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Andlinger Center announces a call for proposals in innovative research in energy and the environment

November 3, 2020

The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment is pleased to announce a call for proposals to encourage research that will develop solutions for our energy and environmental future.

The deadline for proposal submission is February 8, 2021, 12:00 noon. Selected proposals can start as early as summer 2021. Principal investigators must be Princeton University faculty or research scholars.

This call is being issued several months in advance of the deadline to allow time for team assembly and thoughtful proposal development. Prospective PIs who are interested in developing a proposal and would like assistance or guidance on assembling a team, developing a suitable research strategy, or have other specific technical inquiries should contact Charlie Sharpless, assistant director for research at the Andlinger Center (csharpless@princeton.edu).

Goal of this solicitation

The Andlinger Center would like to support the development of interdisciplinary projects that can lead to compelling research center grant proposals. Successful projects will  have a strong focus on technology- and/or policy-based solutions to problems across the Center’s research areas of

  • built environment, transportation + infrastructure;
  • electricity production, transmission + storage;
  • fuels + chemicals;
  • environmental sensing + remediation;
  • decision + behavioral science, policy + economics; and
  • environmental + climate science.

The Andlinger Center hopes to fund up to two compelling submissions from this proposal call, with individual awards up to $300,000, to be spent over a one- or two-year period. All applicants must be up-to-date with report submissions for prior Andlinger Center funding before submitting new proposals in response to this call.

Proposal preparation and submission

The Andlinger Center invites multi-investigator teams to submit research proposals whose outcomes can seed future center grant proposals. Each proposal should describe a set of complementary projects, pursued by distinct research groups, that unify to create an interdisciplinary research agenda that could support future center grant proposals. Teams should comprise sufficient breadth of expertise to achieve strong interdisciplinarity while being sized to maintain excellent communication and synergy between the various projects and be commensurate with the proposed budget. Proposals must clearly articulate the synergy between the projects: how they are related, why they are more significant together than their individual sum, and how they converge into a strong agenda for a future center grant proposal.

Criteria for selection:

Proposals should establish the project merits with respect to the assessment criteria below. Additionally, successful proposals will strongly focus on developing solutions to a particular challenge in energy and the environment, and they will present a clear vision of which funding agencies and center grant calls would be opportune for submitting future proposals.

  1. What is the intellectual merit and novelty of the proposed research?
  2. How clear and accessible are the research goals?
  3. Is the theme for a future research center compelling?
  4. Does the proposal clearly explain how progress towards the research goals can support a center grant proposal?
  5. Are there plans in place to promote good team communication and regular interaction?

Proposal requirements and submission:

Proposals should be no more than ten pages in length and include the elements listed below. Note that the references cited, team member biosketches, and lists of current and pending support do not count toward the page limit. Completed proposals should be submitted via email to acee@princeton.edu.

  • Project abstract or summary statement (not to exceed 200 words)
  • Research Project description:
    • A description of the proposed research projects and overarching theme, research objectives, anticipated timeline, and milestones.
    • An explanation of how the outcomes of these projects will support a strong and credible center grant proposal.
    • A description of the envisioned future research center, including how it relates to development of solutions for our energy and environmental future.
  • 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, and research assistants.
    • Outside collaborators are welcomed on these projects, but funding will be limited to support activities and students and/or postdocs on the Princeton University campus.
    • Budget can include expenses related to collaborative activities (retreats, workshops, etc.) that foster interaction and brainstorming across disciplines.
    • Limited salary support: Faculty salaries will not be supported. Research scholar salaries will be limited to one month maximum, except in exceptional circumstances.
    • Overhead charges do not apply.
  • NSF style biosketches of principal investigators (PIs) and/or senior personnel
  • List of current and pending support for all principal investigators and/or senior personnel that clearly indicates how the proposed effort is distinct from earlier or ongoing funding to the investigators involved.

Requirements for funded projects

  • Reports: Funded investigators must provide an annual report at the end of year one 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 to PIs of awarded projects.
  • Research 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, the PI must hold research meetings at the Andlinger Center at least once every semester, inviting participation of a broader group of Andlinger Center associated faculty, industry, and other partners, as appropriate. When the team is ready to respond to a specific external call, the Andlinger Center staff can provide support establishing frameworks for educational, outreach, and project management components of the anticipated center grant proposal.
  • Participation in Andlinger Center annual meeting: During or immediately after the award period, the PI and relevant team members are expected to participate in a research presentation or panel session on the funded work at the Andlinger Center annual meeting, normally held in November.
  • Workshop: The PI and relevant team members are encouraged to conduct a workshop at the end of the project to present findings, lessons learned, best practices, and engage a broader group of faculty. This is intended to initiate planning for a future center grant proposal, building upon the work performed throughout this project. Andlinger Center staff will assist with the workshop logistics.

General questions about this call for proposals should be directed to acee@princeton.edu.

This call is not intended to support writing any parts of a center grant proposal, whether technical or non-technical. Researchers interested in obtaining support for preparing center grant proposals should speak with the associate director for research about applying for a center planning grant.