DOE Research in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary

The objective of this FOA is to provide research opportunities to single investigators or small- group researchers from universities and non-profit organizations, with an aim to expand current knowledge or explore new frontiers of knowledge leading to significant advances in the fundamental understanding of basic plasma science and engineering.

The specific areas of interest for this FOA are the following: 

  1. Dynamical Processes in Plasma

Specific areas of interest include but are not limited to understanding: (1) the onset of magnetic reconnection and trigger mechanisms for explosive instabilities in nature (solar flares, geomagnetic storms) and in the laboratory; (2) plasma dynamo processes by which magnetic fields are generated in the laboratory and nature; (3) mechanisms by which energy is transferred between fields, flows, and particles; and (4) how energy is partitioned in various forms (thermal, magnetic, turbulent).

Integrated research projects, involving detailed laboratory experiments or data, advanced modeling or simulation, and observation data from one or more advanced spacecraft or satellite missions including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS), Parker Solar Probe, are encouraged.

  1. Nonneutral, Ultracold Neutral, and Dusty Plasma Physics

Specific areas of interest include but are not limited to understanding: (1) trapped antimatter plasmas to probe the symmetries of nature and recreate the conditions of exotic astrophysical plasmas; (2) how coherent structures are created through the electrical self-fields of the plasma and its interactions with waves; and (3) strongly coupled dusty plasmas and/or other properties of dust particles in space or fusion-relevant plasmas.

Integrated research projects, combining precision measurements, theory and modeling, and/or providing a test for theoretical models, are encouraged.

  1. Low Temperature Plasma Processes

Specific areas of interest include but are not limited to: (1) innovative, predictive control and manipulation of plasma kinetics and energy distribution functions; (2) understanding underlying mechanisms and plasma interactions with liquid, pathogens, and biomaterials through activated surface processes and chemical reactions; and (3) the predictive understanding of self- organization or pattern formation in plasmas interacting with surfaces.

Integrated research projects, combining detailed laboratory experiments or data, theory, and advanced modeling or simulation, are encouraged.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST January 24, 2024

DOE Pre-Application Deadline: 3:00pm MST February 9, 2024

DOE Application Deadline: 9:59pm MST March 29, 2024

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (1 page maximum): Provide the name of the applicant, the project director/principal investigator(s), the project title, the objectives of the project, a description of the project, including methods to be employed, the potential impact of the project (e.g., benefits, outcomes), and major participants (for collaborative projects).
  • Lead PI Curriculum Vitae
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit:


PIs may only be named on no more than one pre-application or lead application. The PI on a pre-application or application may also be listed as a senior or key personnel, including in any role on a proposed subaward, on an unlimited number of separate submissions.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Applicant institutions are limited to no more than 2 pre-applications and 2 lead applications,

Award Information

Period of Performance: 3 years

Ceiling: $770,000 for three years

Floor: $100,000 per year