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University of Wisconsin–Madison

DOE Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) 2022

To:Chairs and Administrators, Departments in the Physical & Biological Sciences; Associate Deans for Research; College/School Research Administrators
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:January 03, 2022
Subject:DOE Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) 2022


Deadline for Internal Review:January 17, 2022

Project Description

The U.S. Department of Energy recently released this funding opportunity. Please note the abbreviated timeline.

As world demand for energy rapidly expands, transforming the way energy is collected, stored, and used has become a defining challenge of the 21st century. At its heart, this challenge is a scientific one, inspiring the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) to establish the Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) program in 2009. The EFRCs represent a unique approach, bringing together creative, multi-disciplinary scientific teams to tackle the toughest scientific challenges preventing advances in energy technologies. These centers take full advantage of powerful new tools for characterizing, understanding, modeling, and manipulating matter from atomic to macroscopic length scales. They also train the next-generation scientific workforce by attracting talented students and postdoctoral researchers interested in energy science.

The EFRC program brings together diverse world-class teams of scientists to perform energy-relevant, basic research with a scope and complexity beyond what is possible in single-investigator or small-group awards. These multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary centers accelerate transformative scientific advances for the most challenging topics in materials sciences, chemical sciences, geosciences, and biosciences. EFRCs conduct fundamental research to address grand challenges identified in the report Directing Matter and Energy: Five Challenges for Science and the Imagination (December 2007) and transformative opportunities identified in the report Challenges at the Frontiers of Matter and Energy: Transformative Opportunities for Discovery Science (November 2015). In addition, EFRCs perform use-inspired basic research to fill scientific knowledge gaps identified in major strategic planning efforts by
BES and the scientific community (see FOA). EFRCs integrate synthesis, characterization, theory, computation, and data science; develop innovative experimental and theoretical tools that illuminate fundamental processes in unprecedented detail; and create an enthusiastic, inter-disciplinary, diverse community of energy-focused scientists.

This FOA solicits new and renewal applications for EFRCs that will perform fundamental discovery science while also addressing the Priority Research Directions (PRDs) and Priority Research Opportunities (PROs) identified in one or more of the workshop and roundtable reports (listed in reverse chronological order within each topical category) on page 2 of the FOA.

Applications submitted in response to this FOA must propose scientific research that addresses PRDs/PROs identified in one or more of the reports listed in the FOA. As appropriate, DOE encourages applicants to articulate how the proposed fundamental chemical sciences, materials sciences, geosciences, and biosciences research in these areas will generate foundational knowledge for future clean energy technologies and advanced manufacturing.

Amount per Award:      $2- $4 million per year
Number of Awards:       The exact number of awards will depend on the number of meritorious applications and the availability of appropriated funds.


UW–Madison may submit no more than three pre-applications or applications.


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, attach a single PDF to an email to:
Please include the following information:

  • Cover sheet (title, contact information of lead PI and key personnel, partner departments and partner organizations)
  • CV for lead PI and key co-PI’s
  • 1-2 page description of the proposed project and how it is responsive to the objectives of the FOA

Sponsor Deadlines

Pre-Applications are due to DOE by February 15, 2022. Applications are due to DOE by May 03, 2022.