The Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science, a National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, will be holding a Seed proposal competition for high-risk, high-reward research ideas that could redirect the efforts of our existing interdisciplinary research groups (IRGs) or even spark new IRGs. In this Cafe I will outline the goals of the Seed program and convey a sense of what constitutes a successful Seed proposal.

I will discuss the multiple seed grant initiatives in the Materials Research Institute (MRI), that aim at seeding new and multi-unit collaborations. In particular, the special focus of these opportunities is to expand productive research collaborations across OSVPR, by promoting partnerships across the institutes. A second focus is to advance Penn State’s strategic goal in stimulating and enhancing international research collaborations by seeding joint research opportunities with international partnering institutions.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no Millennium Café on 11/22.  Consider using this time to buy someone a cup of coffee to say Thank You!

The talk is about the on-going research efforts at ForMat (Form and Matter) Lab at to explore the relationship between matter and form mediated through the use of digital technologies. Current research in the lab includes work on adaptive digital fabrication, and the design and sustainable production of mycelium-based building parts and structures.

Presenter: Benay Gursoy  |  Architecture

Scientific discovery does not just happen, it occurs when smart people work with determination coupled with creativity. In this talk I will discuss ways to prepare yourself to make important new discoveries by moving in a new direction where your work can have global impact, for example in new materials that provide climate and energy solutions. I will give some examples of how Seed Grants from the Institutes at Penn State have unlocked new research directions for me and others and suggest a few new research challenges related to climate and energy.

There are critical connections between the role of voters in driving public policy, policy decisions driving the nation’s scientific priorities, and research findings driving legislation and regulations. Yet, there is a huge disconnect between scientific communities, policymakers, and the public.  We will discuss how the SPS facilitates conversations between these different groups to encourage better science-driven policy and policy-driven science.

Angela Cleri & Claire Rodman   |  Science Policy Society (SPS)