Instrument Utilization Grants

The Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) offers utilization grants for energy-related research requiring use of MCF instrument(s). The intent is to provide equipment access for unfunded seed research to assist faculty in developing competitive external proposals.

This is an open call for submissions; therefore, proposals are accepted until funding is no longer available. Individuals from colleges and other organizations outside of Notre Dame with limited access to advanced characterization instrumentation are eligible to apply.

Proposal Instructions

Interested applicants must download and use the proposal template

The proposal must include the following items:

  1. Description of the project goals
  2. Field of context for the goals
  3. Expected outcomes of the study/activity
  4. Statement indicating that the proposed project is not currently being funded by external sources.
  5. Description of the desired MCF instrument(s) for use
  6. Estimated hours of use for each instrument
  7. Anticipated dates of use
  8. Description of the sample(s) to be characterized
  9. Type of data/information expected to be acquired

Submit proposals to Ian Lightcap, Research and Facilities Program Director, at

Proposals will be reviewed upon receipt, and researchers will be notified of their award status approximately two weeks after submission.

Award Policy

Awards are distributed in increments of up to $1,000 with the potential to re-apply up to 2 times per 12-month period for a total award not to exceed $3,000 per year, per PI. Renewals will be granted based on PI’s continued need for funding and adequate research progress with demonstrated results.

Awards will be placed in a designated ND Energy account and made available to the PI and his/her designee within the iLab system for use in the MCF only. Funds must be used within the designated 12-month period. Any remaining funds will be returned to ND Energy.

If the funded work produces data that is included in a publication or an application for external funding, award recipients must acknowledge the MCF and notify Ian Lightcap of the acknowledgement. Below is a standard acknowledgement statement: 

"We thank the ND Energy Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) for the use of the [insert instrument(s) here]. The MCF is funded by the Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI), which is part of the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy)."