Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN): Supporting the Next Phase of NCN Nodes Programs

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

The goals of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) are to: 1) accelerate the transformation of nanoscience to nanotechnology through the integration of simulation with experimentation; 2) engage an ever-larger and more diverse cyber community sharing novel, high-quality nanoscale computation and simulation research and educational resources; 3) develop open-access, open-source software to stimulate data sharing; and 4) inspire and educate the next-generation workforce.  The NCN consists of a stand-alone Cyber Platform, which provides computation, simulation, and education services to over 330,000 researchers, educators, students, and industry members of the nanoscience and engineering community annually worldwide; and Nodes, which develop compelling new computational and simulation tools to disseminate through Cyber Platform ( and cultivate communities of users in emerging areas of nanoscale science and engineering.  For more information on NCN, please see .

This solicitation will support the next phase of NCN Nodes Programs. Current awards for existing NCN Nodes expire in September 2017.  Those who submit proposals in response to this solicitation will need to address the following questions:

1.  What compelling new nanoscience modeling and computational tool(s) will be developed and how will it advance nanotechnology to meet critical national needs?

2.  What will the Node undertake to nucleate a community of academic and industry users engaged in the new tool(s) and increase quality and quantity of nanoHUB tools, resources, and usage?

3.  How will the Node interact productively with the Cyber Platform and other Nodes to augment existing capabilities and ensure seamless and complementary advancement of the NCN’s goals?

A university may submit only one proposal per Node content area in this solicitation. Therefore, one university might submit up to three separate Node proposals, but only one to each Node content area.


  • Duke Internal: October 3, 2016
  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time): November 03, 2016
  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time): December 02, 2016

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Content areas of the three new Nodes will be:

Engineered nanoBIO - Create integrated computational tools that support new understanding and simulation of biological phenomena from the nanoscale across length scales for the design of devices and systems;

Hierarchical nanoMFG - Computation and simulation software to address the challenges of hierarchical nanomanufacturing processes from nanoscale components to devices and systems, and their scale up;

Nano-Engineered Electronic Device and Module Application Node (NEEDMA) - Develop computation and simulation tools that can be employed for turning nanoscale science and engineering into applications through the discovery and development of nanoelectronic-based devices and modules with impact on circuit and systems responding to grand challenges.

Proposals will be accepted only for the above Node content areas. A proposal for another Node content area will be returned without review.

Eligibility Requirements

Only U.S. universities with Ph.D. degree granting programs in science and engineering may serve as the lead institution for each award. For Node proposals, a lead university may be joined by a small number of partner domestic universities/institutions (e.g., federal labs) but may not be joined by foreign universities/institutions. However, a multi -university configuration is not required [1]. If a multi -university proposal is submitted, the lead university must submit the proposal with subawards to collaborators. Separately submitted collaborative proposals are not acceptable and will be returned without review.

[1] If a partner is a Federal lab, NSF funds cannot be used to support the laboratory.

The PI of each respective Node proposal must be a tenured faculty member at the lead university of the proposal.

The PI and co-PI(s) on the full proposal must be the same as those named in the Letter of Intent.



Amount Description

This support is provided by the NSF Directorate for Engineering (ENG) and the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE). The individual new Nodes will be funded at up to $800,000 each per year for up to five years, pending quality of the Node activities and availability of funds. The Node awards are not renewable.

Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical 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.

  • Letter of Support from Dean or Chair
  • Draft of Letter of Support as described in the RFA
  • CV or Biosketch of project leader

Applicants will need to submit internal materials through My Research Proposal.(Code ILN)

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

Internal Deadline

October 3, 2016

External Deadline

November 3, 2016