Environmental System Science Program
U.S. Department of Energy | Office of Science | Office of Biological and Environmental Research

Funding Opportunity: Early Career Research Program

September 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science (SC) announces the release of the FY-2022 Early Career Research Program (ECRP) Funding Opportunity: DE-FOA-0002563.

This opportunity includes following two research topics from the Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program:

Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences

Environmental Process Research in Urban-Influenced Coastal Systems
Applications are sought within the scope of the Environmental System Science (ESS) program that will improve fundamental understanding of ecological and hydro-biogeochemical processes in urban influenced coastal systems. Structurally, coastal systems include a wide variety of landforms, including beaches, sand dunes, cliffs, estuaries, marshes, wetlands, tidal zones, deltas, intracoastal waterways, and barrier islands. In addition, they include a wide variety of vegetation types, soil types, subsurface formations and groundwater resources, and interfacial areas of the land margin to either salt/tidal waters or dynamically varying freshwater systems. Research solicited under this topic is limited to coastal systems consisting of urban to suburban environments and urban transition zones that include a U.S. shoreline on the continental coastal margins and/or on the Great Lakes. Where appropriate, these environments could include constructed wetlands and partially channeled waters and armored shorelines. Applications must focus on changes in the functioning and vulnerability of ecological and hydrobiogeochemical processes in urban-influenced coastal systems due to critically important disturbances (i.e., extreme and compounding storm events, drought, temperature extremes, flooding/inundation, saltwater intrusion, wildfires, and wind extremes). ESS has particular interest in studies that address how contemporaneous chronic shifts (i.e., chronic sea level rise, precipitation shifts, and/or increasing temperatures) compound these episodic events to affect the resilience of natural systems within the context of urban environments.

Biological System Science

Systems Biology and Biosystems Design of Bioenergy-Relevant Microbes to Enable Production of Next-Generation Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biomaterials
Applications are requested for systems biology research to advance the development of emerging eukaryote or prokaryote model microorganisms and/or microbial communities relevant for the production of biofuels, bioproducts, and/or biomaterials by converting lignocellulosic biomass, upcycling synthetic (petroleum-derived) polymers, or as a byproduct of photosynthesis. Applications that propose multi-omics approaches coupled with genome-wide design and editing technology development, in vivo or cell-free engineering, advanced predictive modeling, and high-throughput screening to understand and re-design biological systems with novel functional capabilities and biosynthetic potential are encouraged. Proposed studies could include, but are not limited to: i) elucidation and/or engineering of relevant regulatory and metabolic networks, metabolic pathways, and/or signal processing related to bioproduct synthesis by microbes or multispecies consortia; ii) development of synthetic biology tools to facilitate the study and manipulation of emerging microbial model systems; iii) understanding and modification of phenotypes involved in the deconstruction and conversion of plant cell walls or synthetic, petroleum-derived polymers, the tolerance to stresses induced by altered biosynthetic pathways or culture conditions, and/or the synthesis of biofuels, bioproduct, and material precursors; and iv) engineering microorganisms for the production of biominerals, inorganic-organic composites, and composites of inorganic materials and living cells (living materials), with wholly new properties not found in nature.


More information on the SC Early Career Research Program can be found here: https://www.energy.gov/science/listings/early-career-program.

Deadline for Pre-applications (required): October 21, 2021; 5 pm eastern time
Deadline for Applications: January 20, 2022; 11:59 pm eastern time

Please see the announcement for additional details and eligibility requirements.