National Science Foundation
Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental & Transport Systems (CBET)
March 6, 2019
Brandi Schottel: Associate Program Director (CBET) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Future of Food-Energy-Water Nexus
NSF Created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress
of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and
welfare; to secure the national defense…”
France A. Córdova.
Credit: NSF/Stephen Voss
NSF's current headquarters in Alexandria, VA
Credit: National Science Foundation (www.nsf.gov)
• $7.5B budget (FY2017)
• 24% federally funded basic research at U.S.
colleges and universities
o Engineering (ENG)
o Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS)
o Biological Sciences (BIO)
o Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE)
o Geosciences (GEO)
o Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE)
o Education & Human Resources (EHR)
U. S. National Science Foundation (NSF)
Alexandria, Virginia USA
Asst. Director of
Civil, Mechanical &
Engineering (ENG) Directorate: Investing in
engineering research and education and fostering
innovation to benefit society
Electrical, Communications, &
Emerging Frontiers &
Industrial Innovation &
Engineering Education &
& Transport Systems
Credit: Joseph Xu
Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and
NSF General Opportunities
• Unsolicited: (Deadlines and Submission Windows Vary ($300 -$600 k for 3-5
• Dear Colleague Letter: General Deadlines and Special Deadlines (2 INFEWS examples)
• Workshops/Conferences: Open deadline or special submissions (≤ $100 k)
• Centers (multiple types)
• Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGERs): Open Deadline or
• RAPID Response Research: Open deadline or DCL call
• Special Solicitations: Different submission windows, extra requirements
NSF Alerts - https://service.govdelivery.com/accounts/USNSF/subscriber/new?qsp=823
Food – Energy – Water Systems
- Dynamic, Coupled System of Systems
1. Elements and linkages of the Food-Energy-Water Nexus.
Image Credit: Adapted from Smajgl and Ward, 2013: The
Water-Food-Energy Nexus in the Mekong Region.
2. Olivier Dubois, Jean-Marc Faurès, Erika Felix, Alessandro
Flammini, Jippe Hoogeveen, Lucie Pluschke, Manas Puri
and Olçay Ünver.,“The Water-Energy-Food Nexus A new
approach in support of food security and sustainable
• H2O, C, N, and P cycles disrupted by
• UN: “The Water-Energy-Food Nexus
describes the complex and inter-
related nature of our global resources
systems. It is about balancing different
resource user goals and interests –
while maintaining the integrity of
• NSF ?: No definition in any special calls
Fiscal Year 18/19
INFEWS Solicitation for FY 18: NSF 18-545 (deadline Sept 26, 2018) -
3 Tracks: Modeling, Solutions, and Research Coordination Networks
NSF 18-096 Dear Colleague Letter: NSF/NSFC Joint Research on
Environmental Sustainability Challenges (deadline October 22, 2018)
INFEWS PI Workshop: May 16 – 18, 2018, Alexandria, VA (at NSF) and May
INFEWS Scheduled to “End” –
FY 2020 is the last full year.
Five Interconnected Grand
1. Sustainably supply food,
water, and energy
2. Curb climate change and
adapt to its impacts
3. Design a future without
pollution and waste
- 94% of materials extracted from Earth end
up as waste vs 6% that end up in a product.
4. Create efficient, healthy,
5. Foster informed decisions
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
2018. Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century:
Addressing Grand Challenges. Washington, DC: The National
Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25121.
INFEWS: An (Incomplete) NSF History
INFEWS Initiative: October 2016 – September 2021
1. Harte, J.; El-Gasseir, M. “Water and Energy”, Science, 1978, 199, p678.
2. Karr, J.; Schlosser, I. “Water Resources and the Land-Water Interface” Science 1978, 201, p229.
Reducing Atmospheric Carbon: National Need
Climate change negatively impacts U.S. agricultural yields, coastal infrastructure,
clean water supply, and many other socioeconomic sectors.
1. Climate Change: Information on Potential Economic Effects Could Help Guide Federal Efforts to Reduce Fiscal Exposure
GAO-17-720: Published: Sep 28, 2017. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2017, https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-17-720 (Last Access 3-2-2019)
2. Hsiang, S. et al. Science 356,2017, p 1362, DOI: 10.1126/science.aal4369.
US DOE - Global Carbon Cycle Components. US DOE. Prepared by the Biological and Environmental Research Information System, Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, genomicscience.energy.gov/ and genomics.energy.gov/. Used in: Carbon Cycling and Biosequestration: Integrating Biology and Climate Through
Systems Science; Report from the March 2008 Workshop, DOE/SC-108, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science
(genomicscience.energy.gov/carboncycle/). U.S. Department of Energy Genomic Science program, http://genomicscience.energy.gov.
Global Carbon Cycle Components
Signals in the Soil (SitS): NSF 18-047
2017 – NSF-supported workshop at University of Chicago (ENG, BIO)
2018 – NSF 18-047: Dear Colleague Letter: Signals in the Soil (SitS)
– Four Themes:
•Novel Sensors: Sensing soil biological/metagenomics, chemical, or physical characteristics;
inexpensive, buried for long time periods.
•Wireless Systems. Advances in wireless communications to collect and transmit data from sensors
buried in soils.
•Advanced Cyber Systems & Data Analytics: For data fusion & analytics of sensor outputs
(visualization, reporting tools, etc.).
•Modeling Soil Ecosystems: Next-generation dynamic models of soil bio, chem, and/or phys
components, describing interactions among processes at different temporal and spatial scales.
Current Award List can be found here.
User subcomante, 2006, (GNU Free Documentation
License), Link (Accessed 3/3/2019).
User Smaack, 2016 (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International) Link
Signals in the Soils (SitS) FY 19
• DCL (NSF 18-097): Planning for New Signals in
The Soils (SitS)-Themed NSF
Industry/University Cooperative Research
• Preproposals due April 17, 2019.
• Solicitation (NSF 19-556): ENG, GEO, CISE, BIO,
USDA NIFA, and United Kingdom Research and
Innovation (NERC, EPSRC, BBSRC, STFC)
• Posted February 2019. Due May 15, 2019
Additional 5th major theme: Advance
knowledge of signaling and interactions
between the soil and the biological entities in
it, as well as among the organisms.
Urban Systems and Communities in the 21st Century
• What theories explain the structure and function of
urban systems and what are the critical drivers of
• What aspects and intersections of social, built, and
natural systems influence the resilience and
sustainability of communities and the wellbeing of
the people living in them?
• Can successful innovations in one urban system be
transferred to others?
• Can science improve forecasts and make predictions
about the future states of urban systems?
• How can communities design urban systems from
within to achieve beneficial outcomes?
Photo Credit: Artdee2554/Shutterstock.com
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesPhoto Credit: Ning Lin, Princeton University
Smart and Connected Communities
Sustainable Urban SystemsCoastlines and People
Photo Credit: John Schade
Long Term Ecological Research - Urban
NSF 19-032: Due March 22, 2019
Challenge: 80% of the US population
lives on ~3% of the space in
concentrated urban cities that are highly
dependent on surrounding rural areas =
• Unable to accurately frame and model
urban sociotechnical futures and how
to improve them.
• Coordination: Limited understanding
on how different actors can coordinate
to build and maintain SUS.
• Workforce: Disciplinary lack of tools
and scope to work with multi-scale
Single Urban Areas
Multiple Cities & Communities
Directorates: ENG, SBE, BIO, CISE,
GEO, MPS, EHR +OIA and OISE
3 Major Perspectives
INTERN – Non Academic Internships for NSF Grad Students
access a new
Host organizations may
• Industry laboratories or
research and development
• Start-ups or small businesses.
• Government agencies and
• Policy think-tanks.
• Non-profit organizations.
Up to $55K for up to 6
months of internship
Need an Intellectual
between university and
INTERN announcement : https://www.nsf.gov/INTERN
Prakash Balan: email@example.com
A sampling of Host organizations participating in the
INTERN program launch in May 2017
NSF's current headquarters: 2415 Eisenhower
Avenue, Alexandria, VA, 22314
Credit: National Science Foundation
Brandi Schottel: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Urban” Water Cycle
Illustration credit: Nicolle R. Fuller, Sayo-Art LLC
INTERN NSF Blog Post & Video
• Video link: https://youtu.be/sDJ1C3nhjc4