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Chemical Structure and Dynamics Program (CSD)

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NSF 22-606

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 experimental and applied computational physical chemistry research on the nature of chemical structure and bonding, electronic structure, and chemical dynamics. This program was formerly known as Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanisms A Program.

Supports experimental and applied computational physical chemistry research on the nature of chemical structure and bonding, electronic structure, and chemical dynamics. This program was formerly known as Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanisms A Program.


The Chemical Structure and Dynamics (CSD) Program, formerly named Chemical Structure, Dynamics, and Mechanisms A (CSDM-A) Program, supports research projects that advance foundational knowledge on the nature of chemical structure and bonding, electronic structure, and chemical dynamics. At coarse resolution, the CSD Program encompasses the sub-disciplines of experimental physical chemistry and applied computational physical chemistry, and it is interested in projects that enable physical phenomena to be viewed in a new light or in ways that challenge current paradigms. To that end, projects of interest to CSD often rely heavily on the use or advancement of sophisticated experimental techniques (e.g., state-selective methods, time and frequency domain spectroscopies, microscopies, single-molecule methods, scattering and diffraction approaches, and surface characterization techniques) or the development of new analysis approaches to further physical understanding. The chemical systems studied range in complexity and include isolated molecules and molecular ions, liquids, clusters, surfaces and interfaces, molecular assemblies and films, nanoscale systems, and biological structures. The CSD Program also supports applied computational chemistry that demonstrates strong synergy with experiment. Investigators who plan to submit proposals on primarily computational projects are advised that their proposals will be reviewed by experimentalists and experts in computational chemistry.

The CSD Program also encourages proposal submissions in the following topical areas: The CSD Program is interested in projects that would advance our understanding of key Quantum Information Science (QIS) concepts in molecular and nanoscopic systems or use QIS concepts to probe chemical systems in new ways. 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 topics related to sustainable chemistry appropriate for the CSD Program include, but are not limited to describing correlated chemical and physical processes across multiple time and length scales in functional systems; combining computational and experimental approaches to predict and measure the physical properties of sustainable catalysts, chemicals, and materials; and investigating fundamental dynamical processes in the context of functional networks for clean energy generation and storage technologies. 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 CSD Program: Projects addressing questions in nanochemistry, or chemistry of biological systems may wish to consult the Macromolecular, Supramolecular, and Nanochemistry (MSN) or Chemistry of Life Processes (CLP) Programs, respectively. Proposals for projects whose primary goal is the development of an entirely new instrumental technique, or enhanced performance or understanding of an existing technique, may be more appropriate for the Chemical Measurement and Imaging (CMI) Program. In general, research focused on solid-state chemical processes is not supported by CSD. Investigators interested in this area should consult with the Solid State Materials Chemistry (SSMC) Program in the Division of Materials Research (DMR). Projects for which the primary goal is the development of a practical device are not supported by the CSD Program and should be submitted to an 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 Project 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 910100.

Program contacts

Administrative Program Support: Stephanie Smith stesmith@nsf.gov or (703) 292-2271.

John M. Papanikolas
jpapanik@nsf.gov (703) 292-8173 MPS/CHE
Samy El-Shall
selshall@nsf.gov (703) 292-8840 MPS/CHE
Ryan Jorn
rjorn@nsf.gov (703) 292-4514 MPS/CHE

Awards made through this program

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Map of recent awards made through this program