EPiQS Experimental Investigators
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is now accepting pre-applications for experimental investigators of the Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems Initiative (EPiQS). Through EPiQS, the foundation strives to accelerate progress in the field of quantum materials—solids and engineered structures characterized by novel quantum phases of matter and exotic cooperative behaviors of electrons. Investigator awards are a cornerstone of EPiQS. They enable scientific breakthroughs by providing creative scientists with substantial resources and freedom to pursue challenging and novel research directions of their own choosing.
Description of the Experimental Investigator Awards
The EPiQS experimental investigator awards support U.S. experts in experimental studies of quantum materials to pursue discovery of new emergent electronic and magnetic phenomena in materials, elucidate the origin of previously known emergent phenomena, develop new experimental techniques for probing quantum materials, or significantly improve the performance of the existing techniques. We currently support 19 experimental investigators through grants that extend through early 2020. The 2019 competition will result in a similar number of investigator awards, with a total portfolio budget of about $34 million. Awardees will receive five years of funding with streamlined reporting requirements and the freedom to choose their own research directions and to allocate their grant budget to achieve maximum scientific impact.
We recognize the value of diversity and encourage applications from individuals regardless of their age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, national origin, religion or disability. The initiative expects that successful candidates will represent a variety of scientific backgrounds and perspectives to enhance the diversity of tools, ideas and approaches used to address outstanding questions in quantum materials.
Tenured, tenure-track, and research faculty at U.S. academic institutions are eligible to apply. Before applying, applicants should review the foundation's indirect cost policy and verify that their institution will comply with the policy. There is no restriction on the number of applications from any institution. Researchers should apply individually through this portal. Institutional endorsement is not part of this pre-application process. No budgets or sign-offs from offices of sponsored projects are required as part of the pre-application.
Current Moore Foundation grantees, both EPiQS and non-EPiQS, are eligible to apply provided that they have met all their current grant requirements, including grant reports.
Scientific and Technical Scope
The major classes of materials of interest to EPiQS are:
- Strongly correlated systems, including but not limited to high-Tc and other unconventional superconductors, Mott insulators, heavy fermion systems, multiferroics, and correlated oxide heterostructures;
- Frustrated magnets and other solids exhibiting exotic magnetic behavior;
- Materials exhibiting topological order;
- Two-dimensional crystals and layered systems, including but not limited to graphene, dichalcogenide monolayers and van der Waals heterostructures;
- Other low-dimensional systems, including but not limited to quantum wells and quantum wires with emergent electronic properties;
- Various synthetic quantum materials obtained by nanofabrication.
While cold-atom assemblies or photonic systems that can emulate properties of real materials (‘quantum simulators’) are within the scope of the EPiQS initiative, these systems are outside the scope of this experimental investigator competition. Although organic-based materials exhibiting emergent electronic properties are not currently represented in the EPiQS portfolio, we will consider compelling applications in this area. EPiQS is primarily concerned with advancing fundamental understanding of emergent properties of quantum materials; therefore, applicants focused on devices and other near-term practical applications of materials will not receive high priority.
Candidates may use any experimental technique, or a combination of techniques, for investigations of materials. Candidates may also propose to use EPiQS funds to improve existing experimental techniques or to develop new techniques and probes.
If you are unsure whether a class of materials, experimental method, or research topic is eligible for funding through the EPiQS Experimental Investigator awards, please contact us prior to completing the pre-application.
Selection Criteria and Process
Researchers who can show evidence of significant originality and seminal contributions to the field are encouraged to apply. Candidates should have an outstanding track record in experimental studies of quantum materials. Investigators will be selected based on: significance of their past research (restricted to the past 8-9 years), quality of their current research, potential for continued groundbreaking science in the next five years, as conveyed in their research proposal, and the likelihood that their planned work will contribute to the goals and long-term vision of the EPiQS initiative. Successful candidates will demonstrate a combination of the following qualities that sets them apart from other highly competent scientists in their field:
• They are recognized intellectual leaders in the field of quantum materials, consistently pushing it into new areas of inquiry;
• They help identify and pursue some of the most relevant questions in the field;
• They apply or develop advanced experimental tools and methods that enable novel or superior approaches to probing fundamental properties of quantum materials;
• They demonstrate outstanding promise of future original and innovative contributions;
• They are willing to take risks to explore unproven and uncertain research avenues.
Candidates having dual expertise in materials synthesis and advanced materials characterization will by no means be at a disadvantage in this competition. However, this application should emphasize primarily experimental studies of materials.
This investigator competition is open to all qualified applicants, regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, national origin, religion or disability. If you have any questions or need assistance or accommodation in completing this application, please contact us directly at EPiQS@moore.org or by phone at 650-213-3066.
Application Process and Deadline
To apply, you must first register as a SurveyMonkey user. When registering, please use an email address that you check regularly, as this email address will be used to update you on the status of your application. After registration, you can enter the pre-application portal by pressing the "apply" button.
The deadline for submitting a pre-application is Friday, July 26, 2019 at 5:00 PM U.S. Pacific Daylight Time. After a review, finalists will be invited, by early September, to submit full applications. The EPiQS experimental investigators will be selected by the end of November, after a thorough peer review process.