CFM provides a variety of funding opportunities to its members to support research in materials science. Funding announcements are made on a regular basis via e-mail to all members of the center. Although the specifics vary for each funding opportunity, the overall intent of awards is to foster collaborations across the various sub-fields of materials science, i.e. materials modeling, synthesis, processing, and characterization.

Pilot Projects

The largest funding opportunities in the CFM are pilot projects, which are typically awarded for two years. Each pilot project must include at least two research groups working in different areas of either materials modeling, synthesis, processing, or characterization. Funds should primarily be used to support research personnel in materials science, but other expenses are conceivable if they support the mission of CFM. Pilot projects will be awarded competitively after an open call to all center members. The progress of pilot projects will be assessed annually and the center reserves the right to withdraw funding in case of insufficient progress. Recipients of pilot-project funding have to submit a joint application through CFM for external funding during the award period.

Excellence Fellowships

Excellence Fellowships allow the various graduate departments to pay above and beyond the standard graduate student stipend in order to attract the nation’s best graduate students working in materials science to WFU. The incoming student has to be advised by a center member and work on a materials-science project. The GPA or international equivalent of Excellence Fellowship recipients should be comparable to the top students amongst our Physics, Chemistry, and Engineering undergraduate majors. All center members can request Excellence Fellowships for targeted students and the selection will be competitive. The center reserves the right not to award any Excellence Fellowships in any given year if no suitable students are identified. The fellowship may be revoked in case of insufficient academic performance. The center only funds half of the fellowship, the other half has to come from the department whose graduate program the student joins.

Research Support

The center also provides research support for materials-science related projects. The funds must support a project that combines at least two different areas of either materials modeling, synthesis, processing, or characterization and involve two different center members. Funding is limited to one year, but renewal proposals are considered if sufficient evidence of progress is provided. Funding is awarded on the basis of a competitive yearly call for multidisciplinary proposals. Proposals with emphasis on supporting personnel are preferred. Recipients of research-support funding must submit an application through CFM for external funding during the award period.

Undergraduate Summer Student Support

The center also funds materials-science undergraduate students each summer at the level of a typical URECA award via competitive applications from center members. Applications from students outside WFU will also be considered. For WFU students, URECA has agreed to administer these fellowships and cover the cost of housing.