Research Funding Opportunities

Tuesday, November 29
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Sheraton, 2nd Floor, Back Bay C

The Research Funding Opportunities session was refreshed in order to provide more interaction between the government agency presenters and our membership.  Invited talks consisted of a 15-minute introduction centered on the overall focus of the agency's materials science research efforts, programmatic descriptions of how to collaborate or apply, and other general details.  These talks were followed by four sessions (maximum) of a 10 minute Q&A between the agency presenters and MRS members. 


Linda Horton

Linda L. Horton, Division Director for Materials Sciences and Engineering, U.S. Department of Energy—Office of Science
Materials Research Directions and Opportunities—Basic Energy Sciences

The Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) supports fundamental research that provides the foundations for new energy technologies and supports DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security. The research crosses the full spectrum of materials and chemical sciences with a focus on understanding, predicting, and ultimately controlling matter and energy at electronic, atomic, and molecular levels. In addition, BES supports national user facilities for x-ray, neutron, and nanoscale sciences. The overview will cover research directions for FY2017 including the strategic workshop reports on quantum materials, synthesis science, and instrumentation.

About Linda L. Horton

Linda L. Horton is currently the Division Director for Materials Sciences and Engineering with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Prior to joining the DOE, Horton was the Director for the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), one of the five BES na­tional user facilities for nanoscale science research.

Linda SapochakLinda S. Sapochak, Division Director, Division of Materials Research—National Science Foundation
Navigating Funding Opportunities in Materials Research at NSF

An overview of the Division of Materials Research, one of the largest and most diverse divisions at the National Science Foundation, will be described and funding opportunities in materials research presented.

About Linda Sapochak

Linda S. Sapochak is the Division Director for the Division of Materials Research (DMR) at NSF. She has worked in DMR since 2008 as Program Director for the Solid State and Materials Chemistry Program (five years), and for the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) Program in 2014. She has also managed projects under the Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation: Green Sustainable Buildings, Sustainable Energy Pathways and I-Corps. Prior to her position at NSF, Sapochak was an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Jessica RobinJessica Robin, Senior Staff Associate, Office of International Science and Engineering—National Science Foundation
International Research and Education Collaboration—Opportunities and Resources at NSF

Global collaboration is and will continue to be one of the driving forces of success in science and engineering. Please join Robin in a conversation on the role of the National Science Foundation in preparing for a globally engaged U.S. workforce. She will provide insight into some of NSF’s leading ideas for encouraging global STEM collaboration. She will also provide an overview of NSF’s programs for student and early career scientists to be competitive in global STEM communities.

About Jessica Robin

Jessica Robin has been with NSF since 2007, first in the Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE), Americas Program, then in the Geosciences Directorate (GEO), Division of Earth Sciences (EAR), and most recently in OISE, Countries and Regions Cluster. In her current position, she chairs the Foundation-wide Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE) Program as well as manages the Countries and Regions Cluster in OISE. In the Geosciences Directorate, she chaired the Foundation-wide Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) Implementation Group and was also a Program Director in the Geomorphology & Land Use Dynamics and Critical Zone Observatories programs. Prior to joining NSF, Robin worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center where she developed and managed international soil research and education initiatives for NASA’s Earth Science programs.  Additionally, she has taught Physical Geography and Soil Science at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She earned her PhD degree in Physical Geography from the University of Maryland College Park and her MS (Soil Science), MPS (International Agriculture) and BS degrees from Cornell University. Robin has served as an Embassy Science Fellow in Peru with the U.S. Department of State and also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia.

Judah GoldwasserJudah M. Goldwasser, Associate Director for Materials and Chemistry, Office of Naval Research Global—London Office
The Office of Naval Research Global—Who We Are and What We Do

The Office of Naval Research Global (ONRG) is the U.S. Navy's lead organization for identifying, encouraging, and funding international basic research. This talk will provide a short overview of ONRG, describe the  primary funding mechanisms for international scientists, and explain how ONRG prioritizes research proposals from outside the United States.

About Judah M. Goldwasser

As Associate Director for Materials and Chemistry, Judah M. Goldwasser serves as the international arm of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Research Enterprise (NRE), helping to shape the Navy's international engagement strategy and establishing insight into research agendas of ONR, the Naval Research Laboratory and other NRE organizations.

Billy Short

Billy Short, Science and Technology Program Officer, Office of Naval Research—Logistics
New Material Stability Research for New Photovoltaics for Emerging Naval Applications

The military has niche needs for photovoltaics that diverge from larger commercial demands. Naval science and technology is interested in flexible, high specific power devices to support a wide array of future applications, from solar panels on the individual Marine to very high efficiency panels conformal to an aircraft wing. In many of these applications, both high performance and weight are a premium, especially where there is competition with other power technologies. This research requires Naval incentivization of the research community to fully address our future needs. The Office of Naval Research has taken an interest in emerging new classes of 3D and lower dimensional (reduced dimensional 2D and 2.5D) metal halide perovskites that are demonstrating intriguingly favorable semiconductor properties, to include: a high tolerance for defects, long carrier recombination lifetimes, fantastic diffusion lengths of the order of 2–15 µm, ambipolar charge conduction, very strong wide band absorption, tunable optical bandgap, and a pathway to low-cost solution processing. These new semiconductors may lead to significant contributions in new photovoltaics, light-emitting diodes, photodiodes, and solid-state lasers; however, fundamental intrinsic material instability greatly limits practical applications of these technologies. Several convoluted mechanisms contribute to this intrinsic instability, most notably: low formation energies leading to nearly reversible reactions back to the reactants, hydrolysis of hygroscopic cations, phase changes and thermal degradation at elevated operating temperatures, Lewis acid-base reactions, and UV degradation. ONR is interested in incentivizing new material stability research for new photovoltaics for emerging Naval applications.

About Billy Short

Billy Short entered civil service in June 2014 after retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served as a combat engineer officer, acquisition professional, and ordnance systems engineer. He currently serves as a Science and Technology Program Officer for the Office of Naval Research (ONR). His work focuses on expeditionary power and energy for the individual Marine up to small forward bases and advanced maintenance technologies, while coordinating other logistics research activities. This research includes flexible, high specific power photovoltaics; modular, scalable hybrid systems/small microgrids; compact energy storage; safe battery technologies; additive/advanced manufacturing; corrosion prevention; and condition-based maintenance technologies. Prior to joining ONR as a civilian, Short served two military tours at ONR and established and led the Force Protection Program for a total of four years, led the Maneuver S&T Program for one year, and served as the Deputy Director, Code 301, for one year.

Ali Sayir

Ali Sayir, NASA Liaison Program Officer, Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Aerospace Materials for Extreme Environments

The Physical Sciences Team leads the discovery and transition of foundational physical science to enable air, space, and cyber power. Research in physics generates the fundamental knowledge needed to advance U.S. Air Force operations, from the perspective of sensing, characterizing, and managing the operational environment as well as developing advanced devices that exploit novel physical principles to bring new capabilities to the warfighter. This talk will present an overview of the Aerospace Materials for Extreme Environments Program.

About Ali Sayir

Ali Sayir is the NASA Liaison Program Officer at AFOSR. He joined NASA Lewis Research Center (now Glenn) in 1990 as a National Research Council awardee. Upon joining NASA, he began a career of eutectic solidification and basic research in polyphase microstructures. As the point of contact for Materials and Structures of the NASA Hypersonic Program, he coordinated materials and structures projects between NASA centers, the Department of Defense, Industry and Academia.