NSF

NSF FY 2018 Budget Request to Congress

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 24 May 2017

National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France A. Córdova today publicly presented President Donald J. Trump's Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 NSF budget request to Congress.

The FY 2018 NSF budget request of $6.65 billion reflects NSF's commitment to establishing clear priorities in areas of national importance and identifying the most innovative and promising research ideas that will yield the highest return on investment for the nation. It supports fundamental research that will drive the U.S. economy, support our nation's security, and keep the U.S. a global leader in science, engineering and technology.

NSF expects to evaluate over 50,000 proposals in FY 2018 and, through its competitive merit review process, make nearly 11,000 awards, including 8,000 new research grants. 

Highlights from the NSF Division of Materials Research Newsletter

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 11 April 2017

Below are some highlights from the Winter 2017 NSF DMR Newsletter; also check out the updated DMR website here.

New mid-scale instrumentation program: Two Platforms, one at Pennsylvania State University (2DCC-MIP) and another led by Cornell University (PARADIM-MIP), focus on advancing the discovery of new two-dimensional (2D) electronic materials in thin film and bulk crystal form, with 2DCC focusing on chalcogenide materials and PARADIM-MIP focusing on heterostructures that include oxides, chalcogenides, graphene and other materials that enable novel electronic and magnetic functionalities. These two initial Platforms focus on 2D materials for electronic applications and will serve as a nexus of expertise where users will gain access to not only mid-scale level tools, but expertise in synthesis, characterization, and theory to help design and conduct experiments. Access to the Platforms are via a three page scientific proposal reviewed by external experts.

National Strategic Computing Initiative: On July 29, 2015, a Presidential Executive Order created a National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI). The overarching goal of NSCI is to maximize the benefits of high-performance computing (HPC) research, development, and deployment. NSCI strongly couples to the “The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution” Big Idea at NSF. Specifically, Objective 3 of NSCI centers around materials development for quantum science and engineering to enable quantum-based computation. Objective 4 revolves around ecosystems, and also includes training the new “quantum workforce.” Objective 5 encourages the close collaboration of industries and research required for deployment of quantum technologies.

Giannis Mpourmpakis Receives NSF CAREER Award

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 1 March 2017

Giannis Mpourmpakis' proposal "Designing synthesizable, ligand-protected bimetallic nanoparticles and modernizing engineering curriculum through computational nanoscience " was recently selected for an NSF CAREER award. 

Although scientists can chemically synthesize metal nanoparticles (NPs) of different shapes and sizes, understanding of NP growth mechanisms affecting their final morphology and associated properties is limited. With the potential for NPs to impact fields from energy to medicine and the environment, determining with computer simulations the NP growth mechanisms and morphologies that can be synthesized in the lab is critical to advance NP application. 
Because this is a relatively new field, traditional core courses in science and engineering lack examples from the nanotechnology arena. In addition to improving the research, the award will enable Giannis Mpourmpakis and his students to modernize the traditional course of Chemical Thermodynamics by introducing animation material based on cutting-edge nanotechnology examples, and developing a nanoscale-inspired interactive computer game.

Peng Liu Receives NSF CAREER Award

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 16 December 2016

Peng Liu has been selected to receive a National Science Foundation CAREER award based upon his proposal, entitled "Computational Studies of Transition-Metal-Catalyzed Reactions in Organic Synthesis." 

In this CAREER project funded by the Chemical Structure, Dynamic & Mechanism B Program of the Chemistry Division, Professor Peng Liu of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh is developing new strategies to use computational tools to investigate mechanisms and effects of ancillary ligands in transition-metal-catalyzed reactions of unactivated starting materials, such as C-C and C-H bonds, and unactivated olefins. The goal of this research is to reveal the fundamental reactivity rules of common organometallic intermediates in these transformations and to develop new models to interpret ligand effects on reactivity and selectivity. This proposal’s educational and outreach plan aims to maximize the power of computations to enhance learning of organic chemistry concepts and to facilitate synthetic organic chemistry research. Professor Liu’s team will develop virtual reality (VR) software and educational materials to visualize three-dimensional molecular structures and reaction mechanism videos in an interactive and immersive environment.

Quantum Information Science

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 20 June 2016

Quantum Information Science (QIS) supports theoretical and experimental proposals that explore quantum applications to new computing paradigms or that foster interactions between physicists, mathematicians, and computerscientists that push the frontiers of quantum-based information, transmission, and manipulation. 

Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI)

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 20 June 2016

This program serves a critical role in helping ENG focus on important emerging areas in a timely manner. This solicitation is a funding opportunity for interdisciplinary teams of researchers to embark on rapidlyadvancing frontiers of fundamental engineering research. For this solicitation, we will consider proposals that aim to investigate emerging frontiers in the following two research areas: 
- Advancing Communication Quantum Information Research in Engineering (ACQUIRE) 
- New Light and Acoustic Wave Propagation: Breaking Reciprocity and Time-Reversal Symmetry (NewLAW) 

Chemical Theory, Models and Computational Methods (CTMC)

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 20 June 2016

The program supports the discovery and development of theoretical and computational methods or models to address a range of chemical challenges, with emphasis on emerging areas of chemical research. Proposals that focus on established theoretical or computational approaches should involve innovative additions or modifications that substantially broaden their applicability.

Physics Frontiers Centers (PFC)

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 20 June 2016

The PFC program supports university-based centers and institutes where the collective efforts of a larger group of individuals can enable transformational advances in the most promising research areas. The program isdesigned to foster major breakthroughs at the intellectual frontiers of physics by providing needed resources such as combinations of talents, skills, disciplines, and/or specialized infrastructure, not usually available to individual investigators or small groups, in an environment in which the collective efforts of the larger group can be shown to be seminal to promoting significant progress in the science and the education of students. 

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