Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Funding Opportunities $50 Million in Funding Potential for Solar Energy Technology Research and Innovation

To accomplish the goals of the SunShot Initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office supports funding opportunities on photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, systems integration, technology to market, and soft costs projects. Following an open, competitive solicitation process, these funding opportunities encourage collaborative partnerships among industry, universities, national laboratories, federal, state, and local governments and non-government agencies and advocacy groups. Solicitations may include financial or technical assistance.

Broadly, these Energy Department investments support state-of-the-art products, solutions, and technology advancements that will increase solar energy system performance and efficiency and drive down costs. The Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade.

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Accelerator Grant Workshop – September 29th, 2015

Our Accelerator grant program supports teams of Lehigh investigators in developing multi-investigator research programs in particularly promising areas.  Based on a team’s identification of a major, specific area of opportunity and ways in which it can excel in that area, these grants provide significant flexibility in use of the grant funds.

We are offering a workshop for those considering applying for an Accelerator grant, or those simply wishing to know more about the program.  The workshop will be held on Tuesday, September 29th, from noon to 1:30pm in Rauch Business Center 293. For catering purposes, we will appreciate an RSVP to by Thursday, September 24th.

Guidelines, with application instructions and deadlines, can be found at  Questions can be addressed to

Call for User Proposals: High-Impact Nanoscience Research

The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is soliciting proposals for user-initiated nanoscience research that will make effective use of CNMS facilities and staff expertise. The CNMS nanoscience research program provides users with access to a broad range of capabilities for nanomaterials design, synthesis, characterization, and theory/modeling/simulation in order to carry out studies that will significantly advance our understanding of nanoscale phenomena and develop functional nanomaterials systems. Access is provided at no cost to users for research that is in the public domain and intended for publication in the open literature.

For more information on this solicitation and submission guidelines, please see the website. Submission deadline is October 21, 2015.

ORNL’s SNS User Meeting and STS Workshop is approaching

The Neutron Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is holding a 1 and a half day Spallation Neutron Source/High Flux Isotope Reactor (SNS/HFIR) User Meeting, October 26–27, 2015. The aim of this meeting is to bring together current and potential neutron users to discuss recent scientific results utilizing neutrons. This meeting will emphasize current and emerging research trends that will influence the development of new neutron facilities, specifically the STS at ORNL, For more information on the SNS/HFIR user meeting, please see the website. Registration deadline is October 9, 2015.

Note, Steve McInstoh (ChemE) will be giving a talk at the SNS/HFIR user meeting and is available to anyone for questions or information.  Email Steve at

Following this meeting, the Second Target Station (STS) Workshop will be held on October 27–29, 2015. The forum will be used to update the user community on the planning for the STS, to engage the users in the process of moving the STS forward, and to seek the community’s input on all aspects of the project. For more information on the STS workshop, please see the website. Registration will open soon (Please note that this is a separate registration).

NSF Interdisciplinary Funding Opportunity:  Supporting Research Advances in Smart and Connected Communities

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Education and Human Resources (EHR), Engineering (ENG), Geosciences (GEO), and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) wish to notify the community of their intention to support, foster, and accelerate fundamental research that addresses challenges in enabling Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC).

With this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), NSF invites supplements to existing CISE, EHR, ENG, GEO, and SBE grants, or new EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals submitted to the CISE, EHR, ENG, GEO, and/or SBE directorates. Supplemental proposals must enhance existing projects by incorporating or exploring the concepts described in this DCL, while demonstrating how the proposed work is related to the active project and must describe how the research and activities fit within the Smart and Connected Communities vision.

For more information including examples of relevant projects and the list of program directors, please read the DCL.

Proposal deadline is March 1, 2016 or earlier.

Sponsored by ORAU, Mars, Incorporated, and the National Science Foundation, this program allows faculty an opportunity to nominate Lehigh graduate students to attend a week-long meeting of Nobel Laureates in chemistry, physics, and physiology/medicine. As an investigator on an NSF funded project or through a nomination sponsored by MARS, Inc. or ORAU – which are not tied to any specific funding source – a graduate student under your mentorship may qualify for this honorable and rare opportunity. In 2012 two Lehigh graduate students, Tyler Drake (Physics) and Justin Barton (Mechanical Engineering), were chosen to attend this meeting. Also, Matthew Smith (Physics) attended the 2011 Lindau meeting and wrote about the experience on his blog.

The 2016 meeting will focus on physics or related disciplines of research. The selection and submission of nominations from Lehigh will be done by the Office of the Vice President and Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Studies. Deadline for submission of nomination to our office is 8am EST on October 1, 2015. The full application deadline for submission of nominations to the Lindau meeting sponsors is October 16, 2015. Further information about the program can be found online at and at

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Graduate Student Internship Opportunity: The DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is now accepting applications!

The goal of the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is to prepare graduate students for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission, by providing graduate thesis research opportunities at DOE laboratories.  The SCGSR program provides supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory in areas that address scientific challenges central to the Office of Science mission. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students’ overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories.

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NSF Funding Opportunity from the IUSE/Professional Formation of Engineers:  REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (RED) Program

This recently announced program supports re-designing engineering undergraduate education programs through the creation of significant sustainable changes necessary to overcome longstanding issues in their undergraduate programs and to educate inclusive communities of engineering and computer science students.

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Reminder: NSF National Research Traineeship (NRT) – Intent to submit due September 21

NSF’s National Research Traineeship (NRT) program supports development of new, evidence-based approaches to graduate training. Through separate Traineeship and Innovative Graduate Education tracks, the program supports both development of comprehensive training programs in high-priority interdisciplinary research areas, and piloting of potentially transformative approaches to graduate education whether disciplinary or interdisciplinary. Continue reading about the program.

If you wish to submit a proposal to this program in December 2015, please let us know of your intent to submit with a brief title, likely participants and which NRT track you plan to submit to — Traineeship (DESE or general) or IGE — by September 21.

Please direct questions to Sujata Jagota,

Accelerator Grants for Fall 2015

Guidelines for Accelerator Grant applications can be found here.

Accelerator Grants support teams of Lehigh investigators in developing multi-investigator research programs in particularly promising areas. Based on a team’s identification of a major, specific area of opportunity and ways in which it can excel in that area, these grants provide significant flexibility in use of the grant funds to address the opportunity. Teams are expected to use these grants to broaden and quicken their access to extramural support, at levels that enable them to sustain highly productive and highly prominent multi-investigator programs.

Letters of Intent will be due on Friday, October 16th, no later than 5 PM EST. Proposals will be due on Friday, October 30th, no later than 5 PM EST.

A workshop for those considering applying, or wishing to know more about the program, will be held on Tuesday, September 29th, from noon to 1:30 p.m. RSVP to  Please see forthcoming email announcements or blog postings for details.