Dear Colleague Letter: Enabling Quantum Leap in Chemistry


The most competitive proposals and supplemental funding requests will harness existing expertise in the chemistry community to explore innovative approaches and novel phenomena in order to break new ground in quantum chemical and molecular science. These proposals and supplemental funding requests will also contain convincing evidence of the Principal Investigator's (PI's) competence in the proposed area of research and a clear path to future competitive research projects in Quantum Leap. Collaboration with experts in industry, national laboratories, and/or international researchers is encouraged, but not required.


Program Officers in CHE at

Angela K. Wilson
Division Director
Division of Chemistry
National Science Foundation

Anne Kinney
Assistant Director
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences

This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) emphasizes molecular approaches towards problems in quantum computing, sensing, communicating, etc. Suitable topic areas to address in EAGER proposals and supplemental funding request include (but are not limited to):

  • quantum algorithms for the simulation of chemical systems, including hybrid quantum-classical algorithms;
  • identification and exploration of the boundaries between classical and quantum computation in relation to chemical applications;
  • quantum machine learning for chemistry;
  • quantum optical tools for chemistry;
  • bottom-up design, synthesis, and application of chemical qubits;
  • quantum control of chemical processes;
  • advanced quantum readout techniques for molecular quantum systems;
  • topologically-protected molecular excitations that control and probe molecular energy transfer pathways via strong-coupling;
  • control and monitoring of chemical reactions using optical cavities and single-molecule polaritons; and
  • multidimensional optical spectroscopy for quantum information processing.

Proposals or supplemental funding requests with a focus on solid state materials are outside the scope of this DCL.

Supplemental funding requests must enhance existing projects by incorporating or exploring the concepts described in this DCL. The upper limit of a supplemental funding request in response to this DCL is $80,000 for a maximum of twelve months. EAGER proposals are limited to the funding amount and duration specified in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide. They should be submitted to the CHE research program that is most closely aligned with the subject matter of the proposal.3

In all cases, Principal Investigators are strongly encouraged to contact the cognizant program officers4 prior to submission to determine the appropriateness of the work for consideration by sending email to For EAGER proposals, the title of the proposal should specify the title as: "QLC: EAGER: (title)".