Skip to main content

Overview: New Concepts in Solid-State Synthesis

The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is excited to announce a two-phase research challenge focused on advancing solid-state synthesis theory. The goal is to accelerate the synthesis of novel materials by leveraging advances in computational modeling and closing the gap between theory and experiment. Approaches might include prediction of reaction kinetics, large-scale atomistic simulations, improved phase transition modeling, or data-driven approaches to predicting synthesis pathways. Phase One of the challenge will be a two-year grant focused on theory. Phase Two will provide potential further funding for approaches that show a compelling and convincing use case for guiding synthesis predictions. The explicit goal for Phase Two is to establish fruitful experimental collaboration for the theories developed in Phase One.

Proposal Requirements for Phase One

  • Problem Identification: Describe the specific aspect of materials synthesis related to solid-state reactions and kinetics that your research aims to address.
  • Proposed Approach: Provide a concise overview of the current state of research in this area, explain what is novel about your proposed approach, and overview the theoretical methods and computational tools you plan to use.
  • Target Systems: Identify candidate systems you propose to study and justify their selection.
  • Integration with Experiment: Discuss experimental routes for validating and refining your theoretical approach in a possible Phase Two.

Selection Criteria for Phase One Include

  • Innovative and creative approaches leveraging recent methodological advances.
  • Early career scientists are especially encouraged to apply.
  • A compelling plan for collaboration with experimental groups in Phase Two. Experimental integration in Phase One is a bonus, but not required.
  • Submissions are welcome from professors and national lab scientists. Applications may be considered from individuals or groups of applicants.

Submission Guidelines

  • All proposals must be submitted electronically to
  • Proposals should not exceed four pages (excluding references). 
  • Please send any questions to

Proposal Submission Deadline

June 1, 2024 (applicants will be notified by July 1)

Supplemental Information

The proposed structure for our grants are:

Phase One: Theoretical Development

  • Duration: Two years
  • Participants: Several theory-oriented groups, with experimental components optional
  • Focus: Development of initial theoretical approaches for studying solid-state synthesis 
  • Funding: $250,000 per year per group (inclusive of indirect costs)

Phase Two: Experimental Validation and Further Development

  • Duration: Two years, with potential extension
  • Focus: Integration with experimental groups for validation and feedback on theory method
  • Objective: Attainment of a solution at Technology Readiness Level 3
  • Funding: TBD - Funding is not guaranteed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are budget and budget justification information required as part of the submission? Would this count toward the page limit? What about other supporting information, such as a CV?

A. These are not required. If budget information or other supplementary information, such as a CV, are appended, they do not count against the page limit, but please note that the priority for review will be the research proposal.


Q. Is there a limit on allowable indirect costs? 

A. There are no limits on allowable indirect costs.


Q. Are any costs disallowed, for example equipment/computers?

A. Costs related to e.g. equipment purchases are not disallowed, but please detail them if they are to be included.

Appendix: University Partnership Information

  • The award will take the form of an industry-sponsored research agreement. Applicants who are selected will be sent TRI’s industry-sponsored research agreement, and funding will be provided only upon your institution’s acceptance of TRI’s terms and conditions. 

  • The proposal will describe the time required to complete the proposed work.  

  • Funding for the entire proposed duration of the project is not guaranteed. Projects that do not meet their proposed Year One milestones will need to justify their continuation for Year Two. Historically, TRI has acted to discontinue projects based on non-performance. TRI expects that it is the nature of high-risk research with challenging objectives that some approaches will be found to be less fruitful than anticipated, and the project may need to change approaches or directions. 

  • TRI conducts its own research and your submission may be similar or identical to research already being conducted or already invented by TRI or other third parties. TRI retains all rights to fund, research, or develop technologies and projects which may be similar or identical to your submission.

  • Your submission imposes no obligations on TRI or any of its affiliates or related companies.

  • By making a submission, you warrant that you have the right and authority to submit the information in your submission.