NSF: Environmental Health and Safety of Nanotechnology [PD 17-1179]

The goal of the Environmental Health and Safety of Nanotechnology (Nano EHS) program is to examine and mitigate the environmental effects of nanotechnologies.  Fundamental engineering research is sought to understand, evaluate, and lessen the impact of nanotechnology on the environment and biological systems.  The program emphasizes engineering principles underlying the environmental health and safety impacts of nanotechnology.  Proposals may address methods to characterize and quantify the presence of nanomaterials in products, and the release of nanomaterials from intermediate materials or finished products during consumer use or disposal scenarios.  NanoEHS research informs and enables responsible development and sustainability. This program does not include biomedical and nanotoxicology topics involving clinical trials.

Proposals submitted to nanoEHS should address one or more of the following research areas:

  • Complex and heterogeneous engineered nanomaterials: Fundamental engineering research on the environmental and health implications of these nanomaterials is needed.  NOTE: Proposals addressing silver or gold nanomaterials will be given low priority.
  • Prevention of adverse impacts: This research area includes both applying environmentally benign methods in engineering and manufacturing nanomaterials as well using nanotechnology in preventing adverse impacts in current non-nano synthesis and manufacturing processes. 
  • Research taking a systems approach: Whether the impacted system is a natural system or an industrial system, nanoEHS engineering research must start from a systems view to justify how and where adverse impacts could occur. Research may include models and statistical techniques used to identify priorities for study within systems.
  • The development of fundamental tools: Monitoring instrumentation, sensors, models, and metrology are but a few of the tools necessary for measuring nanomaterials'  impact on the environment, health or safety.  Fundamental work on standards for measurements are also encouraged. 

Please note that it is essential to well-characterize the nanomaterials used in the proposed studies. 

Innovative proposals outside of these specific interest areas can be considered.  However, prior to submission, it is recommended that the PI contact the Program Director to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review.

NOTE: For proposals involving any aspect of chemistry, including but not limited to biochemistry or physical chemistry, consider making proposal submissions to this program with the Proposal Title as: ‘SusChEM: Name of Your Proposal'.  For more information on SusChEM-related proposals visit this link.  The same applies for proposals involving sustainable engineering.

The duration of unsolicited awards is generally one to three years.  The typical award size for the program is $100,000 per year.  Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation with the Program Director, may be returned without review.


For more informations, visit http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=501030