Up to $1.8M for Research Centers Focused on Chemical Research

TL;DR Up to $1.8M is available for research centers focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges.

What is the National Science Foundation?

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…”  NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.  This type of support is a primary driver of the U.S. economy, enhances the nation’s security, and advances knowledge to sustain global leadership. With an annual budget of $8.3 billion (FY 2020), it is the funding source for approximately 25 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities.  In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

Why does "major chemical   research" matter?

The FY 2021 Phase I CCI competition is open to projects in all fields supported by the Division of Chemistry, and must have scientific focus and the potential for transformative impact in chemistry.  NSF Chemistry particularly encourages fundamental chemistry projects related to one or more of NSF's Big Ideas, including Quantum Leap, Understanding the Rules of Life, and Harnessing the Data Revolution.  Similarly, the Division of Chemistry encourages CCI projects aligned with chemistry aspects of other articulated budget priorities, including Advanced Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, and Quantum Information Science.

How does this funding work?

The Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) Program supports research centers focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges. CCIs that address these challenges will produce transformative research, lead to innovation, and attract broad scientific and public interest. CCIs are agile structures that can respond rapidly to emerging opportunities through enhanced collaborations. CCIs integrate research, innovation, education, broadening participation, and informal science communication. The CCI Program is a two-phase program. Both phases are described in this solicitation. Phase I CCIs receive significant resources to develop the science, management and broader impacts of a major research center before requesting Phase II funding. Satisfactory progress in Phase I is required for Phase II applications; Phase I proposals funded in FY 2021 will seek Phase II funding in FY 2024.