The National Science Foundation is inviting grant applications for collaborative research and education in scalable nanomanufacturing, including the long-term societal implications of large-scale implementations of nanomanufacturing innovations.

Although many nanofabrication techniques have been able to produce relatively small quantities of nanomaterials and devices for characterization and evaluation purposes, this program emphasizes research to overcome the key impediments that prevent the low-cost production of useful nanomaterials, devices, and systems at industrially relevant scales, reliably, and at low cost, and within environmental, health, and safety guidelines.

Proposals should incorporate three elements into their research plans:

  • A persuasive case that the nanomaterials, nanostructures, devices, or systems to be produced have or are likely to have sufficient demand to justify eventual scale-up;
  • A clearly identified set of research issues for science and engineering solutions that must be addressed to enable the production of high quality nano-enabled products at low cost; and
  • A compelling research plan with clear research objectives and approaches to overcome the identified research issues.

Proposals should consider addressing aspects of the nanomanufacturing value chain:

  • Novel scalable processes and techniques for large-area or continuous manufacturing of nano-scale structures and their assembly/integration into higher order systems;
  • Fundamental scientific research in well-defined technical areas that are compellingly justified as approaches to overcome critical barriers to scale-up and integration; and
  • Design principles for production systems leading to nanomanufacturing platforms; identification of metrology, instrumentation, standards and control methodologies needed for process control and to assess quality and yield.

The mode of support is Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Teams (NIRT).  Proposals should address the training and education of students in nanomanufacturing. NSF strongly encourages collaborative activities with industrial companies.

$5 million is available for five to eight awards of up to $1.5 million over four years.

An academic institution (a university, or a campus in a multi-campus university) may submit no more than one proposal on which it is the lead organization in response to this solicitation. The same organization may be a collaborative partner in any number of other multi-organization group proposals in which it is not the lead.

Interested applicants are asked to submit a preliminary application to my office by November 21, 2014 (electronic submission to or@research.uci.edu is preferred), with the following information:

  • Brief proposal (up to three pages)
  • Preliminary budget
  • Bio sketch (no more than two pages each) of the primary researcher(s)
  • Support letter from the Dean

If several preliminary SNM proposals are submitted, an ad hoc committee will convene to review them. The selected PI will be notified in time to meet the NSF deadline of January 20, 2015.

For the complete NSF guidelines, including detailed information about the Scalable Nanomanufacturing program, please refer to http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15507/nsf15507.htm.  Questions about our internal campus review process may be directed to Greg Ruth at greg.ruth@uci.edu or x4-0372.
John C. Hemminger
Vice Chancellor for Research