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Opportunities

 

Job Opportunities:

 

The Zuckerman Postdoctoral Scholars Program attracts high-achieving postdoctoral scholars from premier universities in the United States and Canada to do research at one of seven Israeli universities. Once they complete their research, many Zuckerman postdocs are expected to accept faculty positions at top North American universities, weaving a network of academic collaboration and goodwill that will greatly benefit US-Israeli scientific cooperation.

POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATE, MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), to join a ARPA-E-funded project investigating the design and operation of flexible carbon capture and storage at fossil-fuel power plants. Will work with Howard Herzog, senior research engineer at the MIT Energy Initiative and the project lead, and MITEI research scientists, Dr. Emre Gençer and Dr. Dharik Mallapragada.  The project will develop models to investigate the cost-effective design and operation of a near-zero emission power plant concept that combines flue gas CO2 capture with a lime-based direct air capture (DAC) process in a way that does not impact power plant flexibility.  Will be expected to regularly present research results at meetings and workshops, prepare quarterly progress reports, and publish papers in international conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. 

The position will offer an opportunity to interact and work closely with researchers at MITEI’s Low-Carbon Energy Centers.

Contact: Dharik Mallapragada

 

Funding Opportunities:

 

Bayer Crop Science: Reducing Chemical Input and Enhancing Soil Health
Amount: $5,000-$15,000
Deadline: 10/30/20


Weeds, pests and diseases have a devastating impact on crop productivity and yield. To protect our crops and feed a growing population, farmers must adopt a variety of tools, including conventional and biological crop protection products, often combined with genetic approaches. We are seeking innovative approaches for minimizing chemical inputs and protecting soil health while maintaining crop yields. Proposals of interest include:

Traits that increase yield by manipulating specific pathways and mechanisms under optimal growth or abiotic stress conditions
Microbial biostimulants for yield enhancement and improved nutrient uptake efficiency in row crops
Biological nematode control – microbial strains or natural products with clear nematocidal effect
Biological control of foliar lepidopteran insect pests, particularly in vegetables – technologies with better performance and application stability than classical Bt pesticides
Biological fungicides against oomycete and ascomycete pathogens from new biological classes
Enabling technologies for cell-free production of microbial actives for pest and disease control

Additionally, we are seeking solutions in non-agricultural settings that:

Optimize use of resources - water, energy, labor - for lawns, ornamental plants and turf
Help consumers grow healthy lawns and gardens easier and faster

 

Bayer Crop Science: Accelerating Precision Agriculture
Amount: $5,000-$15,000
Deadline: 10/30/20


Digital innovation is the next great frontier in agriculture. With remote sensors, satellites and drones, farmers now have access to more data than ever. By modeling this data, we can provide farmers with useful insights to make critical and timely in-field decisions, such as predicting environmental pressures or vulnerability to pests. While real-time data drives the precise application of resources, software allows for quick, easy analysis of crop management and protection. We aim to accelerate advances in genomics, phenomics and artificial intelligence to develop solutions to our shared challenges and bring more value to our customers. We are seeking digital tools for collecting, transmitting and analyzing data, and data platforms for measuring and predicting agronomic performance. Proposals of interest include:

Novel phenotyping and modeling tools for early detection and quantification of insects, nematodes and diseases
Novel phenotyping and modeling tools for plant growth and development in response to abiotic stresses
Machine learning and data modeling tools that provide actionable insights and recommendations for efficient use of crop inputs, e.g. for soil application scripting
Precision technologies to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, such as in-field chemical residue measurement

 

Bayer Crop Science: Fighting Pests While Preserving Biodiversity
Amount: $5,000-$15,000
Deadline: 10/30/20


We are seeking novel approaches and technologies that preserve natural habitats and protect crops by:

Reducing insect and nematode damage
Reducing fungal growth and symptoms
Increasing tolerance to herbicide applications and/or lower weed pressure

 Proposals of interest include:

Novel approaches to optimize, identify and validate gene or protein expression, activity and regulation, such as promoter sequences and gene regulatory elements
Novel approaches to optimize native crop genes
Novel approaches to increase genetic diversity/variation in crops
Controlled-release technologies for active ingredients and biologicals
Artificial intelligence applications in active ingredient discovery and optimization processes
Other enabling technologies in areas such as phenotyping and genetic recombination

 Additionally, we are seeking applied technologies for controlling weeds and pests in non-agricultural settings that:

Protect public health and maintain food safety from storage pests
Control invasive weeds and uncontrolled vegetation

 

NU-MRSEC Seed Projects

On behalf of NU-MRSEC Director, Mark Hersam, the Northwestern University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (NU-MRSEC) is currently soliciting proposals for Seed projects focused on developing and characterizing new materials with novel properties.

NU-MRSEC is an NSF-funded interdisciplinary group of scientists and engineers working collaboratively in a broad range of materials research areas. The Center’s researchers generally work in Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs), but new investigators are often first funded through Seed projects. Seed funding is designed to be short-term, thus allowing investigators to procure sufficient preliminary results to attract long-term funding either within the MRSEC (e.g., joining a pre-existing IRG or nucleating a new IRG) or from other external funding sources. Since the NU-MRSEC is planning to release a call for new IRGs in mid-to-late 2021, preference will be given to Seed proposals that can articulate a compelling plan for gathering preliminary results in support of a new IRG. For more information about the Center and its current research areas, please visit the NU-MRSEC website.

The Center is now inviting proposals for Seed project funding in materials-related research (see attached application). Seed applications should propose frontier materials research that enhances and diversifies the overall research direction of the NU-MRSEC. The proposal should clearly explain the nature of the project and how it can evolve into a new IRG. Seed projects typically receive support for one graduate student for two years, but this support can be spread among multiple investigators (e.g., through a co-advised graduate student).

Please note that successful IRG teams embrace diversity from all perspectives including, but not limited to, gender, ethnicity, age, and seniority. In addition, successful IRG teams are interdisciplinary in the broadest sense of the word including a mix of science and engineering, theory and experiment, and departmental affiliation. New IRGs need to be distinct from the currently funded IRGs within the NU-MRSEC and other MRSECs around the country. For more information on the MRSEC program nationwide, please see: https://mrsec.org/

Since MRSECs are funded by the NSF Division of Materials Research (DMR), all MRSEC research has to fall within the purview of NSF DMR, which is delineated here.

APPLY

Deadline:  Friday, November 13, 2020. Project funding is expected to begin in Winter 2021.


NSF/VMware Partnership on The Next Generation of Sustainable Digital Infrastructure

The goal of this joint solicitation between NSF and VMware is to foster novel, transformative research in fundamental and systematic approaches that bring dramatic increases in the environmental sustainability of the Digital Infrastructure leading to practical methodologies and tools. The Digital Infrastructure is broadly defined as the totality of software, hardware, and the methods for managing them for the purpose of efficient computation. This research includes, but is not limited to, computer software and systems; management of distributed software, the Digital Infrastructure, and data center power sourcing; and resource allocation and scheduling. Critical to initiating such research is to set its objectives through the definition of novel metrics and benchmarks that capture the sustainability challenges of all components in the entire computation chain.

Deadline: November 4, 2020


NASA ROSES

NASA has issued an announcement for the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2020. This opportunity covers a wide range of spaces including biodiversity, earth surface and interior, global ecosystem dynamics, and modeling, analysis, and prediction, with a variety of due dates that can be accessed from this website.  The full solicitation is available here

 

Microsoft and National Geographic Society: AI for Earth Innovation

Amount: up to $100,000

Deadline: 10/21/20

The National Geographic Society and Microsoft’s AI for Earth program are partnering to support novel projects that create and deploy AI tools to improve the way we monitor, model, understand, and ultimately manage Earth’s natural resources for a more sustainable future.  

The grants given by the partnership will support projects that use cloud computing to create and deploy open-source models and algorithms that make key analytical processes more efficient in the field. This partnership is focused on supporting projects that will build tools such as applications, application programming interfaces (APIs), or packages to be shared. Microsoft will help the successful applicants make their models and tools available for use by other environmental researchers and innovators.

 

NSF Dynamics of Integrated Socio-Environmental System

Amount: up to $1,600,000

Deadline: 11/16/20

This solicitation is an update of the program previously known as CNH and CNH2. For this revision, we have changed the abbreviation associated with the program to more accurately reflect the actual title and to reinforce the differences between this solicitation and the earlier programs from which it is derived. The DISES program acknowledges a continuum of environments from those with very limited human populations (e.g. polar regions) to those in which human systems and processes fully dominate (e.g. densely populated megacities). There are integrated systems operating in all these spaces, and many can be considered as domains for DISES study. For the purposes of this solicitation, we define the "socio" or human component of the system as one predominantly governed by human decisions, actions, and behaviors, and we define the "environmental" component of the system as one predominantly governed by biological, physical, and chemical processes. DISES projects can include research that investigates integrated socio-environmental systems in agricultural as well as in urban settings.


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 foundationrelations@northwestern.edu for more information.
 

Corporate Funding Opportunities:

Collaboration Opportunities
Corporate 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, (j-bray@northwestern.edu), Director of Corporate Engagement, for more information.

Cisco Research and Innovation

1) RFP-20-02: Global Conservation – Science and Technology Meet for Species Conservation

Brief Summary: The intersection between technology strategy and ecosystem conservation, referred to as techno-conservation, is an area of interest for Cisco. In this RFP, we are seeking multidisciplinary research teams to investigate and evaluate the intersection of science and technology to drive the advancement of biotelemetry; conservation of a variety of endangered or at-risk species (including terrestrial, aquatic, avian, et al.) and their environments and ecosystems; and the impacts of human activity on species and ecosystems (including chemical and acoustic pollution, deforestation, soil erosion, overfishing, etc.).

2) RFP-20-01: Global Conservation – Sustainable Economic Development
Brief Summary: The intersection between technology strategy and ecosystem conservation, referred to as techno-conservation, is an area of interest for Cisco. In this RFP, we are seeking systems researchers to investigate and evaluate new and evolving business strategies, economic models, and partnership models associated with technology evolution in the conservation industry.

PLEASE NOTE: Many corporations are extending application deadlines due to the COVID-19 situation. Please check the corporation’s website or email corporate@northwestern.edu for more information.

 

Fellowship and Award Opportunities:

 

Northwestern’s Science Policy Outreach Task Force developed a compendium of science policy fellowships here.

 

AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships

Seven fellows on Capitol Hill ushered in the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) program back in 1973. Today, AAAS places more than 250 fellows each year across all branches of federal government to learn first-hand about policymaking and use their knowledge and skills to address today’s most pressing societal challenges.

The Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) program provides opportunities to outstanding scientists and engineers to learn first-hand about policymaking and contribute their knowledge and analytical skills in the policy realm. Fellows represent a broad range of backgrounds, disciplines, and career stages. Each year, STPF adds to a growing corps well over 3,400 strong of policy-savvy leaders working across academia, government, nonprofits, and industry to serve the nation and citizens around the world.

Deadline is November 1, 2020

The Maria Goeppert Mayer post-doctoral fellowship opportunity at Argonne for those nearly done with their PhD. Argonne is a great post-doc location for research in energy storage, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, environmental science, and many other areas related to sustainability. Jennifer Dunn can help point interested students towards Argonne mentors with related research interests.

Deadline: October 1, 2020.

Dr. Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship

The fellowship sponsors the participation of up to two young (undergraduate or above) U.S. or international students at a green chemistry technical meeting, conference or training program. Applicants for the up to $2,000 Dr. Joseph Breen Memorial Fellowship must demonstrate research or educational interest in green chemistry and give an oral or poster presentation at a green chemistry meeting of their choice. 

Deadline: October 9, 2020.

Ciba Travel Awards in Green Chemistry

Travel awards, up to $2,000 each, are available for U.S. high school, undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in green chemistry research or education. The Ciba Travel Awards in Green Chemistry expand the student’s green chemistry education through sponsoring their travel to give an oral or poster presentation at an American Chemical Society technical meeting, conference or training program. 

Deadline: October 9, 2020.

Heh-Won Chang, Ph.D. Fellowship in Green Chemistry

Two fellowships are available for full-time graduate students who are currently conducting green chemistry research. Recipients of the $5,000 Heh-Won Chang, Ph.D. Fellowship in Green Chemistry must give an oral or poster presentation of their research at the annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, June 14-16, 2021, in Reston, VA. The research must focus on one of three areas:

•             The use of greener synthetic pathways. This focus area involves designing and implementing a novel, greener pathway for a chemical product.

•             The use of greener reaction conditions. This focus area involves improving conditions other than the overall design or redesign of a synthesis. Greener analytical methods often fall within this focus area.

•             The design of greener chemicals. This focus area involves designing and implementing chemical products that are less hazardous than the products or technologies they replace.

Deadline: October 9, 2020.

 

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