The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released a funding opportunity announcement calling on US colleges and universities to propose new projects to enhance the long-term use of coal. This launches the 30th year of DOE’s University Coal Research (UCR) program, its longest-running student-teacher research grant program. Since the program’s inception in 1979, nearly 1,765 students have received hands-on research experience investigating long-term solutions for clean and efficient use of coal. The program supports DOE’s continued commitment to improving the environmental performance of coal. This year, the program will make available $2.4 million to fund projects with a maximum of $300,000 per project. Each project will involve one or two colleges or universities and will extend over 36 months. Research proposals are being sought in three areas of interest:Computational Energy Sciences – Applications are being sought for multiphase flow research to complement ongoing NETL-funded modeling research and for projects to develop process/equipment co-simulations of highly efficient, near-zero-emission fossil energy plantsMaterial Science – Applications are being sought for new materials ideas and concepts that stretch beyond the current state of the art for fossil energy applications. Applications are also sought for the development of computational tools and simulations that will reliably predict properties of materials for fossil energy systems in advance of fabricationNovel Materials for Sensing or Monitoring in Extreme Environments of Fossil Energy Systems – Innovations are sought for the development of novel sensor materials and devices to measure process parameters in the corrosive, high-temperature (>500oC), high-pressure (17 bar) conditions found in fossil energy systems.Proposals are due by June 10, 2008. The National Energy Technology Laboratory, which implements the program for the Energy Department, will name the winning projects in December 2008.