All proposals submitted to this Program that are not governed by another solicitation (such as CAREER) must be submitted to the solicitation: Division of Materials Research: Topical Materials Research Programs (DMR:TMRP) (NSF 21-600). Proposals under this solicitation are accepted any time after October 15th, 2021.
Proposers should be aware that there is no change expected in the average time to decision and release of reviews. Considering that NSF’s fiscal year begins on October 1st and ends on September 30th, proposals submitted between February and August are more likely to be awarded in the following fiscal year.
The DMR Polymers Program supports fundamental research and education on polymeric materials and polymer science. The Program portfolio is mainly experimental and highly diverse, integrating materials science, chemistry/chemical engineering, physics, and other related disciplines. While interdisciplinarity is stressed, a central goal includes developing and advancing the foundations of polymer science across the wide horizon of the polymer field through innovative research and education projects. Polymers are studied from the molecular level through the nano-to-macro continuum using fundamental materials-focused scientific approaches. Such approaches are experimental but may also partly integrate theoretical, modeling, or computational aspects.
Broad areas addressed include materials design, synthesis, preparation, characterization, phase behavior, structure, morphology, and properties of polymeric materials. Particular focus is on transformative approaches to materials with novel or superior properties, on advancing polymer fundamentals and optimizing structure-property relationships, as well as on basic polymer research addressing major societal challenges. Within the context of societal challenges, proposals offering fundamental polymer-science approaches toward sustainable materials or addressing the environmental burden of plastics are especially welcome (they should be submitted with the prefix CAS in the title; see Critical Aspects of Sustainability). High-quality proposals that integrate innovative research with complementary education and other broader impacts as well as appropriately developed data management, are invited. Proposals involving collaboration with industry (GOALI) are also welcome. Projects focused on processing, manufacturing, or other engineering aspects may be more suitable for programs in the NSF Engineering Directorate.