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August 16, 2017

Volume 17 Issue 52

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NLGI Launches Research Grants Program

Last week, the National Lubricating Grease Institute officially launched a research grants program to encourage inquiry into the mysteries of lubricating grease. The NLGI Research Grants Program is intended to stimulate universities and nonprofit institutes to dive into high-level, original research into any aspect of grease.

According to the institute’s president, David Como of Dow Corning, NLGI is ready to accept research proposals online from now through Sept. 15. “That’s a tight deadline, yes, but our goal is to award the initial grant before the end of this calendar year to fund research work during the academic term starting January 2018,” he said.

“Depending on the quality of the proposals we see, the grant amounts can range from $1,000 up to $50,000 per calendar year,” Como added.

Types of research that will be considered include fundamental grease chemistry; thickener systems; improved test methods; insights into grease processing technologies; and sustainability of grease production, materials or use. Pre-competitive research of interest to the wider grease community will be favored, the institute said.

Although the initial grant award will fund research taking place next spring, in subsequent cycles it’s expected that the yearly grants will shift to focus on the fall academic term, according to Gareth Fish of Lubrizol. Fish chairs the technical subcommittee responsible for reviewing the grant proposals and making recommendations for the awards. He said future rounds of grant proposals will be accepted from Jan. 1 to March 15, with the idea of funding research that begins in in the second half of the year.

As Fish pointed out, NLGI has a history of funding academic research into lubricating grease, and of supporting work that has led to Ph.D.s being awarded to post-graduate researchers at various universities, including Penn State and Imperial College London.

However, those efforts had faded during the 2007-2008 recession years, observed Kim Hartley, NLGI’s executive director. “This re-launch shows that the NLGI Board of Directors recognizes a need to support the kinds of academic and fundamental research that contributes to the lubricating grease industry worldwide,” she said. “It’s the institute’s way of giving back to the global grease community.”

To be considered for a grant, qualified applicants must download and complete the Research Grant Form and submit it electronically to NLGI Headquarters, along with the lead researcher’s qualifications and references, a description of the proposed work and how it meets NLGI’s criteria for research grants, and who will conduct it.

To obtain more information about the program, review the general guidelines and expectations, or download a copy of the application form for research grant proposals, visit www.nlgi.org and click on the link to “Research Grants.”