Chemistry of Life Processes  (CLP)

Name Email Phone Room
Catalina  Achim (703) 292-2048  E 9335  
Robin  McCarley (703) 292-7514  E 9329  
Herman  O. Sintim (703) 292-7244   
Max  Funk Primary E-Mail  Off-Site  
Pui  S. Ho (703) 292-7054  Off-Site  


Proposals submitted to this program (including individual and collaborative proposals, GOALIs) must be submitted to the CHE Disciplinary Research Programs solicitation.


  • RUI proposals should be submitted to the RUI Solicitation during the proposal submission window.
  • proposals submitted in response to another solicitation (CAREER)
  • conference proposals (must discuss with a Program Officer before submission)
  • EAGER, RAPID or RAISE proposals (must discuss with a Program Officer before submission)


The Chemistry of Life Processes (CLP) Program supports fundamental experimental and computational studies at the interface of chemistry and biology. Such studies would promote the fundamental understanding of the molecular underpinnings of life processes.  The proposed research should be based on innovation(s) in chemistry and address an important question about a biological process.

The scope of the program is broad, reflecting the power of chemistry and diversity of biology.  Subject areas include bioorganic and bioinorganic chemistry; chemical biology; lipids, membranes and membrane-proteins; and protein, enzyme, nucleic acid and carbohydrate chemistry. Research projects must use or create innovations in chemistry that advance the understanding of biological function.  Chemical methods development is also acceptable when such methods are applied to answering specific biological questions.  Other topics of interest include:  the development and application of bio-orthogonal chemistry for probing cellular function; biomolecular design and synthesis aimed at understanding biological function; the use of theory, computation, modeling and simulation as applied to the chemical aspects of biological systems; and chemical aspects that underlie the function of the brain.  Note: The CLP Program is not interested in projects that are disease-related or that have drug discovery/design/development goals. PIs uncertain of the suitability of their proposals are encouraged to contact a CLP Program Officer.

Submissions that address national needs are encouraged.  These include priority areas associated with sustainability and NSF's Ten Big Ideas. Elements of NSF's Ten Big Ideas particularly relevant to the Division of Chemistry include: Harnessing the Data Revolution, the Quantum Leap, Midscale Instrumentation, Understanding the Rules of Life, and Growing Convergence Research at NSF. Consult NSF Big Ideas solicitations on how these areas match the Division's portfolio.

Through the Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS) program, the Division of Chemistry looks to support basic research aimed at improving the sustainability of resources for future generations while maintaining or improving current products within a global society.

For recent awards made by the program, search NSF award database with the Program Element Code 6883.

Display additional information