Investigación UCN

Call for Letters of Inquiry: Interdisciplinary Social and Natural Science Research Projects on Critical Minerals and Metals in the United States

Submission Deadline: Monday, December 18, 2023

Grants of $500,000 – $750,000 for interdisciplinary social and natural science research projects on critical minerals and metals in the U.S., led by early- and mid-career scholars.

Depending on the submissions received, it is expected that 3-4 grants may be awarded over the next year, with final award decisions expected by June 2024.


The Energy and Environment program at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation supports research, training, networking, and dissemination efforts to inform the societal transition toward low-carbon energy systems in the United States by investigating economic, environmental, technological, and distributional issues. The program is currently soliciting Letters of Inquiry for interdisciplinary, collaborative, social and natural science research projects led by early- and mid-career scholars to examine under-explored questions related to issues associated with critical minerals and metals for the low-carbon energy transition in the United States. Three to four full proposals are expected to be invited from submissions received in response to this Call. Grant amounts are expected to be between $500,000 and $750,000 over a 2-3 year period.


Submissions are due on Monday December 18, 2023, by 5:00pm Eastern. Submission materials should be uploaded directly to the application portal at Any questions related to the application portal can be sent to


Competitive projects are expected to demonstrate the following characteristic:

  • Projects are expected to be highly interdisciplinary across fields, involving researchers deploying a range of research methodologies. Participating faculty can be drawn from multiple social science, engineering, or natural science disciplines, either within or across universities.
  • Relevant disciplines and fields could include but are not limited to: political science, public policy, economics, anthropology, geology, engineering, chemistry, and biology, among others.
  • Projects are expected to contain a student training component (graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, or undergraduates) to enhance attention to questions of critical minerals and metals, with diversity among trainees of special interest.
  • Projects are expected to undertake original empirical data collection and analysis, or combine and analyze existing datasets in novel, innovative ways.
  • Projects are expected to link research to practice by engaging a wide range of stakeholders in either the conduct of research or in dissemination efforts used to inform decision-making. This includes potential collaboration with government, industry, non-governmental organizations, or other stakeholder organizations.
  • Projects with the ability to secure additional financial support, or in-kind contributions, from other funding sources—including foundations, universities, private sector, or government funders are especially welcome.


-17/10/2023: Apertura del concurso.

-20/11/2023: Difusión del concurso desde la VRIDT.

-30/11/2023: Fecha límite para informar a la Dirección de Investigación, sobre la participación en el concurso, completando el Formulario de Iniciativa de Proyectos (FIP) a través del sistema SIVRIDT.

Video Tutorial: ingresar aquí

-07/12/2023: Fecha límite para enviar el Formulario de Autorización de Proyectos (FAP) a través del sistema SIVRIDT.

Video Tutorial: ingresar aquí

-13/12/2023: Fecha límite para enviar los documentos de avances del proyecto a través del sistema SIVRIDT (Carta de recomendación que debe firmar el Director/la Directora de la Unidad, otro).

Vídeo Tutorial: ingresar aquí

-16/12/2023: Plazo máximo de la VRIDT, para solicitar mejoras o ajustes a los proyectos.

-18/12/2023: Postula aquí:

-20/01/2024: Plazo máximo para respaldar (subir) los documentos postulados del concurso en el sistema SIVRIDT.

Video Tutorial: ingresar aquí

Link Concurso:

Correo de contacto: Any questions related to the application portal can be sent to

Correo para consultas:


Oct 17 2023 - Dic 18 2023
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