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Macromolecular, Supramolecular, and Nanochemistry (MSN)

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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 basic research on the chemistry of macromolecular, supramolecular and nanoscopic structures.

Supports basic research on the chemistry of macromolecular, supramolecular and nanoscopic structures.


The Macromolecular, Supramolecular, and Nanochemistry (MSN) Program focuses on novel basic research that addresses fundamental questions and advances knowledge regarding the chemistry of macromolecular, supramolecular, and nanoscopic structures.

Research of interest to this program will explore novel chemistry concepts including, but not limited to: synthesis of macromolecular, supramolecular, and nanoscopic structures; surface functionalization methodologies; surface monolayer chemistry; and template-directed synthesis; inter- and intra-molecular interactions that give rise to macromolecular, supramolecular, or nanoparticulate self-assembly into discrete structures (but not liquid phases, liquid crystals, or extended solids); and chemical dynamics that are responsible for spatial organization in discrete organic, inorganic, or hybrid systems (excluding liquid phases, liquid crystals, or extended solids). Also included are advanced experimental or computational methods, which are grounded on fundamental chemistry principles, to delineate or to predict the chemical structure, unique chemical and physicochemical properties, and chemical reactivity that result from macromolecular, supramolecular, and nanoscopic structures, including systems that exhibit quantum confinement and other non-classical effects. Projects that demonstrate synergy between experiment and theory are of special interest.

The MSN Program in interested in proposal submissions in the following topical areas: Firstly, structures, processes, and concepts engendered by supramolecular and nanoscopic systems may advance our understanding of and ultimate applications in Quantum Information Science (QIS). Secondly, through the Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS) program and Innovative Solutions to Sustainable Chemistry (CAS-SC), 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. Submissions that advance MSN chemistry knowledge in sustainability may include but are not limited to: transformative approaches to efficient and inexpensive synthesis using renewable feedstocks or earth abundant elements; innovative approaches to recycling or upcycling of polymers, and novel research that enhances the understanding of efficient use and recycling of critical elements or the conversion of energy from renewable sources.  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 MSN Program: Proposals for which the primary focus is on small single molecules, liquid-crystalline phases, polymer phases, extended solids (including metal organic frameworks), DNA origami, materials research, empirical data mining or machine learning to identify structures with desired catalytic, recognition, or materials properties, fate of nanoparticles in the environment, biological properties (including toxicity), drug delivery, selection or engineering of proteins or DNA/RNA, device properties, or engineering are not of interest in the MSN Program. Investigators interested in these areas are encouraged to approach other, more closely aligned programs, such as those in the Divisions of Materials Research (DMR), Physics (PHY), and Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET).

Proposals submitted to this program (including individual and collaborative proposals, GOALIs) must be submitted to theCHE 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 688500.

Program contacts

Administrative Program Support: Nancy Carey, ncarey@nsf.gov or (703) 292-5109.

Suk-Wah Tam-Chang
stamchan@nsf.gov (703) 292-8684 MPS/CHE
Colby A. Foss
cfoss@nsf.gov (703) 292-5327 MPS/CHE
Tomislav Pintauer
tompinta@nsf.gov 703-292-7168 MPS/CHE
Kenneth R. Carter
krcarter@nsf.gov (703) 292-2335 MPS/CHE
Gang-Yu Liu
galiu@nsf.gov (703) 292-2482 MPS/CHE

Awards made through this program

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Map of recent awards made through this program