WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) today announced up to $17.7 million in funding available to support novel, early-stage research and development at eligible U.S. colleges and universities, including creating new academic curricula related to geosciences and supporting interdisciplinary training in humanities-driven science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (HDSTEM) fields. The funding opportunity is offered through FECM’s University Training and Research program, which includes the University Carbon Research and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions sub-programs. These programs serve to educate and train the next generation of engineers and scientists working to advance integrated solutions key to meeting the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.
“Realizing a sustainable, low-carbon energy future requires a growing workforce of trained and qualified professionals delivering advanced solutions for industry,” said Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. “University Training and Research projects help generate fresh approaches for developing new and improved technologies across the full spectrum of fossil energy, carbon management, and critical minerals and materials programs—building a future workforce that is well-prepared to address the global challenge of climate change.”
The University Training and Research program seeks to create research and development opportunities for traditionally underrepresented communities and tap into the innovative and diverse thinking of student researchers. The funding provided under this program helps ensure that students are being equipped with cutting-edge, translatable skillsets that will allow them to contribute to the U.S. workforce and greater economy over the course of a longstanding and enduring career.
Projects selected under this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will focus on five areas:
- Establishing a visiting scholar program consisting of multi-institution collaborations for student exchanges from minority-serving institutions to conduct research supporting net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
- Supporting HDSTEM projects to facilitate interdisciplinary student training and technology development.
- Developing an academic curriculum exposing students to the field of geosciences to prepare a workforce for critical mineral and materials production.
- Improving knowledge and understanding of critical minerals and materials in coal-based resources and advancing the knowledge of ionic liquids for use in their recovery.
- Exploring the technical feasibility and community benefit of repurposing existing energy assets for clean energy and manufacturing to support deep decarbonization.
FOA applicants must carefully address the societal considerations and impacts of their proposed projects, emphasizing active engagement with communities. Applications must explain how projects are expected to deliver economic and environmental benefits and mitigate impacts; conduct community and stakeholder engagement; incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and promote workforce development and quality jobs. Projects selected under this opportunity will be required to develop and implement strategies to ensure strong community and worker benefits, and report on such activities and outcomes.
Read more details of this FOA here. All questions must be submitted through FedConnect; register here for an account. Visit our website to find resources on how to include equity and conduct community engagement in project plans.
FECM minimizes environmental and climate impacts of fossil fuels and industrial processes while working to achieve net-zero emissions across our economy. Priority areas of technology work include carbon capture, carbon conversion, carbon dioxide removal, carbon dioxide transport and storage, hydrogen production with carbon management, methane emissions reduction, and critical minerals production. To learn more, visit the FECM website, sign up for FECM news announcements, and visit the National Energy Technology Laboratory website.