SIAM News Blog

Funding Opportunity: NSF Issues Dear Colleague Letter - Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS): Innovative Solutions to Sustainable Chemistry (CAS-SC)

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – August 3, 2022

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) announcing the creation of the Critical Aspects of Sustainability: Innovative Solutions to Sustainable Chemistry Program (CAS-SC) under the Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS) umbrella initiative which was initiated in early 2021 to support acceleration of NSF’s work related to climate change, sustainability, and conservation. CAS-SC was created to expand national sustainability research through proposal submissions focused on quantitative sustainable chemistry as well as industrial partnerships. It encourages public and private institutions to work together to submit research proposals that focus specifically on questions relevant to innovation and current societal needs including resource efficiency for chemical products and reduction of hazardous waste. 

Suitable topics for proposals for the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Chemical and Physical Building Blocks, Reactivity, and Fate;
  • Sustainable Products from Alternative Processes;
  • Advancements in Measurements and Modeling; and
  • Industrial, Manufacturing, & Agricultural Advances.

The program defines solutions to sustainable chemistry challenges as those that are interdisciplinary, foundational, use-inspired, and translational to improve the efficiency with which resources are used to meet human needs for chemical products and materials while reducing use of hazardous substances and the generation of waste. NSF encourages partnerships between state, local, and tribal governments and academic or industrial experts in the submission of proposals for this program.

Award Information: Similar to the original CAS program, teams that are interested in submitting a full proposal are required to submit a concept outline to the appropriate participating NSF division at with a project title, list of team members, a summary of the project concept, and a description of how the proposed research contributes to the field of sustainable chemistry. Only applicants that submit with this format prior to the submission of a full proposal will be considered for a full proposal.

Total Funding and Award Size: NSF has not indicated a level of funding that will be made available for this program. It is likely to follow the format of the original CAS program, in which individual divisions dedicate funds to meritorious projects as they are received without a quota or minimum number of projects to select.

Eligibility and Proposal Limitations: This program is open to research institutions and institutions of higher education and encourages partnerships with state, local, and tribal governments and industry though they are not independently eligible.

Sources and Additional Information:

The full DCL can be found here.

The CAS site can be found here

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