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Sustainable Energy Pathways (SEP)

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived.

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.


A sustainable world is one in which human needs are met equitably without harm to the environment, and without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.  Growing evidence for the role of energy use in global change and awareness of limitations in our energy choices are motivating a search for pathways that are technologically innovative as well as environmentally and economically sustainable at all scales of energy usage. This is a grand challenge to the scientific community that cuts across disciplinary boundaries. 

The creation of a secure and prosperous future for humanity depends on the contributions that science, engineering, and education will make towards building sustainable pathways to meet the energy needs of future generations.   The dual roles of NSF - to support basic research and education - are ideally suited to stimulate vibrant science and engineering discovery and innovation efforts that will be needed to meet the challenge of building a sustainable energy future. 

Sustainable Energy Pathways is part of the NSF-wide initiative on Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES).  The Sustainable Energy Pathways solicitation calls for innovative, interdisciplinary basic research in science, engineering, and education by teams of researchers for developing systems approaches to sustainable energy pathways based on a comprehensive understanding of the scientific, technical, environmental, economic, and societal issues.  

The SEP solicitation considers scalable approaches for sustainable energy conversion to useful forms, as well as its storage, transmission, distribution, and use.   The following Topic Areas illustrate the broad scope of sustainable energy interest areas of this solicitation:  Energy Harvesting & Conversion from Renewable Resources; Sustainable Energy Storage Solutions; Critical Elements & Materials for Sustainable Energy; Nature-Inspired Processes for Sustainable Energy Solutions; Reducing Carbon Intensity from Energy Conversion & Use; Sustainable Energy Transmission & Distribution; Energy Efficiency & Management.

Program contacts

SEP is supported by the Directorate of Engineering (ENG), Directorate for Computer & Information Science & engineering (CISE), Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS), Directorate of International Science & Engineering (OISE), Directorate for Social, Behavioral, & Economic Sciences (SBE), and the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR). Inquiries can be sent to SEP@nsf.gov.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) are now available at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf12032


Zeev Rosenzweig (MPS/Co-Chair)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-7719
George Maracas (ENG/Co-Chair)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-8339
Linda S. Sapochak (MPS/DMR)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-4932
Tong Ren (MPS/CHE)
Program Director (MPS/CHE)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-4938
Ram B. Gupta (ENG/CBET)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-2407
Richard J. Fragaszy (ENG/CMMI)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-7011
Stephen S. Harlan (GEO/EAR)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-7707
Anjuli S. Bamzai (GEO/AGS)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-8527
Krishna Kant (CISE/CNS)
Program Director (CISE/CNS)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-8950
Antoinette WinklerPrins (SBE/BCS)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-4995
Tobias Fischer (GEO/EAR)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-4742
Graham M. Harrison (OD/OISE)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-7252
Alphonse T. DeSena (EHR/DRL)
SEP@nsf.gov (703) 292-5106
Michael Reksulak (SBE/SES)
SEP@nsf.gov (703)292-7266
Thyagarajan Nandagopal (CISE/CNS)
SEP@nsf.gov (703)292-4550
Carol Bessel (MPS/CHE)
SEP@nsf.gov (703)292-4906

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