NSF Environmental Convergence Opportunities in Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, Transport Systems - preliminary proposal


National Science Foundation Dir. for Engineering

UI Contact: 

NSF Environmental Convergence Opportunities in Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (ECO-CBET)
NSF 21-596
replaces NSF 21-527 
Required preliminary proposal due date(s):      October 01, 2021; September 19, 2022; September 17 annually thereafter.

The Environmental Convergence Opportunities in Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (ECO-CBET) solicitation will support fundamental research activities that confront vexing environmental engineering and sustainability problems by developing foundational knowledge underlying processes and mechanisms such that the design of innovative new materials, processes, and systems is possible. Projects should be compelling and reflect sustained, coordinated efforts from highly interdisciplinary research teams. A key objective of the solicitation is to encourage dialogue and tightly integrated collaborations wherein members of the chemical process systems, transport phenomena, and bioengineering research communities engage with environmental engineering and sustainability experts to spark innovation and arrive at unanticipated solutions. Furthermore, training the future workforce to successfully engage in discipline-transcending research will support continued innovation toward surmounting the complex environmental and sustainability challenges facing our global community.

Process science and engineering, in the context of this solicitation, is broadly defined to include all programmatic interests of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Engineering's (ENG) Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET). These interests are outlined in the "core" program descriptions:

Chemical Process Systems (CPS) Cluster

  • Catalysis
  • Electrochemical Systems
  • Interfacial Engineering
  • Process Systems, Reaction Engineering, and Molecular Thermodynamics

Engineering Biology and Health (EBH) Cluster

  • Biophotonics
  • Biosensing
  • Cellular and Biochemical Engineering
  • Disability and Rehabilitation Engineering
  • Engineering of Biomedical Systems

Environmental Engineering and Sustainability (EES) Cluster

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Nanoscale Interactions

Transport Phenomena (TP) Cluster

  • Combustion and Fire Systems
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Particulate and Multiphase Processes
  • Thermal Transport Processes

Teams should be constructed such that expertise is both complementary and distinct, drawing inspiration from the CBET-supported research communities (see above programmatic clusters). Creative collaborations between the CBET research communities that do not typically intersect are highly encouraged. At least three named investigators must be identified, each of whom must possess a unique perspective or skillset that motivates the proposed approach(es). In addition to the three required investigators representing distinct CBET-supported research communities, teams may also wish to include investigators with expertise in manufacturing, other sciences, including social, behavioral, and economic sciences, or otherwise to extend the impact of the work.