Energy Frontier Research Centers

Funding Agency:
Department of Energy

The DOE SC program in Basic Energy Sciences (BES) announces a re-competition of the Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) program and encourages both new and renewal applications. Applications from multi-disciplinary teams will be required to propose both discovery science and use-inspired basic research that addresses priority research directions and opportunities identified by a series of BES workshop and roundtable reports. DOE encourages applications that propose fundamental chemical sciences, materials sciences, geosciences, and biosciences research that will enable future clean energy technologies and advanced manufacturing. Coordination across programs is a high priority for DOE. EFRCs under this FOA will include awards for fundamental science that underpins the Energy Earthshots Initiative.

Applicant institutions are limited to no more than three pre-applications or applications.


  • Duke Internal Deadline: Jan. 24, 2022
  • Required Pre-application: Feb. 15, 2022
  • Application: May 3, 2022

Agency Website

Amount Description

DOE anticipates that award sizes will range from $2,000,000 per year to $4,000,000 per year. The award sizes will depend on the merit review, the number of meritorious applications, and the availability of appropriated funds. For renewal applications, notwithstanding the “Floor” identified below, DOE may consider limited-term renewal awards to allow for the completion of research projects and orderly closeout of EFRCs that do not merit long-term continued support. Annual funding for such awards could fall below the $2,000,000 floor. Recognizing that new centers take some time to ramp up full operations, for new awards DOE may award less in Year 1 of the four-year project period than in subsequent years.

Ceiling: $4,000,000 per award per year ($16,000,000 per award for a 4-year period)

Floor: $2,000,000 per award per year ($8,000,000 per award for a 4-year period)

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

Internal Nomination

Owing to the sponsor's restriction on the number of applications that may be submitted from Duke, anyone wishing to pursue nomination should submit the following materials as one PDF.

Internal application contents:

Submit a 1-2 pages of the following content in one PDF:

  • Identify the lead and other institutions that are part of this EFRC (include senior team members from each if known--note that, if Duke is leading, need to have more senior members from Duke than others).
  • Provide a clear and concise statement of the scientific mission of the proposed EFRC.
  • Identify a set of four-year research goals designed to support that mission.
  • Provide an explanation of the potential scientific impact of the proposed research and the need for an integrated, multi-disciplinary research team.
  • Identify the Priority Research Directions (PRDs), Priority Research Opportunities (PROs), and/or Energy Earthshots Initiatives that inform the work of this EFRC. These reports/links are identified in Section I of the EFRC FOA.

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal. (Code ILN)

Instructions for setting up your account and uploading internal applications can be found here:

Internal Deadline

January 24, 2022

External Deadline

February 15, 2022