OPPORTUNITIES

The Illinois Energy Scholars maintain an email list for sharing opportunities for research funding, industry partnerships, student funding, and education and outreach activities. If you are a faculty-level researcher who would like to be counted among the Illinois Energy Scholars and receive these updates, please email us at sustainability@illinois.edu with the subject line, “Add an Energy Scholar.”

Grant and Other Opportunities for Illinois Scholars ...

Current and recent calls for proposals from major funding agencies, as well as speaking opportunities and other announcements for Illinois faculty-level scholars.

July 2021: DOE Fossil Fuel & Carbon Management Research

A message from iSEE Acting Associate Director for Research Jeremy Guest:

As federal budget updates continue to come out for FY 2022, there's more good news on funding prospects for energy research — this time with some additional details specific to fossil fuel emissions, carbon capture and utilization, and critical minerals. These opportunities are likely to appear in FY 2022 (starting in October). Download the PDF >>>
 
If researchers are interested in pursuing upcoming opportunities and iSEE can support this endeavor (including helping bring an interdisciplinary team together, business office support, etc.), please let me know at jsguest@illinois.edu.
 
The areas of interest:
1. Reduce methane emissions.
2. Accelerate carbon-neutral hydrogen using natural gas infrastructure.
3. Carbon dioxide removal.
4. Big data and artificial intelligence (related to material discovery, process optimization, and autonomous energy systems). 
5. Carbon utilization.
6. Critical minerals.
July 2021: NOAA Upcoming Opportunities

 

A message from iSEE Acting Associate Director for Research Jeremy Guest:

Please see the opportunities below from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Program Office (CPO). NOAA anticipates granting 90 awards across all eight competitions. Full summary pdf >>>
 
If researchers are interested in pursuing this opportunity and iSEE can support this endeavor (including helping bring an interdisciplinary team together, business office support, etc.), please let me know as soon as possible at jsguest@illinois.edu.
 
Agency/Foundation: NOAA Climate Program Office
RFP/FOA topic: FY22 Competitions
Letter of Intent (estimated*): Aug. 9, 2021 (5 PM EASTERN)
Full Proposal (estimated*): Oct. 18, 2021 (5 PM EASTERN)
 
*Deadlines are included in this summary to help folks get a sense for the timeline for the call for proposals. If you are interested in submitting to this call for proposals, please review the RFP/FOA for yourself to identify deadlines, submittal requirements, etc. 

 

July 2021: DOE Upcoming Opportunities

 

A message from iSEE Acting Associate Director for Research Jeremy Guest:

Please find a brief summary of anticipated upcoming funding opportunities from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Fiscal Year 2022 (which begins in Oct. 1, 2021). Download the PDF >>>
 
Priority areas include:
 
1. Vehicle Technologies.
- $66M for battery research and development.
- $20M for a new Clean Energy Mobility Solutions for Underserved Communities initiative.
- $12M for lightweight materials.
- $9M for powertrain materials.
 
2. Bioenergy.
- $10M for a new research and development program on biogenic carbon drawdown, soil carbon sequestration, and bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration.
 
3. Fuel Cell Technologies.
- $10M for materials and components.
 
4. Solar Energy.
- $36M for manufacturing.
- $15M for solar thermochemical reactors.
- $5M for increased durability.
 
5. Wind Energy.
- $42M for wind energy grid integration.
- $20M for offshore wind manufacturing and materials research and development.
- $18M for offshore wind science and technology innovation.
- $9M for social science and socioeconomic research.
- $5M for STEM and workforce development.
 
6. Hydropower Technologies
- $10M for novel water infrastructure sensors.
- $3M for new STEM activities.
 
7. Geothermal Technologies.
- $28M for subsurface research, development, and demonstration of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS).
 
8. Building Technologies.
- $32M for buildings-to-grid research and development.
 
Additional details from Lewis-Burke: "The fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget request proposes $4.7 billion, an increase of $1.9 billion or 65 percent, for these research activities. While congressional appropriations will determine final funding levels, DOE still plans to advance new programmatic priorities. While a significant portion of new proposed funding is for industry- and DOE national lab-led projects, the attached analysis highlights new initiatives and funding opportunities of most relevance to research universities and other research organizations."
 
If researchers are interested in pursuing upcoming opportunities and iSEE can support this endeavor (including helping bring an interdisciplinary team together, business office support, etc.), please let me know at jsguest@illinois.edu.
June 2021: DOE ARPA-E

A message from iSEE Acting Associate Director for Research Jeremy Guest:

Please find a brief summary of anticipated upcoming funding opportunities from ARPA-E. Download the PDF >>>
 
Priority areas include:
 
1. Materials for carbon-neutral or carbon-negative buildings. The main interest is using buildings as carbon sinks to reduce their embodied emissions, and potentially make future buildings carbon neutral or even carbon negative. This focus area would support novel materials derived from feedstocks including forestry and other purpose-grown raw materials, agricultural residues, as well as direct use of greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide and methane). 

 

2. Technologies to dramatically reduce high-level nuclear waste. This focus area would support new technologies such as modular separations and processing systems which could economically, safely, and securely reduce by an order of magnitude the amount of high-level waste in spent nuclear fuel. New technologies would be applied to existing commercial nuclear reactors, emerging advanced reactor concepts, or from other sources. 

 

3. Advanced battery electrodes and conductors for high capacity and rapid charge. This focus area would support efforts to develop battery systems that can withstand extremely fast charging, have a much higher capacity at lower weight, or utilize abundant, easily-sourced materials – all well beyond the capability of current generation lithium ion, or even emerging solid-state lithium-metal batteries. These types of advances would enable broad adoption of electrified transportation applications, including electric vehicles and electrified aviation. 

 

4. Grid resilience, reliability, and flexibility. This focus area would support technologies that flexibly utilize grid resources through approaches in topology and power flow optimization, integration of distributed energy resources into transmission-level operations, and microgrids. 

 

5. Advanced fusion approaches and energy applications. This focus area would support alternative fuel options to Deuterium-Tritium (D-T) thermonuclear reactions that could offer significant system advantages with far lower levels of neutron production and resultant radiological waste, along with novel power conversion approaches. 
 
 
Additional details from Lewis-Burke: "The FY 2022 President’s budget request would fund ARPA-E at $500 million, a $73 million or 17 percent increase above the FY 2021 enacted level.  In FY 2022, ARPA-E plans to release up to 15 new funding opportunity announcements to advance new technology areas not represented in the present portfolio."
 
If researchers are interested in pursuing upcoming opportunities and iSEE can support this endeavor (including helping bring an interdisciplinary team together, business office support, etc.), please let me know at jsguest@illinois.edu.
June 2021: DOE Urbana Integrated Field Labs for Climate Science

A message from iSEE Acting Associate Director for Research Jeremy Guest:

Below is a funding opportunity to support the establishment of Urban Integrated Field Laboratories for Climate Science.
 
Agency/Foundation: DOE
RFP/FOA topic: Urban Integrated Field Laboratories for Climate Science 
Full Proposal Deadline (estimated*): Fall 2021 (specific date unknown)
Funding (total): $5M-$10M (anticipated)
Duration: 5 years
RFP/FOA Info: Download pdf >>>
 
If researchers are interested in pursuing upcoming opportunities and iSEE can support this endeavor (including helping bring an interdisciplinary team together, business office support, etc.), please let me know at jsguest@illinois.edu.
June 2021: Dow Chemical Co.

A message from iSEE Acting Associate Director for Research Jeremy Guest:

If anyone is planning to submit concept note to the DOE FOA — Single-Use Plastic Recycling (SUPR), please see the note below from Dow. If you have an interest in connecting with Dow for your project, please let me know at jsguest@illinois.edu, and I can put you in touch. It is not atypical that teams can be updated after concept note submittal, so there is likely still time to engage with Dow if interested (full proposals are due in August).

Best of luck.


We wanted to reach out to let you know that Dow is interested in collaborating on this SUPR FOA - Single-Use Plastic Recycling Funding Opportunity Announcement Topic Areas | Department of Energy.  It aligns well with Dow’s commitment to sustainability and allows us the opportunity to deepen relationships with key value partners and access unique external capabilities / expertise to enable us to further Dow’s “Close the Loop” or “Stop the Waste” Goals. We would welcome any ideas you may have for collaboration on either topic of interest.  

  • Topic 1: Novel Approaches to Recycle and Upcycle Films
  • Topic 2: Redesign of Multi-layer Films for Infinite Recyclability or Biodegradability

Some potential areas to consider (but not meant to be idea limiting):

  • Develop analytical or chemistry approaches which support more efficient and accurate sorting of waste streams and identifying chemicals of concern
  • develop new applications for recycled materials to expand the market
  • develop fundamental understanding of the effect of multiple recycle “cycles” on properties
  • understand difference in molecular architecture compared to virgin materials
  • develop polyethylene only structures with improved heat resistance while maintaining recyclability

Please let me know if Dow can work with anyone from UIUC who is considering applying to this FOA and if you believe there might be an interesting further collaboration opportunity with Dow we could brainstorm together. I’ll be reaching out to some of our faculty partners directly as well, but please do let us know if we miss any opportunities. I am copying my colleague Leslie Fan who covers our government-funded collaborations.

Best regards,

Nikhil Fernandes

(he/him/his)

University Research Collaborations

External Technologies, Core R&D

May 2021: DOE Opportunities, Near-Term and Long-Term

A message from iSEE Acting Associate Director for Research Jeremy Guest:

Attached is a summary of the Biden Administration's anticipated fiscal year 2022 budget request. This email also includes near-term opportunities are at the top of this email and long-term opportunities are near the bottom. If researchers are interested and pursuing any of these opportunities and iSEE can support this endeavor (including helping bring an interdisciplinary team together, business office support, etc.), please let me know as soon as possible. Note that the "long-term opportunities" may require significant planning, and starting early could put teams in a better position to be successful. View a pdf of these opportunities >>>
 
 
NEAR-term funding opportunities
 
Agency/Foundation: NREL, Department of Energy
RFP/FOA topic: Cadmium Telluride Photovoltaics Accelerator Consortium Solicitation
Informational Webinar: May 21, 2021
Proposal Deadline (estimated*): To be determined (TBD), full solicitation released in May 2021
Funding (total): $20,000,000 (anticipated)
Duration: TBD
Consortium Goals: Support the planning and operations of a technology development consortium to enhance U.S. technology leadership and competitiveness in CdTe PV. The CdTe PV Accelerator solicitation will formalize the leadership to identify the technology development priorities of a consortium consisting of leading companies and research institutes that are able to impact the entire domestic CdTe supply chain.
 
Agency/Foundation: Department of Energy
RFP/FOA topic: Quantum Horizons: QIS Research and Innovation for Nuclear Science
Letter of Intent: May 21, 2021 (TOMORROW) - LOIs are encouraged but NOT required
Proposal Deadline (estimated*): June 18, 2021
Funding (total): Depends on "opportunity" and funding use - $10K for PI exchange; $25K workshops; $50K conferences; $150K grad student; $200K postdoc; up to $1,100,000 per award
Duration: 1-3 years (depending on topic)
Brief summary: The DOE SC program in Nuclear Physics (NP) hereby announces its interest in receiving interdisciplinary applications for open scientific research on Quantum Computing (QC) and Quantum Information Science and Technology (QIST) with a clear line of sight to enable discoveries to explore and understand all forms of nuclear matter, including some that no longer exist. From the hot dense soup of quarks and gluons in the first microseconds after the Big Bang, through the formation of protons and neutrons beginning the evolution of the chemical elements, to the awesome power of supernovae, the physics of nuclei is fundamental to our understanding of the universe.
 
Agency/Foundation: ARPA-E
RFP/FOA topic: DE-FOA-0002530: OPTIMIZING NUCLEAR WASTE AND ADVANCED REACTOR DISPOSAL SYSTEMS (ONWARDS)
Concept Paper Deadline (estimated*): July 9, 2021
Full Application Deadline (estimated*): TBD
Funding (total): $250,000 to $10,000,000
Duration: 3 years
Brief summary: The program goal of ONWARDS is to support the development of technologies that address significant challenges to closing the back-end (see Figure 1) of advanced reactor (AR) nuclear fuel cycles3. Specifically, projects funded under the ONWARDS Program will develop and demonstrate sustainable technologies that will significantly improve the disposal impact (Section I.C below) of used nuclear fuel (UNF)4 and other waste streams stemming from the implementation of AR fuel cycles by developing innovative and cost-effective approaches in reprocessing5, material accountancy, and waste forms. ONWARDS metrics include an order-of-magnitude reduction in AR waste volume generation or repository footprint compared to light-water nuclear reactors (LWR)6, better than 1% fissile-mass accountancy in reprocessing streams, development of high-performance AR waste forms for a variety of potential deep-geological repositories (DGR) and disposal concepts, and costs in the range of $1/megawatt-hour (MWh). This FOA is focused on supporting the development of viable technologies to achieve these metrics. 
 
Agency/Foundation: Department of Energy
Prize/opportunity: L-Prize for Innovative LED Lighting
First Concept Deadline (estimated*): Nov. 19, 2021
Funding (total): $20,000 prize
Duration: 1-3 years (depending on topic)
 
 
LONG-term funding opportunities 
 
Anticipated Funding Source: Department of Energy
 
Anticipated topic: Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems
Anticipated funding: Up to $20,000,000 (anticipated)
Anticipated announcement timeline: May 2021
 
Anticipated Funding Source: ARPA-E
 
Anticipated topic: Macroalgae conversion for biofuels and bioproducts
Anticipated funding: Unknown
Anticipated announcement timeline: Summer/Fall 2021
 
Anticipated Funding Source: ARPA-E
 
Anticipated topic: Carbon negative building materials
Anticipated funding: Unknown
Anticipated announcement timeline: Summer/Fall 2021
 
Anticipated Funding Source: Department of Energy
 
Anticipated topic: Energy Frontier Research Centers
Anticipated funding: Unknown
Anticipated announcement timeline: Fall/Winter 2021
 
 
*Deadlines are included in this summary to help folks get a sense for the timeline for the call for proposals. If you are interested in submitting to this call for proposals, please review the RFP/FOA for yourself to identify deadlines, submittal requirements, etc. 
April 2021: NSF Geospace Sciences

A message from iSEE Acting Associate Director for Research Jeremy Guest: 

Please view the request proposals (RFP) for the National Science Foundation. If researchers are interested and pursuing this opportunity and iSEE can support this endeavor (including helping bring an interdisciplinary team together, business office support, etc.), please let me know as soon as possible at jsguest@illinois.edu.

 
 
Agency/Foundation: National Science Foundation
RFP/FOA topic: Grand Challenges in Integrative Geospace Sciences: Advancing National Space Weather Expertise and Research toward Societal Resilience (ANSWERS)
Full Proposal Deadline (estimated*): Aug. 23, 2021
Funding (total): $900,000 to $2,500,000
Duration: 3-4 years
 
Program Synopsis: The Advancing National Space Weather Expertise and Research toward Societal resilience (ANSWERS) solicitation has the goal to bring together collaborative teams of solar and geospace observers, theorists, modelers, experimenters, educators and computational experts to address some of the most challenging problems in solar and space physics and space weather. The purview of this new holistic solicitation goes beyond the scope of each of the long-standing programs in the Geospace Section (GS) of the NSF Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Science (AGS): Aeronomy (AER), Coupling, Energetics, and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions (CEDAR), Geospace Environment Modeling (GEM), Magnetospheric Physics (MAG), Solar Terrestrial Research (STR), and Solar, Heliospheric, and INterplanetary Environment (SHINE). ANSWERS enables deep and transformative understanding of the dynamic, integrated Sun-Earth system and the solar and terrestrial drivers of space weather and their effects “from Sun to mud.” In combination with forward-looking educational endeavors, ANSWERS also aims to advance the nation’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) expertise and build societal resilience against space weather hazards.
 
*Deadlines are included in this summary to help folks get a sense for the timeline for the call for proposals. If you are interested in submitting to this call for proposals, please review the RFP/FOA for yourself to identify deadlines, submittal requirements, etc.

FIND AN ENERGY SCHOLAR

 

X