Frequently Asked Questions for Investigators

General Questions (8)

General Questions

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

Researchers with advanced degrees (PhD, MD, or equivalent) who are affiliated with an established research organization can apply for funding. We welcome applications from researchers in the United States and elsewhere, as long as the proposed research targets HEI Energy's objectives in the Requests for Applications (RFAs).

Where do I send my application?

Email your application as a pdf to HEI Energy at The file size limit is 20 MB. If your file is larger, please reduce the file size or split into multiple files, with none exceeding the size limit of 20 MB, and send as attachments to separate emails. 

May I submit more than one preliminary application per RFA? May I apply to more than one RFA?

HEI Energy does not recommend sending more than one application, as the PI or co-PI, per RFA by the same scientist. However, being part of another application as a collaborator is acceptable, as is applying to more than one RFA at the same time.

What is the review process for applications?

Preliminary applications are reviewed by the Energy Research Committee, and selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application. Full invited applications are discussed first by an RFA review panel with appropriate expertise and subsequently by the Energy Research Committee, which makes the final funding recommendations to the HEI Energy Board.

How does HEI Energy handle conflicts of interest during the application process?

HEI-Energy guards against conflicts of interest with strict procedures that are modeled after those used by federal agencies such as the NIH. Please refer to the HEI Energy Conflict of Interest policy for more information.

What is the role of the Energy Research Committee?

The Energy Research Committee is an independent group of experts that develops and oversees the Energy Research Program. Working with HEI Energy staff, this Committee prepares Requests for Applications, reviews research applications, and recommends studies for funding to HEI’s Energy Board of Directors. Once a study has been funded, the Energy Research Committee provides technical oversight in the form of feedback on progress reports, interaction with investigators during webinars and site visits, and approval of contract renewals and amendments, and addresses any other challenges that may arise. The Committee and HEI Energy staff also work with investigators to coordinate stakeholder workshops in study locations.

What is the role of the Energy Review Committee?

The Energy Review Committee (to be formed after initiation of research funded by HEI Energy), which has no role in the review of applications or in the oversight of studies, provides an independent evaluation of the results of HEI Energy-funded studies. Research results are presented in the Final Investigators’ Report – a comprehensive final report that describes the study, its findings, and the investigators’ conclusions.  The Review Committee evaluates the Final Investigators’ Report by an unusually rigorous process that goes well beyond that generally used by journals. In addition, the Committee prepares a formal Commentary that is released along with the Final Investigators’ Report.

What is the purpose of HEI Energy workshops?

HEI Energy organizes webinars, workshops, and other forums to present research among all the investigators funded by HEI-Energy or to a broader audience of interested stakeholders, including HEI Energy sponsors, the Energy Research Committee, community members, policy-makers, members of the scientific community, and the general public.

HEI Energy also organizes workshops for investigators working under the same RFA to understand each other’s research better and to explore opportunities for coordination of studies and possible collaboration. Research Committee members and expert consultants also participate in these meetings.

Preliminary applications (5)

Preliminary applications

What are preliminary applications?

Preliminary applications are a mechanism for HEI Energy to preselect proposals when a large volume of proposals is expected. Investigators are asked to describe their research idea briefly (4 pages) and provide information on the feasibility of the research, experience of the research team, and an estimated budget.

How are preliminary applications evaluated?

The Energy Research Committee will assess all preliminary applications and invite a subset of applicants to submit a full application.

Does HEI Energy provide feedback?

After review, HEI Energy will request full applications from the most promising preliminary applications. HEI Energy may provide feedback to those who are invited to submit full applications but generally not to other applicants.

May I apply if my preliminary application was not selected?

No, HEI Energy accepts full applications by invitation only.

May I appeal the Committee's Decision?

No, the Committee's decisions are final.