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Kavli Nanoscience Institute's FAST Prize:

Faculty Staff Collaborative Project

The 2022 FAST Prize submission period is now closed, and the winner has been announced. Please check back in late Fall 2022 for the next opportunity round.

The KNI launched the FAST Prize with the aim to provide a platform for faculty to pursue small-scale nanoscience-based projects that will drive forward new capabilities in the KNI Laboratory. This program also fosters collaborative efforts between Caltech researchers and KNI technical staff, combining expertise from both perspectives to create new, tangible advancements for current and future members of our multi-user facility.

The award comes with $15,000 (maximum) to support KNI Lab usage fees and a $10,000 unburdened gift to directly facilitate this research project’s ability to expand techniques within the KNI Lab.

Along with the financial support, the KNI FAST prize includes dedicated collaboration and co-management from KNI technical staff, up to 10% effort (average of 4 hours/week per staff member).

Eligibility: The award is open to lead principal investigators who are affiliated with one of Caltech's academic divisions and are able to conduct research on campus.

Period of Performance: 12 months


1) A two-page proposal (single-spaced, 11-point font, 1-inch margins); references are not included in the two-page limit.

2) A completed Application Form

Successful proposals will:

1) Cover a novel or under-explored area of research within the KNI’s core areas, e.g. photonics, quantum information, electronics, bio- and medical engineering, novel materials, sustainability, etc.

2) Demonstrate a collaborative effort between academic researchers and KNI technical staff. Note: Applicants are expected to discuss the collaborative effort with KNI staff prior to submitting their proposal.

3) Highlight a new technical capability that will benefit existing or future users of the KNI Lab.

4) Contain realistic timelines and outcomes for the 12-month period.

Submission Deadline: 5 pm PT on December 15, 2021

Proposals and Application Forms should be submitted to For questions or more information, contact Tiffany Kimoto, Executive Director, at

FAST Prize Flyer for download


Since 2003, the Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) has emphasized nanoscale research at the frontiers of electronics, photonics, quantum matter and technology, medical- and bio-engineering, and sustainability. The KNI is an intellectual hub and facilitator of cross-disciplinary research in the areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology. It is the home of an advanced multi-user nanofabrication facility (“KNI Laboratory”) which helps support these endeavors.

Managed by a team of full-time technical staff, the KNI Laboratory spans 10,000 sq. ft. across two facilities, including a 7,500 sq. ft. controlled-environment cleanroom where the majority of lithography, deposition, etching, microscopy, and supporting instrumentation are located. The KNI lab user community is comprised of 130+ scientists from more than 30 research groups within the divisions of EAS, PMA, BBE, CCE, and GPS at Caltech, and includes researchers from local academic and government institutions and companies. Since opening its doors in 2008, the KNI Laboratory has been critical to realizing exciting breakthroughs in nanoscale photonics, materials science, and biotechnology.