Plasma science is a transdisciplinary field of research where fundamental studies in many disciplines, including plasma physics, plasma chemistry, materials science, and space science, come together to advance knowledge for discovery and technological innovation. The primary goal of the ECosystem for Leading Innovation in Plasma Science and Engineering (ECLIPSE) program is to identify and capitalize on opportunities for bringing fundamental plasma science investigations to bear on problems of societal and technological need within the scope of science and engineering supported by the participating NSF programs. The creation of the ECLIPSE program has been stimulated by the recommendations of the Physics 2020 Decadal Assessment of Plasma Science, Plasma Science: Enabling Technology, Sustainability, Security, and Exploration, conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
The ECLIPSE program has been created to foster an inclusive community of scientists and engineers, an ecosystem spanning multiple NSF Directorates, in the pursuit of translational research at the interface of fundamental plasma science and technological innovation. The ECLIPSE program builds on the long history of NSF leadership in supporting multi-disciplinary research in plasma science and engineering, and is intended to enhance organizational unity within NSF, and potentially with other funding agencies, in considering proposals and supporting projects that may otherwise struggle to find a natural home within the existing hierarchy of Directorates, Divisions, and programs within the Foundation.
Examples of topical areas within the scope of the ECLIPSE program include but are not limited to:
- Plasma surface interactions, with applications to, e.g., advanced manufacturing, materials processing, catalysis, and sterilization.
- Atmospheric pressure plasmas and microplasmas with applications to, e.g., microelectronics, plasma medicine, plasma agriculture, environmental remediation, and other clean energy goals enabled by electrification of the chemical industry.
- Dusty plasmas with applications to, e.g., development of nanomaterials, aerosols, and functionalized surface coatings.
- Novel sensor development for highly non-equilibrium plasmas with applications to, e.g., cubesat-based geospace measurements and industrial plasma diagnostics.
- Novel computational modeling for multi-component and/or multi-phase plasma systems with applications to, e.g., space weather prediction and plasma reactor design.
- Novel studies of plasmons in nano-photonics and nano-optics with applications to, e.g., sub-THz wireless communication.
Proposals submitted for consideration by this program should address societal or technological needs within the scope of science and engineering supported by the National Science Foundation. Proposals addressing technology development primarily supported by other US government funding agencies, such as fusion energy or space propulsion, are not eligible for consideration and may be returned without review. Proposers are strongly encouraged to contact the cognizant Program Officers if they are unsure of the suitability of a project to this program.
Proposals submitted for consideration by the ECLIPSE program should satisfy the following criteria:
(1) clearly articulate the fundamental scientific and/or engineering challenge in plasma science and engineering that may be relevant to more than one NSF program; and
(2) provide a substantive discussion of how a resolution of the stated scientific and/or engineering challenge will address specific societal and/or technological needs identified as priorities by the research communities, policymakers and/or other stakeholders. Depending on the nature of the proposal, the latter may be described as the Intellectual Merit or the Broader Impact of the proposed activity.
The program also encourages inclusion of specific efforts to increase diversity of the ECLIPSE community and to broaden participation of under-represented groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics as Broader Impacts of proposed work.
The ECLIPSE program is not intended to replace existing programs. A proposal that is requesting consideration within the context of ECLIPSE should begin the title with the identifying acronym "ECLIPSE:" and should be submitted to one of the "Related Programs" listed below. In choosing the most relevant program, proposers are advised to read program descriptions and solicitations carefully and to consult with cognizant Program Officers in advance of proposal preparation. Proposal submissions outside of the scientific scope of the receiving program may be transferred to a different program or may be returned without review. Proposers should ask for consideration and review as an ECLIPSE proposal only if the proposal addresses both of the criteria listed above. Proposals marked for consideration by the ECLIPSE program that do not address both of these criteria may be returned without review or reviewed within the context of an individual program. Supplement requests to existing awards within a program that address both of the above criteria may also be considered.
Information Sharing with other Funding Agencies
When permitted under an MOU between NSF and another funding agency, NSF may share information from proposals for consideration of joint funding and may invite employees of such organizations to attend merit review panels as observers.
The ECLIPSE program includes the Directorate for Engineering (ENG), including Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET), Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS), and Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI); the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), including Division of Physics (PHY); and the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), including Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS).
The Program Officers listed below are the appropriate contacts for the ECLIPSE program within their respective Divisions.
Raymond A. Adomaitis
Thomas F. Kuech
Vyacheslav (Slava) Lukin
Jeremiah D. Williams