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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 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

The Defense Sciences Office (DSO) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting innovative research proposals to develop capabilities for field-deployable, on demand production of a range of nutritious, palatable foodstuffs from engineered microbes, air, water, and electricity. Proposed research will investigate innovative approaches and drive revolutionary advances in science, devices, and/or systems to enable production of nutrition on demand, at the point of consumption within parameters associated with two DARPA-defined use cases. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.

Application deadline: 2/22/2022

JUMP 2.0, a consortium of industrial participants (the “Consortium”) in cooperation with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (“DARPA”), solicits white papers from U.S. universities for collaborative, multidisciplinary, multi-university research in selected areas of principal interest. The goal of this collaborative effort between the Department of Defense and the industrial participants is to substantially increase the performance, efficiency, and capabilities of broad classes of electronics systems for both commercial and military applications. These research and development efforts should benefit both the defense and industrial sectors by providing the Department of Defense with an unmatched technological edge in advanced radar, communications, and weapons systems, and provide the U.S. economy with unique information technology and processing capabilities critical to commercial competitiveness and future economic growth. To address existing and emerging challenges in information and communication technologies (ICT) and associated technologies, the Program will concentrate resources on long-range innovative research that is high risk and high reward. The most important focus areas are ICT challenges, as outlined in the 2030 Decadal Plan for Semiconductors. Systems and Themes of interest include:

  1. Cognition (S): Next-generation AI systems and architectures.
  2. Communications and Connectivity (S): Efficient communication technologies for ICT systems. 
  3. Intelligent Sensing to Action (S): Sensing capabilities and embedded intelligence to enable fast and efficient generation of actions
  4. Systems and Architectures for Distributed Compute (S): Distributed computing systems and architectures in an energy efficient compute and accelerator fabric 
  5. Intelligent Memory and Storage (S): Emerging memory devices and storage arrays for intelligent memory systems
  6.  Advanced Monolithic and Heterogeneous Integration (T): Novel electric and photonic interconnect fabrics and advanced packaging .  
  7. High-performance Energy-Efficient Devices for Digital and Analog Applications (T): Novel materials, devices, and interconnect technologies to enable next-generation digital and analog applications  

To assist potential Center directors, university teams, and rising individual PIs with the quality of their JUMP 2.0 white papers, a “Proposers’ Day Workshop” will be conducted on 1/25/2022 to review this solicitation with Program sponsors. See the event page for more information. Following the Proposers’ Day Workshop, information presented will be posted on this page as well.

White paper deadline: 3/7/2022

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 4/20/2022

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 DOE SC program in Biological and Environmental Research (BER) hereby announces its interest in receiving applications for Biosystems Design to Enable Safe Production of Next-Generation Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biomaterials program. The overarching goals are to support transformative science to solve critical challenges in energy security and environmental stewardship. As part of its mission, BER invests in crosscutting technologies and programs to enable multiscale, systems-level research to achieve a predictive understanding of systems biology, biological community function, and environmental behavior. BER aims to provide the necessary fundamental science to understand, predict, manipulate, and design biological processes that underpin innovations for bioenergy and bioproduct research and to enhance our understanding of natural environmental processes relevant to DOE.

Pre-application deadline: 1/26/2022
Full application deadline: 4/6/2022

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing cutting-edge transdisciplinary research (integrating diverse disciplines such as behavioral science, psychology, economics, public health, and sociology) to develop, apply, and test innovative and creative community-engaged approaches/methods to reduce household food waste through prevention (i.e., not redistribution) in the United States (U.S.) in real world settings. Prevention of household food waste means that the amount of food available for consumption in a household that is not ultimately eaten by the household is reduced.

Closing date: 2/9/2022

National Archives & Records Administration

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission seeks projects that will significantly improve public discovery and use of major historical records collections. All types of historical records are eligible, including documents, photographs, born-digital records, and analog audio and moving images. Projects may focus on broad movements in U.S. history, such as law, politics, social reform, business, military, the arts, and other aspects of the national experience, or on the papers of individual figure(s) in American history. Collections that center the voices and document the history of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are especially welcome. Major Collaborative Archival Initiatives projects must be collaborations among multiple institutions that undertake either of these two eligible activities to:

  • digitize and publish online historical records as a “virtual” collection around a common theme, organization, or important historical figure(s); or
  • create and test new tools and methods for the archival field to enhance public access, especially for born-digital records 

Projects that actively engage the public in the work of the project will be more competitive. If you have a project that is designed to process collections or digitize smaller collections, you should consult the Archival Projects program, which has different requirements and considers projects up to $150,000.

Draft deadline (optional):  4/1/2022
Final deadline: 6/8/2022

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

NEH Fellowships are competitive awards granted to individual scholars pursuing projects that embody exceptional research, rigorous analysis, and clear writing. Applications must clearly articulate a project’s value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Fellowships provide recipients time to conduct research or to produce books, monographs, peer-reviewed articles, e-books, digital materials, translations with annotations or a critical apparatus, or critical editions resulting from previous research. Projects may be at any stage of development. NEH invites research applications from scholars in all disciplines, and it encourages submissions from independent scholars and junior scholars. Applicants interested in research projects that are either born digital or require mainly digital expression and digital publication are encouraged to apply instead for NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication.

A free online information session will be held on February 16, 2022, at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. Please click here for a link to the event. The webinar will introduce the program, describe the application process and eligibility criteria, and offer application writing suggestions.

Application deadline: 4/13/2022

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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: 2/5, 6/5, and 10/5 through 9/7/2024

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to develop new methods, approaches, and/or tools to apply to existing data streams (e.g., electronic health records, syndromic surveillance, claims data, registry data, pharmacy dispensing, and mortality records) that could provide novel insights into the dynamics of opioid and prescription drugs misuse, addiction, recovery, relapse, and recovery to facilitate rapid understanding of the opioid epidemic for prevention and treatment or to develop methods for small area estimation that inform decisions of local (e.g., substate) jurisdictions. It will emphasize approaches that shorten the lags between data capture and data availability so the data is available real-time or near real-time to provide actionable insights, and methods and tools that improve efficiency and practical use of surveillance, clinical or other relevant data that may allow for faster or better localized responses or better allocation of resources to address the opioid epidemic.

Application due date: 3/10/2022

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: 10/14/2022, 10/13/2023

National Science Foundation (NSF)

This PIRE competition invites visionary, ambitious, interdisciplinary, use-inspired research proposals that address scientific challenges related to climate change and/or clean energy. Many cutting-edge research questions require international collaboration to achieve important advances. They also require insights from diverse disciplines to address the full complexity of the research, as well as active participation of stakeholders outside of academia to ensure research findings connect to real-world solutions to societal challenges related to climate change and/or clean energy. Climate change and clean energy research teams that incorporate some of these characteristics are increasingly common, but many have not had the opportunity to fully integrate all elements into their research agenda. This PIRE program invites PIs to develop these partnerships to exploit their full potential in the future. The projects will utilize multi-stakeholder and international partnerships that are essential to address these challenges of critical societal importance at a regional or global scale. The research areas may include any combination of the natural and physical sciences, engineering, and the social sciences. Proposals that advance understanding of the human and behavioral aspects of climate change and/or clean energy challenges are encouraged. Educational activities should be integral to the project. Only high caliber research proposals that require international collaborations and show a clear potential for rapid scale-up and growth will be considered.

LOI deadline: 2/8/2022
Full proposal deadline:  3/25/2022

The Science of Science: Discovery, Communication, and Impact (SoS:DCI) program is designed to increase the public value of scientific activity. The program pursues this goal by supporting basic research in three fundamental areas:  

  • How to increase the rate of socially beneficial discovery,
  • How to improve science communication outcomes, and
  • How to expand the societal benefits of scientific activity. 

The SoS:DCI program, which builds upon the former Science of Science & Innovation Policy (SciSIP) program, funds research that builds theoretical and empirical understandings of these three areas. With this goal in mind, proposals should: 

  • Develop data, models, indicators, and associated analytical tools that constitute and enable transformative advances rather than incremental change. 
  • Identify ethical challenges and mitigate potential risks to people and institutions. 
  • Provide credible metrics and rigorous assessments of their proposed project’s impact.
  • Include robust data management plans with the goal to increase the usability, validity, and reliability of scientific materials.

The SoS:DCI program also places a high priority on broadening participation. It encourages leadership from junior faculty, women, members of historically underrepresented groups.

Full proposal deadline: 2/10/2022 (Target Date)

This solicitation is conducted in collaboration with the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of the Under Secretary of Defense – Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) 5G Initiative and the Army Research Laboratory (ARL). For this track, DOD OUSD(R&E) is partnering with NSF to develop joint strategic interests that simultaneously address convergence research and serve mission needs of the 5G to NextG Initiative. This solicitation specifically invites proposals for the Track Topic Securely Operating Through 5G Infrastructure (Track G). The overall objective of Track G is to provide military, government, and critical infrastructure operators with the ability to securely operate through fifth-generation (5G) wireless communications infrastructures. Track G seeks enhancements to end devices and/or augmentations to 5G infrastructure so that military, government, and critical infrastructure operators have the capability to operate through public 5G networks whenever possible.

LOI deadline (required for Phase 1 proposals):  2/16/2022
Full proposal deadline (Phase 1) 4/12/2022
Phase 2 proposal deadline (only open to Phase 1 awardees):  4/4/2023

The overarching vision of this program is to support multi-disciplinary research to sustain economic competitiveness, to promote worker well-being, lifelong and pervasive learning, and quality of life, and to illuminate the emerging social and economic context and drivers of innovations that are shaping the future of jobs and work. For the purposes of this solicitation, work is defined as mental or physical activity to achieve tangible benefit such as income, profit, or community welfare. A proposal for a research grant in this program must focus on advancing fundamental understanding of future work and work outcomes for workers and society. Proposals to this program should describe multi-disciplinary or convergent research that addresses technological, human, and societal dimensions of future work. Technological innovations should be integrated with advances in behavioral science, computer science, economic science, engineering, learning sciences, research on adult learning and workforce training, and the social sciences. Proposals that address the impact of large-scale disruptions such as the Covid-19 pandemic on the future of jobs and work are also of interest.

Full proposal deadline: 3/2/2022

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)

The overall goal of the Organic Transitions Program (ORG) is to support the development and implementation of research, extension and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices. ORG will continue to prioritize environmental services provided by organic farming systems in the area of soil conservation, pollinator health, and climate change mitigation, including greenhouse gases (GHG), as well as the development of educational tools for Cooperative Extension personnel and other agricultural professionals who advise producers on organic practices, and development of cultural practices and other allowable alternatives to substances recommended for removal from the National Organic Program’s National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. It is expected that all projects will integrate research, education and extension activities, as appropriate to project goals, although some projects may be weighted more heavily than others in one or more of these areas.

Application deadline: 3/15/2021

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
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