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Mass Spectrometry for Atmospheric Monitoring


One-year grants up to $150,000 (direct costs) will be available to develop novel treatments for MPS I. The proposed therapeutic strategies should address the unmet needs of CNS manifestations of MPS I in patients with the severe and attenuated forms of the disease. Approaches that also address the somatic manifestations of the disease including the eye, bone, connective-tissue, and heart, which not effectively treated with enzyme replacement therapy or bone marrow transplantation are welcome.

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is requesting proposals for a grant opportunity for the development of new instrument designs to bring the most advanced mass spectrometry detection capabilities and sensitivity levels into a lightweight, inexpensive, and easily operated system that could be portable or deployed on airborne platforms, in unattended monitoring stations, or operated by citizen scientists, for long-term analysis of the chemical composition of the atmosphere. The intent of this program is to support scientists, with a focus on undergraduates, to become inventors and innovators in this compelling area of research by building tools and instruments. Miniaturizing mass spectrometers has been an active area of research for many years, and it is timely to advance such prototype designs for broader applications for mobile monitoring. If successful, these prototype monitoring systems could have a lasting impact on informing policy decisions on sources of pollution, improving indoor and outdoor air quality, and furthering the democratization of access to clean air around the world.

The Foundation is requesting proposals to build novel mass spectrometer instruments with performance equivalent to current laboratory instruments that could operate on a wide range of ground-based and/or airborne platforms with minimal user expertise. Program teams must be based within a university or non-profit research institution with the ability to engage undergraduate students in research. The program team should include active participation from undergraduate students, with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff members from a mix of disciplines (e.g., chemistry, atmospheric sciences, engineering) as well as the technology transfer, commercialization, and administrative offices, as appropriate for the proposed program and institution’s resources.

The Foundation will provide support of up to $1 million per selected team over a 3-year development and testing program at awarded Institutions, which can be used flexibly to purchase materials for several prototype systems, consumables for testing, full-time support for undergraduate students to participate in the program, part-time support for other personnel, which could include research staff, graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows, support for industry collaborations, and/or training courses or experiences for participating students. Applicant institutions must demonstrate their commitment for additional funding beyond the $1 million support from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, if necessary, to complete the objectives of the program described below. The Foundation does not provide support for overhead or indirect costs. Additional information on the technical proposal, allowable program costs, budget format, and institutional support requirements can be found in the instructions in the online application portal.

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