Skip to main content
Email Print Share

Nano-Bio Phenomena and Processes in the Environment

Name Email Phone Room
Nora  F. Savage (703) 292-7949   


Apply to PD 15-1179 as follows:

For full proposals submitted via FastLane: standard Grant Proposal Guide proposal preparation guidelines apply.
For full proposals submitted via the NSF Application Guide; A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Guidelines applies. (Note: The NSF Application Guide is available on the website and on the NSF website at:

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 16-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 16-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Window:  October 1, 2016 - October 20, 2016

October 1 - October 20, Annually Thereafter

These submission windows do not apply to workshop or supplement proposals, proposals for EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), or Rapid Response Grants (RAPID).  As noted below, PIs are strongly encouraged to discuss their requests with the Program Director before submission of proposals of this nature.


The goal of the Nano-Bio Phenomena and Processes in the Environment (NPPE) program is to support research to further fundamental and quantitative understanding of the interactions of biological and ecological media with nanostructured materials and nanosystems, which include one- to three-dimensional nanostructured materials and heterogeneous nano-bio hybrid assemblies.  Such nanostructured materials and systems frequently exhibit novel physical, chemical and biological behavior in living systems and ecological matrices as compared to the bulk scale. This program supports research that explores the interaction of nanoscale materials and systems with both macro and nano-scale systems in biological and environmental media, as well as remediation solutions.    

Proposals submitted to NPPE should address one or more of the following research areas:

  • Characterization and exploration of interactions at the interfaces  between nanostructure materials and nanosystems with surrounding biological and ecological media, including  complex and heterogeneous composites;
  • Development of predictive tools that are based on fundamental behavior of nanostructures within biological and ecological matrices to advance cost-effective and environmentally benign processing and engineering solutions over full life cycles;
  • Examining the transport, interaction, and impact of nanostructured materials and nanosystems on biological systems;
  • Complex simulations of molecular systems at interfaces, with these simulations done in conjunction with experimental comparisons, and new theories and complex simulation approaches for determining the transport and transformation of nanoparticles in various media.

The design of optimal chemical, electronic, photonic, biological, and mechanical properties of nanostructured materials and heterogeneous nanosystems for their safe handling, management, and utilization will require elucidation of these topics.  It is expected that the research will support safe manufacturing, handling and utilization of nanostructures, development of measurement tools and predictive simulation approaches, improved assessment of transport and transformations of environmental nanomaterials (ENMs) in various environmental media and over full life cycles in various media, and development of principles for establishing robust risk assessment and management for nanostructured materials and nanosystems.

Innovative proposals outside of these specific interest areas may be considered. However, prior to submission, it is recommended that the PI contact the Program Director to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review.

NOTE: For NPPE proposals involving aspects of sustainable chemistry, consider making proposal submissions to this program (1179) with the Proposal Title as: ‘SusChEM: Title of Your Proposal'. For more information on SusChEM-related proposals please click here. The same applies for proposals involving sustainable engineering.

The duration of unsolicited awards is generally one to three years.  The typical award size for the program is $100,000 per year.  Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation with the Program Director, may be returned without review.


Proposals should address the novelty and/or potentially transformative nature of the proposed work compared to previous work in the field.  Also, it is important to address why the proposed work is important in terms of engineering science, as well as to also project the potential impact on society and/or industry of success in the research.  The novelty or potentially transformative nature of the research should be included, as a minimum, in the Project Summary of each proposal.

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program proposals are strongly encouraged.  Award duration is five years.  The submission deadline for Engineering CAREER proposals is in July every year. Please see the CAREER URL here for more information. 

Proposals for Conferences, Workshops, and Supplements: PIs are strongly encouraged to discuss their requests with the Program Director before submission of the proposal.

Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) and EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) are also considered when appropriate.  Please note that proposals of these types must be discussed with the program director before submission.  Further details are available in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) download found here.  Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) proposals that integrate fundamental research with translational results and are consistent with the application areas of interest to each program are also encouraged.  Please note that GOALI proposals must be submitted during the annual unsolicited proposal window for each program. More information on GOALI can be found here.

COMPLIANCE: Proposals which are not compliant with the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) will be returned without review.

Unsolicited proposals received outside of the Announced Proposal Window dates will be returned without review.

What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program