Platform for the Accelerated Realization, Analysis, & Discovery of Interface Materials

An NSF Materials Innovation Platform


Facility Access Proposal

The proposal packet consists of:

  • PARADIM Project Proposal Cover Sheet (fillable PDF)
  • Technical Research Proposal (see below) (MS Word or PDF format)
  • CV for Principal Investigator (up to 2 pages, Standard NSF format is preferred)

Proposal packets should be submitted by email as attachment(s) to (Packet may be submitted as one combined PDF document). Receipt will be acknowledged by email within 48 hours. Proposals may be submitted at any time and will be reviewed as they are received.

Technical Research Proposal

(Click here for Technical Research Proposal Template)

The technical research proposal should be written in light of the PARADIM proposal review criteria. Namely, it should specifically address:

  • The scientific opportunity, approach, and significance
  • Expertise in scientific domain of proposed research (Expertise in equipment and software operation will be supplied by PARADIM staff as necessary); Also, results of prior PARADIM work (if any)
  • Appropriateness for PARADIM facilities
  • Alignment of the science with PARADIM’s technical focus (Materials for the next generation of electronics)
  • Methods and metrics for assessing material quality and implementation of Materials-by-Design methodology

Successful proposals will take significant advantage of PARADIM by implementing a closed loop Materials-by-Design process involving theory, growth, and characterization to develop electronic materials. The manner in which this will be accomplished should be clearly discussed.

If preliminary discussions have been conducted with PARADIM scientists regarding technical feasibility (highly recommended), please reference these discussions.

Proposals should request access to specific PARADIM resources. PIs MAY request specific amounts of time (e.g., 1 month on furnace A and 2 weeks on TEM B), but these requests may be modified by the Director of User Facilities, based on the proposal reviews and input from the PARADIM scientists.

The proposal should be limited to 2 pages, plus references. It should begin with the project title. It should conform to standard NSF font/margin requirements. (1” margins, 11-point Times New Roman).


All proposals will be reviewed by at least 3 members of the PARADIM User Proposal Review Committee – well known materials innovators who are all external to the universities that constitute PARADIM. These external reviewers will score each proposal considering the following criteria:

  • Scientific merit and potential impact
  • Expertise in scientific domain of proposed research (Expertise in equipment and software operation will be supplied by PARADIM staff as necessary); Also, results of prior PARADIM work (if any)
  • Suitability for PARADIM resources
  • Alignment with PARADIM’s scientific focus on Electronic Materials by Design
  • Implementation of the Materials-by-Design process

Proposers will be notified of the outcome of the review process within 4 weeks.

Resource Assignment

Highly ranked proposals will be allocated time on specific PARADIM resources by the Director of User Facilities. Ranking may include additional criteria including preference for new PARADIM users, demographics, and users from non-R1 universities§.


Successful proposals will not be renewed or extended nor will the resource allocation be expanded when expended. A single successful technical proposal will cover a period of up to one year or until the resource commitment is exhausted. At the end of that period, a new proposal may be submitted building upon the results of the prior project; it will be reviewed with consideration of the accomplishments in the prior period.


The content of proposals (including proposal titles and the identity of the PI) will be held confidential within the PARADIM community (staff and User Proposal Review Committee). Title and PI identity may, however, be disclosed to the National Science Foundation as part of the normal reporting process. For approved proposals, PI and user names may appear on equipment schedules/usage logs on site, but such information will not be otherwise disseminated.


PARADIM resources are free of charge to U.S. Academic Users. In addition, travel support will be available to users from non-R1 universities. Industry will be charged for access based on cost recovery and their results will not be made publically available. Non-US institutions will be charged for access at an intermediate rate and their results will be made publically available as described below.

PARADIM Policy Reminders

Proposers are reminded of some of the policies that will govern their use of PARADIM:

  • Reporting: Independent of journal publication, projects will be required to submit brief annual reports or technical highlights for use in PARADIM reports to NSF.
  • Publication: Academic users are required to publish their results in a timely manner.
  • Acknowledgement: Users are required to acknowledge PARADIM in all publications and reports (e.g., “This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (Platform for the Accelerated Realization, Analysis, and Discovery of Interface Materials (PARADIM) under Cooperative Agreement No. DMR-1539918.”).
  • Data Management: Upon publication or after 12 months of inactivity by the PI’s research team in PARADIM facilities on this project, all supporting raw data, analyzed data, metadata, and process data in the PARADIM data archive will become freely available to the technical community. Please refer to the full PARADIM Data Management Policy.
A proper Proposal Packet consists of 1) PARADIM Cover sheet, 2) Technical Research Proposal, and 3) PI CV. Please submit the Entire Packet as one email to Receipt will be acknowledged within 48 hours.

Please consult the full PARADIM policy documents for more complete information on these and other requirements.


§ Non-R1 universities are undergraduate institutions, non-tier 1 universities, and minority serving institutions. A list of Universities classified as “R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity” can be found here: R1: Research Universities