NSF-DFG Lead Agency Activity in Chemistry and Transport in Confined Spaces (NSF-DFG Confine)

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Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Recognizing the importance of international collaborations in promoting scientific discoveries, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on research cooperation. The MoU provides an overarching framework to enhance opportunities for collaborative activities between US and German research communities and sets out the principles by which jointly-supported activities might be developed. To facilitate the support of collaborative work between US researchers and their German counterparts under this MoU, the Division of Chemistry (CHE) and the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET) at the NSF and the Divisions of Physics and Chemistry (PC) and Engineering Sciences (ING 1) at the DFG are pleased to announce a Lead Agency Opportunity in the areas of Chemistry and Transport in Confined Spaces.

Chemical and physical processes that operate under spatial confinement often exhibit complex, interesting, and poorly understood variations in chemical properties and physical dynamics.  Many such systems are intrinsically nonlinear and dynamic, often involving simultaneous reaction, diffusion and convection and/or chemical processes far from equilibrium. Improved experimental and computational tools are needed to predict how variations over the confinement length scale affect the overall dynamics and efficiency of large-scale processes. Much of the needed research requires synergistic efforts among those versed in the applications and experts in measurement techniques, modeling methods, and data analysis.

The goal of this Lead Agency Opportunity is to reduce current barriers to working internationally by allowing US and German researchers to submit a single collaborative proposal that will undergo a single review process while funding organizations maintain budgetary control over their awards. Proposals eligible for funding consideration through this Lead Agency Opportunity in FY 2022 will need to have a research focus relevant to the topic areas identified above, within the scope of research supported through these divisions. Proposers should review the CHE, CBET, PC, and ING 1 program descriptions for research supported through these divisions/organizations. Proposals are expected to adhere to typical proposal budgets and durations for the relevant CHE, CBET, PC, and ING 1 programs from which funding is sought. German researchers are invited to read: https://www.dfg.de/en/research_funding/announcements_proposals/index.jsp.

Proposals submitted under this Opportunity will be reviewed by either NSF or DFG as the Lead Agency, depending where the largest proportion of research lies. Proposals must provide a clear rationale for the need for a US-German collaboration, including the unique expertise and synergy that the collaborating groups will bring to the project. The result of the review process will be shared among the appropriate divisions (NSF/CHE and/or NSF/CBET, and DFG/PC and/or DFG/ING 1) before making final recommendations.

Program Contacts

All general NSF inquiries should be sent to NSFDFG@nsf.gov.  All general DFG inquiries should be sent to NSF-DFG-Chemistry@dfg.de.

Colby A. Foss
NSFDFG@nsf.gov (703) 292-5327 MPS/CHE
Brandi Schottel
NSFDFG@nsf.gov (703) 292-4798 ENG/CBET

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