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Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF)

Grants to USA Colleges & Universities to Develop
Advanced Materials with Specific Properties

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Science Foundation

Deadline Date:

01/29/15 5:00 PM Local time of applicant


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Grants to USA colleges and universities to participate in a global competition to develop new materials with specific functions or properties. Funds will be provided for team projects led by two experienced personnel with complementary knowledge and skills. Collaboration between two or more institutions may be appropriate and collaboration with industry is encouraged.

DMREF is the primary program by which NSF participates in the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) for Global Competitiveness. MGI recognizes the importance of materials science to the well-being and advancement of society and aims to "deploy advanced materials at least twice as fast as possible today, at a fraction of the cost."

DMREF integrates materials discovery, development, property optimization, and systems design and optimization, with each employing a toolset to be developed within a materials innovation infrastructure. The toolset will synergistically integrate advanced computational methods and visual analytics with data-enabled scientific discovery and innovative experimental techniques to revolutionize our approach to materials science and engineering.

Accordingly, DMREF will support activities that accelerate materials discovery and development by building the fundamental knowledge base needed to design and make materials with specific and desired functions or properties from first principles. This will be accomplished by understanding the interrelationships of composition, structure, properties, processing, and performance.

Achieving this goal will involve modeling, analysis, and computational simulations, validated and verified through sample preparation, characterization, and device demonstration. It will require new data analytic tools and statistical algorithms; advanced simulations of material properties in conjunction with new device functionality; advances in predictive modeling that leverage machine learning, data mining, and sparse approximation; data infrastructure that is accessible, extensible, scalable, and sustainable; the development, maintenance, and deployment of reliable, interoperable, and reusable software for the next-generation design of materials; and new collaborative capabilities for managing large, complex, heterogeneous, distributed data supporting materials design, synthesis, and longitudinal study.

The multidisciplinary character of this effort dictates the involvement of programs in the NSF Directorates of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Computer and Information Science and Engineering.

The program will support efforts that span researchers in materials science, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, and engineering, thereby bridging Program and Divisional interests. Proposal review will be coordinated and funded by NSF Programs and Divisions, as appropriate. The complexity and challenge of activities addressed by this initiative require a transformative approach to discovering and developing new materials, predicting and optimizing properties of materials, and informing the design of material systems.

Accordingly, the proposed research must be a collaborative and iterative process wherein theory guides computational simulation, computational simulation guides experiments, and experiments further guide theory.

Strategies must be included in the proposed research to advance synthesis/growth/processing techniques, characterization/testing methodology, and theory/data/computation/simulation approaches needed to develop predictive computational models.

This collaborative and iterative process will require a team of PIs with the requisite expertise. Accordingly, it is expected that proposed projects will be directed by a team of at least two Senior Personnel with complementary expertise. The proposal must provide a plan for enhanced data management that ensures transparency, data sharing, and open source software, including an explicit statement of which open source license(s), if applicable, will be used.

While not required, ties with industry, national laboratories, engineering partners, or other organizations are encouraged. If there are strong collaborations with industry, please see the Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) program solicitation, which can be used in conjunction with this effort. Collaborative Proposals involving two or more academic institutions may also be appropriate (Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter II, Section.D.4).

Because this DMREF approach emphasizes an integrated approach to materials research, cross-disciplinary educational activities are encouraged, as are public outreach activities.

NSF will support DMREF through well-coordinated activities involving the Directorates of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Engineering (ENG), and Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE). Within MPS, the Divisions of Chemistry (CHE), Materials Research (DMR), and Mathematical Sciences (DMS) will participate. The Divisions of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI), Electrical, Communication and Cyber Systems (ECCS), and Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET) in ENG will participate.

Within CISE the Divisions of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI), Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF), Computer and Network Systems (CNS), and Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS) will participate.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 146367

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

18 to 25

Estimated Size of Grant:

$500,000 to $1,500,000

Term of Contract:

3 years or 4 years


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Universities and Colleges - Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in, the US acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

Almadena Chtchelkanova, CISE/CCF
(703) 292-8910, email:

Eugene C. Gartland, MPS/DMS
(703) 292-2279, email:

*Daniel Katz, CISE/ACI
(703) 292-2254

Alexis Lewis, ENG/CMMI
(703) 292-2624

Amnon J. Meir, MPS/DMS
(703) 292-2189

William Olbricht, ENG/CBET
(703) 292-2563

Timothy Patten, MPS/CHE
(703) 292-7196

Dimitris Pavlidis, ENG/ECCS
(703) 292-2216

John Schlueter, MPS/DMR
(703) 292-7766

Sylvia Spengler, CISE/IIS
(703) 292-8930

Ralph Wachter, CISE/CNS
(703) 292-8950

FastLane Help Desk
telephone: 1-800-673-6188 Contact Center:
If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact:

CFDA Number:

47.041, 47.049, 47.070

Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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