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Crosscutting Activities in Materials Research (XC)

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.


Crosscutting Activities in Materials Research (XC) coordinates and supports crosscutting activities within the Division of Materials Research (DMR) and more broadly across NSF.

The emphasis within XC is diversity and inclusion, international cooperation, and education (including experiential learning at REU/RET Sites). Additionally, activities that broadly engage the community, such as summer schools, institutes, workshops, and conferences that do not fit within just one or two programs in the Division of Materials Research, may be supported by XC. If preparing a workshop proposal, follow the Special Guidelines for Conference Proposals outlined in the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). Occasionally projects crossing several programs in DMR are shifted to XC or co-funded by XC. The goal is to bring greater visibility to these projects through DMR’s XC website.

Proposals are welcome that do not fit elsewhere at NSF that are also highly relevant for the materials research and education community. Some XC activities are co-funded with other NSF units. XC does not handle traditional research proposals suitable for submission to topical or other programs in DMR. For this reason, the XC Team welcomes inquiries that include a draft of one-page NSF summary, or a shorter write-up. It is highly recommended that you contact one of the Program Directors for XC prior to submission of a full proposal exceeding $50,000.

Crosscutting Activities in Materials Research (XC) replaced the Office of Special Programs in Materials Research (OSP) in 2016.


  • Activities that focus on broadening participation of underrepresented groups and/or diversity and inclusion are supported.
  • Supplements (e.g., CLB, AGEP-GRS, MPS-GRSV and ROAs) are handled by the cognizant Program Director of the original award. See the Related Publications section below for more information.
  • XC supports Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (see Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide, Chapter II.E.6 for details) https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg18_1/pappg_2.jsp#IIE6



  • Innovative and creative ideas in education (e.g., materials science and/or engineering, solid state and materials chemistry, condensed matter physics, integrated computational materials science/engineering, or materials data science/analytics) that do not have a forum elsewhere at NSF are of interest.
  • XC encourages outreach and/or materials education proposals targeting underserved populations such as K-12 students in rural communities and those designed to increase public scientific literacy.

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)/ Research Experiences for Teachers (RET): reu.dmr@nsf.gov

  • XC coordinates the REU and RET Sites activities within DMR. See the REU Site Solicitation for deadlines and additional program information.
  • REU/RET supplements to research proposals are handled by the cognizant Program Director of the original award.

Program contacts



Krystle D. Wilson
kdwilson@nsf.gov (703) 292-8129 MPS/DMR

Awards made through this program

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