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Funding Opportunities

CESR Seed Grants

CESR awards support for 18-month collaborative research projects in sustainability approximately annually.  Funding levels range from $65 to 80k.  Supported by funding from Leslie and Mac McQuown, the CESR Seed Funding program fosters innovative, high-risk research that fosters new faculty collaborations, and provides support for graduate student(s) and/or postdoctoral fellow(s). Results from these projects aim to provide preliminary data to support proposals for funding from federal agencies, foundations, and/or industry.  Funded teams present their results annually at a spring poster session.


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Government Funding Opportunities

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Science & Technology for Advanced Manufacturing Projects (STAMP)

Department of Defense

Office of Naval Research

Deadline: November 30th, 2022

The Department of Defense Manufacturing Technology Program (ManTech) is the Defense Department's investment mechanism for staying at the forefront of defense-essential manufacturing capability. The Program develops technologies and processes for the affordable and timely production and sustainment of defense systems. The Program impacts all phases of acquisition. It aids in achieving reduced acquisition and total ownership costs by developing, maturing, and transitioning key manufacturing technologies. ONR will focus investments on those that have the most benefit to the warfighter and include quick-hitting, rapid response projects to address immediate manufacturing needs.

 The ManTech Program targets the needs of our warfighters and weapon system programs by helping to find and implement affordable low-risk solutions. The ManTech Program:


Provides the crucial link between technology invention and development and industrial applications;

Matures and validates emerging manufacturing technologies to support low-risk implementation in industry and DoD facilities, for example depots and shipyards;

Addresses production issues from system development through transition to production and sustainment;

Disseminates information concerning improved manufacturing improvement concepts, including information on such matters as best manufacturing practices, product data exchange specifications, computer-aided acquisition and logistics support, and rapid acquisition of manufactured parts; and

Sustains and enhances the skills and capabilities of the manufacturing work force


Using the authority of the Manufacturing Technology Program codified at 10 U.S.C. §2521, the Department of Defense (DoD) established a group of manufacturing innovation institutes in technology areas with relevance to military systems. These institutes are executed and managed by the services (Army, Air Force, and Navy). Each institute consists of members, including private companies, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, federal laboratories, and state and local governments. These DoD-managed institutes are also involved in the Department of Commerce Manufacturing USA network as part of a longterm collaborative partnership-of- choice in light of a common purpose.

 The overall goal of this effort is to continue to support Manufacturing Technology projects that offer potential for advancement and improvement of military operations in areas that address the focus areas of the ManTech Program, as noted in the above paragraphs, and the Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MIIs), as described in Appendix 3. The long-term goals of this BAA are to create market expansion; and components and systems utilizing new optimized high performing material systems across defense, aerospace, automotive, energy, and consumer products industries.

 The focus of this BAA is primarily on projects that continue to advance the systems engineering approach needed for the design, fabrication, and manufacture of structural components to address challenges in system weight, performance, affordability, and/or survivability. The foundation of this approach should include the integration of materials information, captured in computational tools, with engineering product performance analysis and manufacturing-process simulation termed commonly as Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME). From this foundation it is expected the integration of manufacturing process information and product performance information utilizing the full range of engineering and analytical tools, processes, and principles to improve efficiency and effectiveness of their integrated approach. The intent is to bring together materials designers, materials suppliers, product designers, and manufacturers to collaborate on the design, production, and commercialization of novel affordable, manufacturable systems. Projects may include basic and applied research, technology and component development, and prototyping; but may also focus on manufacturing supply-chain technical support and integration, workforce development, and manufacturing education.

 Prior to preparing proposals, potential offerors are encouraged strongly to contact the ONR technical point of contact (POC) identified for this program.

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Early Career: Understanding and Control of Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Air Emissions

Environmental Protection Agency

Deadline: December 2nd, 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD), as part of the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program and in collaboration with the Air, Climate, and Energy (ACE) research program, is seeking applications proposing research on municipal solid waste landfill air emissions. Specifically, this request for applications (RFA) is soliciting research that addresses the following research priorities:


How can cost effective stationary, mobile, aerial, and remote sensing technologies be combined to more easily and accurately quantify landfill methane emissions, hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), and other air pollutant emissions from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills?  
How can cost effective stationary, mobile, aerial, and remote sensing measurements be used to increase ease of use and evaluate mitigation strategies and technologies to identify best landfill management practices?


The Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program’s goal is to stimulate and support scientific and engineering research that advances EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. It is a competitive, peer-reviewed, extramural research program that provides access to the nation’s best scientists and engineers in academic and other nonprofit research institutions.

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Climate Program Office (CPO): Earth System Science and Modeling Research in support of the Disaster

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Deadline: January 26th, 2022

Climate variability and change present society with significant economic, health, safety, and security challenges. As part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) climate portfolio within the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), Climate Program Office (CPO), the Earth System Science and Modeling (ESSM) Division programs address climate challenges by managing competitive research programs that support high-priority science initiatives. CPO/ESSM Programs advance our understanding of the Earth’s climate system and foster the application and use of this knowledge to improve the resilience of our Nation and its partners. Through this announcement, CPO/ESSM is seeking applications for two individual competitions in FY23. These competitions solicit projects in response to the DISASTER RELIEF SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT (DRSA), 2022:“Improvements to … precipitation and flood prediction, forecasting, and mitigation capabilities…” ( that align with the goals of NOAA’s Precipitation Prediction Grand Challenge Strategy 2020-2030 (PPGC). ( NOAA’s PPGC initiative is aimed at providing more accurate, reliable, and timely precipitation forecasts across timescales from weather to subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) to seasonal-to-decadal (S2D) through the development and application of a fully coupled Earth system prediction model.

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National Science Foundation logo


Smart and Connected Communities

National Science Foundation

Deadline: Ongoing

Communities in the United States (US) and around the world are entering a new era of transformation in which residents and their surrounding environments are increasingly connected through rapidly-changing intelligent technologies. This transformation offers great promise for improved wellbeing and prosperity but poses significant challenges at the complex intersection of technology and society. The goal of the NSF Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) program solicitation is to accelerate the creation of the scientific and engineering foundations that will enable smart and connected communities to bring about new levels of economic opportunity and growth, safety and security, health and wellness, accessibility and inclusivity, and overall quality of life.

 For the purposes of this solicitation, communities are defined as having geographically-delineated boundaries—such as towns, cities, counties, neighborhoods, community districts, rural areas, and tribal regions—consisting of various populations, with the structure and ability to engage in meaningful ways with proposed research activities. A 'smart and connected community' is, in turn, defined as a community that synergistically integrates intelligent technologies with the natural and built environments, including infrastructure, to improve the social, economic, and environmental well-being of those who live, work, learn, or travel within it.

 The S&CC program encourages researchers to work with community stakeholders to identify and define challenges they are facing, enabling those challenges to motivate use-inspired research questions. For this solicitation, community stakeholders may include some or all of the following: residents, neighborhood or community groups, nonprofit or philanthropic organizations, businesses, as well as municipal organizations such as libraries, museums, educational institutions, public works departments, and health and social services agencies. The S&CC program supports integrative research that addresses fundamental technological and social science dimensions of smart and connected communities and pilots solutions together with communities. Importantly, this program is interested in projects that consider the sustainability of the research outcomes beyond the life of the project, including the scalability and transferability of the proposed solutions.

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NSF Mid-Career Advancement

National Science Foundation

Deadline: March 1st, 2023

Please contact OFR if you wish to pursue this opportunity


The MCA program offers an opportunity for scientists and engineers at the mid-career stage (see restrictions under Additional Eligibility Information) to substantively enhance and advance their research program and career trajectory. Mid-career scientists are at a critical career transition stage where they need to advance their research programs to ensure long-term productivity and creativity but are often constrained by service, teaching, or other activities that limit the amount of time devoted to research. MCA support is expected to help lift these constraints to reduce workload inequities and enable a more diverse scientific workforce (more women, persons with disabilities, and individuals from groups that have been underrepresented) at high academic ranks.  

The MCA program provides protected time, resources, and the means to gain new skills through synergistic and mutually beneficial partnerships, typically at an institution other than the candidate's home institution. Partners from outside the Principal Investigator's (PI) own subdiscipline or discipline are encouraged, but not required, to enhance interdisciplinary networking and convergence across science and engineering fields. Research projects that envision new insights on existing problems or identify new problems made accessible with cutting-edge methodology or expertise from other fields are encouraged.  

A key component of a successful MCA will be the demonstration that the PI's current research program could substantively benefit from the protected time, mentored partnership(s), and resources provided through this program, such that there is a substantial enhancement to the PI's research and career trajectory, enabling scientific and academic advancement not likely without this support.  

The MCA is the only cross-directorate NSF program specifically aimed at providing protected time and resources to established scientists and engineers targeted at the mid-career stage. Participating programs in the Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO), Geosciences (GEO), Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE), and Education and Human Resources (EHR) will accept MCA proposals. To help identify the disciplinary program in which the MCA should be reviewed, PIs are urged to investigate the research areas supported by the different directorates and participating programs.

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Dear Colleague Letter: Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS): Innovative Solutions to Sustainable Chemistry (CAS-SC)

National Science Foundation


The National Science Foundation welcomes proposals (to existing programs in participating NSF divisions) in sustainable chemistry. NSF defines sustainable chemistry as efforts to improve the efficiency with which resources are used to meet human needs for chemical products and materials while reducing use of hazardous substances and the generation of waste. Participating divisions and programs with the NSF include the Divisions of Chemistry (CHE), Materials Research (DMR), Mathematical Sciences (DMS), and Physics (PHY) in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS); Divisions of Chemical Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) and Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) in the Directorate for Engineering (ENG); and the Partnerships for Innovation program within the Division of Translational Impacts (TI) in the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP). Proposals in response to this DCL should be submitted to existing programs in the participating NSF divisions, adhering to the respective submission deadlines and requirements. After any solicitation or PAPPG specific requirements, titles should include the prefix "CAS-SC: ". CAS-SC proposals are expected to contain a compelling, detailed, and quantitatively-supported description of how the proposed research would address sustainable chemistry.

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Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act  

Summary of Select Provisions  


The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act promises a number of relevant funding opportunities in the coming years. The attached list outlines the federal programs established in or amended by the IIJA that will be soliciting funded partnerships, and researchers with an interest in one or more of these highlighted areas may wish to begin preparing proposal materials.  For more information on any of these programs or federal opportunities, please contact the Office of Government Relations.    


Foundation Funding Opportunities

Please contact the Office of Foundation Relations. for additional information about these opportunities. Our team is also available to advise and assist with proposal development.

PLEASE NOTE: Many foundations are extending application deadlines due to the COVID-19 situation. Please check the foundation’s website or email for more information.


Mass Spectrometry for Atmospheric Monitoring

Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation

Deadline: November 18th, 2022

OFR Contact: Sarah Fodor


This program will provide grant funding for the development of new instrument designs to bring the most advanced mass spectrometry detection capabilities and sensitivity levels into a lightweight, inexpensive, and easily operated system that could be portable or deployed on airborne platforms, in unattended monitoring stations, or operated by citizen scientists, for long-term analysis of the chemical composition of the atmosphere. The intent of this program is to support scientists, with a focus on undergraduates, to become inventors and innovators in this compelling area of research by building tools and instruments.

The program team should include active participation from undergraduate students, with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff members from a mix of disciplines (e.g., chemistry, atmospheric sciences, engineering) as well as the technology transfer, commercialization, and administrative offices, as appropriate for the proposed program and institution’s resources. Applicant institutions must demonstrate their commitment for additional funding beyond the $1 million support from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, if necessary, to complete the objectives of the program.

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Environmental Research & Education Foundation

Solid Waste Management Research Grants

Deadline: December 1st, 2022 (pre-proposal)


The sustainability movement has reached the business models of nearly every industry in the United States, and many companies, municipalities and states have set aggressive sustainability goals that include how waste streams are being managed.  The EREF Board of Directors has set an initiative to ensure research funded reflects EREF’s long-term strategic plan to address all areas of integrated solid waste management, with a strong focus towards research that increased sustainable solid waste management practices.


Research Topic Areas
Pre-proposal topics must relate to sustainable solid waste management practices and pertain to the following topic areas:

Waste minimization
Waste conversion to energy, biofuels, chemicals or other useful products.  This includes, but is not limited to, the following technologies:
1. Waste-to-energy
2. Anaerobic digestion
3. Composting
4. Other thermal or biological conversion technologies
Strategies to promote diversion to higher and better uses (e.g. organics diversion, market analysis, optimized material management, logistics, etc.)

Desirable aspects of the above topics, in addition to or as part of hypothesis driven applied research, also include: economic or cost/benefit analyses, feasibility studies for untested technologies or management strategies, life cycle analysis or inventory, and analyses of policies that relate to the above.

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Wellcome Trust

Advancing Climate Mitigation Policy Solutions with Health Co-benefits in G7 Countries

Deadline: October 31st, 2022

OFR Contact: Sarah Fodor


This award will fund collaborations between researchers (climate, health, and relevant disciplines) and policy actors who have a clear opportunity to influence climate mitigation policies with substantial health effects. Successful applicants will generate evidence that will support policymakers in G7 countries (a group with high levels of historical emissions and large economies) to advance transformative health-centered changes in the food systems, transport, energy, or housing sectors at the national or sub-national level.

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Corporate Funding Opportunities

Collaboration Engagement facilitates any connections between Northwestern faculty, students, and staff seeking support from corporations for the purposes of research, scholarship, and strategic engagement. Contact Jim Bray, Director of Corporate Engagement, for more information.


Altium Packaging
Recyclable Barrier Packaging Materials and Technologies via Extrusion Blow Molding
Deadline: November 30th, 2022

Altium Packaging has a long history in manufacturing blow-molded rigid packaging for a variety of markets, including food and chemical products. Certain types of barriers created by multi-layer extrusion blow-molding processing, fluorination, or other methods can be detrimental to recycling or be non-recyclable. Our goal is to increase the sustainability of our packaging by making everything we produce 100% recyclable, including barrier packaging. Altium is seeking barrier technologies that can be readily adopted to our various manufacturing assets. These include continuous extrusion shuttle and wheel blow molding machines but our focus for this opportunity is on reciprocating screw blow molding machines.

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Low-Cost, In-Field Sensors for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Soils in Agricultural Settings
Deadline: November 30th, 2022

Corteva Agriscience is seeking short, non-confidential proposals for developing concepts to prototype or adapting existing technologies for in-field measurements of greenhouse gas emissions from soil. Proposals may be focused on direct measurements as well as highly correlated, ancillary measurements including environmental parameters.

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Recyclable Closure for Paper Beverage Bottles

Deadline: November 30th, 2022


As part of our pep+ strategy, PepsiCo has set out to cut usage of virgin plastic from non-renewable sources per serving across our beverage portfolio by 50%. This includes reducing our absolute tonnage of virgin plastic derived from non-renewable sources by 20%. We aim to achieve this is by multiple approaches including the use of market-leading bio-based materials. One example of PepsiCo’s strategy in this area is the development of a paper bottle for our beverages that is fully recyclable in paper stream. PepsiCo is seeking technologies for a re-closable fiber-based closure for a paper beverage bottle that can be recycled in the paper stream.

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Fruma Yehiely, Associate Vice President for Research

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