Condensed Matter and Materials Theory (CMMT)

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

CMMT supports theoretical and computational materials research in the topical areas represented in DMR's Topical Materials Research Programs (these are also variously known as Individual Investigator Award (IIA) Programs, or Core Programs, or Disciplinary Programs), which include: Condensed Matter Physics (CMP), Biomaterials (BMAT), Ceramics (CER), Electronic and Photonic Materials (EPM), Metals and Metallic Nanostructures (MMN), Polymers (POL), and Solid State and Materials Chemistry (SSMC). The CMMT program supports fundamental research that advances conceptual understanding of hard and soft materials, and materials-related phenomena; the development of associated analytical, computational, and data-centric techniques; and predictive materials-specific theory, simulation, and modeling for materials research. First-principles electronic structure, quantum many-body and field theories, statistical mechanics, classical and quantum Monte Carlo, and molecular dynamics, are among the methods used in the broad spectrum of research supported in CMMT. Research may encompass the advance of new paradigms in materials research, including emerging data-centric approaches utilizing data-analytics or machine learning. Computational efforts span from the level of workstations to advanced and high-performance scientific computing. Emphasis is on approaches that begin at the smallest appropriate length scale, such as electronic, atomic, molecular, nano-, micro-, and mesoscale, required to yield fundamental insight into material properties, processes, and behavior, to predict new materials and states of matter, and to reveal new materials phenomena. Approaches that span multiple scales of length and time may be required to advance fundamental understanding of materials properties and phenomena, particularly for polymeric materials and soft matter. Areas of recent interest include, but are not limited to: strongly correlated electron systems; active matter; topological phases; low-dimensional materials and systems; quantum and classical nonequilibrium phenomena, the latter including pattern formation, materials growth, microstructure evolution, fracture, and the jamming transition; gels; glasses; disordered materials, hard and soft; defects; high-temperature superconductivity; nanostructured materials and mesoscale phenomena; creation and manipulation of coherent quantum states; polymeric materials and soft condensed matter, biologically inspired materials, and research at the interface with biology.

CMMT encourages potentially transformative submissions at the frontiers of theoretical and computational materials research, which includes but is not limited to: i) advancing the understanding of emergent properties and phenomena of materials and condensed matter systems, ii) developing materials-specific prediction and advancing understanding of properties, phenomena, and emergent states of matter associated with either hard or soft materials, iii) developing and exploring new paradigms including computational and data-enabled approaches to advance fundamental understanding of materials and materials related phenomena, or iv) fostering research at interfaces among subdisciplines represented in the Division of Materials Research.

Research involving significant materials research cyberinfrastructure development, for example, software development with an aim to share software with the broader materials community, should be submitted to CMMT through Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (CDS&E) within its annual proposal submission window in the fall.

Deadline: Full Proposal Accepted Anytime

Any proposal submitted in response to this solicitation will be accepted at any time. All proposals submitted to this program (other than the following exceptions) must be submitted through this solicitation, otherwise they will be returned without external review. Exceptions are proposals through mechanisms that have their own solicitation, such as CAREER, CDS&E, and RUI/ROA. CAREER and CDS&E proposals should be submitted through their respective solicitations by the deadline specified therein. RUI/ROA proposals have no deadline: they should be submitted through the RUI/ROA solicitation.

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Universities and Colleges - Universities and two- and four-year colleges (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in, the US acting on behalf of their faculty members. Such organizations also are referred to as academic institutions.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities.

The submission date of a proposal from an investigator, whether PI or co-PI, to the CMMT program cannot be within 6 months before or after the submission date of any proposal from that same investigator, whether PI or co-PI, to any DMR Topical Materials Research program (also variously known as Individual Investigator Award (IIA) Program, or Core Program, or Disciplinary Program) or the Chemical Theory, Models and Computational Methods program in the Division of Chemistry. Failure to observe this submission constraint will lead to the CMMT proposal being returned without review. A list of DMR Topical Materials Research Programs can be found at, under "Topical Materials Research Programs." Investigators with proposals submitted to the DMREF, PREM, MRSEC, and MIP programs may have a concurrent CMMT submission. Proposals for EAGER, RAPID, RAISE, and conferences, as well as supplements to existing grants, are not subject to this limitation and may be submitted anytime after consultation with and approval from the cognizant Program Officer. Proposals submitted without prior approval by a Program Officer will be returned without review. In addition, investigators must wait at least 12 months between submissions to CMMT.



Amount Description

Estimated program budget, number of awards, and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds and the quality of the proposals. Regular research awards supported by CMMT are generally, but not exclusively, in the range of $85,000 to $160,000 per year and of 2-4 years duration.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences