Because reliable sources of renewable energy are vitally important for U.S. security, global stability, and a sustainable future, Research Corporation for Science Advancement has chosen to address the issue of solar energy as its first initiative under the Scialog® program.

Scialog will focus on funding early career scientists and building research teams to undertake groundbreaking studies in solar energy conversion. This initiative is entitled Scialog: Solar Energy Conversion.

In 2010, one multi- and eleven single-investigator awards totaling $1,350,000 were made to thirteen researchers at eleven institutions.

In 2011, Scialog will accept proposals describing fundamental research at the molecular and nanoscale level that show high potential to impact advanced energy technologies. Preference will be given to highly innovative, high risk/high reward plans describing: (i) development of novel high-performing materials that possess greater stability, lower cost, or offer higher efficiency than materials currently used in solar energy devices; (ii) innovative, highly efficient methods for solar energy conversion that take advantage of unique chemical or optical properties and are poised to overcome current bottlenecks limiting performance efficiency.  The single most important characteristic of a successful proposal is that it presents truly innovative ideas that have potential to result in transformative breakthroughs in the fundamental scientific understanding of solar energy conversion to electricity or fuels.

The Scialog initiative is an experiment in collaboration and community building as a method to promote transformative science. It is our intention that the annual Scialog conferences facilitate the process of network building and forming new collaborations.

Scialog® Objectives
  • Support individuals or collaborative teams of early career researchers who present innovative approaches that address the designated research topics;
  • Enable higher-risk research that might fall outside the boundaries of traditional federal funding streams;
  • Establish and convene communities of researchers who will interact intellectually to move the broader research agenda forward;
  • Leverage funding from private foundations and federal agencies to further support successful lines of research.
Scialog® ConferencesThe conferences are an essential feature of the initiative. They will help fulfill a key objective of Scialog: forging a vibrant network of cutting-edge researchers in solar energy conversion. Awardees will meet to share critical feedback on their projects and further develop research agendas. Representatives from funding agencies, government laboratories and industry will be invited. The conferences will provide opportunities to initiate new collaborations and create new funding streams. All active awardees are required to participate in Scialog conferences.  The 2012 Scialog conference will be held October 9-12, 2012 at Biosphere 2 near Tucson, AZ. Travel expenses to attend these conferences should be factored into the award.

DEADLINE: November 16, 2012

Through the SEES Fellows Program, NSF seeks to advance science, engineering, and education to inform the societal actions needed for environmental and economic sustainability and human well-being while creating the necessary workforce to address these challenges. The Program's emphasis is to facilitate investigations that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries and address issues of sustainability through a systems approach, building bridges between academic inquiry, economic growth, and societal needs. The Fellow's proposed investigation must be interdisciplinary and allow him/her to obtain research experiences beyond his/her current core disciplinary expertise. Fellows are required to develop a research partnership(s) that will advance and broaden the impact/scope of the proposed research, and present a plan for their own professional development in the area of sustainability science and engineering.
Deadline: December 3rd

There are four categories. Perhaps the most relevant to us is  Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials, and Manufacturing (NM). A general overview of the SBIR program is:

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program stimulates technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening the role of small business concerns in meeting Federal research and development needs, increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.

The SBIR program solicits proposals from the small business sector consistent with NSF's mission. The program is governed by Public Law 112-81 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011). A main purpose of the legislation is to stimulate technological innovation and increase private sector commercialization. The NSF SBIR program is therefore in a unique position to meet both the goals of NSF and the purpose of the SBIR legislation by transforming scientific discovery into both social and economic benefit, and by emphasizing private sector commercialization. Accordingly, NSF has formulated broad solicitation topics for SBIR that conform to the high-technology investment sector's interests.

The four broad topics are:

   ·   Biological and Chemical Technologies (BC)

   ·   Education Applications (EA) 

   ·   Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EI)

   ·   Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials, and Manufacturing (NM)

DEADLINE: November 1, 2012

The United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) announces an open competition for the support of projects through the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative (OSI). Announced by the U.S. and Indian governments, OSI aims to strengthen collaboration and build partnerships between American and Indian institutions of higher education. 

To encourage mutual understanding, facilitate educational reform, foster economic development, and engage civil society, the OSI enables U.S. colleges and universities and Indian counterpart institutions to pursue objectives cooperatively through exchange visits of faculty, administrators, post graduate Indian students, and U.S. graduate students who can demonstrate the ability to work independently. Exchange activities may include but are not limited to curriculum design, research collaboration, team teaching, focused series of exchanges, seminars, among other activities.  Activities should be designed to develop expertise, advance scholarship and teaching, and promote reliable, long-term communication between partner institutions.

Proposals in the following fields are eligible: Energy; Sustainable Development; Climate Change; Environmental Studies; Education and Educational Reform; Public Health; and Community Development and Innovation.