DOE: Materials and Chemical Sciences Research for Quantum Information Science

This funding opportunity supports fundamental research for public benefit in materials and chemical sciences to advance our understanding of quantum phenomena in systems that could be used for QIS, and the use of quantum computing in chemical and materials sciences research. Applications must focus on the Priority Research Opportunities for experimental and theoretical research identified in the BES Roundtable Reports, "Basic Energy Sciences Roundtable on Opportunities for Quantum Computing in Chemical and Materials Sciences" or "Basic Energy Sciences Roundtable on Opportunities for Basic Research for Next-Generation Quantum Systems." Applications must clearly articulate how the proposed research addresses the new scientific opportunities articulated in these Roundtable Reports ( and Additional information on each topical area follows.

Quantum Computing in Chemical and Materials Sciences: Proposals are requested for basic experimental and theoretical research focused on using quantum computers to solve scientific problems in chemical and materials sciences. Proposals should address the Priority Research Opportunities identified in the report from the "Basic Energy Sciences Roundtable on Opportunities for Quantum Computing in Chemical and Materials Sciences." Areas of research include: controlling the quantum dynamics of nonequilibrium chemical and materials systems; unraveling the physics and chemistry of strongly correlated electron systems; embedding quantum hardware in classical frameworks; and bridging the classical-quantum computing divide. Proposals must focus on fundamental research that will target computations on realistic problems relevant to Basic Energy Sciences priorities using quantum computers that are available today and in the near, less than 10 years, term. For example, quantum materials, such as superconductors and complex magnetic materials, show novel kinds of ordered phases that are difficult to access via computation on classical computers. Quantum sensors based on solid materials could be greatly improved with insight from quantum computations, as could materials for information technologies. Another example is quantum chemical dynamics, which is a problem that is intrinsically well suited to studies on quantum computers, with applications including catalysis and artificial photosynthesis. Proposals that focus solely on algorithmic advances, software tools, or on engineering and/or building quantum computers will not be responsive.

Next-Generation Quantum Systems: Proposals are requested for basic experimental and theoretical research focused on the discovery and characterization of quantum phenomena that will enable the design and discovery of novel quantum information systems. Proposals should address the Priority Research Opportunities identified in the report from the "Basic Energy Sciences Roundtable on Opportunities for Basic Research for Next-Generation Quantum Systems." In this context creating and controlling quantum states within atomic, molecular or condensed matter systems offers exciting opportunities for fundamental research, as well as for enabling next-generation quantum-based technologies. Areas of research include: synthesis of materials for the development of quantum coherent systems that involve in-situ characterization and real-time machine learning and target quantum information functionality; creation and control of coherent phenomena in quantum systems emphasizing an improved understanding of entanglement and enhanced coherence lifetimes; transduction of quantum coherent states between disparate physical systems (light, charge, spin) with high fidelity. Proposals will also be considered for fundamental research on quantum-based systems with potential for extreme sensing, detection, and control capabilities, for precise time, space and field measurements, as well as the development and application of these capabilities to probe material properties and chemical processes. Proposals that solely focus on engineering design or systematic optimization of devices will not be responsive.

Number of Applications
Two as lead institution (NOTE: If you are interested in partnering with another institution as lead please do not respond to this internal call.)
Amount of Funding

The award size will depend on the number of meritorious applications and the availability of appropriated funds. 
Ceiling - $1,500,000 per year for up to three years 
Floor - $150,000 per year for up to three years


Applicants are encouraged to consult with their Associate Deans for Research prior to internal submission to assure they meet eligibility criteria and their projects meet stated program objectives.

Individuals with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as Principal Investigators are invited to work with their organizations, and other institutions, to develop an application for assistance. Individuals from underrepresented groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for assistance.

Submission Process

Step 1

The internal LOI format is exactly the same as the FOA required LOI format for this internal competition. The LOI must include the following as a single pdf document emailed to Stephanie Endy at before 5:00pm on Monday, April 23, 2018:

  1. A cover sheet containing:
    • The planned title of the research application;
    • The name and mailing address of the sponsoring institution;
    • The name, institution, e-mail address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator (PI) and any co-PIs;
    • Funding Opportunity Announcement Number: DE-FOA-0001909
    • Topical area: List either "Quantum Computing in Chemical and Materials Sciences" or "Next-Generation Quantum Systems"
    • Signature of the institutional representative with authority to commit the lead institution to the research application: (LOIs without this signature will not be considered)
  2. A narrative of up to three pages containing:
  3. A tabular listing of collaborators for the PI and any co-PIs. The list must be in the tabular form provided here (Collaborator Listing Template).** This listing should include co-authors over the past 48 months; graduate and postdoctoral advisors of the PI and any co-PIs; personnel, graduate students and postdoctoral associates that have been supervised during the past 60 months; and, any other current close associations of the key personnel. The table should exclude all personnel at any of the institutions participating in the application. The table should include the following elements: First and last name of each collaborator and their institution.

** Applicants are strongly encouraged to follow the exact format of the sample table since the tabular information will be compiled across all applications. Include grid lines around each cell.

  • Do not merge name or institution cells, even if individuals share the same institution.
  • Do not change the order of the columns.
  • Do not include any additional information (e.g. "PI", "Co-PI", or footnote symbols) under "Last Name" and "First Name".
  • Do not include departmental affiliations under Institutions.
  • If an individual has a joint appointment, separate the institutions with a "/" (i.e. "Univ of X / National Lab Y").

This listing will not count in the page limitation.

Step 2

Final nominees will be notified of their selection by Friday, April 27, 2018.

Step 3

Final proposal must be received by the Office of Research Administration by Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 5:00pm EST.

Step 4

Final proposal must be received by the sponsor by Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 3:00pm EST.


Abstract or LOI to ORA Chosen Proposal Announced ORA Final Proposal Due Date Sponsor Submission Deadline Days Until Due
04/23/2018 04/27/2018 05/01/2018 05/03/2018 CLOSED