The Department of Energy is awarding up to $16 million in new funding to advance research and development of isotope production. The funding opportunity is part of a federal program that produces critical isotopes that are otherwise unavailable or in short supply for U.S. science, medicine, and industry. The effort is aimed at sustaining longstanding U.S. leadership in the vital field of isotope production, research, and development, according to the DOE.
What they are saying: "Isotopes are commodities of strategic importance for the nation,” said Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar on March 24. “This research and development is essential to developing innovative production and processing techniques for scarce isotopes, which will lead to advancements in science, medicine, and industry, as well as strengthen our economic and national security.”
Who is eligible: National laboratories, universities, and nonprofits are eligible to submit applications for the two-year awards, which will be selected based on peer review. The DOE Isotope Program, managed by the Office of Nuclear Physics in the department’s Office of Science, which is funding the effort, envisions awards both for single investigators and small multi-institutional collaborations.
The DOE anticipates that up to $8 million will be available for this program in fiscal year 2021, with an additional $8 million in funding anticipated in FY 2022, for a total of $16 million over the two-year grant period. All funding is contingent on congressional appropriations.
The process: Final applications for this funding opportunity are due by June 15. Letters of intent are not required for this solicitation. The full text of the funding opportunity announcement for universities and nonprofits, along with a parallel, companion announcement for DOE national laboratories, can be found on the Office of Science website.