in an efficient way.
    • A pilot project that explores the practical aspects of using remote laboratories or instruction among several institutions.
    • A pilot project that integrates current science and pedagogy into the teacher preparation curriculum.
    • A pilot study to explore Internet-based approaches for faculty professional development.
    • A project that develops an instrument to assess students’ knowledge in a particular area, their abilities with certain processes, or their attitude about some aspect of STEM.
    • A pilot study to begin understanding how various factors affect how students learn particular content or skills.
  • About 75 awards are expected to be made, and budgets range from 200K- 250K over 3 years.
  • Deadline: May 27, 2012
  • The full solicitation can be downloaded here: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5741


U.S. Department of Defense: Department of the Navy: Office of Naval Research (2/24/2012)

  • Special Program Announcement for 2012 Office of Naval Research Basic Research Challenge: Decentralized Online Optimization
  • Notice seeking proposals to develop scientific principles and algorithms for solving decentralized, online optimization problems.
  • The Navy is moving towards deploying large, complex systems that are beyond centralized control. A canonical example of such a system is a fleet of unmanned vehicles with limited communications operating in a dynamic environment. Important characteristics of these systems are that 1) they are decentralized (i.e., system components can take independent actions), and 2) the environment in which the system operates is not necessarily known a priori, and is revealed over time; that is, the data defining the system and its environment is online (in the sense of online algorithms). Objective and Areas of Interest: The objective of this topic is to develop scientific principles and algorithms for solving decentralized, online optimization problems. To achieve this, first, solid mathematical frameworks need to be proposed and put into place so that various algorithmic strategies can be developed, analyzed, and compared. Second, canonical models need to be defined. These models should capture the fundamental difficulties associated with decentralized, online optimization. The aim in defining a few, simple canonical models is not to include all possible real-world complexities, but rather create a set of models whose rigorous treatment will drive design and analysis principles. Third, promising algorithmic strategies need to be identified and developed. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is interested in receiving proposals for this Basic Research Challenge Program. This program supports basic science and/or engineering research within academia and industry. The program focuses on stimulating new, high-risk basic research projects. ONR will consider awards to single investigators, but preference is for collaborative groups that have a history of innovative research in the mathematical and computational sciences.
  • Deadlines: White Papers due March 29, 2012; Full Proposals due May 15, 2012.  Full proposals may be submitted even if you have not submitted a white paper.
  • Grants.gov notice



National Science Foundation (2/23/2012)

  • National Robotics Initiative
  • The goal of the National Robotics Initiative is to accelerate the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside, or cooperatively with, people. Innovative robotics research and applications emphasizing the realization of such co-robots acting in direct support of and in a symbiotic relationship with human partners is supported by multiple agencies of the federal government including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The purpose of this program is the development of this next generation of robotics, to advance the capability and usability of such systems and artifacts, and to encourage existing and new communities to focus on innovative application areas. It will address the entire life cycle from fundamental research and development to industry  manufacturing and deployment.  Methods for the establishment and infusion of robotics in educational curricula and research to gain a better understanding of the long term social, behavioral and economic implications of co-robots across all areas of human activity are important parts of this initiative.  Collaboration between academic, industry, non-profit and other organizations is strongly encouraged to establish better linkages between fundamental science and technology development, deployment and use.

    Two classes of proposals will be considered in response to this solicitation:

    1. Small projects: One or more investigators spanning 1 to 5 years.
    2. Large projects: Multi-disciplinary teams spanning 1 to 5 years.
  • Deadlines:
    • Small Proposals: Letter of Intent due October 1, 2012; Full Proposal due November 3, 2012
    • Group Large Proposals: Letter of Intent due December 15, 2012; Full Proposal due January 18, 2013
  • http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503641


National Science Foundation (2/14/2012)

  • Expeditions in Computing
  • The far-reaching impact and rate of innovation in the computing and information disciplines has been remarkable, generating economic prosperity and enhancing the quality of life for people throughout the world.  But the best is yet to come!

    The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) has created the Expeditions in Computing (Expeditions) program to provide the CISE research and education community with the opportunity to pursue ambitious, fundamental research agendas that promise to define the future of computing and information.   In planning Expeditions, investigators are encouraged to come together within or across departments or institutions to combine their creative talents in the identification of compelling, transformative research agendas that promise disruptive innovations in computing and information for many years to come. 

  • Preliminary Proposal Deadline Date: March 10, 2012; Full Proposal Deadline Date: December 10, 2012
  • More at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503169&WT.mc_id=USNSF_39&WT.mc_ev=click


National Science Foundation (2/14/2012)

  • The TN-SCORE program is a National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR) Track 1 infrastructure grant that seeks innovation of alternative energy solutions to positively impact the state’s educational foundations, economy and workforce development. The current focus areas include:
    • Thrust 1 Advanced Solar Conversion and Innovation,
    • Thrust 2 Components and Devices for Energy Storage and Conversion and
    • Thrust 3 Nanostructures for Enhancing Energy Efficiency.
  • Research Opportunity Awards for Faculty Objectives

    Research Opportunity Awards (ROA) for faculty is designed for  faculty at 2-year and 4-year institutions to establish long-term collaboration with a researcher in one of the TN-SCORE thrust areas. The information, techniques and experience gained can be spread to the faculty award winner’s campus, students and colleagues. All universities involved in the EPSCOR thrust areas are eligible to host faculty under this program. The summer experience may involve research at the scientific level, or focus on developing educational outreach programs. Funding provided by NSF EPS-10004083.

  • The faculty winners will be provided with a summer stipend of $12,500 as well as a $7,500 startup grant for use at their home institution to help translate the experience to the home institution. A travel subsidy will be provided to attend the TN-SCORE annual conference. Three faculty partnerships will be awarded statewide.
  • More information is available below and at http://www.tnepscor.org/programs/roa.aspx.  


Dreyfus Foundation (2/14/12)

  • The Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions
  • This program supports proposals to bring a leading researcher to a primarily undergraduate institution to give a  series of lectures in the chemical sciences. The lecturer is expected to substantially interact with undergraduate students and faculty over the period of the visit.  The grant will provide funds to host the speaker and to  support summer research opportunities for two undergraduate students. The award total is $18,500, and submissions are limited to one application per institution. 
  • Deadline: May 21, 2012
  • More info: http://www.dreyfus.org/awards/jean_dreyfus_boissevain.shtml


Dreyfus Foundation (2/14/12)

  • Teacher-Scholar Awards in Chemical Sciences
  • Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar awards support research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in  chemical sciences. The awards provide $60,000 based on accomplishment in scholarly research with undergraduates and compelling commitment to teaching.
  • Deadline: May 21, 2012
  • See http://www.dreyfus.org/awards/overview_and_programs.shtml for details.


Department of Energy (2/14/12)

  • Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy Grant Program
  • Announcement and Request for Information on Draft Open Funding Opportunity Announcement
  • On or about March 2, 2012, the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (“ARPA-E”) intends to issue an Open Funding Opportunity Announcement (“Open FOA” or “FOA”). The objective of the Open FOA is to identify high-risk, high-reward concepts for energy-related technologies that may enhance our nation’s energy and economic security. This FOA will be open to any energy-related technology that, if successful, will have a transformational and disruptive effect on the energy sector.
  • DOE is requesting the public to provide feedback on the FOA; written comments should be sent by email to ARPA-E-OpenFOA@hq.doe.gov by 5 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, February 29.  The formal FOA will be issued after that date, but in the meantime the draft might be of interest as a "preview," since it lists proposed technical categories and procedures for the competition.
  • Deadline for written comments: February 29, 2012
  • Click here for more information.


Department of Energy (2/1/12)

  • Smart Grid Data Access Program
  • The Smart Grid Data Access Program provides support for the development and implementation of a project designed to empower residential consumers to use smart grid enabled data to better manage their electricity consumption by allowing residential consumers access to their hourly electricity consumption data on demand through a standardized data access architecture. In addition, proposed projects must include the demonstration of at least one, third-party consumer-oriented information tool or software product that creates a value-added service for residential consumers interested in managing their electricity more efficiently. Proposed projects must utilize identified smart grid standards.
  • Deadline: March, 1, 2012
  • Click here for a PDF of the Funding Opportunity Announcement.