The Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy has issued a request for information regarding the funding of university research for fiscal year 2023. The RFI, issued on April 20, is seeking input from the nuclear energy community, including technical and community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and other minority-serving institutions, on its competitive Research and Development Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for universities.
Input sought: DOE-NE is seeking ideas, comments, feedback, and recommendations from interested parties for future competitive university-led research projects. This input may lead to a more robust R&D program that reflects the ideas from the nuclear community and could identify new creative, innovative, and transformative outcomes, according to DOE-NE.
DOE-NE is also looking for input regarding the structure of the FOA itself, including examples of other solicitations that have been successful in utilizing university research.
Pitch to NEDHO members: Todd Allen, chair of the Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Department at the University of Michigan, is also chair of the Nuclear Engineering Department Heads Organization (NEDHO). He sent an email to NEDHO members with the following message:
I strongly encourage you to respond to this RFI. While this RFI opportunity is open every year, this will be the first year in over a decade in which the University Programs has its own line item in the budget. DOE-NE will be able to create a research call that does not have the same constraints to programs that have been recently in place. This is a critical time to voice university concerns and preferences in how the program is structured and executed.
How to respond: Reponses to the RFI must be submitted through the Nuclear Energy University Programs website to be considered. Input for consideration in FY 2023 is due by May 16, 2022.