Frequently Asked Questions

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) were developed to help applicants and research administrators with commonly asked questions for the Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (RENEW) funding opportunity announcement (FOA).

NOTE: There is a lot of information on the Applicant and Awardee Resources page, including general Applicant FAQs, information on the Promoting Inclusive and Equitable Research (PIER) Plans, Institution Designations/Classifications, and more. This information is not repeated here.

How do I assess whether I should apply to Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (RENEW) or Funding for Accelerated, Inclusive Research (FAIR)? Can I apply to both?

Both initiatives aim to increase the diversity of institutions participating in Office of Science (SC) research and to build relationships with institutions historically underrepresented in the SC research portfolio. The primary differences between the two initiatives are the goals of each. Training is the primary goal for RENEW, and applications to RENEW must include training activities beyond conduct of research. Whereas training is not the primary goal of FAIR which supports fundamental research to build research capacity, including infrastructure and expertise, at institutions historically underrepresented in the SC portfolio. However, research supported by FAIR may include support for students or postdoctoral researchers. Applicants may apply to one or both funding opportunities. However, the same application is unlikely to be relevant to both solicitations.

Is there more than one RENEW FOA in FY 2024?

No, there is only one RENEW FOA in FY 2024 that covers all Office of Science programs.

Is my institution eligible for RENEW?

Non-R1 emerging research institutions (ERIs) and non-R1 minority serving institutions (MSIs) are eligible to lead an application. All domestic institutions are eligible to partner with the lead applicant. Institution designations/classifications are posted here with the following specified: Minority-Serving Institution designation, Carnegie classification, and Emerging Research Institution classification.

Are there restrictions on which institutions can be included as part of the research application/team?

A non-R1 emerging research institution (ERI) or non-R1 minority serving institutions (MSI) must lead an application. All institutions are eligible to partner with the lead applicant. There are no limits on the number of partner institutions. However, there must be at least one team member from a DOE-affiliated institution in one of the following categories: a DOE National Laboratory, an SC Scientific User Facility, a Bioenergy Research Center, or a DOE IP Production Site.

What is a traineeship?

A traineeship provides participants with a structured, substantive STEM training program with measurable expectations and a duration and intensity substantial enough to achieve both short-term and long-term training outcomes.

What is the difference between an Exploratory Application and a Full Application?

An Exploratory Application is of smaller scope and duration but is still required to include a traineeship component. An Exploratory Application is not required before submitting a Full Application. All applications will be considered equally. The distribution between the number of and funding for Exploratory and Full awards depends on the number and quality of the applications; there is no quota for each category.

How should students be supported in the budget?

PIs should discuss options for student support with their Office of Sponsored Research, taking into consideration different employment categories, benefits, overhead rates, and financial aid restrictions associated with each option.

Do students supported under a RENEW award need to be U.S. citizens?

No. All personnel proposed to work under an award must have the legal right to perform such work. Neither proof of citizenship, permanent residency, or other legal status is required.

Does the Principal Investigator submit the pre-application or does the sponsored research office submit it?

Pre-applications may only be submitted by a PAMS user at the PI’s institution with the “Submit to DOE” privilege in PAMS. A PI may draft a pre-application but will only be able to submit the pre-application for institutional countersignature. The acknowledgment email will go to the Principal Investigator’s email address. The designated institutional official must submit before the pre-application or application deadline.

Is there a required format for the pre-application?

Yes. It is described in the FOA. Please follow it precisely. There are no templates for the pre-application.

Is summer salary an allowable cost?

Salary support, including summer salary, is an allowable cost. All requested costs must conform to your institutional policies and the applicable cost principles.

Is travel support allowed?

Yes. Principal investigators should budget and request support for any travel necessary to carry out the proposed research. Please work with your Office of Sponsored Research to ensure that all requested costs are in conformance with institutional policies and the applicable cost principles.

Can the budget contain funding for graduate students or postdoctoral associates ?


Can graduate students working on a RENEW research project apply to the Office of Science Graduate Student Research Program (SCGSR)?

Please review the detailed eligibility requirements at If a RENEW award includes funding for extended travel for graduate students to do research at a DOE laboratory/facility, that same work cannot be supported by SCGSR. However, graduate students may apply to conduct thesis research at a different DOE laboratory/facility. Please contact if you have further questions.

What should be included in the list of individuals who should not serve as reviewers?

The list of individuals who should not serve as reviewers should be a single file that includes lists from each senior/key person in the application. Detailed instructions on who should be included for each senior/key person are in section VIII.A.10. of the funding opportunity announcement. The list is rarely blank.

The National Science Foundation format for biosketches has changed since the FOA was released. The biosketch no longer includes synergistic activities and there is no page limit. What should I include in my application?

The Office of Science will accept either the old or new biosketch format for FY 2024 applications. If you would like to use the new format, synergistic activities may be included in the Other Attachment Appendix. If included, each senior/key person is limited to one page of up to five distinct examples of synergistic activities that demonstrates the individual’s professional and scholarly activities that focus on the integration, transfer, and creation of knowledge as related to the application.

My research sounds like it might fit in multiple programs. Which one should I apply to?

Questions regarding the specific program areas/technical topics can be directed to the technical contacts listed within the FOA. If you are unsure if your research is applicable to a particular program, please reach out to the technical contact that your research most closely aligns with to discuss.

Is the program limited to Principal Investigators (PIs) who are U.S. citizens?

No, but the PI must be employed by an institution that is eligible to submit to the FOA. All personnel proposed to work under an award must have the legal right to perform such work. Neither proof of citizenship, permanent residency, or other legal status is required.

Does this program require cost sharing?

No. Cost sharing is not required, requested, considered during merit review, or considered during award selection.

What is the limit on applications by a single institution?

Applicant institutions are limited to three pre-applications and three applications as the lead of a multi-institutional team for each program (ASCR, BES, BER, FES, HEP, NP, DOE IP, and ARDAP) listed in Section I of the FOA. Applicant institutions may participate as team members, whether as a sub award or a non-lead part of a collaborative application, in an unlimited number of applications.

Who do I contact if I’m having problems with submissions?

If you are having problems with submissions of a preapplication, please contact the PAMS helpdesk at 855-818-1846 or If you are having problems with submission of an application, please contact the Sponsored Projects Office at your institution or the helpdesk at 800-518-4726 or

Who should I contact for questions about budgets, eligibility, or similar topics?

Questions about budgets, eligibility, and similar topics should be directed to

What is PAMS?

The DOE Office of Science Portfolio Analysis and Management System (PAMS) is a software system that accepts submissions from outside DOE and helps applicants and DOE program managers organize their application and award portfolios. PAMS is integrated with such that grant applications submitted into are imported into and stored by PAMS. Pre-applications must be submitted directly into PAMS.

How do I register in PAMS?

To register, click “Create New PAMS Account” on the website and follow the instructions for creating an account. You will be prompted to create a username and password and to enter your contact information. Registering to PAMS is a two-step process. Once you create an individual account, you must associate yourself with (“register to”) your institution. Follow the onscreen instructions to do this.