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Fourteen Projects Selected for FICUS Research

Researchers turn to user facilities to investigate complex environmental challenges

Genoa Blankenship |
graphic illustration for FICUS Awards with logos of DOE facilities

The FY 2022 FICUS awards have been announced. (Illustration by Stephanie King | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Scientists from around the nation are about to embark on new research looking into some of the greatest challenges facing the planet—climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, plastic degradation, and airborne particles.

Fourteen projects have been awarded funding from The Facilities Integrating Collaborations for User Science (FICUS) program to study these critical areas. The FICUS program, established in 2014 and supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research program, enables ambitious research by providing access to specialized expertise and instrumentation from multiple user facilities.

The awardees were chosen from the fiscal year (FY) 2022 FICUS calls for proposals.

One call utilizes capabilities at two DOE Office of Science national user facilities, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) and the Joint Genome Institute (JGI). Additional capabilities are available to users through the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and the Center for Structural Molecular Biology (CSMB). The focus areas for FICUS projects conducted with JGI, NEON, CSMB, and EMSL are:

  • Biofuels, biomaterials, and bioproducts
  • Hydro-biogeochemistry
  • Biofuels, biomaterials, and bioproducts
  • Hydro-biogeochemistry
  • Inter-organismal interactions
  • Novel applications of molecular techniques
  • Ecosystem-scale research using samples from the NEON Biorepository 

The FICUS program also awarded funding from a proposal call for work related to aerosol processes and aerosol–cloud interactions. This work will be conducted with EMSL and with DOE’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) scientific user facility. ARM is a key contributor to national and international climate research efforts.

The following projects were selected through the FY 2022 FICUS call. Download copies of the project cards here.