The Department of Defense today announced plans to invest an additional $400 million over the next five years to support basic research at academic institutions.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates secured the additional funding in the fiscal 2009 President's budget request to Congress to expand research into new and emerging scientific areas and to foster fundamental discoveries related to the DoD's most challenging technical problems. The DoD published a ‘Strategic Plan For Basic Research’ last summer, which built the case for this effort. Acknowledging this need, Congress authorized and appropriated funds to support these significant increases in basic research investment.
By making these additional investments, the DoD aims to "sustain and strengthen the nation's commitment to long-term basic research", as recommended by the National Research Council's ‘Rising Above the Gathering Storm’ report and to address similar recommendations from numerous other independent national security and scientific advisory groups.
"These new grants will lead to discoveries in fundamental fields which underpin many of the technologically complex systems fielded in today's Armed Forces,” said William Rees, Jr., the deputy under secretary of defense for laboratories and basic sciences.
The anticipated awards will be intended for individual investigators and provide sufficient funding to support a cadre of graduate students working with the faculty member to make substantial and sustained progress in research areas of importance to the DoD. Merit-based awards, based on peer review, will support projects beginning in fiscal 2009 that will be funded for five years. Exceptionally meritorious projects that can be completed in less time will also be considered for funding.
Projects will be based on numerous academic disciplines, including: physics, ocean science, chemistry, electrical engineering, materials science, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, information sciences, civil engineering, mathematics, chemical engineering, geosciences, atmospheric science, and aeronautical engineering.
Topics for the initial funding will focus on the following areas of technical challenge: counter weapons of mass destruction (WMD), network sciences, energy and power management, quantum information sciences, human sciences, science of autonomy, information assurance, biosensors and bio-inspired systems, information fusion and decision science, and energy and power management.
Information on specific program announcements and solicitations supported by this funding can be found at http://www.grants.gov
, as well as at the respective research office