Division of Chemistry
EPA/NSF Networks for Sustainable Molecular Design and Synthesis
This solicitation is jointly sponsored between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Divisions of Chemistry and Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) to encourage synergistic research activities and to enhance cooperation among the chemical sciences, materials research, geosciences, engineering, and biomedical and public health communities. The agencies jointly issue the solicitation, but will separately fund awards for Networks for Sustainable Molecular Design and Synthesis (NSMDS).
Networks for Sustainable Molecular Design and Synthesis are groups of two or more researchers working in trans-disciplinary fields to promote the development of safe and sustainable chemicals as well as safe and sustainable synthetic procedures. For this solicitation, "chemicals" refers broadly to any and all materials, inorganic and organic compounds, and individual chemicals or mixtures of chemicals (e.g., endocrine disruptors, chlorofluorocarbons, transition metal-based catalysts, macromolecules, and nanomaterials). Advances resulting from these Networks are expected to result in chemicals that are safer and more sustainable throughout their life cycle and thus, the replacement of rare, toxic, and expensive chemicals with earth abundant, benign, and renewable alternatives is anticipated. The Networks will facilitate safe design strategies, processes, and pathways (including catalytic pathways) that consume less fresh water, generate less waste, and use less energy than current practice. These new approaches will minimize hazards that arise not only from chemical structure and intended use, but also from their synthesis, production, consumption, reuse, and disposal.
Education, workforce development, and the translation or transfer of basic research results into social or economic benefits are critical aspects of NSMDS projects. Networks will develop strong mentoring and training activities (which include broadening participation elements) for undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral associates. Other educational activities, such as informal science communication and the education of K-12 students or the public, are encouraged. Where appropriate, intellectual property protection and a proactive plan to engage industry in technology transfer is encouraged.
It is expected that research teams in the NSMDS awarded under this solicitation will coordinate / communicate with the funded research networks from the EPA/NSF Networks for Characterizing Chemical Life Cycle (NCCLC) solicitation (see:http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504811). The researchers working in these two network groups are expected to conduct complementary research and; thus, will benefit from interaction with each other at annual EPA All-Investigators Meetings (also known as progress reviews).
What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)
Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program