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Combustion and Fire Systems

This program has been archived.
Name Email Phone Room
Song-Charng  Kong (703) 292-8695   


PD 15-1407

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.




The goal of the Combustion and Fire Systems program is to generate cleaner global and local environments, enhance public safety, improve energy and homeland security, manufacture new materials, and enable more energy-efficient manufacturing. 

The program endeavors to create basic engineering knowledge and solutions that are needed to develop useful combustion applications (such as flame-assisted synthesis of novel materials) and for mitigating the effects of fire.  Additional outcomes of interest for this program include: broad-based tools - experimental, diagnostic, and computational - that can be applied to a variety of problems in combustion and fire systems; science & technology for clean and efficient generation of power, both stationary and mobile; combustion science and technology for energy-efficient manufacturing; research that enables clean global and local environments (reduction in combustion generated pollutants - GHGs, NOx, Soot, etc.); enhanced public safety and homeland security through research on fire growth, inhibition and suppression; and, educate and train an innovative workforce for power, transportation, and manufacturing industries.

Research areas of interest for this program include:

  • Basic Combustion Science: Laminar and turbulent combustion of gas, liquid, and solid fuels in premixed, non-premixed, partially premixed, and homogeneous modes over a broad range of temperatures, pressures and length scales; burning of novel and synthetic fuels; development of models and diagnostic tools.
  • Combustion Science related to Climate-change: Increasing efficiency and reducing pollutants; production and use of renewable fuels; technologies such as oxy-fuel combustion and chemical looping combustion for carbon sequestration.
  • Fire Prevention: Improved understanding of fires to prevent their spread, inhibit their growth, and suppress them.

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.

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