The Office of Campus Research Development (OCRD) can help with proposal development and grant writing (and their services are free for Duke faculty, staff, postdocs, and students)! Visit their new site to learn more.

Duke Incubation Fund – The Duke Incubation Fund, administered by the Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, provides up to $20,000 per project of seed funding for early-stage technologies and ideas at Duke University with potential for commercialization. Apply by October 16, 2020.

Summer 2021 Data+ Call for Proposals (Faculty-Sponsored Projects) – Data+ is a ten-week summer research experience that welcomes Duke undergraduates interested in exploring new data-driven approaches to interdisciplinary challenges. Apply with your project proposal by November 2, 2020.

2021 Faculty Advancement Seed Grants: Request for Proposals – Duke is committed to advancing faculty excellence by fostering an inclusive and respectful environment where all faculty can thrive. The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement furthers that commitment by supporting all faculty and their academic programs. Seed grants are intended to provide a financial head start for novel faculty development initiatives within academic units (schools, departments, divisions, centers and institutes) that aim to foster a sense of community and a welcoming and respectful climate for all members. The theme for this cycle is “Confronting Racism and Bias: Fostering an Inclusive Community.” Contact Jennifer Goins for more info. Apply by December 1, 2020.

Call for 2021-22 Bass Connections Projects Teams – Support for year-long, team-based research projects that engage faculty, undergraduates, and graduate/professional students in the interdisciplinary exploration of complex societal challenges. Funding ranges from $5,000 to $25,000. In addition to the five themes of Bass Connections, faculty may submit proposals outside of these themes through Bass Connections Open. This year, we particularly welcome and encourage projects – proposed to any theme – focused on racial injustice and inequality, systemic racism and social justice. Graduate students, postdocs, and trainees/fellows may also propose projects, but all projects must have at least one faculty leader. Apply by December 4, 2020.

Planning Grants Available to Support Collaborative Proposals for External Funding – The Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) is pleased to announce a planning-grant program to support planning and development of competitive, large-scale collaborative proposals for significant external funding. Planning grant proposals are accepted on a rolling basis via email to and are reviewed by the Vice Provost for Research and school leaders.

DOE Call for Rapid Access Proposals for COVID-19 Research – the DOE Basic Energy Sciences neutron sources will provide remote rapid access to support research into the COVID-19 virus and the search for effective diagnostics and therapies. Researchers who would like to use these resources should submit a short rapid access proposal outlining experiment aims and scope. A facility scientist will contact you regarding your proposal within 2 days.

Innovations in Intensified Brine Management – The DOE and National Alliance for Water Innovation request proposals for innovations in intensified brine-management solutions for high-salinity streams. NAWI envisions awarding 4-12 projects with a minimum 25% cost share required from each team. Concept papers are due September 21, 2020.

Solar Energy Technologies Office Fiscal Year 2020 Perovskite Funding Program – The SETO 2020 Perovskite Funding Program seeks to advance perovskite photovoltaic technology development and competitiveness through projects in economically viable device and manufacturing R&D and performance validation. EERE expects to make a total of approximately $20 million of federal funding available for 6-10 new awards. Required concept papers are due September 23, 2020, with full applications due December 1, 2020.

Innovations in Advanced Manufacturing for Hydropower (I AM Hydro) Prize – The DOE Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) announces this prize to dramatically lower costs of hydropower components and systems designs. Grants of up to $250,000 are available. Apply by September 30, 2020.

Continuation of Solicitation for the Office of Science Financial Assistance Program – The Office of Science (SC) of the (DOE) announces its continuing interest in receiving grant applications in the following program areas: Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, and Nuclear Physics. This FOA will remain open until September 30, 2020 or until replaced by a successor FOA.

Fiscal Year 2021 Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research – DOE seeks applications from U.S. universities, national laboratories, and industry to conduct Program Supporting (PS), Mission Supporting (MS), and Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) supported nuclear energy-related research. Letters of intent (mandatory only for NSUF applications) are due September 16, 2020; mandatory pre-applications are due September 30, 2020.

CNMS User Program: Fall Cycle – Oak Ridge National Laboratory provides researchers with access to a broad range of capabilities for nanomaterials design, synthesis, characterization, and theory/modeling/simulation. Apply by October 1, 2020.

Reimagining Energy for the DoD Challenge – This challenge aims to leverage all energy sources for military use such as wind, solar, thermal, hydro, nuclear and hydrogen and increase mission effectiveness and quality of life, while reducing DoD’s dependence on fossil fuels. Apply by October 1, 2020.

Energy and Carbon Optimized Synthesis for the Bioeconomy (ECOSynBio) – ARPA-E announced up to $25 million in funding for this new program. ECOSynBio projects will work to develop new forms of scalable biosynthesis platforms to enable carbon-neutral fuels, chemicals, and materials. Concept papers are due October 26, 2020.

NSF/VMware Partnership on the Next Generation of Sustainable Digital Infrastructure (NGSDI) – NSF and VMware seek to foster novel, transformative research that brings dramatic increases in the environmental sustainability of Digital Infrastructure. NSF and VMware will support multiple projects with funding of up to $3,000,000 each over three years. Apply by November 4, 2020.

Fiscal Year 2021 Scientific Infrastructure Support for Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research – The DOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) provides funding to support crosscutting nuclear energy research and development, and associated infrastructure support activities, to develop innovative technologies that offer the promise of dramatically improved performance for advanced reactors and fuel cycle concepts, while maximizing the use of DOE resources. Apply by November 12, 2020.

Plasma Physics – The NSF Plasma Physics program’s goal is to generate an understanding of the fundamental principles governing the physical behavior of a plasma via collective interactions of large ensembles of free charged particles, as well as to improve the basic understanding of the plasma state as needed for other areas of science and engineering. Apply by November 16, 2020.

Terrestrial Hydrology (ROSES 2020) – The NASA Terrestrial Hydrology program (THP) seeks to use remote sensing to develop a predictive understanding of the role of water in land-atmosphere interactions and to further the scientific basis of water resources management. Notices of intent are due October 7, 2020, with proposals due November 18, 2020.

Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge – The EPA seeks efficient, cost-effective solutions to manage and/or destroy per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)-contaminated media and waste. The total prize award is $50,000, and the challenge end date is November 23, 2020.

Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) – NSF invites proposals for frontier projects. Frontier projects should push the boundaries of CPS well beyond today's systems and capabilities. Funding may be requested for a total of $1,200,001 to $7,000,000 for a period of 4 to 5 years. Apply by December 2, 2020.

Oak Ridge National LaboratoryThe Higher Education Research Experiences (HERE) program at ORNL provides for participation in national laboratory research for a select group of university faculty. Applications are accepted year-round with selections made on a rolling basis. 

Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS) – This National Science Foundation program seeks to support basic research through core disciplinary programs aimed at improving the sustainability of resources for future generations while maintaining or improving current products in order to offer technologically-advanced, economically competitive, environmentally-benign and useful materials to a global society. Programs have different deadlines; consult the website for specific due dates.

National Science Foundation (Multiple Opportunities) – NSF announces multiple energy-related grants focused on Particulate and Multiphase ProcessesFluid DynamicsCombustion and Fire SystemsProcess Systems, Reaction Engineering and Molecular ThermodynamicsElectrochemical Systems; and Catalysis. NSF will accept proposals for these funds at any time throughout the year.

Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement – Call for Nominations – The University of Southern California’s Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement is a $200,000 prize recognizing work in environmental science, environmental health, and energy. Living individuals or public or private institutions of any nation are eligible for nomination. Submit a nomination by September 23, 2020.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Energy & Environment Grant – The program’s goal is to advance understanding about the economic, environmental, security, and policy trade-offs associated with the increased deployment of low- and no-carbon resources and technologies across the energy system and the resulting impacts on the quality of American life. Grants in this program are awarded on a rolling basis and focus on investigating under-explored research questions related to energy sources (supply), transmission and distribution, energy use (demand), new energy technologies, the economics of energy transmission and distribution, big data, energy efficiency, and transportation.

Mailing Address

Duke University Energy Initiative
Box 90467
Durham, NC 27708

Street / Delivery Address

Duke University Energy Initiative
140 Science Drive
Gross Hall, Suite 101
Durham, NC 27708


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