September 2016
The FAS Research Development group publishes this monthly Funding Newsletter for SEAS faculty and researchers. The newsletter includes notable Federal, private, and internal Harvard funding opportunities. To provide feedback, please complete our two-question survey.  
Erin Cromack: | 617-496-5252 
Jennifer Corby: | 617-495-1590  
For more information on our support services, please visit our website.

Did you know? All Harvard affiliates have access to the funding opportunity database, Pivot

News and Announcements

New Funding Opportunity
Dean's Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship
Deadline: October 17th
Dean Smith has announced the Dean's Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship, a targeted program that provides funding to FAS and SEAS ladder faculty, professors of practice, and professors in residence.

National Science Foundation
Deadline: September 27th
The National Science Foundation is beginning the process of updating its Strategic Plan. As part of that process, the Foundation invites feedback on the Vision, Core Values, Strategic Goals and Strategic Objectives described in the current NSF Strategic Plan. 

Funding Opportunities
Click on the links below to read a program synopsis

Internal Opportunities
External Opportunities

U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Science Foundation: Dear Colleague Letters
National Science Foundation: Directorate for Computer & Information Science and Engineering (NSF CISE)
National Science Foundation: Directorate for Engineering

Internal Opportunities

Deadline: October 1, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $150,000 over one or two years
Target Applicants: Full-time assistant, associate, or full professors from any Harvard School may apply for an award. Students and postdoctoral scholars with an identified faculty mentor who will supervise their research are also eligible to apply.
The Harvard University Climate Change Solutions Fund supports research and policy initiatives intended to hasten the transition from carbon-based energy systems to those that rely on renewable energy sources, to develop methods for diminishing the impact of existing carbon-based energy systems on the climate, and to propel scientific, technological, legal, policy and artistic innovations needed to accelerate progress toward cleaner energy and a greener world. 

This year, because of generous donations from individual donors, additional funds will be dedicated to proposals that relate to climate change issues in China and in equatorial regions, broadly defined. Proposals in these areas are especially encouraged to apply.

Applications should propose research that will advance solutions to climate change. Solutions may include both preparedness and mitigation and strong consideration will be given to projects that demonstrate a clear pathway to application, as well as riskier proposals with the potential to be transformative over time.

Physical Sciences and Engineering Accelerator Awards
Pre-Proposal Deadline: October 3, 2016
Full Proposal Deadline (by invite): November 21, 2016
Award Amount: $50,000 to $100,000
Eligible Applicants: Principal Investigators whose employer is Harvard University
The PSE Accelerator Awards are designed to support innovative research aimed at extending preliminary observations, establishing proof-of-concept, scaling-up a product or process, and generating (or enhancing) intellectual property positions. The objective of the program is to accelerate research projects towards one of following value-creation inflection points: (1) formation of a start-up company, (2) licensing the technology to an established company, or (3) securing follow-on industrial funding for continued R&D. 

The review criteria will emphasize: the commercial potential of the research project; the existence of, or the possibility of filing, intellectual property; and the delineation of a clear R&D roadmap detailing how Accelerator Funding will lead to a value-creation inflection point. Particular emphasis will be given to those projects that could result in a Harvard-led start-up.

Harvard Faculty Research Grants
The Emirates Leadership Initiative
Full Proposal Deadline: October 7, 2016
Award Amount: One-year grants (up to $80,000) and multi-year grants (up to $120,000 per year)
Eligibility: Harvard University faculty

The Middle East Initiative (MEI) offers funding each year to Harvard faculty for research proposals on major policy issues affecting the region. The Emirates Leadership Initiative (ELI) provides the critical opportunities needed for emerging leaders from the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East to confront the region's public policy issues in question through a multi-pronged approach. 

The ELI will consider research proposals on a wide range of countries in the region, but focused on the following topics: 
  • democratizing politics (establishing durable, accountable democracies not only by focusing on political institutions, but also by empowering the region's citizens); 
  • revitalizing the state (reforming the Middle East's social service delivery systems with a special emphasis on health, education and social protection); 
  • democratizing financial and labor markets (working to ensure that the Middle East's financial and labor markets benefit the entire population, not merely the elite); and 
  • social and emerging technologies (aligning science and technology missions to promote regional development goals). 

For more information, please contact Julia Martin at

Harvard Faculty Research Grants
The Kuwait Program
Full Proposal Deadline: October 7, 2016
Award Amount: One-year grants (up to $80,000) and multi-year grants (up to $120,000 per year)
Eligibility: Harvard University faculty

The Middle East Initiative (MEI) offers funding each year to Harvard faculty for research proposals on major policy issues affecting the region. The Kuwait Program will consider research proposals on a wide range of topics, but focused primarily on Kuwait and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. We strongly encourage proposals that have collaborative elements with scholars in the region. Please contact MEI if you would like assistance connecting with researchers in Kuwait. 

Priority will be given to the following subjects, although proposals will be considered for research in other areas as well: 
  • education reform (management of higher education in Kuwait; youth and their role in the future of the Arab World); 
  • economic development in the Gulf (economic development and structural diversification; building a stronger private sector; attracting foreign investment and managing civil risks); 
  • political reform (regulatory and legal reform; strategic planning and crisis analysis/control; the Arab political transformation); 
  • energy policy (externality impacts of energy development, including water; renewable options); 
  • science, technology, and innovation (environmental and health impacts; urban sustainability; the culture, systems, modes of delivery, and management of knowledge).

For more information, please contact Julia Martin at

Dean's Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship
Deadline: October 17, 2016
Award Amount: $50,000 maximum
Eligible Applicants: Ladder faculty, professors of the practice, and professors in residence
The Dean's Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship is a targeted program that provides funding in the following three categories:
  • Bridge funding, to allow faculty to continue work on very promising research that has not yet won external funding;
  • Seed funding, to encourage faculty to pursue exciting, original research directions that might not yet be ready to compete in traditional funding programs; and 
  • Enabling subventions, to provide small funds in support of an external fellowship or to purchase (or upgrade) critical equipment.


Deadline for applications in the natural sciences and mathematics: October 6, 2016
Award Amount: Stipend of up to $75,000 for one year with additional funds for project expenses
The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program annually selects and supports 50 leading artists and scholars who have both exceptional promise and demonstrated accomplishments. Fellows receive office or studio space and access to libraries and other resources of Harvard University during the fellowship year, which extends from early September 2017 through May 31, 2018. Fellows are expected to be free of their regular commitments so they may devote themselves full time to the work outlined in their proposal. Applications in all academic disciplines, professions, and creative arts are encouraged. 

Deadline: October 24, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $18,000 
Eligible Applicants: Ladder faculty members or current or former Radcliffe Institute fellows
Exploratory seminars provide funding to bring together scholars, practitioners, and artists from Harvard University and around the world to develop ideas and research across the disciplines. Seminars are usually one or two days in length and are held at the Radcliffe Institute with all logistical arrangements handled by Radcliffe staff. Applications are welcome from all academic fields.

U.S. Department of Defense


U.S. Department of Defense
Department of the Army: Materiel Command
Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT)
OSP Deadline: September 23, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: September 30, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $333,333. Each award will have a period of performance between 9 and 12 months. 3 awards are anticipated.  

The  U.S. Army Research Laboratory (Computational and Information Sciences Directorate CISD) is soliciting proposals for the Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) program under Topic 3.2.4. "High-level Information Fusion, Exploitation, Social Network Analysis and Knowledge Management Research." ARL is soliciting proposals for the performance of basic research focused on extending the state-of-the-art in managing and adapting devices and information sources, localized and distributed processing, and deception stemming from the emergent Internet of Things. 

The aim of this Special Notice is to address the current limitations in accessing, processing and using information from the emergent ubiquitous cyber-physical network of sensors, and information sources. Synergistic, multidisciplinary collaborative teams composed of experimental, theoretical, and computational researchers are strongly encouraged.

Naval Surface Warfare Center
Naval Engineering Education Consortium (NEEC) Broad Agency Announcement for FY16
OSP Deadline: October 3, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: October 10, 2016
Award Amount: The funded amount and period of performance of each proposal selected may vary depending on the research area and the technical approach to be pursued
This program solicits research of interest from colleges and universities in support of the Naval Engineering Education Consortium. 

Areas of interest include: Ship Integration and Design; Unmanned Vehicles/Autonomous Systems; Additive Manufacturing; Signatures and Silencing; Hydrodynamics/Hydromechanics; Metrology & Calibration for High Energy Lasers; Metrology & Calibration for Additive Manufacturing/3D printing Technologies; Metrology of Sensors/Detectors; Big Data Analytics for assessment purposes; Emerging software development; Laser systems development; Electronic Warfare and Radar; Human Systems Interface; CBR Defense; Biodefense; and Viscoelastic polymer research.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Hierarchical Identify Verify Exploit (HIVE)
OSP Deadline: October 12, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: October 19, 2016
Award Amount: Multiple awards are anticipated. The amount of resources made available under this BAA will depend on the quality of the proposals received and the availability of funds.

This program is soliciting research proposals for the development of a generic and scalable graph processor specializing in processing sparse graph primitives. The program includes the development of chip prototypes, development of software tools to support programming of the new hardware, and design of a system architecture to support efficient multi-node scaling. 
DARPA seeks innovative proposals in the following three technical areas (TAs):


1.  Technical Area One (TA1): Graph Analytics Processor

2.  Technical Area Two (TA2) Graph Analytics Toolkits

3.  Technical Area Three (TA3): System Evaluator


The program will consist of three phases: Phase 1: Architecture (12 month base period); Phase 2: Prototype (24 month option period); and Phase 3: Demonstration (18 month option period).

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Extreme Optics and Imaging (EXTREME)
OSP Deadline: October 18, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: October 25, 2016
Award Amount: Multiple awards are anticipated. The level of funding for individual awards made under this solicitation has not been predetermined and will depend on the quality of the proposals received and the availability of funds. EXTREME is divided into two 24-month phases.

The goal of the EXTREME Program is to develop new optical architectures designed in concert with the maturation of practical Engineered Optical Materials (EnMats) (i.e., wide spectral bandwidth, low loss, etc.) to enable new functionality and/or vastly improve Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) characteristics of traditional optical systems. If successful, the EXTREME program will open up a heretofore unexplored optical design space, redefining, if not completely breaking, trade-offs that are inherent to traditional optical design processes. Please note that DARPA is interested in the application of EnMats to novel optical architectures, and not on advancing any specific EnMat during this program. Specifically not of interest to EXTREME is conventional gradient refractive index (GRIN) optics.

DARPA expects close collaboration and teaming from the: 1) EnMat design and fabrication; 2) multiscale mathematical modeling, simulation, optimization; and 3) optical system design communities (and potentially others), to develop novel system architectures with extreme capabilities that are based on EnMats. These new architectures are expected to achieve at least an order of magnitude SWaP reduction and/or revolutionary performance improvement over equivalent state-of-the-art (SOA) systems.

To achieve the goals of the EXTREME program described above, proposers will address an architectural challenge problem. The selected challenge problem will guide the EnMats development as well as the modeling and simulation development.

Office of Naval Research (ONR)
Young Investigator Program (YIP) 
OSP Deadline: October 28, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: November 4, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $170,000 per year for 3 years. Additional funds (beyond the basic $170,000 yearly amount) for capital equipment which enhances the Young Investigator's proposed research may be requested for the first budget period. As an incentive to become involved in other ONR activities, the Office may match on a 1-for-1 basis, the first $25,000 of additional funding to support additional, collaborative research with a Navy laboratory during the YIP award.
The objectives of ONR's Young Investigator Program (YIP) are to attract outstanding early-career faculty members to the Department of the Navy's research program, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. Eligible proposals address research areas including, but not limited to: Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism; Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Ocean Battlespace Sensing; Sea Warfare and Weapons; Warfighter Performance; and Naval Air Warfare and Weapons, which are of interest to ONR program officers. 

The Principal Investigator of a proposal must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident (on the date proposals are due), holding a first or second full-time tenure-track or tenure-track-equivalent faculty position at that university, and have begun her/his first full-time appointment on or after 04 November 2011.

Other DoD Opportunities:

If you are interested in DoD funding opportunities, please note:
The Defense Innovation Marketplace is a centralized source for Department of Defense science and technology (S&T) planning, acquisition resources, funding, and financial information. 

Office of Science
Annual Funding Opportunity Announcement
OSP Deadline: 5 business days in advance of submission
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling through September 30, 2016
The Office of Science (SC) supports work in the following program areas: Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, and Nuclear Physics. 

This FOA will remain open until September 30, 2016, 11:59 PM Eastern Time, or until it is succeeded by another issuance, whichever occurs first.

Scientific Infrastructure Support for Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research
OSP Deadline: November 16, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: November 23, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $2M
Under the General Scientific Infrastructure Support for Universities section of this FOA, applications can be submitted for equipment, software, instrumentation, and associated non-reactor upgrade requests that support nuclear energy-related R&D or education. Funding requests can include, but are not limited to, equipment and instrumentation for specialized facilities, classrooms and teaching laboratories (for universities only), and nonreactor NS&E research.  

Infrastructure requests that support the sharing and use of equipment and instrumentation by multiple campuses of a university, multiple universities, or national laboratories are encouraged.

Universities are permitted to submit one single application to this FOA area per institution. If you plan to submit, please contact Susan Gomes (, 617-496-9448) as soon as possible so we can determine if internal coordination is necessary.

Fiscal Year 2017 Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research: Integrated Research Projects
OSP Deadline: February 10, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: February 17, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $5M over 3 years (except for individual workshops)
U.S. University-led Integrated Research Projects are significant projects within specific research areas, intended to develop a capability within each area to address specific needs, problems, or capability gaps identified and defined by the Office of Nuclear Energy.  These projects are multidisciplinary and require multi-institutional partners.  IRPs may include a combination of evaluation capability development, research program development, experimental work, and computer simulations. IRPs are intended to integrate several disciplinary skills in order to present solutions to complex systems design problems that cannot be addressed by a less comprehensive team. Although a proposing team must be led by a lead university PI and include at least one additional university collaborator, the proposed project team may include multiple universities and nonuniversity partners (e.g., industry/utility, minority-serving institution (MSI), national laboratory, underrepresented group, and international).

Please note that the letter of intent and pre-proposal deadlines for the additional two funding mechanisms mentioned in this announcement (NSUF and R&D) have already passed.

Advanced Research Projects (ARPA-E)
Innovative Development in Energy-Related Applied Science (IDEAS)
OSP Deadline: Not required for concept papers
Sponsor Concept Paper Deadline: Rolling through September 30, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $500,000 over one year
This program provides rapid support of early-stage applied research to explore innovative new concepts with the potential for transformational and disruptive changes in energy technology. IDEAS awards are intended to be flexible and may take the form of analyses or exploratory research that provides the agency with information useful for the subsequent development of focused technology programs. IDEAS awards may also support proof-of-concept research to develop a unique technology concept, either in an area not currently supported by the agency or as a potential enhancement to an ongoing focused technology program. Applications must propose concepts that are not covered by open ARPA-E focused FOAs and that also do not represent incremental improvements over existing technology.

Foundation Opportunities

Faculty Innovation Award
Sponsor Deadline: September 30, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $100,000
The Sony Faculty Innovation Award provides up to $100K in unrestricted funds to conduct pioneering research in the following areas: Artificial Intelligence; Human Computer Interaction; Affective/Positive Computing; Knowledge-Based Information Extraction; Computational Neuroscience; Modular Neural Networks; Conversational Agent; Speech Recognition; Spoken Language Understanding; Active Vision; Multi-modal Sensor Data Fusion; Functional Image Sensing; Internet of Things (IoT); Multiple Sensor Networks; mm-Wave Wireless Communication & Radar System; Unlicensed Band (5GHz/2.4GHz) Co-existence; Autonomous-decentralized Wireless Network; AR / VR; Immersive Experience; Computational Photography; ADAS / Autonomous Driving; Electro-acoustic Transducer; and Robotics.
Note: these awards are likely to be received as gifts and therefore do not need to be submitted though OSP. Please check with your grant administrator before submitting your proposal.

2016 Focused Research Award
Sponsor Deadline: September 30, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $150,000 per year (which can be renewed for subsequent years)
The Sony Focused Research Award provides an opportunity for university faculty and Sony to conduct collaborative, focused research. The award provides up to a $150K annual fund, and may be renewed for subsequent year(s). The research topics are: Sensor Fusion with mm-Wave Radar for Automotive Application; Next Generation 60GHz Wireless Network; Next Generation Novel Display System; Image-based Photo-realistic Rendering; Machine Learning Based Image Processing; High-accuracy Inertial Navigation System; and Evolving Reinforcement Learning from Simulation to Real Environment. 
Note: these awards are likely to be received as gifts and therefore do not need to be submitted though OSP. Please check with your grant administrator before submitting your proposal.

Sponsor Deadline: September 30, 2016
Award Information: up to $150,000; most awards are funded at the amount needed to support one graduate student for one year and range from $40,000 to $70,000
This program supports academic research in computer science, engineering, and related fields. Each funded project will be assigned a Google sponsor, who will discuss research directions, engage with professors and students, and enable interactions between the project team and Google. 

Faculty Research Awards are one-year awards structured as current-use unrestricted gifts (subject to a gift assessment at the local School rate) to support the research of world-class permanent faculty members at top universities around the world. Although Google states that Faculty Research Awards do not cover indirect costs, administrative costs, or overhead, the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Google's University Relations group have reached an agreement that authorizes each School to assess gifts in line with university and school policies. For FAS and SEAS, the gift assessment fee on unrestricted current-use gift funds is 15%. This includes, at certain schools, the exemption of some classes of funds such as financial aid. 

Please direct any questions about the acceptance of Google Faculty Research Awards to Denise Gorayeb, Recording Secretary (, or Jen Chow, Director of Foundation and Corporate Development, OVPR (

Collaborations in Mathematics and the Physical Sciences
Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: October 3, 2016
OSP Deadline: February 21, 2017
Sponsor Deadline (if invited): February 28, 2017
Award Amount: Up to $2.5 million per year for an initial period of 4 years
A Simons Collaboration in MPS should address a mathematical or theoretical topic of fundamental scientific importance, where a significant new development creates a novel area for exploration or provides a new direction for progress in an established field. The questions addressed by the collaboration may be concrete or conceptual, but there should be little doubt that answering them would constitute a major scientific milestone. 

Each collaboration is led by a collaboration director, who is expected to determine the scientific agenda, to coordinate the scientific activities of the other members, to determine (in collaboration with the other members) the scientific themes and to organize collaboration meetings and activities as appropriate, including a two-day annual conference at the foundation. The project should involve outstanding researchers with a range of career stages and PIs are expected to perform research that advances the goals of the collaboration and to collaborate as appropriate with other members of the collaboration.  

Regular Research Grants
OSP Deadline: November 7, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: November 15, 2016
Award Amount: $230,000 maximum for 4 years
The Regular Research Grants Program is open to all scientists from Israel and the USA who would like to conduct joint research in a variety of scientific research. Applications must be submitted together by at least one scientist from each country, but not more than six in total. The Israeli and American principal investigators must have obtained a PhD, or MD, or an equivalent degree, and must be faculty members or equivalent. 

The following areas of research are eligible for the upcoming deadline: Atmospheric and earth sciences; chemistry; computer sciences; ecology and systematic biology; energy research; environmental research; materials research; mathematical sciences; oceanography and limnology; physics; psychology; sociology, and special programs.


James S. McDonnell Foundation
Studying Complex Systems Collaborative Activity Awards
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling
Award Amount: Budgets for collaborative activities vary greatly depending on the scope of the proposed project and on the number of people involved

The Foundation offers Collaborative Activity Awards to initiate interdisciplinary discussions on problems or issues, to help launch interdisciplinary research networks, or to fund communities of researchers and practitioners dedicated to developing new methods, tools, and applications of basic research to applied problems. Strong preference will be given to applications involving multi-institutional collaboration. 

Proposals furthering the science of complex systems and/or proposals intending to apply complex system tools and models to problems where such approaches are not yet considered usual or mainstream are appropriate. Please note that this Foundation limits the number of inquiries an investigator may submit to one every three years. 

Targeted Grants in Mathematics and Physical Sciences
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling
Award Amount: A typical Targeted Grant in MPS provides funding for up to five years. The funding provided is flexible and based on the type of support requested in the proposal. There is no recommended funding limit.
The Simons Foundation division for Mathematics and Physical Sciences seeks to extend the frontiers of basic research. The division's primary focus is on mathematics, theoretical physics and theoretical computer science. This program is intended to support high-risk projects of exceptional promise and scientific importance on a case-by-case basis. Expenses for experiments, equipment, or computations, as well as for personnel and travel, are allowable.


Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)
OSP Deadline: 5 business days before submission to sponsor
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling between May 3, 2016 and May 2, 2017
Award Amount: Awards generally support a period of performance of 12 months or less; resources made available under this BAA will depend on the quality of the proposals received and the availability of funds
IARPA invests in high-risk, high-payoff research that has the potential to provide our nation with an overwhelming intelligence advantage. This BAA solicits abstracts or proposals for IARPA. IARPA is soliciting proposals for research on topics that are not addressed by emerging or ongoing IARPA programs or other published IARPA solicitations. The BAA primarily, but not solely, seeks proposals for early stage research (which IARPA refers to as "seedlings").

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Parent R01
OSP Deadline (New): September 28, 2016
Sponsor Deadline (New): October 5, 2016
OSP Deadline (Renewal, Resubmission, Revision): October 31, 2016
Sponsor Deadline (Renewal, Resubmission, Revision): November 5, 2016
Award Amount: No specific dollar limit unless specified in FOA
Major features of the NIH Research Project Grant Program (R01):
  • Used to support a discrete, specified, circumscribed research project;
  • NIH's most commonly used grant program;
  • No specific dollar limit unless specified in FOA;
  • Advance permission required for $500K or more (direct costs) in any year;
  • Generally awarded for 3 to 5 years;
  • Utilized by all NIH Institutes and Centers.

Transformative Research Award 
OSP Deadline: September 30, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: October 7, 2016
Award Amount: No limit
The goal of the NIH Transformative Research Awards initiative is to provide support for collaborative investigative teams or individual scientists who propose unusually innovative research projects, which, if successful, would have a major impact in a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research. 

To be considered transformative, projects must have the potential to create or overturn fundamental scientific paradigms through the use of novel approaches, to transform the way research is conducted through the development of novel tools or technologies, or to lead to major improvements in health through the development of highly innovative therapies, diagnostic tools, or preventive strategies. Consistent with this focus, applications supported under the Transformative Research Awards initiative will reflect ideas substantially different from mainstream concepts. Little or no preliminary data are expected. Projects must clearly demonstrate the potential to produce a major impact in a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research.  

Parent R03
OSP Deadline (New): October 10, 2016
Sponsor Deadline (New): October 16, 2016
OSP Deadline (Renewal, Resubmission, Revision): November 9, 2016
Sponsor Deadline (Renewal, Resubmission, Revision): November 16, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $50,000 per year for up to 2 years
Major features of the NIH Small Grant Program (R03):
  • Provides limited funding for a short period of time to support a variety of types of projects, including: pilot or feasibility studies, collection of preliminary data, secondary analysis of existing data, small, self-contained research projects, development of new research technology, etc.;
  • Limited to two years of funding;
  • Direct costs generally up to $50,000 per year;
  • Not renewable;
  • Utilized by more than half of the NIH Institutes and Centers.

Parent R21
OSP Deadline (New): October 10, 2016
Sponsor Deadline (New): October 16, 2016
OSP Deadline (Renewal, Resubmission, Revision): November 9, 2016
Sponsor Deadline (Renewal, Resubmission, Revision): November 16, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $275,000 for up to 2 years
Major features of the NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21)
  • Encourages new, exploratory and developmental research projects by providing support for the early stages of project development.  Sometimes used for pilot and feasibility studies.
  • Limited to up to two years of funding
  • Combined budget for direct costs for the two-year project period usually may not exceed $275,000.
  • No preliminary data is generally required
  • Most Institutes and Centers utilize.

Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostic Challenge
OSP Deadline: January 2, 2017
Sponsor Step 1 Deadline: January 9, 2017
Award Amount: up to $50,000 (under Step 1); up to $100,000 (under Step 2); and equal to or greater than $18M (under Step 3)
The NIH and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) are searching for novel and innovative in vitro diagnostic tests that would rapidly inform clinical treatment decisions and be of potential significant clinical and public health utility to combat the development and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
This Challenge, structured in three steps, will complement existing BARDA and NIH research portfolios by reaching out to a diverse population of innovators and solvers, including not only those from academic institutions, but also those from research and development communities in the private sector and others who are outside biomedical disciplines.

Other NIH Opportunities:

National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation: Dear Colleague Letters

NSF/NSFC Joint Research on Environmental Sustainability Challenges
OSP Deadline: October 13, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: October 20, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $500,000 over four years (U.S. team) + 3 million yuan (China Team)

The NSF Engineering Directorate (ENG) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) Department of Engineering and Material Sciences (DEMS) are partnering to encourage joint research by U.S. - China teams collaborating on fundamental research that addresses critical environmental sustainability challenges. Every proposal must include the participation of researchers from at least one U.S. institution and at least one institution in China. The proposal submitted to NSF must conform to NSF proposal requirements as specified in NSF's posted Grant Proposal Guide, and the matching proposal submitted to NSFC must conform to requirements posted by NSFC.

Special Guidelines for Submitting Collaborative Proposals under the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems-Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council UK (CBET-EPSRC) Lead Agency Activity
OSP Deadline: October 13, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: October 20, 2016
Award Amount: Unspecified

The goal of this activity is to reduce some of the barriers that researchers currently encounter when working internationally. The CBET-EPSRC Lead Agency Activity will allow US and UK researchers to submit a single collaborative proposal that will undergo a single review process. Proposals will be accepted for collaborative research in areas at the intersection of CBET and the EPSRC's Engineering Theme's missions. Proposers should review the CBET Program Descriptions for research supported through CBET and the EPSRC Engineering Theme for further information on what areas of research are eligible for support through this activity. Proposals are expected to adhere to typical proposal budgets and durations for the relevant CBET and EPSRC program from which funding is sought.

FY 2017 Sustainable Chemistry, Engineering, and Materials Funding Opportunity
OSP Deadline: Five business days prior to the appropriate sponsor deadline
Sponsor Deadline: Proposals should be submitted through the existing program of interest in participating divisions; each division provides a different submission window (deadline)
Award Amount: Unspecified
The SusChEM initiative addresses the interrelated challenges of sustainable supply, engineering, production, and use of chemicals and materials. In FY 2017, the participating divisions are Chemistry (CHE); Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET); Materials Research (DMR); Earth Science (EAR); and the Materials Engineering and Processing Program in the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI).
Examples of fundamental research topics of interest in SusChEM include the replacement of rare, expensive, and/or toxic chemicals/materials with earth-abundant, inexpensive, and benign chemicals/materials; recycling of chemicals/materials that cannot be replaced; development of non-petroleum based sources of important raw materials; elimination of waste products and enhancements in efficiencies of chemical reactions and processes; discovery of new separation science that will facilitate recycling and production of valuable chemicals/materials; and development and characterization of low cost, sustainable, and scalably-manufactured materials with improved properties.

NSF-NIST Interaction in Basic and Applied Scientific Research in BIO, ENG & MPS
OSP Deadline: Five business days prior to submission to the sponsor
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling
Award Amount: Up to $25,000
This Dear Colleague Letter is intended to facilitate interactions between Principal Investigators (PIs), co-PIs, post-doctoral scholars and both undergraduate and graduate students supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as well as scientists and engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The program provides supplements to NSF-supported researchers with active awards in participating divisions within NSF's Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorates for collaboration with researchers in the NIST Laboratories and User Facilities.

Supporting Fundamental Research in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
OSP Deadline: Five business days prior to submission to the sponsor
Sponsor Deadline: Various
Award Amount: Various 
With this Dear Colleague, NSF announces their intention to support, foster, and accelerate fundamental research that advances the positive use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to save lives, increase safety and efficiency, and enable more effective science and engineering research. These research investments will be made through existing CISE and ENG core and crosscutting research programs.
NSF-funded advancements are enabling a wide variety of beneficial applications of UAS in areas such as monitoring and inspection of physical infrastructure, prevention of airport bird strikes, smart emergency/disaster response, natural gas leak detection, agriculture support, personal services, and observation and study of weather phenomena including severe storms.

Data Resources for the BRAIN Initiative
OSP Deadline: Five business days prior to submission to the sponsor
Sponsor Deadline: Various
Award Amount: Various
This broad interagency effort is supporting projects that are using different combinations of technologies and model organisms, generating multi-modal data sets aimed at understanding specific circuit contributions to brain function. These data sets include systematic collections of molecular profiles, anatomic information, functional properties of brain cells, as well as neuronal activity data, connectivity maps and high-resolution data on complex behaviors.
The standing core programs or solicitations at NSF that are most relevant to this effort include:
  • Advances in Biological Informatics (ABI);
  • Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2); and
  • Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs).

Collaborative Supplemental Funding Opportunity in Graphene and 2D Layered Materials and Devices under the U.S. NSF/ENG - US-EC International Opportunity
OSP Deadline: Five business days prior to submission to the sponsor
Sponsor Deadline: Various
Award Amount: Various
The Directorate for Engineering (ENG) is pleased to announce a U.S.-EU collaborative research opportunity. The goal is to enable research synergy through international collaboration and reduce some of the current barriers to working internationally. NSF/ENG, the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE) and the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission (EC) will address these points by allowing U.S. and EU researchers to submit requests for funding that will be considered as supplements to existing grants. More specifically, this will be in the form of funding available for international collaboration between the U.S. and the EU in the area of Graphene and two-dimensional (2D) Layered Materials and Devices.

Exploring Mechanisms to Enhance the Economic and Societal Impacts of Fundamental Advances in Information and Communications Technologies
OSP Deadline: Five business days prior to submission to the sponsor
Sponsor Deadline: Various
Award Amount: Various 
Through this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), the Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) announce the intention to explore new models for maximizing the societal, psychological, and behavioral impact of these and other advances in ICT, particularly for low-income and disadvantaged individuals, families, and communities. 

NSF Support for DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) Participants
Release Date: July 21, 2016

Wireless systems constitute a major source of productivity for nearly every sector of society and in turn drive the nation's overall economic competitiveness. Given the rapid proliferation of wireless networks and edge devices as well as the growth in wireless applications and services, precious spectrum resources are in ever-greater demand. Because wireless spectrum is finite, this demand cannot be met by simply allocating additional spectrum bands. Instead, spectrum sharing is seen as a viable option to meet the demand for scarce wireless spectrum by identifying unused frequency bands in the spatial and temporal domains.

In March 2016, in response to the challenge described above - the increasing demand for wireless spectrum - the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced a Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) that aims to reward teams for developing smart systems that collaboratively, rather than competitively, adapt in real time to today's fast-changing, congested spectrum environment.

Through this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) encourages academic researchers to participate in SC2, and announces its intention to support those researchers to pursue novel strategies in spectrum collaboration as part of SC2. NSF intends to accept proposals from academic researchers actively engaged in SC2 in one of two ways: (i) supplemental funding requests to existing NeTS/EARS awards on wireless spectrum research; or (ii) EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER). Support is restricted to those researchers who are SC2 participants but are not being funded by DARPA for SC2 specifically.

MPS Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate - Graduate Research Supplements (AGEP-GRS)
OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to intended submission to the sponsor
Deadline: Rolling
Award Amount: about $60,000
This opportunity is available to PIs with current MPS research awards whose institutions and/or academic units are either currently participating in the EHR-sponsored "Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate" (AGEP) program; or whose institutions and/or academic units have participated in the AGEP program in the past (AGEP Legacy institutions). Such PIs may apply to MPS for a supplement to defray the costs for: stipend, tuition, benefits and indirect costs for a graduate research student working on the MPS-funded research.
Awards offer one-year (twelve-month) supplements to currently active MPS awards for a single Ph.D. student and are renewable for a total support period of up to three years, contingent upon the duration of the active MPS research award and satisfactory progress of the student towards completion of the Ph.D.

National Science Foundation: Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (NSF: CISE)

NSF/VMware Partnership on Software Defined Infrastructure as a Foundation for Clean-Slate Computing Security (SDI-CSCS)
OSP Deadline: September 28, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: October 5, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $3M each over 3 years
As the digital and physical worlds become increasingly intertwined, the real-world consequences of cyber-threats will become more pronounced. To mitigate foreseeable risks, fundamental advances in security are needed. This program will therefore explore the hypothesis that software defined infrastructure (SDI) enables realistic opportunities to revisit and improve the foundations of end-to-end computing security.
The goal of this joint solicitation between NSF and VMware is to foster novel, transformative, multidisciplinary research that spans systems, networking, and security with the aim of exploring and creating groundbreaking new approaches to security based on the concept of SDI.

Wireless Innovation between Finland and the US (WiFiUS)
OSP Deadline: October 10, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: October 17, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $300,000 over 2 years
With this solicitation, NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and the Academy of Finland continue a joint program in the area of wireless networking, known as Wireless Innovation between Finland and US (WiFiUS) that provides for an international collaboration arrangement whereby US researchers may receive funding from NSF and Finnish collaborators may receive funding from the Academy of Finland to pursue joint projects.
Specifically, this solicitation continues the previous WiFiUS effort, encouraging new and closer research collaborations, and addressing compelling research challenges on novel frameworks, architectures, protocols, theories, methodologies, and tools for the design and analysis of robust and highly dependable wireless communication systems and networks, particularly in light of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT).

Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC)
Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: October 14, 2016
OSP Deadline: November 9, 2016
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: November 16, 2016
Award Amount: Up to a total budget of $1M over 3 years
This program supports academe-industry partnerships which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team collaborating with a least one industry partner. In this program, there is a heavy emphasis on the quality, composition, and participation of the partners, including their appropriate contributions. These partnerships focus on the integration of technologies into a specified human-centered service system with the potential to achieve transformational benefits, satisfying a real need by making an existing service system smart(er) or by spurring the creation of an entirely new smart service system. The selected service system should function as a test bed.

Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering
OSP Deadline: Varies by research area (5 business days before the sponsor deadline)
Sponsor Deadline: Varies by research area; deadlines fall between October 31, 2016 and December 1, 2016
Award Amount: Award amounts vary; awards average between $100,000 and $500,000
Advanced computational infrastructure and the ability to perform large-scale simulations and accumulate massive amounts of data have revolutionized scientific and engineering disciplines. The goal of the CDS&E program is to identify and capitalize on opportunities for major scientific and engineering breakthroughs through new computational and data analysis approaches.

Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science
OSP Deadline: October 25, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: November 1, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $600,000 for up to 3 years
This program supports active long-term collaborative partnerships between K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, Computer and Information Science, and Mathematics (STEM) teachers and community college and university faculty and students to bring knowledge of engineering or computer and information science and engineering as well as technological innovation to pre-college/community college classrooms. The goal of these partnerships is to enable K-12 STEM teachers and community college faculty to translate their research experiences and new knowledge gained in university settings into their classroom activities. 

CISE Research Infrastructure (CRI)
OSP Deadline: October 25, 2016
Sponsor Pre-Proposal Deadline: November 1, 2016
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: January 18, 2017
Award Amount: The majority of Institutional Infrastructure awards will be made in the $200,000 to $750,000 range; the majority of Community Infrastructure awards will be made in the $50,000 to $100,000 range
The CISE Research Infrastructure (CRI) program drives discovery and learning in the core CISE disciplines of the three participating CISE divisions by supporting the creation and enhancement of world-class research infrastructure that will support focused research agendas in computer and information science and engineering. This infrastructure will enable CISE researchers to advance the frontiers of CISE research.

Petascale Computing Resource Allocations (PRAC)
OSP Deadline: November 2, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: November 9, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $40,000

In 2013, a new NSF-funded petascale computing system, Blue Waters, was deployed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The goal of this project and system is to open up new possibilities in science and engineering by providing computational capability that makes it possible for investigators to tackle much larger and more complex research challenges across a wide spectrum of domains.
The purpose of this solicitation is to invite research groups to submit requests for allocations of resources on the Blue Waters system. Proposers must show compelling science or engineering challenges that require petascale computing resources. Proposers must also be prepared to demonstrate that they have science or engineering research problems that require and can effectively exploit the petascale computing capabilities offered by Blue Waters. Proposals from or including junior researchers are encouraged, as one of the goals of this solicitation is to build a community capable of using petascale computing.

Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN)
Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: November 3, 2016
OSP Deadline: November 25, 2016
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: December 2, 2016
Award Amount: Up to $800,000 per year for up to 5 years
The goals of this program are to: 1) accelerate the transformation of nanoscience to nanotechnology through the integration of simulation with experimentation; 2) engage an ever-larger and more diverse cyber community sharing novel, high-quality nanoscale computation and simulation research and educational resources; 3) develop open-access, open-source software to stimulate data sharing; and 4) inspire and educate the next-generation workforce.
The NCN consists of a stand-alone Cyber Platform, which provides computation, simulation, and education services to over 330,000 researchers, educators, students, and industry members of the nanoscience and engineering community annually worldwide; and Nodes, which develop compelling new computational and simulation tools to disseminate through Cyber Platform ( and cultivate communities of users in emerging areas of nanoscale science and engineering.

Other NSF: CISE Opportunities

National Science Foundation: Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences (NSF: MPS)

LIGO Research Support
OSP Deadline: October 19, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: October 26, 2016
Award Amount: Unspecified; the majority of recent awards fall between $100,001 and $500,000
The LIGO Research Support program oversees the commissioning and operation of the Laser Interferometer Gravity Wave Observatory (LIGO), and provides support for LIGO users and other experimental investigations in gravitational physics and related areas. This includes tasks that range from instrument science, data analysis and detector characterization to source population calculations and the connection between the gravitational waves and the electromagnetic and neutrino signatures of astrophysical events.
In addition, the program supports infrastructure activities such as short- and long-term visitor programs, workshops, and research centers involving the participation of external scientists from universities, national laboratories, and industry, as well as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Other NSF: MPS Opportunities

National Science Foundation: Directorate for Engineering

NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering
OSP Deadline: October 14, 2016
Sponsor Deadline: October 21, 2016
Award Amount:

The goal of this initiative is to enhance basic plasma research and education in this broad, multidisciplinary field by coordinating efforts and combining resources of the two agencies. The current solicitation also encourages submission of proposals to perform basic plasma experiments at NSF and DOE supported user facilities, such as the Basic Plasma Science Facility at the University of California, Los Angeles and facilities located at DOE national laboratories, designed to serve the needs of the broader plasma community.



Other NSF: Directorate for Engineering Opportunities

National Science Foundation: Crosscutting and Interdisciplinary

NSF Research Traineeship Program (NRT)
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: October 3, 2016 by 12:00PM
Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline (if nominated): December 9, 2016
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: February 17, 2017
Award Amount for NRT Traineeship Track Awards: Up to $3M over 5 years
Award Amount for NRT IGE Track Awards: $300,000 to $500,000 over 3 years
The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development of new and potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education training. The NRT program includes two tracks: The Traineeship Track and the Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Track.

For this opportunity, Harvard University is viewed as one institution and may submit to the NSF up to two proposals in each track. The Office of the Vice Provost for Research is facilitating the internal application and review process.

Applicants are encouraged to review the NSF RFP for more information on the program's prioritized research areas: Understanding the Brain (UtB), Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS), as well as other interdisciplinary research themes of national priority.

Alan T. Waterman Award
OSP review not required
Sponsor Deadline: October 31, 2016
Award Amount: $1M
The Alan T. Waterman Award is the highest honor awarded by the National Science Foundation. Since 1975, when Congress established the award to honor the agency's first director, the annual award has been bestowed­­­ upon individuals who have demonstrated exceptional individual achievement in scientific or engineering research of sufficient quality to place them at the forefront of their peers. The annual award recognizes an outstanding young researcher in any field of science or engineering supported by the National Science Foundation. 

Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, 35 years of age or younger, or not more than seven years beyond receipt of their Ph.D. degree by December 31 of the year in which they are nominated. In addition to a medal, the awardee receives a grant of $1,000,000 over a five year period for scientific research or advanced study in the mathematical, physical, biological, engineering, social or other sciences, at the institution of the recipient's choice.

ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE) - Partnerships
Sponsor Letter of Intent Deadline: December 14, 2016
OSP Deadline: January 4, 2017
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: January 11, 2017
The goals of the ADVANCE program are (1) to develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers; (2) to develop innovative and sustainable ways to promote gender equity that involve both men and women in the STEM academic workforce; and (3) to contribute to the research knowledge base on gender equity and the intersection of gender and other identities in STEM academic careers.

There are three program tracks:
  • The Institutional Transformation (IT) track supports the development of innovative organizational change strategies to produce comprehensive change within one non-profit two-year or four-year academic institution across all STEM disciplines.
  • The Adaptation track supports the adaptation and implementation of evidence-based organizational change strategies, ideally from among those developed and implemented by ADVANCE projects.
  • The Partnership track will support partnerships of two or more non-profit academic institutions and/or STEM organizations to increase gender equity in STEM academics.

Other NSF: Crosscutting and Interdisciplinary Opportunities

Crime Forecasting Challenge
OSP Deadline: February 21, 2017
Sponsor Deadline: February 28, 2017
Prize Information: 40 $15,000 prizes will be apportioned to the winners in the large business category; 40 $10,000 prizes will be apportioned to the winners in the small teams/small business category; and 40 $5,000 prizes will be apportioned to the winners in the student category.
The Crime Forecasting Challenge seeks to harness the advances in data science to address the challenges of crime and justice, encouraging data scientists from across all scientific disciplines to foster innovation in forecasting methods. The goal is to develop algorithms that advance place-based crime forecasting through the use of data from one police jurisdiction.
Contestants may enter forecasts in one of the following categories:
  • Full-time student (undergraduate);
  • Small team or small business; or
  • Large businesses.

For assistance, please contact:

Erin Cromack
Senior Research Development Officer

Jennifer Corby
Research Development Officer | 617-495-1590

Research Development | Research Administration Services |