The 2020 MRSEC Seed Grant program aims to initiate collaborations complementary to the two MRSEC Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs):
IRG 1: synthetic and computational aspects of the mesoscale assembly of materials; IRG2: stimuli-responsive ‘living materials’ by merging polymer science with synthetic biology.

Each Seed Grant will provide $25K-$75K, for a one-year project and must include one faculty-member PI, in addition to two or more faculty collaborators currently within the MRSEC. 2-3 awards are anticipated. Eligible applicants are ladder-rank UC San Diego Faculty members not currently within a UC San Diego MRSEC IRG. Proposals must be submitted through ucsd.infoready4.com by November 13, 2020, 11:59PM Pacific Time

Predictive AssemblyPredictive Assembly or IRG1 aims establish a truly coupled approach, including: Mapping Energy Landscapes, Rational Building Block Synthesis, Exploring Mesophase Space, and Characterizing Dynamics and Defects.

Living MaterialsEngineered Living Materials or IRG 2 aims to develop techniques that will enable the creation of materials at the living/non-living interface, with the potential for use in biosynthetic electronics, chemical threat decontamination, therapeutic synthesis/delivery, and soft robotics—among other applications.

Group illustrationThe MRSEC leaders are all recognized experts in their research and education domains and have outstanding track records of participation in multi-investigator projects. The team includes assistant, mid-career, and senior faculty in a shared management and mentorship arrangement

San Diego, Calif., Oct. 30, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced more than $27 million in funding for 12 projects that will support the development of advanced renewable plastics and new recyclable-by-design plastics. Two of the dozen projects—collectively funded for more than $4 million—belong to UC San Diego researchers: Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Director of the Center for Renewable Materials, Michael Burkart and Professor of Nanoengineering Jon Pokorski, both part of the university’s Institute for Materials Discovery and Design. More information here.

The National Science Foundation has awarded University of California San Diego researchers a six-year $18 million grant to fund a new Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).

These research centers are transformative for the schools that earn them, putting their materials science research efforts into the global spotlight. In addition to research and facilities funding, MRSEC centers provide sustained research opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students, and resources to focus on diversifying the pool of students studying materials science. The UC San Diego labs funded by this new MRSEC will focus on two important, emerging approaches to build new materials aimed at improving human lives. The full press release is available here.