Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 11/2/2023

Interdisciplinary Social and Natural Science Research Projects on Critical Minerals and Metals in the United States

The Energy and Environment program at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation supports research, training, networking, and dissemination efforts to inform the societal transition toward low-carbon energy systems in the United States by investigating economic, environmental, technological, and distributional issues. The program is currently soliciting Letters of Inquiry for interdisciplinary, collaborative, social and natural science research projects led by early- and mid-career scholars to examine under-explored questions related to issues associated with critical minerals and metals for the low-carbon energy transition in the United States. Three to four full proposals are expected to be invited from submissions received in response to this Call. Grant amounts are expected to be between $500,000 and $750,000 over a 2-3 year period.

The goal of this Call is to be broadly relevant to a wide range of social science scholars, disciplines, and approaches, particularly those projects that involve researchers from engineering and natural science disciplines, as well as those that draw on a variety of conceptual frameworks and methodologies, ensuring that novel research is generated, students are trained, networks are strengthened, and information is disseminated to inform decision-making. The intention is to advance interdisciplinary, collaborative scholarship focusing on underexplored empirical research questions related to critical minerals and metals in the United States. Attention by the research community is also needed to address questions relevant to historically under-represented or marginalized regions and populations. In particular, there is a need for research investigating opportunities to ensure the benefits from mineral and metal supply chains reach Native and Indigenous communities, communities of color, economically vulnerable communities, or other vulnerable populations that have been historically overlooked or excluded from decision-making processes.

Submission Deadline: December 18, 2023

Eligibility Requirements
  • Researchers who have not previously received funding from the Energy and Environment program at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation are particularly encouraged to submit for consideration.
  • Lead principal investigator must be Assistant or Associate Professors, or in equivalent positions, based at United States universities or colleges.
  • Submissions from diverse teams led by Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o researchers and/or women are strongly encouraged. Submissions from researchers based at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) are strongly encouraged, either as lead primary investigators or in team member roles.
  • Senior researchers and non-U.S.-based researchers may participate in proposed projects and can receive funding as research team members, advisors, or collaborators.
  • Researchers may participate in a maximum of two proposed projects.
Amount Description

Grant amounts are expected to be between $500,000 and $750,000 over a 2-3 year period.

Funding Type