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 battery and fuel cell research. Previous awardees are welcome to re-apply. Areas of particular interest include:

  • Theoretical studies, advanced characterization methods, and reaction mechanism investigations anticipated to lead to deeper understanding and possible new strategies to overcome the “scaling rule” of the ORR reaction.
  • Novel material design such as the bifunctional catalysts, catalytically active ionomers, or other concepts that can provide additional insight and present an opportunity to overcome the scaling limit of the ORR reaction.
  • Novel experimental methodology that enables the study of electrode catalyst activity and durability, as well as catalyst-ionomer interaction under anhydrous conditions and temperatures exceeding 100°C.
  • Novel analytical methods that enable the study of the SEI on metal anodes.
  • Analytical studies of dendritic growth in solid electrolyte.
  • Solid-state electrolytes that facilitate the use of metal anodes.
  • Synthesis of new solid electrolyte including both polymer and inorganic.
  • Synthesis of new high voltage (> 3V) multi-electron cathode material (excluding multi-valent cations).

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. 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 November 2018
Deadline for Proposals January 31, 2019
Candidate Interviews February/March 2019
Recipient(s) Approved May/June 2019
Deadline for Acceptance/Contract July 1, 2019
Fellowship Timeframe September 1, 2019 – August 31, 2020
6-Month Progress Report Deadline January 31, 2020
Final Report Deadline August 31, 2020
Toyota/ECS Presentation September 2020
Publish Open Access with ECS & Present at an ECS Biannual Meeting Before August 31, 2022

Application Form