ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship

For projects in green energy technology

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

Population growth, increased production of vehicles, and the global development of industry and technology in the 20th century 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. Learn more about past fellowship winners:

Fellowship objectives and content

The purpose of the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship is to encourage young professionals and scholars to pursue research into batteries, fuel cells and hydrogen, and future sustainable technologies. Previous awardees are welcome to re-apply.

Areas of particular interest in the field of Battery include:

  • Lightweight and High Energy Density (Wh/kg) solid state batteries;
  • Enabling metal anodes for liquid and solid-state batteries;
  • Synthesis, characterization, and electrochemistry of novel organic, inorganic, and composite solid electrolytes;
  • Electrode / Electrolyte interfaces with low resistance;
  • Three-dimensional battery systems.

Areas of particular interest in the fields of Fuel Cell and Hydrogen include:

  • Novel materials and technologies that can substantially improve the durability of the membrane electrode assembly of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC);
  • Fundamental research and novel material design for high temperature PEMFCs that can operate in the absence of liquid water and at temperatures higher than 120°C;
  • New electrocatalysts that can improve hydrogen production efficiency in PEM water electrolyzers;
  • New theory and fundamental research that may lead to the discovery of next generation hydrogen storage materials and technologies.

Areas of particular interest in the field of Future Sustainable Technologies include:

  • Methods and materials to enable Direct Recycling and Upcycling of Li-ion Battery cathodes;
  • Efficient and effective binder removal and purification from Li-ion Battery electrodes;
  • Recovery, purification, and reuse of Li-ion Battery electrolytes;
  • New materials and electrochemical processes to enable CO2 capture, conversion, and utilization;
  • Novel methods to probe the interface of CO2

The fellowship is awarded to a minimum of one candidate annually. Winners receive a restricted grant of no less than US $50,000 to conduct the research outlined in their proposal within one year, and a one-year complimentary ECS membership.

Recipients are required to submit an abstract and present their research at one ECS biannual meeting, and publish their research in a relevant ECS journal within 24 months of receiving the award.

Application Guidelines

Recipient Eligibility

To qualify, a candidate must be under 45 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.

The recipient must be a member in good standing of The Electrochemical Society (ECS). There are no restrictions or reservations regarding age, sex, race, citizenship, etc.

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.

Selection Process

Proposals are reviewed by the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Subcommittee, a joint body of ECS and TRI-NA representatives. The committee evaluates all proposals based on 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. The ECS Education Committee then reviews the subcommittee’s recommendation, and if approved, forwards the recommendation for review and approval at the next meeting of the ECS Board of Directors.

Award Acceptance

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

Depending on the research progress and 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 in a relevant ECS journal and present at an ECS meeting within 24 months of receipt of the award.

Timeline for 2022-2023 Award Year
Request for Proposals Issued November 2021
Deadline for Proposals January 31, 2022
Candidate Interviews February/March 2022
Recipient(s) Approved May/June 2022
Deadline for Acceptance/Contract July 2022
Fellowship Timeframe September 1, 2022 – August 31, 2023
6-Month Progress Report Deadline March 2023
Final Report Deadline September 2023
Toyota/ECS Presentation September 2023
Publish Open Access with ECS & Present at an ECS Biannual Meeting Before August 31, 2024
Past recipients

2021-2022
Chibueze Amanchukwu
Christopher G. Arges
Marm Dixit
Marta Hatzell
Siddharth Komini Babu

2020-2021
Shoji Hall
Piran Ravichandran Kidambi
Haegyeom Kim

2019-2020
Neil Dasgupta
Kelsey Hatzell
Jennifer L. Schaefer

2018-2019
Kimberly See
Iryna Zenyuk

2017-2018
Ahmet Kusoglu
Julie Renner
Shuhui Sun

2016-2017
Elizabeth Biddinger
Joaquin Rodriguez Lopez
Joshua Snyder