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Call for proposals for innovative research in energy and the environment

The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment Announces a Call for Proposals for Innovative Research in Energy and the Environment.

The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment (ACEE) is pleased to announce a call for proposals. The goal of this call is to encourage research that will develop solutions for our energy and environmental future. The deadline for written proposals is Friday, March 16, 2018. Selected proposals can start as early as Summer 2018.

This call is being issued five months in advance of the deadline to allow time for team assembly and thoughtful proposal development. The Andlinger Center staff is available to help coordinate bringing your team together with assistance in scheduling meetings and facilitating communication. Please contact our research and development strategist, Jeff Fitts( fitts@princton.edu), or associate director for research, Peter Jaffe (jaffe@princeton.edu), if interested.

Goals of the present solicitation

ACEE would like to promote development of research thrusts into center grant proposals. Towards this goal, ACEE has identified numerous clusters of excellence and facilitated several cluster-based discussions. This call takes this initiative to the next level and enables research that can lead to compelling center grant proposals.

Catalyzing preparation and submission of center grant proposals

Multi-investigator proposals for research that can serve as seeds for future center grant proposals are sought. Each proposal should describe a set of (say three) unified inter-disciplinary research projects (to be pursued by different teams of researchers), which fit in a theme of a possible future center grant proposal. The synergy between the different projects – how they are related, why together they are more than the sum of the individual parts, and how they help to assemble a strong center grant proposal – must be clearly articulated. Any theme relating to energy and the environment is acceptable, with currently identified clusters of excellence only serving as examples. Each proposal is limited to $300,000, to be spent over a one- or two-year period. ACEE hopes to fund up to two compelling submissions.

Criteria for selection:

Successful proposals should address the following questions:

  • What larger problem is being addressed within the cluster and how does the team’s composition and experience address the problem?
  • How would these projects serve as seeds for a successful center grant proposal?
  • What is the theme of the anticipated center grant proposal? Which anticipated call is this in response to? Which funding agency?

Submissions requesting support for the actual task of writing a center grant proposal will not be supported initiatives, outreach and so on, are also out of scope. ACEE is actively working on means of enabling these activities and fully intends to support them, financially or otherwise. Researchers interested in writing center grant proposals should talk to the ACEE Associate Director for Research in the interim. Similarly, preparation of the non-technical aspects of the grant proposal, such as educational will be supported through a different mechanism, but not through this call.

Proposal Submission

Proposals should be submitted to acee@princeton.edu, should be no more than ten pages in length, and should include the following:

  • A project abstract or summary statement (not to exceed 200 words);
  • A description of the proposed research projects, placing it in the context of competing research in relevant disciplines, research objectives, and milestones;
  • A description of the envisioned future research center, including how it relates to development of solutions for our energy and environmental future;
  • A description outlining how seeding these projects will enable a strong and credible center grant proposal;
  • A project budget and justification. Project budgets may include but are not limited to expenses related to research materials and supplies; travel; and support of graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, research assistants, and visiting collaborators. Outside collaborators are welcomed on these projects but funding will be limited to supporting activities on Princeton campus. Budget can include expenses related to activities (retreats or workshops) that foster collaboration and brainstorming across disciplines. Overhead charges do not apply. Faculty salary support will not be supported by funded projects.
  • A list of current and pending support for all PIs and/or senior personnel that clearly indicates how the proposed effort is distinct from earlier or ongoing funding to the investigators involved. Current and pending support lists, and References Cited do not count toward the page limit.

Additional requirements for selected projects:

1)  Reports: Funded investigators must provide an annual report at the end of year 1 and a summary report at the conclusion of the funding term. If a no-cost extension is requested, it should be accompanied by a progress report. Details to be included in these reports will be communicated in a separate memorandum at a later time.

2)  Cluster Meetings: In order to facilitate broadening of the scope of the project to a level that will eventually be suitable for a center grant proposal, funded projects must hold cluster meetings at the Andlinger Center at least once every semester, inviting participation of a broader group of ACEE-affiliated faculty, and other partners, including from industry, as appropriate. The ACEE staff will help you with arrangements for these meetings.

3)  Work with ACEE Leadership Team: Funded teams should keep the ACEE Associate Director for Research (Peter Jaffe) and Research Coordinator (Jeff Fitts) informed of progress. This can be achieved through the cluster meetings mentioned above. Fitts and the ACEE staff are working towards establishing frameworks for educational, outreach and project management components of center grant proposals. Frequent communication with them on features that would be relevant for anticipated center grant proposals will go a long way towards putting together one such proposal.

4)  Participation in Andlinger Center and Princeton E-ffiliates Partnership Annual Meeting: Funded project groups will be expected to participate in a research presentation or panel session on the funded work at the upcoming ACEE/E-ffiliates Annual Meeting normally held in November.

5)  Workshop: Funded teams are expected to conduct an ACEE workshop at the end of the project to present findings and engage a broader group of faculty on planning the thrusts of a future center grant proposal building on the work performed through this project. The ACEE will assist with the workshop logistics.

Questions about the call for proposals should be directed to eich@princeton.edu. All co-PIs of the proposals must be up to date with their reports from past ACEE funding before submitting new proposals in response to this call.