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Ceramics  (CER)


Name Email Phone Room
Dr. Lynnette  D. Madsen lmadsen@nsf.gov (703) 292-4936  1065 N  

Program Director: Dr. Lynnette D. Madsen
Program Assistant (STEP): Ms. Benita Fair, bfair@nsf.gov, (703) 292-4485 (administration)


Apply to PD 15-1774 as follows:

For full proposals submitted via FastLane: standard Grant Proposal Guide proposal preparation guidelines apply.
For full proposals submitted via Grants.gov: the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide; A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov Guidelines applies. (Note: The NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=grantsgovguide)

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:  September 1, 2016 - October 31, 2016

September 1 - October 31, Annually Thereafter

If the closing date for the submission window falls on a weekend, the closing date moves to the following Monday. The closing date is an absolute deadline date and proposals must be received by NSF by 5:00 p.m. submitter's local time on that date.

The submission window applies to unsolicited proposals submitted to DMR programs, except for the following which may be submitted at any time during the year: Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID), EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), proposals for workshops or conferences, proposals to the DMR National Facilities Program, and supplements to existing grants. For proposals submitted in response to special announcements or solicitations, the deadline dates specified in the announcement or solicitation apply.

We strongly advise Principal Investigators and Sponsored Research Offices to submit early and avoid a last-minute rush, which can cause problems in timely and correct transmission to NSF.

DMR discourages the submission across DMR's programs of more than one proposal from the same Principal Investigator during the DMR Annual proposal-submission window each fall.


This program supports fundamental scientific research in ceramics (e.g., oxides, carbides, nitrides and borides), glass-ceramics, inorganic glasses, ceramic-based composites and inorganic carbon-based materials. Projects should be centered on experiments; inclusion of computational and theory components are encouraged. The objective of the program is to increase fundamental understanding and to develop predictive capabilities for relating synthesis, processing, and microstructure of these materials to their properties and ultimate performance in various environments and applications. Research to enhance or enable the discovery or creation of new ceramic materials is welcome. Development of new experimental techniques or novel approaches to carry out projects is encouraged. Topics supported include basic processes and mechanisms associated with nucleation and growth of thin films; bulk crystal growth; phase transformations and equilibria; morphology; surface modification; corrosion, interfaces and grain boundary structure; and defects. PIs uncertain about whether or not their project is suitable for submission to the Ceramics Program may submit a draft of their NSF Project Summary by e-mail to the Program Director for comment.

Four-year projects are encouraged in the Ceramics Program; projects of shorter durations are also welcome.* Budgets are typically $110,000 to $160,000 per year for each project; smaller budgets are permissible. PIs are encouraged to include all anticipated broader impact activities in their initial proposals, rather than planning on supplemental requests. Most projects include: (1) the anticipated significance on science, engineering and/or technology including possible benefits to society, (2) plans for the dissemination, and (3) broadening participation of underrepresented groups and/or excellence in training, mentoring, and/or teaching. Many successful proposals include one additional broader impact activity. Submission of proposals early (e.g., at the beginning of the submission window) is recommended to allow time for correction of any compliance issues.

* Recent CAREER grants supported through the Ceramics Program have had total budgets ranging from $500,000 to $550,000; all CAREER grants are five years in duration with a minimum $400,000 budget.


Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) (NSF 12-513)

MPS AGEP-GRS Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 13071)

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program (NSF 14-532)

Facilitating Research at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions: Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) and Research Opportunity Awards (ROA) (NSF 14-579)

Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) (nsf 14-591)

Dear Colleague Letter: MPS Graduate Research Supplement for Veterans (MPS-GRSV) (nsf 15-024)


Materials Engineering and Processing

Scalable Nanomanufacturing


Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activites 2015 - Office Information

Mechanics of Materials and Structures

Biomechanics and Mechanobiology


NSF Alert Service

Time Window for submitting unsolicited proposals to DMR Programs

Article from 2012 Emerging Topics Workshop in Ceramics

Science360: Silver Saver

LiveScience: Deciphering the Elements of Iconic Pottery

Article: Nanoporous Carbon Materials Raise Chances of Surviving Sepsis

Science Nation Highlight: co-funded with BMAT (Antlers, Shells and Beaks at UCSD)

National Geographic: Seeking a Safer Future for Electricity’s Coal Ash Waste

Highlight Coating on Silver

Highlight Instant-On (research.gov)

Highlight Power Thrifty Electronics (research.gov)

Highlight Ceramic Catalysts (research.gov)

Highlight Self-Cleaning Coating (research.gov)

Highlight Wood Into Graphite (research.gov)

International Collaborations

ARPA-E funding opportunities

NASA Research Opportunities

Nanoceramics (Nanoscale Science and Engineering)

Bio-ceramics (NIH)

Materials for Transduction (MATRIX) program (DARPA)

Fuel Cells - Hydrogen Program (DOE)

Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (a national scientific user facility at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

High Temperature Ceramics (NASA)

Petroleum or Alternate Energy Research (Petroleum Research Fund)

AFOSR Low Density Materials

AFOSR Aerospace Materials for Extreme Environments

ACerS listing of funding opportunities in ceramics


Disciplinary Research Activities

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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program



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