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Grants to USA Entities and Teams for Scientific
Research to Improve Imaging Techniques

Quantum-Enabled Bioimaging and Sensing Approaches for Bioenergy

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Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) - Office of Science (SC) - Biological and Environmental Research (BER)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

04/04/22 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories entities and teams for scientific research to improve and develop imaging techniques for biological substances. Applicants are required to submit a pre-application prior to submitting a full proposal. Required registrations may take several weeks to complete.

The DOE SC program in Biological and Environmental Research (BER), through its Bioimaging Research effort, announces its interest in receiving applications to advance fundamental research or use-inspired technologies of new bioimaging or sensing approaches that exploit quantum phenomena. Applications must describe how they would advance knowledge and predictive understanding of plant and microbial systems relevant to bioenergy and environmental research in fields of study supported by BER. Projects that incorporate quantum science concepts to enhance spatial and temporal resolution, measurement speed, long-term sample stability, or sensitivity of bioimaging technologies are desirable. Proposed research should demonstrate a comparative advantage over conventional methods.

Applications could address either: 1) evaluation of novel, untested concepts and theoretical models, or 2) innovative prototype development of instruments and methods that include biological validation. This FOA does not solicit late-stage optimization, after initial prototype development, or research use of current or newly acquired resources, capabilities, or equipment.

  1. Proof of Concept: Fundamental research based on novel, untested concepts and theoretical applications can be evaluated with feasibility studies to develop quantum science-enabled approaches and imaging systems. Proof of concept studies might not be ready for testing new biological hypotheses; thus early-stage research can be proposed without including tests of new biological hypotheses. However, validation against already characterized synthetic or biological samples in BER-supported bioenergy and environmental research should be included. Measurement should be compared to known or “gold-standard” targets measured by competing methods. The quantum-enabled imaging approaches must have future impact on in situ imaging, measuring, or modeling of key metabolic processes of plant- and microbial-based bioenergy research. The future impact must be clearly described as part of the project significance.
  2. Prototype development: Innovative development projects based on preliminary data or feasibility studies can be proposed and should include initial validation testing of prototype methods and instruments. While proof of concept studies at early stages (see #1) can be characterized with synthetic and biological models, the technical performance of prototypes must include validation with biological samples appropriate to the intended use. The experimental usefulness of projects should be demonstrated by biological validation against characterized samples. Evaluating untested biological hypotheses is not required. In all applications it is expected that the future significance for biological investigations in fields of study supported by BER will be described.

Program Objectives:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 200656

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Approximately 10 to 14 awards are expected.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Award Ceiling: $750,000
Award Floor: $250,000

A multi-institutional team is limited to a request of no more than $750,000 per year.

Term of Contract:

DOE anticipates making awards with a project period of 3 years.

DOE is interested in seeing projects supported under this FOA begin work by August 2022.

Continuation funding (funding for the second and subsequent budget periods) is contingent on: (1) availability of funds appropriated by Congress and future year budget authority; (2) progress towards meeting the objectives of the approved application; (3) submission of required reports; and (4) compliance with the terms and conditions of the award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All types of domestic applicants are eligible to apply, except nonprofit organizations described in section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that engaged in lobbying activities after December 31, 1995.

Federally affiliated entities must adhere to the eligibility standards listed here:

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

Multi-institutional teams must submit one application from a designated lead institution with all other team members proposed as subrecipients.

DOE/NNSA National Laboratories, other Federal agencies, and another Federal agency’s FFRDCs, if participating in a team led by another institution, must be proposed as subrecipients. Note that the value of any such proposed subaward may be removed from any such prime award: DOE may make separate awards to Federally-affiliated institutions.

Collaborative applications (in which each team member submits its own application with a common research narrative) will not be accepted under this FOA.

- Real or perceived developments intended for medical imaging in physiological conditions or pathological applications or for disease diagnostics or therapies in animal and human systems are excluded.
- While applications proposing to adapt new quantum phenomena to advance existing instrumentation would be appropriate, proven late-stage development that is past the prototype testing and optimization stage would not be appropriate for this FOA and will not be reviewed.
- Applications proposing established methods or that employ near classical principles are not appropriate. For example, while existing super resolution optical systems surpass the classical Abbe–Rayleigh diffraction limit, applications in this area that are based on currently established principles would have low priority without novel extension into the quantum realm.
- The common use of fluorescence in microscopy requires statistically large numbers of photon emissions and by itself would not be sufficient to be considered novel quantum-enabled imaging methods.
- Applications to develop novel materials or fundamental chemical processes are more appropriate for the SC program in Basic Energy Sciences (BES).
- Applications focusing on development of novel quantum processes or materials with primary intended application to quantum computing or communications are out of scope for this FOA.

Pre-Application Information:

- Submission Deadline for Pre-Applications: January 14, 2022, at 5:00 PM Eastern Time. A Pre-Application is required.
- Pre-Application Response Date: February 3, 2022, at 5:00 PM Eastern Time
- Submission Deadline for Applications: April 4, 2022, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time
- It is anticipated that the award selection will be completed by June 2022. It is expected that awards will be made in Fiscal Year 2022.

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science (SC) encourages you to register in all systems as soon as possible. You are also encouraged to submit letters of intent (LOIs), pre-applications, and applications well before the deadline.

Organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number, active System for Award Management (SAM) registration, and account to apply for grants.

Creating a account can be completed online in minutes, but DUNS and SAM registrations may take several weeks. Therefore, an organization’s registration should be done in sufficient time to ensure it does not impact the entity’s ability to meet required application submission deadlines.

Applicant institutions are limited to no more than one letters of intent, pre-applications, or applications for each PI at the applicant institution. The PI on a pre-application or application may also be listed as a senior or key personnel on separate submissions without limitation.

For a list of reference material to review prior to applying, see

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For a list of relevant application documents, go to the Package tab (press Preview) on the link above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit pre-application online:

Technical/Scientific Program Contact:
Dr. Paul Sammak Customer Support:
800-518-4726 (toll-free)

PAMS Customer Support:
855-818-1846 (toll-free)

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