Limited Submission Programs - U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs)

Summary of Opportunity
DOE Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs)
OSP Deadline 01/06/14 by 8:30 a.m.
Funding Agency Deadline

11/13/13 at 4:00 p.m. Central - Letter of Intent (Required)

01/09/14 at 10:59 p.m. Central

Funding or Award Criteria

Program Description: The 21st century brings with it significant challenges for advanced energy technologies, but as history has proven, major breakthroughs in clean energy technologies will likely be built on a deep foundation of basic research advances. Solar photovoltaic technology has its roots in Einstein’s early twentieth-century paper on the photoelectric effect. The electronics used to improve the efficiency of today’s internal combustion engine have their root in the transistor, whose development was enabled by the discovery of quantum mechanics. Key to exploiting such discoveries is the ability to create new materials using sophisticated synthesis and processing techniques, precisely define the atomic arrangements in matter, and control physical and chemical transformations. The energy systems of the future will revolve around materials and chemical changes that convert energy from one form to another. To control chemical reactions or to generate electricity from solar photons requires coordination of multiple steps, each carried out by customized materials with designed nanoscale structures. Such advanced materials must be designed and fabricated to exacting standards using principles revealed by basic science.

In 2009, the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science established the Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) program. These integrated, multi-investigator centers involve various combinations of researchers at universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit firms. The EFRCs have conducted fundamental research focused on one or more “grand challenges” and use-inspired “basic research needs” identified in major strategic planning efforts by BES and the scientific community. These centers bring together the skills and talents of teams of investigators to perform energy-relevant basic research with a scope and complexity beyond that possible in standard single-investigator or small-group projects. The multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary nature of these centers fosters an environment in which innovations are encouraged and scientific breakthroughs accelerated to provide the basis for transformative energy technologies. The EFRCs pursue the fundamental understanding necessary to enhance U.S. energy security and to meet the global need for abundant, clean, and economical energy.

The Office of Basic Energy Sciences announces the re-competition of the Energy Frontier Research Centers and encourages both new and renewal applications. Applications will be required to address both use-inspired priority research directions identified by the series of “Basic Research Needs” reports and scientific grand challenges identified in the report Directing Matter and Energy: Five Challenges for Science and the Imagination, both of which are described below. In addition, as appropriate, applicants are encouraged to consider the incorporation of research approaches outlined in the following two reports: 1) Computational Materials Science and Chemistry: Accelerating Discovery and Innovation through Simulation-Based Engineering and Science; and 2) From Quanta to the Continuum: Opportunities for Mesoscale Science. All of these reports can be found here: Funding will be competitively awarded to the successful Energy Frontier Research Center applications selected by Federal officials, based on a rigorous merit review process as detailed in Section V of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).

Please see the solicitation for complete information.

Applicable Field(s)  
Number of Nominees Allowed

Three (3) new and/or renewal applications as lead institution

**there is no limitation on the number of applications in which a specific entity may participate as a team member or subcontractor.

Required Internal Review Documents

Associate Deans or Designates should submit the following materials electronically to by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 25, 2013:

  1. Dean's or ORU Director's Letter of Nomination
  2. Two page maximum lay abstract describing the aims/needs of the proposed research project.
  3. Short bio sketch/CV of the UT PI

Each college may submit one (1) nomination.

Nominee(s) Selected to Advance

Dr. Arumugam Manthiram, Cockrell School of Engineering

Dr. Steven L Bryant, Cockrell School of Engineering

Dr. Peter Rossky, College of Natural Sciences

Posting Date 10/03/13