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Note: The information on this page is based on the 2022 FOA (DE-FOA-0002653). A new call is expected in two years, subject to change. (Most recent content update: Mar 8, 2022; last FAQ update May 5)

EFRC Program

The new call was released on Dec 21, 2021

Award info:

  • Limited submission: DOE limits each institution to three (pre-)applications as lead. More information is available below.
  • New and renewal applications are allowed
  • Period of performance is 4 years 
  • Funding floor and ceiling per year is $2M and $4M respectively

Key dates:

  • December 21, 2021: DOE released the EFRC FOA
  • January 17, 2022: Internal Stanford or SLAC limited submission deadline (details below)
  • February 15, 2022: Required pre-applications by internally selected teams due to DOE* (For Stanford, optional submission through OSR 3 business days before deadline)
  • May 3, 2022: Encouraged full applications due to DOE* (For Stanford, please follow all OSR proposal submission deadlines)

Program description: DOE Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) are major, multi-disciplinary and multi-institution, basic research programs funded by the Department of Energy. EFRCs address big scientific questions that if solved will have a big impact on society and provide a great mechanism to support collaborative research in energy-relevant fields. The EFRC program aims to advance fundamental understanding of chemical sciences, materials sciences, geosciences, and biosciences that is relevant to addressing our biggest challenges in clean energy and climate, advanced and low-carbon manufacturing, and other priority areas such as quantum information science. EFRC basic research will continue to support cross-DOE initiatives including the Energy Earthshots.

Topics of interest are referenced in the documents linked on pages 2-4 of the EFRC FOA (pages 9-10 of the pdf), which includes several workshop and roundtable reports for Science Focus Areas:  carbon-neutral hydrogen, liquid solar fuels, nuclear energy, catalysis, electrical energy storage, energy and water, subsurface fractures and fluid flow, carbon capture, solar energy, manufacturing, upcycling of polymers, microelectronics, synthesis science, quantum computing in chemical and materials sciences, quantum systems, transformative experimental tools, and quantum materials for energy relevant technologies.  The FOA also references the three DOE Energy Earthshots in hydrogen, long duration storage, and carbon negative.  See pages 2-4 of the FOA for more information.

Teams: Interested applicants are encouraged to assemble diverse, multi-disciplinary, and possibly multi-institutional, teams of researchers to address a clear center mission and a well-defined set of research goals. DOE encourages applications led by, or in partnership with, Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) that are underrepresented in the BES portfolio and applications involving individuals from groups historically underrepresented in STEM.

    More information on DOE EFRCs can be found at the federal program page https://science.osti.gov/bes/efrc/

    DOE has also put together a comprehensive Technical Summary Document of active EFRCs

    (closed) Limited Submissions (LS) process

    Limit: The DOE EFRC call is a limited submission in which each institution is allowed only three submissions of pre-applications or applications as lead institution.

    LS Process: Stanford and SLAC have each performed their own internal selection, using the same deadlines and requested materials. Top applications in both pools were also discussed by program staff to avoid duplication of concepts/approvals.

    Outcome: The internal deadline was Jan 17, 2022 and all applicants were informed of the outcome of the selection process.

    Questions on LS process:

    Stanford-SLAC EFRC Workshop Materials

    A virtual workshop was held on August 27, 2021 to:

    • Support the formation of new research ideas and collaborations, regardless of the specifics of the EFRC call, because Stanford and SLAC have outstanding expertise that positions us well for collaborative research in this area.
    • Share insights and best practices around the EFRC program, featuring speakers from both of Stanford’s current EFRCs
    • Help teams form/mature by providing the opportunity for researchers to present a center vision or major research questions of interest, hear how colleagues could contribute, and connect with potential collaborators from Stanford and SLAC

    If you attended the workshop, please fill out the Workshop Evaluation Form

    If you were unable to attend but would like to receive updates and have access to workshop materials, please fill out the Interest Form

    Workshop materials (access restricted to participants and those who register through the Interest Form)

    Support for proposals

    The small Stanford-SLAC Planning Grants were introduced at the workshop and applications were due Oct 20, 2021. Information about this program is available in the request for applications. Note that this planning grant pilot is targeting the EFRC workshop audience for the purposes of the experiment but is focused on supporting Stanford-SLAC research collaborations and not limited to EFRC applicants only.

    An invitation to present EFRC concepts to the SLAC Science council was sent to SLAC scientists, engineers, and affiliates on Oct 19.  All SLAC staff who are developing ideas and teams for possible EFRC proposals this fall were invited to present their plans to the SLAC Science Council on October 29, 2021, at 12 – 2 pm.  This was for nascent or well-developed teams.  The purpose was to provide  helpful feedback and support.  This was not mandatory, but strongly encouraged, particularly if the lead organization is SLAC and even if it is Stanford or another institution.

    General Advice from the SLAC Science Council was shared with known teams on November 16, 2021 and is available from the link.

    For other support or EFRC-related questions please contact

    • Kim Baeten, Director of Research Development, Stanford University
    • Steve Eglash, Director of the Applied Energy Division, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

    Proposal support is available through the Stanford Research Development Office, Office of STEM Outreach, and School of Engineering.

    • The Stanford Research Development Office (RDO) supports faculty across Stanford on proposal development, including advising on proposal sections, writing, editing, project management, and bringing in internal and external expertise. Please contact RDO Director Kim Baeten (kimbaeten@stanford.edu) for more information.
    • Kyle Cole (kylecole@stanford.edu), Director of Education and STEM Outreach for the Office of Community Engagement, can provide support in connecting the Stanford community with youth, schoolteachers, nonprofits, and the broader community to help increase engagement, participation, equity, and inclusion in STEM fields. School of Engineering faculty may also contact Blythe Nobleman for developing broadening participation and educational outreach plans. See details below.
    • Blythe Nobleman is the Research Development Strategist & Editor in the School of Engineering. Working closely with engineering research administrators, Blythe works with SoE faculty to identify funding opportunities, develop concepts, encourage best practices in proposal writing, and to review/edit proposals. Blythe also assists with developing broadening participation and educational outreach plans. To learn more, contact: nobleman@stanford.edu

    Other Resources

    Created: 08.25.21
    Updated: 02.23.23