Abstract collage of science-related imagery

Chemical Mechanism, Function, and Properties (CMFP)

View guidelines

NSF 22-605

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.

Supports physical organic and physical inorganic chemistry research on the nature of chemical structure, chemical structure property studies, chemical dynamics and chemical mechanisms.

Supports physical organic and physical inorganic chemistry research on the nature of chemical structure, chemical structure property studies, chemical dynamics and chemical mechanisms.


The Chemical Mechanism, Function, and Properties (CMFP) Program, formerly named Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanisms B (CSDM-B) program, supports mechanistic studies of diverse chemical processes, the discovery and development of molecular systems with emergent potential for applications, and chemical structure-property relationship studies. CMFP proposals often involve significant synthetic efforts. Computational proposals in the context of physical organic and physical inorganic chemistry are welcome and they are typically reviewed by both experimentalists and computational chemists. Mechanistic studies are a major component of the CMFP portfolio. These studies include (but are not limited to) mechanisms of organometallic, organic, and inorganic reactions, chemistry of reactive intermediates, mechanistic studies of charge transfer, photochemical (including photoredox), electrochemical, and catalytic processes. The development of novel molecular systems with potential applications in materials, energy, environment, biotechnology, and information sciences is also a significant part of the CMFP portfolio. Examples include (but are not limited to) chromophore development for advanced imaging and solar fuel applications, the development of innovative battery electrolytes, including flow-battery systems, ionic liquids, selective metal binders, artificial photosynthesis, new magnetic and high-spin chemical systems and molecular qubits. Under the chemical structure-property relationship studies, focus is on the properties and chemical reactivity of molecular systems.

The CMFP Program is also interested in proposal submissions in the following topical areas: Through the Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS) program, the Division of Chemistry looks to support basic research aimed at improving the sustainability of resources for future generations while maintaining or improving current products within a global society. Examples of sustainable chemistry appropriate for the CMFP Program include, but are not limited to: fundamental studies related to sustainable energy such as the development of chromophores based on earth-abundant elements, advanced electrolytes for battery technology, and new approaches to water splitting and carbon dioxide conversion.  The CMFP Program also supports projects that contribute to Quantum Information Science (QIS) using molecular systems.  Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) proposals, where such advances are connected directly to industrial considerations, are also encouraged.

Research topics that are not of interest to the CMFP Program: Projects involving nanochemistry and polymer chemistry should consult the Macromolecular, Supramolecular, and Nanochemistry (MSN). Research focused on solid-state chemical processes should consult the Solid State Materials Chemistry (SSMC) Program in the Division of Materials Research (DMR).  Projects for which the primary goal is the development of catalysts are more appropriate for the Chemical Catalyst (CAT) program.  Projects for which the primary goal is the development of a practical device should consult the appropriate program in the Engineering Directorate.

Proposals submitted to this program (including individual and collaborative proposals, GOALIs) must be submitted to the CHE Disciplinary Research Programs solicitation.


·         RUI proposals must be submitted to the RUI Solicitation during the regular proposal submission window for this program.

·         Proposals submitted in response to another solicitation (CAREER) should follow the solicitation guidelines (e.g. CAREER)

·         Workshop, EAGER, RAPID or RAISE proposals must be discussed with a Program Officer before submission, and then should only be submitted as instructed.

PIs are encouraged to monitor current funding priorities identified by the Foundation and the Executive and Legislative Branches, and to highlight relevant synergies in their Project Summaries and Program Descriptions.

CHE is also committed to the inclusion of all people and institutions across all geographies in the U.S. because all are vital to the nation’s health, security and global leadership in STEM. NSF welcomes the submission of proposals to this funding opportunity that include the participation of the full spectrum of diverse talent in STEM, e.g., as PI, co-PI, senior personnel, postdoctoral scholars, graduate or undergraduate students or trainees. CHE also recognizes that STEM research and education occur at a wide range of institutions, including Minority-serving Institutions (MSIs), Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), and two-year colleges, as well as major research institutions. CHE welcomes single institution and multi-institutional collaborative proposals from all types of institutions and encourages authentic and substantive collaborations and partnerships across diverse geographies and types of institutions. Proposals from EPSCoR jurisdictions are especially encouraged.

CHE occasionally supports forward-looking workshops attempting to inform roadmaps (included in the resulting workshop reports) for future research needs and directions relevant to chemical science.  We are not generally able to support research symposia, including those at either special or recurring meetings and conferences.

 For recent awards made by the program, search NSF award database with the Program Element Code 910200.

Program contacts

Administrative Program Support: Darren Kimble, dkimble@nsf.gov or (703) 292-7159

Tingyu Li
tli@nsf.gov (703) 292-4949 MPS/CHE
Richard Johnson
ricjohns@nsf.gov Primary Email MPS/CHE
Francis D'Souza
frdsouza@nsf.gov (703) 292-4559 MPS/CHE

Awards made through this program

Browse projects funded by this program
Map of recent awards made through this program