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.


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