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Chemical Catalysis  (CAT)

Recent Catalytic Chemistry Workshop

Please see the recent "Catalytic Chemistry Workshop on Defining Critical Directions for the Future"  co-Chaired by Cynthia M. Friend, Harvard University; Professors Melanie S. Sanford, University of Michigan; and Héctor D. Abruña, Cornell University:
Name Email Phone Room
Marjorie  Langell (703) 292-8404  1055 S  
Scott  Rychnovsky (703) 292-2170  1055 S  
Kenneth  . Moloy (703) 292-8441  1055E  
John  W. Gilje Primary: E-mail  Off-site  
George  Janini (703) 292-4971  1070  
Gerald  Hammond Primary: E-mail  Off-Site  
Timothy  Patten (703) 292-7196  (On Detail)  

Administrative Program Support: Margaret-Anne Wampamba, or (703) 292-8809


Apply to PD 09-6884 as follows:

For full proposals submitted via FastLane: standard NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures 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 17-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 30, 2017. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 17-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Window

    September 1, 2017 - October 2, 2017

    September 1 - September 30, Annually Thereafter

Note that if the last day of a submission window falls on a weekend or official federal government holiday, the deadline is always the following business day, at 5 pm local time.


"Note: For proposals with significant emphasis on understanding the role of the chemistry of nitrogen, phosphorous, and water in the nexus of food, energy and water systems, consider making proposal submissions to this program with the Proposal Title as 'INFEWS" N/P/H20: Name of Your Proposal.' For more information, see the FY 2016 DCL on Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) Funding Opportunity on Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Water (, a new NSF Emphasis Area."

"Note: For proposals with significant emphasis on sustainable chemistry, consider making proposal submissions to this program with the Proposal Title as: ‘SusChEM: Name of Your Proposal'. For more information, see the DCL on SusChEM (, a new NSF Emphasis Area."

The Chemical Catalysis Program supports experimental and theoretical research directed towards the fundamental understanding of the chemistry of catalytic processes at the molecular level.  The Program accepts proposals on catalytic approaches, which facilitate, direct, and accelerate efficient chemical transformations.  This includes the design and synthesis of catalytic species on the molecular, supramolecular, and nanometer scales as well as studies of the dynamics of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalytic processes.  Processes of interest include (but are not limited to): polymerization catalysis, single site catalysis, and biologically-inspired catalysis.  Applications of modeling, theory, and simulation to catalytic processes are also relevant.  Fundamental studies of energy-related catalytic processes, CO2 conversion, electrocatalysis (such as in water splitting and fuel cells), and photocatalysis (such as in solar energy conversion) are welcome in the program.

Submissions that address national needs for sustainability are particularly encouraged.  Examples of sustainable chemistry appropriate for the Chemical Catalysis Program include: 1) the design, preparation and reactivity studies associated with new catalysts and catalytic processes that will replace rare, expensive and/or toxic compounds or nanomaterials with earth abundant, inexpensive and benign alternatives; 2) new chemistries to economically recycle chemicals that cannot be replaced, such as phosphorus and the rare earth elements; 3) new chemistries to convert non-petroleum based sources of organics to feedstock chemicals; and 4) new environmentally-friendly chemical reactions and processes that require less energy, fresh water, and/or organic solvents than current practice.

Investigators are urged to read more about NSF efforts in encouraging sustainable synthesis, and the use and reuse of chemicals and materials in the Dear Colleague Letter on SusChEM:"

Submissions that address the role of catalysis in the chemistry of nitrogen, phosphorous, and water in the nexus of food, energy and water systems, are particularly encouraged. Advanced catalytic methods for the reduction of dinitrogen to ammonia and that will permit reductions in the energy requirements for fertilizer production are of great interest.

The Program does not support applied catalysis research that focuses on scale-up, processing, transport dynamics, long-term stability and other engineering aspects of catalysis.  The Program also does not support biocatalysis research with purely biological enzymes and cellular systems.  Catalytic research whose immediate objectives are the synthesis of complex natural products using established catalysts should be submitted to the Chemical Synthesis program.

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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program