(CLOSED) U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Research and Development Grant, Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 (31310021K0002)

Sponsor Name: 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Description of the Award: 

The program (formerly the Integrated University Program) provides funding to support research and development for nuclear science, engineering, technology, and related disciplines to develop a workforce capable of supporting the design, construction, operation, and regulation of nuclear facilities and the safe handling of nuclear materials.

More specifically, the program shall be used to provide financial assistance for research and development projects relevant to the programmatic mission of the NRC referenced above, with an emphasis on providing financial assistance with respect to research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities relevant to civilian advanced nuclear reactors, including, but not limited to, relevant fuel cycle technologies, advanced construction, manufacturing, and fabrication methods.

Of particular interest are projects aimed at:

  • Aging/degradation of nuclear plant systems, structures, and components.
  • Digital engineering/analytics, advanced sensors and controls for nuclear applications.
  • Advanced materials and manufacturing for nuclear applications.
  • Advanced construction techniques for nuclear builds.
  • Evaluation of technical gaps and major uncertainties related to risk-informed decision-making for areas such as complex all-hazard risk models, dynamic PRAs, and PRAs for advanced reactors.
  • Human and organizational factors and human reliability analysis for advanced nuclear applications, including improved models for dependency, consideration of organizational factors, and dynamic methods.
  • Characterization of low frequency, high consequence natural or industrial hazards for advanced nuclear applications.
  • Characterization, handling, fabrication, transportation, storage, or disposal of fresh and spent nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants (including the various advanced reactor designs that are currently under development).
  • Analyses, data and evaluations that will support an understanding of the safety, technical gaps and major uncertainties for (1) operating, small modular and advanced reactor designs with emphasis in the areas of fuel performance, fuel fragmentation relocation and disposal, natural circulation, boron dilution, neutronics, source term analysis, severe accident analysis and (2) fuel cycle technologies, with emphasis on experimental test and analytical model data to help validate the NRC’s scientific computer codes and ability to assess application of these technologies.
  • Advanced technology approaches (e.g., data and text analytics and artificial intelligence) and applications (e.g., data mining, risk communication) that enhance regulatory decision making. Some specific areas of focus could be incorporating equipment failure trends, probabilistic risk assessment, and risk-informed decision-making in licensing, inspection, and other regulatory activities.

Although the FOA identifies many of the NRCs R&D priorities, the NRC will strive to award projects that cover multiple project areas specified above. Your application should emphasize the technical area(s) proposed under this project.

Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
May 14, 2021
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_NRC-31310021K0002_2021.pdf) no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1. Cover Letter (1 page, pdf):

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • PI name, departmental affiliations(s) and contact information
  • Co-PI's names and departmental affiliation(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

2. Project Description (no more than two pages, pdf) identifying the project scope that addresses the key aspects and elements of the sponsor's solicitation, principal investigators, collaborators, and partner organizations.

3. 2-page CV's of Investigators

Formatting Guidelines:

Font/size: Times New Roman (12 pt.)
Document margins: 1.0” (top, bottom, left and right)
Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Monday, April 5, 2021 - 4:00pm
William Walters (CoE); Clifford Lissenden (CoE)