Moore Investigators in Quantum Materials

Our funding promotes high-risk efforts while also providing investigators the flexibility to adjust rapidly to new developments in the field. The program supports the development of novel experimental techniques, discovery of new materials and unconventional experimental approaches to solving outstanding problems in the field. The Moore Investigators in Quantum Materials program consists of two grant portfolios:

  • The Moore Experimental Investigator awards, which currently fund 19 researchers through a 5-year, $34.2 million commitment.
  • The Moore Materials Synthesis Investigator awards, which currently fund 12 researchers through a 5-year, $20.6 million commitment.

Moore Fellows in Materials Synthesis

Materials discovery and refinement are key drivers of progress in quantum materials research. Experimentalists need access to high-quality samples, and the scarcity of such materials is often a major hurdle to advancing the field. We aim to strengthen materials synthesis at top academic institutions and secure the future for a new generation of synthesis experts. To that end, we have established the Moore Fellows in Materials Synthesis awards, which facilitate the placement of early-career scientists in tenure-track positions.

These awards target early faculty hires or outstanding candidates who are currently on the academic job market. These grants provide support for substantial equipment acquisitions, laboratory infrastructure, and research personnel, enabling Fellows to establish robust research programs in their new labs. We work with host universities to leverage our funds through institutional cost matching.

Theory Centers

EPiQS support for theoretical research in quantum materials focuses on postdoctoral and visiting scholars at several universities with proven excellence in the field. By establishing the Moore Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholars in Theory of Quantum Materials program, we aim to maximize scientific productivity and enrich the overall intellectual environment at the selected institutions.  Moore Postdoctoral Scholars have appointments of up to three years, while Moore Visiting Scholars’ appointments range from a few months to one year.

The announcement of postdoctoral openings and selection process are conducted by the host universities with broad oversight by the Moore Foundation. The Moore Postdoctoral fellowships enable some of the most talented young theorists to acquire a breadth of expertise through flexible appointments that allow them to pursue their research interests and work with multiple faculty members.

We anticipate about 25 postdoctoral scholars will be trained and about a dozen visiting scholars will be hosted within this grant portfolio. 

Flexible Funding

The Flexible Funding portfolio seeks to drive innovation by elevating research capabilities and supporting opportunistic research with a potential to make breakthroughs in the field. We use two types of grants to implement this strategy:

  • Equipment grants are intended to significantly enhance experimental capabilities at leading research institutions. These grants can be used to purchase expensive, state-of-the-art equipment or to support the development of one-of-a-kind instrumentation. We seek institutional cost-matching and partnerships with other funders, particularly for costly projects, to maximize the impact of our funding.
  • Rapid-response grants enable us to seize timely opportunities to advance the field through projects with particularly high potential impact. These projects may include experimental tests of novel important theoretical concepts and highly innovative research endeavors that are unlikely to be supported through traditional funding channels due to their high-risk nature.

The total anticipated size of this portfolio is about $15M for five years.

Community Building

EPiQS recognizes the importance of collaboration to the scientific discovery process and to amplifying the impact of individual research efforts. We aim to galvanize the community of researchers in the field of quantum materials by promoting the exchange of ideas among experimentalists, theorists and materials synthesis experts. Our community-building activities include:

  • Foundation-run Investigator Symposia, focused workshops, and other scientific meetings to further progress and discovery in topics relevant to EPiQS.
  • The establishment of strategic partnerships with organizations sharing our purpose of promoting research and collaboration in this field.
  • Co-sponsorship of international and U.S.-based conferences  that assemble leading scientists in this field or closely related fields.
  • Support for scientific and technical exchange through visiting appointments.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I apply for funding?

We source our grants in a variety of ways. The awards for Moore Investigators in Quantum Materials and Theory Centers were selected through national competitions conducted in 2014; EPiQS will not be making any additional Investigator or Theory grants within its current five-year term. We will continue making awards in the Moore Fellows in Materials Synthesis, Flexible Funding and Community Building portfolios through 2018. EPiQS is not currently accepting unsolicited grant proposals. Any future requests for proposals will be posted on our webpage.

Do you support research done outside of the United States?

The bulk of research grants within EPiQS supports U.S.-based institutions. However, we may fund projects abroad that enrich our portfolio and amplify the effects of our existing projects.

What materials are of interest to EPiQS?

In general, any condensed-matter system which either exhibits emergent electronic behavior or presents a promising new platform for the occurrence of such behavior, is of potential interest to EPiQS.

The solid-state systems of current interest to our program include: strongly correlated materials; topological insulators; two-dimensional crystals and other low-dimensional systems; quantum magnets; complex oxide heterostructures and other hybrid, engineered structures. “Synthetic quantum matter” realized using ultracold neutral atoms, trapped ions, superconducting circuits, or photonic systems, is also of interest to the program.

Do you fund soft condensed matter physics?

No, soft condensed matter physics does not fit within the scope of EPiQS.

What types of institutions do you fund?

The majority of funding is directed at U.S. academic institutions with established research programs in the field of quantum materials.

How long will the program run?

EPiQS was launched in May 2013 for a six-year term, with the possibility of extension.

Back to Overview

IMPACT STATEMENT

The $90M EPiQS Initiative aims to stimulate breakthroughs to fundamentally change our understanding of the organizing principles of complex matter. 

KEY DATA POINTS

Understanding complex quantum systems

Five funding approaches in materials synthesis, experiment and theory that cross the boundaries between physics, chemistry and materials science.
  • first award

    Jun 2013

  • grants to date

    $85,208,228

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