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External Funding Opportunities

The Research Development Office (RDO) strives to identify external funding opportunities that may be of interest to the NC State research community. New opportunities will be added to this page as they are identified and announced through our funding listserv.

Current Funding Opportunities

A selection of key opportunities is listed by agency below. Please view the agency website for each opportunity for additional information.

Department of Defense (DOD)

The Minerva Research Initiative (Minerva) emphases questions of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy and deepens investments in the social sciences, with the overarching goal of strengthening relationships between DoD and the social science academic community. Current topics of interest are: 

  • Topic 1: Social Implications of Environmental Change
  • Topic 2: Resource Competition, Social Cohesion, and Strategic Climate Resilience
  • Topic 3: Security Risks in Ungoverned, Semi-Governed, and Differently-Governed Spaces
  • Topic 4: Analysis of Foreign Influence Operations in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Topic 5: Community Studies on Online and Offline Influence
  • Topic 6: Computational Social Science Research on Difficult-to-Access Environments
  • Topic 7: Social and Cultural Implications of Artificial Intelligence
  • Topic 8: Humans and Outer Space
  • Topic 9: Management and Information in the Defense Environment

Closing date for proposals:  9/29/2021

The mission of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s BTO is to foster, demonstrate, and transition breakthrough research, discoveries, and applications that integrate biology, engineering, computer science, mathematics, and the physical sciences. BTO’s research investment portfolio includes combating pandemic disease, innovative physiological interventions, human performance and warfighter readiness, and deep exploration of changing ecologies and environments for improving U.S. capabilities and resilience.

Abstract submission:  rolling through April 20, 2022

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for various research and development topic areas including but not limited to hydraulics, dredging, coastal engineering, instrumentation, oceanography, remote sensing, geotechnical engineering, earthquake engineering, soil effects, vehicle mobility, self-contained munitions, military engineering, geophysics, pavements, protective structures, aquatic plants, water quality, dredged material, treatment of hazardous waste, wetlands, physical/mechanical/ chemical properties of snow and other frozen precipitation, infrastructure and environmental issues for installations, computer science, telecommunications management, energy, facilities maintenance, materials and structures, engineering processes, environmental processes, land and heritage conservation, and ecological processes. 

Closing date: Rolling

DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office (DSO) has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for proposals in the following technical thrust areas: 

  1. Frontiers in Math, Computation & Design: (a) mathematical, computational, and design frameworks and tools that provide robust solutions to challenging planning and optimization problems important to DoD; (b) fundamental scientific underpinnings and limits of artificial intelligence; (c) quantum information processing; and (d) alternative computing models, architectures, and substrates for faster, more robust decision making, particularly in size, weight and power constrained and/or low-resourced environments.
  2. Limits of Sensing & Sensors: (a) new sensing modalities, (b) fundamental sensing limits, (c) practical and deployable sensing and sensor designs, (d) fundamental and practical limits of quantum enabled sensing and metrology, (e) novel and/or engineered materials that enable novel optics and imaging capabilities, and (f) imaging in low-resourced environments. 
  3. Complex Social Systems: (a) accurate and scientifically validated models of the social dynamics underlying different kinds of conflict, (b) capabilities to improve understanding of causality in complex social systems, (c) tools that enable improved human-machine symbiotic decision-making, (d) new concepts in war-gaming and conflict simulation, and (e) scientific underpinnings of influence and deterrence. 
  4. Anticipating Surprise: (a) novel functional and structural materials and manufacturing processes, (b) materials for harsh environments, (c) defense against Weapons of Mass Destruction/Weapons of Mass Terror (WMD/WMT) threats, (d) energetic materials, (e) novel approaches to energy storage and power generation, and (f) novel approaches for improving robustness and resilience of critical infrastructure and supply chains.

Closing date: proposals accepted on a rolling basis until 6/10/2022

Department of Energy (DOE)

The Lighting Prize (L-Prize) is designed to advance the U.S. clean energy economy for next-generation LED lighting, encouraging innovators and researchers to engage in advanced lighting system development that leads to transformative designs, products, and impact. The L-Prize will reward innovations that move rapidly to improve lighting performance, resulting in energy, carbon, and cost savings for American businesses and consumers. The L-Prize has three distinct phases:

  1. The Concept Phase invites innovative concept proposals from potential competitors.
  2. The Prototype Phase seeks prototype products, emphasizing technological innovation and presenting the opportunity and the challenge to think outside standard forms, materials, and price points of commercially available luminaires.
  3. The Manufacturing and Installation Phase will reward production and installation of real products meeting the L-Prize technical requirements.

Participation in initial phases is not required to be eligible for subsequent phases. 

Concept phase deadline11/19/2021
Prototype phase deadline:  
12/15/2022
Manufacturing and installation phase deadline
Expected July 2024

National Science Foundation (NSF)

The Environmental Convergence Opportunities in Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (ECO-CBET) solicitation will support fundamental research activities that confront vexing environmental engineering and sustainability problems by developing foundational knowledge underlying processes and mechanisms such that the design of innovative new materials, processes, and systems is possible. Projects should be compelling and reflect sustained, coordinated efforts from highly interdisciplinary research teams.

Preliminary proposal deadline (required): 10/1/2021
Full proposal deadline: 1/31/2022

The purpose of the RETTL program is to fund exploratory and synergistic research in emerging technologies (to include, but not limited to, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and immersive or augmenting technologies) for teaching and learning in the future. The program accepts proposals that focus on learning, teaching, or a combination of both. The scope of the program is broad, with special interest in diverse learner/educator populations, contexts, and content, including teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and in foundational areas that enable STEM.

Full proposal deadline: 10/18/2021

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

The Archaeological and Ethnographic Field Research program makes awards to institutions and organizations conducting empirical field research to answer significant questions in the humanities. Archaeology and ethnography are important methodologies utilized by many disciplines across the humanities and social sciences that provide observational and experiential data on human history and culture.

Application deadline: 9/29/2021

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The NIH Director’s Pioneer Award Program supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose highly innovative research projects with the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important areas relevant to the mission of NIH.

Application due date: 9/10/2021

The goal of the Innovative Programs to Enhance Research Training (IPERT) initiative is to enable the scientific community to develop and implement innovative educational activities to equip diverse cohorts of participants with technical, operational or professional skills required for careers in the biomedical research workforce. 

Application due dates: 10/14/2021, 10/14/2022, 10/13/2023

Multiple NIH institutes seek applications that support innovative population-based research that can contribute to identifying and characterizing pathways and mechanisms through which work or occupation influences health outcomes and health status among populations with health and/or health care disparities, and how work functions as a social determinant of health.

Application due dates: 10/5, 2/5, and 6/5  through 9/7/2024

The National Institute on Aging invites applications that propose to add enhanced measures of educational experiences, cognitive function, or both to existing studies and/or to conduct analyses that incorporate these measures to clarify the relationship between education, cognition, and risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD), including the role of education in social disparities in AD/ADRD outcomes.

Application due date: 10/20/2021

North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NC Biotech)

NC Biotech has posted the FY2022 deadlines for the programs listed below. Additional information will be added as topic areas and guidelines are posted.

Flash Grant
Innovation Impact Grant (IIG)
Translational Research Grant (TRG)

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA NIFA has announced that it will release an RFP in fall of 2021 to establish a Farm of the Future testbed and demonstration site. 

NC State is in a strong position to lead a proposal, and should you be considering responding to this funding opportunity, please see this memo from the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Dean of CALS.

Foundation and Nonprofit Opportunities

Various funding opportunities are available from foundation and nonprofit grant makers.

NC State’s funding opportunity database, InfoEd Spin, is the best starting point for identifying opportunities. Using the advanced search option, you may restrict sponsor type to foundations and nonprofit organizations while searching for opportunities in your area of interest.

Foundation Funding Resource

The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations has compiled a list of external funding opportunities available through corporate and private foundations.

Visit the Funding Opportunities Resource to find more information on the foundations that may be a starting place for your research interests.

W.M. Keck Foundation

NC State runs an annual internal competition for the Keck Foundation’s Research Program. This is a limited submission opportunity that elicits significant interest from NC State faculty.

The program seeks to benefit humanity by supporting projects in two specific areas (1) medical research and (2) science and engineering, that are distinctive and novel in their approach, question the prevailing paradigm, or have the potential to break open new territory in their field.

Still looking for other opportunities?

You can search for additional opportunities of interest using InfoEd SPIN — a large research funding database that the NC State research community can access through a UNC System-wide subscription.

You can also browse other announcements from some of the following major funding agencies:

Funding AgencyType of Agency
Army Research Office (ARO)Federal
Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)Federal
Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)Federal
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)Federal
DOE: National Energy Techology Lab (NETL)Federal
NIH (Weekly Index - all institutes)Federal
EPA: National Center for Environmental Research (NCER)Federal
DOJ: Office of Justice ProgramsFederal
NC Biotechnology CenterLocal
Institute of Education SciencesFederal
NASA: NSPIRESFederal
DOE: Energy Efficiency and Renewable EnergyFederal
National Science Foundation (NSF)Federal
DOE: Office of ScienceFederal
Office of Naval ResearchFederal
NC Science and Technology Board: Energy Cost-share programState
USDA: National Institute of Food and AgricultureFederal