OSP FO# 11-210

AGENCY: National Science Foundation (NSF)/Directorate for Engineering (ENG)/Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI)/Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)/Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS)/Division of Materials Research (DMR)/Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO)/Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB)/Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)

PROGRAM: Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation 2012 (EFRI-2012)

OBJECTIVES: This program provides funding for interdisciplinary teams of researchers to embark on rapidly advancing frontiers of fundamental engineering research. EFRI seeks proposals with transformative ideas that represent an opportunity for a significant shift in fundamental engineering knowledge with a strong potential for long term impact on national needs or a grand challenge. NSF will consider proposals that investigate emerging frontiers in the following three specific research areas:

1) Flexible Bioelectronics Systems (BioFlex)—This focused initiative seeks high-risk/high-return, interdisciplinary research proposals on innovative concepts in hybrid flexible bioelectronics systems for healthcare applications. Integrated intrinsic and hybridized flexible bioelectronics systems that can provide greatly increased functionality and the potential to meet future challenges of scalability, flexibility, low power consumption, light weight, and reduced cost are central to this initiative. The proposals should include a systems approach that encompasses several disciplines to address the scientific issues and technological challenges associated with the underpinnings of BioFlex systems. Proposals should be based on transformative ideas that can potentially break new ground in the area of hybrid flexible bioelectronics systems (BioFlex). This BioFlex initiative is expected to bridge the gap between discovery and innovation by introducing new concepts to promote transformative and translational research that include modeling and integration of novel materials, devices, and circuits in systems architectures.

BioFlex proposals may address, but are not limited to, the following subtopics: Science of Devices, Interfacial Engineering, Processing and Scaling-up Techniques, and Systems Engineering.

2) Origami Design for Integration of Self-Assembling Systems for Engineering Innovation (ODISSEI)—The goal of ODISSEI is to achieve self-assembling, multifunctional, compliant structures that are enabled through the integration of active materials, design theory, compliant mechanisms, mathematics, and artistic expression. Insights from origami mathematics, artistic expression, topology optimization, and complex systems will provide inspiration for these integrated self-assembling systems. Successful proposals will focus on one or more of the following four key themes: Compliant Mechanisms, Active Materials, Bio-origami, and Foldable Structures and Microstructures.

To be considered for the ODISSEI EFRI program, proposals must be primarily centered on identifying and addressing the obstacles in the design of engineered systems that are enabled by folding and/or unfolding of materials (at any scale and across scales), and facilitated by origami engineering, mathematics, and the fine arts.

3) Photosynthetic Biorefineries (PSBR)—The overarching goal of this EFRI Topic is to establish the fundamental principles which efficiently deliver light and CO2 to phototrophic microorganisms in scalable platforms for the sustainable and flexible production of fuels, chemicals, and bio-products. It is expected that investments in this EFRI topic will lead to new paradigms for the rational design, process intensification, and upscaling of sustainable biorefineries for the production of fuels, chemicals, and bio-products that use sunlight and atmospheric CO2 as inputs.

Please see the program announcement below for program details on the required elements for each specific research area.

ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS: Principal Investigators (PI) must be at the faculty level as determined by the submitting organization. A minimum of one PI and two co-PIs must participate. An individual may serve as PI OR Co-PI on only one proposal submitted to this competition.

Letter of Intent (required): September 30, 2011
Preliminary Proposal (required): November 9, 2011
Full Proposal: March 30, 2012

FUNDING INFORMATION: NSF anticipates providing $31 million to support 12-15 awards. Each project team may request support up to $2 million for up to four years. Budgets should be developed at scales appropriate for the project to be conducted.

Sohi Rastegar, Director
Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI)
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 505 N
Arlington, Virginia 22230
Telephone: (703) 292-8305
Fax: (703) 292-9051
Email: srastega@nsf.gov
Web: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11571/nsf11571.htm

REMARKS: A one-page Letter of Intent is required. The Letter should be submitted via the NSF FastLane system by September 30, 2011. These Letters of Intent help NSF anticipate review requirements for preliminary proposals. They are not used as pre-approval mechanisms for the submission of preliminary proposals and no feedback is provided to the submitters.

Preliminary proposals are required and must be submitted via FastLane. Preliminary proposals will be reviewed by panels of outside experts. Based on the reviews, a limited number of PIs will be invited to submit full proposals. By early February of 2012, successful PIs should expect to receive an invitation from the EFRI Office to submit a full proposal.

Full proposals must be submitted electronically using either the NSF FastLane system or Grants.gov. If multiple universities are involved in an invited full proposal, it must be submitted as a single full proposal, and not as multiple collaborative proposals. For more information about FastLane, or to register as a FastLane user, please contact India Adams (adamsi@bu.edu) or A. B. Effgen (abeffgen@bu.edu) in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at x3-4365. Information about Grants.gov for BU Investigators can be obtained on the OSP web site at: http://www.bu.edu/osp/proposal-preparation/electronic-submission/. In addition, for investigators interested in submitting proposals via Grants.gov, NSF has published the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide which may be found online at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovguide.pdf. Investigators should contact the OSP Assistant Director assigned to their school or department as soon as possible to coordinate submission through either FastLane or Grants.gov.

Complete program guidelines and application material (NSF 11-571 and NSF GPG 11-1) may be obtained from the web site listed above or from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please distribute this notice to any faculty or staff members who might be interested in the information. For more information, please contact the OSP at X3-4365 or ospinfo@bu.edu, or visit the OSP web site at http://www.bu.edu/osp.