ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship

For projects in green energy technology

ECS, in partnership with the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA), a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA), is requesting proposals from young professors and scholars pursuing innovative electrochemical research in green energy technology.

Global development of industry and technology in the 20th century, increased production of vehicles and the growing population have resulted in massive consumption of fossil fuels. Today, the automotive industry faces three challenges regarding environmental and energy issues: (1) finding a viable alternative energy source as a replacement for oil, (2) reducing CO2 emissions and (3) preventing air pollution. Although the demand for oil alternatives—such as natural gas, electricity and hydrogen—may grow, each alternative energy source has its disadvantages. Currently, oil remains the main source of automotive fuel; however, further research and development of alternative energies may bring change.

Read the rules.

Fellowship objectives and content

The purpose of the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship is to encourage young professors and scholars to pursue research in green energy technologies. Electrochemical research has already informed the development and improvement of innovative batteries, electrocatalysts, photovoltaics and fuel cells. Through this fellowship, ECS and TRINA hope to see more innovative and unconventional technologies borne from electrochemical research. Areas of particular interest include:

1. Post-lithium ion batteries (including all-solid, air cathode, high-power aqueous, flow-based, lithium metal protection, and non-Li based systems).

2. Fuel cell electro-catalysts, membranes, ionomers, membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs), and next generation H2 storage materials, as well as technology to reduce over-potential, improve durability, and enable operation at higher temperature.

3. Energy harvesting technology, including photovoltaics, thermoelectric, piezoelectric, and triboelectric materials.

4. Technology for the capture and/or conversion of CO2 into value-added products.

5. New energy storage concepts (non-ion based, quantum-based, utilizing other elementary particles, etc.)

6. Novel analysis techniques for batteries, fuel cell, and other electrochemical systems.

7. Other high risk, high reward next generation green energy technologies

The fellowship will be awarded to a minimum of one candidate annually. Winners will receive a restricted grant of no less than $50,000 to conduct the research outlined in their proposal within one year. Winners will also receive a one-year complimentary ECS membership as well as the opportunity to present and publish their research with ECS.

Meet previous winners.

Application Guidelines

Recipient Eligibility

To qualify, a candidate must be under 40 years of age and working in North America. The candidate must submit an original research proposal for review by the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Committee. The proposed research theme must not overlap with other research grants or other funded research projects.

Proposal Requirements

The format of the proposal is open, but it must present the research target, technical approach, budget and schedule in no more than three pages. Proposals should be submitted no later than January 31, 2018. Go to for rules and nomination form.

Selection Process

Proposals will be reviewed by the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Committee, a joint body of ECS and TRINA representatives. The committee will evaluate all proposals based upon their alignment with Toyota’s current technical needs; the unique, innovative or unconventional nature of the technical approaches and the feasibility of the technology to positively impact the field of green energy.

Award Acceptance

The selected award recipient(s) will sign a grant contract with ECS and will be required to submit a midway progress report and a final written report after one year of funding. The recipient(s) will be invited semiannually to TRINA to present their research progress.

Depending on the research progress and the results obtained at the completion of the award period, Toyota may elect to enter into a research agreement with the recipient to continue the work. The recipient must publish their findings open access in a relevant ECS journal within 24 months of the research period ending. The recipient(s) may also submit their abstract to present their research at an ECS biannual meeting.

Request for Proposals Issued December 2017
Deadline for Proposals January 31, 2018
Candidate Interviews February/March 2018
Recipient(s) Approved May/June 2018
Deadline for Acceptance/Contract July 1, 2018
Fellowship Timeframe September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019
6-Month Progress Report Deadline January 31, 2019
Final Report Deadline August 31, 2019
Toyota/ECS Presentation September 2019
Publish Open Access with ECS Before August 31, 2021