PCA Research Fellowship Program

Funding Agency:
Portland Cement Association

The Portland Cement Association Education Foundation funds a wide variety of educational activities that will increase public knowledge regarding appropriate uses of cement and concrete. Within that global purpose is a specific purpose to:

Advance general scientific understanding of cement and concrete by providing scholarships, fellowships, grants, and other support for the study of engineering and the physical sciences relating to the production and use of cement and concrete.

The support provided by the Education Foundation is used to identify and attract outstanding candidates in the field of engineering and the physical sciences and provide them with the necessary support to complete their studies. Additionally, this support is intended to provide them an opportunity for productive work in the cement and concrete industries.

The fellowships are open to any student completing studies toward a masters or doctoral degree from an institution of higher education within the United States or Canada that is accredited by a regional or national agency. The applicant must pursue graduate study in an engineering, science, or architectural program. Each fellowship includes a $35,000 grant paid to the university to cover tuition, residence, research materials, equipment, study materials, and related educational expenses, but does not include payment for institutional overhead.

A university professor and the candidate student must jointly submit applications. Applications must be received by March 15, 2024.

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

In the last few years, the need for research on cement and concrete has become increasingly urgent as society grapples with climate change issues. For this current fellowship competition, research proposals may focus on topics described in PCA’s Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality that support the following subject areas (with no priority implied):


  • The increased use of recycled materials in clinker manufacture, in hydraulic cements, and in concretes to reduce the burden on landfills and improve the circular economy.
  • Improving recognition of concrete system performance through better use of life cycle assessments (LCAs) and environmental product declarations (EPDs) to account for both service impacts and embodied impacts of construction.
  • Other research investigating the optimization of cement and concrete for sustainable concrete construction, including use of novel approaches to optimize design of structural concrete.
  • Method or method(s) for quantitative determination of CO2 uptake in fresh and/or hardened concrete.

Cement Manufacturing

  • Improving raw mix burnability through the use of mineralizers, alternative raw materials, or other means.
  • Advanced grinding technology for raw materials or cements.
  • Optimizing performance by separate grinding and blending of cement ingredients.
  • Novel approaches to capture CO2 in cement kiln emissions.



Funding Type



Grad/Prof Students


Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

March 15, 2024