The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced that it is accepting proposals for funding for a broad range of potential research projects and related activities that support the institute's measurement science and engineering programs. The combined announcement for the NIST Measurement Science and Engineering (MSE) Research Grant Programs, issued on Dec. 7, 2011, describes nine separate research and development funding programs of the research agency.
Potential R&D topics under the programs span the breadth of NIST's interests. The nine MSE programs include:
- The Material Measurement Laboratory (MML) Grant Program, covering fields such as chemistry and biochemistry, ceramics, metallurgy, polymer science, surface science and related materials science;
- The Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) Grant Program, covering basic physical measurement and classic weights and measures issues in fields ranging from mechanics, optics, electromagnetics and basic physics to semiconductor science, ionizing radiation, quantum physics and far ultraviolet physics;
- The Engineering Laboratory (EL) Grant Program, covering fields such as machine tool and machining process metrology, intelligent systems and information systems in manufacturing, structures and construction, building systems performance and control, alternative energy systems, indoor air quality and ventilation, earthquake hazard reduction, smart grid and applied economics;
- The Fire Research Grant Program, covering fields such as firefighting technology, engineered fire safety, flammability reduction, wildland-urban interface fires, and laboratory-based fire research;
- The Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) Grant Program, covering fields such as advanced network technologies, cloud computing, complex systems, computer forensics; cybersecurity, health information technology, mathematical and computational sciences, smart grid, software testing, and virtual measurements;
- The NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) Grant Program for research involving neutron scattering and the development of innovative technologies that advance the state-of-the-art in neutron research;
- The Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) Grant Program, covering the development of essential measurement and fabrication methods and technology for nanotechnology;
- The Standards Services Group (SSG) Grant Program, to support research in the broad areas of documentary standards and conformity assessment; and
- The Office of Special Programs (OSP) Grant Program in the broad areas of greenhouse gas and climate science measurements, and law enforcement standards.
In fiscal year 2011, the combined MSE grant programs funded a total of 86 new projects with a total of more than $15.6 million. The funding generally goes to support scientific or engineering research, but may also support conferences, workshops or other technical research meetings that are relevant to NIST's work.
Proposals for these grant programs are accepted on a rolling basis, without fixed deadlines. Proposals to the Fire Research Grant Program received after 5 p.m. Eastern time on January 30, 2012, may be considered for funding under this solicitation in either the current or next fiscal year, subject to the availability of funds. For the other eight programs, proposals received after 5 p.m. Eastern time on June 1, 2012, may be considered for funding under this solicitation in either the current or next fiscal year, subject to the availability of funds.
Details of scope, anticipated award sizes, requirements and the proposal submission and review process vary with the individual grant programs. The full documentation for this solicitation is available as an Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) at the Grants.gov Web site www.grants.gov under Funding Opportunity Number 2012-NIST-MSE-01 and/or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number 11.609 (Measurement and Engineering Research and Standards).