2020 OSU Materials Research Seed Grant Program Request for Proposals

We are pleased to announce the 2020 OSU Materials Research Seed Grant Program Request for Proposals (RFP). This enhanced seed program leverages resources and best practices of the Center for Emergent Materials (CEM), the Center for Exploration of Novel Complex Materials (ENCOMM), and the Institute for Materials Research (IMR).

The three Funding Tiers of the OSU Materials Research Seed Grant Program are:

Multidisciplinary Team Building Grants
MTBG Grants provide funds up to $60,000/year per award in direct costs, and require one PI and one Co-PI, and may have unfunded collaborators, with the goal of forming multidisciplinary materials research teams that can compete effectively for federal block-funding opportunities, such as the NSF MRSEC program.

Exploratory Materials Research Grants
EMRG provide funds up to $40,000/year per award in direct costs, and require one PI, and may have Co-PIs and/or unfunded collaborators, with the goal of enabling nascent and innovative materials research to emerge to the point of being competitive for external funding.

Interdisciplinary Research Groups
IRG grant proposals are not being requested in this 2020 RFP. The Center for Emergent Materials (CEM): A National Science Foundation funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) is currently undergoing a renewal review.

Key Dates:

  • Request for Proposals Issued: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
  • MRSGP Open House: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 (3:00pm-5:00pm, IMR Innovation Laboratory, 1381 Kinnear Road, Room 218)
  • Letters of Intent Due: Friday, December 6, 2019 at 5:00 PM
  • Notice of MRSGP Appropriateness: Friday, January 10, 2019
  • Multidisciplinary Team Building Grants Tier – Mandatory Team Proposal Presentations: January 22, 29, and February 5, 2020 (4:15-5:15 PM, Physics Research Building, Room 4138)
  • Proposals Due (All Funding Tiers): Monday, March 2, 2020 at 5:00 PM
  • Awards Announced (anticipated): June 2020
  • Funded Projects Start Date (anticipated): Beginning of Autumn Semester, 2020

Have a question? Please contact IMR Grants Developer Joanna Gardner at gardner.306@osu.edu or visit our MRSGP webpage.


CEM Facilities Utilized for Research Published in Science Advances

Last week, IRG-2 member Jeanie Lau’s paper “Correlated insulating and superconducting states in twisted bilayer graphene below the magic angle” was published in Science Advances.

Lau, professor of physics at Ohio State and lead author on the paper, and her team studied the “magic angle” that makes graphene layers become a superconductor, meaning they are able to conduct electricity without resistance, suffering no loss of energy. The team found that graphene layers remained supconductive over a smaller angle than previously thought possible, opening up more possibilities for their use in real world applications.

The NanoSystems Laboratory, a CEM-supported research facility at Ohio State, was utilized for device fabrication necessary to perform experiments for this study.

Lau and other Ohio State researchers collaborated with scientists at the University of Texas- Dallas and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan. More information about this research and the team can be found on Ohio State’s news website. You can read the paper on the Science Advances website.


CEM Creates Professional Development Course for Graduate Students

CEM has created a professional development course for STEM graduate students that will launch in Spring 2020. The course will give Ph.D. students the opportunity to develop skills in resume and CV writing, job searching, interviewing, and salary negotiation, to name a few. Students will network and interact with professionals from across the Ohio State campus to develop their skills and deepen their understanding of how to manage their professional and personal lives in diverse settings.

The Graduate Student Professional Development Course (PHYS 7891) takes place on Thursdays from 10:30-11:30, starting January 9, 2020. The course instructors are CEM Director P. Chris Hammel and CEM Outreach and Inclusion Director Michelle McCombs.

More information about the course can be found on the class’ website and a syllabus can be found here.

CEM IRG-3 Faculty Member Published in Science Advances

Jos Heremans, Ohio State professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and CEM IRG-3 co-lead, along with an international team of researchers from North Carolina State University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, recently published the paper “Paramagnon drag in high thermoelectric figure of merit Li-doped MnTe” in Science Advances.

The researchers found that local thermal perturbations of spins in a solid can convert heat to energy even in a paramagnetic material- where spins weren’t thought to correlate long enough to do so. This effect, which the researchers call “paramagnon drag thermopower,” converts a temperature difference into an electrical voltage. This discovery could lead to more efficient thermal energy harvesting.

“Before this work, it was believed that magnon drag could exist only in magnetically ordered materials, not in paramagnets,” said Prof. Heremans. “Because the best thermoelectric materials are semiconductors, and because we know of no ferromagnetic semiconductor at room temperature or above, we never thought before that magnon drag could boost the thermoelectric efficiency in practical applications. This new finding changes that completely; we can now investigate paramagnetic semiconductors, of which there are a lot.”

This research was supported in part by CEM. More information about this research and the team can be found in the press release from North Carolina State University. You can read the paper on the Science Advances website.

CEM Faculty Member Awarded OSU’s Distinguished Scholar Award

Nandini Trivedi, professor of physics and co-leader of CEM’s IRG-1, has been awarded Picture of Professor Nandini TrivediThe Ohio State University’s prestigious Distinguished Scholar Award. The Award annually honors six faculty members who demonstrate exceptional scholarly activity, research or creative work in their respective fields.

Professor Trivedi is an expert in quantum matter, specifically condensed matter physics and ultracold atoms. Her research in IRG-1 is based on investigating the novel phases and phenomena of spin-orbit coupling in correlated materials.

Professor Trivedi is also actively involved in CEM’s outreach activities. She is the founder and program director of our Scientific Thinkers program, a partnership between CEM and Columbus City Schools to develop and teach inquiry-based science lessons to first through fifth-grade students.

Recipients of the Distinguished Scholar Award receive a $20,000 research grant and $3,000 honorarium to pursue their scholarly activity, supported by the Office of Research.

Read more here.