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Funding Opportunities Roundup, August 12

Federal Opportunities

Please notify Paul Montgomery (paul.montgomery@utk.edu)  of your interest in the following opportunities.

DARPA: Engineered Living Materials

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has published a solicitation for the Engineered Living Materials (ELM) program. ELM is seeking “innovations in the ability to functionally unite living components with inert structural materials, to program structural features into living systems, and to extend the scale of synthetic biology building blocks from the molecular to the cellular.” Through this program, DARPA expects to “cultivate foundational principles, as well as novel approaches and methods that will ultimately enable living structural materials with advanced capabilities to be rationally designed, and implemented through genetic engineering.”

ELM consists of two tracks divided into specific tasks (listed below), which are described on pp. 6-12 of the solicitation. Proposers may address either track, but not both, and may address 1 or more tasks within a track. Note that Track 1 is directed at specific applications, while Track 2 supports basic research.

Track 1 – Hybrid Engineered Living Materials (Hybrid-ELM)
Task Area A: Rapid On-Site Growth & Reproduction
Task Area B: Self-Organizing Structures
Task Area C: Responsive Surfaces

Track 2 – Programmable Engineered Living Materials (Programmable-ELM)
Task Area A: Programmable Patterns
Task Area B: Programmable Shapes

DARPA anticipates making multiple awards with a duration of 4 years for Track 1 and 2 years for Track 2.

Note that DARPA will host a Proposers’ Day to explain the ELM program and facilitate teaming on 26 Aug in Arlington, VA (near DC). Registration is required by 12 pm ET on 23 Aug, but the number of participants is limited, and UT may send only 2 PIs.  ORE may be able to provide some travel support if you wish to attend. Please notify Paul Montgomery if you plan to attend the Proposers’ Day or to submit an abstract/proposal.

Track 1 Proposals due: September 27 by 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Track 2 Abstract (strongly encouraged) due: September 15 by 4 p.m., 8-12 pages
Track 2 Proposals due: November 10 by 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

NOTE: Individuals interested in any solicitation that limits the number of submissions allowed by UT must submit a notification of interest to limitsub@utk.edu. See the ORE limited submission policy, View current and past opportunities, and sign up for the listserv.

NSF Opportunities

Please contact Sharon Pound (spound@utk.edu) regarding your interest in NSF opportunities.

General & Age-Related Disabilities Engineering (GARDE) PD 16-5342

This program supports fundamental engineering research that will lead to the development of new technologies, devices, or software that improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities. Research may be supported that is directed toward the characterization, restoration, and/or substitution of human functional ability or cognition, or to the interaction of persons with disabilities and their environment. Areas of particular interest are disability-related research in neuroengineering and rehabilitation robotics. Emphasis is placed on significant advancement of fundamental engineering knowledge that facilitates transformative outcomes. We discourage applications that propose incremental improvements. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Program Director prior to submitting a proposal.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $100,000/yr. for 1 to 3 years

Full Proposal Window: October 1-20, 2016


Catalysis PD 16-1401 

The goal of this program is to advance research in catalytic engineering science and promote fundamental understanding and the development of catalytic materials and reactions that are of benefit to society.  Research should focus on new basic understanding of catalytic materials and reactions, utilizing synthetic, theoretical, and experimental approaches.  Target applications include fuels, specialty and bulk chemicals, environmental catalysis, biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals, conversion of greenhouse gases, and generation of solar hydrogen, as well as efficient routes to energy utilization. Heterogeneous catalysis represents the main thrust of the program.  Proposals related to both gas-solid and liquid-solid heterogeneous catalysis are welcome, as are proposals that incorporate concepts from homogeneous catalysis.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $100,000-150,000/yr. for 1 to 3 years

Full Proposal Window:
October 1 – 20, 2016


Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering (BBE) PD 16-1491

This program supports fundamental engineering research that advances the understanding of cellular and biomolecular processes in engineering biology and eventually leads to the development of enabling technology for advanced manufacturing and/or applications in support of the biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, and bioenergy industries, or with applications in health or the environment.  A quantitative treatment of biological and engineering problems of biological processes is considered vital to successful research projects in the BBE program.

Fundamental to many research projects in this area is the understanding of how biomolecules, cells and cell populations interact in their environment, and how those molecular level interactions lead to changes in structure, function, phenotype, and/or behavior.  The program encourages highly innovative and potentially transformative engineering research leading to novel bioprocessing and manufacturing approaches, and proposals that address emerging research areas and technologies that effectively integrate knowledge and practices from different disciplines while incorporating ongoing research into educational activities.

Major areas of interest in the program include:

  • Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for biomanufacturing
  • Quantitative systems biotechnology
  • Tissue engineering and stem cell culture technologies
  • Protein engineering, biocatalysis and enzyme technologies
  • Single cell dynamics and modeling
  • Development of novel “omics” tools for biotechnology applications

Anticipated Funding Amount: $100,000-200,000/yr. for 1 to 3 years

Full Proposal Window:
Oct. 1 – 20, 2016


Energy for Sustainability PD 16-7644

The goal of this program is to support fundamental engineering research that will enable innovative processes and solutions for the sustainable production of electricity and fuels, and energy storage. Processes for sustainable energy production must be environmentally benign, reduce greenhouse gas production, and utilize renewable resources.

Current topics of interest include:

  • Biomass Conversion, Biofuels & Bioenergy
  • Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Energy
  • Advanced Batteries for Transportation and Renewable Energy Storage

Anticipated Funding Amount: $100,000-150,000/yr. for 1 to 3 years

Full Proposal Window:
Oct. 1 – 20, 2016


Combustion and Fire Systems PD 16-1407

The goal of this program is to generate cleaner global and local environments, enhance public safety, improve energy and homeland security, and enable more efficient energy conversion and manufacturing. The program endeavors to create fundamental scientific knowledge and engineering solutions that are needed to develop useful combustion applications and for mitigating the effects of fire.  The program aims to identify and understand the controlling basic principles and use that knowledge to create predictive capabilities for designing and optimizing practical combustion devices. Additional outcomes of interest for this program include: broad-based tools – experimental, theoretical, and computational – which can be applied to a variety of problems in combustion and fire systems; science and technology for clean and efficient generation of power, both stationary and mobile; combustion science and technology for energy-efficient manufacturing; research that enables clean global and local environments (reduction in combustion generated pollutants); enhanced public safety and homeland security through research on fire growth, inhibition and suppression; and education and training of an innovative workforce for power, transportation, and manufacturing industries.

Research areas of interest for this program include:

  • Basic Combustion Science
  • Combustion Science Related to Climate Change
  • Fire Prevention

Anticipated Funding Amount: $100,000/yr. for 1 to 3 years

Full Proposal Window:
Oct. 1 – 20, 2016


Process Systems, Reaction Engineering and Molecular Thermodynamics PD 16-1403

The goal this program is to advance fundamental engineering research on the rates and mechanisms of important classes of catalyzed and uncatalyzed chemical reactions as they relate to the design, production, and application of catalysts, chemical processes, biochemical processes, and specialized materials that have important impacts on society.  The program seeks to advance electrochemical and photochemical processes of engineering significance or with commercial potential, design and optimization of complex chemical and biochemical processes, thermodynamic modeling and experiments that relate molecular dynamics to macroscopic properties and behavior, dynamic modeling and control of process systems and individual process units, reactive processing of polymers/ceramics/thin films, and interactions between chemical reactions and transport processes in reactive systems, for the integration of this information into the design of complex chemical and biochemical reactors.  A substantial focus of the PRM program is to impact the chemical manufacturing enterprise by funding projects aimed at zero emissions and environmentally-friendly, smart manufacturing using sustainable materials.  Areas that focus on reactors of all types (fuel cells, batteries, microreactors, biochemical reactors, etc.), reactor design in general, and design and control of all systems associated with energy from renewable sources have a high priority for funding.

Proposals should focus on:

  • Chemical Reaction Engineering
  • Process Design and Control
  • Reactive Polymer Processing
  • Molecular Thermodynamics

Anticipated Funding Amount: $100,000/yr. for 1 to 3 years

Full Proposal Window:
Oct. 1 – 20, 2016


Environmental Sustainability PD 16-7643

The goal of this program is to promote sustainable engineered systems that support human well-being and that are also compatible with sustaining natural (environmental) systems.  These systems provide ecological services vital for human survival.  Research efforts supported by the program typically consider long time horizons and may incorporate contributions from the social sciences and ethics. The program supports engineering research that seeks to balance society’s need to provide ecological protection and maintain stable economic conditions.

Four principal general research areas are supported:

  • Industrial Ecology
  • Green Engineering
  • Ecological Engineering
  • Earth Systems Engineering

Anticipated Funding Amount: $100,000/yr. for 1 to 3 years

Full Proposal Window: Oct. 1 – 20, 2016


Biophotonics PD 16-7236

The goal of this program is to explore the research frontiers in photonics principles, engineering and technology that are relevant for critical problems in fields of medicine, biology and biotechnology.  Fundamental engineering research and innovation in photonics is required to lay the foundations for new technologies beyond those that are mature and ready for application in medical diagnostics and therapies.  Advances are needed in nanophotonics, optogenetics, contrast and targeting agents, ultra-thin probes, wide field imaging, and rapid biomarker screening. Low cost and minimally invasive medical diagnostics and therapies are key motivating application goals.

Research topics in this program include:

  • Macromolecule Markers
  • Low Coherence Sensing at the Nanoscale
  • Neurophotonics
  • Micro- & Nano-photonics
  • Optogenetics

Anticipated Funding Amount: $100,000-200,000/yr. for 1 to 3 years

Full Proposal Window:
Oct. 1 – 20, 2016


Particulate and Multiphase Processes (PMP) PD 16-1415

The goal of this program is to support fundamental research on physico-chemical phenomena that govern particulate and multiphase systems, including flow of suspensions, drops and bubbles, granular and granular-fluid flows, behavior of micro- and nanostructured fluids, and self-assembly/directed-assembly processes that involve particulates.  The program encourages transformative research to improve our basic understanding of particulate and multiphase processes with emphasis on research that demonstrates how particle-scale phenomena affect the behavior and dynamics of larger-scale systems.  Although proposed research should focus on fundamentals, a clear vision is required that anticipates how results could benefit important applications in advanced manufacturing, energy harvesting, transport in biological systems, biotechnology, or environmental sustainability.  Collaborative and interdisciplinary proposals are encouraged, especially those that involve a combination of experiment with theory or modeling.  Proposals whose main focus is on the synthesis of particles are not encouraged.

Major research areas of interest include:

  • Multiphase Flow Phenomena
  • Particle Science and Technology
  • Multiphase Transport I Biological Systems
  • Interfacial Transport

Anticipated Funding Amount: $100,000/yr. for 1 to 3 years (small equipment proposals up to $70,000 will also be considered.)

Full Proposal Window:
Oct. 1 – 20, 2016


Environmental Engineering  PD 16-1440

The goal of this program is to support transformative research that applies scientific and engineering principles to avoid or minimize solid, liquid, and gaseous discharges, resulting from human activities on land, inland and coastal waters, and air, while promoting resource and energy conservation and recovery.  The program also fosters cutting-edge scientific research for identifying, evaluating, and monitoring the waste assimilative capacity of the natural environment and for removing or reducing contaminants from polluted air, water, and soils. Any proposal investigating sensors, materials or devices that does not integrate these products with an environmental engineering activity or area of research may be returned without review.

Major areas of interest include:

  • Enhancing the availability of high-quality water supplies
  • Fate and transport of contaminants of emerging concern in air, water, solid waste, and soils.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $110,000/yr. for 1 to 3 years

Full Proposal Window:
Oct. 1 – 20, 2016


Other Opportunities

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is accepting nominations for an award recognizing individuals encouraging women into chemical science careers.

The annual award recognizes significant accomplishments by an individual who has stimulated or fostered the interest of women in chemistry and/or promoted their professional developments as chemists or chemical engineers. The award consists of $5,000 and a certificate. A grant of $10,000 will be made to an academic institution, designated by the recipient, to strengthen its activities in meeting the objectives of the award. Up to $1,500 for travel expenses to the meeting at which the award will be presented will be reimbursed. Nominees for the award may come from any professional setting: academia, industry, government, or other independent facility.

DEADLINE: November 1, 2016

Find new Engagement Opportunities and Funding at engagement.utk.edu. Use Pivot to search and save funding opportunities, set up funding alerts, or manage your scholar profile using your UT NetID. Use the Foundation Directory Online to search a database of the 10,000 largest private, community, and corporate foundations in the U.S.