Environmental System Science (ESS)

Funding Agency:
Department of Energy

The DOE SC program in Biological and Environmental Research (BER) hereby announces its interest in receiving applications for research in Environmental System Science (ESS). The goal of the ESS program in BER is to advance an integrated, robust, and scale-aware predictive understanding of terrestrial systems and their interdependent microbial, biogeochemical, ecological, hydrological, and physical processes. To support this goal, the program uses a systems approach to develop an integrative framework to elucidate the complex processes and controls on the structure, function, feedbacks, and dynamics of terrestrial systems, that span from molecular to global scales, and extend from the bedrock through the soil, rhizosphere, and vegetation to the atmosphere. The ESS program scope advances foundational process knowledge with an emphasis on understudied ecosystems.

This FOA will consider applications that focus on measurements, experiments, field data, modeling, and synthesis to provide improved understanding and representation of ecosystems and watersheds in ways that advance the sophistication and capabilities of models that span from individual processes to Earth-system scales. This FOA will encompass three Science Research Areas (SRAs): 1) plant-microbe interactions in the rhizosphere; 2) consequences of large-scale shifts in vegetation composition; and 3) synthesis studies that focus on legacy effects or the carbon cycle and disturbance.

Applicant institutions are limited to no more than one pre-application, or application as the lead institution for each PI at the applicant institution, as described in Section III.D. Interested applicants from within Duke should contact fundopps@duke.edu as early as possible.


  • REQUIRED Pre-application: Nov. 29, 2023
  • Application: Feb. 29, 2024

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

  • SRA 1: Plant-microbe Interactions in the Rhizosphere
  • SRA 2: Consequences of Large-scale Shifts in Vegetation Composition
  • SRA 3: Synthesis Studies

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant institutions are limited to no more than one pre-application or application for each PI at the applicant institution. DOE will consider the latest received submissions to be the institution’s intended submissions.

Amount Description

The award size will depend on the number of meritorious applications and the availability of appropriated funds.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

November 29, 2023