Research Funding Opportunities

Tuesday, November 28 & Thursday, November 30
5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Sheraton, 2nd Floor, Back Bay B

The Research Funding Opportunities session has been refreshed in order to provide more interaction between the government agency presenters and our membership.  Invited talks will consist of a 20-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 will be followed by Q&A sessions with the individual program managers.



Harriet Kung

Harriet Kung, Director of Basic Energy Sciences
U.S. Department of Energy—Office of Science
Basic Energy Sciences Overview—Challenges at the Frontiers of Matter and Energy

Building on over a decade-long of strategic planning, the Basic Energy Sciences Program in the DOE Office of Science continues to engage the scientific community in charting new research directions for our program.  This presentation will highlight program priorities and potential new funding opportunities in FY2018.  Specifically, research in support of quantum materials and chemistry, catalysis, synthesis science, instrumentation, next-generation energy storage, future nuclear energy and energy-water issues will be emphasized.

Harriet Kung has served as the Director of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science since June 9, 2008. With an annual budget of more than $1.8 billion in 2017, BES is the nation's leading supporter of fundamental research in materials sciences, chemistry, geosciences and aspects of biosciences. BES is also a major supporter of scientific user facilities, including the nation's premier x-ray synchrotron light sources, neutron scattering facilities and nanoscale science research centers. These facilities served over 15,000 users annually in 2016, and they provided the tools for the preparation and examination of materials and the study of their physical and chemical properties and transformations.

Linda Sapochak

Linda 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.

Linda S. Sapochak is currently the Division Director for the Division of Materials Research (DMR) at the National Science Foundation (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, she was an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She later accepted a position at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory in the Energy and Efficiency Division to develop organic and inorganic electronic materials for solid-state lighting applications. Sapochak has over 50 scientific publications and 16 patents.

Kenneth Caster

Kenneth Caster, Program Officer
Air Force Office of Scientific Research—Organic Materials Chemistry
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)—Funding Opportunities

The U.S. government funds basic and applied research across many disciplines using multiple funding agencies. This presentation will focus on processes used by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to fund domestic and international basic research projects that broadly address R&D activities within the Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL). An overview of the AFRL structure will be provided to put the presentation into context for how AFOSR funds and manages research projects in the United States and through field offices located in Asia (AOARD), Europe (EOARD) and South America (SOARD). Topics to be addressed include the Broad Agency Announcement, BAA; white papers; proposal submission; funding timelines; program reviews; and communications all from the mindset of the program manager. Elements of the topics may also be relevant to other DoD funding agencies (U.S. Army Research Office, ARO; Office of Naval Research, ONR).

In 2003, Kenneth Caster spent one year as a visiting scientist in the Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems (CBIMMS) at Duke University before joining the US Army Research Office (ARO) to provide scientific support of the Polymer Science Program, Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN), and Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies (ICB). In late 2009, he moved to the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) as a program officer to create and manage a synthetic chemistry program. In 2012, he transferred to an international assignment in Japan at AFOSR’s Asian Office of Aerospace Research and Development (AOARD) to manage Materials, Chemistry and USAF-Taiwan Nanoscience Programs and serve as Technical Director. In 2017, he returned to AFOSR as Program Officer to manage the Organic Materials Chemistry research program. From 2007 to 2009, Caster was an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University.



Jennifer Gerbi

Jennifer Gerbi, Program Director
U.S. Department of Energy—Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy
Opportunities at ARPA-E

ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) is a U.S. Department of Energy agency that focuses on high risk, high reward research in the energy sector, as defined by our mission, which is to enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through the development of energy technologies with the following results: (1) reduction of energy imports; (2) reductions of energy-related emissions; and (3) improvement of energy efficiency in all sectors. In addition, ensuring that the United States maintain a technological lead in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies is also a stated goal of ARPA-E. Here, an overview of the agency will be given, with a discussion of how we develop programs, what makes a project “ARPA-E” hard, and potential areas for future engagement.
Jennifer Gerbi currently serves as a program director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). She manages the DELTA program, the SHIELD program, developed the new SENSOR program, and manages additional projects for solar and power electronics. Prior to joining ARPA-E, Gerbi worked at Dow Corning Corporation in multiple capacities including portfolio building and new business development. She led teams in areas such as solar, batteries and silicones for electronics. In her most recent role, she and her teams worked directly with large global customers to enable technical solutions via silicones in consumer and crossover healthcare electronics markets. Prior to Dow Corning, Gerbi served as a senior materials scientist at The Dow Chemical Company, focused on rooftop solar shingles. She served a postdoctoral fellowship at Argonne National Laboratory and as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois.

Judah Goldwasser

Judah M. Goldwasser, Associate Director
Office of Naval Research Global
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.
Judah M. Goldwasser joined the Office of Naval Research’s Global Office (ONRG) in London as an associate director in November 2015. His technical focus area there is materials and chemistry. His technical interests lie in understanding the relationship between the properties of materials, their chemical composition and microstructure at the appropriate length scales, so they can be controlled to greatly improve their performance and create new capabilities for the Navy and DoD. His current portfolio consists of projects in structural, functional, energetic and protective armor materials. Prior to his position at ONR Global, Goldwasser served as a program manager in the Defense Sciences Office of DARPA (2007–2015), and prior to that as a program officer at ONR’s Arlington, Virginia, headquarters.