Research Funding Opportunities



Internal Opportunities and Announcements

Dear Colleague Letter on the Ebola Virus (NSF 15-006)
National Science Foundation

post haste: applies to education, social and behavioral sciences, and other disciplines depending on approach.

UPDATE: MSU researchers are actively responding to this call. If you believe your expertise is useful to the following objectives described in this letter, please consider submitting a RAPID proposal. For assistance with a RAPID proposal, please contact the Office of Sponsored programs at 994-2381 and/or the program officer listed in the solicitation.

....................................................

October 16, 2014

Dear Colleague,

In light of the recent emergence of the lethal Ebola virus in the US, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting proposals to conduct non-medical, non-clinical care research that can be used immediately to better understand how to model and understand the spread of Ebola, educate about prophylactic behaviors, and encourage the development of products, processes, and learning that can address this global challenge.

I invite researchers to use the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism, which allows NSF to receive and review proposals having a severe urgency with regard to availability of, or access to data, facilities or specialized equipment, as well as quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic disasters and similar unanticipated events.

Complete guidance on submitting a RAPID proposal may be found here:
http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf14001/gpg_2.jsp#IID1.

Sincerely,

Dr. France A. Córdova
Director

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Open Access Author Fund at MSU - Pilot Project
MSU Library

The Open Access Author Fund

The MSU Library will run an author's fund on a two year pilot to judge if we can help remove the barrier between MSU authors and open access publishing. The Library will contribute $50,000 to the fund to be dispersed to authors who are being charged an APC. Authors will receive no more than $2,000 per fiscal year on a rolling basis.

Goals

  • To allow MSU created research to reach the greatest number of potential readers.
  • To remove some of the burden on authors as they work to make an impact in their field of expertise.


The Application Process

Eligible Publications and Data repositories

The publication venue must be an established journal or data repository, either, one that does not charge readers or their institutions for access to peer-reviewed articles or datasets, or an established hybrid journal.

Journals or Data repositories should fit at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (unless the journal is too new for DOAJ eligibility) or similar list of data repositories, OR
  • Be a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association or adhere to its Code of Conduct, OR
  • Be a publicly available data repository, OR
  • Have a publicly available standard fee schedule.

Eligible Articles and Data

Articles/data should:

  • Be a peer-reviewed article submitted to an open access/hybrid journal or the associated data.
  • Have Publication Status of 'accepted-for-publication', funds are not available for articles still in process.
  • Not have been published prior to the authors' request for funds. Already-published articles are ineligible.
  • The library will not reimburse any author fees that have already been paid by an author.

Articles will be considered only if there is no other source of funding available. The fund is a limited resource intended to support open access publishing across the University. We expect researchers to request funding for open access publication from their funding agency if they can do so. For example, the National Institutes of Health will fund open access publications as part of their research grants. If such funds are not available, we welcome your application.

Eligible Authors

Funds are available for faculty, staff, professional and research positions, and students at MSU - Bozeman.

Eligible Fees

Article processing fees may include publication fees (charges levied on articles accepted for publication, including Open Access page charges). Eligible fees must be based on a publication's standard fee schedule that is independent of the author's institution. Reprint fees are not eligible. Reimbursement will cover only direct costs for open access publication (not the cost of reprints, color illustration fees, non-open access page charges, etc.). Requests for funding will be reviewed by the Library's Scholarly Communication Steering Group and a decision for funding support will be communicated to the author.

Fund Limits

The fund for FY15 is $50,000. Each author is limited to $2,000 per FY. Unused fund amounts do not roll over to future years. If the demand for funds exceeds expectations, publication charges will be paid to the publisher on behalf of an author on a first-come, first-served basis.

Institutional Repository

As an added service, the library will deposit a copy of funded articles in the institutional repository, and willingness to deposit here is a requirement of receiving funding. The placement of an article in the repository helps to build the collection of publications, supports the self-archiving arm of the open access movement, and provides institutional preservation and discoverability.

How do I apply?

Complete the online form.

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Lunch & Learn Series: How to Fund Your Research with the Federal SBIR Program
TechLink

Event takes place Wednesday, December 17, 2014 from Noon - 1:00 pm in 127 EPS

SYNOPSIS: 

Location: Engineering and Physical Sciences Building, 127

Bring your lunch and learn how you can tap into the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to fund your research. In this free session, you'll learn how you, as a university researcher, can qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal funding that does not have to be matched or repaid. SBIR expert Marti Elder will get you quickly up to speed on the SBIR program, qualification requirements and the application process. You'll also hear about free proposal development and submission assistance available to you as an MSU researcher. Of course, we'll leave plenty of time for Marti to answer your specific questions as well.

Researchers in all areas are welcome to attend, although this session will be focused on funding from the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Education.

Our next brown bag session (on January 7) will focus on the Department of Defense.

For more information, contact Phillip Luebke at 406-994-7748 or phillip.luebke@techlinkcenter.org.

 

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Call for Proposals, FY 2016 Scholarship and Creativity Grants for the Advancement of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Montana State University Office of the Provost

January 16, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Call for Proposals, FY 2016

Scholarship and Creativity Grants for the Advancement

of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Deadline:  January 16, 2015

The Scholarship & Creativity Grant program supports scholarship and creative activity in the arts, humanities and social sciences, areas where relatively little private or federal support is available.  Full-time, tenure-track faculty at MSU-Bozeman who have earned terminal degrees are eligible to apply.

Criteria

A faculty committee representing the arts, humanities and social sciences will evaluate proposals according to these criteria:

  • The project's intellectual significance or artistic merit and its potential contribution to the field;
  • The appropriateness of the project's methodologies, theories, or strategies, and the feasibility of the plan of work;
  • The qualifications and expertise of the artist or scholar in relation to the project goals and the stage of the applicant's career;
  • The promise of quality and the impact of any resulting publication or work of art;
  • The potential for success, including the likelihood that the project will be completed within the projected time frame, and the appropriateness of the budget. 

Please address each criterion in your proposal and write in a way that is accessible to your MSU colleagues who may not be in your discipline. 

Each applicant may submit only one application to the S&C program each year. Even though some applicants have received funding in consecutive years, the committee recently has tended not to support applicants who have been funded by this program in the previous year. 

Awards will be announced by early April so that successful applicants can move forward with projects.  Questions about applications may be directed to Mike Neeley (mneeley@montana.edu), committee chair, ext. 7195.   Questions about budgets or electronic submission can be directed to Peggy Kastella (Peggy.Kastella@montana.edu), ext. 2381) in the Office of Sponsored Programs. 

Budget

Applicants may request funds for salary and benefits, supplies, travel and other expenses necessary to complete the proposed project.  Award amounts will vary, but most will range between $4,000 (minimum) and $22,000 (maximum).  Please consult with Peggy Kastella about your budget at least one week before the proposal due date. 

  • Items that are often requested and funded include research/creativity travel, a course buy-out to provide time to complete the project, and summer salary.  Applications that request only summer salary, however, will not be funded.
  • The program funds up to $6000 in summer salary.  If you request summer salary, you must also include benefits at the rate of 35%.  To apply for the maximum summer salary, you should budget $8100 ($6000 plus 35% of $6000 for benefits).
  • Course buy-outs may be requested, but only with pre-approval from your department head, as indicated by the signature on the ePCF.  Consult with your department about the amount to request and be sure to include 35% benefits.
  • For travel expenses, we usually approve $23 per diem for in-state travel and $41 per diem for out-of-state travel.  For international travel, you may either retain receipts for reimbursement of actual expenses or claim the out-of-state per diem.  Explain projected travel expenses in the budget narrative, being as specific and realistic as possible about the cost of transportation, lodging and other expenses.
  • The following items are unlikely to be funded:  more than one course buy-out per year; computers; equipment, unless it has a direct and clearly explained relation to the proposed project; post-production costs of books, articles or other creative activities; conference trips.

Submission

Please submit your proposal electronically to the Office of Sponsored Programs by 5:00 p.m. on January 16, 2015 via the ePCF system, select Full Proposal Form, "MSU Provost Office" is the agency you are submitting to.

Form and instructions can be found at http://www.montana.edu/research/osp/          

Applicants should submit the following in ONE document, which will be distributed to external reviewers and S&C Grant Review Committee members.

Please attach to the "Executive Summary/Abstract Attachments" within the ePCF:

  • A cover sheet, including a brief abstract of the project (the form is found below)
  • A narrative of no more than five single-spaced pages addressing the importance and potential impact of the project, and how it will advance your artistic or scholarly program; a plan of work, including descriptions of methodologies or processes to be used; and a timetable for completion of the project.
  • A budget, including budget notes or a narrative explaining budget items
  • A curriculum vitae

In separate documents, applicants should also attach the following within the ePCF:

  • "Detailed Budget Attachments" -the Budget again as a separate attachment.
  • "Miscellaneous Attachments" -Contact information (name, affiliation, address, phone number and email) of three appropriate reviewers, all external to MSU-Bozeman.  Referees should be knowledgeable about your research area, but cannot be your dissertation advisor.  We leave the selection of reviewers to applicants, but the committee finds more compelling reviews from those who are not closely acquainted with the proposer.   Applicants must confirm that recommended reviewers will agree to the review and be available to complete it between January 16 and February 20.
  • "Miscellaneous Attachments" -The narrative, budget and final report of any S&C grant you received in the last three years.  Submit each year's grant as a single document.

Within six months of completion of the project, successful applicants shall provide a written report of grant activities and outcomes to the Provost's Office, their dean, their department chair and the chair of the Scholarship and Creativity Grant Review Committee.  Recipients are also strongly encouraged to present the results of their work to the university community through an exhibit, seminar or other appropriate forum.

Forums to assist potential applicants will be held:

Tuesday, December 9th at 10:00 am, Sociology/Anthropology Conference Room,

Wilson Hall 2-111

Thursday December 11th at 11:00 am, Sociology/Anthropology Conference Room,

Wilson Hall 2-111 

                                                                                             

Cover Sheet

Scholarship and Creativity Grants for the Advancement of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, FY 2016

Name:                                                                                  Department or School:

Rank:                                                  

Applicant's Email Address:

Title of Project:

Amount Requested:                                                  Award Period Requested:                                    

Abstract of Proposal (not to exceed 250 words)

 

 

 

                                                                                                       

 


Montana University System Call for Whitepapers: FY15 NSF RII Track 2 (AMENDED November 3, 2014)
National Science Foundation

Revised Deadline: Internal MSU LOI due November 24, 2014; please also email whitepaper to research@montana.edu
Full submissions are by invitation only and will be due late January (TBA)

Montana Unive­rsity System Call for Whitepapers: FY15 NSF RII Track

Updated: November 3, 2014 (revised deadline: November 24, 2014)

AMENDMENTS: NSF EPSCoR has received several comments related to budget structure and the number of proposals that can be submitted from each jurisdiction.  As a result, EPSCoR jurisdictions should be aware that while the overall award size has not changed (1.0M$ annually for collaborations involving two RII-eligible jurisdictions, and 1.5M$ annually for collaborations involving three or more RII-eligible jurisdictions), the cap of $500,000 per jurisdiction has been removed.  In addition, submissions will be limited to one per institution in an RII-eligible jurisdiction, not one per jurisdiction.

.....................................................

In anticipation of the NSF EPSCoR RII Track 2 call for proposals, the Montana University System is requesting whitepapers for a competitive selection by the MT Science & Technology Advisory Committee. The selected whitepaper team will be charged with moving forward to develop a full proposal for submission to NSF (expected full submission deadline late January 2015)

The MSU internal submission procedure must be followed. Prospective PI's are to submit the three-page whitepaper to the office of Research and Economic Development via the ePCF system by selecting "pre-proposal" and uploading the whitepaper as an attachment. It is critical that PI's select "National Science Foundation" as the agency in the ePCF screen and begin the project title with "NSF EPSCoR RII Track 2:". Submissions that do not follow this format are at risk of not being reviewed. PI's must also email the whitepaper to research@montana.edu. 

NSF EPSCoR Research Improvement Infrastructure (RII) Track-2 investments target inter-jurisdictional collaborations on priority science thematic focus areas, leading to sustained activities beyond the award period. There are two thematic focus areas for the FY Track 2 call: 

1. Understanding the Human Brain (NSF Brain Initiative)

NSF's goal is to enable scientific understanding of the full complexity of the brain, in action and context, through targeted, cross-disciplinary investments in research, technology and workforce development. Proposals should focus on one or more thematic areas of the NSF Brain Initiative. 

a. See http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/brain/ for full information on the BRAIN Initiative including these thematic areas: 

i. Multi-scale integration of the dynamic activity and structure of the brain -elucidate and link dynamics of the brain and neural circuits with brain function, including its real-time physiological, behavioral and cognitive outputs. 

ii. Neurotechnology and research infrastructure - create tools to image, sense, record and affect real-time brain function and complex behavior, and develop theories and systems to collect, visualize, analyze, model, store, and distribute BRAIN data. 

iii. Quantitative theory and modeling of brain function - reveal emergent properties of the brain and provide predictive theoretical frameworks to guide future research. 

iv. Brain-inspired concepts and designs - capitalize on insights gained from BRAIN to inspire novel conceptual paradigms and innovative technologies and designs that will benefit society. 

2. The Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus 

In all WEF Nexus projects, emphasis must be on transformative research that improves fundamental understanding of the underlying dynamics, processes, and interactions between WEF systems. Proposals to apply existing methods or technologies to demonstrate or quantify aspects of the WEF nexus will not be considered. Example Thematic Areas provided by NSF: 

i. Integrated analysis and modeling - develop analytical methods and models to identify critical connections to global and regional energy and water resources that influence food production, investigate relationships among food, water, and energy technology options and socioeconomic factors such as population fluxes in urban and rural areas, economic drivers, and competing resource demands. 

ii. Advanced materials and technological solutions - development of materials and technologies that can yield economically relevant improvements in the WEF nexus. 

iii. The integrated science behind improvements of feedstock production systems, including aquaculture - the area encompasses improved understanding of the basic processes and interactions that underpin crops, agriculture, and aquaculture techniques that improve water quality, co-production of value-added products that reduce energy intensity and environmental protection across the food production lifecycle. Basic and fundamental research bridging the hydrological, environmental, ecological, geochemical, energy, and engineering sciences is encouraged. 

iv. Advanced sensors and analytics - technologies for reliable measurement-based data of water availability, quality, and demand to support food and energy production and deliver relevant land-use and climate scenarios to support decisions related to water and resource allocation. Technologies may include subsurface sensing and characterization, remote sensing, and treatment systems to tailor water quality to specific food and energy production requirements. 

Awards are up to $6M over 4 years with a per award maximum of $500K per EPSCoR jurisdiction per year (including Montana as the lead and each partner state sub-award up to a total of $1.5M per year).

As formal guidance is released from NSF, we will broadly disseminate that information. Based on preliminary NSF EPSCoR information on this upcoming solicitation, a successful proposal will require the following components: 

  • A specific research topic within one of the two focus areas that will meet National Science Board criteria for intellectual merit and broader impacts. 
  • core Montana research team led by a PI and co-PI's active in the proposed field of research activities. 
  • Integrated research partners from higher education institutions in one or more partner EPSCoR jurisdictions and rationale and role for each faculty-level participant. All NSF EPSCoR jurisdictions are eligible to lead proposals and partner with other state proposals. There is no limit on how many states Montana can partner with on other state-led proposals in the program to include (AL, AK, AR, DE, GU, HI, ID, KS, KY, LA, ME, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, PR, RI, SC, SD, VT, VI, VW, and WY). 
  • Workforce development activities that target junior faculty recruitment, mentoring, and development. 
  • Evaluation and Assessment, Sustainability, and Management and Coordination Plans. 
  • Participation in an EPSCoR-wide post-assessment. 


Whitepapers should include the following components and not exceed 3 single-spaced pages (digital: Microsoft Word .DOC or .DOCX file format): 

  • MONTANA TEAM: Montana PI and co-PI's, including role for each.  
  • RESEARCH PROGRAM: Description of proposed research activities in one of the two focus areas, including impact to Montana and intellectual merit. 
  • COLLABORATION AND PARTNERSHIPS: Identify your proposed approach for developing necessary inter-jurisdictional collaboration and partnerships on a full proposal. A list of specific partners is not required for the whitepapers, but list them if you already have willing states and participants. 
  • BUDGET: Provide a brief justification for the ability of the team to accomplish research goals within the project budget. Note that match is not required on Track-2 awards. 
  • SUSTAINABILITY: Briefly describe your ideas for post-award sustainability; including potential leveraged grant or other funding opportunities and alignment with the MUS research priorities and programs. 

Whitepaper submissions: 

  • Due: 5:00 PM on Tuesday, November 24th, 2014 to the MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development office (VPRED) via email and ePCF system. Submissions will be sent to the Montana Science & Technology Advisory Committee (MSTAC) by the VPRED office.
  • Whitepapers should not exceed 3 single-spaced pages (digital format: Microsoft Word .DOC or .DOCX format). 
  • Submit whitepapers via ePCF (available from the MSU OSP webpage: http://www.montana.edu/research/osp/) by selecting "pre-proposal" in the ePCF screen and upload the whitepaper as an attachment. Whitepapers will be routed to the VP Research and Economic Development office (VPRED) for review. Please also email whitepaper to research@montana.edu. It is critical that PI's select "National Science Foundation" as the agency in the ePCF screen and begin the project title with "NSF EPSCoR RII Track 2." Submissions that do not follow this format are at risk of not being reviewed.
  • After the VPRED office reviews all submissions, all whitepapers will be provided to both Cindy Orser at corser@montana.edu (Montana OCHE Research Program Director) and Ray Callaway at ray.callaway@mso.umt.edu (Montana NSF EPSCoR Project Director) and the Montana Science & Technology Advisory Committee (MSTAC) for review and final selection. 
  • For Questions and Help: The Montana NSF EPSCoR program will be available for whitepaper questions and assistance with full proposal development including proposal review, partner cultivation with other EPSCoR jurisdictions, budget development, broader impacts, workforce development, evaluation, sustainability, and management components, and other assistance as needed. Contact Todd Kipfer, Montana EPSCoR Program Administrator at tkipfer@montana.edu. For research related or other questions contact Renee Reijo-Pera at renee.reijopera@montana.edu or Mark Young at myoung@montana.edu. For questions related to the internal submission process (ePCF, etc.) contact Micaela Young, Pre-Award Specialist at micaelayoung@montana.edu or Sandy Sward, OSP Director at ssward@montana.edu.   

Montana and Anticipated NSF EPSCoR Track-2 Proposal Timeline:

- MT Whitepapers Due to VPRED office via ePCF: November 24, 2014

- MT Whitepapers submitted to U of M, OCHE, MSTAC by VPRED: November 28, 2014 

- MT Selection Announced: Late November 2014  

- NSF Solicitation Released: TBA November 2014 

- Full Proposal Due to NSF: Official Date TBA, Targeted for Late January 2015 

- NSF Merit Review: Official Date TBA, Targeted for Early April 2015 

- Award Target Date: August 2015 

 


Call for Proposals for the Third Annual Discussion on Research and Creative Activity at Montana State University
College of Arts and Architecture

Proposals due November 17, 2014
Research day symposium takes place on January 28, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The College of Arts and Architecture at Montana State University is sponsoring a one-day symposium on Faculty Research and Creative Activity.  We would like to invite proposals from faculty at Montana State University to participate in this event to present and discuss the work we all do but rarely share with each other or our students.    

We are interested in proposals from Tenure and Non-Tenure track faculty that provide insight into current and developing research.  We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary research that brings new fields of investigation together.  We want to have the opportunity to hear and discuss work that is in progress and has not been previously presented.  Research that is developing or not fully formed is encouraged.  The presentations and discussions are intended to encourage a larger dialogue within the University community surrounding the current and future areas of research being pursued.

Proposals will be accepted in two categories, research presentation / panel discussion sessions and a gallery exhibition in the Helen E Copeland Gallery.  Accepted proposals will be grouped together into sessions that encourage new discourses.  Sessions will be a mix of disciplines from across campus based on topics that emerge from the proposals.  This symposium is not blind peer-reviewed but is an opportunity to discuss ongoing research in an academic and supportive forum.

Proposals should include a Title, Author(s), Email Address(es), 250 word maximum description of Research and up to two (2) pages of images.  All submissions should be formatted on 8.5 x 11 paper and submitted to Bradford Watson (bradford.watson@montana.edu) in PDF format.  Proposals for gallery exhibition should include dimensions and identify equipment needed from the gallery to properly exhibit the work. A dimensioned plan of the gallery, provisions and installation expectations is attached to this document.

The School of Architecture will be cancelling classes within the department on the date of the symposium so that students and faculty can attend the presentations.  

Schedule:

Call for Proposals: 27 October 2014

Proposals Due: 17 November 2014

Notification of Accepted Presentation or Exhibit: 3 December 2014

Research Day Symposium: 28 January 2015

Please contact the Helen E. Copeland Gallery for room dimensions, gallery dimensions, pertinent installation dates, provisions, and expectations at 406-994-4501 or randi.obrien@montana.edu. 

 

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Lunch & Learn: How to Fund Your Research with the Federal SBIR Program
MSU TechLink and the Montana Technology Innovation Partnership Program (MTIP)

Event takes place on November 5, 2014

Lunch & Learn: How to Fund Your Research with the Federal SBIR Program

When: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 from noon to 1:00 p.m.

Where: Engineering and Physical Sciences Building, 127

Bring your lunch and learn how you can tap into the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to fund your research. In this free session, you'll learn how you, as a university researcher, can qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal funding that does not have to be matched or repaid. SBIR expert Marti Elder will get you quickly up to speed on the SBIR program, qualification requirements and the application process. You'll also hear about free proposal development and submission assistance available to you as an MSU researcher. Of course, we'll leave plenty of time for Marti to answer your specific questions as well.

Researchers in all areas are welcome to attend, although this session will be focused on funding from the National Institutes of Health (including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food & Drug Administration, and the Administration for Children and Families) and the National Science Foundation.

Other upcoming brown bag sessions will focus on the Department of Energy, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Agency and the National Institute of Standards & Technology (12/3); the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (12/17); and the Department of Defense (1/7)

For more information, contact Phillip Luebke at 406-994-7748 or phillip.luebke@techlinkcenter.org.


Research and Commercialization Projects
Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology

Submissions due internally on February 25, 2015
Agency deadline is March 2, 2015, 5:00 p.m.

SYNOPSIS: 

The Montana Board of Research and Commercialization Technology encourages economic development through investment in research and commercialization projects. The board has about $780,000 available to grant in fiscal year 2016 (7/1/15 - 6/30/16) for such projects. The emphasis of the program is on projects that lead to marketable products or processes. Projects must be matched with non-Montana state government funds at an amount equal to at least 25% of the total project cost. This is a highly competitive funding program. To maximize the possibility of obtaining funding, applicants should carefully follow the instructions in this Request for Proposals. Incomplete proposals may be dropped from consideration.

INSTRUCTIONS: 

  • Submit whitepapers via ePCF (available from the MSU OSP webpage: http://www.montana.edu/research/osp/) by selecting " full proposal form" in the ePCF screen and upload the proposal as an attachment. Proposals will be routed to the VP Research and Economic Development office (VPRED) for review. Please also email whitepaper to research@montana.edu. It is critical that PI's select "Montana Board of Research and Technology (MTCOTE)" as the agency in the ePCF screen. Submissions that do not follow this format are at risk of not being reviewed.
  • After the VPRED office reviews all submissions, all whitepapers will be provided to the MT Board of Research and Commercialization Technology for review and final selection. 
  • For Questions and Help: Contact David P. Desch, Executive Director at ddesch@mt.gov or call 406-841-2760. For questions related to the internal submission process (ePCF, etc.) contact Micaela Young, Pre-Award Specialist at micaelayoung@montana.edu or Sandy Sward, OSP Director at ssward@montana.edu.   

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2016 Research Grants Competition: Bioenergy and Biomass Conversion
The Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research, Inc. (CPBR)

LOI due December 19, 2014
Full proposals are by invitation only. Full submission due June 12, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research, Inc. ("CPBR"), is issuing the Request for Preproposals for its 2016 competitions. The CPBR is a non-profit organization that funds university peer-reviewed research on a competitive basis. CPBR facilitates research interactions among univesity and industry scientists. Member organizations include universities, companies and trade associations. Industry sectors represented include the seed, agrochemical, forestry, energy, bio-materials, and other food and non-food agricultural products industries. Preproposals are invited for research that (1) is related to plant biotechnology and (2) addresses industrial problems and opportunities related to bioenergy and biomass conversion. A specific interest in this year's competition will be centered around opportunities for the development of startup companies based on proposed innovation. 

APPLICATION PROCESS: 

*Application materials are not posted to the web and PI's will need to contact OSP, Micaela M. Young, Pre-Award Specialist at micaelayoung@montana.edu for the full application package. Documents will be sent as an attachment.

PIs should send notice to CPBR, via email (info@cpbr.org) stating they plan to participate in the 2016 competition. Notice of intent should include name and university of PI and Co-PI(s), number of preproposals planning to submit and title(s) if available.  

Each preproposal package should contain the following items: 

  • CPBR Preproposal Cover Sheet (Appendix 3, also available as a Word file)
  • Project Summary
  • Code of Conduct Agreement for each PI and CoPI participating (Appendix 5, also available as a Word file)
  • Symposium Registration Form (Appendix 4, also available as a Word file)
  • Draft poster
  • Photos of PI and each Co-PI

The project summary should include, in two or three single-spaced pages:

  • Preproposal title
  • Objectives
  • Anticipated outcomes
  • Discussion of the perceived economic value or potential commercial applications
  • Discussion of containment if GM plants are used

CPBR requestselectronic submission of preproposals as Word documents. These must be sent as email attachments, to info@cpbr.org, Please compress all images prior to submitting.  

All electronic submission of preproposals, must be received in Word Format at CPBR by 5:00 p.m., December 19, 2014. Three hard copy signed submissions should be sent to:

W. Corey Pittman, Research Grants Coordinator

The Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research, Inc.

P.O. Box 20634

St. Simons Island, GA 31522

Express Delivery

110 Scranton Connector

Brunswick, GA 31525

Phone:  912-638-4900  

Fax:  912-638-7788

Email:  cpittman@cpbr.org  

URL:  www.cpbr.org

CPBR will acknowledge receipt of preproposals by email.  

 

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Fellowships

Student Internship Research Participant Program
National Renewable Energy Laboratory/DOE

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsor provides internships at its facilities for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled full-time in a U.S. college or university. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The applicant may be eligible for round-trip transportation.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Graduate and undergraduate students have the opportunity to participate in the laboratory's research and development programs, initiate new areas of research, and establish a base for ongoing collaborations through NREL's Research Participant Program. Students with new ideas and talents can contribute to research of mutual interest in NREL's research and deployment disciplines, while also contributing to the transfer of the technology resulting from that research.

Applications are accepted as positions become available.

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Centennial Fellowships
American Mathematical Society

December 1, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The AMS Centennial Research Fellowship Program makes awards annually to outstanding mathematicians to help further their careers in research. From 1997-2001, the fellowship program was aimed at recent PhDs. Recently, the AMS Council approved changes in the rules for the fellowships. The eligibility rules are as follows. The primary selection criterion for the Centennial Fellowship is the excellence of the candidate's research.

  • Preference will be given to candidates who have not had extensive fellowship support in the past.

  • Recipients may not hold the Centennial Fellowship concurrently with another major research award such as a Sloan fellowship, NSF Postdoctoral fellowship, or CAREER award.

  • Under normal circumstances, the fellowship cannot be deferred.

  • A recipient of the fellowship shall have held his or her doctoral degree for at least three years and not more than twelve years at the inception of the award (that is, received between September 1, 2003 and September 1, 2012).

  • Applications will be accepted from those currently holding a tenured, tenure track, post-doctoral, or comparable (at the discretion of the selection committee) position at an institution in North America.

For any program, fellowship, prize or award that has a maximum period of eligibility after receipt of the doctoral degree, the selection committee may use discretion in making exceptions to the limit on eligibility for candidates whose careers have been interrupted for reasons such as family or health. The stipend for fellowships awarded for 2015-2016 is US$87,000, with an additional expense allowance of about US$8,700. Acceptance of the fellowship cannot be postponed.
The number of fellowships to be awarded is small and depends on the amount of money contributed to the program.  The Society will supplement contributions as needed to ensure that at least one fellowship is awarded for the 2015-2016 academic year.  A list of previous fellowship winners can be found on the Prizes and Awards page.

Applications should include a cogent plan indicating how the fellowship will be used. The plan should include travel to at least one other institution and should demonstrate that the fellowship will be used for more than reduction of teaching at the candidate's home institution. The selection committee will consider the plan in addition to the quality of the candidate's research and will try to award the fellowship to those for whom the award would make a real difference in the development of their research careers. Work in all areas of mathematics, including interdisciplinary work, is eligible.

 

 

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Dear Colleague Letter: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) - Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW)
National Science Foundation

December 15, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The purpose of this Dear Colleague Letter is to announce the continuation of GRFP's Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW). Through GROW, NSF Graduate Research Fellows are provided an opportunity to engage in international collaborations with investigators in partner countries around the world.

Through GROW, NSF Graduate Fellows can benefit from partnerships developed by NSF with funding organizations in other countries. The program is divided into two tracks: GROW and GROW with USAID. The standard GROW track offers research opportunities in the following partner countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, and Switzerland. Opportunities with additional partners and countries are announced on the GROW website (http://www.nsf.gov/grow) as they become available.

Through a partnership between NSF and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the GROW with USAID track provides opportunities to NSF Graduate Fellows to conduct research in developing countries, which includes Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Senegal, and South Africa. GROW with USAID recipients have the opportunity to work with non-government organizations, private sector companies, research centers, universities, and government ministries to conduct research to help solve important development issues in these countries.

GROW offers funding for international stays 2-12 months, with the duration varying by country and partner organization. Details for each partner organization, including eligible institutions and organizations, levels of in-country support, and restrictions on the duration of stays, are available through links to their websites available at http://www.nsf.gov/grow.

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Louis O. Kelso Fellowships
Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations

December 31, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The Louis O. Kelso Fellowships are awarded to outstanding scholars studying the topic of broadened ownership of capital in a democraticsociety in the United States. PhD candidates, postdoctoral scholars, or visiting professors in the areas of business/economics/labor studies/management, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, public policy, or sociology may apply. 

The Kelso Fellowships are supported by the Employee Ownership Foundation.

The general theme of the fellowship includes the study of the idea and practice and public policy of broadening the ownership of capital assets in society such as the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which broadens the ownership of corporations, as well as approaches whereby consumers may have capital ownership of enterprises and individual citizens may have access to opportunities for capital acquisition. The relevance of these and other related ideas to the concept of economic democracy and democratic capitalism can also be pursued. 

These ideas were explored in the writings of Louis O. Kelso. The fellowship would permit the scholars to conduct their own work and also associate with several faculty members at Rutgers engaged in this area of research and receive mentoring and support. The fellow will be part of the network facilitated by SMLR at Rutgers University, but is not required to be in residence at Rutgers.

The fellows may be supported at their home institution or may be in residence at Rutgers University with the period and length of residency varying between July 1 and June 30 of the academic year.  The fellows will receive stipends of $12,500 that can be used for research, travel, or living expenses. 

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Native American Graduate Archaeology Scholarship
Society for American Archaeology

December 16, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The Native American Scholarships Fund is an endowment established to foster a sense of shared purpose and positive interaction between archaeologists and Native Americans. Scholarships are open to all Native peoples from anywhere in the Americas, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Indigenous Pacific Islanders.

Since 1998, the SAA has used the endowment income to award the annual Arthur C. Parker Scholarship in support of archaeological training for Native Americans who are students or employees of tribal, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian cultural preservation programs. National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships for Archaeological Training for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians are also awarded through the Native American Scholarships Committee. In 2009, the SAA added two new awards in support of undergraduate and graduate archaeology education.

Support for these scholarships comes in several ways: through individual donations, an annual silent auction at the SAA meetings, book royalties, and grants. For questions about the applications process or to make a donation, please contact the Committee Chair.

The following competitive scholarships are currently offered:

SAA Arthur C. Parker Scholarship or NSF Scholarship for Archaeological Training

To support archaeological training or a research program for Native American students or employees of tribal cultural preservation programs (up to $5,000).

SAA Native American Undergraduate Archaeology Scholarship

To support undergraduate studies for Native American students, including but not limited to tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, and child care (up to $5,000).

SAA Native American Graduate Archaeology Scholarship

To support graduate studies for Native American students, including but not limited to tuition, travel, food, housing, books, supplies, equipment, and child care (up to $10,000).

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Yerby Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Harvard School of Public Health

December 1, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

This initiative is geared toward expanding the diversity of those entering academic public health. The program creates a bridge between academic training in health-related disciplines and entry-level faculty positions at institutions throughout the United States. The goal of the program is to advance the intellectual and professional development of each Yerby fellow. Under the guidance of a senior HSPH faculty member with compatible interests, fellows develop their research agendas, gain experience in publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals and obtaining grant support, participate in a variety of professional development workshops, and increase their teaching expertise.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The goal of the program is to advance the intellectual and professional development of each Yerby fellow. Under the guidance of a senior HSPH faculty member with compatible interests, fellows develop their research agendas, gain experience in publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals and obtaining grant support, participate in a variety of professional development workshops, and increase their teaching expertise.

Fellowship training is available throughout the broad range of the school's activities--laboratory sciences, population sciences, and social and policy sciences. Fellows have a home within one of the school's nine academic departments: Biostatistics; Environmental Health; Epidemiology; Genetics and Complex Diseases; Global Health Population; Health Policy and Management; Immunology and Infectious Diseases; Nutrition; and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

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Career Development Grants
American Association of University Women Educational Foundation

December 15, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

Career Development Grants support women who hold a bachelor's degree and are preparing to advance their careers, change careers, or re-enter the work force.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Career Development Grants support women who hold a bachelor's degree and are preparing to advance their careers, change careers, or re-enter the work force. Primary consideration is given to women of color and women pursuing their first advanced degree or credentials in nontraditional fields. Funds are available for tuition, fees, books, supplies, local transportation, and dependent care.

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Climate Fellowship
Echoing Green Foundation

January 5, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Echoing Green's Fellowship Programs will offer seed-stage funding and support to emerging leaders working to bring about positive social change. This Fellowship, built in partnership with The ZOOM Foundation, is specifically targeted for next-generation social entrepreneurs committed to working on innovations in mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Echoing Green expects powerful social returns from investment in promising leaders who recognize the future impact that climate change will have on their health, communities, and economic outlook. Their interest is in considering the full spectrum of responses to the climate crisis - from innovative technology in Silicon Valley to community organizing in the developing world.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

Applications for Echoing Green Fellowships are evaluated on several criteria to assess both the strength of the applicants as well as the strength of the idea. Applications are assessed based on the following criteria:

The Applicant(s) -

Purpose / Passion: Applicant exhibits strong passion and commitment for the program area in which they plan to work, as well as personal integrity:

Resilience: Applicant has demonstrated ability to overcome obstacles;

Leadership: Applicant has demonstrated leadership potential;

Ability to Attract Resources: Applicant is a "Resource Magnet," capable of attracting money, people and other resources to cause.

The Organization / Idea -

Innovation: Organization is innovative and demonstrates new approach;

Importance: Organization addresses serious social problem;

Potential for Big, Bold Impact: Organization has clear potential for tangible impact to the beneficiary population and either has potential for effecting systemic change (e.g., policy change, societal change, influence in their field) and/or demonstrates potential for replication and growth;

A Good Business Model: Organization has clear and compelling mission and objectives, and has given real thought to program development and delivery, ways to measure success, raising money, and other key factors indicating potential for sustainability.

Note: For applicants applying as a partnership, Echoing Green evaluates the strength of the partnership and the commitment of both individuals to the organization.

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National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships
NEH Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library

January 15, 2015

SYNOPSIS:

The sponsor participates in a National Endowment for the Humanities funded program, Fellowships at Independent Research Institutions. NEH Research Fellows may receive four- to nine-month fellowships to pursue advanced research.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

Research fellows conduct research in many areas of social and cultural history, including material culture, architecture, decorative arts, design, consumer culture, garden and landscape studies, Shaker studies, travel and tourism, the Atlantic World, and objects in literature.

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Center for the Study of American Politics - Research Fellowship
Yale University

January 15, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Center for the Study of American Politics at the Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies (ISPS) offers research fellowships for postdoctoral students, junior faculty, and senior faculty working on projects in American Politics.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

Successful applicants will spend the 2015-2016 academic year in residence at Yale. They will be expected to participate in the activities of the Center which include a weekly seminar. Minimal teaching responsibilities may be requested/required.

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Linda Hall Library Resident Fellowship
Linda Hall Library

January 5, 2015

SYNOPSIS:

Linda Hall Library resident fellowships for 2015 are now available. Fellowships up to $3,500 per month will assist scholars in financing a research visit.

Resident fellowships for the duration of a minimum of 1 month to a maximum of 9 months are offered in support of research projects in science, engineering, and technology; in the history of science, engineering and technology; or in interdisciplinary topics that link science or technology to the broader culture.

Recipients of fellowships are expected to work full time on their research projects while at the Library, to engage with other resident scholars, and to offer a presentation on their work to the general public.

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NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship
National Aeronautics & Space Administration

February 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

This call for graduate fellowship proposals, entitled NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program - 2015/2016 Academic Year, solicits applications from accredited U.S. Universities on behalf of individuals pursuing Masters or Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in Earth and space sciences, or related disciplines, at respective institutions. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA's scientific goals outlined above. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be made in the form of training grants to the respective universities with the advisor serving as the principal investigator.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The financial support for the NESSF Program comes from SMD's four science divisions: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics.

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National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship
American Center of Oriental Research

February 1, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) offers one to two awards of four to six months for scholars who have a Ph.D. or have completed their professional training.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The fellowship is for research in the humanities and disciplines of the social sciences that have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods. Fields of research include modern and classical languages, linguistics, literature, history, jurisprudence, philosophy, archaeology, comparative religion, ethics, and the history, criticism, and theory of the arts. Social and political scientists are encouraged to apply. Research topics should contribute to scholarship in Near Eastern studies.

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RISE Research Award
Association for Psychological Science

January 31, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The RISE Research Award cultivates scholarly research in psychological fields related to socially and economically underrepresented populations, as well as to acknowledge outstanding research conducted by student members. Winners present their research at a special symposium the APS Annual Convention in addition to receipt of a monetary award.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The purpose of the RISE Research Award is to cultivate scholarly research in psychological fields related to socially and economically underrepresented populations, as well as to acknowledge outstanding research conducted by student members.

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Charles Bullard Fellowships in Forest Research
Harvard University

February 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS:

The Charles Bullard Fellowship in Forest Research supports advanced research and study by individuals who show promise of making an important contribution, either as scholars or administrators, to forestry and forest-related subjects including biology, earth sciences, economics, politics, administration, philosophy, humanities, the arts, or law.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The Fellowship Program may make available to qualified individuals a wide range of opportunities for research in the several divisions of Harvard University; this is its unique and greatest virtue. Research areas include, for example, forest ecology, tree physiology, forest soils, forest resource management, conservation and biodiversity issues, environmental policy, industrial ecological issues and management processes, forest land planning and public policy.

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Dissertation Fellowships
Guggenheim (Harry Frank) Foundation

February 1, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Ten or more dissertation fellowships are awarded each year to graduate students who would complete the writing of a dissertation within the award year. These fellowships are designed to contribute to the support of the doctoral candidate to enable him or her to complete the thesis in a timely manner and are only appropriate for students approaching the final year of their Ph.D. work.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

Questions that interest the foundation concern violence and aggression in relation to social change, intergroup conflict, war, terrorism, crime, and family relationships, among other subjects. Dissertations with no relevance to understanding human violence and aggression will not be supported. Priority will also be given to areas and methodologies not receiving adequate attention and support from other funding sources.

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Visiting Scholar/Researcher Program in Ethnic Studies--American Indian Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

February 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Institute of American Cultures offers in-residence appointments to support research on African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Chicanas/os. The Institute especially encourage applications that advance the understanding of new social and cultural realities occasioned by the dramatic population shifts of recent decades, including greater heterogeneity within ethnic groups and increased interethnic contact.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Awards are given to those individuals who, in the judgment of the IAC Executive Committee, show great promise in academic research and scholarship in ethnic studies. The program is open to candidates from all disciplines.

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Building Opportunities for Leadership & Development (BOLD) Immersion Program - United States
Google Inc.

March 1, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Building Opportunities for Leadership and Development (BOLD) Immersion program gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a culture where great minds, cutting-edge technology and smart business intersect to make a difference--each and every day. BOLD Immersion US will take place July 2015 in Mountain View, CA.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The BOLD Immersion program provides: a rare glimpse into the business side of the technology industry; a chance to grow one's peer network; an environment for testing skills and collaborating on real business challenges; and, exposure and insight into Google's Internship program and non-technical career opportunities.

The BOLD Immersion program is open to all higher education students, and is committed to addressing diversity in Google and the technology industry. Students who are members of a group that is historically underrepresented in this field are encouraged to apply.

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Fellowship Awards in the Neurosciences
Klingenstein (Esther A. & Joseph) Fund

March 10, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The purpose of these awards is to support, in the early stages of their careers, young investigators engaged in basic or clinical research that may lead to a better understanding of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The sponsor realizes that to achieve its purpose it is necessary to encourage a variety of new approaches. Several areas within the neurosciences are of particular interest to the sponsor:

Cellular and molecular neuroscience--Studies of the mechanisms of neuronal excitability and development, and of the genetic basis of behavior.

Neural systems--Studies of the integrative function of the nervous system.

Clinical research--Studies designed to improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and our understanding of the causes of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

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Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
National Science Foundation (multiple directorates)

Deadlines vary depending on disciplinary category (see announcement)

SYNOPSIS: 

The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science and engineering. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards Fellowships for graduate study leading to research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science and engineering. The Fields of Study listed in the Appendix are used to place applications in the most appropriate review panel and to track the disciplinary progress of Fellows and their career outcomes. Applicants may select "other" if their Field of Study is not represented in the list.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowships are awarded to individuals in the early stages of their graduate study. All applicants are expected to have adequate preparation to begin graduate-level study and research by summer or fall of 2015. This is nearly always demonstrated by a bachelor's degree in a science or engineering field earned prior to fall 2015. In addition, Fellowship awardees must be enrolled in a university, college, or non-profit academic institution of higher education accredited in, and having a campus located in, the United States that offers graduate degrees in eligible science and engineering fields by fall 2015. Confirmation of acceptance in a program which grants a graduate degree in an eligible science or engineering field is required at the time of Fellowship acceptance, by May 1, 2015. Upon acceptance of an NSF GRFP Fellowship, Fellows must certify that they meet all of the eligibility requirements as described in this Program Solicitation. All Fellows from the date of Acceptance through Completion or Termination of the Fellowship must be affiliated with a graduate degree-granting institution accredited in, and having a campus located in, the United States.

While applicants accepting the Fellowship must be affiliated with an institution having a campus located in the United States, NSF encourages United States graduate students to establish collaborative relationships with international researchers and institutions. GRFP offers the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) initiative to enable Fellows to take advantage of expertise, facilities, data, and field sites located abroad; to develop an international network of collaborators early in their career; to address problems of a global nature that require international cooperation; and to be prepared upon joining the United States science and engineering workforce to collaborate successfully in international teams.

GRFP supports individuals proposing a comprehensive holistic plan for graduate education that takes into account individual interests and competencies. Thus, an applicant must provide a detailed profile of her or his relevant educational and research experiences and plans for graduate education in such a way as to demonstrate potential for significant achievements in science and engineering.

Prospective applicants are advised that submission of an application implies a commitment to the pursuit of graduate study in a research-based program in science or engineering. Acceptance of a Fellowship award is an explicit agreement that the Fellow will be duly enrolled in a graduate degree program consistent with the field of study indicated in their application by the beginning of the following academic year.

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AHRQ Grants for Health Services Research Dissertation Program (R36)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality/DHHS

Deadlines are: May 1, August 1, November 1, and February 1

SYNOPSIS: 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announces the continuation of AHRQ Health Services Research Dissertation Grant Program that provides support to individuals who are conducting research undertaken as part of an accredited academic program to qualify for a research doctorate degree. This FOA utilizes the dissertation research grant mechanism (R36).

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Applications for dissertation research grants must be responsive to AHRQ's mission, which is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The research sponsored and conducted by the Agency develops and presents scientific evidence regarding all aspects of health care. It addresses issues of organization, delivery, financing, utilization, patient and provider behavior, outcomes, effectiveness and cost. It evaluates both clinical services and the system in which these services are provided. These scientific results improve the evidence base to enable better decisions about health care, including such areas as disease prevention, appropriate use of medical technologies, improving diagnosis and treatment in cost-effective ways, long-term care, and reducing racial and ethnic disparities. AHRQ has identified strategic goals as priority research areas. Research applications must address one of these areas. Applicants are strongly encouraged to focus on topical areas unique to AHRQ, demonstrating how expected results can be used or made available for use to enhance healthcare quality. Results should be directly relevant to customers, such as providers and practitioners, administrators, payers, consumers, policymakers, and insurers. The strategic research goals are:

Safety/quality - Reduce the risk of harm from health care services by promoting the delivery of appropriate care that achieves the best quality outcomes;

Efficiency - Achieve wider access to effective health care services and reduce health care costs;

Effectiveness - Assure that providers and consumers/patients use beneficial and timely health care information to make informed decision choices.

AHRQ has specific research portfolio areas of interest which include comparative effectiveness/patient-centered outcomes, health information technology (health IT), value, patient safety, prevention and care management, and healthcare innovations. Candidates are required to address health services research issues critical to AHRQ priority populations, including: individuals living in inner city and rural (including frontier) areas; low-income and minority groups; women, children, the elderly; and individuals with special health care needs, including those with disabilities and those who need chronic or end-of-life health care. Candidates must conduct dissertation projects which focus on health care delivery in the United States. AHRQ will not accept international health care research projects.

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Sabbatical & Research Fellowships
National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center

Rolling submission deadline

SYNOPSIS: 

Sabbatical & Research Fellowships are awarded to established scholars who will be in residence at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) or the Resources for the Future facility for 2-12 months to undertake activities that will advance socio-environmental synthesis research. Applicants propose synthesis activities consistent with the mission of SESYNC and are also expected to participate in collaborative Center activities as part of their efforts while in residence. SESYNC provides a stipend based on time in residence (not to exceed 50% of the fellow's home institution salary) and a small housing allowance (up to $1000/month). Sabbatical Fellows are considered Visiting Scientists at the University of Maryland and therefore are not eligible for benefits under the USM system; benefits would continue through the fellow's home institution.

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DEED Scholarship Program
American Public Power Association

February 15, 2015 and October 15, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

DEED student research grants/internships support students studying in energy-related disciplines, increase awareness of career opportunities in public power, and provide assistance to DEED member utility sponsors.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

DEED student research grants/internships support students studying in energy-related disciplines, increase awareness of career opportunities in public power, and provide assistance to DEED member utility sponsors.

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Faculty Research Participation (Short-Term Appointments)
Argonne National Laboratory

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

SYNOPSIS: 

The Argonne National Laboratory provides support for ten- to twelve-week appointments (usually during the summer) for faculty members to collaborate with an Argonne staff scientist or engineer on an existing Argonne project of interest to the faculty member.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

Faculty participants in this program typically spend a maximum of six months collaborating with an Argonne staff scientist or engineer on an existing Argonne project of interest to the faculty member. The applicant's objectives for the Argonne appointment should be clearly specified and the applicant's department head or dean must endorse these objectives.

Argonne is a multidisciplinary science and engineering research center, where researchers work alongside experts from industry, academia and other government laboratories to address vital national challenges in clean energy, environment, technology and national security.

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Upcoming Deadlines

Large Pragmatic Studies to Evaluate Patient-Centered Outcomes - Winter 2015 Cycle
PCORI

LOI due October 1, 2014
Full submission due February 3, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) seeks to fund pragmatic clinical trials (PCTs), large simple trials (LSTs), or large-scale observational studies that compare two or more alternatives for addressing prevention, diagnosis, treatment, or management of a disease or symptom; improving health care system-level approaches to managing care; or eliminating health or healthcare disparities.

Proposed studies must address critical clinical choices faced by patients, their caregivers, clinicians, and/or delivery systems. They must involve broadly representative patient populations and be large enough to provide precise estimates of hypothesized effectiveness differences and to support evaluation of potential differences in treatment effectiveness in patient subgroups.

For this solicitation, PCORI is requiring that relevant patient organizations, professional organizations, and/or payer or purchaser organizations be included as partners and active participants in the study. PCORI expects that most awards will be made for study designs that use randomization, either of individual participants or clusters, to avoid confounding bias. However, we recognize that exceptional opportunities may arise, by virtue of natural experiments and/or the existence of large registries, to address pragmatic questions using observational designs. Please note that this funding program does not support applications to conduct cost-effectiveness analysis, systematic reviews (with or without meta-analysis), development, and/or evaluations of shared decision-making or decision support tools.

This announcement is a collaborative effort of PCORI's Clinical Effectiveness Research, Improving Healthcare Systems, and Addressing Disparities research programs. Thus, applications for pragmatic studies may fit within any of these three priority areas.

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Limited Submissions

2015 Research Group Program: Call for Pre-proposals
Montana NASA EPSCoR

LOI due November 3, 2014
Full submissions are by invitation only, date TBD

SYNOPSIS: 

Introductory Note: This NASA EPSCoR Call for Pre-proposals should not be confused with the Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) Call for Research Initiation and Educational Enhancement Proposals that will close October 17th, 2014. This represents a separate opportunity for Research Groups of faculty (≥ 2 faculty members).

We anticipate that NASA will soon be issuing a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) for the federal fiscal year 2015 EPSCoR program. It is expected that there will be an opportunity for Montana to submit one or two Research Group proposals for potential funding under this CAN. Awards will be for three years. NASA funding for a selected Research Group proposal is expected to be $750,000 (approximately $250,000 per year, but funds need not be spent evenly over the life of the grant). At this time, the level of cost share funds has not been determined, but we anticipate a 50% cost share requirement. Therefore, group funding will likely be on the order of $1.125M total over three years, including indirect costs and some management expenses. Awards will be administered through the Montana NASA EPSCoR office. It will be up to the selected teams and their respective departments to provide the cost share.

All interested faculty groups at Montana institutions of higher education are invited to submit a short pre-proposal that will be used to determine which Research Groups will be invited to submit a full proposal to NASA for the 2015 competition. There remains uncertainty about when NASA will issue the CAN, but we anticipate that once issued, there will be a 60 day window for preparation of the full proposal for submission; we therefore need to be prepared.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The focus of the NASA EPSCoR 2015 competition will be to identify and fund research that NASA wants performed. Excellent science or engineering is not enough. Hence, all Research Group pre-proposals should include the strongest possible evidence that the group has active, well established ties to researchers at NASA Centers or Headquarters (HQ). Involved NASA collaborators/colleagues will be expected to be knowledgeable about the proposed research program and should be willing to act as advocates for funding of the proposal. There must be a clear and strong indication that the proposed research will fulfill a presently identified mission need at NASA.

In addition, pre-proposals that clearly show collaboration between two or more Montana institutions will be favored. Successful pre-proposals should demonstrate a viable interdisciplinary collaboration. Pre-proposals must show a clear source of cost sharing (see below).

 

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Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows Award Letter of Invitation
The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation

December 1, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is pleased to announce the Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows Award. This award program is intended to support postdoctoral scholars with the highest potential for success in an independent academic career in chemistry and the life sciences, and to assist in their transition from "mentored yet independent" postdoctoral to an independent, tenure-track position. Nearly all successful academic careers in science at present begin with a postdoctoral period of additional training and development prior to the first tenure tract appointment. These individuals are expected to become the next generation of leaders and innovators in science, engineering, and technology.

Fellows will be appointed for two years, and may begin as early as August of their application year, and no later than December 31.  The award amount will range from $57,000 - $67,000 based on research experience with 75% of the award going towards the stipend, which may be supplemented from other sources, and 25% used towards research expenditures.

The Arnold O. Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows Award is a merit based program; issue of gender, race and financial need should not be considered contributing factors in the application review process or in the selection of the postdoctoral candidate.

Before submitting an application, invited institutions must identify a postdoctoral candidate, and an individual who will serve as a mentor in the supervising, training and research experience of the Fellow. The mentor should be an active investigator in the area of the candidate's proposed research. The submitted application must be a collaborative effort between the institution, postdoctoral candidate and identified mentor.

At the time of application, the identified candidate for the postdoctoral fellowship award must be a United States Citizen or lawfully admitted to the U.S. for Permanent Residence.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation established by Dr. and Mrs. Beckman in 1977. The mission of the foundation is to make grants to non-profit research institutions to promote research in chemistry and the life sciences, broadly interpreted, and particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments, and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.

Please see the Program Overview &Submission Process at http://beckman-foundation.com/aob-postdoc-invitation-letter regarding the proposal requirements. If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact the Foundation at (949) 721-2222 or email the Program Administrator, at cbryant@beckman-foundation.com.  

Information regarding other programs supported by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is available on our Website at http://www.beckman-foundation.com.

 

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Literature Fellowship: Translation Projects
National Endowment for the Arts/National Fndn. on the Arts & Humanities

Internal MSU LOI due November 20, 2014
Agency deadline December 9, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

Through fellowships to published translators, the Arts Endowment supports projects for the translation of specific works of prose, poetry, or drama from other languages into English.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The sponsor encourages translations of writers and of work which are not well represented in English translation. All proposed projects must be for creative translations of literary material into English. The work to be translated should be of interest for its literary excellence and value. Priority will be given to projects that involve work that has not previously been translated into English. Competition for fellowships is rigorous. Potential applicants should consider carefully whether their work will be competitive at the national level.

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Theory Institute in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
NSF Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences and Division of Physics

Internal MSU LOI due October 1, 2014
Full submission due December 8, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The Theory Institute in Atomic, Molecular and Optical (AMO) Physics will be a center to advance theoretical AMO physics and lead in motivating and explaining new experimental work in AMO and other areas of science. The goal of this institute is to foster cutting edge research, serve as a focus for theoretical AMO science, and to enhance the visibility of the field. It will bring together diverse groups both inside and outside of the AMO community to promote connections leading to frontier science, while fostering a vibrant environment at all levels from student to senior investigator. Funding for the institute is designed to foster major breakthroughs at the intellectual frontier of AMO physics by providing resources beyond those available to individual investigators or small groups, in an environment in which the collective efforts of the larger group can be shown to be seminal to promoting significant progress in the science and the education of students. Although interdisciplinary aspects may be included, the bulk of the effort must fall within theoretical atomic, molecular, and optical physics within the purview of the Division of Physics. The successful institute will demonstrate: (1) the potential to advance AMO science; (2) creative, substantive activities aimed at enhancing education, diversity, and public outreach; (3) potential for broader impacts, e.g., impacts on other field(s) and benefits to society; and (4) a synergy or value-added rationale that justifies a center- or institute-like approach.

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Beckman-Argyros Award in Vision Research
Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation

Internal MSU LOI due November 8, 2014
Full submission due December 11, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The Beckman-Argyros Award in Vision Research is an annual award established in 2013 to honor and celebrate a decades-long friendship of the two remarkable men, Dr. Arnold O. Beckman and Ambassador George L. Argyros, and to continue their commitment, dedication and shared vision to make the world a better place.  The Beckman-Argyros Award honors Ambassador Argyros for his 22 years of service as Chairman of the Board of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation and recognizes the special and unique friendship he shared with Arnold O. Beckman for over forty years.

The Beckman-Argyros Award in Vision Research is intended to reward individuals who are making significant transformative breakthroughs in vision research; this may include those whose contributions to science in general, or through the development of an innovative technology or fundamental scientific breakthrough have been applied to, aided and/or improved the vision sciences.

The Beckman-Argyros Award

In an unprecedented recognition of extraordinary achievement in scientific research and to further support this research, one award will be made annually.  The recipient of the Beckman-Argyros Award will receive a total of $500,000, as outlined below, along with a solid gold commemorative medallion:

  • $100,000 prize to award recipient;
  • $400,000 grant to support award recipient's research at a university or other qualifying public 501 (c)(3) charity specifying its designated use.

Only one award nomination is allowed per institution. 

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Career Awards at the Scientific Interface (CASI)
Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Internal MSU LOI Deadline: August 11, 2014
Pre-proposal due September 1, 2014
January 8, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

BWF's Career Awards at the Scientific Interface (CASI) provide $500,000 over five years to bridge advanced postdoctoral training and the first three years of faculty service. These awards are intended to foster the early career development of researchers who have transitioned or are transitioning from undergraduate and/or graduate work in the physical/mathematical/computational sciences or engineering into postdoctoral work in the biological sciences, and who are dedicated to pursuing a career in academic research. These awards are open to U.S. and Canadian citizens or permanent residents as well as to U.S. temporary residents.

Scientific advances such as genomics, quantitative structural biology, imaging techniques, and modeling of complex systems have created opportunities for exciting research careers at the interface between the physical/computational sciences and the biological sciences. Tackling key problems in biology will require scientists trained in areas such as chemistry, physics, applied mathematics, computer science, and engineering.

Recognizing the vital role such cross-trained scientists will play in furthering biomedical science, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund has developed the Career Awards at the Scientific Interface. These grants are intended to foster the early career development of researchers who have transitioned or are transitioning from undergraduate and/or graduate work in the physical/mathematical/computational sciences or engineering into postdoctoral work in the biological sciences, and who are dedicated to pursuing a career in academic research.

Prior to 2010, candidates for this award were nominated by North American degree-granting institutions. Since 2010, eligible candidates for this award may self-nominate.

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Career Awards at the Scientific Interface
Burroughs Wellcome Fund

Internal MSU LOI Deadline: August 11, 2014
LOI due on September 1, 2014
Full submission due on January 8, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

BWF's Career Awards at the Scientific Interface (CASI) provide $500,000 over five years to bridge advanced postdoctoral training and the first three years of faculty service. These awards are intended to foster the early career development of researchers who have transitioned or are transitioning from undergraduate and/or graduate work in the physical/mathematical/computational sciences or engineering into postdoctoral work in the biological sciences, and who are dedicated to pursuing a career in academic research. These awards are open to U.S. and Canadian citizens or permanent residents as well as to U.S. temporary residents.

Scientific advances such as genomics, quantitative structural biology, imaging techniques, and modeling of complex systems have created opportunities for exciting research careers at the interface between the physical/computational sciences and the biological sciences. Tackling key problems in biology will require scientists trained in areas such as chemistry, physics, applied mathematics, computer science, and engineering.

Recognizing the vital role such cross-trained scientists will play in furthering biomedical science, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund has developed the Career Awards at the Scientific Interface. These grants are intended to foster the early career development of researchers who have transitioned or are transitioning from undergraduate and/or graduate work in the physical/mathematical/computational sciences or engineering into postdoctoral work in the biological sciences, and who are dedicated to pursuing a career in academic research.

Prior to 2010, candidates for this award were nominated by North American degree-granting institutions. Since 2010, eligible candidates for this award may self-nominate.

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Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM)
Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences & Division of Materials Research

Internal MSU LOI due October 20, 2014
Full submission due on January 7, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The objective of PREM is to broaden participation and enhance diversity in materials research and education by stimulating the development of formal, long-term, multi-investigator, collaborative research and education partnerships between minority-serving colleges/universities and the NSF Division of Materials Research (DMR)-supported centers and/or facilities.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The objective of PREM is to enhance the diversity of the workplace in materials research and education by stimulating the development of formal, long-term, research and education collaborations between minority-serving colleges and universities and DMR-supported centers and facilities.

PREM awards are expected to achieve significant increases in the number and quality of interactions between faculty and students at minority-serving colleges/universities and participants from the DMR-supported centers and facilities. They should result in increasing the number of graduate materials-related degrees for underrepresented minorities and in networking and dissemination of new knowledge. NSF's commitment to broadening participation is embedded in its Strategic Plan. The report "A Framework for Action" outlines the approach (seehttp://www.nsf.gov/od/broadeningparticipation/bp.jsp)

Funded activities might include, but are not limited to, the development of collaborative and mutually beneficial materials research and education projects, support for graduate and undergraduate students, and exchanges of faculty and students. High school students and teachers may also participate. Of special interest to DMR are activities based on research and education connections between the participants and designed to increase the recruitment, retention and degree attainment by members of underrepresented groups in materials research. The participation of 2-year and 4-year Associate degree-granting institutions in partnership with eligible institutions may be considered for this goal (see Section IV for specific eligibility requirements). While PREM awards engage scientists in fundamental materials research, activities that encourage entrepreneurship are also of special interest to NSF, as are those that offer an international experience. Proposers are encouraged to contact NSF program staff listed in Section VIII to discuss the appropriateness of the planned activities, and check eligibility requirements.

To date, successful PREMs have a strong overlap in research focus with the partner institution, and fully integrate the partner into the research and education activities of the PREM. In addition, successful PREMs have a well-defined management structure, with active internal and external advisory committees.

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Major Research Instrumentation Program: (MRI)
National Science Foundation: Office of International and Integrative Activities

Internal MSU LOI due October 13, 2014
Full submission due January 22, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training in our Nation's institutions of higher education, and not-for-profit museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations. This program especially seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, by supporting proposals for shared instrumentation that fosters the integration of research and education in research-intensive learning environments. Each MRI proposal may request support for the acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single research instrument for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use; development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations are encouraged.

To accomplish the program's goals, the MRI program assists with the acquisition or development of a shared research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. The instrument is expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period. For the purposes of the MRI program, a proposal must be for either acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single instrument or for equipment that, when combined, serves as an integrated research instrument (in contrast to requests for multiple instruments that enable research in a common or focused research domain, which MRI does not support). The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories/facilities or that will be used to conduct independent research activities simultaneously.

Instrument acquisition or development proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million may be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization. Proposals that request funds from NSF less than $100,000 may also be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization for the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences and from non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education for all NSF-supported disciplines.

Cost-sharing of precisely 30% of the total project cost is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from cost-sharing and cannot include it. National Science Board policy is that voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.

Please see the solicitation text for definitions of organizational types used by the MRI program.

LIMIT ON NUMBER OF PROPOSALS: 

Three (3) as described below.

If three proposals are submitted, at least one of the proposals must be for instrument development (i.e., no more than two proposals may be for instrument acquisition).

To ensure a balanced instrumentation award portfolio at diverse organizations, across varied research topics, and in support of a broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce across the entire Nation, the MRI program requires that an MRI-eligible organization may, as a performing organization, submit or be included as a significantly funded 1subawardee in no more than three MRI proposals. To promote instrumentation development, the program requires that if an organization submits or is included as a significantly funded1ubawardee in three MRI proposals, at least one of the three proposals must be for (Track 2) instrument development.

NSF reserves the right to carefully examine development (Track 2) proposals to ensure that they meet the requirements for this proposal type (see Section II). If a proposal submitted as development is deemed to be an acquisition proposal either before or during the review, the proposal is subject to return without review or decline.

An unfunded collaboration does not count against the submission limit. Inclusion as a funded subawardee on a development (Track 2) proposal at a level in excess of 20% of the total budget request from NSF, or as a funded subawardee on any acquisition (Track 1) proposal, will be counted against an organization's proposal submission limit. Separately submitted linked collaborative proposals of either type (Track 1 or Track 2) count against the submission limit of each of the submitting organizations. However, if a subaward to an organization in a development (Track 2) proposal is 20% or less of the proposal's total budget request from NSF, the subawardee's submission limit will not be affected. For subawards within a linked collaborative proposal, the 20% threshold applies to the budget request from NSF in the proposal containing the subaward(s), not to the combined budget request from NSF for the collaborative project.

Note: The 30% cost-sharing requirement applies to only the portion of the total project cost budgeted to non-exempt organization(s), including those participating through subawards. When required, cost-sharing must be precisely 30%. Cost sharing is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from cost-sharing and cannot provide it. National Science Board policy is that voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited. See section V.B. for specific information on cost-sharing calculations and the solicitation text for definitions of organizational types used for the MRI program.


PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program serves to increase access to shared instrumentation for scientific and engineering research and research training in our Nation's institutions of higher education and not-for-profit-museums, science centers and scientific/engineering research organizations. This program especially seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of research and research training in science and engineering, by supporting proposals for shared instrumentation that fosters the integration of research and education in research-intensive learning environments. Each MRI proposal should request support for the acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single research instrument for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use; development efforts that leverage the strengths of private sector partners to build instrument development capacity at MRI submission-eligible organizations are encouraged. The MRI Program is intended to assist with the acquisition or development of a single research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs. An instrument provided through the MRI program is expected to be operational for regular research use by the end of the award period.

For the purposes of the MRI Program, proposals must be for either acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2), and must be for only a single instrument or for equipment that when combined serves as an integrated research instrument (in contrast to requests for multiple instruments that enable research in a common or focused research domain, which MRI does not support). An integrated research instrument means that an ensemble of equipment that defines the instrument enables a specific research experiment or type of research experiment to be undertaken; separating or removing an element or component of such an integrated instrument would and preclude any experiments from occurring or succeeding. The MRI program does not support the acquisition or development of a suite of instruments to outfit research laboratories/facilities or to conduct independent experiments simultaneously. Similarly the MRI program does not fund common, general purpose ancillary equipment that would normally be found in a laboratory and/or is relatively easily procured by the institution. Further guidance on appropriate requests can be found in the MRI FAQs at http://www.nsf.gov/od/iia/programs/mri.

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Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) (R25)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Internal MSU LOI due December 1, 2014
Full submission due January 25, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) invites applications from research-intensive institutions that propose to develop recent baccalaureate science graduates from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral sciences so that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue PhD or MD-PhD degrees in these fields. The program provides support for well-designed courses for skills development and extensive research experiences aimed at preparing individuals from diverse backgrounds to complete doctoral degrees. This program will use the NIH Research Education (R25) grant mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The objective of the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) is to prepare individuals from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral sciences who have recently obtained their baccalaureate degrees for successful completion of PhD or MD-PhD training programs. An additional objective is to increase the diversity of awardee institutions' PhD and/or MD-PhD programs. For the purposes of this funding opportunity, recent baccalaureate graduates are those who have graduated from an accredited U.S. college or university no more than 36 months prior to applying to a PREP and are not currently enrolled in a degree program. In order to increase their acceptance into rigorous graduate programs, PREP participants will receive extensive research training and academic preparation through a one- to two-year apprenticeship, to further develop their scholarly potential and improve their research skills. NIGMS expects that this program will lead to a steady supply of exceptional PhD and MD-PhD students from underrepresented groups.

PREPs should generate carefully designed, individualized student development plans (IDPs) that are compatible with the participants' curricular needs and experience, combined with research projects mentored by faculty members who have active and extramurally funded research programs. The development plans will typically be designed within the context of a one-year apprenticeship to provide the necessary skills to prepare the participants for rigorous doctoral training programs. Participants should not be appointed for less than a year. NIGMS recognizes that each participant has individual needs and that a one-year program may not be sufficient for some to fully prepare to be competitive for graduate school. A second-year apprenticeship is allowable at the discretion of the PREP Program Director/Principal Investigator if within the awarded costs of a particular program. This does not require NIGMS pre-approval, but should be used selectively for those participants who would benefit from a second year in the program. The second-year apprenticeship must enhance participants' competitiveness to enter a rigorous doctoral program and not simply allow participants more time to decide if they wish to obtain a graduate degree, to explore other career options, or to provide job opportunities. This program will not support individuals earning Master's degrees. Applications may request between five and ten postbaccalaureate positions for each year of the grant (i.e., up to 50 participants for a five-year grant period), for individuals to engage in courses for skills development and mentored research studies.

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Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) (R25)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Internal MSU LOI due December 1, 2014
Full submission due January 26, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research education activities in the mission areas of the NIH. The goal of this NIGMS R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce. To this end, this funding opportunity announcement encourages the development of creative educational activities with a primary focuses on research experiences, courses for skills development and mentoring activities. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers. The over-arching goals of the NIH R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation's biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.

The goal of this National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) R25 program is to support educational activities that enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce. To this end, this funding opportunity announcement encourages the development of creative academic developmental activities and research experiences at research intensive institutions to enhance the ability of students to complete the Ph.D. and engage in biomedical and behavioral research, especially members of groups underrepresented in the current workforce.

Several reports from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as well as from the National Academies reveal the national need for a well-trained workforce in biomedical and behavioral sciences and the continuing importance of developing and maintaining a strong, vital scientific workforce whose diversity reflects that of our nation. Studies also show that African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians and Natives of US Pacific Islands continue to be underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences (National Academy of Sciences. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press; National Research Council. 2011. Research Training in the Biomedical, Behavioral and Clinical Research Sciences. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press; National Science Foundation, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. 2013. Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering. 2013. Special Report NSF 13-304. Arlington, VA).

The IMSD program provides opportunities to develop new or expand existing effective institutional developmental programs designed to prepare a diverse group of students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences for competitive research careers and leadership positions in these fields. These grants are awards to institutions that confer the baccalaureate and/or doctoral degree in biomedical and/or behavioral science fields, have a demonstrated commitment to encourage and assist students from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral sciences, and have a research-intensive environment. The IMSD Program is sponsored by the Undergraduate and Predoctoral Training Branch of the Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity (TWD) of the NIGMS.

At the institutional level, the IMSD program should:

  • Increase the pool of students from underrepresented backgrounds that complete a Ph.D. and continue biomedical research careers
  • Contribute to ongoing student and faculty efforts to reduce the gap in the completion of Ph.D. degrees between underrepresented students and those from other backgrounds in  participating departments
  • Increase institutional involvement in outreach efforts toward underrepresented groups

To accomplish these objectives, the design of the proposed institutional programs should be derived from an institutional self-assessment of the:

  • Research environment
  • Demographics of students enrolled in biomedical or behavioral science departments
  • Number of students that complete the baccalaureate and/or Ph.D. degree
  • Challenges/impediments that the students encounter in completing the baccalaureate and/or  Ph.D. degree  

As a result of the self-assessment, each applicant must establish the program's goals and specific measurable objectives.

Various strategies may be utilized to attain the objective of increasing the pool of underrepresented researchers via the IMSD program. These may include but are not limited to the initiation of new academic developmental activities as well as the expansion, enhancement and/or improvement of existing activities.  Some institutions may opt to offer programs to improve preparation of undergraduate students for admission to research doctoral degree programs. Others may concentrate on training graduate students to obtain their doctoral degrees and prepare for successful research careers and still others may concentrate on both. Each IMSD program is strongly encouraged to develop a partnership with NIH-funded T32 training program(s) (http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm) at the applicant institution or another institution in order to facilitate the networking and transition of IMSD students to T32 training programs as well as to identify the institutional impact of the program. Program directors are expected to characterize intended and actualized improvements to training experiences for the general student population that originate in or are inspired by the implementation of the IMSD Program. The duration of the proposed IMSD program should be defined. A two-year undergraduate and/or a two-year graduate IMSD program is typical.  

The IMSD program can provide support for student academic development activities that are designed to improve scientific critical thinking and quantitative skills, communication skills, time management, group learning opportunities, independent library or bench research skills, interdisciplinary or advanced research-based courses and opportunities to meet and discuss career choices with appropriate role models.

Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support. R25 programs may augment institutional research training programs (e.g., T32, T90) but cannot be used to replace or circumvent Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.

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NIH Director's Early Independence Awards (DP5)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Internal MSU LOI due November 9, 2014
Agency LOI due December 30, 2014
Full submission due January 30, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The NIH Director's Early Independence Award Program supports exceptional investigators who wish to pursue independent research directly after completion of their terminal doctoral/research degree or clinical residency, thereby forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period and accelerating their entry into an independent research career. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The NIH Director's Early Independence Awards initiative is funded through the NIH Common Fund, which supports cross-cutting programs that are expected to have exceptionally high impact. All Common Fund initiatives invite investigators to develop bold, innovative, and often risky approaches to address problems that may seem intractable or to seize new opportunities that offer the potential for rapid progress.

The NIH Director's Early Independence Awards provide an opportunity for exceptional junior scientists to accelerate their entry into an independent research career by forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period. Though most newly graduated doctoral-level researchers would benefit by post-doctoral training, a small number of outstanding junior investigators would benefit instead by launching directly into an independent research career. For these select investigators, who have established a record of scientific innovation and research productivity and who have demonstrated unusual leadership, drive, and maturity, post-doctoral training would unnecessarily delay their entry into performing independent research. The NIH Director's Early Independence Awards also provide an opportunity for institutions to invigorate their research programs by bringing in the fresh perspectives of the awardees that they host.

By the end of the award period, the Early Independence investigator is expected to be competitive for continued funding of his/her research program and for a permanent research position.

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences research workforce. The NIH expects all of its efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation's capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.  Applicant institutions are always encouraged to consider talented researchers from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities and women for participation in all NIH-funded research opportunities.   

 

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NINDS Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce (R25)
National Institutes of Health/NINDS

Internal MSU LOI due October 1, 2014
Agency LOI due 30 days before full submission
Full submission due January 25, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The purpose of the FOA is to invite applications for mentoring and professional activities to advance the careers and neuroscience development of diverse neuroscience researchers.  The goal of the NINDS Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce (NDACDRW) is to support mission relevant development and/or implementation of programs to: (1) increase the pool of Ph.D.-level research scientists from diverse backgrounds underrepresented  in biomedical research who are neuroscience researchers- participation is limited to graduate, post-doctoral and/or junior-faculty career levels only; and (2) facilitate career advancement/transition of the participants to the next step of their neuroscience careers. 

NINDS support for R25 program relies equally on scientific merit and programmatic considerations. Consequently, we recommend that potential applicants contact program officials at NINDS before preparing an application. NINDS will not support projects if they do not fulfill current programmatic priorities at NINDS.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: 

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages applications from applicant organizations that propose creative and innovative mentoring and professional development activities in the mission area(s) of the NINDS to increase diversity of the research workforce.

This NINDS Diversity R25 is a flexible and specialized program designed to foster the development of diverse neuroscience researchers at the local, regional and national program level. The overall goal of NINDS's individual and institutional research training programs is to ensure that highly trained scientists will be available in adequate numbers and in appropriate scientific areas to reduce the burden of neurological disease.

The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation's capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.

There is a large loss of talented researchers from diverse backgrounds during the transition from graduate to postdoctoral training to junior faculty positions.  Evidence from several reports demonstrate that an intervention designed to facilitate successful transitions along this pathway would benefit the research community and scientific teaching environment, and would provide needed role models for underrepresented students (Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads- National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine 2011Bridges to Independence: Fostering the Independence of New Investigators in Biomedical Research, and Advancing the Nations Health Needs: NIH Research Training Programs). 

While the term "diversity" can encompass many personal attributes and characteristics, for this NINDS Diversity R25 program, diversity includes individuals currently underrepresented in neuroscience research on a national basis (for example see surveys conducted by the Society for Neuroscience Committee on Neuroscience Departments and Programs ), including: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups or individuals with disabilities (see also http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/).  Eligibility related to the NIH defineddisadvantaged background would be difficult to justify for individuals beyond the level of high school and undergraduate, and thus will be very difficult to justify for the career stages eligible under this announcement.  

Due to the current NIH activities to increase recruitment and retention of diverse students at the undergraduate level (http://commonfund.nih.gov/diversity/Initiatives.aspx ), this new NINDS Diversity R25 does not include programs that target undergraduates or any career stage below graduate students.  The NINDS Neuroscience Development for Advancing the Careers of a Diverse Research Workforce (R25) initiative will focus on factors that have been shown to effect retention of diverse graduate, post-doctoral and junior faculty in neuroscience research such as mentoring, scientific networks and professional development ( http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Training/Reportshttp://acd.od.nih.gov/dbr.htm ).  The program seeks to support intervention activities that include, but are not limited to, development of grant writing skills, fostering publishing, and enhancing laboratory management for early stage faculty engaged in neuroscience research.

The NINDS expects applicant institutions to propose programs that will lead to an improvement in the professional development, mentoring and/or technical expertise of individuals who are nationally underrepresented in neuroscience research. Investigators with creative, innovative ideas for new programs are encouraged to discuss these with NINDS program officials. Examples of programs that are of potential interest to the NINDS include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Programs that target Participants from Diverse Backgrounds:   Activities designed to increase the pool and success of participants from underrepresented backgrounds including graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty.  Institute priority will be given to pipeline programs that target the advancement and retention of researchers from diverse backgrounds from either the career stages of graduate to post-doc or post-doc to junior faculty.  Programs should enhance and broaden their skills in order to contribute significantly to basic, translational and/or clinical neuroscience research through development of comprehensive strategies that support career advancement, professional development, and mentoring skills.
  • Programs that target Mentors and Institutional Officials:  The NIH realizes that quality mentorship is critical to the recruitment and retention of diverse scientists. Therefore, this FOA welcomes programs aimed at improving the caliber of mentorship. For example Workshops to educate mentors (e.g. summer course or a workshop accompanying a neuroscience related scientific meeting in which case-based scenarios may be used to educate mentors on various relevant ethical, professional and cultural issues facing students today).  Also, the program intends to support innovative mentoring network programs within neuroscience focused scientific and/or professional societies and organizations.  Mentors from all demographic backgrounds should be encouraged to participate in the proposed program.
  • Programs that target Health Disparities:  Educational/research experiences that enhance the participation and productivity of diverse investigators carrying out research on NINDS mission relevant health disparities (refer to Public Law 106-525).

Formats for these programs may also vary, e.g., short courses, a series of seminars, workshops, structured research experiences, or curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation.

The proposed program may complement other, ongoing research training and education occurring at an applicant institution, but the proposed activities must be distinct from those research training and research education programs currently receiving federal support.  The R25 is not a substitute for an institutional research training program (T32), cannot be used to support individual research activities, and cannot be used to circumvent or supplement Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) mechanisms.

Although the NINDS Diversity R25s are not typical research instruments, they do involve experiments in education and/or dissemination of research knowledge that require an evaluation plan in order to determine their effectiveness. A plan must be provided for program evaluation and/or dissemination.  As such, each application must include a plan to evaluate the activities proposed (see Section IV, Evaluation Plan).  For some types of projects, a plan for disseminating results may also be appropriate and may be required as well (see Section IV, Dissemination Plan).

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NSF Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity
Directorate for Engineering and Industrial Innovation and Partnerships

Internal MSU LOI due November 7, 2014
Agency LOI due December 3, 2014
Full submission due January 28, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) program supports academe-industry partnerships, which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team with a least one industry partner to build technological, human, and service system innovation capacity. These partnerships focus on the integration of technologies into a specified human-centered smart service system with the potential to achieve transformational change in an existing service system or to spur an entirely new service system. These technologies have been inspired by existing breakthrough discoveries.

Service systems are socio-technical configurations of people, technologies, organizations, and information designed to deliver services that create and deliver value. A "smart" service system is a system capable of learning, dynamic adaptation, and decision making based upon data received, transmitted, and/or processed to improve its response to a future situation. The system does so through self-detection, self-diagnosing, self-correcting, self-monitoring, self-organizing, self-replicating, or self-controlled functions. These capabilities are the result of the incorporation of technologies for sensing, actuation, coordination, communication, control, etc. The system may exhibit a sequence of features such as detection, classification, and localization that lead to an outcome occurring within a reasonable time.

PFI:BIC funds research partnerships working on projects that operate in the post-fundamental discovery space but precede being on a clear path to commercialization. These projects require additional effort to integrate the technology into a real service system with human factors considerations, which in turn might spawn additional discoveries inspired by this interaction of humans with the technology.

Partnership activities that drive sustained innovation include the targeted allocation of resources such as capital, time, and facilities; and sharing of knowledge in a cross-organizational and interdisciplinary context. The project must involve research tasks that demonstrate a highly collaborative research plan with participation of the primary industrial partner with the academic researcher during the life of the award.

Cultivating smart service systems requires not only the participation of the scientific discipline or disciplines related to the technology, but also of a range of other disciplines needed to achieve successful integration into a smart service system. The resulting system requires an understanding of human interaction with technology and a human-centered design to assure the desirability and the effectiveness of the proposed service system.

Thus, in addition to the discipline related to the technology, the disciplines to be included in this project are 1) systems engineering or engineering design, 2) computer science/information technology, and 3) human factors/behavioral science/cognitive engineering. Some teams not experienced with service engineering might benefit from consulting with an individual with expertise in service operations or service systems. NSF recognizes that the labels for the aforementioned disciplines may vary in different institutions and organizations, so what is important here is to demonstrate the equivalence of the representation of these disciplines. The proposer will be asked to show how the disciplines will be integrated in the context of the project as part of the research plan in the Project Description.

Examples of technology applied to service systems include smart healthcare, smart cities, on-demand transportation, precision agriculture, smart infrastructure, and other technologies enabling self-service and customized service solutions.

WEBINARS: Webinars will be held to answer questions about the solicitation. Register on the PFI:BIC website where details will be posted (http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/pfi/bic.jsp). Potential proposers and their partners are encouraged to attend. Also, Vice Presidents for Research and academic personnel concerned with the review of their respective institution's selection of candidates for submission, individuals from Sponsored Research Offices, and those focused on the identification and understanding of limited application submissions are encouraged to attend.

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Grant Programs--Medical Research (June Cycle)
W.M. Keck Foundation

Internal MSU LOI due October 1, 2014
LOI due November 1, 2014
Full submissions due February 15, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Research 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. Past grants have been awarded to major universities, independent research institutions, and medical schools to support pioneering biological and physical science research and engineering, including the development of promising new technologies, instrumentation or methodologies. Historically, grants range from $500,000 to $5 million and are typically $2 million or less.

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Beckman Young Investigator Program
Beckman (Arnold and Mable) Foundation

Internal MSU LOI due August 25, 2014
LOI due September 3, 2014
Full submissions by invitation only

SYNOPSIS: 

The Beckman Young Investigator (BYI) Program is intended to provide research support to the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of academic careers in the chemical and life sciences particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Projects should show promise for contributing to significant advances in the research fields of interest to the Foundation. They should represent innovative departures in research rather than extensions or expansions of existing programs. Proposed research that cuts across traditional boundaries of scientific disciplines is encouraged. Proposals that open up new avenues of research in chemistry and the life sciences by fostering the invention of methods, instruments and materials will be given additional consideration.

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Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program
The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.

Internal MSU LOI due September 15, 2014
Full submission due February 10, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences. Based on institutional nominations, the program provides discretionary funding to faculty at an early stage in their careers. Criteria for selection include an independent body of scholarship attained within the first five years of their appointment as independent researchers, and a demonstrated commitment to education, signaling the promise of continuing outstanding contributions to both research and teaching. The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program provides an unrestricted research grant of $75,000.

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Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program
The Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.

Internal MSU LOI due November 30, 2014
Nomination portal opens December 2014; full submission due February 10, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences. Based on institutional nominations, the program provides discretionary funding to faculty at an early stage in their careers. Criteria for selection include an independent body of scholarship attained within the first five years of their appointment as independent researchers, and a demonstrated commitment to education, signaling the promise of continuing outstanding contributions to both research and teaching. The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program provides an unrestricted research grant of $75,000.

Eligibility

The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program is open to academic institutions in the States, Districts, and Territories of the United States of America that grant a bachelor's or higher degree in the chemical sciences, including biochemistry, materials chemistry, and chemical engineering. Nominees must hold a full-time tenure-track academic appointment, and are normally expected to have been appointed no earlier than mid-year 2009. Awardees are from Ph.D. granting departments in which scholarly research is a principal activity. Undergraduate education is an important component of the nominee's activities. Institutions may submit only one Camille Dreyfus nomination annually.


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Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM (CCE STEM)
National Science Foundation (multiple directorates)

Internal MSU LOI due December 1, 2014
Full submission due February 17, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM (CCE STEM) funds research projects that identify factors that are efficacious in the formation of ethical STEM researchers in all the fields of science and engineering that NSF supports. CCE STEM solicits proposals for research that explores the following: 'What constitutes ethical STEM research and practice? Which cultural and institutional contexts promote ethical STEM research and practice and why?' Factors one might consider include: honor codes, professional ethics codes and licensing requirements, an ethic of service and/or service learning, life-long learning requirements, curricula or memberships in organizations (e.g. Engineers without Borders) that stress social responsibility and humanitarian goals, institutions that serve under-represented groups, institutions where academic and research integrity are cultivated at multiple levels, institutions that cultivate ethics across the curriculum, or programs that promote group work, or do not grade. Do certain labs have a 'culture of academic integrity'? What practices contribute to the establishment and maintenance of ethical cultures and how can these practices be transferred, extended to, and integrated into other research and learning settings?

Successful proposals will include a comparative dimension, either between or within institutional settings that differ along these or other factors.

CCE STEM research projects will use basic research to produce knowledge about what constitutes responsible or irresponsible, just or unjust scientific practices and sociotechnical systems, and how to best instill students with this knowledge.

Proposals for awards from minority-serving institutions (e.g. Tribal Colleges and Universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions), women's colleges, and institutions primarily serving persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged.

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OFFICIAL RFA RELEASE: EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 (RII Track-2 FEC)
Office of International and Integrative Activities and Office of Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (National Science Foundation)

Internal MSU LOI due December 8, 2014
Full submission due February 20, 2015

Revised Deadline: Internal MSU LOI due December 8, 2014; please also email whitepaper to research@montana.edu. Full submissions are by invitation only and will be due February 20, 2015 

Montana Unive­rsity System Call for Whitepapers: FY15 NSF RII Track

Updated: November 21, 2014 (revised deadline: December 8, 2014)

AMENDMENTS: 

Amendment (1): NSF EPSCoR has received several comments related to budget structure and the number of proposals that can be submitted from each jurisdiction. As a result, EPSCoR jurisdictions should be aware that while the overall award size has not changed (1.0M$ annually for collaborations involving two RII-eligible jurisdictions, and 1.5M$ annually for collaborations involving three or more RII-eligible jurisdictions), the cap of $500,000 per jurisdiction has been removed. In addition, submissions will be limited to one per institution in an RII-eligible jurisdiction, not one per jurisdiction.

Amendment (2): Program Officer, Kelvin Chu indicated that although the language of the official request for applications is non-specific, that the EPSCoR interests for thematic areas previously identified have not changed. Other topics may be submitted, but the focus on the initial themes still applies. The NSF Brain Iniative and its four thematic areas and the Water-Energy-Food nexus are still a focus but the language has been changed to emphasize clean energy and food security. The emphasis on water, energy, and agricultural linkages still applies. Everything else in regards to number of applications per institution, number of proposals any one individual may serve as Co-PI or PI, and budget remains the same. 

Amendment (3): In light of the new February deadline for full submissions, the Internal MSU LOI is is now Due December 8, 2014.

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In anticipation of the NSF EPSCoR RII Track 2 call for proposals, the Montana University System is requesting whitepapers for a competitive selection by the MT Science & Technology Advisory Committee. The selected whitepaper team will be charged with moving forward to develop a full proposal for submission to NSF (Full submission now due February 20, 2015). 

The MSU internal submission procedure must be followedProspective PI's are to submit the three-page whitepaper to the office of Research and Economic Development via the ePCF system by selecting "pre-proposal" and uploading the whitepaper as an attachment. It is critical that PI's select "National Science Foundation" as the agency in the ePCF screen and begin the project title with "NSF EPSCoR RII Track 2:". Submissions that do not follow this format are at risk of not being reviewed. PI's must also email the whitepaper to research@montana.edu. 

NSF EPSCoR Research Improvement Infrastructure (RII) Track-2 investments target inter-jurisdictional collaborations on priority science thematic focus areas, leading to sustained activities beyond the award period. There are two thematic focus areas for the FY Track 2 call: 

1. Understanding the Human Brain (NSF Brain Initiative)

NSF's goal is to enable scientific understanding of the full complexity of the brain, in action and context, through targeted, cross-disciplinary investments in research, technology and workforce development. Proposals should focus on one or more thematic areas of the NSF Brain Initiative. 

a. See http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/brain/ for full information on the BRAIN Initiative including these thematic areas: 

i. Multi-scale integration of the dynamic activity and structure of the brain -elucidate and link dynamics of the brain and neural circuits with brain function, including its real-time physiological, behavioral and cognitive outputs. 

ii. Neurotechnology and research infrastructure - create tools to image, sense, record and affect real-time brain function and complex behavior, and develop theories and systems to collect, visualize, analyze, model, store, and distribute BRAIN data. 

iii. Quantitative theory and modeling of brain function - reveal emergent properties of the brain and provide predictive theoretical frameworks to guide future research. 

iv. Brain-inspired concepts and designs - capitalize on insights gained from BRAIN to inspire novel conceptual paradigms and innovative technologies and designs that will benefit society. 

2. The Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus 

In all WEF Nexus projects, emphasis must be on transformative research that improves fundamental understanding of the underlying dynamics, processes, and interactions between WEF systems. Proposals to apply existing methods or technologies to demonstrate or quantify aspects of the WEF nexus will not be considered. Example Thematic Areas provided by NSF: 

i. Integrated analysis and modeling - develop analytical methods and models to identify critical connections to global and regional energy and water resources that influence food production, investigate relationships among food, water, and energy technology options and socioeconomic factors such as population fluxes in urban and rural areas, economic drivers, and competing resource demands. 

ii. Advanced materials and technological solutions - development of materials and technologies that can yield economically relevant improvements in the WEF nexus. 

iii. The integrated science behind improvements of feedstock production systems, including aquaculture - the area encompasses improved understanding of the basic processes and interactions that underpin crops, agriculture, and aquaculture techniques that improve water quality, co-production of value-added products that reduce energy intensity and environmental protection across the food production lifecycle. Basic and fundamental research bridging the hydrological, environmental, ecological, geochemical, energy, and engineering sciences is encouraged. 

iv. Advanced sensors and analytics - technologies for reliable measurement-based data of water availability, quality, and demand to support food and energy production and deliver relevant land-use and climate scenarios to support decisions related to water and resource allocation. Technologies may include subsurface sensing and characterization, remote sensing, and treatment systems to tailor water quality to specific food and energy production requirements. 

Awards are up to $6M over 4 years with a per award maximum of $500K per EPSCoR jurisdiction per year (including Montana as the lead and each partner state sub-award up to a total of $1.5M per year).

As formal guidance is released from NSF, we will broadly disseminate that information. Based on preliminary NSF EPSCoR information on this upcoming solicitation, a successful proposal will require the following components: 

  • A specific research topic within one of the two focus areas that will meet National Science Board criteria for intellectual merit and broader impacts. 
  • core Montana research team led by a PI and co-PI's active in the proposed field of research activities. 
  • Integrated research partners from higher education institutions in one or more partner EPSCoR jurisdictions and rationale and role for each faculty-level participant. All NSF EPSCoR jurisdictions are eligible to lead proposals and partner with other state proposals. There is no limit on how many states Montana can partner with on other state-led proposals in the program to include (AL, AK, AR, DE, GU, HI, ID, KS, KY, LA, ME, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, PR, RI, SC, SD, VT, VI, VW, and WY). 
  • Workforce development activities that target junior faculty recruitment, mentoring, and development. 
  • Evaluation and Assessment, Sustainability, and Management and Coordination Plans. 
  • Participation in an EPSCoR-wide post-assessment. 

Whitepapers should include the following components and not exceed 3 single-spaced pages (digital: Microsoft Word .DOC or .DOCX file format): 

  • MONTANA TEAM: Montana PI and co-PI's, including role for each.  
  • RESEARCH PROGRAM: Description of proposed research activities in one of the two focus areas, including impact to Montana and intellectual merit. 
  • COLLABORATION AND PARTNERSHIPS: Identify your proposed approach for developing necessary inter-jurisdictional collaboration and partnerships on a full proposal. A list of specific partners is not required for the whitepapers, but list them if you already have willing states and participants. 
  • BUDGET: Provide a brief justification for the ability of the team to accomplish research goals within the project budget. Note that match is not required on Track-2 awards. 
  • SUSTAINABILITY: Briefly describe your ideas for post-award sustainability; including potential leveraged grant or other funding opportunities and alignment with the MUS research priorities and programs. 

Whitepaper submissions: 

  • Due: 5:00 PM on Tuesday, December 8, 2014 to the MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development office (VPRED) via email and ePCF system. Submissions will be sent to the Montana Science & Technology Advisory Committee (MSTAC) by the VPRED office.
  • Whitepapers should not exceed 3 single-spaced pages (digital format: Microsoft Word .DOC or .DOCX format). 
  • Submit whitepapers via ePCF (available from the MSU OSP webpage: http://www.montana.edu/research/osp/) by selecting "pre-proposal" in the ePCF screen and upload the whitepaper as an attachment. Whitepapers will be routed to the VP Research and Economic Development office (VPRED) for review. Please also email whitepaper to research@montana.edu. It is critical that PI's select "National Science Foundation" as the agency in the ePCF screen and begin the project title with "NSF EPSCoR RII Track 2." Submissions that do not follow this format are at risk of not being reviewed.
  • After the VPRED office reviews all submissions, all whitepapers will be provided to both Cindy Orser at corser@montana.edu (Montana OCHE Research Program Director) and Ray Callaway at ray.callaway@mso.umt.edu (Montana NSF EPSCoR Project Director) and the Montana Science & Technology Advisory Committee (MSTAC) for review and final selection. 
  • For Questions and Help: The Montana NSF EPSCoR program will be available for whitepaper questions and assistance with full proposal development including proposal review, partner cultivation with other EPSCoR jurisdictions, budget development, broader impacts, workforce development, evaluation, sustainability, and management components, and other assistance as needed. Contact Todd Kipfer, Montana EPSCoR Program Administrator at tkipfer@montana.edu. For research related or other questions contact Renee Reijo-Pera atrenee.reijopera@montana.edu or Mark Young at myoung@montana.edu. For questions related to the internal submission process (ePCF, etc.) contact Micaela Young, Pre-Award Specialist at micaelayoung@montana.edu or Sandy Sward, OSP Director at ssward@montana.edu.   

Montana and Anticipated NSF EPSCoR Track-2 Proposal Timeline:

- MT Whitepapers Due to VPRED office via ePCF: December 8, 2014

- MT Whitepapers submitted to U of M, OCHE, MSTAC by VPRED: December 8, 2014

- MT Selection Announced: December TBD, 2014  

- NSF Solicitation Released: November 19, 2014

- Full Proposal Due to NSF: February 20, 2015

- NSF Merit Review: Official Date TBA, Targeted for Early April 2015 

- Award Target Date: August 2015 

 

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RFA-ES-15-003--Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award (R01)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/NIH/DHHS

Internal MSU LOI due November 30, 2014
Optional letters of intent are due January 27, 2015
Full submission due February 27, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) Award is intended to identify the most talented Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) who intend to make a long-term commitment to research in the Environmental Health Sciences and assist them in launching an innovative research program focused on the understanding of environmental exposure effects on people's health. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The ONES program is designed to identify outstanding scientists at the formative stages of their career and assist them in launching an innovative research program with a defined impact in the environmental health sciences. Research programs supported by this announcement seek to promote career advancement of the most highly creative and promising new scientists who intend to make a long-term career commitment to research in the mainstream of the environmental health sciences, and bring innovative, ground-breaking research initiatives and thinking to bear on the problems of how environmental exposures affect human health.

The ONES Program is specifically targeted to Early Stage Investigators and program goals include career promotion as well as the scientific project proposed. Research projects proposed in response to this FOA will be expected to have a defined impact on the environmental health sciences and be responsive to both the mission of the NIH and, specifically, to the mission of the NIEHS and the NIEHS 2012-2017 Strategic plan, Advancing Science, Improving Health: A Plan for Environmental Health Sciences Research. A variety of scientific disciplines, including basic, mechanistic, clinical, epidemiological, computational, engineering, and/or health risk communication approaches, can be used to advance the NIEHS Strategic Plan. Applicants should consult the strategic plan and to ensure that the research proposed in their application addresses the goals and priority areas of the NIEHS.

Applications submitted in response to this FOA must have a research focus on exposure -health related responses from environmental agents within the mission interest of the NIEHS. The Strategic Plan emphasizes that environmental exposures within the primary mission interest of NIEHS may both manifest effects through direct toxicities and as an element in combined exposures in the totality of all types of human exposure experiences throughout the lifespan. Environmental agents which are considered of primary interest for NIEHS include: industrial chemicals or manufacturing byproducts, metals, pesticides, herbicides, air pollutants and other inhaled toxicants, particulates or fibers, fungal, and bacterial or biologically derived toxins.

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Materials Innovation Platforms (MIP)
Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences Division of Materials Research (NSF)

Internal MSU LOI due January 12, 2015
Agency LOI not required
Full limited submission due March 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Division of Materials Research (DMR) seeks to significantly accelerate advances in materials research and engineering through the rapid discovery of new materials and phenomena by developing a new midscale user facility program - Materials Innovation Platforms (MIP) program. MIPs embrace the paradigm set forth by the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) which strives to "discover, manufacture, and deploy advanced materials in half the time and at a fraction of the cost." Platforms respond to the increasing complexity of conducting materials research that requires the close collaboration of multidisciplinary teams who have access to cutting edge tools. To accelerate research outcomes, Platforms conduct research through iterative "closed-loop" efforts among the areas of materials synthesis, characterization, theory, and the application of theory through modeling and/or simulation. The in-house research conducted by a MIP is transformational and focuses on a targeted materials grand challenge and/or a technological outcome (e.g., understanding complexity, discovery of new phenomena and materials, etc.) that addresses a national priority.

MIPs push the frontiers in materials research by advancing the capabilities of current state-of-the-art experimental tools through the development of new techniques and the next generation of instrumentation that will lead to understanding and discovering new phenomena as well as the discovery of complex functional material systems. In addition, it is expected that open access to these cutting edge tools will strengthen collaborations among scientists and enable researchers to work in new ways, while fostering new modalities of multidisciplinary education and training. The user facility aspect of a Platform accounts for approximately 50% of the collaborative effort, where a MIP provides access to unique high-quality, state-of-the-art instrumentation and technological services through a staff of experts that are accessible to external researchers and all types of institutions. Due to this convergence of expertise, MIPs will serve as focal points that promote cross-fertilization of ideas between internal and external researchers.

The Platform, the tools and techniques developed, and the resulting new materials are themselves meant to be transformative. The US, once a global leader in materials synthesis, has fallen behind in the science of crystal growth. To rebuild technical strength in this area, the initial MIPs will focus on developing new bulk and thin film crystalline hard materials. The scientific focus of the MIP program is subject to change from competition to competition. MIPs are anticipated to be five year awards totaling $10,000,000 to $25,000,000 for the award period. MIP awards are eligible for a one-time five-year renewal, subsequent to a rigorous and favorable review by NSF. To cover the breadth of this endeavor, it is expected that proposed projects will be directed by a team of at least three Senior Personnel with complementary expertise. Equipment acquisition is expected in the first few years, but yearly budget should not exceed $7.0M.

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OFFICIAL RFA RELEASE: CTR-IN Clinical and Translational Pilot Grant Program - Round 3
Mountain West Clinical Translational Research - Infrastructure Network

Internal MSU LOI due January 5, 2015
Agency LOI due January 28, 2015
Full submissions are by invitation only are will be due April 8, 2015

AMENDMENTS: 

IDeA-CTR Pilot Grants are limited to funding for clinical or translational research.The Round 3 Pilot Grant Program will incorporate two programmatic changes agreed on at the June 2014 meeting of the Internal Advisory Committee meeting: 

1. Similar to Round 2, the CTR-IN will require institutional support for half of the PI effort requested in the Pilot Grant proposal. This support can be in the form of release from teaching, direct salary support, or other mechanism appropriate for your institution.

2. The Pilot Grant program will be a Limited Competition. Up to 4 proposals will be accepted from each institution.

As discussed at the lAC meeting on 06/23/14, the first change is being implemented to ensure that the CTR-IN is in compliance with the spirit of the institutional commitments to share in supporting research effort by Pilot Grant awardees that accompanied the CTR-IN proposal to the NIGMS. This also enables the CTR-IN to stretch available funds to reach more investigators.

The second change is being implemented to increase the efficiency of the review process (with fewer proposals we can provide more and better reviews) and to enable CTR-IN institutions to identify and put forward their strongest candidates for research development. This change will empower institutions to vet the applicants for Pilot Grant support and ensure that they merit institutional support for half of the requested effort. The CTR-IN is therefore requiring each institution to implement a program to identify and forward to us Nominating Packages (defined below) for not more than 4 qualified applicants.

3. The internal MSU letter of intent and email to research@montana.edu must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on January 3, 2015. 

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SYNOPSIS: 

The CTR-IN Pilot Grant Program is a Limited Competition, Mentored Career Development funding opportunity. The mission of the CTR-IN is to build clinical and translational research capacity, and facilitate extramural funding success, among investigators with faculty appointments at the 13 universities in the Mountain West Research Consortium.

The program provides research funding, and a mentored pathway of milestones leading to publicationand expansion of research skills, to help faculty achieve independent investigator status as reflected in the submission of an NIH R-type grant proposal (or equivalent) in clinical ortranslational research.

Pilot Grant support can be transformative in the Mountain West by helping existing programs reach national competitiveness, by addressing regional health disparities, and by helping new investigators and established basic scientists achieve success in clinical or translational research.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: 

Because the participating 13 institutions differ greatly from one to the other, the details of the internal selection process for candidates are up to each institution. Montana State University will follow the internal selection process for all limited submissions. Prospective PI's must submit a one-page whitepaper and the biosketches of the PI and if applicable, research team, to the eProposal Clearance Form system and email these documents to research@montana.edu as attachments. The format will follow that of the nominating packages and PI's are to submit: 

  • An NIH format Biographical Sketch for the proposed PI including the required Personal Statement.
  • A summary of the proposed research of not more than one page with sufficient detail to establish that the research is clinical or translational.
  • A summary of the IRB status (IRB proposal in preparation, submitted, or approved with a copy of the approval), If IRB approval is not required the reason must be documented.

Questions related to this call may be directed to research@montana.edu. Questions related to the eProposal Clearance Form procedure may be directed to Micaela M. Young, Pre-Award Specialist at micaelayoung@montana.edu or Sandy Sward, OSP Director at ssward@montana.edu. Updates for this call will be announced regularly in the funding opportunities announcement. 



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National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI)
Directorate for Engineering and others/NSF

Internal MSU LOI due January 5, 2015
LOI due February 2, 2015
Full submission due April 3, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Over the past decade of its authorized award life, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) has enabled major discoveries, innovations, and contributions to education and commerce by providing researchers from academia, small and large companies, and government with open access to university user facilities with leading-edge fabrication and characterization tools, instrumentation, and expertise within all disciplines of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. The National Science Foundation is now moving forward with the new National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) as the successor to the NNIN.

This solicitation establishes a competition for individual university user facility sites positioned across the nation. A Coordinating Office will then be selected competitively at a later stage from among the selected sites to enhance their impact as a national infrastructure of user facility sites. The ultimate selection of user facility sites will include capabilities and instrumentation addressing current and anticipated future user needs across the broad areas of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Overall Approach to the NNCI

The competition for individual sites will be for consideration of large and small university-based user facilities, including those at minority-serving institutions, that are geographically distributed and with diverse and complementary capabilities to support current and anticipated future user needs across the broad spectrum of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology domains. The selected individual sites will have autonomy in their operation and management, but will be required to act in concert with a Coordinating Office that will be separately competed and chosen at a later stage. Some sites may choose to partner with facilities at regional or smaller institutions that would bring specific capabilities for users and benefits to student training. The overall collection of selected sites and their capabilities will provide users with cost-effective access both to the specialized tools, processes, and expertise to support complex multi-step fabrication at the nanoscale level for structures, materials, devices, and systems, as well as to the associated instrumentation for characterization, analysis, and probing at these dimensions. The program aims to make these capabilities broadly available to the nation's researchers in academe, industry, and government to help catalyze new discoveries in science and engineering and to stimulate technological innovation.

Technical Capabilities in the Coordinated Infrastructure

The broad spectrum of domain capabilities in this coordinated infrastructure is intended to encompass: physical-, chemical-, and biological-based nanostructures, materials, devices, and systems; electronic, optical, photonic, magnetic, mechanical, thermal, chemical, bioengineering, biomedical, and fluidic nanodevices and systems; nanoscale building blocks and nanostructured materials, composites, coatings, and surfaces; geophysical, geochemical, and environmental nanostructures and processes; synthetic biology, and fabrication in soft matter including biological interfaces; heterogeneous integration of complex, three-dimensional nanoscale systems to create new functionality; hierarchical design and fabrication to build nanoscale systems across multiple dimensional scales, including modeling and simulation tools that complement and support these activities; prototyping, process integration, and testing of manufacturing concepts, including high-speed roll-to-roll fabrication processes; and other areas, as appropriate.

Some promising research opportunities that could be enabled include: formation of new system architectures and heterogeneous materials, engineered at the nanoscale to integrate formerly disparate electronic, photonic, mechanical, chemical, and thermal properties into nanosystems, for functions such as energy conversion and storage, dissipation of heat, precision sensing, and local actuation; bio-inspired, self-healing, responsive materials; structures and devices supporting research in the life sciences and biomedical applications; synthesis of nanoparticles for study of nanotoxicity; sensors for environmental science and monitoring; ultrafast sensors for imaging and recording of chemical, physiological, and biochemical processes; new, more energy efficient devices and circuits for communication, storage and processing of digital information, including quantum information; and devices and circuits for new information processing architectures such as neuromorphic computing.

Some of the sites will have widely used nanofabrication capabilities applicable to diverse areas, while some sites may offer critical, highly specialized tools and processes to support a focused subset of nanoscience and technology. They will enable support for exploration and development of potential new applications of nanotechnology. Appropriate characterization techniques should be intended principally in feedback control of fabrication processes, though access may be needed in specific fields to unique, valuable, and specialized characterization capabilities, either on-site or by remote operation.

Considerations for Individual Site Proposals

Proposing institutions are encouraged to include a broad range of technical capabilities in their individual user facility site proposals, but can also choose to focus on particular subfields within their areas of expertise. Some sites may choose to partner with facilities at regional or smaller institutions that would bring specific capabilities for users and benefits to student training. The Site Director, who is the Principal Investigator for the individual site proposal, will be the key individual for management of the individual site and will work in concert with the other Site Directors and the Coordinating Office, and with the NSF.

Important: Please see "Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources" section in this Solicitation for requirements of facilities and equipment.

Sites should demonstrate that they have the ability to manage shared user facilities and to understand and serve the needs of external users, including those from companies as well as from academia. They should highlight how they will support a rich user base with broad accessibility and affordable user fee structure. They should show how NSF funds will leverage those of the university and other resources to grow the numbers of external users. Sites must embrace a culture of open access to researchers for any research project of merit, with protection of intellectual property, and mechanisms for encouraging non-traditional users from diverse disciplines. They should have an organizational structure that allows coordination of complex process steps and tools for integrated tasks, and acceptance of experimental risks associated with non-standard processes and materials. They should have strong underlying internal research programs that provide critical research mass and knowledge base in developing new processes, methodologies, and instrumentation. They should have a plan for supporting a professional technical staff with requisite expertise to enable external users to plan and carry out experiments with a rapid cycle time, and to instruct in laboratory safety, process methods, and instrumentation usage. Sites should provide an accessible web portal to instruct potential users how to gain access to the facility, and to describe the facility's technical capabilities, tools, and instrumentation. They should have a plan for data management and sharing of the products of research. They should also have methods for assessment and quantifiable metrics of overall site performance and impact, including those for educational and outreach activities.

Nanotechnology facilities provide unique opportunities to infuse innovative education with research at the frontiers of the field. Sites should provide clear, focused strategies for integrating forefront science and engineering with education, including plans for assessing effectiveness and spreading promising practices. Learning experiences, resources, and tools for graduate and undergraduate students and postdoctoral associates, as well as educational outreach and workforce development plans, should leverage the unique strengths of their user facility. These may address, for example, engaging participants in community colleges, pre-college grades, informal science settings, and international education experiences. Sites should also provide outreach programs to potential users in the broader science and engineering communities, including those from startups and small businesses, whose work could benefit from advanced fabrication and instrumentation capabilities. They should assess and utilize regional needs and opportunities to broaden the participation of groups underrepresented in science and engineering among students, faculty, staff, management, and in outreach activities. The sites should have plans for knowledge dissemination to the broader research, education, and technology communities.  They should demonstrate how they will complement and connect to other local resources, such as business incubators, prototyping, and manufacturing facilities. The range and scope of the education and outreach activities are expected to be commensurate with the size of the requested budgets.

Sites having particular expertise in the social and ethical implications of nanotechnology are encouraged to integrate the instruction and study of those aspects into their proposals that can leverage their user community base, and which relate to the capabilities of their respective user facilities.

Role of the Coordinating Office

Following selection and award of the individual sites, NSF will hold a meeting of the Site Directors to discuss recommendations to significantly enhance the impact of this investment that will lead to a coordinated national infrastructure of user facility sites for nanotechnology. A Coordinating Office, to be located at one of the awarded institution sites, will then be competed and chosen to provide the coordinating function. The Director of the Coordinating Office will be a key individual for developing management strategies and operational plans in concert with the Site Directors of the individual user facilities, and will serve as a principal contact person with the NSF.

The Coordinating Office will be responsible for establishing a comprehensive web portal to ensure close linkage among the individual facility websites such that they present a unified face to the user community of overall capabilities, tools, and instrumentation. It will also work with all sites in ways to guide users regarding which site or sites, which instruments, and which processes would enable users to complete their projects most successfully. The Office will help to coordinate and disseminate best practices for national-level education and outreach programs across sites, as well as the instruction and study of social and ethical implications of nanotechnology. It will seek to harmonize capabilities for modeling and simulation in nanoscale fabrication and characterization across sites, and provide effective coordination with the NSF-supported Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN). The Office will establish an external advisory board of distinguished members from academia, industry, and government to provide advice and guidance through the Coordinating Office.

The Office will work with the individual sites to establish uniform methods for assessment and quantifiable metrics of overall site performance and impact, including those for educational and outreach activities. It will help to share best practices and laboratory safety and training procedures across all sites. It will engage all sites in a planning process to explore emerging areas of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology that can lead to future growth of the external user base. It will coordinate the acquisition needs for specialized instrumentation across all sites to enhance new areas of research growth. The Office will also coordinate data management across all sites and the dissemination of shared knowledge to research, education, and technology communities, as well as in enhancing connections with other nationally funded academic centers or networks and facilities supported by government, the private sector, and international partners.

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Research Program
W.M. Keck Foundation

Internal MSU LOI due November 1, 2014
Agency LOI due January 1 through February 15, 2015
Full submissions are by invitation only and will be due May 1, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Supporting pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research has been our mandate from the beginning. By funding the high-risk/high-impact work of leading researchers, we are laying the groundwork for new paradigms, technologies and discoveries that will save lives, provide innovative solutions, and add to our understanding of the world. Both Senior and Early Career investigators are encouraged to apply.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Funding is awarded to universities and institutions nationwide for projects in research that:

  • Focus on important and emerging areas of research
  • Have the potential to develop breakthrough technologies, instrumentation or methodologies
  • Are innovative, distinctive and interdisciplinary
  • Demonstrate a high level of risk due to unconventional approaches, or by challenging the prevailing paradigm
  • Have the potential for transformative impact, such as the founding of a new field of research, the enabling of observations not previously possible, or the altered perception of a previously intractable problem
  • Does not focus on clinical or translational research, treatment trials or research for the sole purpose of drug development
  • Fall outside the mission of public funding agencies
  • Demonstrate that private philanthropy generally, and the W. M. Keck Foundation in particular, is essential to the project's success 

 

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Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) (R25)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences/NIH/DHHS

Full submission due May 28, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) invites applications for Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) research education grants (R25) from institutions focused on developing new or expanding existing effective institutional developmental programs designed to academically and scientifically prepare underrepresented (UR) students in the biomedical or behavioral sciences for competitive research careers. The RISE program provides grants to institutions with significant enrollment of students from populations underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences that propose well-integrated developmental activities designed to strengthen students' academic preparation, research training and professional skills that are critical to the completion of the Ph.D. degree in the biomedical and/or behavioral sciences. This FOA will use the NIH Research Education (R25) grant mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The goal of the RISE Program is to increase the number of students from UR groups in biomedical and behavioral research who successfully complete the Ph.D. degree in these fields. In doing so, the overarching expectation is that through its support of new and ongoing institutionally-designed student and faculty developmental programs, the RISE Program will help reduce the gap in the completion of Ph.D. degrees between UR and non-UR students in the biomedical and behavioral sciences at the national level. At the institutional level, it is expected that the following objectives will be achieved: a) an increase in the overall number of UR students that complete a Ph.D. and continue biomedical research careers; b) at least 50% of undergraduate (UG) and 75% of master's RISE-supported students will enter into a Ph.D. program within three years after graduation; and c) at least 80% of RISE-supported Ph.D. students will complete the degree.

RISE applications are institutional in nature and therefore they must reflect the plans and priorities of the participating institutions. Thus, each application must conduct a comprehensive institutional self-assessment relative to its capacity to support students in their efforts to attain undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. To that end, the self-assessment must provide baseline institutional data with respect to the baseline number of students retained and graduating in the sciences relevant to biomedical and/or behavioral research. In addition, the self-assessment must contain information pertaining to institutional mission and core themes, current institutional resources and capacity, and indicators of institutional effectiveness toward achieving its mission as it relates to the biomedical and behavioral science disciplines.

The RISE Program recognizes and values the heterogeneity in institutional settings and institutional missions. Based on this, various strategies may be utilized to attain the objective of increasing the number of UR individuals engaged in research via the RISE program. These may include, but are not limited to, student development, academic enhancement and research training activities. Applicant institutions have wide latitude in the design of the program; however, each applicant institution must establish the proposed program's specific aims, which should be consonant with the RISE Program goals and objectives, based on the findings of the self-assessment. These specific aims should inform the design of an institutional research education program with potential for significant institutional impact and contribution to the overall RISE goals.

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Science and Technology Centers: Integrative Partnerships
National Science Foundation (multiple directorates)

Internal MSU LOI due December 5, 2014
Agency LOI due December 11, 2014
Full submission due June 16, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Science and Technology Centers (STC): Integrative Partnerships program supports innovative, potentially transformative, complex research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term awards. STCs conduct world-class research through partnerships among academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities, and via international collaborations, as appropriate. They provide a means to undertake significant investigations at the interfaces of disciplines and/or fresh approaches within disciplines. STCs may involve any area of science and engineering that NSF supports. STC investments support the NSF vision of creating and exploiting new concepts in science and engineering and providing global leadership in research and education.

Centers provide a rich environment for encouraging future scientists, engineers, and educators to take risks in pursuing discoveries and new knowledge. STCs foster excellence in education by integrating education and research, and by creating bonds between learning and inquiry so that discovery and creativity fully support the learning process.

NSF expects STCs to demonstrate leadership in the involvement of groups traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering at all levels (faculty, students, and postdoctoral researchers) within the Center. Centers use either proven or innovative mechanisms to address issues such as recruitment, retention and mentorship of participants from underrepresented groups.

Centers must undertake activities that facilitate knowledge transfer, i.e., the exchange of scientific and technical information with the objective of disseminating and utilizing knowledge broadly in multiple sectors. Examples of knowledge transfer include technology transfer with the intention of supporting innovation, providing key information to public policy makers, or dissemination of knowledge from one field of science to another.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Objectives of the STC Program are to:

  • Support research and education of the highest quality in a Center-based environment in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts;
  • Exploit opportunities in science, education, engineering and/or technology where the complexity of the research agenda requires the advantages of scope, scale, flexibility, duration, equipment, and facilities that a Center can provide;
  • Support innovative frontier investigations at the interfaces of disciplines and/or investigations that will lead to fresh approaches within disciplines;
  • Engage and develop the Nation's intellectual talent, including groups underrepresented in the sciences, mathematics and engineering, in the conduct of research and education activities;
  • Promote organizational connections and linkages within and between campuses, schools and/or the world beyond (e.g., state, local, Federal agencies, national labs, industry, international collaborations), capitalizing upon cyberinfrastructure to facilitate these linkages;
  • Focus on integrative learning and discovery and the preparation of U.S. students for a broad set of career paths; and
  • Foster science and/or engineering in service to society especially with respect to new research areas and promising new instrumentation and technologies.

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Faculty Development in the Space Sciences (FDSS)
Directorate for Geosciences

August 31, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Geospace Section of the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, to ensure the health and vitality of solar and space sciences on university teaching faculties, is pleased to offer awards for the creation of new tenure-track faculty positions within the intellectual disciplines which comprise the space sciences. The aim of these awards is to integrate research topics in solar and space physics into basic physics, astronomy, electrical engineering, geoscience, meteorology, computer science, and applied mathematics programs, and to develop space physics graduate programs capable of training the next generation of leaders in this field. Space Science is interdisciplinary in nature and the Faculty Development in the Space Sciences awardees will be expected to establish partnerships within the university community.

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Department of Defense (DOD)

Advance Notice of Solicitation: DOD To Award More Than $100M to Establish an Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute
Department of Defense

Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is anticipated to be released in early November 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

In celebration of National Manufacturing Day, the Obama Administration announced it will release a new competition to award more than $100 million to launch a new Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IMI) focused on Integrated Photonics. The proposed Integrated Photonics Institute will assist in developing an end-to-end photonics 'ecosystem' in the U.S. and support research and development efforts across the country on domestic foundry access, integrated design tools, automated packaging, assembly and test, and workforce development in the research area related to photonics. Administered by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the formal request for proposal (RFP) should be released in early November.

Click the related link to read more. 

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CDMRP Funding Opportunities
Department of Defense

Deadlines vary per program

SYNOPSIS: 

All pre-applications must be submitted electronically to the CDMRP eReceipt System https://ebrap.org. Full applications must be submitted electronically to the Grants.gov website http://grants.gov.

Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Breast Cancer Research Program

Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program

Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Gulf War Illness Research Program

Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Orthotics and Prosthetics Outcomes Research Program

Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Peer Reviewed Alzheimer's Research Program

Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Psychological Health/Traumatic Brain Injury (PH/TBI) Research Program

 

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Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) Bone Marrow Failure Research Program (BMFRP)

Pre-application Deadline: May 13, 2014 5 p.m., EST
Full Proposal Deadline - by invititation only

 

Applications to the Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Bone Marrow Failure Research Program (BMFRP) are being solicited for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Defense Health Program (DHP), by the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisitions Activity (USAMRAA). The BMFRP was established in FY08 to promote innovative research focused on BMF. Appropriations for the BMFRP from FY08 through FY13 totaled $20.15 million (M). The FY14 appropriation is $3.2M.

 

The vision of the BMFRP is to understand and cure BMF diseases. Toward that end, the program challenges the scientific community to design innovative research approaches based on sound scientific evidence that will advance the understanding of inherited and acquired BMF diseases to improve the health of individuals, with the ultimate goals of prevention and cure.

 

FY14 BMFRP Objective: The objective of the FY14 BMFRP is to fund scientifically meritorious research focused on BMF diseases and their long-term sequelae. Investigator-initiated research is encouraged in the areas of congenital or acquired BMF. Studies focused on BMF diseases and their progression to other malignancies such as leukemia are acceptable. However, research primarily focused on myeloproliferative neoplasms, leukemia, or other malignancies is discouraged. Projects including bone marrow transplantation or stem cell biology should address issues unique to BMF diseases.

 

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Department of Defense / CDMRP
Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs

Deadlines: see program pre-announcements

The Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Defense Appropriations Act provides research funding for the peer reviewed programs managed by the Department of Defense (DOD) office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).

This e-mail is to notify the research community of the recently released funding opportunities from the following programs: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research Program (DMDRP), Lung Cancer Research Program (LCRP), Neurofibromatosis Research Program (NFRP), Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP).

Detailed descriptions of each of the funding opportunities, evaluation criteria, and submission requirements can be found in the respective Program Announcements. Each Program Announcement is available electronically for downloading from the Grants.gov website (http://www.grants.gov), the CDMRP website (http://cdmrp.army.mil/funding/prgdefault.shtml) and the electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal (eBRAP) (https://eBRAP.org).

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research Program (DMDRP)

Investigator-Initiated Research Award

Therapeutic Idea Award

Lung Cancer Research Program (LCRP)

Concept Award

Neurofibromatosis Research Program (NFRP)

Clinical Trial Award

Exploration-Hypothesis Development Award

Investigator-Initiated Research Award

New Investigator Award

Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP)

Exploration Hypothesis Development Award

Idea Development Award

Pilot Clinical Trial Award

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Bone Marrow Failure Research Program (BMFRP)

Descriptions of each of the funding opportunities, eligibility, key mechanism elements, and funding can be found in the respective Program pre-announcement.  FY14 pre-announcements can be found in the CDMRP home page features at http://cdmrp.army.mil

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Multiple Sclerosis Research Program (MSRP)

Descriptions of each of the funding opportunities, eligibility, key mechanism elements, and funding can be found in the respective Program pre-announcement.  FY14 pre-announcements can be found in the CDMRP home page features at http://cdmrp.army.mil

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Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP)

Descriptions of each of the funding opportunities, eligibility, key mechanism elements, and funding can be found in the respective Program pre-announcement.  FY14 pre-announcements can be found in the CDMRP home page features at http://cdmrp.army.mil

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Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP)

Descriptions of each of the funding opportunities, eligibility, key mechanism elements, and funding can be found in the respective Program pre-announcement.  FY14 pre-announcements can be found in the CDMRP home page features at http://cdmrp.army.mil

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Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP)

Descriptions of each of the funding opportunities, eligibility, key mechanism elements, and funding can be found in the respective Program pre-announcement.  FY14 pre-announcements can be found in the CDMRP home page features at http://cdmrp.army.mil

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Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP)

Descriptions of each of the funding opportunities, eligibility, key mechanism elements, and funding can be found in the respective Program pre-announcement.  FY14 pre-announcements can be found in the CDMRP home page features at http://cdmrp.army.mil

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Pre-Announcement / Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP): Era of Hope Scholar Award, Innovator Award and Breakthrough Award
Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)

Deadline: see program URL

The BCRP is providing the information in this pre-announcement to allow investigators time to plan and develop applications. FY14 BCRP Program Announcements and General Application Instructions are anticipated to be posted on Grants.gov in late March 2014. Pre-application and application deadlines will be available when the Program Announcements are released. This pre-announcement should not be construed as an obligation by the government.

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Research Participation Program for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (USAFRL)
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education

N/A

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)-HQ is the Air Force's only organization wholly dedicated to leading the discovery, development, and integration of warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace forces. They trace their roots to the vision of airpower pioneers who understood science as key to air supremacy. The passionate commitment of AFRL people to realize this vision has helped create the world's best air, space and cyberspace force. The Air Force Research Laboratory's Human Effectiveness Directorate is a key component of the 711th Human Performance Wing. The directorate is composed of a diverse group of scientists and engineers studying developing technologies specific to the human element of warfighting capability. We are leading the Air Force in its human-centered research, and we integrate biological and cognitive technologies to optimize and protect the Airman's capabilties to Fly, Fight, and Win in Air, Space, and Cyberspace.

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FY14 Psychological Health/Traumatic Brain Injury Research Program (PH/TBIRP)
Department of Defense

LOI's due November 6, 2014
Full submissions due January 23, 2015

SYNOPSIS:

The Psychological Health/Traumatic Brain Injury Research Program (PH/TBIRP) recently released two new funding opportunities, the Investigational Treatments for TBI and PTSD Clinical Trial Award (ITTPCTA) and Community Partners in Mental Health Research Award (CPMHRA). Please visit the program link for more information and application instructions.

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Air Force SBIR FY2015 Topics
U.S. Air Force

February 18, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The U.S. Air Force has posted 159 draft SBIR topics for the FY2015 DoD SBIR solicitation, and 30 draft topics for the FY2015 DoD STTR solicitation. This allows for early review of topics and discussion with the Technical Points of Contact. Other DoD Services and Components will be posting their topics for these two solicitations on December 12, 2014, allowing discussion with Technical Points of Contact, allowed until January 14, 2015. All proposals will be due February 18, 2015. 

Please see the program link for the current topics and technical points of contact. 

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Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP)
Department of Defense

January 8, 2015 or March 10, 2015 depending on mechanism

SYNOPSIS: 

The Department of Defense's (DoD) Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is seeking to fund environmental research and development proposals.  SERDP is DoD's environmental science and technology program, planned and executed in partnership with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, with participation by numerous other Federal and non-Federal organizations.  The Program invests across the broad spectrum of basic and applied research, as well as advanced development. 

Proposals responding to focused Statements of Need (SON) in the following areas are requested:

  • Environmental Restoration -- Research and technologies for the characterization, risk assessment, remediation, and management of contaminants in soil, sediments, and water.
  • Munitions Response -- Technologies for the detection, classification, and remediation of military munitions on U.S. lands and waters.
  • Resource Conservation and Climate Change -- Research that advances DoD's management of its natural and cultural resources and improves understanding of climate change impacts.
  • Weapons Systems and Platforms -- Research and technologies to reduce, control, and understand the sources of waste and emissions in the manufacturing, maintenance, and use of weapons systems and platforms.

Proposals responding to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 SONs will be selected through a competitive process.  Separate solicitations are available to Federal and non-Federal proposers.  The SONs and detailed instructions are available on the SERDP website at www.serdp-estcp.org/Funding-Opportunities/SERDP-Solicitations.

The Core SERDP Solicitation provides funding in varying amounts for multi-year projects.  All Core Solicitation pre-proposals are due to SERDP Thursday, January 8, 2015.

SERDP also will be funding environmental research and development through the SERDP Exploratory Development (SEED) Solicitation.  The SEED Solicitation is designed to provide a limited amount of funding (not to exceed $150,000) for projects up to approximately one year in duration to investigate innovative approaches that entail high technical risk or require supporting data to provide proof of concept.  This year, SERDP is requesting SEED proposals for the Munitions Response and Weapons Systems and Platforms program areas.  All SEED proposals are due Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

Participate in the webinar "SERDP Funding Opportunities" conducted by SERDP Acting Executive Director and Deputy Director on Thursday, November 13, 2014, from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET.  This "how to play" briefing will offer valuable information for those who are interested in new funding opportunities with SERDP.  During the online seminar, participants may ask questions about the funding process, the current SERDP solicitation, and the proposal submission process.  Pre-registration for this webinar is required.  To register, visit https://cc.readytalk.com/r/kt3xmzjy9fvo&eom.  If you have difficulty registering, please contact the SERDP Support Office at partners@hgl.com or by telephone at 703-736-4547.

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DARPA BAA-14-38 Biological Technologies

Deadline: April 30, 2015

Here are a few examples: leveraging new computational techniques from computer science, big data, and biology to enable investigation and generation of knowledge from biological data at scale; Developing radical new techniques and technologies to optimally restore and maintain the health and abilities of military service members; Discovering and leveraging novel insights from neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science and related disciplines to advance treatment and resilience in neurological health and optimize human aptitude and performance.

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Fiscal Year 2014 Funding Opportunities
Department of Defense

Deadlines vary per program

The following programs are accepting applications for the 2014 Fiscal Year 

Breast Cancer Research Program(BCRP): The BCRP is currently accepting applications for two award mechanisms, the Breakthrough Award Levels 1 and 2 and Breakthrough Award Levels 3 and 4. 

Breakthrough Award Levels 1 and 2:  

Applications to the Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) are being solicited for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Defense Health Program (DHP), by the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA). The BCRP was initiated in fiscal year 1992 (FY92) to support innovative, high-impact research focused on ending breast cancer. Appropriations for the BCRP from FY92 through FY13 totaled $2.9 billion. The FY14 appropriation is $120.0 million (M). The BCRP challenges the scientific community to design research that will address the urgency of ending breast cancer. Specifically, the BCRP seeks to accelerate high-impact research with clinical relevance, encourage innovation and stimulate creativity, and facilitate productive collaborations.

Pre-Application Due on December 3, 2014 

Full Submission Due on December 17, 2014 

Link to Program Announcement: http://cdmrp.army.mil/funding/pa/14bcrpbreakthrough12_2_pa.pdf

Breakthrough Award Levels 3 and 4: 

Applications to the Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) are being solicited for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Defense Health Program (DHP), by the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA). The BCRP was initiated in fiscal year 1992 (FY92) to support innovative, high-impact research focused on ending breast cancer. Appropriations for the BCRP from FY92 through FY13 totaled $2.9 billion. The FY14 appropriation is $120.0 million (M).The BCRP challenges the scientific community to design research that will address the urgency of ending breast cancer. Specifically, the BCRP seeks to accelerate high-impact research with clinical relevance, encourage innovation and stimulate creativity, and facilitate productive collaborations.

Pre-Application Due on October 22, 2014 

Full Submission Due on January 29, 2015 

Link to Program Announcement: http://cdmrp.army.mil/funding/pa/14bcrpbreakthrough34_2_pa.pdf

Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program (CRMRP): The CRMRP is currently accepting applications for the Reconstructive Transplantation Research Award (RTRA). 

Reconstructive Transplantation Research Award (RTRA):  

Applications to the Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program (CRMRP) are being solicited for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Defense Health Program (DHP), by the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA). The goal of the CRMRP is to fund innovative projects that have the potential to make a significant impact on improving the function, wellness, and overall quality of life for injured military Service Members and Veterans, their caregivers and family members, and the American public. CRMRP has oversight of the $15 million (M) Congressional appropriation for FY14 Reconstructive Transplantation Research (RTR). The executing agents for this Program Announcement/Funding Opportunity are the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) and the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA). The CRMRP challenges the scientific community to design innovative research that will foster new directions for and address neglected issues in the field of reconstructive transplantation (RT), specifically vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA)-focused research, also known as composite tissue allotransplantation (CTA). VCA refers to the transplantation of multiple tissues such as muscle, bone, nerve, and skin, as a functional unit (e.g., a hand, or face) from a deceased donor to a recipient with a severe injury. Applications from investigators within the military Services and applications involving multidisciplinary collaborations among academia, industry, the military Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and other
Federal Government agencies are highly encouraged. Though the RTR Award mechanism supports groundbreaking research, all projects must demonstrate solid scientific rationale with military-relevant utility. The CRMRP is one of six major program areas within the Defense Medical Research and Development Program (DMRDP). The CRMRP is administered with oversight from Joint Program Committee 8 (JPC-8), which consists of Department of Defense (DoD) and non-DoD medical and military technical experts relevant to the program area. The CRMRP mission is to focus on definitive and rehabilitative care innovations required to reset our wounded warriors, both in terms of duty performance and quality of life.

Pre-Application Due on October 15, 2014 

Full Submission Due on October 29, 2014

Link to Program Announcement: http://cdmrp.army.mil/funding/pa/14dmrdpcrmrprtra_pa.pdf

For all current FY 2014 funding opportunities, visit: http://cdmrp.army.mil/funding/prgdefault.shtml

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National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Academic Research Program

Deadline: September 30, 2017

NGA welcomes all innovative ideas for path-breaking research that may advance the GEOINT mission. The NGA mission is to provide timely, relevant, and accurate geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) in support of national security objectives. GEOINT is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess, and visually depict physical features and geographically referenced activities on the Earth. GEOINT consists of imagery, imagery intelligence, and geospatial information. NGA offers a variety of critical GEOINT products in support of U.S. national security objectives and Federal disaster relief, including aeronautical, geodesy, hydrographic, imagery, geospatial and topographical information. The NGA Academic Research Program (NARP) is focused on innovative, far-reaching basic and applied research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics having the potential to advance the GEOINT mission. The objective of the NARP is to support innovative, high-payoff research that provides the basis for revolutionary progress in areas of science and technology affecting the needs and mission of NGA. This research also supports the National System for Geospatial Intelligence (NSG), which is the combination of technology, systems and organizations that gather, produce, distribute and consume geospatial data and information. This research is aimed at advancing GEOINT capabilities by improving analytical methods, enhancing and expanding systems capabilities, and leveraging resources for common NSG goals. The NARP also seeks to improve education in scientific, mathematics, and engineering skills necessary to advance GEOINT capabilities. It is NGA's intent to solicit fundamental research under this BAA. Fundamental research means basic and applied research in science and engineering, the results of which ordinarily are published and shared broadly within the scientific community, as distinguished from proprietary research and from Industrial development, design, production, and product utilization, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary or national security reason. NGA seeks proposals from eligible U.S. institutions for path-breaking GEOINT research in areas of potential interest to NGA, the DoD, and the Intelligence Community (IC).

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AFRL/RXM Manufacturing Technology Open BAA
Department of the Air Force

Whitepaper request
Open until June 2019

A -- AFRL/RXM MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY OPEN BAA - BROAD AGENCY ANNOUNCEMENT (BAA)   SOL BAA-RQKM-2014-0020 POC P. S. Strader, Phone: (937) 713-9895 WE: FBO.gov Permalink https://www.fbo.gov/spg/USAF/AFMC/AFRLWRS/BAA-RQKM-2014-0020/listing.html E-MAIL: pamela.strader@us.af.mil pamela.strader@us.af.mil NAICS: 541712 Contract Data Requirements List (CDRLs) BAA Initial Announcement Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials & Manufacturing Directorate is soliciting whitepapers and potentially technical and cost proposals under this announcement that supports the needs of its Manufacturing and Technology mission. Manufacturing Technologies that focus on strengthening defense manufacturing capabilities and efficiencies and transitioning capability to the factory floor are of interest. Descriptors of Manufacturing Technology interests are presented in two contexts; that of manufacturing technology competencies and that of Air Force application area needs. See BAA for more detailed description. CITE: https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=94e2504d133d6f61e67974ab3de4937d&tab=core&_cview=0 Posted 06/24/14 (W-SN03404922). (0175)

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Department of Energy (DOE)

Innovative Development in Energy-Related Applied Science (IDEAS) (DE-FOA-0001002)
Department of Energy

LOI due on September 28, 2014
Full submission due dates are TBD

SYNOPSIS: 

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) provides a continuing opportunity for the 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 research to support proof-of-concept projects for 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. This announcement is purposely broad in scope to encourage the submission of the most innovative, out-of-the-box ideas in energy technology.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy) seeks transformative ideas that enable most efficient, economical, sustainable, and environmentally benign conversion of energy while minimizing energy destruction. The broad objective of this FOA is to identify disruptive concepts in energy-related technologies that challenge the status quo and represent a leap beyond today's technology. An innovative concept alone is not enough; the idea must also have the potential to be impactful--meaning that, if successful, it represents a fundamentally new paradigm in energy technology with the potential to make a significant impact on ARPA-E's Mission Areas. Concepts of particular interest have the potential to achieve percentage-level reductions in U.S. energy consumption, energy-related imports, or greenhouse gas emissions.

Applicants may propose any idea that addresses an ARPA-E Mission Area and falls within one or more Areas of Interest selected from the six forms of energy involved in the conversion or interaction of energy. The six forms of energy are Mechanical, Thermal, Chemical, Electrical, Radiant, and Nuclear energy.

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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) (DE-FOA-0001164)
Department of Energy

LOI due September 2, 2014
Full submission due October 14, 2014

*TechLink, a Montana State University organization dedicated to development, transfer, and commercialization of technology is available to assist investigators with their SBIR/STTR plans. Please contact staff listed on the TechLink website: http://techlinkcenter.org/home.

SYNOPSIS: 

The objectives of the SBIR/STTR programs include increasing private sector commercialization of technology developed through DOE-supported research and development (R&D), stimulating technological innovation in the private sector, and improving the return on investment from Federally-funded research for economic and social benefits to the nation. DOE will support high-quality research or R&D on advanced concepts concerning important mission-related scientific or engineering problems and opportunities that are likely to lead to significant public benefit from promising research.

Other than different eligibility requirements (see Part III - Eligibility Information), the major difference between the SBIR and STTR programs is that STTR grants must involve substantial cooperative research collaboration between the small business and a single Research Institution (see definitions in
Appendices/Reference Material at the end of this FOA). However, it should be noted that the SBIR program also permits substantial collaboration between the small business and other organizations, including
Research Institutions. The difference is that in SBIR, the collaboration is optional, while in STTR, the collaboration is required and must be cooperative in nature.

An important goal of these programs is the commercialization of DOE-supported research or R&D. Following the start of Phase I, DOE encourages its awardees to begin thinking about and seeking commitments from private sector or Federal non-SBIR/STTR funding sources in anticipation of Phases II and III. The commitments should be obtained prior to the Phase II grant application submission. The commitment for Phase III may be made contingent on the DOE-supported research or R&D meeting some specific technical objectives in Phase II, which, if met, would justify funding to pursue further development for commercial purposes in Phase III. For Phase I applicants, more details will be provided in the Phase II FOA. For Fast-Track applicants, please refer to Part IV, Section C. 2. Fast-Track Applicant.

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Targeted Algal Biofuels and Bioproducts (TABB) (DE-FOA-0001162)
Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

LOI due October 30, 2014
Full submission due December 15, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The TABB FOA seeks alternative pathways to overcome two key barriers to commercializing algal biofuels: high costs of producing algal biomass and low yields of target biofuel and bioproduct feedstocks produced from algae.  Specifically, the TABB FOA will support: 1) the development of algae cultures that produce valuable bioproducts alongside biofuels to increase the overall value of the biomass; and 2) the development of crop protection and CO2 utilization technologies to boost culture productivity and yield to reduce the cost of the biomass.  The goal is to enable a modeled minimum fuel selling price, assuming mature technologies, of less than $5 gasoline gallon equivalent for algal biofuels through creation of valuable products alongside biofuels and achieving increased biomass productivity that leads to higher feedstock yields. 

The TABB FOA includes two topic areas:

  1. Consortia that bring together upstream and downstream expertise to develop biofuels and bioproducts from algae that are comparable and competitive with their petroleum-based counterparts and have broad national market impacts;
  2. Single investigator or small team technology development projects focused on developing crop protection or CO2 utilization technologies to raise the biomass productivity and demonstrate that the increase could lead to higher yields.

Consortia projects in Topic Area 1 will develop and characterize finished bioproducts and biofuels spanning the entire algae processing system (cultivation, harvesting, processing, refining/bioproduct production).  The projects in Topic Area 2 will increase algal biomass productivity and/or yield via crop protection or CO2 utilization strategies.

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Visiting Scientist Program, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, InnoVision Basic and Applied Research Division
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education

Receipt

SYNOPSIS: 

The NGA Visiting Scientist Program solicits applications from current students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty members for full-time residency appointments to conduct research into the use of process models and tools to support NGA's GEOINT analysis. Visiting Scientists exploit and analyze imagery, intelligence, and geospatial information to describe, assess, and characterize physical features and a wide range of geographically referenced activities on the Earth.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Available disciplines include: geography, statistics, economics, geospatial information science, physics, mathematics, chemistry or a closely related field. Appointments will be at various NGA locations in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and St. Louis, MO.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION: 

Submissions are accepted on a continuing basis. Applicants should apply at least 8 months before their desired start date.

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Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs)
National Energy Technology Laboratory/Department of Energy

Rolling submission deadline

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsor provides support for partnering opportunities with the private sector and academia to develop and commercialize new energy and environmental technologies.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The sponsor provides support for partnering opportunities with those in the private sector and academia, to develop and commercialize new energy and environmental technologies, through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs).

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Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers and Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) - 2015 (DE-FOA-0001166)
Department of Energy (EERE)

LOI due November 10, 2014
Full submission due January 12, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

This FOA supports research and development of technologies and approaches that lead to primary energy reductions in buildings in the USA. This FOA combines early-stage topics (Innovations) with later-stage, research and development topics (Frontiers) that complement the core funding provided by the program. Because of their different focuses (Innovations: early-stage; Frontiers: later-stage, research and development), this FOA is divided into two sections: an Innovations and a Frontiers section. R&D topics under the Innovations section are generally riskier, i.e., at an earlier stage of R&D, compared to those under the Frontiers section. Pursuing both short-term (Innovations) and long-term (Frontiers) investments provides balance to the R&D portfolio. This FOA allows all interested parties, including corporations, universities, and non-profits as well as the national labs, to contribute to advancement in these technological areas. The Innovations topic is (1) non-vapor compression HVAC technologies; the Frontiers topic is (2) advanced vapor compression HVAC technologies.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Emerging Technologies (ET) Program of the Building Technologies Office (BTO) supports applied research and development for technologies and systems that contribute to building energy consumption. BTO's goal is to deliver 50% primary energy savings in the year 2030, relative to the baseline energy consumption projected by the 2010 Annual Energy Outlook. The ET Program is helping to meet this goal by enabling cost-effective, energy-efficient technologies to be developed and introduced into the marketplace. The ET Program maintains support for the national laboratories in five core areas: Solid-State Lighting, HVAC (includes water heating and appliances), Sensors & Controls, Windows & Envelope, and Modeling & Tools. This FOA combines an early-stage research and development topic (Innovations) with a later-stage research and development topic (Frontiers) that complement the core funding provided to the national labs and allow all interested parties, including corporations, universities, and non-profits as well as the national labs, to contribute to advancement in two of these core technological areas: Non-vapor compression HVAC technologies and
advanced vapor compression HVAC technologies. These topics are combined into this single, relatively large FOA in order to reduce administrative costs and to ensure that only the best applications are supported.

Note: To access the request for applications follow the link and enter DE-FOA-0001166 in the search field. 

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Landscape Design for Sustainable Bioenergy Systems (DE-FOA-0001179)
Golden Field Office/Department of Energy

LOI due November 21, 2014
Full submission due January 12, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The intent of this funding opportunity is to support interdisciplinary research and development (R&D) projects that apply landscape design approaches to integrate cellulosic feedstock production into existing agricultural and forestry systems while maintaining or enhancing environmental and socio-economic sustainability including ecosystem services and food, feed, and fiber production.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The FOA objectives are authorized under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. In particular, the objectives are aligned with the following Titles, Subtitles, and Sections: EPAct 2005, Section 932(d); EPAct 2005, Section 932(b)(5); and EISA 2007, Section 202.

Successful projects will undertake the following: A. For a defined spatial area comparable to a small sub-watershed (approximately 10,000 acres or larger): 1. Develop a process to involve landowners and multi-disciplinary stakeholders in landscape design planning and implementation; 2. Validate the effectiveness of the process so that it can serve as a guide for other locations; and 3. Deliver practical science-based tools and documentation that can facilitate further adoption within and beyond that spatial area. B. Within the defined spatial area, establish and/or make use of existing field sites to produce cellulosic biomass while maintaining or improving environmental sustainability compared to the baseline agricultural or forestry production system, as measured through sustainability indicators: biomass productivity, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water quantity, water quality, soil quality, air quality, and biodiversity. C. Evaluate the production, harvesting, preprocessing, and transport of the cellulosic feedstocks to understand feedstock availability, quality, and costs as a function of the landscape design and the specific systems used in the study. Deliver techno-economic and lifecycle analyses of the proposed feedstock production and logistics system to quantify potential for the landscape design to be part of a commercially viable bioenergy supply chain.

Successful projects will address the following key performance metrics for EERE: 1. Dramatically reduce dependence on foreign oil; 2. Increase the viability and development of renewable energy technologies; and 3. Spur the creation of a domestic bio-industry.

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Systems Biology Research to Advance Sustainable Bioenergy Crop Development (DE-FOA-0001207)
Department of Energy - Office of Science

January 16, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) of the Office of Science (SC), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), hereby announces its interest in receiving applications for research that supports the Genomic Science research program (http://genomicscience.energy.gov). In this FOA, applications are requested for: i) Systems-level research to better understand the molecular and physiological mechanisms that control bioenergy crop vigor, resource use efficiency, and resilience/adaptability to abiotic stress, as well as interactions with the surrounding environment, in order to increase biomass productivity under changing and at times suboptimal conditions; ii) Systems biology-enabled investigations into the role(s) of microbial and microbial communities in the complex and multi-scaled interactions of the plant-soil-environment: contribution(s) to bioenergy feedstock plant performance, adaptation, and resilience in the face of a broad range of changing environmental conditions and abiotic stressors (e.g., climate), and the impacts of introducing bioenergy cropping systems on the local ecosystem.

Note: To access the full application, please visit the link below and enter the FOA number. 

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Solid-State Lighting Advanced Technology Research and Development - 2015 (DE-FOA-0001171)
National Energy Technology Laboratory/Department of Energy

LOI due November 14, 2014
Full submission due January 15, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsor is seeking applications for research and development projects that have the following objectives: Maximize the energy-efficiency of SSL products in the marketplace; Remove market barriers through improvements to lifetime, color quality, and lighting system performance; Reduce costs of SSL sources and luminaires; Improve product consistency while maintaining high quality products; and Encourage the growth, leadership, and sustainability of domestic U.S. manufacturing within the SSL industry.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The sponsor may issue awards in one, multiple, or none of the following topic areas:

Topic Area 1: LED Core Technology Research: LED Core Technology is applied research encompassing scientific efforts that focus on comprehensive knowledge or understanding of the subject under study, with specific application to LED technology. Acceptable approaches are limited to: LED Emitter Materials Research (MYPP Task A.1.2) and LED Down Converters (MYPP Task A.1.3).

Topic Area 2: OLED Core Technology Research: OLED Core Technology is applied research encompassing scientific efforts that focus on comprehensive knowledge or understanding of the subject under study, with specific application to OLED technology. Acceptable approaches are limited to: OLED Stable White Devices (MYPP Task C.1.2).

Topic Area 3: LED Product Development - Novel LED Luminaire Systems: Potential applicants must address one of the defined application areas of classroom lighting and patient room lighting as detailed in Appendix E - Solid-State Lighting Application-Based Innovations. Potential applicants are encouraged to think outside the box and to develop necessary collaborative partnerships to meet all aspects of this topic area.

Topic Area 4: OLED Product Development - OLED Product Development involves using basic and applied research (such as Core Technology research) for the development of commercially viable OLED-based materials, devices, or luminaires. Acceptable approaches are limited to: OLED Luminaire (MYPP Task D.4.2).

Topic Area 5: LED Manufacturing Research and Development - LED Manufacturing Research and Development provides support for manufacturing projects that target improved product quality and consistency, and accelerated cost reduction. The idea is to take LED components, products, or systems and provide or improve a means to manufacture them. This could include development of material production, subsystems, tools, processes, and assembly methods specific to LED-based SSL manufacturing. Acceptable approaches are limited to: LED Luminaire Manufacturing (Manufacturing Roadmap Task M.L.1); LED Test and Inspection Equipment (Manufacturing Roadmap Task M.L.3); LED Phosphor Manufacturing and Application (Manufacturing Roadmap Task M.L.7).

Topic Area 6 - OLED Manufacturing Research and Development - OLED Manufacturing Research and Development provides support for manufacturing projects that target improved product quality and consistency, and accelerated cost reduction. Acceptable approaches are limited to: OLED Substrate and Encapsulation Manufacturing (Manufacturing Roadmap Task M.O.3), and OLED Panel Manufacturing (Manufacturing Roadmap Task M.O.5).

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Buildings University Innovators and Leaders Development (BUILD) (DE-FOA-0001167)
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

LOI due December 19, 2014
Full submission due February 11, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The BUILD FOA is planned as an annual release that seeks to improve the competitiveness of American universities to conduct building energy efficiency R&D, develop strong industrial partnerships, and improve manufacturing education. This FOA makes available competitive, 2 year, cooperative agreements for USA based university teams to research and develop innovative building energy efficiency technologies. Teams of engineering and business students will develop and work toward commercializing building energy efficient technologies or approaches. Teams may develop a technology (hardware), software, or a manufacturing process with direct application to residential, multi-family and/or commercial buildings in the USA, with significant primary energy savings potential.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Emerging Technologies (ET) Program of the Building Technologies Office (BTO) supports applied research and development for technologies and systems that contribute to building energy consumption.  The goal of the ET Program is to enable 50% primary energy savings in the USA buildings sector by the year 2030, relative to the baseline energy consumption projected by the 2010 Annual Energy Outlook.  The ET Program strives to meet this goal by
researching and developing cost effective, energy efficient, technologies to be introduced into the marketplace.  A portion of the ET budget provides support for the DOE national laboratories in five areas:  solid state lighting, HVAC (includes water heating and appliances), sensors & controls, windows & envelope, and modeling & tools.  The remaining budget is distributed through competitive solicitations, including Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) like
this one, to allow all interested parties (corporations, universities, non profits, as well as the national labs) to help advance technologies that lead to reduced primary energy consumption in buildings.

NOTE: To access RFA, click on the program link and search for DE-FOA-0001167. 

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Concentrating Solar Power: Advanced Projects Offering Low LCOE Opportunities (DE-FOA-0001186)
Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

LOI due on November 26, 2014
Full submission due February 20, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

Building upon the successful outcomes of the 2012 SunShot CSP R&D FOA, the CSP: Advanced Projects Offering Low LCOE Opportunities FOA seeks to further CSP system technologies by soliciting transformative projects for all of the components of a CSP plant. These innovative projects will seek to meet the targets set out in the SunShot Vision Study, enabling CSP to be cost-competitive with conventional forms of electric power generation. Projects will address challenges in every technical system of the plant, including solar collectors, receivers and heat transfer fluids, thermal energy storage, power cycles, as well as operations and maintenance, which have not been previously specifically targeted by CSP FOAs.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) seeks to fund applied scientific research that develops novel technologies for Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)[1] that will reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for electricity generated by CSP to 6 ¢/kWhe or less, without subsidies, by the end of the decade. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) intends to support research into technologies that have the potential for much lower cost, higher efficiency, and more reliable performance than existing commercial and near-commercial CSP systems and their expected progress in the coming 5 years. As part of the SunShot Initiative,[2] this applied research program is intended to demonstrate or otherwise prove new concepts in the collector, receiver, thermal storage, heat transfer fluids and power cycle subsystems, as well as technologies that will lower O&M costs or realize system-wide cost-efficiencies. These developments should lead to subsequent system integration, engineering scale-up, and eventual commercial production for electricity generation applications. The SunShot CSP program is especially interested in transformative concepts with the potential to break through performance barriers as known today, such as efficiency and temperature limitations.



[1] This may also be referred to as concentrating solar thermal power or solar thermal electric power.

[2] http://www.solar.energy.gov

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FY 2015 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Opportunities
Department of Energy

LOI due December 15, 2014
Full submission due February 3, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

DOE has posted topics for their FY2015 Release2 SBIR/STTR solicitation. This solicitation includes 33 broad topic areas, with numerous subtopics, including Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, High Energy Physics, Nuclear Energy, and Fossil Energy. DOE will host several webinars on their SBIR/STTR programs.

Please visit the program link for information on topics and webinars. 

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Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy: A Joint Research Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0001249)
Office of Science/Department of Energy/USDA NIFA

LOI due December 29, 2014
Full submissions are by invitation only and will be due February 23, 2015

SYNOPSIS:

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), hereby announce their interest in receiving applications for genomics based research that will lead to the improved use of biomass and plant feedstocks for the production of fuels such as ethanol or renewable chemical feedstocks. Specifically, applications are sought for fundamental research on candidate bioenergy plants with improved resistance/tolerance to disease and disease complexes. Research to overcome these biological barriers to the low-cost, high-quality, scalable and sustainable production of bioenergy feedstocks using the tools of genetics and genomics are encouraged.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

Renewable energy from plants, from lignocellulosic biomass and from seed oils, has the potential to reduce or remove dependency on fossil fuels as well as reduce negative environmental impacts from emissions of greenhouse gases and toxic pollutants. Realizing this potential will require the simultaneous development of high yielding production systems and bioconversion technologies that efficiently convert biomass energy and seed oils into the forms of energy usable by industry. Research applications are solicited for genomics-based research that will lead to improved utilization of plant biomass for the production of fuels such as ethanol or renewable chemical feedstocks. This FOA continues a commitment initiated in 2006 to conduct a fundamental research program in biomass genomics, providing the scientific foundation to facilitate the use of plant materials for bioenergy and biofuels. In 2015, the program seeks to build upon gains in genetic and genomic resources for bioenergy and biofuels by supporting research to investigate challenges likely to be encountered with increasing acreage devoted to bioenergy feedstocks, specifically, identification and characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying plant resistance/tolerance to pathogens and use of this knowledge to accelerate breeding of dedicated bioenergy feedstocks.

NOTE: To access full RFA, click on the program link and enter DE-FOA-0001249. 

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Generators for Small Electrical and Thermal Systems (GENSETS) (DE-FOA-0001198)
Department of Energy

LOI due December 1, 2014
Full submission due (TBD) in February 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

This program seeks to fund the development of potentially disruptive generator technologies that will enable widespread deployment of residential Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems. The GENSETS Program seeks transformative generators/engines with 1 kW of electrical output (kWe) that have high efficiency (40% fuel to electricity), long life (10 years), low cost ($3,000 per system), and low emissions.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The ARPA-E GENSETS program is seeking fundamentally disruptive technologies that can markedly improve the fuel to electricity efficiency to 40% while delivering 1 kWe electrical power at low cost. The total system cost should not exceed $3,000 at high volume (e.g., 1 million unit scale) (excluding $1,400 installation and balance of plant costs). These technologies must meet the stated emissions requirements.

The key program objectives are to: 1. Achieve 40% fuel-to-electrical power generation efficiency; 2. Comply with emissions standards; 3. Achieve long lifetime/durability; and 4. Reduce system cost to enable widespread penetration of residential CHP.

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Exploratory Research for Extreme-Scale Science (DE-FOA-0001250)
Office of Science/Department of Energy

LOI due January 15, 2015
Full submission due March 19, 2015

SYNOPSIS:

Through this program, the sponsor invites grant applications with the potential to enable significant research and computational advances for extreme-scale science. The purpose of this FOA is to invite exploratory basic research applications with the potential to deliver significantly advanced or improved science capabilities in light of emerging and disruptive technology changes.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

This Exploratory Research for Extreme-Scale Science (EXPRESS) FOA aims to stimulate early investigations of potentially high-impact approaches for extreme-scale science research across ASCR basic research subprograms. EXPRESS focuses on topic areas related to exascale computing or data-intensive science.

EXPRESS is not intended to incrementally extend current research in the area of the proposed project. The exploratory nature of the proposed research should reflect substantially different scientific directions from those already being pursued in the investigator's research or elsewhere. While the research direction may have its foundation in the investigator's prior work and expertise, it cannot be an obvious extension or scale up of a current research enterprise which could be anticipated to be competitive as a new or renewal project. Rather, the proposed project must reflect fundamentally new strategies toward the potential solution of a challenging problem in extreme-scale science research. It is expected that the proposed project will derive and significantly benefit from the exploration of innovative ideas and/or from the development of unconventional approaches. Applications for more broadly focused research, larger award sizes, or longer periods of performance (more than two years) should be submitted to other funding opportunity announcements.

NOTE: To access the full application, click on the program link and enter "DE-FOA-0001250"

 

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Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV (SHINES) (DE-FOA-0001108)
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

LOI due December 15, 2014
Full submission due March 19, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Sustainable and Holistic Integration of Energy Storage and Solar PV (SHINES) funding opportunity announcement (FOA) seeks projects enabling the development and demonstration of integrated, scalable, and cost-effective technologies for solar that incorporate energy storage and work seamlessly to meet both consumer needs and the needs of the electricity grid. Successful projects will utilize smart inverters and will be capable of working with smart buildings, smart appliances, and utility communication and control systems. Solutions developed in SHINES will enable widespread sustainable deployment of low-cost, flexible, and reliable PV generation, and will provide for successful integration of PV power plants with the electric grid.

These projects will directly support SunShot's mission supporting the development of technologies and processes that will lead to the sustainable and holistic integration of hundreds of gigawatts of solar generation into the power grid. The total federal funding for this opportunity will be approximately $15 million with a minimum 50% required awardee cost share. Individual awards can range from $500,000 to $5,000,000.

 

 

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Physics of Reliability: Evaluating Design Insights for Component Technologies in Solar 2 (PREDICTS2) (DE-FOA-0001195)
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

LOI due January 7, 2015
Full submission due March 12, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

This FOA solicits proposals on research and development for increased or more fully characterized reliability and durability of photovoltaic modules, with the purpose of decreasing the risk and uncertainty in photovoltaic performance due to the severe conditions and long time periods in which photovoltaic modules are required to operate. The resulting research will ultimately decrease risk and uncertainty and should lower the cost of photovoltaic power through higher power outputs of the lifetime of the PV system, lower financing costs, and greater volume of installations due to increased appetite for photovoltaic projects for investors, developers, integrators, and utilities.

Topics of interest are listed in Section I.B of the FOA:

  1. Field Failure/Degradation Prediction Correlation with Current Accelerated Tests
  2. Field Failure/Degradation Prediction Correlation with Novel Accelerated Tests
  3. Rapid Analysis in Field or Factory
  4. Module Service Lifetime Models 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The first PREDICTS program, launched in 2013, specifically focused on the development of models that could be used to understand and predict failure. This FOA, PREDICTS2, expands the scope of the initial PREDICTS program to focus on any fundamental physical or advanced data analysis study that will be used to improve accelerated lifetime tests, develop rational acceleration factors, gain mechanistic understanding of relevant failure modes, develop new rapid testing techniques or instruments (outdoor or during module manufacturing) for module reliability indicators, or develop an improved model to extrapolate performance through time.     

The reliability or performance over the lifespan of a technology is determined by both failure modes caused by natural deterioration in the materials that are manufactured and deployed within the correct specification limits, and failure modes that occur due to a manufacturing process or deployment situation that does not comply with the manufacturer's specifications. 

It is the intent that this FOA will support research that addresses degradation modes in the photovoltaic materials when manufactured and deployed according to specification. Successful applicants will have a coherent strategy to adequately identify sources of necessary data on PV performance, degradation rates, and observed failures that will validate their approach.      The resulting research can then be used to create improved accelerated tests, more reliable products, or a better understanding of the necessary manufacturing specifications in order to achieve improved lifetime. However, increasing reproducibility in manufacturing is not of interest for this FOA.  

As a result of this funding opportunity, the PV community and investors will have access to improved predictive models, relevant accelerated testing techniques, and more reliable products that will ultimately lead to reduced uncertainty and risk in photovoltaic performance. This will lower the cost of photovoltaic energy through potentially higher power outputs over the lifetime of the PV system, lower financing costs, and/or greater volume of installations due to increased appetite for photovoltaic projects for investors, developers, integrators, and utilities.

NOTE: To access full application, click on the program link and enter "DDE-FOA-0001195." 

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Department of Transportation (DOT)

Availability and Disparity Study
State of Montana Department of Transportation

December 8, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The STATE OF MONTANA, Department of Transportation ("State") is seeking a consultant to provide a statewide survey of the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program to establish whether a disparity exists within the State of Montana between the availability of minority and female and/or disadvantaged firms and their utilization in the highway construction industry. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The objectives of this project are to determine, using data from federal fiscal year (FFY) 2010 (10/1/2009) through FFY 2014 (9/30/2014): 1) if there is evidence of discrimination against minority- and women-owned firms in the Montana highway construction industry and related design fields sufficient to warrant consideration of race and gender-based remedies. and 2) narrowly tailored methods consistent with the federal DBE program and court rulings to address any discrimination found in the Montana highway construction industry and related design fields that can be applied by MDT.

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

12th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet
Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program

December 16, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of the P3-People, Prosperity and the Planet Award Program, is seeking applications proposing to research, develop, and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. The P3 competition highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative projects focused on sustainability. The P3 Award program was developed to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity and protection of the planet -- people, prosperity, and the planet - the three pillars of sustainability. The EPA offers the P3 competition in order to respond to the technical needs of the world while moving towards the goal of sustainability. Please see the P3 website for more details about this program.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Increased awareness and understanding of sustainability are critical components for promoting a systematic shift towards more environmentally benign and sustainable products, processes, and systems. It is essential that all involved in the design, discovery, demonstration, and implementation of sustainable innovations understand the fundamental techniques and principles that underlie sustainability.  Innovative research can take the form of wholly new applications or applications that build on existing knowledge and approaches for new uses.

EPA's P3 Program has identified the following four strategic program goals: 

Goal 1: Engage and educate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and the greater academic and external communities in the principles of sustainability. 
Goal 2: Spark innovation and sustainable technologies through research and development conducted by the P3 projects. 
Goal 3: Support the demonstration of sustainable technologies around the world.
Goal 4: Foster the development of small businesses rooted in sustainability. 

Specific outputs and outcomes from the Phase I and II grant awards are described in Section I.D. below.

This announcement addresses the first phase (Phase I) of the P3 competition by requesting proposals for innovative research projects or designs from eligible institutions.  The Phase I grants are intended to support an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and/or graduate students to develop their projects/designs in preparation for competing for a P3 Phase II grant award to demonstrate their proposed projects/designs. The EPA will fund approximately 35 Phase I research proposals from around the country during the 2015-2016 academic year.

The proposal process for the Phase II grant awards will begin in the spring of 2016, when the student teams and their faculty advisor (the Principal Investigator [PI] on the grant) will be invited to submit a Project Report describing the Phase I project activities and the Phase II proposal for further development. P3 Phase II applications are a combination of the written Project Reports and team presentations at the National Sustainable Design Expo (the Expo). A panel of qualified experts will be convened to review the applications and score them based on the evaluation criteria described in Section V.

Partnerships with industry or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are strongly encouraged, particularly in Phase II. These partners are expected to help further develop the design, demonstrate the project in the field, and/or move the design to the marketplace. Matching contributions are not required in either the Phase I or the Phase II competition; however, anticipated partnerships should be identified.

Although P3 grant funding must be used for research and cannot be used for commercialization and for-profit initiatives (such as business creation), proposals with commercial potential are encouraged to apply to EPA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.  Since its inception, EPA's SBIR Program has provided incentive funding to small businesses to translate their innovative ideas into commercial products that address environmental problems.  The EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR Program established by the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982. EPA issues annual solicitations for Phase I and Phase II research proposals from science and technology-based firms (not universities).  Many institutions have entrepreneurship centers where adjunct faculty are practicing entrepreneurs.  SBIR applicants are encouraged to consult with their university's business or management school and entrepreneurship center faculty about how best to design their proposed research.  For more information on EPA's SBIR program.  For more information about the federal SBIR program.

The specific Strategic Goal and Objective from the EPA's Strategic Plan that relate to this solicitation are Goal 3: Cleaning Up Communities and Advancing Sustainable Development, Objective 3.1: Promote Sustainable and Livable Communities.

More information can be found in EPA's FY 2011-2015 Strategic Plan.

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Early Career Awards: Water Quality Benefits
Environmental Protection Agency

January 14, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing research to advance knowledge of how changes in water quality, including incremental or step improvements, can be valued at appropriate spatial scales using advanced non-use valuation methods for the Nation's inland fresh water small streams, lakes and rivers, estuaries, coastal waters, and the Great Lakes. For purposes of this Request for Applications (RFA), small streams are defined as streams that are perennial and wadeable.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The specific Strategic Goal and Objective from the EPA's Strategic Plan that relate to this solicitation are:

Goal 2: Protecting America's Waters, Objective 2.2: Protect and Restore Watersheds and Aquatic Ecosystems

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Environmental Education Model Grants Program - Solicitation Notice for 2014
Environmental Protection Agency

February 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The purpose of the Environmental Education (EE) Model Grant Program is to support model, replicable projects that increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues and provide the skills that participants in its funded projects need to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

OBJECTIVES: 

The goal of this solicitation is to fund environmental education projects that will serve as models of EE practices, methods and/or techniques that can be replicated in other locations and a variety of settings.

EPA's Educational Priorities:

1) EE Capacity Building: Building the capacity of agencies and organizations to develop, deliver, and sustain comprehensive environmental education programs statewide. Capacity building proposals may focus on one state, multiple states, or a region of the country.

2) Educational Advancement: Utilizing environmental education as a catalyst to advance state or local educational goals and to improve environmental literacy among students in formal education programs.

3) Community Projects: Addressing environmental stewardship in a local formal or informal educational context, and using outdoor, place-based, experiential, service learning and/or community-focused stewardship activities as the primary teaching tool(s).

4) Human Health and the Environment: Educating students of any age group, from the very young through the elderly, and/or training their educators or community leaders on how to teach, in formal and non-formal settings, in the outdoors and in classrooms, about human health threats from environmental pollution and how to minimize human exposure to preserve good health.

5) EE Teaching Skills: Providing pre-service and in-service professional development for teachers, faculty, or non-formal educators to improve their environmental education teaching skills and/or knowledge about environmental issues and content, such as sustainability, water and air quality, chemical risks, hazardous wastes, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

6) Career Development: Educating students of any age group, from the very young through the elderly, and/or training their educators or community leaders on how to teach, in formal and non-formal settings, about environmental issues, solutions and stewardship for the purpose of encouraging interest in careers in environmental fields.

EPA's Environmental Priorities:

1) Addressing Climate Change and Improving Air Quality - These efforts help protect the health of all Americans and the ecosystems we depend on by preventing pollution and increasing energy efficiency, improving indoor and outdoor air quality, reducing industrial air pollution and pollution from vehicles and engines, protecting the stratospheric ozone layer, reducing acid rain, and addressing climate change. See more information at http://www.epa.gov/air/.

2) Taking Action on Toxics and Chemical Safety -These efforts protect all Americans and the environment from potential risks from pesticides and toxic chemicals and prevent pollution before it begins. See more information at http://www2.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-chemical-safety-and-pollution-prevention-ocspp .

3) Making a Visible Difference in Communities Across the Country -These efforts provide guidelines for safe and environmentally-friendly practices in waste management and support the redevelopment and reuse of potentially contaminated sites. See more information at http://www2.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-solid-waste-and-emergency-response-oswer.

4) Protecting Water: A Precious, Limited Resource -These efforts ensure that drinking water is safe, and restores and maintains oceans, watersheds, and their aquatic ecosystems to protect human health, support economic and recreational activities, and provide healthy habitat for fish, plants, and wildlife. See more information at http://www2.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-water

5) Launching a New Era of State, Tribal, and Local Partnerships - These efforts provide a sustainable future, through effective collaboration, by expanding investments at the federal, state, and local levels to build capacity via innovative use of skills and technologies in traditionally underrepresented communities. See more information at http://www.epa.gov/tribal/ and http://www.epa.gov/ocir/state-local.htm.

Environmental education is an important non-regulatory tool the Agency uses to help meet its mission. As such, all proposals to the EE Grant Program must support one or more of the following Strategic Goals of the EPA:

-- Goal 1: Addressing Climate Change and Improving Air Quality

-- Goal 2: Protecting America's Waters

-- Goal 3: Cleaning Up Communities and Advancing Sustainable Development

-- Goal 4: Ensuring the Safety of Chemicals and Preventing Pollution

-- Goal 5: Protecting Human Health and the Environment by Enforcing Laws and Assuring Compliance

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Foundations

Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

SYNOPSIS: 

Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) supports research, policy analysis and evaluation projects that provide policy leaders timely information on health care policy, financing and organization issues. Supported projects include:

  • examining significant issues and interventions related to health care financing and organization and their effects on health care costs, quality and access; and
  • exploring or testing major new ways to finance and organize health care that have the potential to improve access to more affordable and higher quality health services.

Researchers, as well as practitioners and public and private policy-makers working with researchers, are eligible to submit proposals through their organizations. Projects may be initiated from within many disciplines, including health services research, economics, sociology, political science, public policy, public health, public administration, law and business administration. RWJF encourages proposals from organizations on behalf of researchers who are just beginning their careers, who can serve either individually as principal investigators or as part of a project team comprising researchers or other collaborators with more experience.

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Education Reform - Shape Public Policy
Walton Family Foundation, Inc

LOI's accepted in an ongoing basis
Full submissions are by invitation only

SYNOPSIS:

The Walton Family Foundation seeks to build the capacity of organizations to help enact, strengthen and protect programs that empower parents to choose high-performing schools. The idea being that when all families are empowered to choose from among several quality school options, all schools will be fully motivated to provide the best possible education. Better school performance leads, in turn, to higher student achievement, lower dropout rates and greater numbers of students entering and completing college.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Foundation's Shape Public Policy initiative, focuses on advocacy groups promoting: Public charter school choice; Private school choice; District reforms, particularly open enrollment and district school choice; and, Cross-sector parental choice, parents are empowered to choose across school sectors. The need to continue improving the public policy environment is central to this education reform strategy.

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Environment Program
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

SYNOPSIS: 

All organizations interested in applying for a grant from the Environment Program should read the Environment Program homepage. Depending on the nature of your organization's work, you may also want to read the Western Conservation page and the Western Conservation grant guidelines; the Energy and Climate page and Energy and Climate grant guidelines; and the Serving Bay Area Communities page before submitting a Letter of Inquiry. 

Our Approach

  • The vast majority of the grants we make are to organizations that work on policy development and advocacy because we think policy change provides the greatest opportunity to reach our goals.
  • We pursue our strategies with a focus on engaging the people and organizations most needed to achieve our goals. An important aspect of this approach is building a broad base of support among those not traditionally involved in environmental protection.
  • We are outcome focused and whenever possible use quantitative metrics to track progress toward goals.
  • Our Western Conservation grantmaking embraces the region west of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada, and includes Alaska, but not Hawaii.
  • Our Energy and Climate grantmaking is global.
  • Our grants for clean transportation mainly support work in China, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States.
  • We fund the vast majority of our Energy and Climate grants though large grants to organizations like the ClimateWorks Foundation and the Energy Foundation, which in turn make smaller grants to a variety of organizations.
  • When there is a high degree of alignment between our goals and those of a grantee, we often will provide general operating support rather than project support.
  • In some cases, we provide support to develop the organizational health and efficiency of our grantees.
  • Our Serving Bay Area Communities grantmaking funds efforts to improve outdoor recreational opportunities, urban parks, and access to transit in the San Francisco Bay Area and to minimize environmental threats in the region's disadvantaged communities.

If you think your project or organization fits within our guidelines, you are invited to submit a Letter of Inquiry for our Western Conservation, Energy and Climate, or Serving Bay Area Communities grantmaking. Please use the online Letter of Inquiry. Letters of Inquiry are accepted at any time. Do not submit full proposals until invited to do so; uninvited proposals will not be read.

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Grants for Organizations
Ford Foundation

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

SYNOPSIS: 

For grant-seeking organizations, the Ford Foundation grant making focuses on reducing poverty and injustice; promoting democratic values; and advancing human knowledge, creativity and achievement. If your project reflects these priorities, you may submit a grant inquiry using the online form. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The foundation funds projects under the following focal areas: 

  • Democratic and Accountable Government
  • Economic Fairness 
  • Educational Opportunity and Scholarship
  • Freedom of Expression 
  • Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Justice
  • Human Rights 
  • Metropolitan Opportunity 
  • Sustainable Development 

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Grants Program
National Endowment for Financial Education

LOI due on December 2, 2014
Full submissions are by invitation only

SYNOPSIS: 

The NEFE grants program seeks innovative research that can make a profound contribution to the field of financial literacy. Inquiries are encouraged from disciplines in fields as diverse as: behavior, economics, neuroscience, sociology, psychology, marketing, finance, education, change theory, and decision sciences and others.

NEFE seeks projects whose outcomes can improve the public's ability to achieve personal and household financial well-being. Of particular interest are pro-active research projects initiated from one of a broad spectrum of scholarly disciplines whose findings may cultivate critical thinking in the financial literacy community. Also of interest are development projects that put research recommendations into action. Project outcomes must be capable of achieving traction and measurable impact with audiences such as financial education intermediaries, researchers, practitioners, decision makers, and others who can achieve effective outreach to a target population with an unmet financial literacy need or to the general public.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Project outcomes should be actionable in the field of financial literacy, directly relevant to the financial well-being of the public, and able to be applied broadly. Funding requests are assessed within the parameters of the following three key grant themes:

1. Understand Financial Behavior: A fundamental element in all projects is the necessity to address optimal financial behaviors. Projects should include outcomes relevant to understanding or improving financial behaviors of specific segments of the American public or the public in general. NEFE encourages inquiry within the physical, social, and psychological sciences to facilitate the public's ability to improve personal financial well-being. Findings must be presented in a manner that engages educators, policy makers, segments of the public, and/or individuals to adopt policies, practices, attitudes, and skills that result in positive public and personal outcomes.

2. Advance Innovative Thinking: NEFE encourages projects that spawn rigorous, proactive research initiated from a broad spectrum of scholarly disciplines where potential findings indicate strong possibilities to advance critical thinking, cultivate vigorous debate, challenge the status quo, and/or illuminate trends likely to affect the personal financial well-being of the American public.

3. Assure Significance to Society: Projects should provide evidence that outcomes are likely to produce practical benefit for primary stakeholders such as financial education intermediaries, researchers, practitioners, decision makers, and/or entities who can achieve effective educational outreach to a population segment with an unmet financial literacy need or the public in general. Consideration is paid to research that pertains to solutions with traction and scale sufficient to make a measurable difference in financial responsibility, stability, and/or well-being.

Research findings are expected to result in actionable recommendations or make a profound and credible contribution to the financial literacy body of knowledge.

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Grants Program
Dell (Susan & Michael) Foundation

There is no deadline for grant applications.

SYNOPSIS: 

The Foundation provides grants focus on education, health and family economic stability -- the factors essential to ensuring that underprivileged children escape poverty to become healthy, productive adults.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The sponsor focuses on urban education, childhood health, and family economic stability.

Urban Education: Education-related grants make up about two-thirds of the sponsor's global giving. The sponsor focuses on improving student performance, ensuring consistent quality of education and increasing access to schools.

Childhood Health: The sponsor's global health portfolio improves access to quality healthcare services, promotes healthy nutrition and lifestyle behaviors among families and children, and fosters world-class applied research.

Family Economic Stability: The sponsor's economic stability portfolio gives families opportunities to improve their socioeconomic status and break the cycle of poverty so their children have a chance at stable, productive lives.

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Grants Program
Spencer (W.L.S.) Foundation

LOI's accepted on a rolling basis
Full submissions by invitation only

SYNOPSIS: 

The Foundation funds initiatives that embrace and encourage creativity and risk taking. The Foundation likes the leverage that arises from seed grants, challenge grants, and matching grants.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The program areas are:

ARTS - The Foundation funds educational activities, publications and outreach associated with innovative art and/or contemporary art exhibitions, especially those focusing on contemporary Asian Art. The Foundation is interested in projects that encourage knowledge about art and culture, foster international understanding, and are supported by academic scholarship.

EDUCATION - The Foundation funds programs that are innovative and that motivate children to stay in school, do well academically, and continue on in their education beyond high school (to college or other higher education opportunities). In this area, the Foundation may continue to fund programs that it believes in, and the Foundation may fund the replication of a successful program in a new site. The Foundation tends to fund programs that are national or regional in nature, but which have a chapter in San Francisco.

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Grants Program
RGK Foundation

LOI's accepted on a rolling basis
Full submissions by invitation only

SYNOPSIS: 

RGK Foundation awards grants in the broad areas of Education, Community, and Health/Medicine. While RGK Foundation has no geographic restrictions, funding is limited to projects conducted within the United States.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Foundation's primary interests within Education include programs that focus on formal K-12 education (particularly mathematics, science and reading), teacher development, literacy, and higher education.

Within Community, the Foundation supports a broad range of human services, community improvement, abuse prevention, and youth development programs. Human service programs of particular interest to the Foundation include children and family services, early childhood development, and parenting education. The Foundation supports a variety of Community Improvement programs including those that enhance non-profit management and promote philanthropy and voluntarism. Youth development programs supported by the Foundation typically include after-school educational enrichment programs that supplement and enhance formal education systems to increase the chances for successful outcomes in school and life. The Foundation is also interested in programs that attract female and minority students into the fields of mathematics, science, and technology.

The Foundation's current interests in the area of Health/Medicine include programs that promote the health and well-being of children, programs that promote access to health services, and Foundation-initiated programs focusing on ALS.

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Grants Program
Hearst Foundations

Proposals are accepted year round

SYNOPSIS: 

The Hearst Foundations support well-established nonprofit organizations that address important issues within its major areas of interests - education, health, culture, and social service - and that primarily serve large demographic and/or geographic constituencies. In each area of funding, the Foundations look to identify those organizations achieving truly differentiated results relative to other organizations making similar efforts for similar populations. The Foundations also look for evidence of sustainability beyond their support.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

CULTURE - The Hearst Foundations fund cultural institutions that offer meaningful programs in the arts and sciences, prioritizing those which enable engagement by young people and create a lasting impression. The Foundations also fund select programs nurturing and developing artistic talent.

EDUCATION - The Hearst Foundations fund educational institutions demonstrating uncommon success in preparing students to thrive in a global society. The Foundations' focus is largely on higher education, but they also fund innovative models of early childhood and K-12 education, as well as professional development.

HEALTH - The Hearst Foundations assist leading regional hospitals, medical centers and specialized medical institutions providing access to high-quality healthcare for low-income populations. In response to the shortage of healthcare professionals necessary to meet the country's evolving needs, the Foundations also fund programs designed to enhance skills and increase the number of practitioners and educators across roles in healthcare. Because the Foundations seek to use their funds to create a broad and enduring impact on the nation's health, support for medical research and the development of young investigators is also considered.

SOCIAL SERVICE - The Hearst Foundations fund direct-service organizations that tackle the roots of chronic poverty by applying effective solutions to the most challenging social and economic problems. The Foundations prioritize supporting programs that have proven successful in facilitating economic independence and in strengthening families. Preference is also given to programs with the potential to scale productive practices in order to reach more people in need.

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Grants Program - Human Rights and Social Justice
Blaustein (Morton K and Jane) Foundation

Letters of intent and proposals are accepted on a rolling basis.

SYNOPSIS: 

The goal of this program is to advance fundamental human rights both in the United States and abroad.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The goal of this program is to advance fundamental human rights both in the United States and abroad. Areas of interest include: Equal justice for US citizens, as well as immigrants and asylum seekers in the United States, through legal strategies, advocacy and policy reform; Responses to urgent human rights crises created by natural disasters, civil strife, or war; and Social justice initiatives particularly around impoverished women and children, and vulnerable youth.

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Learning & Leadership Grants
NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education

Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Next deadline is October 15, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsor provides support to public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes: Grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences; or Grants to groups fund collegial study.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Grants support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes: Grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes or action research; or Grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson study, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff new to an assignment.

All professional development must improve practice, curriculum, and student achievement. Decisions regarding the content of the professional growth activities must be based upon an assessment of student work undertaken with colleagues, and must be integrated into the institutional planning process. Recipients are expected to exercise professional leadership by sharing their new learning with their colleagues.

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Media Grantmaking
MacArthur (John D. & Catherine T.) Foundation

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

SYNOPSIS: 

MacArthur's goal in media grantmaking is to provide the public with high-quality, professionally-produced documentary films, deep and analytical journalism, and well-produced news and public affairs programming. In a media environment characterized by proliferating information sources of varying degrees of reliability, the Foundation seeks to support serious, fact-based journalism for television, radio and the web, the type of original reporting that is likely to be blogged about, linked to, tweeted, and otherwise circulated throughout the Internet. Programs supported by the Foundation inform and educate their viewers about important and under-reported topics, provide balance and accurate information, encourage global conversations, and use technology to tell stories in engaging and interactive ways.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

MacArthur supports the production of social-issue documentary films on important contemporary topics, intended for a broad audience, particularly in the U.S. Over the last 30 years, we have supported over 200 films by some of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers in the country. Their documentary work combines exceptional storytelling with in-depth journalism. Many of these films have had a long life beyond festivals and broadcast, and been used in educational, community, and policymaking settings over many years, sparking conversations and activities that contribute to social and policy change.

Through an open call process, the program seeks to fund documentary projects that address the significant social challenges of our time or explore important but under-reported topics. Domestic and international topics are welcome, and preference will be given to projects that align with one of MacArthur's grantmaking areas. Support will be provided primarily for production and post-production activities, and to experienced filmmakers based in the U.S. with track records of completing excellent feature-length films that have been broadcast nationally and internationally and received critical recognition.

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Program Area Funding
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Letters of inquiry are required and are accepted on a rolling basis
Full submissions are by invitation only

SYNOPSIS: 

The Foundation supports leaders and institutions working to achieve a biologically rich, sustainable world where all families can plan for their children and all children reach their potential. We work on the issues our founders cared about most. 

Program Areas: 

  • Conservation and Science
  • Population and Reproductive Health 
  • Children, Families, and Communities
  • Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy 

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Public Understanding of Science, Technology & Economics
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The Foundation makes grants year-round.

SYNOPSIS: 

This program seeks to bridge the two cultures--the humanities and the sciences--through support of books, radio, film, television, theatre, and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The program's primary aim is to build bridges between the two cultures of science and the humanities and to develop a common language so that they can better understand and speak to one another--and ultimately to grasp that they belong to a single common culture. The Foundation has established a nationwide initiative that works through programs in books, theater, film, television, radio, and new media to commission, develop, produce, and distribute new work and new initiatives that focus on science and technology for the lay public.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES:

Interested grantseekers with a relevant project idea should e-mail a one page letter of inquiry to Program Director Doron Weber.

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Neuroscience Prize
Gruber (Peter and Patricia) Foundation

December 15, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The Neuroscience Prize honors scientists for major discoveries that have advanced the understanding of the nervous system.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Neuroscience Prize honors scientists for major discoveries that have advanced the understanding of the nervous system.

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Small Grants Program in Behavioral Economics
Sage (Russell) Foundation

Receipt

The Russell Sage Behavioral Economics Roundtable offers small grants to support high quality research in behavioral economics and to encourage young investigators to enter this developing field. There are no limitations on the disciplinary background of the principal investigator, and the proposed research may address any economic topic. Interdisciplinary efforts are welcome. Appropriate projects will demonstrate explicit use of psychological concepts in the motivation of the design and the preparation of the results.

Deadlines
Please note that there is no deadline for the small grants programs; applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

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Initiative on Philosophy in Education Policy and Practice
Spencer Foundation

Receipt

SYNOPSIS: 

The Spencer Foundation will make awards of up to $40,000 for research projects in Philosophy as it relates to educational policy and practice.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Applicants are encouraged to understand educational policy and practice in broad terms, including issues that directly relate to K-12 schools and higher education institutions, but also concerning policies that influence children's growth and development in the family and in other areas of social life including children's upbringings, educational issues in family life and in the workplace, the educational effects of welfare policy. The Foundation also encourages diverse kinds of philosophical research ranging from the highly abstract to the highly applied. Proposals might concern any of the following topics: the proper content of moral education and of the rights of parents to constrain it; the place of religion in schools; justice and efficiency in the allocation of public funds across schools and school districts; the content of the curriculum; assessment of competing conceptions of equality in educational resources and outcomes; the commercialization of schools and childhoods generally; the obligations to students with special educational needs; the proper content of sex education in particular and "education for living" more generally (concerning, eg, parenting, financial self-management, etc) and the extent to which it is right for schools to defer to parental preferences regarding these matters; the moral rights of school students to privacy, to freedom of expression, to freedom of association, etc.; the rights and obligations of teachers with respect to abusive or violent children; and the distribution and content of higher education.

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Landon Foundation - AACR INNOVATOR Award for Research in Tumor Microenvironment
American Association for Cancer Research

December 9, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is offering a grant of $135,000 over two years to a junior faculty-level scientist for research in the tumor microenvironment field.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award for Research in Tumor Microenvironment was established to recognize the outstanding achievement of a junior faculty-level scientist working in the tumor microenvironment field, and support his or her research that, if successful, will have potential to advance knowledge on the tumor microenvironment. The goal of the grant program is to encourage junior faculty, who have completed their most recent doctoral degree or medical residency within the past 11 years at the start of the grant term, to pursue novel tumor microenvironment research. Travel support is included to help foster interactions and collaborations among cancer scientists studying various aspects of cancer biology and to disseminate scientific knowledge about tumor microenvironment research within the field.

Proposed projects may be basic, translational, clinical, or epidemiological in nature and must focus on the study of various aspects of the tumor microenvironment; including, but not limited to, the role of stroma and extracellular matrix in tumor development, angiogenesis, immunity and inflammation in the tumor microenvironment, as well as approaches to therapeutically target the tumor environment.

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Policy-Relevant Insurance Studies (PRIS)
Johnson (Robert Wood) Foundation

December 3, 2014

SYNOPSIS:

Researchers, as well as practitioners and public and private policymakers working with researchers, are eligible to submit proposals through their organizations. Projects may be generated from disciplines including health services research; economics; sociology; program evaluation; political science; public policy; public health; public administration; law; business administration; or other related fields.

The Foundation may give preference to applicants that are either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations or Type III supporting organizations. The Foundation may require additional documentation. Applicant organizations must be based in the United States or its territories.

 

 

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Preterm Birth Initiative (Interdisciplinary Opportunity)
Burroughs Wellcome Fund

December 1, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The Preterm Birth Initiative was created to increase the understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying parturition and spontaneous preterm birth and will provide up to $600,000 over a four-year period ($150,000 per year).  The initiative is designed to stimulate both creative individual scientists and multi-investigator teams to approach the problem of preterm birth using creative basic and translation science methods.  Postdoctoral fellows nearing their transition to independent investigator status through senior established investigators are encouraged to apply.  Molecular and computational approaches such genetics/genomics, immunology, microbiology, evolutionary biology, mathematics, engineering, and other basic sciences hold enormous potential for new insights independently or in conjunction with more traditional areas of parturition research such as maternal fetal medicine, obstetrics, and pediatrics. The formation of new connections between reproductive scientists and investigators who are involved in other areas will give preterm birth research a fresh and unique look, and stimulate a new workface to tackle this challenge.

Despite medical and technological advances, the rate of preterm births in the United States remains higher today than 20 years ago.  Approximately 12 percent of births in the U.S. are considered preterm, which is defined as birth occurring prior to 37 weeks of gestation. Many health and social problems can be attributed to preterm delivery including cerebral palsy, respiratory distress syndrome, chronic lung disease, seizures, learning difficulty, hearing loss, behavioral problems, and others. Preterm birth is currently the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality in children. However, for a medical problem that has such grave health and social consequences little is known about its causes.

Up to five (5) research grants will be awarded in this award cycle.

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Simons Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards
The Simons Foundation

LOI due October 15, 2014
Full submission due January 15, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Microbes inhabit and sustain all habitats on Earth. In the oceans, microbes capture solar energy, catalyze biogeochemical transformations of important elements, produce and consume greenhouse gases, and provide the base of the food web. The purpose of these awards is to help launch the careers of outstanding investigators who use quantitative approaches to advance our understanding of marine microbial ecology and evolution. Investigators will focus directly on marine microbes or on fundamental problems that are highly relevant to understanding marine microbial ecosystems.

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CFF/NIH-Unfunded Award
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

October 31, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The CF Foundation has developed the overall research grant program to complement the awarding mechanism of the NIH. Support from CFF, through various mechanisms, is intended to provide for the development of sufficient preliminary data to make CF-related grant applications highly competitive in the NIH review process. However, as a result of funding constraints on the NIH, coupled with the growing interest in CF research, occasions arise in which highly meritorious grant applications are submitted to the NIH but are not funded.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this award is to support excellent CF-related research projects that have been submitted to and approved by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but cannot be supported by available NIH funds.

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Grand Challenges Grant Opportunities (FY 14 & FY 15)
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Deadlines vary per research focal area

SYNOPSIS: 

The Grand Challenges family of initiatives fosters innovation to solve key health and development problems. New grant opportunities posted on October 7, 2014 include the following topic areas:

  • Putting Women and Girls at the Center of Development 
  • Creating and Measuring Integrated Solutions for Healthy Birth, Growth, and Development 
  • New Interventions for Global Health 
  • Fighting Ebola 
  • Making All Voices Count 
  • Surveillance Tools, Diagnostics and an Artificial Diet to Support New Approaches to Vector Control 
  • New Approaches for Addressing Outdoor/Residual Malaria Transmission 
  • New Ways to Reduce Pneumonia Fatalities through Timely, Effective Treatment of Children 
  • Enable Universal Acceptance of Mobile Money Payments 
  • Explore New Ways to Measure Brain Develoment and Gestational Age 
  • New Ways of Working Together: Integrating Community-Based Interventions 

Please carefully read each topic area for eligibility requirements and due dates. 

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Grants Program
Link Foundation

January 15, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Link Foundation supports programs to foster the theoretical basis, practical knowledge, and application of energy, simulation, and ocean engineering and instrumentation research, and to disseminate the results of that research through lectures, seminars and publications.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

  • Coastal & Ocean Engineering
  • Computer Simulation/Modeling
  • Earth Sciences Instrumentation
  • Instrumentation, Techniques (Physical Sciences)
  • Scientific Instrumentation
  • ENERGY

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Mathematics and Physical Sciences - Collaboration Grants for Mathematicians
Simons Foundation

January 31, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Simons Foundation's Division for Mathematics and the Physical Sciences invites applications for grants to mathematicians to stimulate collaboration in the field primarily through the funding of travel and related expenditures. The foundation will make a large number of grants to accomplished, active researchers in the United States who do not otherwise have access to substantial research funding that supports travel and visitors.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The goal of the program is to support the "mathematical marketplace" by substantially increasing collaborative contacts in the community of mathematicians working in the United States. Awards will be based on the quality of the applicant's research and on the likely impact the Collaboration Grant will have on future research, both for the applicant and the applicant's graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows.

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McKnight Scholar Awards
McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience

January 7, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsor supports innovative research designed to bring science closer to the day when diseases of the brain and behavior can be accurately diagnosed, prevented, and treated.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

These awards were established to encourage emerging neuroscientists to focus on disorders of learning and memory. Applicants for the McKnight Scholar Awards must demonstrate interest in solving important problems in relevant areas of neuroscience, including the translation of basic research to clinical neuroscience.

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Mitzi and William Blahd, MD Pilot Research Grant
Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Education and Research Foundation

LOI due January 28, 2015
Full submission due February 4, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsor provides pilot research grants to help basic or clinical scientists in the early stages of their career conduct research that may lead to further funding.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Funding is provided for pilot research grants of to help basic or clinical scientists in the early stages of their career conduct research that may lead to further funding.

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Research Grants
Arthritis National Research Foundation

January 15, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) is dedicated to funding highly qualified investigators associated with major research institutes, universities and hospitals throughout the country who are seeking to discover new knowledge for the prevention, treatment and cure of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) is seeking grant applications that focus on studying arthritis and related autoimmune diseases including but not limited to: osteoarthritis; rheumatoid arthritis; juvenile arthritis; lupus; psoriatic arthritis; gout; scleroderma; fibromyalgia; ankylosing spondylitis.

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Research in Sustainable Solid Waste Management
Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF)

January 8, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The sustainability movement has reached the business models of nearly every industry in the United States, and many companies have set aggressive sustainability goals that include how their waste stream is managed. Dozens of municipalities and states have launched similarly aggressive initiatives. The EREF Board of Directors has set an initiative to ensure research funded reflects EREF's long-term strategic research plan to
address all areas of integrated solid waste management, with a strong focus towards research that increased sustainable solid waste management practices. While landfills continue to play an important role in integrated waste management, and will receive the majority of MSW in the near future in the U.S. (and in the majority of other countries), it has been recognized that a sustainable future requires consideration of other end-of-life
technologies for discarded materials. Thus, sustainability, as it relates to solid waste management is a focus on utilizing waste as a resource. The desired outcomes of research funded by this RFP are to:

(a) facilitate the development of new and existing technologies/practices prior to the
landfilling option,

(b) develop robust data that will provide guidance regarding how product
manufacturing is shaping the downstream disposal of wastes (e.g. product
disposability/biodegradability, reduced packaging), and

(c) evaluate 'next generation' technologies for processing or converting discarded
materials into energy or beneficial products.

(d) advance knowledge of issues related to landfills that advance sustainable solid
waste management practices, mitigate risk, or protect environmental and public
welfare.

EREF is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is one of the largest sources of funding for solid waste research in the U.S. EREF is not affiliated with any other entity or group and governed by a duly elected Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is the decision-making body that has responsibility for establishing policies that define program interests and fundamental objectives to be served by the Foundation.

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Updated Grand Challenges Grant Opportunities (FY 14 & FY 15)
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Varies per program. Please see individual program announcements for due dates.

SYNOPSIS: 

 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its Grand Challenges partners are now accepting applications for the following grant programs - for more information on these programs please visit the grant opportunities page at www.grandchallenges.org:

1) The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has launched three new Grand Challenges:
     &        Putting Women and Girls at the Center of Development
     &        Creating and Measuring Integrated Solutions for Healthy Birth, Growth, and Development (part of the All     Children Thriving platform)
     &         New Interventions for Global Health

Proposals will be accepted until January 13, 2015.

2) Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) Round 14 is still accepting applications for the following topics:
    &          Surveillance Tools, Diagnostics and an Artificial Diet to Support New Approaches to Vector Control
    &          New Approaches for Addressing Outdoor/Residual Malaria Transmission
    &          New Ways to Reduce Pneumonia Fatalities Through Timely, Effective Treatment of Children
    &          Enable Universal Acceptance of Mobile Money Payments
    &          Explore New Ways to Measure Brain Development and Gestational Age
    &          New Ways of Working Together: Integrating Community-Based Interventions

Proposals will be accepted until November 12, 2014, at 11:30 a.m. PST.  We are also announcing the GCE grants awarded from Round 13 here.

3) In response to the ongoing Ebola epidemic, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development to develop practical and cost-effective innovations to improve infection treatment and control that can be rapidly deployed. Submissions received by November 7, 2014, will be part of the first round of review, and submissions received by December 1, 2014, will be part of the second round of review. Expressions of interest received after December 1, 2014, will be reviewed in subsequent rounds. 

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Targeted Grants in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems
The Simons Foundation

LOI due September 30, 2014
Full submission due January 31, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The program is intended to foster a culture of theory-experiment collaboration similar to that prevailing in the physical sciences by supporting the development of mathematical models that explain classes of experimental results and suggest new directions for experiment, as well as research aimed at testing theoretical ideas and expanding their reach.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The program aims to support research in the life sciences that breaks new conceptual or theoretical ground and relates closely to experiment, for example, by introducing new and experimentally testable concepts or by developing models that can explain data and motivate new classes of experiments. Successful proposals will typically involve both new theoretical approaches and a direct interaction with biological experiment. A broad spectrum of research areas will be considered, ranging from cellular-level issues of organization, regulation, signaling and dynamics through morphogenesis to the properties of organisms and ecology, as well as neuroscience and evolution; however, preference will be given to areas in which modeling approaches are less established, and, for this reason, bioinformatics and genomics will fall outside the scope of the program.

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Arnold W. Brunner Grant
Center For Architecture Foundation

February 1, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Arnold W. Brunner Grant is for advanced study in any area of architectural investigation which will effectively contribute to the knowledge, teaching or practice of the art and science of architecture.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Arnold W. Brunner Grant is for advanced study in any area of architectural investigation which will effectively contribute to the knowledge, teaching or practice of the art and science of architecture. The proposed investigation is to result in a final written work, design project, research paper, or other form of presentation.

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Human Rights and Economic Justice Program
General Service Foundation

LOI due February 2, 2015
Full submissions are by invitation only

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsor supports efforts that focus on strengthening worker voices, promote public policies that protect labor rights, democratize corporate power, or, promote corporate accountability.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The sponsor has three priorities within this program:

Strengthen Worker Voices -- In order to achieve this goal, GSF seeks to empower workers to speak on their own behalf as effective advocates for low-wage workers. GSF supports organizations involved in capacity building, advocacy, organizing, and leadership development in order to empower low-wage workers within the United States and Mexico. We also support diverse coalitions of worker's rights groups and grassroots community-based groups working at the national level to increase the voice and scope of economic justice work.

Promote Public Policies that Protect Labor Rights -- A more worker-friendly policy environment is also essential to improving workplace conditions that would enable workers to participate more equitably in the benefits of economic prosperity. GSF supports organizations that improve trade policies that directly affect the U.S. and Mexico, and organizations that promote worker organizing and worker rights protections, particularly for low-income and immigrant workers. GSF also supports organizations using federal, state, and local leverage points to expand worker rights where such work can demonstrate national level impact.

Democratize Corporate Power and Promote Corporate Accountability -- Strong citizen campaigns and coalitions are necessary counterbalances to the power of corporations. Holding corporations accountable is crucial to promote true sustainability and economic fairness for a broad base of community members. GSF supports efforts that encourage corporations to be more democratic and responsive to the communities they serve by supporting shareholder activism, socially responsible investing, and community empowerment to shape development in their own communities.

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Kauffman Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research
Kauffman (Ewing Marion) Foundation

January 20, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Kauffman Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research is intended to support the research activities of eligible junior faculty members who are actively pursuing research in the field of entrepreneurship. This program recognizes tenured or tenure-track junior faculty members at accredited U.S. universities who are beginning to establish a record of scholarship and exhibit the potential to make significant contributions to the body of research in the field of entrepreneurship.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

This program will help launch a cohort of world-class scholars into this young and exciting field, thus laying a foundation for future scientific advancement. The research produced by these fine scholars will be translated into knowledge with application for policymakers, educators, service providers, and entrepreneurs.

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Research Grants
Whitehall Foundation, Inc.

LOI due October 1, 2014
Full submission due February 15, 2015

SYNOPSIS:

The sponsor will provide awards ranging from $30,000 to $75,000 annually for scholarly research in the life sciences. Consideration is given to applicants of all ages.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Foundation is currently interested in basic research in neurobiology, defined as follows: Invertebrate and vertebrate (excluding clinical) neurobiology, specifically investigations of neural mechanisms involved in sensory, motor, and other complex functions of the whole organism as these relate to behavior. The overall goal should be to better understand behavioral output or brain mechanisms of behavior.

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Scholar Awards: Funding for 2015
American Asthma Foundation

February 4, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

For 2015, the AAF will provide Scholar Awards exclusively to early- to mid-career scientists in the United States. AAF Scholar Awards will provide $150,000 per year for two years, with the possibility of an additional $150,000 for a third year, based on progress and potential. It is anticipated that many of the projects will continue into a third year and thus benefit from the full $450,000 Award.

Scientists may apply if their initial independent faculty appointment at the level of Assistant Professor or equivalent was not before February 1, 2005 (for exception, see Award Policies, Criteria for AAF Scholars). Applicants should have an independent research program, with national-level, independent funding. There is no citizenship requirement.

Although each Award names only one AAF Scholar, the AAF supports collaborative research. Additional investigators who will participate in the studies may be included either as Co-Investigators, who will play a direct role in the research, or as Collaborators, who will lend assistance and/or reagents, etc.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The program supports work in all investigative fields that may reveal new pathways in the pathogenesis of asthma. Studies may involve laboratory or clinical investigation, including genetic and epidemiological studies. Studies of humans are encouraged. The Program does not sponsor therapeutic trials.

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Areas of Inquiry - Small Grant Proposals
Spencer Foundation

February 5, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Spencer Foundation supports research in the following areas of inquiry: Education and Social Opportunity; Organizational Learning; Purposes and Values of Education; Teaching, Learning, and Instructional Resources; and Field-Initiated Proposals. Proposals must have a budget of $50,000 or less.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

In the Education and Social Opportunity area of inquiry, the Spencer Foundation seeks to shed light on the role education plays in reducing economic and social inequalities -- as well as, sometimes, reinforcing them -- and to find ways to more fully realize education's potential to promote more equal opportunity. Expanded opportunity is important not only to a society's economic well being but to the character of its civic, cultural and social life as well.

In the Organizational Learning area of inquiry, the Foundation is interested in advancing understanding of ways to strengthen the capacity of schools and education systems as learning organizations.

In the Purposes and Values of Education area of inquiry, the Foundation is interested in advancing understanding of ways to strengthen the capacity of schools and education systems as learning organizations.

In the Teaching, Learning, and Instructional Resources area of inquiry, the Foundation is interested in studies that lead to better understanding and improvements in the intellectual, material, and organizational resources that contribute to successful teaching and learning. A key aim of research in this initiative is to support investigations of questions that are grounded directly in teaching practice as well as in research about important aspects of teaching and learning processes that hold promise for enriching opportunities to learn and for guiding informed policymaking.

For Field-Initiated Proposals, the Foundation is alive to the possibility that someone may have a terrific idea for worthwhile research that does not fit easily into even the broad categories above, and is happy to entertain such proposals. In such cases, applicants are asked in address explicitly how their proposed study aligns with the Foundation's mission of research toward educational improvement.

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Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award
Runyon (Damon) Cancer Research Foundation

February 17, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award supports young physician-scientists conducting patient-oriented cancer research. The goal is to increase the number of physicians capable of moving seamlessly between the laboratory and the patient's bedside in search of breakthrough treatments.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Clinical Investigator Award responds to three recognized realities: though there has never been a more pressing need or more promising time for clinical cancer research, fewer young physicians enter this area of investigation every year; the number of institutions committed to training young physicians in the scientific discipline and methodologies of clinical investigation is critically low; and the burden of medical school debt (averaging over $100,000) discourages many physicians from pursuing clinical investigation.

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation's award offers solutions to these realities. The awardee will receive financial support for three years, as well as assistance with certain research costs such as the purchase of equipment. The Foundation will also retire up to $100,000 of any medical school debt still owed by the awardee. Building on the long-term success of the Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellowships, the creation of the Clinical Investigator Award is a logical extension of the Foundation's overall mission to defeat cancer. The Clinical Investigator Award program is specifically intended to provide outstanding young physicians with the resources and training structure essential to becoming successful clinical investigators.

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Grants Program
Arca Foundation

February 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Arca Foundation is dedicated to advancing social equity and justice, particularly given the growing disparities in our world. The Foundation supports innovative and strategic efforts that work to advance equity, accountability, social justice and participatory democracy in the US and abroad.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Foundation believes that access to knowledge, vigorous public education and citizen engagement are essential to democracy. However, there exist structures and private interests that serve to limit the transparency of the government, stifle public debate on critical issues, and foster an environment where government is not effectively serving the interests of its citizens.

Domestically, the Foundation is concerned about the promotion of a more equitable, accountable, and transparent economic recovery, and believes that the increasingly dominant role of corporations in our Democracy is serving as a barrier to that recovery. Proposals that engage citizens in the promotion of greater corporate accountability, and that work to build a movement to advance a more just economy and Democracy will be considered. The scope of the Foundation's work is national, therefore it will only consider local and state-based efforts that are part of a national campaign or project.

Internationally, the Foundation has a long history of supporting policy advocacy that advances more just US foreign policies and human rights.

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Research Grant
Gerber Foundation

LOI due December 1, 2014
Full submission due February 15, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Gerber Foundation's mission focuses on the nutrition, care and development of infants and young children. Therefore, grant-making interests are focused on health and/or nutrition-related research having a significant impact on issues facing infants and young children from the first year before birth to age 3.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The Gerber Foundation's mission focuses on the nutrition, care and development of infants and young children. Therefore, grant-making interests are focused on health and/or nutrition-related research having a significant impact on issues facing infants and young children from the first year before birth to age 3. The Foundation is particularly interested in fresh approaches to solving newborn or pediatric problems or emerging issues with a predictable time frame to clinical application. Projects should be focused on issues faced by care providers that, when implemented, will improve the health, nutrition and/or developmental outcomes for infants and young children. Competitive requests will be focused in a way to achieve measurable outcomes that could result in systemic practice changes within a reasonable period of time. The Foundation gives priority to projects of national or regional impact.

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Scholar Awards
American Asthma Foundation

February 4, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The AAF will provide Scholar Awards exclusively to early- to mid-career scientists in the United States. The AAF Scholars Program is devoted entirely to early- to mid-career investigators.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The sponsor offers scientists the challenge, freedom and funding to pursue new ideas, without preliminary data. This is an exceptional opportunity for creativity, with the potential to significantly impact human health. The program supports work in all investigative fields that may reveal new pathways in the pathogenesis of asthma. Studies may involve laboratory or clinical investigation, including genetic and epidemiological studies. Studies of humans are encouraged. The Program does not sponsor therapeutic trials.

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Transatlantic Networks of Excellence
Fondation Leducq

LOI due September 5, 2014, 11:59 pm Paris time
February 2015 upon notification of LOI approval

Fondation Leducq announces a call for applications for the 2014-2015 Transatlantic Networks of Excellence Program. Under this program the Fondation Leducq awards grants of up to U.S. $6,000,000 over five years for internationally collaborative research in cardiovascular and neuro-vascular disease. As of 2014, the foundation has supported 43 networks, representing more than 390 investigators at 128 institutions in 18 countries. For the 2014-2015 application cycle, Fondation Leducq will use a web-based application system hosted by Altum proposalCENTRAL. Information about the application process and details about important dates in the 2014-2015 application cycle can be found on our website at flcq.org under Transatlantic Networks of ExcellenceDue date for letters of intent is Friday, September 5, 2014, 11:59 pm Paris time.

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Basil O' Connor Starter Scholar Research Award (2015 Program)
March of Dimes Foundation

March 15, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

This award is designed to support young scientists just embarking on their independent research careers. The applicants' research interests should be consonant with those of the March of Dimes' mission: The Mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The March of Dimes defines a birth defect as any abnormality of structure or function, whether inherited, or acquired in utero and presenting in infancy or early childhood. Deviations from reproductive health of women and men as an underlying basis of birth defects, i.e. preconceptional events, perinatal course, and premature births, are appropriate subjects for research support. Relevance is interpreted broadly to include fundamental cell biology (embryogenesis, cell lineage, differentiation), genetics and genomics, fundamental cellular and clinical pathogenesis of disorders of importance to mothers and infants, biomedical engineering and imaging, and social and behavioral aspects. Each application should be accompanied by a Letter of Support from a Nominator (see below). The award is $150,000 for two years, including 10 percent indirect costs to sponsoring institutions.

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Career Development Awards for Translational Research
LUNGevity Foundation

LOI due December 12, 2014
Full submissions are by invitation only and will be due March 13, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

LUNGevity's Career Development Awards for Translational Research program was created to support a cohort of future research leaders who will keep the field of lung cancer research vibrant with new ideas. Applicants must be within the first five years of their faculty appointment. The Career Development Awards are mentored awards; a mentoring plan is part of the required submission.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Projects that will be funded in 2015 are expected to have a direct impact on the early detection of lung cancer or on the outcomes of lung cancer, or to provide a clear conceptual or experimental foundation for the future development of methods for early detection and/or individualized treatment, including through immuno-oncology. LUNGevity will grant only one Career Development Award application per institution.

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Project Awards
Sage (Russell) Foundation

LOI due January 16, 2015
Full submissions are by invitation only and will be due March 16, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Foundation's awards are restricted to support for basic social science research within our announced programs, which are: Social Inequality; Behavioral Economics; Future of Work; Immigration; and Cultural Contact.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Russell Sage Foundation is dedicated to strengthening the social sciences as a means of achieving more informed and rational social policy. The Foundation's agenda includes research on the causes and consequences of various social problems, as well as basic research aimed at improving the methods, data, and theoretical foundation of social science. The Foundation currently pursues five principal programs: a program of research on the Future of Work concerned principally with the causes and consequences of changes in the quality of low-wage work in the United States and other advanced economies; a program of research on current U.S. Immigration aimed at discovering how well immigrants and their children are adapting socially, politically, and economically to life in the United States, particularly as they move beyond the traditional immigrant gateway cities; a program on Cultural Contact concerned with understanding and improving relations between racial and ethnic groups in schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and other key institutional settings; a program on Social Inequality, focused on the social effects of rising economic inequality, with particular attention to the ways in which the U.S. political and educational systems have responded to growing economic disparities; and a program of research on Behavioral Economics which incorporates the insights of psychology and other social sciences into the study of economic behavior.

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Simons Collaborations in Mathematics and the Physical Sciences
Simons Foundation

LOI due October 31, 2014
Full submission due March 31, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Simons Foundation invites applications for the Simons Collaborations in Mathematics and the Physical Sciences (MPS) program. The aim of the Simons Collaborations in MPS program is to stimulate progress on fundamental scientific questions of major importance in the broad area of mathematics, theoretical physics, and theoretical computer science. 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 foundation expects to make up to two awards in 2015.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

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 Simons Collaboration may be concrete or conceptual, but there should be little doubt that answering these would constitute a major scientific milestone. The project should have clearly defined initial activities and goals by which progress and its success can be measured. The support from the foundation should be seen as critical for the objectives of the project.

The project should involve outstanding researchers with a range of career stages. Excellence of the scientific leadership is one of the main criteria in the selection process. The project should be organized and managed in a manner engendering a high level of collaboration.

A Simons Collaboration will be led by a Collaboration Director, who is expected to determine the scientific agenda, to coordinate the scientific activities, and to organize Collaboration meetings as appropriate, including a one-day annual conference at the foundation. The Director will be the main point-of-contact for the foundation and will be responsible for coordinating all administrative deliverables. Principal Investigators (PIs) are expected to perform research that advances the goals of the Collaboration. Proposals should specify a core group of founding PIs. Additional PIs may be added at later stages, as the Collaboration evolves.

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Innovation in Regulatory Science
Burroughs Wellcome Fund

LOI due November 18, 2014
Full submission due April 1, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

BWF's Innovation in Regulatory Science Awards provide up to $500,000 over five years to academic investigators developing new methodologies or innovative approaches in regulatory science that will ultimately inform the regulatory decisions the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and others make.

These awards are open to U.S. and Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have a faculty or adjunct faculty appointment at a North American degree-granting institution.  Awards are made to degree-granting institutions in the U.S. or Canada on behalf of the awardee. 

The application process consists of two phases: a preproposal followed by a full proposal invitation.  Preproposal applicants selected by the Advisory Committee deemed to meet the goals of this initiative will be invited to submit full proposals.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund identified Innovation in Regulatory Science as an important, underfunded area. This initiative is designed to provide financial support to stimulate research efforts in this area.

The process of translating biomedical discoveries into new therapies has become increasingly complex in light of evolving science and technology, and requires that the science of regulation keep up with the advances in biomedical science and technology. For example, existing animal models of human disease are often poor predictors of efficacy of new therapeutic approaches in humans. As new technologies produce new types of preclinical models, innovation is needed in the evaluation of these models to justify movement into clinical studies. Over the last decade, numerous reports [1] have documented the importance of this area of research to the future of the biomedical enterprise, however it remains inadequately supported.

Regulatory science has been defined as the "development and use of new tools, standards, and approaches to more efficiently develop products and to more effectively evaluate product safety, efficacy, and quality". [2] It is has become the centerpiece of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) strategy for fostering innovation, and the academic and foundation communities have been called to take an active role in building this emerging field.

This initiative of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund is focused on providing support for academic researchers developing new methodologies or innovative approaches in regulatory science that will ultimately inform the regulatory decisions FDA and others make.  This would necessarily draw upon the talents of individuals trained in mathematics, computer science, applied physics, medicine, engineering, toxicology, epidemiology, biostatistics, and systems pharmacology, to name a few.

[1] FDA Science and Mission at Risk: Report of the Subcommittee on Science and Technology, FDA Science Board, 2007; Innovation or Stagnation: Challenge and Opportunity on the Critical Path to New Medical Products, Food and Drug Administration 2004; Building a National Framework for the Establishment of Regulatory Science for Drug Development, Institute of Medicine Workshop Report; Advancing Regulatory Science at the FDA, 2011.

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Grand Challenges: New Interventions for Global Health
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Applications will be accepted beginning on November 4, 2014. Please check the program website at that time for the latest information, including the Letter of Inquiry form (under five pages) for submission.

SYNOPSIS: 

Under this new Grand Challenge we seek original and innovative concepts for vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics with the potential to be translated into safe, effective, affordable and widely utilized interventions to protect against the acquisition, progression or transmission of infectious diseases or provide a cure for infectious diseases in resource limited settings. This request for proposals will fund full awards that could include grants, program related investments and/or contracts up to USD $10,000,000 per awardee for up to four years but must include an industry, biotech or other translational partner. We will also consider funding pilot awards of up to USD $2,000,000 for up to four years with the anticipation that successful applicants will apply for a full award in subsequent years.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

(Vaccines) The goal of this challenge is to identify novel vaccine concepts for generating protective immune responses to global health pathogens of interest-- to solicit creative, novel approaches to the identification and generation of protective immune responses in order to move the best vaccine concepts and candidates forward into clinical development. Unconventional approaches to effectively drive or harness immune responses to protect against infection and disease will be considered.

(Therapeutics) With this topic we also seek to explore new therapeutic approaches that limit the emergence of resistance -- by limiting evolutionary pressure on drug targets, blocking potential evolutionary paths, or other novel mechanisms. In all cases, proposals must articulate how the emergence of drug resistance would be limited and how the likelihood for emergence of resistance could be tested.

(Diagnostics) 

In addition to vaccines and therapeutic concepts, we seek innovative diagnostics that have the potential to drastically change how we measure a patient's health condition in developing world settings. Proposals may offer methods to detect disease-causing pathogens as well as biomarkers, indicators of metabolic status, and micronutrients. They may employ existing platform technologies or detection modalities, but they must be accompanied by credible biophysical signatures or biomarkers specific for global health conditions.

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Novice Researcher Program
Gerber Foundation

LOI due December 1, 2014
Full submissions are by invitation only

SYNOPSIS: 

The Gerber Foundation has an interest in promoting the development of new investigators. Recognizing that many developing researchers may find it difficult to obtain initial funding to establish their line of investigation, a Novice Researcher program has been initiated. The purpose is to encourage the development of medical research in infant and early childhood health and nutrition by awarding small grants to new researchers.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The purpose is to encourage the development of medical research in infant and early childhood health and nutrition by awarding small grants to new researchers. These awards follow the Foundation's current focus on clinical/translational research in infant and early childhood health and nutrition. Emphasis is placed on projects with relatively short clinical applicability.

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Clinical Neuroscience Research Grant Program
Dana (Charles A.) Foundation, Inc.

Rolling submission deadline

SYNOPSIS: 

Translational researchers may apply for support to test promising therapies from animal model research in a small number of patients with devastating, currently untreatable, brain diseases. Also supported are studies to develop ethical guidelines for clinical brain research, and prognostic data based on treatment outcomes in patients with severe brain injuries or disorders.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Clinical Neuroscience Research program focuses on patient research. Funded researchers set up "controlled clinical studies" in a small number of patients with a specific brain disease, based on promising animal studies suggesting that a specific therapy either treated the condition or prevented it from getting worse. In these controlled clinical studies, the new therapy is tested in some of the patients while the other patients continue to receive currently available treatment. Through this process, clinical researchers determine whether the tested new therapy shows initial promise beyond currently available treatment.

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Human Rights and International Justice Grants
MacArthur Foundation

The program receives and considers submissions on a rolling basis throughout the year.

SYNOPSIS: 

The Human Rights and International Justice Program seeks to strengthen human rights protections, advance government accountability, and improve the reach and quality of justice. Grantmaking aims to defend freedom of expression and enhance criminal justice globally, with a special focus on Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The sponsor's new strategy is as follows: increasing threats to freedom of speech and association, ranging from intensified attacks on frontline human rights defenders to the rise of national laws that restrict the ability for civil society to operate; assertive citizen movements calling for greater government accountability and demanding more protection of basic rights; growing demands for localizing accountability for atrocity crimes and expanding access to justice; and rapid advancement in communications media that is altering the way human rights advocates monitor violations, collect and manage data, and communicate with colleagues and the public.

Grantmaking takes account of these trends through a strategy that is framed by two pillars: defending freedom of expression and enhancing criminal justice. There is an emphasis on accountability as essential to securing human rights and a focus on leveraging technology to advance the work. 

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Research Grants: 2015 Opportunities
Whitehall Foundation, Inc.

LOI due January 15, 2015, April 15, 2015, and October 1, 2015
Full submissions due June 1, 2015, September 1, 2015, and February 15, 2016

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsor will provide awards ranging from $30,000 to $75,000 annually for scholarly research in the life sciences. Consideration is given to applicants of all ages.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Foundation is currently interested in basic research in neurobiology, defined as follows: Invertebrate and vertebrate (excluding clinical) neurobiology, specifically investigations of neural mechanisms involved in sensory, motor, and other complex functions of the whole organism as these relate to behavior. The overall goal should be to better understand behavioral output or brain mechanisms of behavior.

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National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

RFP--National Lab Opportunity
National Aeronautics & Space Administration

December 31, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is operating a share of the United States accommodations on the International Space Station (ISS) as a national laboratory in accordance with Section 507 of the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 (P.L.109-155) and seekS to increase the utilization of the ISS by other federal entities andthe private sector. To facilitate and increase such utilization of the ISS, NASA isproviding access to the ISS for the conduct of basic and applied research, technology development and industrial processing (collectively, R&D) to U.S. federal, state and local government entities, and to U.S. private entities (including, but not limited to, commercial firms, non-profit entities, and academic institutions) as part of the national laboratory. In preparation for the ISS post-assembly phase and during the post-assembly completephase, NASA is seeking proposals from domestic entities other than U.S. federal government agencies for the conduct of R&D activities on the ISS as a national laboratory. NASA anticipates using its authority to enter into Space Act Agreements to support national laboratory activities, including providing necessary access to NASA facilities, personnel and technical information, however, there will be no provision of funds in connection with this opportunity. Respondents will be responsible for financing their own activities. Participation in this National Lab Opportunity will be contingent upon selection by NASA and negotiation of an appropriate Agreement between NASA and the proposer. Proposed activities should involve R&D, including, but not limited to: life sciences, sensors, communication equipment, engineering testbeds, spacecraft design and testing, or education and should demonstrate potential benefit to the public, such as development of future products and services contributing to U.S. industrial capacity and economic growth or improving STEM education. 

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ROSES 2014: Astrophysics Research and Analysis (APRA)
National Aeronautics & Space Administration

Deadline: January 23, 2015

The Astrophysics Research and Analysis Program (APRA) program solicits basic research proposals for investigations that are relevant to NASA's programs in astronomy and astrophysics and includes research over the entire range of photons, gravitational waves, and particle astrophysics. Awards may be for up to four years' duration (up to five years for suborbital investigations), but shorter-term proposals are typical; four-year or five-year proposals must be well justified. Proposals for suborbital investigations are particularly encouraged.

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ROSES 2014: Strategic Astrophysics Technology
National Aeronautics & Space Administration

Deadline: January 23, 2015

Over the next decade and beyond, NASA's Astrophysics Division expects to undertake space flight missions that will explore the nature of the universe at its largest scales, its earliest moments, and its most extreme conditions; missions that will study how galaxies and stars formed and evolved to shape the universe we see today; and missions that will search out and characterize the planets and planetary systems orbiting other stars. As compelling as these future missions will be, implementing them presents many daunting technological challenges. To overcome these challenges and pave the way to ever more ambitious missions, NASA's Astrophysics Division has established the Strategic Astrophysics Technology (SAT) program to support the maturation of key technologies to the point at which they are feasible for implementation in space flight missions.

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ROSES 2014: Habitable Worlds
Science Mission Directorate

Step-1 proposals due November 24, 2014; Step-2 proposals due January 23, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The goal of the Habitable Worlds program is to use knowledge of the history of the Earth and the life upon it as a guide for determining the processes and conditions that create and maintain habitable environments and to search for ancient and contemporary habitable environments and explore the possibility of extant life beyond the Earth. NASA's Habitable Worlds Program includes elements of the Astrobiology Program, the Mars Exploration Program, and the Outer Planets Program. A common goal of these programs is to identify the characteristics and the distribution of potentially habitable environments in the Solar System and beyond.

This research is conducted in the context of NASA's ongoing exploration of our stellar neighborhood and the identification of biosignatures for in situ and remote sensing applications. For further information on the science scope of Astrobiology, please refer to the Astrobiology roadmap, which can be found on the Astrobiology web page http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/. Information on the habitability-related goals of the Mars Exploration Program can be found in the "Mars Science Goals, Objectives, Investigations and Priorties: 2010" document, available on the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group web page (http://mepag.jpl.nasa.gov).

For the Outer Planets Program, refer to the document "Scientific Goals and Pathways for Exploration of the Outer Solar System," found on the Outer Planets Assessment Group web site (http://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag). Theoretical and experimental studies will be considered, as well as quantitative terrestrial field experiments that improve scientific understanding of how in situ measurements at analog sites can or will improve our understanding of the potential for the environment to support life. Research areas include, but are not limited to, the presence of water and/or exotic solvents, sources of energy for life, presence of organics and their reactivity, and water body physics and chemistry as they pertain to habitability and habitability over time. The target bodies for this program element include, but are not limited to:

& Mars - the astrobiological potential of past or present environments on or in the Martian
surface or subsurface.

& Icy Worlds - the astrobiological potential of icy worlds in the outer solar system, including
Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus, and Titan.

& Habitable Exoplanets and/or their moons - A potentially habitable exoplanet implies a planet
with conditions roughly comparable to those of Earth (i.e., an Earth analog) and thus potentially
favorable to the presence of life.

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ROSES 2014: Climate Indicators and Data Products for Future National Climate Assessments
National Aeronautics & Space Administration

LOI due December 2, 2014
Full submission due February 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

This ROSES element solicits research in support of the future National Climate Assessment. NASA is a major participant agency in the USGCRP, which is currently implementing a sustained assessment process that will ultimately facilitate continuous and transparent participation of scientists and stakeholders across regions and sectors, enabling new information and insights to be synthesized as they emerge.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

This solicitation seeks to motivate research responding to the vision of the sustained assessment by increasing the knowledge base and capacity needed to enable the effective integration of new scientific understanding into management decisions. This can be achieved by enhancing the production of decision-support tools, initiating continuous improvements in collecting and synthesizing information, and by providing feedback to ongoing research efforts. NASA aims to better integrate the climate indicator work with assessment product generation and assessment tools projects at NASA Centers.

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2014 NASA Research Announcement Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) STEM Engagement
National Aeronautics & Space Administration

March 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The NASA Office of Education Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) solicits proposals from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to create and implement a NASA STEM challenge, targeted for MSI participation. STEM challenges are creative applications of NASA-related science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and cross-cutting concepts. MUREP Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Engagement (MSE) seeks proposals to support MSIs that demonstrate the potential to increase the number of minority undergraduates in STEM education areas relevant to NASA. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The NASA Office of Education Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) solicits proposals from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to create and implement a NASA STEM challenge, targeted for MSI participation. STEM challenges are creative applications of NASA-related science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and cross-cutting concepts. MUREP Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Engagement (MSE) seeks proposals to support MSIs that demonstrate the potential to increase the number of minority undergraduates in STEM education areas relevant to NASA. The specific goals of MSE awards are to: * Increase the retention and completion rates of undergraduate degrees awarded from MSIs in NASA-related STEM disciplines; * Increase the number of NASA-focused STEM experiences that engage underrepresented groups in active learning to improve retention of information and critical thinking skills; and, * Disseminate proven, innovative practices and programs in STEM teaching, STEM learning, and recruitment and retention of underrepresented/ underserved students in STEM fields. The specific objectives of the NASA MSE solicitation are to: Design, develop, and implement a NASA-related STEM challenge targeted for MSI and community college STEM-enrolled student participation; Align the challenge design with the NASA mission and with a specific NASA program or project; and Develop and implement processes to capture the impact of activities and strategies implemented through this challenge.

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NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program: 2015/2016 Academic Year
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

February 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

This call for graduate fellowship proposals, entitled NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program - 2015/2016 Academic Year, solicits applications from accredited U.S. Universities on behalf of individuals pursuing Masters or Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in Earth and space sciences, or related disciplines, at respective institutions. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA's scientific goals outlined above. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be made in the form of training grants to the respective universities with the advisor serving as the principal investigator.The financial support for the NESSF Program comes from SMD's four science divisions: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics. For the 2015/2016 academic year, NASA expects to award approximately 50 new graduate fellowships in Earth Science, 3-5 in Heliophysics, 10 in Planetary Science, and 6-10 in Astrophysics.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) supports basic and applied research in Earth and space science. The SMD research program includes the development of major space flight missions; analysis of data from prior missions; conduct of major field campaigns; and the Supporting Research and Technology (SR&T) program which includes development of instruments for suborbital flights and potential missions, detector development, complementary laboratory research, data assimilation, computational modeling, and theoretical studies. The SMD also supports the use of scientific knowledge, data, and modeling to support science-based policy and management decisions. The fundamental questions and goals for NASA's Earth and space science research activities are given in a series of Strategic Plans and Science Roadmaps; these documents can be accessed at http://science.hq.nasa.gov/strategy and http://science.hq.nasa.gov/strategy/roadmaps/.

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ROSES 2014: Rapid Response and Novel Research in Earth Science
National Aeronautics & Space Administration

March 31, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

This program element solicits proposals that advance the goals and objectives of NASA's Earth Science Division by conducting unique research to investigate 1) unforeseen or unpredictable Earth system events and opportunities that require rapid response, and 2) novel new ideas of potential high merit and relevance for ESD science that have not otherwise been solicited by NASA in the past three years.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

Targets of Opportunity: Rapid Response to Earth System Events and Opportunities to Collaborate (Rapid Response) -- This subelement is focused on research proposals having great urgency for action 1) involving quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic extreme events, disasters, and/or similar unanticipated or unpredictable events, and 2) requiring a quick funding decision to take advantage of an opportunity for research collaboration that is only available for a short time. Examples of unanticipated or unpredictable events are major fires, volcanic eruptions, 100-year floods, episodes of severe and large-scale environmental pollution, harmful algal blooms, coral bleaching events, and other events causing large-scale and rapid environmental change. Examples of opportunities for collaboration that can be on short notice and time critical are major airborne campaigns sponsored by international partners that have unexpected capacity to host additional instruments or support NASA satellite calibration/validation activities, and single-season field studies or ocean cruises sponsored by other agencies that, with short notice, offer collaborations that can be exploited to address NASA objectives. The research activities proposed must require rapid, near-term data acquisition, field work, and/or other such research activities. Proposers are strongly encouraged to contact the NASA program officer(s) whose expertise best matches the proposal topic before submitting a proposal in order to determine whether the proposed work is appropriate for this ROSES program element and if funding is likely to be available for a meritorious proposal.

First-Time Development of Innovative, Novel Ideas in Earth Remote Sensing (Novel Earth Science) -- This subelement is intended to provide an open, systematic, competitive process for NASA's ESD to consider proposals for exceptionally novel scientific research on remote sensing of the Earth that cannot be considered relevant to any other NASA solicitation. ESD recognizes that such proposals offer the possibility for major scientific breakthroughs and new approaches to remote sensing. ESD offers this sublement as a mechanism for researchers to develop their ideas and justify near-term investment through an important new capability or scientific application that will advance ESD goals and objectives. Proposals must be focused on topics that offer fundamental scientific research to advance Earth remote sensing. Instrument or technology development, data and information systems research, or educational activities are discouraged.

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ROSES 2014: Terrestrial Ecology
National Aeronautics & Space Administration

LOI due January 20, 2015
Full submission due March 20, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

NASA Terrestrial Ecology research addresses changes in Earth's carbon cycle and ecosystems using space-based observations in order to improve understanding of the structure and function of global terrestrial ecosystems, their interactions with the atmosphere and hydrosphere, and their role in the cycling of the major biogeochemical elements and water. The focus of this solicitation is the initial research to begin the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) field campaign -- a large-scale study of ecosystem responses to environmental change in western North America's Arctic and boreal region and the implications for social-ecological systems. The Overarching Science Question for ABoVE is: How vulnerable or resilient are ecosystems and society to environmental change in the Arctic and boreal region of western North America? Research for ABoVE will link field-based, process-level studies with geospatial data products derived from airborne and satellite sensors, building a foundation for improving the analysis and modeling capabilities needed to understand and predict ecosystem responses and societal implications. It is envisioned that a successful ABoVE will (1) contribute to greater scientific understanding of the vulnerability and resilience to environmental change of Arctic and boreal ecosystems in western North America, and (2) provide the scientific basis for informed decision-making to guide societal responses at local-to-international levels.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

This solicitation primarily invites proposals for research investigations to begin the field program and to develop the ABoVE Implementation Plan, further refining the ABoVE study design. The ABoVE Implementation Plan will detail the specific activities to be carried out (what, when, where, how, for how long, etc.) based upon the investigator studies that are selected for participation by NASA and its partner organizations in ABoVE. It will be used by ABoVE managers to organize and manage their support to ABoVE researchers and by ABoVE researchers as a resource for communication and coordination. Research proposed must address one or more of the following science questions: What processes are contributing to changes in disturbance regimes and what are the impacts of these changes?; How are flora and fauna responding to changes in biotic and abiotic conditions, and what are the impacts on ecosystem structure and function?; How are the magnitudes, fates, and land-atmosphere exchanges of carbon pools responding to environmental change, and what are the biogeochemical mechanisms driving these changes? What processes are controlling changes in the distribution and properties of permafrost and what are the impacts of these changes?; What are the causes and consequences of changes in the hydrologic system, specifically the amount, temporal distribution, and discharge of surface and subsurface water?; and How are environmental changes affecting critical ecosystem services - natural and cultural resources, human health, infrastructure, and climate regulation - and how are human societies responding?

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National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

NEA Our Town, FY 2015
National Endowment for the Arts

December 15, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The Arts Endowment's support of a project may start on October 1, 2015, or any time thereafter, and extend for up to two years.OUR TOWN: Grant Program DescriptionArt works to support creative, economically-competitive, healthy, resilient, and opportunity-rich communities. Excellent art is an essential part of building a strong community, as important as land-use, transportation, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety. Artists and community development practitioners across our nation --sometimes one and the same, sometimes working together -- are striving to make places more livable with enhanced quality of life, increased creative activity, a distinct sense of place, and vibrant local economies that together capitalize on their existing assets. The NEA defines these efforts as Creative Placemaking.Through Our Town, subject to the availability of funding, the National Endowment for the Arts will provide a limited number of grants for creative placemaking projects that contribute towards the livability of communities and help transform them into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Our Town prioritizes partnerships between arts organizations and government, private, and nonprofit organizations to achieve livability goals for communities.

Our Town offers support for projects in two areas:

& Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects that represent the distinct character and quality of their communities

& Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking

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National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

Humanities Montana Regular & Major Grants
Humanities Montana

November 20, 2014 and December 20, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

We encourage proposals that stimulate statewide dialogue on humanities topics, foster discussion between humanities scholars and the public, strengthen cooperative relationships among communities and cultural organizations (museums, libraries, schools, tribal organizations, etc.), and enrich civic discourse among the state's diverse cultures and across its geographical distances.

Humanities Montana only awards regular and major grants to organizations, not individuals. Eligible sponsoring organizations are listed in the grant guidelines.

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Collaborative Research Grants
National Endowment for the Humanities

December 9, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

Collaborative Research Grants support interpretive humanities research undertaken by a team of two or more scholars, for full-time or part-time activities for periods of one to three years. Support is available for various combinations of scholars, consultants, and research assistants; project-related travel; field work; applications of information technology; and technical support and services. All grantees are expected to communicate the results of their work to the appropriate scholarly and public audiences. Eligible projects include research that significantly adds to knowledge and understanding of the humanities; conferences on topics of major importance in the humanities that will benefit scholarly research; archaeological projects that include the interpretation and communication of results (projects may encompass excavation, materials analysis, laboratory work, field reports, and preparation of interpretive monographs); and research that uses the knowledge and perspectives of the humanities and historical or philosophical methods to enhance understanding of science, technology, medicine, and the social sciences.

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Scholarly Editions and Translations
National Endowment for the Humanities/Natl. Fndn. on the Arts & Humanities

December 9, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

Scholarly Editions and Translations grants support the preparation of editions and translations of pre-existing texts and documents that are currently inaccessible or available in inadequate editions. These grants support full-time or part-time activities for periods of a minimum of one year up to a maximum of three years.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Applicants should demonstrate familiarity with the best practices recommended by the Association for Documentary Editing or the Modern Language Association Committee on Scholarly Editions. Translation projects should also explain the approach adopted for the particular work to be translated. Editions and translations produced with NEH support contain scholarly and critical apparatus appropriate to the subject matter and format of the edition. This usually means introductions and annotations that provide essential information about the form, transmission, and historical and intellectual context of the texts and documents involved.

As a taxpayer-supported federal agency, NEH endeavors to make the products of its grants available to the broadest possible audience. Its goal is for scholars, educators, students, and the American public to have ready and easy access to the wide range of NEH grant products. For the Scholarly Editions and Translations program, such products may include edited documentary or literary texts, musical scores, or websites, and the like. For projects that lead to the development of websites, all other considerations being equal, NEH gives preference to those that provide free access to the public.

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Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections
National Endowment for the Humanities

December 3, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections (SCHC) helps cultural institutions meet the complex challenge of preserving large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations by supporting sustainable conservation measures that mitigate deterioration and prolong the useful life of collections. Libraries, archives, museums, and historical organizations across the country face an enormous challenge: to preserve collections that facilitate research, strengthen teaching, and provide opportunities for life-long learning in the humanities. Ensuring the preservation of books and manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings and moving images, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, art, and historical objects requires institutions to implement measures that slow deterioration and prevent catastrophic loss. This work is best accomplished through preventive conservation, which encompasses managing relative humidity, temperature, light, and pollutants in collection spaces; providing protective storage enclosures and systems for collections; and safeguarding collections from theft and from natural and man-made disasters. As museums, libraries, archives, and other collecting institutions strive to be effective stewards of humanities collections, they must find ways to implement preventive conservation measures that are sustainable. This program therefore helps cultural repositories plan and implement preservation strategies that pragmatically balance effectiveness, cost, and environmental impact. Sustainable approaches to preservation can contribute to an institution¿s financial health, reduce its use of fossil fuels, and benefit its green initiatives, while ensuring that collections are well cared for and available for use in humanities programming, education, and research.

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Media Projects: Production Grants
National Endowment for the Humanities/Natl. Fndn. on the Arts & Humanities

January 14, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Production grants support the production and distribution of digital projects, films, television programs, radio programs, and related programs that promise to engage the public. Media Projects grants support the following formats: film and television projects; and radio projects.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Production grants support the production and distribution of films, television programs, radio programs, and related programs that promise to engage the public. 

Production grants may be used for: production and distribution of films, television programs, and radio programs; meeting with scholars; research and script refinement; and outreach activities and public engagement.

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Public Scholar Program
National Endowment for the Humanities/Natl. Fndn. on the Arts & Humanities

March 3, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Public Scholar program supports well-researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad readership.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Public Scholar program aims to encourage scholarship that will be of broad interest and have lasting impact. Such scholarship might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Books supported by this program must be grounded in humanities research and scholarship. They must address significant humanities themes likely to be of broad interest and must be written in a readily accessible style. Making use of primary and/or secondary sources, they should open up important and appealing subjects for wider audiences. The challenge is to make sense of a significant topic in a way that will appeal to general readers.

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National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Advanced Neural Prosthetics Research and Development (U01)
National Institutes of Health

Letter of Intent Deadline: One month prior to application due date
Full Proposal Deadline: Standard Dates apply, by 5 p.m. local time

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to encourage applications to pursue translational and pilot clinical studies for neural prosthetics. The program will utilize the cooperative agreement mechanism to enable support for milestone-driven projects for the development and demonstration of clinically-useful neural prosthetic devices. Activities supported in this program include implementation of clinical prototype devices, preclinical safety and efficacy testing, design verification and validation activities, pursuit of regulatory approval for clinical study, and proof-of-concept or pilot clinical studies.

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Advancing Interventions to Improve Medication Adherence (R01)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is October 5, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is being issued by the NIH Adherence Network through the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), with participation from multiple NIH Institutes and Centers. This FOA seeks Research Project Grant (R01) applications that propose interventions to significantly improve medication adherence in individuals. Applications may target medication adherence in the context of treatment for a single illness or chronic condition (e.g., hypertension), to stave off a disease recurrence (e.g., cancer) or for multiple comorbid conditions (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, alcohol use disorders and HIV/AIDS). A well-articulated theoretical or conceptual framework is key for applications encouraged under this announcement. Primary outcomes of the research can include a patient self-report of medication adherence, but must also at least one non-self-report measure of medication adherence (e.g., pharmacy refill records, electronic monitoring, etc.). In addition, applications are encouraged to include a relevant health outcome or biomarker (e.g., blood pressure, viral load in HIV-infected individuals, cholesterol levels, HbA1c) that is expected to be affected by changes in the targeted adherence behavior. For diseases without identified biomarkers, inclusion of a clinical assessment (e.g., a medicine blood level, diagnostic interview or an independent clinician rating of the symptoms and behaviors) may be considered. 

 

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AHRQ Health Services Research Projects (R01)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality/DHHS

Standard Due Dates

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) invites applications for discrete, specified health services research projects. The projects will be performed by the named investigator and study team. The R01 research plan proposed by the applicant institution/organization must be related to the mission and portfolio priority research interests of AHRQ. This FOA will use the AHRQ Research Project Grant (R01) award mechanism.

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Avenir Award Program for Research on Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS (DP2)
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Avenir means future in French, and this award looks toward the future by supporting early stage investigators proposing highly innovative studies. The award will support those in an early stage of their career who may lack the preliminary data required for an R01 grant, but who propose high impact research and who show promise of being tomorrow's leaders in the field. NIDA has developed two Avenir Award Programs, one for HIV/AIDS research and the other for genetics or epigenetics studies. The Avenir Award Program for Research on Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS will support creative individuals who wish to pursue innovative research at the nexus of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS. The Avenir Award Program for Research on Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS will support research approaches for substance using populations with or at risk for HIV/AIDS that may lead to improved preventive interventions, improved therapies and/or long term retention in care, and ultimately, eradication of HIV.

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Mechanisms, Models, Measurement and Management in Pain Research (R21)(R01)(R03)
National Institutes of Health

The sponsors invite applications to stimulate and foster a wide range of basic, clinical, and translational studies on pain as they relate to the missions of these ICs. New advances are needed in every area of pain research, from the micro perspective of molecular sciences to the macro perspective of behavioral and social sciences. Although great strides have been made in some areas, such as the identification of neural pathways of pain, the experience of pain and the challenge of treatment have remained uniquely individual and unsolved. Furthermore, our understanding of how and why individuals transition to a chronic pain state after an acute insult is limited. Research to address these issues conducted by interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research teams is strongly encouraged, as is research from underrepresented, minority, disabled, or women investigators.

http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-13-119.html (R21)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/PA-files/PA-13-118.html (RO1)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/PA-files/PA-13-117.html (R03)


Mentored Quantitative Research Development Award (Parent K25)
National Institutes of Health/DHHS

January 7, 2015, February 12, 2015, May 7, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its participating Institutes and Centers invite applications for the Mentored Quantitative Research Development Award. The award is designed to attract to NIH-relevant research those investigators whose quantitative science and engineering research has thus far not been focused primarily on questions of health and disease. The K25 award will provide support and "protected time" for a period of supervised study and research for productive professionals with quantitative (e.g., mathematics, statistics, economics, computer science, imaging science, informatics, physics, chemistry) and engineering backgrounds to integrate their expertise with NIH-relevant research. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The overall goal of the NIH Research Career Development program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists are available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. Examples of quantitative scientific and technical backgrounds considered appropriate for this award include, but are not limited to: mathematics, statistics, economics, computer science, imaging science, informatics, physics, chemistry, and engineering. The specific objectives of the K25 award are to:

--Encourage research-oriented quantitative scientists and engineers with little or no experience in biomedicine, bioengineering, bioimaging, or behavioral research to gain fundamental knowledge in these areas and develop relevant research skills, and to gain experience in current concepts, advanced methods, and experimental approaches that will allow them to conduct basic or clinical biomedical, behavioral, bioimaging, or bioengineering research, and to become independent investigators or play leading roles in multi-disciplinary research teams.

--Increase the pool of quantitative researchers who can conduct biomedical, behavioral, or bioengineering studies, capitalizing on the quantitative backgrounds of these investigators to inform new directions in biomedical, behavior and bioengineering research.

--Provide a unique opportunity for candidates holding degrees in quantitative science or engineering to embark on three to five years of special study, including course work, seminars, meetings, and mentored research, to achieve the career enhancement goals outlined above.

Because of the focus on a progression toward independence as a quantitative biomedical, behavioral, bioimaging, or bioengineering researcher, the prospective candidate for the Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award will require enhanced skills in the experimental, theoretical and conceptual approaches used in biomedicine, behavioral science, bioimaging or bioengineering. To satisfy this requirement, the candidate should propose a period of study and career development that is complementary to his or her previous research and experience. 

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mHealth Tools to Promote Effective Patient - "Provider Communication, Adherence to Treatment and Self Management of Chronic Diseases In Underserved Populations (R01)

The sponsors invite applications to stimulate research utilizing Mobile Health (mHealth) tools aimed at the improvement of effective patient-provider communication, adherence to treatment and self-management of chronic diseases in underserved populations. With the rapid expansion of cellular networks and substantial advancements in Smartphone technologies, it is now possible - and affordable - to transmit patient data digitally from remote areas to specialists in urban areas, receive real-time feedback, and capture that consultation in a database. mHealth tools, therefore, may facilitate more timely and effective patient-provider communication through education communication around goal setting, treatment reminders, feedback on patient progress and may improve health outcomes. This announcement encourages the development, testing and comparative effective analysis of interventions utilizing mHealth technologies in underserved populations. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) (R03) and (R21) award mechanisms.

http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-11-330.html (R01)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-11-331.html (R03)

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-11-332.html (R21)


NIAID Career Transition Award (K22)

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is October 12, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The purpose of the NIAID Career Transition Award (CTA) program is to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented NIH-supported independent investigators that will address the health needs of the Nation. The NIAID CTA is specifically designed to facilitate the transition from a postdoctoral research position to an independent research position.

The overall goal of the NIH Research Career Development program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. In addition to this opportunity, NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) support a variety of other mentored career development programs designed to foster the transition of new investigators to research independence. These other programs may be more suitable for particular candidates.  NIH also supports non-mentored career development programs for independent investigators. More information about Career programs may be found at the NIH Extramural Training Mechanisms website.

The objective of the of the NIAID Career Transition Award is to support postdoctoral fellows transitioning to positions of assistant professor or equivalent, and initiate a successful biomedical career as an independent research scientist.

NIH believes that the creativity and innovation of new independent investigators in their early career stages play an integral role in addressing our Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. However, the average age of first-time (new) Principal Investigators obtaining R01 research funding from the NIH has risen to 42 years for Ph.D. degree holders and 44 years for M.D./Ph.D. degree holders in 2013. The intent of the NIAID K22 program is to help alleviate this trend and to assist new investigators in transitioning to stable independent research positions at an earlier age and with an enhanced probability of success in obtaining independent NIH or other independent research support.

Nature of the career/research transition opportunity

The K22 award will provide two years of support to conduct biomedical research as an independent scientist at an extramural sponsoring institution/organization to which the individual has been recruited, been offered and has accepted a tenure-track full-time assistant professor position (or equivalent). This support is to allow the individual to continue to work toward establishing his/her own independent research program and prepare an application for regular research grant support (R01).

The postdoctoral fellow, also referred to as a candidate, submits a K22 application from the institution where s/he currently pursues his/her postdoctoral research training.  The application will be peer reviewed and assigned an overall impact score.  Successful candidates (i.e. whose application has received a fundable overall impact score) will receive an approval letter from NIAID that will include the terms and conditions to activate the K22 award. In order to activate the K22 award, the candidate will need to secure a tenure-track full-time assistant professor position within a year of the receipt of the approval letter.  Once the assistant professor position has been secured, the candidate will submit updated information about the K22 application with the support of the sponsoring institution.  The sponsoring institution can be the same as the post-doctoral institution, though it is most likely a different institution from the original submission of the K22 application.  The updated information of the transition to an assistant professor position at the sponsoring institution will be evaluated by senior NIAID staff to ensure that all programmatic requirements are met prior to the activation of the K22 award. The details of the requirements for the activation of the K22 award are described in Section VI of this announcement.

 

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NIAMS Small Grant Program For New Investigators (R03)
National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is November 20, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) invites applications to stimulate and facilitate the entry of promising new investigators into research on arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases and injuries. This FOA will provide support for pilot research that is likely to lead to a subsequent individual research project grant (R01). Clinical trials of any phase will not be supported by this FOA. This program will use the NIH Small Research Grant (R03) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The NIAMS Small Grant program (R03) is designed to facilitate the entry of promising new investigators into research on arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases and injuries by providing support for pilot research that is likely to lead to a subsequent individual research project grant (R01).

Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases--supports fundamental research in bone, muscle and connective tissue biology as well as research aimed at improving the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system and its component tissues. Key public health problems addressed by this research include osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, orthopaedic disorders and injuries, including sports medicine and regenerative medicine and the muscular dystrophies.

Division of Skin and Rheumatic Diseases--promotes and supports basic, translational and clinical studies of skin biology; wound healing; autoimmune, inflammatory, and genetic skin disorders; adult as well as pediatric rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Sjögren's syndrome, and autoimmune myositis. Approaches that could be utilized by this program may include, but are not limited to genetics and genomics research, identification of risk factors, autoimmunity and inflammation research, biopsychosocial/behavioral research, outcomes and health services research, and research leading to prevention, diagnosis and cure of these disorders.

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NIDA Avant-Garde Award Program for HIV/AIDS and Drug Use Research (DP1)
National Institute on Drug Abuse

The NIDA Avant-Garde Award Program for HIV/AIDS Research supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose high-impact research that will open new areas of HIV/AIDS research and/or lead to new avenues for prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS among drug abusers. The term avant-gardeĀ is used to describe highly innovative approaches that have the potential to be transformative. The proposed research should reflect approaches and ideas that are substantially different from those already being pursued by the investigator or others. The NIDA Avant-Garde award supports innovative, basic research that may lead to improved preventive interventions or therapies; creative, new strategies to prevent disease transmission; novel approaches to improve disease outcomes; and creative approaches to eradicating HIV or improving the lives of those living with HIV.

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NIDA Avenir Award Program for Genetics or Epigenetics of Substance Abuse (DP2)
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Avenir means future in French, and this award looks toward the future by supporting early stage investigators proposing highly innovative studies. The award will support those in an early stage of their career who may lack the preliminary data required for an R01 grant, but who propose high impact research and who show promise of being tomorrow's leaders in the field. NIDA has developed two Avenir Award Programs, one for HIV/AIDS research and the other for genetics or epigenetics studies.

The Genetic Avenir Award program supports early stage investigators proposing highly innovative studies that open new areas of research for the genetics or epigenetics of addiction. The award will support those in an early stage of their career who may lack the preliminary data required for an R01 grant, but who propose high impact research and who show promise of being tomorrow's leaders in the field of genetics or epigenetics of substance abuse.

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NIH Director's New Innovator Award Program (DP2) SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
National Institutes of Health

Special Announcement $1.5M DP2 Award
See Program Annoucement

The NIH Director's New Innovator (DP2) Award initiative supports a small number of early stage investigators of exceptional creativity who propose bold and highly innovative new research approaches that have the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important problems in biomedical and behavioral research. The New Innovator Award initiative complements ongoing efforts by NIH and its Institutes and Centers to fund early stage investigators through R01 grants, which continue to be the major sources of NIH support for early stage investigators. The NIH Director's New Innovator Award initiative is a component of the High Risk - High Reward Research Program of the NIH Common Fund.

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NIH Director's Pioneer Award (DP1) SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
National Institutes of Health

Special Announcement $2.5M DPI Award
See Program Announcement

The NIH Pioneer Award initiative complements NIH's traditional, investigator-initiated grant programs by supporting individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose pioneering and possibly transforming approaches to addressing major biomedical or behavioral challenges that have the potential to produce an unusually high impact on a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research. To be considered pioneering, the proposed research must reflect substantially different scientific directions from those already being pursued in the investigator's research program or elsewhere.

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NINDS Requirements for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Development and Resource Sharing

The purpose of this Notice is to alert the research community to the current NINDS best practices guidelines for development and distribution of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) through the NINDS Repository, also known as the NINDS Human Genetics Resource Center. The iPSC lines available through the NINDS Repository were primarily developed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and collaborations with government (California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)) and non-government organizations (the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association, the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, CHDI, the Hereditary Disease Foundation, the Huntington's Disease Society of America, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and the Parkinson's Disease Foundation).

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NLM Express Research Grants in Biomedical Informatics (R01)
National Library of Medicine (NLM)

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is October 5, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

National Library of Medicine (NLM) offers support for innovative research in biomedical informatics. The scope of NLM's interest in the research domain of informatics is interdisciplinary, encompassing informatics problem areas in the application domains of health care, public health, basic biomedical research, bioinformatics, biological modeling, translational research and health information management in disasters. NLM defines biomedical informatics as the science of optimal organization, management, presentation and utilization of information relevant to human health and biology. Informatics research produces concepts, tools and approaches that advance what is known in the field and have the capacity to improve human health. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) offers support for innovative research in biomedical informatics. The scope of NLM's interest in the research domain of informatics is interdisciplinary, encompassing informatics problem areas in the application domains of health care, public health, basic biomedical research, bioinformatics, biological modeling, translational research and health information management in disasters. NLM defines biomedical informatics as the science of optimal organization, management, presentation and utilization of information relevant to human health and biology. Informatics research produces concepts, tools and approaches that advance what is known in the field and have the capacity to improve human health. Informatics projects of interest to NLM involve the application of computer and information sciences concepts to information problems in a biomedical domain. NLM also supports research projects focused on biomedical (rather than informatics) research questions, but approached exclusively by novel or advanced informatics techniques applied to information and data produced by others.

The following basic informatics problem areas demonstrate the scope of NLM's research interests:

--Information & knowledge processing, including understanding, translation or summarization of natural language in real-time or near real-time, integration of heterogeneous data types.

--Advanced information retrieval, knowledge discovery in databases, discovery mining, and other techniques for in silico discovery and research including approaches for accelerating the linkage of phenomic and genomic information.

--Incorporation of machine intelligence into decision tools and resources for health care providers, scientists and consumers.

--Modeling complex data, simulations, information visualization and presentation approaches to enhance decisions, learning or understanding.

--Innovative approaches for ensuring privacy and security of clinical and biomedical research data.

Examples of application domains for these informatics problem areas include, but are not limited to:

--Health Care; Public Health; Disaster Information Management;

--Biological, Social and Behavioral Research relating to human health;

--Multi-level computational models of biological and clinical processes;

--Translational Research that supports (1) uses of data in electronic health records to support biomedical research and (2) translation of biomedical research outcomes through application to problems in clinical care;

--Information Sciences; Simulation; User customization; Virtual environments; Innovative information techniques.

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Program Announcements

  • Advancing Research in      Voice Disorders (R21), (R01)
         (PA-14-235) , (PA-14-236)
         National Institute on Deafness and Other      Communication Disorders
         Application      Receipt/Submission Date(s): Multiple      dates, see announcement.  

  • NIOSH Support for      Conferences and Scientific Meetings (U13)
         (PAR-14-229) 
         National Institute for Occupational Safety and      Health
         Application      Receipt/Submission Date(s): Multiple      dates, see announcement.

Program Notices

  • Notice of Clarification      Regarding the Additional Educational Information Required for PA-14-147,      148, and 149 "Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award      (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31, F31 - Div, and F32)"
         (NOT-OD-14-094)  (NOT-OD-14-095) (NOT-OD-14-096) National      Institutes of Health

  • Notice of NEI      Participation in Administrative Supplements for Research on Dietary      Supplements (Admin Supp)
         (NOT-EY-14-001)
         National Eye Institute

  • Notice of Clarification      and Correction to PAR-14-207 "Center for Inherited Disease Research      (CIDR) High Throughput Sequencing and Genotyping Resource Access      (X01)"
         (NOT-HG-14-028)
         National Human Genome Research Institute

  • Notice of NHLBI      Participation in PAR-14-201 "Administrative Supplements for Research      on Dietary Supplements (Admin Supp)"
         (NOT-HL-14-224)
         National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

  • Notice to Correct      NOT-NS-13-040 "Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity      Announcement for the NINDS Exploratory Grant Program in Parkinson's      Disease Research (P20)" 
         (NOT-NS-14-033)
         National Institute of Neurological Disorders and      Stroke

Request for Applications

  • Nutrition Obesity      Research Centers (NORCs) (P30) 
         (RFA-DK-14-002)
         National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and      Kidney Diseases
         Application Receipt Date(s): November 25, 2014 and June 18, 2015

  • Development of an      Integrated Mathematical Model for Comparative Characterization of Complex      Molecules (U01)
         (RFA-FD-14-082)
         Food and Drug Administration
         Application Receipt Date(s): June 30, 2014

Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (P50)
National Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

LOI due November 22, 2014
Full submission December 22, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages grant applications to support a transdisciplinary program of basic and applied research to examine the effects of environmental factors on children's health and well-being. Research conducted through the Centers should include substantive areas of science in children's health while incorporating innovative technologies and approaches and links to the environment. This program encourages strong links between disciplines in the basic, applied, clinical and public health sciences to prevent disease and promote health of all children. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

NIEHS and EPA have developed a joint program with multiple opportunities to enhance research focused on advancing scientific understanding of key determinants of children's environmental health to meet each Agency's mission by filling identified research gaps to promote healthy environments for children. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed to encourage applications from transdisciplinary research teams proposing an integrated multi-project approach and a well-developed research program of innovative research. NIEHS and EPA consider community engagement to be a major goal of the program; as such, applications must include a Community Outreach and Translation Core.

The objectives are to (1) leverage and build upon the research findings and resources from epidemiological and clinical studies of pregnant women or parents and children; (2) enhance the application of novel findings and approaches in areas of basic or mechanistic research e.g., imaging, epigenetics, metabolomics, and comparative biology to developmental human studies; (3) develop, validate, discover and apply new or improved lifestage-specific biomarkers of exposure and early effect to elucidate complex relationships between environmental factors and health outcomes across the lifestages, environmental measurements (e.g., personal, indoors, outdoors, and understudied areas/regions where data on children's environments is limited), and exposure factors and models to best characterize exposure, cumulative impacts, effects modifiers and associated health effects, and to predict longer-term clinical/adverse consequences; (4) introduce new investigators to state-of-the-art tool and methodologies to address emerging issues in children's environmental health; and (5) ensure active participation of identified stakeholders and the broader community in the research process, and translation and application of research findings for disease prevention and health promotion.

 

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Mechanisms Mediating Osteoarthritis in Aging (R01)
National Institute on Aging/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is October 5, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases invite applications intended to encourage and accelerate the characterization of new or underutilized models and the testing of hypotheses that will lead to an improved understanding of the mechanisms mediating osteoarthritic progression. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

This FOA invites applications on research employing genetically defined and modified mouse models, other animal models such as dogs and monkeys or archived human joint tissues to explore the biological mechanisms underlying osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a significant problem in the elderly population, and a major contributor to mobility limitations that are endemic in this population and, therefore, is an important element in the research missions of NIA and NIAMS. Inflammatory processes are evident in advanced stages of osteoarthritis, and are likely to be major contributors to the chronic pain that is the most common symptom of the condition. However, for the purpose of this announcement, osteoarthritis is distinguished from other joint diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, in which inflammation arising from autoimmunity is the primary cause of tissue damage. The root causes of joint degeneration in osteoarthritis remain unclear.

Research efforts in the past have focused primarily on the more advanced stages of osteoarthritis, but relatively little is understood about the initial changes triggering disease etiology and early progression. Increasing knowledge of molecular mechanisms in cartilage and bone biology, along with availability of genetically manipulated mice, and the possibility of studies in other mammalian models of osteoarthritis have yielded new concepts and novel animal models that may be relevant to osteoarthritis in humans. Other models, where joint degeneration is studied, such as dogs and monkeys as well as archived human joint tissues may be useful in these studies. This FOA is intended to encourage and accelerate the characterization of new or underutilized models and the testing of hypotheses that will lead to an improved understanding of the mechanisms mediating osteoarthritic progression.

This program will support research exploring the biological mechanisms underlying non-inflammatory joint degeneration. Research supported by this initiative will identify specific genes, proteins, and biochemical pathways that contribute to the onset of joint degeneration. Information to be gained will include the timing and anatomical location of events that lead to joint degeneration, the functional characterization of proteins identified as causal factors, and the definition of pathways by which particular gene products contribute to joint degeneration. Objectives include: the characterization of new models; the development and testing of hypotheses that arise from the properties of new and existing models; the definition of functional roles for specific molecular entities identified as contributing to joint degeneration.

Other Information: See program opportunity for details on R21 and other mechanisms. 

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Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral Sciences, and Population Sciences Career Development Award (K07)
National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is October 12, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

National Cancer Institute (NCI) invites applications for the Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral Sciences, and Population Sciences Career Development Award. The award is intended to support the career development of junior investigators with research or health professional doctoral degrees who want to become cancer-focused academic researchers in cancer prevention, cancer control, or the behavioral or population sciences. This FOA will utilize the NIH Academic Career Award (K07) mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The objective of the Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral Sciences, and Population Sciences Career Development Award (K07) is to provide salary and research support for a sustained period of "protected time" (3-5 years) to junior investigators who are interested in developing academic and research expertise in cancer prevention, cancer control, or the behavioral or population sciences as related to cancer. Research, teaching, and leadership skills are to be learned during the tenure of the award. The expectation is that, through this sustained period of research career development and training under the guidance of an experienced mentor in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences, awardees will launch fully independent research careers and become competitive for new research project grant (e.g., R01) funding. Applications in basic cancer prevention sciences must include a plan to translate the results of the project into cancer prevention research using human subjects within the period of the K07 award.

For the purpose of this funding opportunity, cancer control research is defined as "basic and applied research in the behavioral sciences that independently or in combination with biomedical approaches reduces cancer risk, incidence, morbidity, and mortality across the lifespan and over the entire process of carcinogenesis from primary behavioral prevention in youth, to screening, treatment, and survivorship".

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Food Specific Molecular Profiles and Biomarkers of Food and Nutrient Intake, and Dietary Exposure (R01)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases/NIH/DHHS

Optional letters of intent are due 30 days prior to application due date.
Standard dates apply. Next deadline is January 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its participating Institutes and Centers, and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), invite applications for research on food specific molecular signatures and biomarkers of dietary consumption and to promote collaborative interactions among NIH and USDA supported nutrition researchers. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

NIH and USDA-NIFA jointly support this Funding Opportunity Announcement and encourage applications from well-qualified and experienced researchers, for addressing the specific gaps on food specific molecular signatures and biomarkers of food and nutrient intake, and dietary exposure over time. The FOA supports both animal and human studies as appropriate. Clinical studies that involve controlled feeding and short term bolus feeding studies involving limited human subjects are appropriate for this purpose. However, large interventional or observational clinical studies will not be supported through this FOA. Applicants may be able to take advantage of ongoing trials that may be able to accommodate some of the feeding studies as part of the larger trial or leverage an already available specimen resource, in responding to this FOA. Research approaches of interest for this FOA include but are not limited to:

--Identification and validation of food and nutrient specific metabolic signatures that correlate with nutrient quality and efficacy and nutrient consumption;

--Identification and validation of molecular signatures of dietary consumption of nutrients over time, including commonly used nutrient supplements, and energy supplements or beverages;

--Studies that explore the interaction/competition between various nutrients including natural products for their absorption, transport, metabolism and elimination;

--Studies that explore the interaction/competition between various nutrients and drugs for their absorption, transport, metabolism and elimination, dose response, bioavailability, toxicity, and ADME profiles;

--Studies that explore natural products/nutrients, microbiota interactions with host physiology and metabolism.

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Pain in Aging (R01)
National Institute on Aging/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply. October 5, 2014 is next deadline.

SYNOPSIS: 

NIH, NIAAA, NIDA and NCCAM invite applications from institutions/organizations that propose to study pain from an aging perspective, including studies of older populations, studies of age differences and age-related changes in pain processes and experiences, and studies of pain treatment and management in older adults. This FOA particularly encourages studies on 1) mechanisms and predictors of pain experience in aging, 2) development and evaluation of pain assessment tools for older adults or older model organisms, and 3) development and evaluation of pain management strategies in older adults, with particular attention to the challenges associated with treating pain in patients with multiple morbidities. Studies may address a variety of approaches and outcomes including biological (i.e., genetic, molecular, neurobiological), clinical, behavioral, psychological, and social factors. Both animal models (especially aged animals) and human subjects are appropriate for this FOA. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

This FOA encourages a broad range of applications examining the mechanisms and processes by which factors at all levels of analysis (from molecular to social/institutional) impact the experience, representation, processing, management, and treatment of pain in older adults. Both basic and translational research is encouraged under this FOA. Applications at a single level of analysis are welcomed (e.g. studies of neural circuitry for pain processing in aging), as are studies examining processes across levels of analysis. Studies focused on normal age differences and age-related changes in pain processes, as well as on age-related diseases or disorders, including pain in older adults with comorbid conditions or with Alzheimer's disease or other age-related dementias, are strongly encouraged. New pain assessment methods and management approaches targeting older adults are also encouraged. Both human and animal model studies are appropriate. This FOA encompasses the range of scientific approaches, including genetic, molecular, imaging, physiological, clinical, behavioral, social, psychological, comparative effectiveness research (CER), and epidemiological (including cross-national comparative) approaches.

An association between chronic pain conditions and alcohol dependence has been suggested in numerous studies with episodes of alcohol abuse antedating chronic pain in some and alcohol dependence emerging after the onset of chronic pain in others. However, the interaction between alcohol use and pain in older people has not been investigated. While acute alcohol may be analgesic, the long-term alcohol use in chronic pain conditions in older population may worsen pain and exacerbate associated anxiety and depressive-like conditions. The effects of chronic use of alcohol on neuroimmune systems may play a crucial role in determining the pain sensitivity and treatment outcome in elderly. NIAAA is interested in receiving applications addressing neuronal and glial mechanisms related to alcohol and chronic pain in older populations.

Other Information: See program opportunity for details on R21 and other mechanisms. 

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Small Business Innovation Research Program--Grant
National Human Genome Research Institute/NIH/DHHS

January 7, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) invites eligible United States small business concerns (SBCs) to submit Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I, Phase II, Fast-Track (NIH only), and Phase IIB Competing Renewal (NIH only) grant applications for human genomics research. United States SBCs that have the research capabilities and technological expertise to contribute to the R&D mission(s) of the NIH, CDC, FDA or ACF awarding components identified in this FOA are encouraged to submit SBIR grant applications in response to identified topics (see: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbirsttr1/2014-2_SBIR-STTR-topics.pdf). This FOA will utilize the NIH R43/R44 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant - Phase I, Phase II, and Fast-Track award mechanisms.

OBJECTIVES:

The SBIR program, as established by law, is intended to meet the following goals: stimulate technological innovation in the private sector; strengthen the role of small business in meeting Federal research or research and development (R/R&D) needs; increase the commercial application of Federally-supported research results; foster and encourage participation by socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned business concerns in the SBIR program; and improve the return on investment from Federally-funded research for economic and social benefits to the Nation. The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical/scientific merit and feasibility of the proposed R/R&D efforts. The objective of Phase II is to continue the research or R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. An objective of the SBIR program is to increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal R/R&D.

Research topics are: technology and methods development; bioinformatics; computational biology; genomic medicine; and ethical, legal and social implications. In addition to the specified research topics, grant applications will be considered in any area within the mission of the sponsor.

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Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Exploratory/Developmental Projects in Translational Research (R21)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH/DHHS

LOI (Optional) December 30, 2014
January 30, 2015

The sponsors invite applications for exploratory/developmental translational research on therapeutics for reducing mortality and morbidity caused by acute exposures to chemical threat agents. Chemical threats include chemical warfare nerve agents such as sarin and VX, toxic industrial chemicals such as cyanide and phosgene, and toxic agricultural chemicals such as parathion and sodium fluoroacetate. Projects supported by this FOA are expected to generate preliminary preclinical, screening and efficacy data that would enable the development of competitive applications for more extensive support from the NIH CounterACT program (see www.ninds.nih.gov/counteract for a description) and other related translational research programs.  This program will use the NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) grant mechanism.

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Analyses of Datasets on Older Populations with High Prevalence of Mobility Disability to Develop Clinically Meaningful Diagnostic Cut-Points for Low Muscle Mass and/or Low Muscle Strength (U01)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)

LOI due December 15, 2014
Full submission due January 15, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

This initiative invites applications for support of analyses of existing data (or data whose collection will be completed by one year from the date of this FOA) from older populations with high prevalence of mobility disability, low muscle mass, and low muscle strength (weakness).  Interventions targeted at low muscle mass and/or weakness may prevent or reduce mobility disability in some older persons.  To assess the efficacy of such interventions against mobility disability, there is a need to test them in persons in whom muscle mass and/or strength are (or will be) sufficiently low to be likely contributors to disability.  Thus there is a need for evidence-based diagnostic cut-points to define target populations for treatments.

Applications submitted in response to this FOA should support development and evaluation of diagnostic cut-points based on analyses of relations of mobility disability to muscle mass and strength.  These analyses should extend and expand upon analyses to date on this topic, which have identified and proposed cut-points for low muscle mass and weakness.  Studies supported through this FOA should clarify relations between muscle mass and strength, impaired physical function, and mobility disability, and their implications for setting diagnostic cut-points, through analyses of data from populations with substantially more individuals with mobility disability than were included in previous analyses.

Applicants are encouraged to consider combining datasets from multiple populations that contain information on all of the following: at least one objective measure of muscle mass at the same anatomic site(s) common to all included studies, at least one direct measure of muscle strength common to included data sets, gait speed, and self-reported mobility status in populations of older adults. Analyses of relations to other measures of strength, muscle power, and physical performance (e.g., Short Physical Performance Battery), and mobility disability are encouraged. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

NIA invites applications to conduct analyses of existing data (or ongoing data collection to be completed in one year from the date of publication of this FOA) from populations with high prevalence of mobility disability, and low muscle mass and strength, to generate and evaluate diagnostic criteria  or cut-points for low muscle mass and weakness.  Pooling data should be considered to increase power and strengthen study results.  The main goal is to develop and assess differing diagnostic cut-points with regard to properties such as sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value. 

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Home and Family Based Approaches for the Prevention or Management of Overweight or Obesity in Early Childhood (R01)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases/NIH/DHHS

October 5, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsors invite applications from institutions/organizations that propose randomized clinical trials testing novel home- or family-based interventions for the prevention or management of overweight in infancy and early childhood. Tested interventions can use behavioral (including dietary and physical activity), environmental, or other relevant approaches. Applications should focus on infants and young children (to age six years) and emphasize the role of home environment and the influence of family/extended family members and parents (including guardians/substantial care-providers) within the child's home environment. The direct goal of this initiative is to fund research that will advance knowledge for innovative approaches to the prevention or management of overweight in children less than 6 years of age, with potential for future translation to applications either in the home or linked to a community setting. Research should consider the familial mechanisms of behavior such as the role of families in the initiation, support, and reinforcement of fundamental food and beverage consumption, physical activity practices, and sedentary behaviors. In addition it is of interest to elucidate various underlying behavioral determinants that are crucial to initiate or sustain changes in behaviors that impact energy balance. Research designs may include linkages with other settings (e.g., daycare, pre-school, or other community venues) or other care providers (e.g., health care providers or teachers) but must include infants or children less than age six years as the primary study participant along with parents, and/or other family members residing with the child. The overarching goal is to identify interventions that influence parent and child behaviors that contribute to inappropriate weight gain, and thereby improve subsequent health status in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood for which overweight is a known risk factor. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

This FOA requests innovative applications for randomized controlled trials to test novel approaches for the prevention or management of overweight in infants and children (up to six years of age at the time of enrollment) in the context of the home environment, including parental/family involvement. Prevention and management are generally guided by levels of age-appropriate weight status based on the 2000 CDC weight-for-length or BMI-for-age growth charts for boys or girls. Primary prevention is the prevention of inappropriate weight gain in children currently at a healthy weight (BMI or weight-for-length below the eighty-fifth percentile). Secondary prevention is the prevention of inappropriate weight gain in youths currently at risk of overweight (BMI greater than or equal to the eighty-fifth percentile to less than the ninety-fifth percentile). Tertiary prevention in children already overweight (BMI greater than or equal to the ninety-fifth percentile) includes the prevention of further weight gain (i.e., weight maintenance) or the prevention of weight regain among those who have lost weight. Secondary and tertiary prevention are consistent with interventions for the management of overweight. Behavioral intervention approaches that include weight loss in overweight children are considered a part of overweight management and therefore, would be appropriate for this FOA. An Expert Committee has recommended that for primary care practice, in general weight maintenance should be the goal for children ages 2-5 years unless the BMI is greater than 21 kg/m2, in which case weight loss of up to 1 lb/mo may be acceptable; weight goals to improve BMI percentile in children less than 2 years of age were indicated as not applicable (Barlow, 2007). Intervention strategies for prevention or management must be assessed by the child's weight status as the primary outcome measure, based on the 2000 CDC BMI-for-age or weight-for-length growth charts for boys and girls (percentiles or corresponding z-scores). For this FOA, the home or primary physical residence of the child is the target site for intervention research that focuses on the role and mechanism of the parents, family, and/or the home environment in the initiation, support, and reinforcement of fundamental food and beverage consumption, physical activity practices, and sedentary behaviors, or other behavioral determinants associated with these practices. However, the "research" intervention (e.g. delivery of information) might occur elsewhere. "Parents" may be the biological or adoptive parent(s), legal guardian(s), or persons otherwise acting in the role as primary caregiver(s) of the child.

This initiative is predicated on the belief that within the home environment, parents of infants and young children can be taught to recognize children's weight status and can serve as highly influential role models for dietary and physical activity behaviors, as gatekeepers for foods and beverages that are brought into the home environment, and as regulators of portion size, of foods eaten away from home, and of screen time (e.g., television viewing, computer use, video games, etc.), free play time, and other sedentary and physical activity behaviors. Parents have the ability to influence the development of fundamental eating, physical activity, and other influential behaviors at an early age for their children and they have the ability to provide or withhold reinforcement for these behaviors. Additionally it is likely important that the rest of the family follows the principles of a healthy lifestyle so they can serve as capable teachers, facilitators, and role models. This FOA encourages creative ways to explore the potential of parents and other caregivers including in-home day-care providers and older siblings in the home, as conduits to reach children with appropriate energy balance messages and behaviors, modify the physical environment of the home to make it more conducive to energy balance, or otherwise have a positive impact on appropriate weight gain of young children through various mediating behavioral factors.

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Immune and Inflammatory Mechanisms in Alzheimer's Disease (R01)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)

LOI due on December 29, 2014
Full submission due January 29, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The goal of this FOA is to establish the role of the brain innate immune system, the systemic immune system, and the crosstalk and changes with age between the two in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease.  An interdisciplinary and integrative research approach to identify the cell networks and meditators of the brain and systemic immune and inflammatory systems is expected to give greater insight into the etiological mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's disease.  

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The goal of this FOA is to establish the immune and inflammatory mechanisms contributing to or mediating the development and progression of AD.  A comprehensive and integrative characterization of the brain innate immune system, its crosstalk with the systemic immune system, and its changes with age will help define the mechanisms underlying the shift from normal aging to pathological processes in the etiology of AD.  Such characterization should include studies on the genetic, epigenetic, molecular and cellular underpinnings of the physiological immune and inflammatory responses in AD. Development of cell or functional markers of, and tools to manipulate or track peripheral and CNS immune cells would help establish the role of distinct immune cells in AD. The contribution of aging processes in the brain (e.g. microglial senescence) and in peripheral immune/inflammatory networks (e.g. chronic low level inflammation) in the initiation and/or progression of AD should be considered.   Applicants to this FOA must emphasize the multidisciplinary and integrative research approaches taken to identify the cell networks, mediators and pathways of the brain and systemic immune and inflammatory systems that influence the development and progression of AD.

Areas of research interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Characterize in a systematic, integrative way the cell networks - monocytes, macrophages, microglia, astrocytes, neurons - and signaling factors that regulate brain immune/inflammatory function across the spectrum of AD.
  • Identify genetic, epigenetic and molecular pathways, including function of AD risk gene loci, mediating immune/inflammatory networks in AD.  Are pathway changes drivers of disease or in response to AD pathophysiology? 
  • Compare, in a limited manner, immune/inflammatory processes in AD with other age-related neurodegenerative diseases to identify AD-specific mechanisms.
  • Establish the crosstalk between systemic and brain immune systems - cells, intercellular activators and mediators, effector functions - in AD. Consider when and where crosstalk occurs.
  • Define the contribution of age-associated chronic inflammation, immune cell senescence, and/or immune system deficits as comorbidity factors in AD
  • Link peripheral immune cells or factors with brain pathology in AD to identify potential biomarkers and new drug targets for AD

 

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Implications of the Economic Downturn for Health, Wealth, and Work at Older Ages (R01)
National Institute on Aging/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is October 5, 2014

SYNOPSIS:

The sponsor invites applications for research on the implications of exogenous shocks, such as those produced by the recent economic downturn, for health, economic circumstances, and planning throughout the life-cycle. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:  

Evidence suggests that exposure to social, health, or economic "shocks" can have both short and long-term effects on well-being. The variety of shocks for which this appears to be the case -individual-specific (e.g., health, layoff, divorce, death) or more broadly-based (e.g., economic downturns, high unemployment rates, natural disasters, war) - suggests that adverse events can have profound effects on decision-making throughout the life-course, particularly with respect to retirement and health outcomes in later life. The recent economic downturn has drawn attention to possible long-term effects of a global economic shock (rapid and unanticipated loss of employment as well as housing and financial wealth) on individuals' perceptions, planning, behavior, and outcomes with respect to their health, well-being, and retirement decisions. Interest in this subject is heightened in light of the budgetary challenges facing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The potential long-term effects of the economic downturn on health, family, savings and employment choices are as yet unknown. Research is encouraged that explores the ways in which individuals have been affected by the recent financial crisis or comparable elements of past economic downturns. Beyond individual effects, the financial crisis has resulted in changes in living arrangements and household composition that may have long-term implications. The following topics are examples of relevant research areas only; applications are not limited to these areas: savings; consumption; wealth; labor force participation; health, cognition, and decision-making; caregiving arrangements; intergenerational transfers and households; risk, insurance and risk management; public finance implications; effects of recent policy changes; and international comparisons.

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Improvement of Animal Models for Stem Cell-Based Regenerative Medicine (R01)
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is October 5, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsors invite applications aimed at characterizing animal stem cells and improving existing, and creating new, animal models for human disease conditions. The intent of this initiative is to facilitate the use of stem cell-based therapies for regenerative medicine. The initiative focuses on the following areas: 1) comparative analysis of animal and human stem cells to provide information for selection of the most predictive and informative model systems; 2) development of new technologies for stem cell characterization and transplantation; and 3) improvement of animal disease models for stem cell-based therapeutic applications. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The research activities specific to each of the participating Institutes and Centers (ICs) are discussed below. While the objectives of the application must be in accord with the specific interests of the ICs listed below, applications submitted for funding consideration by ORIP may be of a more general nature and should involve activities that are relevant to the interests of two or more of any of the categorical NIH Institutes and Centers. Specific interests of the sponsoring Institutes and Centers are as follows:

Projects supported by ORIP under this FOA are intended to improve existing and create new animal models for regenerative medicine. Preference will be given to investigations that examine general principles involved in developing the most informative animal models for regenerative medicine, rather than focusing on a specific disease. However, investigations involving specific diseases can be used as proof of principle. In all cases, for funding consideration by ORIP, the potential results of investigations should be applicable to the interests of two or more of any of the categorical NIH ICs. Furthermore, investigations of a disease that predominantly relates to the interests of one NIH IC and peripherally relates to the interests of other NIH ICs are not appropriate for ORIP funding. The ultimate objective of these efforts should be to provide essential preclinical knowledge that can help inform future clinical investigations.

(NHLBI) is interested in the above listed research topics as applied to the following mission areas of the Institute: i) stem cell engineering and regeneration of complex heart, vascular, lung, and blood systems; ii) stem cell correction of either congenital or acquired heart, lung and blood defects, iii) stem cell regeneration/reconstruction of heart, lung, and blood tissue; and iv) optimization of the host's microenvironment to improve the survival and function of transplanted HUMAN heart, vascular, lung, and blood tissues, including but not limited to, in vivo models that aim to overcome immunological/ex vivo manipulation/tumorigenic safety concerns associated with FDA regulatory requirements. Preference will be given to in vivo models developed using NHLBI resources (e.g., Production Assistance for Cellular Therapies (PACT), Science Moving towArds Research Translation and Therapy (SMARTT), Gene Therapy Resource Program (GTRP). NHLBI has interest in the development of new in vivo models for health and disease, particularly large animal models such as sheep, pig, dog and non-human primates, to overcome the unique dynamics of heart, lung, and blood systems, which can be scientifically justified. New models should include in their research plan validation studies for the purpose of preclinical experiments that may lead to an Investigational New Drug (IND), Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) or similar regulatory approval. NHLBI does not have interest in applications proposing mechanistic studies on mouse models.

(NIDCR) will support projects which relate to the major mission of the institute, to improve oral, dental and craniofacial health through research, research training, and the dissemination of health information.

(NIDDK) is interested in applications conducting basic and translational research that will facilitate the use of stem cell-based therapies for diseases/conditions in the NIDDK mission, including: Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, endocrine and metabolic diseases, kidney and urologic diseases, hematologic diseases, and digestive diseases (including liver disease).

(NIGMS) welcomes projects that are relevant to the Institute's mission: basic scientific research that increases understanding of life processes and lays the foundation for more applied advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. NIGMS is interested in research on fundamental aspects of pluripotent stem cells, such as self-renewal, pluripotency, reprogramming, differentiation capability, and niche-stem cell interactions. Comparative studies between human and animal stem cells with respect to these properties would be appropriate, particularly those addressing mechanistic questions.

Other Information: See announcement for other mechanism (R21, R03) due dates. 

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Investigations on Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases (R01)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is October 5, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) invites applications for innovative investigations in primary immunodeficiency diseases. Of particular interest are the detection of primary immunodeficiency diseases, the identification of the molecular basis of these diseases, and the design and pre-clinical development of innovative therapies for these diseases. Clinical trials will not be supported by this FOA. Studies using samples obtained from humans and studies on animal models are encouraged. Investigators who have not received independent NIH funding in this field are encouraged to apply. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The primary objective of this FOA is to support innovative studies of primary immunodeficiency diseases with a focus on ex vivo studies with human specimens and on studies with existing or new animal models. A secondary objective is to expand the field by attracting investigators new to primary immunodeficiency diseases research. Investigators are expected to present preliminary data supporting their research plan and to demonstrate expertise in applying immunologic, genetic, biochemical and molecular biologic principles to primary immunodeficiency diseases research. Research areas supported by this FOA include, but are not limited to:

--Identifying the clinical, immunological, and molecular characteristics of primary immunodeficiency diseases, including disorders in which immunodeficiency is associated with hepatic, enteric, and other organ dysfunction;

--Identifying the molecular basis of primary immunodeficiency diseases, including disorders in which immunodeficiency results from abnormalities in hematopoietic stem cell development;

--Advancing our understanding of how a genetic variant results in immunodeficiency;

--Discovering/developing improved diagnostic/newborn screening tools for primary immunodeficiency diseases; and

--Discovering/developing animal models for primary immunodeficiency diseases, including models appropriate to test novel clinical strategies.

Other research areas supported by this FOA include studies aimed at discovering novel therapeutic approaches to primary immunodeficiency diseases.

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Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Testing of Multi-Level Interventions to Improve Blood Pressure Control in Racial/Ethnic Minority, Low Socioeconomic Status, and/or Rural Populations (UH2/UH3)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

January 2015 (estimated)

SYNOPSIS: 

The NHLBI, NINDS, and other NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) intend to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications to fund up to two new patient-centered comparative effectiveness clinical trials.  This initiative is supported by the Hypertension Disparities Reduction Program Partnership, a research partnership between NHLBI, NINDS, and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), with funds provided by PCORI to the NIH. The purpose of this new FOA is to compare alternative, evidence-based approaches to reduce inadequate control of hypertension among high risk populations, including racial/ethnic minority groups, patients with low socioeconomic status (SES), and individuals residing in rural geographical areas with an above average lifetime risk of CVD. For the purposes of this FOA, high risk populations are those with an elevated risk of fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease outcomes and for whom it has been challenging to achieve a high rate (> 75%) of blood pressure control.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects.  

The FOA is expected to be published in November 2014 with an estimated application due date in January 2015.

 

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RFA-OD-11-002--Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (K12)
Office of Research on Women's Health/NIH/DHHS

LOI due December 5, 2014 (optional)
Full submission due January 5, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its participating Institutes and Centers invite applications for institutional career development award applications for Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) Career Development Programs, hereafter termed "Programs." Programs will support mentored research career development of junior faculty members, known as BIRCWH Scholars, who have recently completed clinical training or postdoctoral fellowships, and who will be engaged in interdisciplinary basic, translational, behavioral, clinical, and/or health services research relevant to women's health, and where appropriate the use of both sexes to better understand the influence of sex as a variable on health and disease. This FOA will utilize the NIH K12 Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

This FOA encourages applications from organizations that propose creative and innovative institutional research career development programs in the mission area(s) of the NIH. The goals of this initiative are to increase the number and skills of investigators through a mentored research and career development experience leading to an independent scientific career that will benefit the health of women; advance research on sex/gender influences on health; and encourage interdisciplinary research methodology. In this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), the interdisciplinary team approach is applied to the study of women's health across the lifespan, bridging basic and clinical science and incorporating new models of collaboration and institutional support. Proposed Programs must ensure the integration of interdisciplinary mentoring teams. Research supported under this FOA needs to incorporate the goals and objectives of the NIH Strategic Plan for Women's Health Research; institutions should be able to show that the major focus of the research training is focused on women's health or the influence of sex and gender on health and disease.

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The Midlife in the United States Study (U19)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)

LOI due December 25, 2014
Standard dates apply. Next deadline is January 25, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The purpose of this FOA is to solicit an application for the next 5-year cycle of the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) Study, a National Longitudinal Study of Health and Well-being.  The goals of this next phase are to complete the third wave of longitudinal data collection and enhance content in the area of daily stress; complete the second wave of data collection of clinical biomarkers and affective neuroscience assessments; continue innovative sub-studies such as how psychosocial influences affect gene expression and novel methods to track and reinstate non-responders; connect these content areas through innovative analyses to data on health, functioning, personality, cognitive status, affective functioning, economic well-being, social relationships, and well-being; and maintain and enhance data distribution and user support. A central goal of the MIDUS study is to support data dissemination, user support of public use files, and encourage data use broadly by the scientific community. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Harnessing the data potential in MIDUS for research that contributes in novel ways to the field of aging is critical to the continuation of the MIDUS project.  The NIA is particularly interested in promoting areas of science prioritized by the NIA Division of Behavioral and Social Research described here: http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dbsr. Such areas include, but are not limited to: (1) the elucidation and examination of integrative pathways linking behavioral and psychosocial factors with biological mechanisms to map life course trajectories of health and illness; (2) research that illuminates mechanisms and pathways linking early life adversity to later life health;  and (3) research that provides insights into the potential mechanisms through which risk factors can be reversed, including risk factors linked to early adversity and risk factors that perpetuate health disparities.

The objectives for the next 5-year cycle of MIDUS are listed below.  Applicants are not expected to address all the research objectives; if all research objectives are addressed, applicants are not expected to address them evenly.  Applicants are encouraged to balance among these and justify their priorities and focus.

  • Offer insights into the mechanistic pathways through which social, psychological, economic, and behavioral factors affect health in middle-aged and older adults, and shed new light on which pathways may be most amenable to change.
  • Repeat and enhance the assessment of biomeasures currently collected, including the addition of new biomarkers (such as venous blood) and/or performance indicators, to improve nationally-representative research on longitudinal change in existing measures, to understand how such changes relate to other life circumstances and psychosocial characteristics measured in MIDUS, and to elucidate more precisely the biological pathways through which psychosocial influences impact trajectories of aging.
  • Enhance the assessment of psychosocial factors, such as daily stress and well-being, to improve nationally-representative research on the complex interactions between individual psychosocial characteristics and cognition, health, and socioeconomic outcomes in mid and later life.
  • Enhance approaches to assessment of biological risk and resilience, including characterization of multi-system physiological dysregulation; examine associations of these risk and resilience markers with psychosocial and economic factors; and incorporate these assessments to elucidate pathways predicting later life cognition, health, disease, and disability and mortality.
  • Foster innovation in statistical approaches to modeling longitudinal and cross-project data on health, cognition, daily stress processes, economic and subjective well-being, multi-system physiological dysregulation, behavioral and psychological phenotypes, and social and economic conditions, to shed light on pathways of health and illness in mid and later life.
  • Enhance linkages of psychophysiological and neuroscience assessments of affective function -including emotional reactivity, recovery, and regulation - with measures of stress processes, cognitive function, biomarkers, and psychosocial assessments, to elucidate the neurobiological pathways linking behavioral and psychosocial factors to life course trajectories of health and illness.
  • Enhance retention of at-risk and minority participants in MIDUS, including prior respondents lost to follow-up, to enhance the potential for study of risk and resiliency among individuals in the most vulnerable segments of our society.
  • Enhance genetic and genomic research in the MIDUS sample, including integration of new methods and technologies, greater utilization of the sibling and twin data for studies of genetic and environmental influences on trajectories of aging, studies of psychosocial (both risk and protective) influences on gene expression, and genome-wide genotyping.
  • Examine the behavioral, psychological and biological pathways whereby daily stress processes impact health and function in midlife and aging, and the ways in which short term fluctuations in stress processes may mediate longer term processes.
  • Enhance cross-project participation, retention and data quality across the full range of MIDUS subprojects.
  • Propose maintenance and innovation in data dissemination, user support of public use files, and encourage data use broadly by the scientific community, and extend harmonization efforts with internationally comparable surveys of population aging. 

Applicants should provide a multidisciplinary organization and management structure appropriate for a mature yet constantly innovating study. 

 

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Aging and Neuromuscular Junctions (R01)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)

LOI due December 29, 2014
Full submission due January 29, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The purpose of this FOA is to encourage cross-disciplinary research to investigate the mechanisms underlying age-related declines in neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) as a functional unit of nerve and muscle, and explore potential avenues for maintaining the NMJs during aging or reversing the age-dependent loss in function of the NMJs using model organisms. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

A key goal of the FOA is to assemble cross disciplinary research teams to investigate the age-related decline in NMJs as a functional unit of nerve and muscle, and explore potential avenues for maintaining the NMJs during aging or reversing the age dependent loss in function of the NMJs using model organisms. 

For this FOA, applications are solicited to support research on the neuromuscular junction as a functional unit of nerve and muscle and, in particular, in the context of age-related changes.  Applications proposing to study NMJs in the absence of an aging component will be deemed non-responsive to the FOA and will not proceed to review. Similarly, applications proposing clinical and/or purely descriptive work, or with a primary focus on motor neuron decline in the brain will be considered non-responsive.   Applications focused on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or other motor neuron diseases will only be considered responsive if the focus is on cross-talk between nerve and muscle at peripheral neuromuscular junctions.  Investigators are strongly encouraged to use animal models (vertebrate or invertebrates) of appropriate ages for the proposed studies.  If appropriate, applicants are encouraged to take advantage of the NIA aged rodent colonies (http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dab/aged-rodent-colonies-handbook/available-strains).

Questions that are considered responsive to this FOA include, but are not limited to the following:

Mechanisms underlying age-related changes in NMJ:

  • What are the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the age-related changes in nerve/muscle-interdependence?;
  • Do genes or molecules involved in motor neuron degeneration affect NMJ and related muscle function in aging and if so, how?
  • Do synaptic molecules initiate or sustain deleterious changes in nerve/muscle interactions in aging and if so, how?;
  • What factors are secreted by muscles or nerves that positively or negatively affect age-related changes in the neuromuscular junction and what are the mechanisms of action?;
  • What contributes to the differential declines of different muscle groups and the associated NMJs in aging

Preventing or reversing age-related impairment in NMJ:

  • Why do repair and remodeling of the NMJ become inefficient with aging and what factors are responsible?;
  • What are the molecular mechanisms by which exercise, caloric restrictions or other interventions that delay aging change the susceptibility to neuromuscular damage?;
  • What are the systemic factors that may rejuvenate NMJs and/or delay deleterious effects to functional NMJs in aged animal model?;
  • Are there protective innate factors that prevent degeneration of NMJs and/or other associated functions in aged animal models?

Impact of age-related changes in other tissues on NMJ:

  • What role, if any, do pericytes have on NMJ "stability" during aging?;
  • Is there a link between age-related dysfunction in the NMJ and loss of function of satellite cells in the muscle?;
  • How do changes in immune/inflammatory or extracellular matrix signals contribute to age-related dysfunction in the NMJ?

Potential applicants are also strongly encouraged to consult the Scientific/Research Contacts to determine whether an intended project would be responsive to the FOA prior to the submission.  

 

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Interdisciplinary Research to Understand the Vascular Contributions to Alzheimer's Disease (R01)
National Institute on Aging/NIH/DHHS

LOI due January 3, 2015
Full submission due February 3, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The goal of this funding opportunity announcement is to support interdisciplinary research that will lead to a greater understanding of the mechanisms by which vascular factors contribute to the complex etiology of Alzheimer's disease. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The development of effective biological markers and interventions to prevent or delay the onset of AD is critically dependent on gaining an in-depth understanding of how multiple etiologies and prodromal phenotypes lead to neurodegenerative changes that result in cognitive decline and dementia. The goal of this funding opportunity is to enable greater understanding of the mechanisms by which vascular factors contribute to the complex etiology and heterogeneity of Alzheimer's and related dementias.  To this end, the funding opportunity encourages cross-disciplinary, integrative and systems-based approaches focused on but not limited to:

  • Aging and disease-driven changes in the structure and function of brain microvasculature and other components of the neurovascular unit and the impact of these changes on synaptic and neuronal function.
  • Mechanisms by which AD risk and protective factors (genetic and environmental) influence brain microvascular plasticity and the integrity of the neurovascular unit across the lifespan.  Of particular interest is the role of epigenetic regulators as mediators of environmental influences on microvascular integrity.
  • Mechanistic interplay between systemic vascular and metabolic risk factors and their impact on age-related cognitive decline, AD and related dementias.
  • Determinants of region-specific microvascular vulnerability/resilience in the aging brain and critical windows of microvascular vulnerability across the lifespan.
  • Relationship between microvascular plasticity and neuronal processes critical for the maintenance of cognitive function (i.e. bioenergetics, myelin integrity, axonal transport, proteostasis, network connectivity).
  • Gender specific mechanisms mediating the impact of vascular factors on the transition between normal and pathologic aging in AD and related dementias.
  • Isoform-specific effects of ApoE on mediating the impact of AD risk and protective factors on microvasculature and on the transition between normal and pathologic aging in dementia.
  • Factors and mechanisms leading to the development of small vessel disease (infarcts,silent infarcts, cerebrovascular amyloid angiopathy, disordered autoregulation and neurovascular coupling) as well as mechanisms mediating the effects of small vessel disease on neuronal and neurovascular function.
  • Mechanisms by which cerebral infarction in gray and white matter contributes to the progression of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
  • Discovery of peripheral markers of vascular risk and/or cerebrovascular disease which alone or in combination with genetic, neuroimaging and other CNS biomarkers can predict the onset of clinical symptoms, disease progression and/or responsiveness to treatment in diverse populations.

This FOA encourages collaborations among experts in physiology, systems biology, neuroimaging, metabolomics and other "omics", lipid metabolism, inflammation, epidemiology, genetics, and epigenetics,  from the fields of Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.  Applicants are expected to leverage existing data or to generate new data in relevant human populations and integrate these with the use of animal models through the application of cutting edge research and analytical tools.  The use of animal models is encouraged but not required.  Applications relying solely on cell and animal models will be considered non-responsive and will not proceed to review.

 

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Molecular and Cellular Substrates of Complex Brain Disorders (R01)
National Institute of Mental Health/NIH/DHHS

October 5, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsor invites applications directed toward the discovery of the impact of alterations associated with complex brain disorders on the fundamental cellular and molecular substrates of neuronal function. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

This FOA encourages research grant applications that seek to identify the most promising and innovative leads at the interface between cellular and molecular mechanisms and disease-associated processes, with the goal of accelerating progress in emerging areas of research relevant to complex brain disorders. Applications in response to this FOA can be fundamentally discovery based rather than hypothesis driven, and should seek to develop a better understanding of the molecular and cellular changes in neurons and their signaling mechanisms potentially associated with disease. Applications aimed at the molecules and cellular mechanisms associated with these brain disorders may include studies of perturbations in neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, bioactive lipids, neuromodulators, and neurotrophins; receptors and ion channels; second and third messenger systems; protein translation, modification, degradation; membrane biology; bioenergetics; neuron-glia communication; oxidative, immunological, and inflammatory mechanisms; and alterations in spine morphology and/or synaptic connectivity. NIAAA is interested in how ethanol perturbs cellular and molecular processes in the brain and encourages hypothesis-generating discovery based approaches. 

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Pre-Symptomatic Profiles of Chronic Lung Disease(s) from Retrospective Cohorts (R21)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

LOI due December 21, 2014
Full submission due January 21, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Research applications are requested that stimulate focused secondary analyses of existing clinical research datasets to test innovative hypotheses about the epidemiology of incident chronic lung disease(s).  Novel analyses of existing data will generate clinical and/or biological phenotypes of the pre-symptomatic stages of chronic lung disease(s) and serve as preliminary data for subsequent research applications on primary prevention.  

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

NHLBI seeks research applications that stimulate focused secondary analyses of existing clinical research datasets to test innovative hypotheses about the epidemiology of incident chronic lung disease(s).  Novel analyses of existing data will generate clinical and/or biological phenotypes of the pre-symptomatic stages of chronic lung disease(s) and serve as preliminary data for subsequent research applications on primary prevention.

Chronic lung diseases (CLD) are the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. NHLBI supports clinical research on the diagnosis and management of already established CLD, however, clinical research is also needed to prevent incident disease. One step necessary to develop primary prevention interventions is to clarify what defines disease onset and/or the pre-symptomatic stages of disease in order to identify critical windows for primary intervention. Identification of risk factors for CLD also informs risk stratification of populations for targeted primary prevention strategies to be tested. Research on pre-symptomatic features of cardiovascular disease has resulted in impactful intervention strategies, and contributed to a reduction of incident cases and mortality from myocardial infarction (MI). Case definitions of incident CLD have limitations because, unlike MI, discrete events rarely define chronic lung disease. The initiation of CLD processes has been difficult to discern. Lung development and growth may be normal early in life, but at some point in the life course of individuals destined to develop chronic disease, the lung will take on characteristics that are "abnormal" compared to a healthy population. Clinical and molecular advances now allow for the collection of multiple types of data that can inform the trajectory of disease processes and/or age-related changes. For example, the use of computed tomography (CT) imaging creates an opportunity for early detection of subclinical chronic lung diseases. However, whether a CT abnormality represents a marker of aging, "disease", or a high risk population is not clear. Examples of this challenge are the findings of "pulmonary hypertension" changes in "asymptomatic" elderly lung donors and "wheezing" in preschool children, some of whom ultimately develop asthma, while others do not.  

Novel CLD research is needed, leveraging longitudinal cohorts, that generates: 1) clinical, physiologic, biological, and/or genomic data, 2) outcomes that can define chronic lung disease(s), and 3) innovative analysis plans that will identify novel profiles of the pre-symptomatic stages of incident disease that can inform future primary prevention intervention studies. An alternative or additional research outcome is to investigate age-related phenomena that are not disease-defining.

Examples where analyses using existing datasets might be proposed under this program include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What are the clinical laboratory abnormalities/thresholds that precede and predict smoking and non-smoking exposed chronic obstructive lung disease and discriminate preclinical stages of CLD from asymptomatic, "healthy" controls (the "cholesterol of COPD")?
  • What are metrics of pulmonary perfusion and pulmonary vascular structures that discriminate individuals who develop pulmonary hypertension from those that do not in a high risk population (sickle cell, scleroderma)?
  • What are the metabolites in serum and urine from premature infants that predict those who will develop severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or pulmonary hypertension?
  • What is the relationship between maternal and/or infant gut microbiome and asthma outcomes at 5-6 years?
  • What is the prognostic importance of maximally attained lung function and rate of decline of lung function to incident COPD?

 

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RFA-ES-14-010--Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research (P50)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/NIH/DHHS

Optional letters of intent are due December 13, 2014
Full submission due January 13, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its participating Institutes and Centers and invite applications for National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) invite applications for Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research to stimulate basic and applied research on environmental health disparities. The proposed research is expected to develop innovative approaches to understand environmentally-driven health disparities and improve access to healthy environments for vulnerable populations and communities. The proposed Centers are expected to support research efforts, mentoring, research translation and information dissemination. This FOA will use the NIH P50 Specialized Centers award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

A Center of Excellence (COE) on Environmental Health Disparities Research should propose to conduct original, innovative, multi- and trans-disciplinary research to advance understanding, mitigation and prevention of environmentally driven health disparities and to improve access to healthy and sustainable environments for vulnerable populations. This includes investigations of diseases or conditions of major public health importance with a known environmental component such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, infant mortality, and obesity. Research associated with ongoing/cumulative environmental exposures is also encouraged when significant or disproportionate disparities for racial and ethnic populations, low income populations, specific life stages, and medically underserved populations are known to exist. Longitudinal research or retrospective studies are encouraged to answer research questions that go beyond findings of current cross-sectional studies. Additionally, research studies exploring multiple factors that cut across a single or multiple diseases or conditions are of interest, and translational research is strongly encouraged.

Identified research priorities and approaches are categorized below into five research topics. Applications should propose innovative research that addresses one or more of the Research Priority Areas below:

Research Priority Area 1--Cumulative Effects of Multi Environmental, Physical, and Social Stressors: How do the cumulative effects of exposures to multiple environmental chemical contaminants combine with the effects of social stressors to affect health? What is the role of genetics and epigenetics in relation to environmental exposures and social stressors? What multidisciplinary approaches or methods would best characterize these combined effects or interactions?

Research Priority Area 2--Differential Exposures: How are different socioeconomic groups exposed differentially to environmental hazards and contaminants and what are the drivers for such exposures scenarios? How does differential exposure information increase our understanding of environmental contributions to disproportionate impacts on health?

Research Priority Area 3--Land Use Considerations and Health Disparities: How do different land uses and land use decision-making processes contribute to environmental health disparities? What are the impacts of resource extraction on environmental health disparities? What approaches could communities take to reduce or prevent impacts from land use that lead to environmental health disparities?

Research Priority Area 4--Built Environment, Housing and Transportation: How does proximity to transportation infrastructure affect the levels and types of exposures? How does poverty contribute to indoor and outdoor air pollution in residential settings?

Research Priority Area 5--Environmental Sustainability and Health Disparities: How do sustainable approaches reduce disproportionate health burdens and build community resilience? How will improvements in environmental health literacy enable sustainable lifestyle and community levels changes to improve health?

To be eligible for EPA funding consideration, a project's focus must consist of activities within the statutory terms of EPA's financial assistance authorities. Generally, a project must address the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of air pollution, water pollution, solid/hazardous waste pollution, toxic substances control, or pesticide control. These activities should relate to the gathering or transferring of information or advancing the state of knowledge. Applications should emphasize this "learning" concept, as opposed to "fixing" an environmental problem via a well-established method. Applications relating to other topics which are sometimes included within the term "environment" such as recreation, conservation, restoration, protection of wildlife habitats, etc., must describe the relationship of these topics to the statutorily required purpose of pollution prevention and/or control.

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RFA-MD-15-002--NIMHD Academic Research Enhancement Award: Enhancing Health Disparities Research at Undergraduate Institutions (R15)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities/NIH/DHHS

Optional letters of intent are due December 12, 2014
Full submission due January 12, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) invites applications to apply for support through the NIH Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA) program to submit applications for innovative research projects focused on minority health and health disparities. Awards are intended to support small-scale projects proposed by faculty members at eligible institutions to expose students to meritorious research and to strengthen the research environment of participating institutions. This initiative also seeks to stimulate interest in health disparities research careers among undergraduate students through hands-on participation in original research. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The AREA program supports research in educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees for a significant number of the Nation's research scientists but are not major recipients of NIH support. This initiative is intended to enable qualified scientists at eligible institutions to receive support for research projects that align with the mission and scientific interests of the NIMHD. Awards will also provide an opportunity for NIMHD to leverage its investments in research infrastructure and capacity building at many of the AREA-eligible institutions that have participated in the NIMHD Building Research Infrastructure and Capacity (BRIC) program and its precursor, the Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) program. However, it is not necessary for institutions to be BRIC/RIMI awardees in order to apply to this FOA.

It is anticipated that investigators supported under this program will benefit from the opportunity to conduct independent research; that the grantee institution will benefit from a research environment strengthened through AREA grants and furthered by participation in NIMHD's extramural research programs; and that students at recipient institutions will benefit from exposure to and participation in scientific research focused on minority health and health disparities.

NIMHD awards research project grants in two broad areas: (1) Basic and Applied Biomedical Research; and (2) Social, Behavioral, Health Services, and Policy Research. For both areas, projects must include a focus on one or more health disparity populations, which include Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, and rural populations. This focus can be on health disparity populations as a whole, a single health disparity population, or a subgroup within a health disparity population. Studies that utilize model or in vitro systems should examine risk or protective factors that underlie observed differences in health outcomes between health disparity populations and the general population.

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RFA-MD-15-003--Technologies for Improving Minority Health and Eliminating Health Disparities (R41/R42)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities/NIH/DHHS

LOI due on December 23, 2014 (optional)
Full submission due January 23, 2015 by 5:00 pm (local time)

SYNOPSIS:

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) invites eligible United States small business concerns (SBCs) to submit Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant applications that propose to develop a product, process or service for commercialization with the aim of reducing disparities in healthcare access and health outcomes. Appropriate technologies should be effective, affordable, culturally acceptable, and deliverable to racial/ethnic minorities, low-income and rural populations. This FOA will utilize the R41/R42 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant - Phase I, Phase II, and Fast-Track applications.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to stimulate a partnership of ideas and technologies between innovative small business concerns (SBCs) and non-profit research institutions resulting in improving minority health and the reduction of health disparities by commercializing innovative technologies. Healthy People 2020 defines a health disparity as a particular type of health difference in the incidence, prevalence, morbidity, and burden of diseases and other adverse health outcomes that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. NIH defined health disparity population groups include racial/ethnic minorities (African Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other U.S. Pacific Islanders), socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals, and individuals residing in rural areas. Appropriate technologies must be effective, affordable, culturally acceptable, and easily accessible to those who need them. This announcement is expected to reduce health disparities within and across the priority areas of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, infant mortality, mental health, and obesity, as well as lung, liver, and kidney diseases, psoriasis, scleroderma, and other diseases, illnesses, and conditions of public health importance.

Technologies to be developed may be new and innovative or they may arise from existing technologies that have been redesigned based on the needs of one or more health disparity populations. Appropriate technologies are defined as effective, affordable, culturally acceptable, and deliverable to those who need them. To be effective, a technology must provide an improvement over current quality of care for a health disparity population by overcoming one or more of the barriers. These include:

--Physical Barriers - factors such as proximity to healthcare facilities and transportation may limit access to healthcare.

--Knowledge Barriers - health literacy and language barriers can inhibit healthcare delivery, as well as a lack of patient information for the healthcare provider.

--Infrastructure Barriers - rural hospitals and community health centers may not have the same resources and expertise of large hospitals, and may not be able to afford advanced medical technologies.

--Economic Barriers - lack of insurance coverage or financial resources may also contribute to disparities in healthcare access.

--Cultural Barriers - religious beliefs and social customs often deter certain populations from seeking healthcare.

The technology must also be affordable to the local hospital, community health center, primary care physician, or individual patient in need. The development of a technology must be amenable to the population's cultural beliefs and social customs. This is critical to the successful delivery of quality healthcare.

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RFA-MD-15-004--Innovations for Healthy Living - Improving Minority Health and Eliminating Health Disparities (R43)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities/NIH/DHHS

LOI due December 27, 2014 (optional)
Full submission due January 27, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) invites eligible United States small business concerns (SBCs) to submitSmall Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications that propose to develop a product, process or service for commercialization with the aim of reducing disparities in healthcare access and health outcomes. Appropriate technologies should be effective, affordable, culturally acceptable, and deliverable to racial/ethnic minorities, low-income and rural populations. This FOA will utilize the R43 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant - Phase I only.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to engage small business concerns (SBC) in developing technologies and products that engage, empower, and motivate individuals and communities, including providers and healthcare institutions, in sustainable health promoting activities and interventions that lead to improved health, healthcare delivery, and the elimination of health disparities. Healthy People 2020 defines a health disparity as a particular type of health difference in the incidence, prevalence, morbidity, and burden of diseases and other adverse health outcomes that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. NIH defined health disparity population groups include racial/ethnic minorities (African Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other U.S. Pacific Islanders), socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals, and individuals residing in rural areas. Appropriate technologies must be effective, affordable, culturally acceptable, and easily accessible to those who need them. This announcement is expected to reduce health disparities within and across the priority areas of cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, infant mortality, mental health, and obesity, as well as lung, liver, and kidney diseases, psoriasis, scleroderma, and other diseases, illnesses, and conditions of public health importance.

Technologies to be developed may be new and innovative or they may arise from existing technologies that by redesign create increased and more attractive opportunities for health disparity populations to experience better health, improve their current health, and to maintain a long and healthy lifestyle. Empowering technologies are attractive, accessible easy to use, adoptable, and sustainable. To be effective, a technology must provide users improvements in health status and well-being relative to their current health status and well-being. The technology should be reliable, robust, and have reproducible outcomes. Ideally, the proposed technology should improve health through increased opportunities for enhanced access to:

--Healthcare institutions and providers, including those in geographically remote or physically difficult to access locations;

--New or increased patient populations especially, those located in geographically remote or physically difficult to access locations;

--Medical and health knowledge through increased opportunities for individuals with limited English proficiency or low health or media literacy;

--Diverse providers, including specialists, appropriately resourced small or large centers with access to advanced medical technologies;

--Expanded adequate financial resources including free and/or affordable and sustainable insurance coverage;

--Healthcare delivered in culturally and acceptable and respectful manners and in safe environments; and

--Quality healthcare appropriately priced for diverse providers, hospitals, and patients.

Technologies that might achieve the objectives of this initiative include but are not limited to:

--Innovative products or services that facilitate or enhance care coordination between primary care providers, hospital emergency department staff, specialty physicians, nurse practitioners, providers of mental health and behavioral health services, patient navigators, etc., in medically underserved communities and regions.

--Culturally attuned behavioral interventions or low-cost tools and technologies (e.g. software apps for mobile devices) that empower and promote opportunities for individuals and communities to engage in health-seeking behaviors (diet choice, exercise/physical activity, oral hygiene, medication adherence, child immunizations, etc.) and to avoid risky behaviors (smoking, alcohol/drug misuse, unsafe sex, etc.)

--Tools, technologies, and methods for detecting, measuring, and assessing a broad array of unhealthy social and environmental exposures (stress, pollutants, allergens, noise, crime, etc.), and for characterizing cumulative exposures to these environments (exposomes) for individuals and communities and linking this information to physiological responses and health indicators at the individual and population levels. These technologies may include efforts to improve data collection and data integration across disparate data sources, including clinical patient data, public health data, census data, housing data, employment data, crime statistics, etc.

--Products or services that expand opportunities to access and utilize high-quality prenatal care and thereby reduce the frequency of high-risk pregnancies in health disparities populations.

--Products or services that engage, empower, and motivate individuals and communities to enhance the quality of life and reduce health disparities among people with disabilities.

--Culturally appropriate survey instruments, tools, modules and databases to promote community-based research engaging racial/ethnic minorities, rural and other medically underserved communities.

--Culturally appropriate, evidence-based health empowering promotion and disease prevention educational media such as software, informational videos, printed materials for health disparities populations and disadvantaged communities.

--Innovative software, tools and technology for Science and Health Education such as curriculum materials, interactive teaching aids, models for classroom instruction for K-12 and undergraduate students and the general public.

--Mobile health (mHealth) and telehealth/telemedicine technologies and apps for communication, diagnosis, monitoring, evaluation, medical management, tracking and treatment in underserved community settings and rural and remote locations.

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Development of Mathematical Cognition and Reasoning and the Prevention of Math Learning Disabilities (R21)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is October 16, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) invites applications for innovative, multidisciplinary research on the cognitive, neuroplasticity, genetic and environmental factors involved in math learning and learning disabilities. This research will advance our knowledge of the factors that contribute to the development, advancement, and impairment of mathematical cognition, including the ability to apprehend and reason about magnitude, number, temporal and spatial relationships, and concomitantly provide the evidence base to inform the design of effective (i.e., efficacious in "real world" contexts) interventions for the remediation and/or prevention of mathematical learning disabilities (MLD). This FOA will use the NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) grant mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The overall objectives of this FOA include:

1) identify the critical (necessary and sufficient) biological, cognitive, and behavioral components and dynamic developmental sequence, including sensitive periods, necessary for the normal development of mathematical cognitive abilities and reasoning in animal models, studies of comparative cognitive neurobiology, and in children and young adults (e.g., counting, arithmetic, geometry, algebra), including early and normative milestones in children;

2) identify the biological, cognitive, environmental, and behavioral factors that contribute to and/or restrict the developmental plasticity of mathematical cognitive abilities in animal models, studies of comparative cognitive neurobiology, and in children, and may be used to improve prevention, identification, and classification of children with MLD (including theoretically-grounded approaches to identification and classification).

3) develop and test well-defined, evidence-based prevention interventions for populations at high risk for mathematics learning disability such as children raised in poverty, and those with predisposing genetic or medical conditions (e.g., velocardiofacial syndrome, deafness, and iatrogenic conditions such as chemotherapy-associated math learning deficits), where the intervention's effectiveness can be shown to be both sustainable and generalizable;

4) develop and test well-defined, evidence-based remediating or treatment interventions, the effectiveness of which can be shown to be both sustainable and generalizable.

Such foundational knowledge should ultimately improve math instruction for all children, including those who struggle with math facts, concepts, application, and achievement. Promoting better math reasoning and mathematical ability in the American population is likely to have significant impacts on the health, academic and career achievement, and economic wellbeing of its citizens, as well as enable a competitive STEM workforce.

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Healthy Habits: Timing for Developing Sustainable Healthy Behaviors in Children and Adolescents (R03)
National Institute of Nursing Research/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is September 7, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsors invite applications that employ innovative research to identify mechanisms of influence and/or promote positive sustainable health behavior(s) in children and youth (birth to age 18). Positive health behaviors may include: developing healthy sleep patterns, developing effective self-regulation strategies, adaptive decision-making in risk situations, practicing proper dental hygiene, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, engaging in age-appropriate physical activity and/or participating in healthy relationships. Applications to promote positive health behavior(s) should target social and cultural factors, including, but not limited to: schools, families, communities, population, food industry, age-appropriate learning tools and games, social media, social networking, technology and mass media. Topics to be addressed in this announcement include: effective, sustainable processes for influencing young people to make healthy behavior choices; identification of the appropriate stage of influence for learning sustainable lifelong health behaviors; the role of technology and new media in promoting healthy behavior; identification of factors that support healthy behavior development in vulnerable populations, identification of barriers to healthy behaviors; and, identification of mechanisms and mediators that are common to the development of a range of habitual health behaviors. Given the many factors involved in developing sustainable health behaviors, applications from multidisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged. The ultimate goal of this FOA is to promote research that identifies and enhances processes that promote sustainable positive behavior or changes social and cultural norms that influence health and future health behaviors. This program will use the NIH Small Research Grant (R03) award mechanism.

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Brain Somatic Mosaicism and its Role in Psychiatric Disorders (Collaborative U01)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

LOI due 30 days prior to application due date
Full submission due February 24, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) invites Cooperative Agreement (U01) applications from multi-disciplinary and synergistic teams of investigators proposing to identify and characterize the full spectrum of somatic variation in human brain samples and to assess the relationship of such variation with the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders.  This FOA seeks to support applications exploring the extent of somatic variations across different brain regions in one or more psychiatric disorders using state-of-the-art genomic, computational, single-cell and other relevant approaches.  Awards made under this FOA and the companion FOA (PAR-14-173) will be governed by a Brain Somatic Mosaicism (BSM) Network Steering Committee to accelerate scientific progress through the coordination of research strategies, analytical methods and data.  The ultimate goal of this FOA and the companion FOA (PAR-14-173) is to address gaps in our understanding of the role of somatic genomic perturbations in the etiology of neuropsychiatric disorders.

This FOA should be used when two or more collaborating sites are essential to complete the proposed research. It is required that the Research Strategy be identical across linked collaborative U01 applications, with the exception of a short section describing specific function of each application under "elements unique to that site." For a linked set of collaborative U01 applications, each application must have its own Program Directory/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and the program must provide a mechanism for cross-site coordination, quality control, data and sample sharing among the BSM Network members as appropriate, database management, statistical analysis, and reporting.   

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The key objective of this FOA is to encourage interdisciplinary collaborative applications aimed at understanding the role of somatic mosaicism in the development of neuropsychiatric disorders. Preference will be given to projects which are proposed by a highly interactive and synergistic team of investigators with complementary expertise. Successful applications will include expertise in genetics, neuro-developmental biology, psychiatry, high-throughput single-cell analysis, whole genome sequence analysis, computational bioinformatics, and or other fields relevant to the FOA. All awards supported under this FOA and the companion FOA (PAR-14-173) will be governed by a Brain Somatic Mosaicism (BSM) Network Steering Committee to accelerate scientific progress through the coordination of research strategies, analytical methods and genomic data.

Research Scope

An integral part of this FOA is identifying somatic variations in human brain and characterizing their role in one or more psychiatric disorders. Under the scope of this FOA, specific areas of research interest include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Identify, characterize and validate the frequency and distribution of a range of somatic variations, including CNVs, SNVs, SVs, and retrotransposon insertions in different cell types, across brain regions, from diseased and healthy control brains.
  • Identify whether somatic variations are differentially represented in diseased brains compared to healthy brains, with reference to the extent, frequency, location, and types of somatic variations, as well as the brain regions and cell types in which they occur.
  • Apply state-of-the-art methods to prioritize somatic variants in coding and non-coding regions of the genome, based on their functional relevance to brain and psychiatric disorders.
  • Identify whether and how such somatic variants interact with genes and gene networks reported to be associated with psychiatric disorders (e.g., using computational approaches).
  • Trace the origin of such prioritized somatic variations across a range of developmental stages to identify how and when the variations occurred and assess their effects on downstream neurodevelopmental events.
  • Pursue follow-up functional characterization of prioritized somatic variants through a variety of approaches, such as transcriptome analysis, epigenetic profiling, engineering somatic mutations in neural progenitor cells or iPSC lines to assess phenotypes, or by using other novel in vitro or in vivo model systems.

Applications submitted to this FOA should include the following elements: 1) comprehensive characterization and comparison of somatic variations in healthy control and diseased brains, and 2) determination of functional roles for these variations in psychiatric disorders. Since the primary focus of this FOA is to identify and characterize somatic variations in diseased human brains, the projects could utilize a phased approach. For example, the initial focus of the applications might be discovery of somatic variations across human brain; subsequent aims might focus on functional follow-up experiments to investigate the role of somatic mosaicism in the development of psychiatric disorders.

Research applications could explore the extent of somatic variations across neuronal cell types and lineages, from different brain regions, and/or for one or more psychiatric disorders. For example, one approach might be to combine state-of-the-art genomic, computational, single-cell and other relevant approaches to rapidly characterize and generate a high resolution map of different types of somatic variations across multiple brain regions implicated in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders.

Applications are encouraged to apply unbiased genomic approaches to evaluate somatic mosaicism using appropriate human brain samples from patient populations to correlate findings with psychiatric disorders. Comprehensive assessments could include identifying a range of somatic variations in different cell types or cell lineages, across brain regions in a large number of individuals covering one or more lifetime periods. For initial discovery of somatic genomic variations, applicants are encouraged to propose studies using brain samples from human patient populations, rather than induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines or model organisms as primary source. However, iPSC cell lines or animal models could be employed for functional follow-up analysis.

To the extent possible, investigators are encouraged to leverage existing large-scale, genome-wide data sets and brain sample collections from publicly available resources, including but not limited to BrainspanThe Genotype-Tissue Expression Project (GTEx), NIH NeuroBiobankCommonMind Project, and Autism Tissue Program (ATP).

This FOA should be used when two or more collaborating sites are essential to complete the proposed research. It is required that Research Strategy must be identical across linked collaborative U01 applications, with the exception of a short section describing specific function of each application under "elements unique to that site." For a linked set of collaborative U01 applications, each application must have its own Program Directory/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and the program must provide a mechanism for cross-site coordination, quality control, data and sample sharing among BSM Network members, as appropriate, database management, statistical analysis, and reporting.  

 

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Improving Diet and Physical Activity Assessment (R21)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases/NIH/DHHS

February 16, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsors invite innovative research to enhance the quality of measurements of dietary intake and physical activity. Applications submitted under this FOA may include development of: Novel assessment approaches; better methods to evaluate instruments; assessment tools for culturally diverse populations or various age groups, including children and older adults; improved technology or applications of existing technology; statistical methods to assess or correct for measurement errors or biases, methods to investigate the multidimensionality of diet and physical activity behavior through pattern analysis; or integrated measurement of diet and physical activity along with the environmental context of such behaviors. This program will use the NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) grant mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Diet and physical activity are lifestyle and behavioral factors that play a role in the etiology and prevention of many chronic diseases, such as cancer, coronary heart disease, and overweight/obesity as well as in maintaining weight loss. Accurate longitudinal data on physical activity and dietary intake patterns would be especially helpful in understanding how these factors may impact on health and functional status over the human lifespan. Therefore, diet and physical activity are assessed for both surveillance and epidemiological/clinical research purposes. The measurement of usual dietary intake or physical activity over varying intervals or in the past, by necessity, has relied on self-report instruments. Such reports are cognitively difficult for respondents, and are prone to varying degrees of measurement error depending on the time period considered, the ease of the instrument, and the characteristics of the respondents. Understanding and interpretation of instruments and the concepts they address may differ among population subgroups.

This FOA will support research pertinent to improving the measurements of diet and physical activity through the development of better instruments, innovative technologies, and/or applications of advanced statistical/analytic techniques. Research proposed in the applications should be aimed at exploring and optimizing innovative combinations of objective and self-report measures of physical activity or dietary intake in both the general population and its diverse subgroups.

Specifically, this funding opportunity is intended to support innovative research focused on assessments of dietary and physical activity patterns and the settings in which such behaviors occur, not on the determinants of these behaviors or on studies of the causal association between environment and behavior. Moreover, it is not the primary intent of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to make minor adjustments to existing instruments (such as simply adding specific foods or activities to the already established standardized methods and questionnaires (e.g., Nutrition Data System for Research, USDA 5 Pass Method, NCI Diet History Questionnaire, NCI Automated Self-Administered 24-hour recall (ASA-24), Block FFQ, Seven-Day Physical Activity Recall, International Physical Assessment Questionnaire). Rather, the purpose is to promote substantive improvements in the assessment of diet and physical activity as related to public health, obesity, cancer, and chronic diseases.

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Mechanisms, Models, Measurement and Management in Pain Research (R21)
National Institute of Nursing Research/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is February 16, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsors invite applications to stimulate and foster a wide range of basic, clinical, and translational studies on pain as they relate to the missions of these ICs. New advances are needed in every area of pain research, from the micro perspective of molecular sciences to the macro perspective of behavioral and social sciences. Although great strides have been made in some areas, such as the identification of neural pathways of pain, the experience of pain and the challenge of treatment have remained uniquely individual and unsolved. Furthermore, our understanding of how and why individuals transition to a chronic pain state after an acute insult is limited. Research to address these issues conducted by interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research teams is strongly encouraged, as is research from underrepresented, minority, disabled, or women investigators. This program will use the NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) grant mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

New and innovative advances are needed in every area of pain research, from the microperspective of molecular sciences to the macro perspective of behavioral/social sciences. Although great strides have been made in some areas, such as the neural pathways of pain, chronic pain and the challenge of its treatment have remained uniquely individual and largely unsolved. Proposals that seek to improve the understanding of the causes, costs, and societal effects of both acute and chronic pain and the relationships between the two are highly encouraged. Studies on the mechanisms underlying the transition from acute to chronic pain are also needed. Additionally, proposals that link such understandings to the development of better approaches to therapeutic interventions, including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions, and management of acute and chronic pain are in keeping with the current translational focus of NIH and are encouraged. The following acute and chronic pain conditions are of special interest but do not comprise a comprehensive or complete listing of research areas relevant to this FOA: Inflammatory Pain; Visceral pain; Chronic urologic pelvic pain syndromes; Neuropathic pain; Spinal cord injury pain; Headache; Musculoskeletal pain, including back pain; Cancer related pain (e.g. pain due to metastatis or primary disease); Cardiovascular pain disorders; Chemotherapy-induced neuropathies and other related toxicities (e.g. aromatase inhigito arthralgias); Fibromyalgia; Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders; Pain associated with HIV/AIDS; Pain associated with osteoporosis; Pain associated with communication disorders (e.g., otitis media, tinnitus, burning mouth syndrome, dysphagia); Pain at the end of life; Pain in older persons with multiple contributing morbidities; Pain in people with drug and alcohol addictions; Pain in persons with neuromuscular conditions; Pain in preterm neonates exposed to multiple medical interventions; and Skin disorders and pain.

The following topic areas are not intended to be comprehensive or exhaustive. Synergistic studies that reach across two or more of these areas are encouraged. Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research is especially encouraged, as is research that involves specific cooperation between basic and clinical scientists: Molecular and cellular mechanisms of pain; genetics of pain; biobehavioral pain; models of pain; diagnosis and assessment of pain; pain management; epidemiology of pain; health disparities; and translational pain research.

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Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Etiology, Diagnosis, Pathophysiology, and Treatment (R01)
Office of Research on Women's Health/NIH/DHHS

Optional letters of intent are due January 24, 2015
Full submission due February 24, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsors invite applications that propose to examine the etiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), sometimes referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), in diverse groups and across the lifespan. Applications that address gaps in the understanding of the environmental and biological risk factors, the determinants of heterogeneity among patient populations, the common mechanisms influencing the multiple body systems that are affected in ME/CFS are encouraged. The NIH is particularly interested in funding interdisciplinary research that will enhance our knowledge of the disease process and provide evidence based solutions to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life of all persons with ME/CFS. This interdisciplinary research may include the building of scientific teams to study and develop biomarkers, innovative treatment modalities, and/or the modifiable risk and protective processes specifically targeted by preventive and/or treatment interventions. This program will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Applications that address gaps in the understanding of the environmental and biological risk factors, the determinants of heterogeneity among patient populations, the common mechanisms influencing the multiple body systems that are affected in ME/CFS are encouraged. The NIH is particularly interested in funding interdisciplinary research that will enhance our knowledge of the disease process and provide evidence based solutions to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life of all persons with ME/CFS. This interdisciplinary research may include the building of scientific teams to study and develop biomarkers, innovative treatment modalities, and/or the modifiable risk and protective processes specifically targeted by preventive and/or treatment interventions. Examples of research topics include, but are not limited to, those listed below: Epidemiology; Diagnosis; Risk Factors; Neurological and Behavioral Factors; Physiologic Interactions; Treatment and Quality of Life; and Methodological Considerations.

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NLM Grants for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health (G13)
National Library of Medicine (NLM)

LOI due 30 days prior to application due date
February 20, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

NLM Grants for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health are awarded for the preparation of book-length manuscripts and other scholarly works of value to U.S. health professionals, public health officials, biomedical researchers and historians of the health sciences. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) awards Grants for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health for the preparation of book-length manuscripts and other scholarly works of value to U.S. health professionals, public health officials, biomedical researchers, and historians of the health sciences. Grants are awarded for major critical reviews, state-of-the-art summaries, historical studies, and other useful organizations of knowledge in clinical medicine, public health, biomedical research, and the informatics/information sciences relating to them. The scholarly work may be prepared for publication in print or electronic media, or both.

Scholars in biomedical fields face competing demands for their time, including requirements for clinical care services, grant-related research and administrative duties. Scholarly work draws upon original sources that may reside in archives, databases, libraries or human experts around the world, in many different languages and formats. The work of scholarship - discovery, thoughtful analysis, synthesis and lucid presentation of findings from such materials - requires protected time and support for incidental costs, including materials, staff assistance, and travel. The NLM Grant for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health is intended to help defray such expenses.

NLM Grants for Scholarly Works can be used to support several types of scholarly projects, including but not limited to:

  • Scholarly works in the history or philosophy of medicine, public health and the life sciences, the development of medical research and health services, bioethics, and studies on the interrelationship of medicine and society
  • Scholarly works in the history or philosophy of biomedical informatics, computational biology, health information sciences, health communications, or health sciences librarianship
  • Analytical and comprehensive critical reviews which identify the present status of research and practice in various health-related fields, addressing advances which have been made, problems requiring examination, and emerging trends

NLM Grants for Scholarly Works are designed to support scholarly works that will ultimately be published by a commercial or academic press or similar print or electronic dissemination service that assures quality and availability of the product. Self-publishing by the author will not normally be considered an appropriate dissemination vehicle.

NLM Grants for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health do not support the following types of projects:

  • Production of textbooks, curriculum materials, or online learning modules
  • Production of works intended for lay audiences
  • Initial reporting of original scientific research findings, including the initial publication of dissertation research
  • Development of coding systems, ontologies, or vocabularies for computational use
  • Publication of proceedings of meetings, conferences, or workshops
  • Production of journals, reprints, other serials, or other costs of publishing such as author page charges
  • Production of manuals, bibliographies, or catalogs
  • Development, maintenance, or operation of databases
  • Mass digitization of existing archives or print materials
  • Work judged to have significant commercial viability
  • Projects of local interest only, or works for which access is restricted to a select group
  • Revisions or upgrades of existing scholarly works

This grant is not meant to support conferences. Applicants interested in conference grants should consult the funding opportunity announcement at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ep/GrantConf.html

Researchers are encouraged to explore the depth and breadth of NLM's historical collections, which include materials on medical informatics and medical librarianship, veterinary medicine, homeopathy and alternative medicine, nursing and midwifery, modern genetics, mental health and human psychosocial development, tropical medicine and epidemiology, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, war and medicine, and many other topics. For more information applicants should contact the NLM History of Medicine Division at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/informationfor/scholars.html. Projects that focus on other historical collections and subject areas are also welcome.

All grantees are required to provide NLM with one copy of the final published work, once it has been issued. NLM recommends that all hardcopy text sponsored in this program be published on acid-free permanent paper as set forth by the American National Standards Institute - Permanence of Paper for Publications and Documents in Libraries and Archives (ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992).

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RFA-HL-15-023--Vascular Dysfunction in the Pathogenesis of Severe Malaria (R01)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS

LOI due on January 13, 2015 (optional)
Full submission due February 13, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) invites applications that propose collaborative studies to address the role of vascular activation and dysfunction in the pathogenesis of severe malaria. Multidisciplinary teams of investigators are needed to identify pathways and regulatory mechanisms by which vascular factors contribute to the complex etiology of severe malaria. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages grant applications for research that will lead to a better understanding of mechanisms underlying vascular activation and dysfunction in severe malaria. Currently, there is a significant gap in our understanding of the interactions between the malaria parasite and host at the blood/vessel interface. This relationship profoundly impacts the hemostatic and inflammatory responses that are associated with increased morbidity and mortality in severe malaria. Collaborative studies that involve a team effort of malaria investigators and researchers from vascular biology, immunology, hematology, neurobiology/neuroimaging, thrombosis, inflammation, coagulation, systems biology, genetics and epigenetics fields are needed to identify new pathways and regulatory mechanisms underlying vascular activation and dysfunction in severe malaria, which will lead to the identification of new targets and, ultimately, to the development of innovative anti-malarial therapeutics.

This FOA is designed to stimulate multidisciplinary and new collaborations to address unresolved issues in malaria pathogenesis relating to vascular dysfunction and coagulation. Thus, collaboration of malaria researchers or clinicians with investigators in vascular biology, immunology, hematology, neurobiology/neuroimaging, thrombosis, inflammation, coagulation, systems biology, genetics and epigenetics is required (as part of a multiple PD/PI application) to meet the objectives of this FOA. A further objective is to encourage investigators outside the traditional malaria field to begin to work on malaria. This FOA encourages collaborations among malaria researchers and experts in vascular biology, immunology, hematology, neurobiology/neuroimaging, thrombosis, inflammation, coagulation, systems biology, genetics and epigenetics. Intervention studies in human or animal models are permitted. Applicants are encouraged to leverage existing resources via collaborations with investigators from the NIAID's International Centers of Excellence for Malaria Research.

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Spatial Uncertainty: Data, Modeling, and Communication (R01)
National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is February 5, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) invite applications for innovative research that identifies sources of spatial uncertainty (i.e., inaccuracy or instability of spatial or geographic information) in public health data, incorporates the inaccuracy or instability into statistical methods, and develops novel tools to visualize the nature and consequences of spatial uncertainty. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The goal of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to facilitate multidisciplinary collaborations among researchers to promote research in identifying, quantifying, and communicating spatial uncertainty in health research to improve disease control and prevention. An additional goal of this reissuance is to facilitate integration of data collection, information technology, visualization tools, statistical models, and health communication to reduce spatial uncertainty in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of disease control programs.

Spatial uncertainty is the lack of, or the error in, knowledge about an object's geographic position (i.e., longitude, latitude, and altitude), which leads to uncertainty about the spatial relationship among its neighbors. For example, an error in a patient's residential address will introduce spatial uncertainty about where the patient lives and this error will further bias any association between the patient's health status and specific environmental exposure. Spatial uncertainty in public health information is ever-present -- from data collection and model specification to interpretation, visualization, and communication. Estimates of disease patterns or trends contain a certain degree of uncertainty. Bias may be introduced if the uncertainty is ignored or misunderstood.

This FOA encourages a team of epidemiologists, statisticians, and experts in data visualization or health communication to attack the spatial uncertainty issue thoroughly. This FOA will facilitate multidisciplinary collaborations among scientists to promote research in identifying, quantifying, reducing, and communicating spatial uncertainty in health research to improve disease control and prevention. The FOA also facilitates integration of data collection, information technology, visualization tools, statistical models, and health communication to reduce spatial uncertainty in planning, implementing and evaluating disease control programs.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is interested in general methodology of spatial statistical models and visualization tools that are applicable to disease control and prevention especially as related to cancer and cancer patients.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is interested in the general methodological issues of spatial uncertainty that are relevant in the research into environmental exposures and the health impacts.

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BRAIN Initiative: Development and Validation of Novel Tools to Analyze Cell-Specific and Circuit-Specific Processes in the Brain (U01)
Multiple Participating Institutes

LOI due February 18, 2015
Full submission due March 18, 2015

SYNOPSIS:

The purpose of this Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is to encourage applications that will develop and validate novel tools to facilitate the detailed analysis of complex circuits and provide insights into cellular interactions that underlie brain function. The new tools and technologies should inform and/or exploit cell-type and/or circuit-level specificity. Plans for validating the utility of the tool/technology will be an essential feature of a successful application. The development of new genetic and non-genetic tools for delivering genes, proteins and chemicals to cells of interest or approaches that are expected to target specific cell types and/or circuits in the nervous system with greater precision and sensitivity than currently established methods are encouraged. Tools that can be used in a number of species / model organisms rather than those restricted to a single species are highly desired. Applications that provide approaches that break through existing technical barriers to substantially improve current capabilities are highly encouraged. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is designed to support development and validation of novel tools to facilitate the detailed analysis of cells and circuits and provide insights into the neural circuitry and structure underlying complex behaviors. The human brain consists of an estimated one hundred billion neurons and more than one trillion supporting glial cells that are uniquely organized to confer the extraordinary computational activities of the brain. Cell types are categorized by their anatomical position, neurotransmitter content, dendritic and axonal connections, receptor profile, gene expression profile and distinct electrical properties. Although the human brain has long been the focus of numerous studies with many major achievements along the way, to date we remain largely ignorant about the specific details such as cell types and connections that are responsible for rapid information processing. Defining cellular and circuit-level function is dependent on detailed knowledge about the components and structure of the circuit. Such knowledge, in turn, is fundamental to understanding how these features underlie cognition and behavior, which should aid in the development of targeted cell-type and circuit-specific therapeutics to treat brain disorders. This initiative is focused on developing tools (or vastly improving existing tools) to enable access to individual cells and defined groups of cells within neuronal circuits. The tools sought through this FOA can include novel genetic or non-genetic methods for targeted delivery of genes, proteins, and chemicals to specific cells or tightly defined cell types and circuits.

Development of novel tools that will delineate anatomical connections between cells and expand our knowledge of circuit architecture and function is an area well poised for additional investment. Several efforts are currently underway to study large-scale, long-range connections, such as the NIH Human Connectome Project, as well as large scale rodent connectional studies. Recent development of new technologies (e.g., CLARITY, Lumos) that render the brain essentially transparent while maintaining the integrity of cellular and subcellular components, allow an unprecedented three-dimensional view into the post-mortem brain. While still at an early stage, these exciting technologies hold promise for mapping short- and long-range connections throughout the brain. Coupled with improved activity monitoring technologies in awake, behaving animals, these new tools promise an understanding of circuitry in action. Further development of these technologies is crucial to push the envelope beyond our current capabilities. To this end, applicants from the biological sciences are encouraged to establish collaborations with nanobiologists, material scientists, engineers and colleagues in other disciplines to develop groundbreaking approaches to study brain activity.

This FOA solicits applications to develop next-generation, innovative technologies to define and target specific cell types in the brain. Of particular interest are first-in-class and/or cross-cutting non-invasive or minimally invasive techniques that permit repeated measurements from cells over time in a non-destructive manner. Tools/technologies relevant for this initiative are expected to be transformative, either through the development of novel tools that may be high-risk or through major advances in current approaches that break through technical barriers and will significantly improve current capabilities. While an emphasis of the BRAIN initiative is the development of novel tools to study the brain, here we highlight the need for innovative approaches to bridge experimental scales. Studies that are able to explore molecular and cellular mechanisms of neural activity permitting improved precision and sensitivity in the analysis of micro-and macro-circuits are strongly encouraged. Progress in understanding how the activity of the brain translates to complex behaviors will be facilitated by non-invasive approaches for both monitoring and manipulating neural activity in awake, behaving organisms.

 

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Opportunities for Collaborative Research at the NIH Clinical Center (U01)
National Institutes of Health/DHHS

March 20, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its participating Institutes and Centers invite applications for collaborative translational research projects aligned with NIH efforts to enhance the translation of basic biological discoveries into clinical applications that improve health. It encourages high quality science demonstrating the potential to result in understanding an important disease process or lead to new therapeutic interventions, diagnostics, or prevention strategies within the research interests and priorities of the participating NIH Institutes/Centers (ICs). Specifically, the program seeks to broaden and strengthen translational research collaborations between basic and clinical researchers both within and outside NIH to accelerate and enhance translational science by promoting partnerships between NIH intramural investigators (e.g., those conducting research within the labs and clinics of the NIH) and extramural investigators (e.g., those conducting research in labs outside the NIH), and by providing support for extramural investigators to take advantage of the unique research opportunities available at the NIH Clinical Center by conducting research projects in collaboration with NIH intramural investigators. The companion FOA (PAR-13-357, SPIN Program #: 35571) encourages X02 pre-applications for Opportunities for Collaborative Research at the NIH Clinical Center. The X02 pre-application is the recommended (not required) first step in the application process for this FOA. Potential applicants should read both FOAs. Investigators whose X02 pre-applications are meritorious, can be supported by the resources of the NIH Clinical Center, and align with the research missions of the participating NIH ICs, will be notified of the opportunity to submit a U01 application to this FOA. This FOA will use the NIH U01 Research Project - Cooperative Agreements award mechanism.

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Interventions for Health Promotion and Disease prevention in Native American Populations (R01)
National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS

Letters of Intent due 30 days before application due date
April 12, 2015

National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its participating Institutes and Centers invite applications to develop, adapt, and test the effectiveness of health promotion and disease prevention interventions in Native American (NA) populations. NA populations are exposed to considerable risk factors that significantly increase their likelihood of chronic disease, substance abuse, mental illness, oral diseases, and HIV-infection. The intervention program should be culturally appropriate and promote the adoption of healthy lifestyles, improve behaviors and social conditions and/or improve environmental conditions related to chronic diseases, the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, mental illness, oral disease, or HIV-infection. The intervention program should be designed so that it could be sustained within the entire community within existing resources, and, if successful, disseminated in other Native American communities. The long-term goal of this FOA is to reduce mortality and morbidity in NA communities. For the purposes of this FOA Native Americans include the following populations: Alaska Native, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian. The term 'Native Hawaiian' means any individual any of whose ancestors were natives, prior to 1778, of the area which now comprises the State of Hawaii. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

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Mechanism for Time-Sensitive Research Opportunities in Environmental Health Sciences (R21)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/NIH/DHHS

Optional letters of intent are due 30 days prior to application due date.
Deadlines for receipt of full applications are: January 2, 2015; February 2, 2015; March 2, 2015; April 1, 2015; May 1, 2015; June 1, 2015; July 1, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) invites applications for environmental health research in which an unpredictable opportunity has arisen to collect human biosample or exposure data (e.g., following natural or made-made disasters, health care policy changes, etc). The three distinguishing features of an eligible study are: 1) the unforeseeable nature of the opportunity; 2) the clear scientific value and feasibility of the study; and 3) the need for rapid review and funding (substantially shorter than the typical NIH grant review/award cycle) in order for the scientific question to be approached and for the research design to be implemented. The shortened time frame will be achieved by more frequent application due dates and expediting peer review, council concurrence and award issuance. The entire cycle from submission to award is expected to be within 3-4 months. This program will use the NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) grant mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is intended to support research in environmental health science in which an unpredictable event has occurred that provides a limited window of opportunity to collect human and environmental exposure data and human biospecimens. The goal of the program is to characterize initial exposures (measured either by sampling air, water, soil, etc.), collect human biospecimens, or collect human health and exposure information in order to provide critical information to understand long term exposure health outcome relationships following the event. Applications should help provide information necessary for rapid translation into public health action. The primary motivation of the FOA is to understand the consequences of natural and man-made disasters or emerging environmental public health threats in the U.S. and abroad.

The three distinguishing features of an eligible study are: 1) the unforeseeable nature of the opportunity; 2) the clear scientific value and feasibility of the study; and 3) the need for rapid review and funding (substantially shorter than the typical NIH grant review/award cycle) in order for the scientific question to be approached and for the research design to be implemented. It should be clear that the event offers an opportunity with unique and important research questions that could only be answered if the project is initiated with minimum delay. For these reasons, applications in response to this time-sensitive mechanism are eligible for only one submission.

Examples of appropriate studies include, but are not limited to, the following:

--Assessing short-term health impacts resulting from environmental exposures following a natural or man-made disaster, using biomarkers, survey instruments, medical assessments, or other appropriate methods. Examples might include acute toxic responses or exacerbation of existing diseases. Subjects in these studies could include local residents or early responders.

--Collecting biospecimens and/or data on exposures to environmental agents immediately following a natural or man-made disaster to use in assessment of the effects of these exposures on short- or longer-term health outcomes. The application should discuss analysis of the longer term health outcomes, although funding of these analyses would likely not be appropriate for this mechanism, but rather for regular application processes.

--Collecting data on the release of environmental toxicants that could result in exposures and consequently to adverse health outcomes. Applications should discuss how these data might be used in health outcome or exposure research.

--Examining the environmental health impact of rapid changes in policy or legislation that affect air or water treatment, content and quality. For example, a Port Authority announces that in six months the number of ships in the facility at one time would be substantially expanded, potentially increasing air and water pollution. An application proposing to collect baseline and/or post levels of environmental and/or human biospecimens to look at the before/after effects of this policy, would be considered responsive.

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Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science (CEGS) (RM1)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

LOI due 30 days prior to due date
Full submission due May 20, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) invite applications for the Centers of Excellence in Genomic Sciences (CEGS) program. The program establishes academic Centers for advanced genome research. Each CEGS grant supports a multi-investigator, interdisciplinary team to develop innovative genomic approaches to address a particular biomedical problem. A CEGS project will address a critical issue in genomic science or genomic medicine, proposing a solution that would be a very substantial advance. Thus, the research conducted at these Centers will entail substantial risk, balanced by outstanding scientific and management plans and very high potential payoff. A CEGS will focus on the development of novel technological or computational methods for the production or analysis of comprehensive data sets, or on a particular genome-scale biomedical problem, or on other ways to develop and use genomic approaches for understanding biological systems and/or significantly furthering the application of genomic knowledge, data and methods towards clinical applications. Exploiting its outstanding scientific plan and team, each CEGS will nurture genomic science at its institution by facilitating the interaction of investigators from different disciplines, and, by providing training to new and experienced investigators, it will expand the pool of highly-qualified professional genomics scientists and engineers. This FOA will utilize the Specialized P50 Center grant mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Centers of Excellence in Genomic Sciences (CEGS) program establishes academic Centers for advanced genome research. Each CEGS grant supports a multi-investigator, interdisciplinary team to develop innovative genomic approaches to address a particular biomedical problem. A CEGS project will address a critical issue in genomic science or genomic medicine, proposing a solution that would be a very substantial advance. Thus, the research conducted at these Centers will entail substantial risk, balanced by outstanding scientific and management plans and very high potential payoff. A CEGS will focus on the development of novel technological or computational methods for the production or analysis of comprehensive data sets, or on a particular genome-scale biomedical problem, or on other ways to develop and use genomic approaches for understanding biological systems and/or significantly furthering the application of genomic knowledge, data and methods towards clinical applications. Exploiting its outstanding scientific plan and team, each CEGS will nurture genomic science at its institution by facilitating the interaction of investigators from different disciplines, and by providing training to new investigators it will expand the pool of professional genomics scientists and engineers.

CEGS will develop new approaches that will foster the integration of genomics with biomedical research. It will investigate novel ways to apply existing genomic-scale, comprehensive technologies to study a biological problem, or develop new concepts, methods, technologies, or ways to analyze data, that will advance the state of the art in applying genomic approaches to biomedical studies. It must be tightly focused on a single biomedical problem or on an approach to solving biomedical problems, using genomic concepts and methods.

The research plan for a CEGS must encompass a very high level of innovation. The product of CEGS research is expected to dramatically enhance the biomedical research community's capabilities for conducting comprehensive, cost-effective, high-throughput biomedical studies related to the DNA sequence and sequence products of organisms, with particular focus on human biology and disease. A CEGS grant application is expected to describe a specific and substantive "product" - e.g., a concept, method, technology or way to analyze data - that can be identified as having been the outcome of CEGS funding. NHGRI and NIMH will consider funding such an effort up to a maximum of ten years, but as the goal of the program is to stimulate rapid progress in genomics, it is expected that the "product" or its precursors (e.g., publications, methods, data) will become available to the community throughout the duration of the grant; thus active and early sharing of data and resources is a central tenet of the program. In achieving that product, a CEGS has the obligation to take on challenging aspects of a problem, including ones that have slowed progress in the chosen area of research. Other investigators might solve some of the problems on which a CEGS project has set its sights; a CEGS should be sufficiently nimble as to be able to adopt those solutions, so that CEGS resources can continually be applied toward tackling the unsolved challenges. If the product is likely to be generated by other projects over the same timeframe as the proposed CEGS, it is generally not appropriate for a CEGS. If a problem is well recognized in the field and multiple laboratories are engaged in solving it, then the project probably doesn't meet the innovation standard required for a CEGS, though very specific and novel ways to solve the problem may be considered.

Proposing to change the way genomic science will be done in the future entails a substantial level of risk because the research will, by definition, not be incremental. To balance this risk, the application must present a well-developed scientific and management plan to achieve a high pay-off result. Collaborations to develop genomic approaches require proficiency in several disciplines; a CEGS application should engage the expertise of a multi-disciplinary team, drawing from specialists in a wide range of fields such as biology, genetics, clinical medicine, physical sciences, mathematics, computer science, and engineering, as appropriate for the project. The various activities of the program must be synergistic and interdependent, not simply related; each activity must produce results that are required for progress by the other activities. Applications that employ state-of-the-art science that fill in knowledge but do not break substantially new ground are not appropriate for this FOA.

The unifying theme for this program will be that the Centers will address important biological problems in a comprehensive manner and on a "genomic scale." In this context, the term "genomics" is not limited to studies directly related to DNA sequence, but instead encompasses global, comprehensive, high-throughput, cost-effective approaches to studying biological systems, including for example DNA, RNA, proteins, metabolites, and regulatory and biochemical pathways and networks. Some projects may result in new analyses of existing data sets, while others may result in technologies and methods that provide the ability to collect, analyze, and present effectively new types of genomic data sets. The genomic approaches and technologies that are proposed to be developed under CEGS support should be applicable to a wide variety of cell types or organisms, and should be usable in a global, high-throughput, cost-effective manner. Methods and concepts that are applicable only to a particular genetic locus, disease, or organ system will not be supported under this program. Model systems, such as a limited number of gene families, regulatory networks, or pathways, may be used to develop the genomic approach, as long as the approach is scalable and broadly applicable. The grant application must clearly justify how the model study will be expandable beyond the particular model(s) used in the developmental research, to ultimately support global analyses. For example, if a particular pathway is being modeled, the application must explain how the modeling algorithms will be extended to other pathways. To the extent that cost-effective, global approaches can be developed and also applied within the context of the CEGS budget, such application of the new approach is acceptable. However, the budget limits under this FOA may preclude both developing and globally applying the genomic approach that is the subject of the research.

Each CEGS application is required to include an education and outreach activity that leverages the strengths of the Center and its investigators to further educate interdisciplinary scientists, including students and faculty, who will bring creativity to studying biomedical problems through a genomic approach. To maximize the impact of these Centers, they should integrate the education of new investigators and perform outreach to broaden the expertise of established investigators. This might, for example, include plans for investigators who are already accomplished in other fields of research and engineering to acquire expertise in genomics. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, at a minimum, should participate in the research; however, such participation alone will be considered insufficient to meet the educational and outreach goals of the CEGS program. Applicants are expected to develop creative approaches, complementing the standard training vehicles used by academic institutions (e.g., training grants, fellowships, research education programs, seminar programs, course work) and, in addition, more novel avenues. This education and outreach program should take advantage of unique aspects of the research program, the combination of participating investigators' talents, and other unique institutional resources that underpin the CEGS, to offer innovative, substantive opportunities for pre-doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, and other investigators to develop expertise in genomics.

NIMH is especially interested in novel genomic approaches that have high potential for accelerating our understanding of the genetic basis of the nervous system and mental disorders. Thus, these systems may provide appropriate models for developing the genomic approach, as described above, and similarly, CEGS project outcomes are generally expected to advance these goals because of their broad applicability.

For CEGS research projects that raise substantial ethical, legal, or social concerns (e.g., the study of sequence variation in specific populations), the Center may include research that focuses on analysis of such concerns as they relate to the particular research proposed. Each CEGS application is required to include an education and outreach activity that leverages the strengths of the Center and its investigators to train interdisciplinary scientists, including students and faculty, who will bring creativity to studying biomedical problems through a genomic approach.

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Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of Genomic Research Regular Research Program (R01)
National Institutes of Health/NHGRI and others

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is October 5, 2014 and February 5, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites Research Project Grant (R01) applications that propose to study the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of human genome research.  Applications should propose well-integrated studies using either single or mixed methods.  Proposed methods may include, but are not limited to, data-generating qualitative or quantitative approaches, legal, economic or normative analyses, or other analytical or conceptual research methodologies.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

Continuing advances in genomic technology are transforming the way genomic research is conducted.  These advances, coupled with rapid declines in the cost of sequencing, are also beginning to transform the practice of medicine.  As the amount of genomic data generated continues to grow, an increasing array of broader societal implications will also be raised.  The purpose of this FOA is to encourage research applications that identify, analyze, and address the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of these advances in genomic research, health care and technology for individuals, families, communities and society more broadly. 

To address the broad scope and reach of genomics in society, applications are invited from investigators representing a wide range of disciplines, including but not limited to the social, behavioral and communication sciences, ethics, philosophy, history, economics, and epidemiology as well as the basic, clinical and computational sciences.  Applications may propose well-integrated single or multi-disciplinary studies using either single or mixed methods.  Proposed methods may program-specific instructions noted in include, but are not limited to, data-generating qualitative or quantitative approaches, legal, economic and normative analyses, or other analytical or conceptual research methodologies.  

For small projects, especially those involving single investigators, applicants may wish to consider the ELSI R03 FOA, which provides a total of up to $50,000 in direct costs per year for two years.  For projects that are primarily exploratory in nature, or designed to generate pilot data in preparation for a larger study, applicants should consider the ELSI R21 FOA, which provides a total of up to $275,000 in direct costs over two years.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Scientific/Research staff prior to developing an application.

 

 

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Silvio O. Conte Centers for Basic or Translational Mental Health Research (P50)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

30 days prior to due date
May 25, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) invites applications for Silvio O. Conte Centers for Basic or Translational Mental Health Research. The institute seeks teams of researchers working at different levels of analysis and employing integrative, novel, and creative experimental approaches to address high-risk, high-impact questions with the primary objective of: (a) advancing the state of the science in brain and behavior research that will ultimately provide the foundation for understanding mental disorders; (b) supporting the integration and translation of basic and clinical neuroscience research on severe mental illnesses; and/or (c) advancing our understanding of the neurobehavioral developmental mechanisms and trajectories of psychopathology that begin in childhood and adolescence. The Conte Centers program is intended to support interdisciplinary basic and/or translational research demonstrating an extraordinary level of synergy, integration, and potential for advancing the state of the field. This program is intended only for projects that could not be achieved using other, more standard grant mechanisms. The Conte Centers program also provides an opportunity to establish interdisciplinary basic and/or translational research experiences for individuals in training. This FOA will utilize the NIH Specialized Centers (P50) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The purpose of these Centers is to support interdisciplinary teams of researchers engaged in integrative, novel, and creative experimental approaches to address high-risk, high-impact scientific questions that will significantly advance the state of the science in brain and behavioral research that will ultimately provide the foundation for understanding mental disorders and/or transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses, as well as developing data and other research resources that are available to the scientific community to further advance research in this field. Conte Centers exemplify a collaborative, cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research program conducted at multiple levels of analysis spanning genes to circuits to behavior to disease in model systems and humans, from the prenatal period through adulthood. Successful centers address a well-defined and unified scientific question (hypothesis) or problem. Areas of interest span the full range of basic neuroscience, basic behavioral science and genetics, and the translational integration of neuroscience. They also include testing in humans to identify the etiology, pathogenesis, developmental progression, potential biomarkers and/or the mechanistic substrates of potential interventions with a view towards the eventual prevention or cure of mental disorders across the lifespan. Proposed Centers should be directed towards a well-defined and unified scientific question or problem and, in some instances, may include discovery-based as well as technology development components in support of the primary scientific question. The Conte Centers program is intended to support research that demonstrates an extraordinary level of synergy, integration, and potential impact on our understanding of basic brain mechanisms and/or the pathophysiology, progression, and treatment of mental disorders. The program is intended only for projects that could not be achieved using other, more standard grant mechanisms. Support is provided both for individual research projects and for cores that are critical for the integration across Center components. Centers must be characterized by an interdisciplinary framework guiding highly integrated programs of cutting-edge research, and provide plans for rapid, widespread sharing of the resulting data, methods, and resources to accelerate basic or translational research relevant to mental disorders. A strong vision of how the Center will advance the field beyond the goals of the individual projects is essential for successful applications.

Conte Center applications should integrate research projects at multiple levels of analysis, but it is not necessary for an individual Conte Center to include both basic and translational components. A Conte Center may comprise basic research projects only, both basic and translational research projects, or translational research projects only. Conte Centers may include exploratory or high risk projects that add value to the Center and increase the potential for fundamentally important new discoveries towards understanding brain mechanisms directing the development and expression of behaviors including pathophysiology across the lifespan. Exploratory component projects using patient populations to test biomarkers or interventions developed/identified elsewhere within the Conte Center may be included in a Conte Center application if they conform fully with NIMH policies for clinical trials. Conte Centers may include technology development as a component, but not as the main focus, of the Center. When technology development is an integral part of the scientific goals, it should be proposed as a project. When technology development is part of a standard service provided to support Center projects, it should be proposed as a Research Support Core. Research Support Cores provide research support functions, including administrative, animal, analytical, data management, diagnostic, recruitment, informatics, etc. Conte Centers should comprise three or more research projects and one (administrative) or more cores. Newer groups are encouraged to form smaller, shorter duration feasibility centers to establish workability and collaborations. Centers may comprise projects and cores at a single institution or at multiple institutions. Collaborations between highly active laboratories using state-of-the-art methods are encouraged, even if this means that the investigators are geographically distributed. Plans for the synergistic integration of projects and cores within a Center, whether at a single institution or geographically distributed, should be clearly described.

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Small Grants for New Investigators to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (R03)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases/NIH/DHHS

LOI due May 16, 2015
Full submission due June 16, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

NIDDK, NIMH and ODS invite applications for support of New Investigators from backgrounds nationally underrepresented in biomedical research to conduct small research projects in the scientific mission areas of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS). NIDDK, NIMH and ODS recognize the need to promote diversity in the health-related research workforce by increasing the pool of highly trained researchers from diverse backgrounds conducting research in areas of importance to these Institutes and Office. The R03 grant mechanism supports different types of projects including pilot and feasibility studies; secondary analysis of existing data; small, self-contained research projects; development of research methodology; and development of new research technology. The R03 is intended to support small research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources with the ultimate goal of providing the preliminary data for a R01-equivalent application.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

This FOA is intended to provide support for New Investigators from diverse backgrounds underrepresented nationally in biomedical research who are interested in conducting research projects in the scientific mission areas of the NIDDK, the NIMH and the ODS, with the purpose of providing the preliminary data to support a R01-equivalent application.

NIDDK Mission: to conduct and support medical research and research training and to disseminate science-based information on diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutritional disorders and obesity; and kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases, to improve people's health and quality of life.

ODS Mission: to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, stimulating and supporting research, disseminating research results, and educating the public to foster an enhanced quality of life and health for the U.S. population.

In addition to their respective missions, these institutes and offices recognize that the entry of New Investigators into the ranks of independent, NIH-funded researchers is essential to improve the overall health of this country's biomedical research enterprise. As a result, NIH and the participating components of the organization are deeply committed to the research support of New Investigators. This program will enable New Investigators to successfully gain additional research experience while transitioning to independence, and obtain preliminary data on which to base a subsequent research grant application (i.e., R01-equivalent) within the scientific mission areas of the NIDDK, NIMH and ODS.

 

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Reducing Health Disparities Among Minority and Underserved Children (R21)
National Institute of Nursing Research/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply: February 16, June 16, and October 16 annually

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) invite applications to conduct research that targets the reduction of health disparities among children. Specific targeted areas of research include biobehavioral studies that incorporate multiple factors that influence child health disparities such as biological (e.g., genetics, cellular, organ systems), lifestyle factors, environmental (e.g., physical and family environments) social (e.g., peers), economic, institutional, and cultural and family influences; studies that target the specific health promotion needs of children with a known health condition and/or disability; and studies that test and evaluate the comparative effectiveness of health promotion interventions conducted in traditional and nontraditional settings. This FOA will use the NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) grant mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

This initiative is designed to stimulate research that targets the reduction of health disparities among children. For purposes of this initiative, "health disparities" applies to children who have limited access to resources and privileges that impact their health. As such, this initiative includes a focus on ethnic and racial minority children and populations of underserved children to include: children from low literacy, rural and low-income populations, geographically isolated children, hearing and visually impaired children, physically or mentally disabled children, children of migrant workers, children from immigrant and refugee families, and language minority children. The NIH defines children as individuals 0-21 years of age. The primary purpose of this initiative, therefore, is to encourage intervention studies targeting one of the aforementioned groups. Rather than a singular approach, interventions using a multilevel approach (individual, health system, community, societal) are encouraged. In addition, basic studies designed to further delineate mechanisms/pathways of disparities that lead to the development of interventions are also encouraged. Specific targeted areas of research include biobehavioral studies that incorporate multiple factors that influence child health disparities such as biological (e.g., genetics, cellular, organ systems), lifestyle factors, environmental (physical and family environments) social (e.g. peers), economic, institutional, and cultural and family influences; studies that target the specific health promotion needs of children with a known illness and/or disability; and studies that test and evaluate the comparative effectiveness of health promotion interventions conducted in traditional and nontraditional settings. 

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Global Omics Approaches Targeting Adverse Pregnancy and Neonatal Outcomes Utilizing Existing Cohorts (R01)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/NIH/DHHS

September 7, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) invites applications utilizing state of the science "Omics" technologies (such as genomics epigenomics, proteomics, and metabolomics), coupled to powerful bioinformatics tools, to target important pregnancy and neonatal health problems by using existing cohorts. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this FOA is to encourage the research community to develop applications for applying the state of the science "Omics" technologies to address important pregnancy and neonatal health issues by using existing cohorts that are of sufficient size to obtain meaningful results using these technologies. "Omics" approaches will be used to delineate the molecular mechanisms as well as to identify new biomarkers that predict adverse pregnancy or neonatal outcomes. The goal of this initiative is to hasten the discovery of the pathophysiology of adverse health pregnancy outcomes, discover novel target molecules and diagnostic biomarkers, and ultimately aid in formulating more effective interventional strategies for their management and prevention. It is anticipated that this initiative will help discoveries concerning major maternal and neonatal health problems by using state of the science technologies by analyzing archived materials from existing, well-characterized cohorts. The FOA encourages applicants to propose how they will utilize such existing cohorts, and how they will comply with the data sharing policies so that the resulting outcomes will further maximize our return on our research investment.

This FOA invites research projects that utilize large, existing, well-phenotyped cohorts in conjunction with global "Omics" approaches. The scope of the FOA includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:

--Adverse pregnancy outcomes to include preterm birth, preeclampsia, stillbirth and fetal growth restriction.

--Neonatal topics to develop biomarkers for predicting the development and short-and long-term outcomes of major neonatal conditions, such as sepsis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, intracranial hemorrhage, periventricular leukomalacia and neonatal encephalopathy, necrotizing enterocolitis, and retinopathy of prematurity. Studies with neurodevelopmental follow up are desirable.

--Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

--The study of biologic processes and their trajectories that determine a healthy pregnancy and infant outcome that would provide a foundation to better understand the pathophysiology of adverse outcomes. Cohorts addressing this topic should have longitudinal measures to serve as basis for understanding disease processes.

In the interest of stimulating research that will lead to new breakthroughs in maternal, fetal and infant health, the following types of studies are highly encouraged:

--"Omic" approaches that encompass an initial unbiased discovery phase in one cohort followed up with a validation phase of the identified candidate markers in an alternate cohort(s).

--System biology approaches that integrate multiple "Omic" analyses from the genome, transcriptome, proteome, and/or the metabolome.

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NICHD Research Short Courses (R25)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/NIH/DHHS

LOI's are due 30 days before the full application date
Full submissions are due January 25, 2015, May 25, 2015 and September 25, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) invites applications for grants to develop and conduct short-term research education programs to improve the knowledge and skills of a broad-based community of biomedical and behavioral researchers conducting research on reproductive, developmental, behavioral, social, and rehabilitative processes that determine the health and well-being of newborns, infants, children, adults, families, and populations. The program should include both didactic and hands-on experiences. If appropriate, the program may include activities to disseminate course materials and instructional experience to the scientific community. Programs focusing on uses of model organisms are encouraged. This FOA will utilize the NIH R25 Education Projects award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The NICHD Research Education Grants (R25) are designed to assist institutions to establish, expand, or improve programs of continuing professional education, especially for programs dealing with new developments in the science or technology of the profession. The mechanism is intended for the support of short, advanced-level courses, to emphasize new techniques and enhance skills of scientists. Depending on the goals of the proposed training programs, the duration of the short courses can vary from one week or less to a maximum of 12 weeks. Recurring courses are welcome. Although research education grants are not typical research instruments, they do involve experiments in education and/or dissemination of research knowledge that require an evaluation plan in order to determine their effectiveness. As such, each application must include a plan to evaluate the activities proposed. For some types of projects, a plan for disseminating results may also be appropriate and may be required as well. The NICHD invites R25 applications in any research area relevant to the mission of the Institute as represented by its program areas:

--Developmental Biology and Perinatal Medicine.

--Maternal and Child Health.

--Contraception, Reproduction, and Population Research.

--Medical Rehabilitation Research.

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NINDS Research Education Opportunities (R25)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH/DHHS

January 25, 2015; May 25, 2015; September 25, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) invites applications for the initiation or continuation of nationally-available neuroscience research education programs that will significantly advance the mission of NINDS. This FOA will utilize the NIH R25 Education Projects award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) supports applications from organizations that propose neuroscience research education programs that will significantly advance the mission of the NINDS. The NIH Research Education (R25) grant mechanism is designed to support the development and implementation of creative and innovative neuroscience research education programs for biomedical, behavioral, and clinical researchers. Educational programs in all areas of research (basic, clinical and translational) are eligible. Programs must provide a critical educational experience not already available at a local or national level. Such research education programs might include courses that bring together national and international leaders in a field, or multiple fields, to provide intellectual, technical, theoretical and/or practical knowledge to trainees, to promote the conduct of cutting edge scientific inquiry. Alternatively, research education programs might include narrowly focused courses that provide an in-depth understanding of, and practical experience with, a research process, such as that required for a technology-driven research area, clinical trial design or pre-clinical, translational research. Regardless of focus, it is anticipated that programs submitted to this FOA will involve a practicum as a significant part of the experience.

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RFA-RM-13-007--NIH Director's New Innovator Award Program (DP2)
National Institutes of Health/DHHS

September 16, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The NIH Director's New Innovator (DP2) Award initiative supports a small number of early stage investigators of exceptional creativity who propose bold and highly innovative new research approaches that have the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important problems in biomedical and behavioral research. The New Innovator Award initiative complements ongoing efforts by NIH and its Institutes and Centers to fund early stage investigators through R01 grants, which continue to be the major sources of NIH support for early stage investigators. The NIH Director's New Innovator Award initiative is a component of the High Risk - High Reward Research Program of the NIH Common Fund. This FOA will utilize the DP2 NIH Director's New Innovator Awards mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The NIH Director's New Innovator Award addresses two important goals: stimulating highly innovative research and supporting promising new investigators. New investigators may have exceptionally innovative research ideas, but not the preliminary data required to fare well in the traditional NIH peer review system. As part of NIH's commitment to increasing opportunities for new scientists, it has created the NIH Director's New Innovator Award to support exceptionally creative new investigators who propose highly innovative research projects that have the potential for unusually high impact. This award complements ongoing efforts by NIH and its Institutes and Centers to fund new investigators through R01 grants and other mechanisms.

The NIH Director's New Innovator Award program is different from traditional NIH grants in several ways. It is designed specifically to support unusually creative investigators with highly innovative research ideas at an early stage of their career when they may lack the preliminary data required for an R01 grant application. The emphasis is on innovation and creativity; preliminary data are not required, but may be included. No detailed, annual budget is requested in the application. The review process emphasizes the individual's creativity, the innovativeness of the research approaches, and the potential of the project, if successful, to have a significant impact on an important biomedical or behavioral research problem.

The research proposed for a New Innovator Award may be in any scientific area relevant to the mission of NIH (biological, behavioral, clinical, social, physical, chemical, computational, engineering, and mathematical sciences). Investigators who were not selected for an award in prior years may submit applications this year as long as they retain their ESI (early stage investigator) eligibility; however, all applications must be submitted as "new" applications regardless of any previous submission to the program.

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Systems Science and Health in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (R21)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research/NIH/DHHS

LOI due 30 days prior to application due date
Standard dates apply. Next deadline is February 16, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its participating Institutes and Centers invite applications to increase the breadth and scope of topics that can be addressed with systems science methodologies. This FOA calls for research projects that are applied and/or basic in nature (including methodological and measurement development), have a human behavioral and/or social science focus, and employ methodologies suited to addressing the complexity inherent in behavioral and social phenomena, referred to as systems science methodologies. Additionally, this FOA seeks to promote interdisciplinary collaboration among health researchers and experts in computational approaches to further the development of modeling- and simulation-based systems science methodologies and their application to important public health challenges. This FOA will use the NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) grant mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

This FOA encourages R01 applications that apply system science approaches such as system dynamic modeling, agent-based modeling, social network analysis, discrete event analysis, and Markov modeling to better understand complex and dynamic behavioral and social sciences processes and problems relevant to health. Research projects applicable to this FOA are those that are either applied or basic in nature (including methodological development), have a human behavioral and/or social science focus, and employ systems science methodologies, a suite of methods suited to addressing the complexity inherent in behavioral and social phenomena.

This FOA is intended to increase the breadth and scope of topics that can be addressed with systems science methodologies. This FOA calls for research projects that are applied and/or basic in nature (including methodological and measurement development), have a human behavioral and/or social science focus, and employ methodologies suited to addressing the complexity inherent in behavioral and social phenomena, referred to as systems science methodologies. Additionally, this FOA seeks to promote interdisciplinary collaboration among health researchers and experts in computational approaches to further the development of modeling- and simulation-based systems science methodologies and their application to important public health challenges.

Systems science methodologies are specific methodological approaches that have been developed to understand connections between a system's structure and its behavior over time. "Systems science methodologies" is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of such methodologies including, but not limited to, agent-based modeling, microsimulation, system dynamics modeling, network analysis, discrete event analysis, Markov modeling, control systems engineering and related engineering methods, and a variety of other dynamic and computational modeling and simulation approaches.

A system, in this context, refers to the particular configuration of all relevant entities, resources, and processes that together adequately characterize the problem space under study (i.e., a system is defined by the boundaries that stakeholders use to determine which acts/observations are relevant for their inquiry as well as the interpretations/judgments that they use to guide decisions or actions). Systems science methodologies are valued for their ability to address the complexity inherent in behavioral and social phenomena. For example, these approaches excel at identifying non-linear relationships, bi-directional feedback loops, time delayed effects, emergent properties of the system, and oscillating system behavior. Examples of research topics encouraged under this FOA include, but are not limited to, those listed below:

NCI is interested in research projects that address the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.

NIA supports genetic, biological, clinical, behavioral, social, and economic research related to the aging process and the life course, diseases and conditions associated with aging, and other special problems and needs of older Americans.

NIAAA conducts and supports research in a wide range of scientific areas including genetics, neuroscience, epidemiology, health risks and benefits of alcohol consumption, prevention, and treatment.

NIBIB is dedicated to improving health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies http://www.nibib.nih.gov/About. The Institute is committed to integrating the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care. This is achieved through: research and development of new biomedical imaging and bioengineering techniques and devices to fundamentally improve the detection, treatment, and prevention of disease; enhancing existing imaging and bioengineering modalities; supporting related research in the physical and mathematical sciences; encouraging research and development in multidisciplinary areas; supporting studies to assess the effectiveness and outcomes of new biologics, materials, processes, devices, and procedures; developing technologies for early disease detection and assessment of health status; and developing advanced imaging and engineering techniques for conducting biomedical research at multiple analytic scales.

NICHD is interested in basic and applied research on models of behavioral and social processes associated with health, disability, and developmental outcomes from pre-conception to adulthood.

NIDCR supports research that examines community characteristics, the organization of health care systems, and the social contexts that contribute to oral health. Many of the opportunities for improving oral health lie in achieving behavioral, lifestyle and social changes--objectives that are shared with many other scientific areas. The NIDCR supports systems science projects that explain the determinants of and/or methodologies to improve dental, oral, and craniofacial health.

NIEHS supports research that spans the range from basic mechanistic research, research involving laboratory animal models and systems, to clinical and epidemiologic studies using human subjects (see http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/index.cfm). NIEHS is particularly interested in projects that address complex, multi-faceted problems related to how environmental pollutants impact human health. Projects should involve environmental scientists and test scientific questions and/or develop simulations models to examine how environmental exposures (physical, chemical, and biological) interact with social and behavioral conditions to influence the development and progression of human disease. The ultimate goal of this research should be to generate knowledge that can inform the development and prioritization of environmental policies, interventions, and programs that are designed to promote healthier lives.

NIMH supports research to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic, translational, clinical, and services research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.

NINR is interested in research projects that promote and improve the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations. The Institute supports and conducts clinical and basic research and research training on health and illness across the lifespan to build the scientific foundation for clinical practice, prevent disease and disability, manage and eliminate symptoms caused by illness, and improve palliative and end-of-life care.

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Research On Ethical Issues In Human Subjects Research (R03)
National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply: February 16, June 16, and October 16

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsors invite applications that propose to study high priority bioethical challenges and issues associated with the types of biomedical, social, and behavioral research supported by the participating NIH Institutes/Centers. The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) joins this FOA as part of its efforts to promote research on the behavioral and social aspects of health and illness. However, only participating ICs will provide direct grant support under this FOA. This program will use the NIH Small Research Grant (R03) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

This FOA seeks applications for research projects that propose to analyze and address ethical challenges and issues related to the conduct and output of biomedical, clinical, social and behavioral research within the NIH mission. The results of projects funded under this program announcement should enhance the ethical conduct and social value of research within the NIH mission, optimize the protection of human research participants, ensure research burdens and benefits are equitably distributed across populations, and contribute to policy development regarding the implementation and oversight of new research discoveries and methods. Proposals to conduct empirical research as well as those that propose to develop new theoretical and conceptual ethical frameworks will be considered. Interdisciplinary and collaborative projects utilizing multiple approaches are strongly encouraged. 

Applications should address bioethical challenges and ethical issues relevant to the research mission area(s) of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs). The participating ICs have identified specific bioethics topics below as the highest priority for consideration. These are organized into seven categories: 1) ethical considerations of new and emerging technologies; 2) research study design issues; 3) issues associated with therapeutic misconception and the interface between treatment and research; 4) research involving vulnerable populations and urgent situations; 5) research with existing specimens, data, and health information; 6) dissemination and translation of research findings; and 7) oversight of research. In addition, a description of the research mission areas of the participating ICs is also provided below. Applications that address other bioethical issues directly related to these mission areas will also be considered.

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Rapid Assessment Post-Impact of Disaster (R03)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Within six weeks of the identified disaster - opportunity expires October 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) provides support for a rapid funding mechanism for research n the aftermath of disasters and mass casualty events. RAPID grants described in this FOA may be used to facilitate initial research for investigators who intend to follow up with a full research application, using the preliminary time sensitive data from a RAPID grant as the basis for their subsequent application. This program will use the NIH Small Research Grant (R03) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to provide an expedited funding mechanism for research in the aftermath of disasters The regular grant submission, review, and funding process is lengthy, such that it requires investigators who would conduct such studies to wait eight months or more after the submission of the application to obtain the research funds, during which time important scientific opportunities may be lost. An emergency event of potential significance for mental health may occur with little or no warning (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes, bombings, terrorist attacks, or industrial accidents) and therefore modified procedures are required to expedite the funding consideration of research applications focused on obtaining time sensitive data in the wake of such events. Applications for research support may include, but are not limited to, a substantive emphasis in any one or more of the following areas:

--Early assessment of dimensions of psychological, biological, and behavioral reactions to injury, loss of life, contaminated facilities, loss of social and economic resources and other stressors to lay the foundation for translational research on trauma related mental disorders.

--Research on the mechanisms underlying impaired functioning.

--Research on the settings in which survivors present for care, including the impact of co-locating mental health services into non-traditional mental health settings (e.g., shelters, churches, community centers, work settings, health clinics, schools, etc) on access, referral, acceptability, use and outcome of services

--Research to identify optimal screening approaches for identifying those at greatest risk for adverse outcomes in culturally diverse localities/settings

--Research to identify factors that promote or impede effective health provider training in screening, assessment, referral and treatment.

--Research on the recruitment, training, deployment, and supervision of "psychiatric extenders" such as the Medical Reserve Corps to provide emotional support, screening and referral for acute anxiety disorders, major depression, suicidality, and serious mental illness.

--Research on the organization, delivery and outcome (intended and unintended) of individual and public-health level interventions by mental health and non-mental health providers.

--Research on prevention/intervention and treatment to reduce the risk of psychopathology, symptom severity, and disability.

--Research on minimizing exacerbation and/or recurrence and improving access to care for survivors with pre-existing serious conditions.

--Research on technology enabled registries of services/resources (e.g., in-patient behavioral health, pharmacies, antipsychotic medications, community mental health providers, web-based and other self-care resources, telephone-based therapy, etc) for use by personnel who screen survivors.

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Family and Interpersonal Relationships in an Aging Context (R01)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is February 5, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages innovative, hypothesis-driven R01 research grant applications that can expand understanding of the role and impact of families and interpersonal relationships on health and well-being in midlife and older age. 

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is issue to encourage innovative, hypothesis-driven R01 research grant applications that can expand understanding of the role and impact of families and interpersonal relationships on health and well-being in midlife and older age. The FOA encourages research that evaluates rigorous, quantifiable predictive models for estimating the causal pathways by which family process and structure and intimate relationships might mediate or moderate well-documented social determinants of health, above and beyond other established risk or protective health factors, and that can increase knowledge of the independent and unique contributions of family and intimate relationship variables to healthy aging. Following from the above, the FOA seeks to support research into both the origins and the amelioration of family and intimate relationship factors that have adverse consequences for health, as well as the origins and promotion of factors that have protective or beneficial health consequences. To these ends, the FOA encourages research that takes a life span perspective, including studies which focus on early life influences on later life outcomes and on processes in midlife that impact subsequent trajectories of health and function. NIA is particularly interested in research that can inform the design of interventions that target the maintenance and improvement of aging-relevant outcomes for the following: satisfying, high quality intimate relationships, compliance and adherence to healthy behaviors; adaptive caregiving relationships, shared decision-making, and economic security. 

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NINDS Exploratory/Developmental Projects in Translational Research (R21)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply: February 16, June 16, and October 16 annually

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) invites applications for research activities required to advance candidate therapeutics through Investigational New Drug (IND), Investigational Device Exemption (IDE), or 510(K) submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and ready them for clinical testing for neurological disorders. Projects should include a strong biological rationale for the intended approach, supporting data from rigorously designed experiments, and proposed studies that exhibit methodological rigor. Such projects, if successful, should lead directly to or support another project (e.g. cooperative agreement in translational research) that will include all remaining activities for submission of an IND, IDE, or 510(k) application to the FDA. The scope includes only preclinical development activities for therapeutic drugs, devices, and biologics; development of diagnostics or rehabilitation strategies cannot be supported. Clinical research, basic research, and studies of disease mechanism are outside the program scope. This program will use the NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) grant mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The goal of the NINDS Exploratory/Developmental Projects in Translational Research (R21) program is to support any research activities required to advance candidate therapeutics through Investigational New Drug (IND), Investigational Device Exemption (IDE), or 510(K) submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and ready them for clinical testing for neurological disorders. Translational R21 projects, if successful, should lead directly to or support another project (e.g. cooperative agreement in translational research) that will include all remaining activities for submission of an IND, IDE, or 510(k) application to the FDA. The program will facilitate therapy-directed projects to accelerate the translation of basic research discoveries into therapeutic candidates for clinical testing. Translational R21 projects should include a strong biological rationale for the intended approach, supporting data from rigorously designed experiments, and proposed studies that exhibit methodological rigor. In order to assess the predictive value of preclinical research, sufficient information should be available about study design, execution, analysis, and interpretation.

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Physical Sciences-Oncology Network (PS-ON): Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers (PS-OC) (U54)
National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS

The deadlines for receipt of optional letters of intent are: January 15, 2015; and October 14, 2015
Full submissions will be due February 26, 2015; and November 25, 2015

SYNOPSIS:

National Cancer Institute (NCI) invites applications for Physical Science-Oncology Centers (PS-OCs). The PS-OCs will serve as hubs for the collaborative Physical Sciences-Oncology Network (PS-ON). The goal of the PS-OC Program and broader Network is to promote a physical sciences perspective of cancer and foster the convergence of physical science and cancer research by, forming transdisciplinary teams of physical scientists (e.g., engineers, chemists, computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists) and cancer researchers (e.g., cancer biologists, oncologists, pathologists) to work closely together to advance our understanding of cancer biology and oncology. The PS-OCs, individually and as a Network, will support transdisciplinary research that: (1) establishes a physical sciences perspective within the cancer research community; (2) facilitates team science and field convergence at the intersection of physical sciences and cancer research; and (3) collectively tests physical sciences-based experimental and theoretical concepts of cancer and promotes innovative solutions to address outstanding questions in cancer research. This FOA will use the NIH U54 Specialized Center- Cooperative Agreements award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to build a cadre of Physical Science-Oncology Centers (PS-OCs, or Centers) to serve as hubs for the collaborative Physical Sciences-Oncology Network (PS-ON, or Network). The PS-OCs will conduct transdisciplinary research integrating the perspectives of physical scientists (e.g., engineers, chemists, computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists) and cancer researchers (e.g., cancer biologists, oncologists, pathologists) to study cancer using approaches and theories from the physical sciences. The PS-OCs are expected to assemble and develop transdisciplinary teams, research and training programs, and infrastructure organized around a physical sciences-based framework to address fundamental questions in cancer research. These transdisciplinary Centers will develop and test, individually and through collaborative Network activities, physical sciences-based experimental and theoretical concepts that complement and advance our current understanding of cancer biology and oncology. The initiative is expected to further develop emerging fields of study in cancer research that are based on physical sciences principles and approaches. Potential areas of investigation include but are not limited to:

--The Physical Dynamics of Cancer: Traditionally, cancer is thought of primarily as a genetic disease that is modulated by biochemical cues from the tumor and microenvironment. However, physical properties across many length-scales (e.g., subcellular, cell, tissue, organ, whole organism) also play an important but poorly understood role. This physical perspective can be integrated with the molecular and genetic understanding of cancer to generate a more comprehensive view of the complex and dynamic multiscale interactions of the tumor-host system. Physical properties such as mechanical cues, transport phenomena, bioelectric signals, and thermal fluctuations can modulate the behavior of cancer cells, the microenvironment, tumors, and the host. In developmental biology, studying how these physical factors regulate embryogenesis and tissue patterning has augmented existing approaches and knowledge. Techniques from the physical sciences can be used to measure physical properties of single-cells, discrete multicellular structures, and tissues. These measurements can be integrated with orthogonal data using high-dimensional analysis and computational physics models to complement current approaches and potentially identify new physical properties that could be exploited for cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy.

--Spatio-Temporal Organization and Information Transfer in Cancer: Appropriate spatial and temporal organization of structures across many length scales (e.g., subcellular, cell, tissue, organ, whole organism) and time scales is required for managing the transfer of information that is critical for regulated growth. For example, cells must position billions of molecules in the right place and time to facilitate the proper function of signaling pathways and complexes. Additionally, cells regulate the size, number, and spatial distribution of organelles, and the three-dimensional architecture of the genome and nucleus. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors in turn regulate the size, shape, and heterogeneity of tissues. Metastasis occurs on a system level and the dispersion and dissemination of tumor cells depends in part on the architecture of both primary and metastatic sites. Disruption of spatial and temporal organization at each of these scales is associated with the development and progression of cancer and may influence the evoultion of therapeutic resistance. Techniques and perspectives from the physical sciences are particularly well-suited to exploring the complexity of these multiscale processes. For instance, advanced imaging and analysis techniques facilitate measurements at length scales ranging from subcellular to tissue-level with a high degree of spatial and temporal precision. These data can be complemented using tissue mimetics or three-dimensional tissue engineering tools; and, computational physics models or evolutionary theories can be used to integrate data across scales and iteratively inform subsequent studies.

Each Center will consist of the following components: administrative core; research projects; shared resources cores; and education and outreach unit.

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NIH Director's New Innovator Award Program (DP2)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

October 17, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The NIH Director's New Innovator (DP2) Award initiative supports a small number of early stage investigators of exceptional creativity who propose bold and highly innovative new research approaches that have the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important problems in biomedical and behavioral research. The New Innovator Award initiative complements ongoing efforts by NIH and its Institutes and Centers to fund early stage investigators through R01 grants, which continue to be the major sources of NIH support for early stage investigators. The NIH Director's New Innovator Award initiative is a component of the High Risk - High Reward Research Program of the NIH Common Fund. This FOA will utilize the DP2 NIH Director's New Innovator Awards mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The NIH Director's New Innovator Award addresses two important goals: stimulating highly innovative research and supporting promising new investigators. New investigators may have exceptionally innovative research ideas, but not the preliminary data required to fare well in the traditional NIH peer review system. As part of NIH's commitment to increasing opportunities for new scientists, it has created the NIH Director's New Innovator Award to support exceptionally creative new investigators who propose highly innovative research projects that have the potential for unusually high impact. This award complements ongoing efforts by NIH and its Institutes and Centers to fund new investigators through R01 grants and other mechanisms.

The NIH Director's New Innovator Award program is different from traditional NIH grants in several ways. It is designed specifically to support unusually creative investigators with highly innovative research ideas at an early stage of their career when they may lack the preliminary data required for an R01 grant application. The emphasis is on innovation and creativity; preliminary data are not required, but may be included. No detailed, annual budget is requested in the application. The review process emphasizes the individual's creativity, the innovativeness of the research approaches, and the potential of the project, if successful, to have a significant impact on an important biomedical or behavioral research problem.

The research proposed for a New Innovator Award may be in any scientific area relevant to the mission of NIH (biological, behavioral, clinical, social, physical, chemical, computational, engineering, and mathematical sciences). Investigators who were not selected for an award in prior years may submit applications this year as long as they retain their ESI (early stage investigator) eligibility; however, all applications must be submitted as "new" applications regardless of any previous submission to the program.

 

 

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Collaborative Interdisciplinary Team Science in NIDDK Research Areas (R24)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

November 13, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) invites applications that assemble an interdisciplinary, collaborative team of creative, independent, and funded investigators to address a complex and important problem relevant to the mission of NIDDK. The team should be able to provide an integrative plan of working together to effectively address the complex challenge at hand. The team science approach encouraged by this FOA could be used to generate a research resource, which may include discovery-based or hypothesis-generative approaches, to advance the relevant area of biomedical research. This FOA will use the NIH Research Resource Grant Mechanism (R24).

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

In this FOA, the R24 is will be used to provide a mechanism by which interdisciplinary expertise is brought together to focus on a single complex problem in biomedical research relevant to the mission of NIDDK. The purpose of this FOA is to provide support for interdisciplinary research teams focused on innovative approaches to answer a single critically important research question or problem relevant to the mission of NIDDK. An R24 project is expected to support discovery or hypothesis-generating research or to develop unique resources or technologies that are needed to move a particular field forward. Collectively, the team should bring together the necessary, and appropriate, expertise to answer one complex problem, or challenge. Formation of the team of investigators should result in a greater contribution to meeting the challenge than would occur if each team member worked individually, and submission of a multi-PD/PI application is encouraged if it facilitates the team aspect of the approach. R24s can support basic, translational, or clinical science. Teams may also support integrated basic and clinical studies with the intent of accelerating translation of basic science to the clinic. NIDDK expects investigators forming collaborative teams to be funded and productive investigators who now wish to integrate their interests and efforts to facilitate a synergistic approach to the challenge not possible through other grants mechanisms. Support for resource development, generation, or utilization can be included to enhance the catalytic and transformative nature of the proposed studies. However, individual projects and cores are not allowed.

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Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices - New NIH Biosketch Format
NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts / November 28, 2014

IMPORTANT NOTICE: 

New Biographical Sketch Format Required for NIH and AHRQ Grant Applications Submitted for Due Dates on or After January 25, 2015 (NOT-OD-15-024) Office of the Director, NIH. 

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NIH NIAID Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program (VAP) Small Research Grant Program (R03) PA-13-179
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Standard R03 small grant deadlines: June 16, Oct. 16; Standard AIDS-related deadlines: May 7, Sept. 7, Jan. 7; Expiration date: May 8, 2016

Applications are encouraged from organizations/institutions that propose to conduct vaccine-related research through U.S.-Indo collaborations on the following: dengue, influenza (including avian influenza), malaria, enteric diseases, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Basic, translational, clinical, or epidemiological vaccine research may be proposed. 

Only U.S. and India Organizations are eligible to apply. 

Eligibility: faculty with PI eligibility and CE faculty (with an approved CE Faculty PI waiver)

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NIH NIAID International Research in Infectious Diseases, including AIDS (R01) (PAR-14-080)

Application Receipt/Submission Date(s): May 22, 2014; May 22, 2015; May 20, 2016 AIDS Date: August 22, 2014; August 21, 2015; August 19, 2016

Eligibility:  This FOA will accept applications from organizations/institutions in eligible foreign countries that propose research related to infectious diseases that are of interest/importance to that country. 

Collaborative projects involving investigators and institutions from international sites and the U.S. are particularly encouraged; however, a U.S. partner is not required. 

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Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities (R21)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research/NIH/DHHS

Standard dates apply. Next deadline is January 7, 2015

SYNOPSIS:

NIH participating Institutes and Centers invite applications for behavioral and social science research on the causes and solutions to health and disabilities disparities in the U. S. population. Health disparities between, on the one hand, racial/ethnic populations, lower socioeconomic classes, and rural residents and, on the other hand, the overall U.S. population are major public health concerns. Emphasis is placed on research in and among three broad areas of action: 1) public policy, 2) health care, and 3) disease/disability prevention. Particular attention is given to reducing "health gaps" among groups. Applications that utilize an interdisciplinary approach, investigate multiple levels of analysis, incorporate a life-course perspective, and/or employ innovative methods such as systems science or community-based participatory research are particularly encouraged. This program will use the NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) grant mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

NIH issues this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to encourage research project grant applications (R21) employing behavioral and social science theories, concepts, and methods (1) to improve understanding of the causes of disparities in health and disability among the various populations of the United States and (2) to develop and test interventions for reducing and eventually eliminating health disparities. The goal is to move beyond documenting the existence of health and disability disparities to addressing causes and solutions.

This announcement calls for research to address and to improve understanding of the causes of health disparities. In so doing, the announcement stresses the explicit employment of concepts and models from the behavioral and social sciences to guide applications in basic social and behavioral, and applied social and behavioral research by focusing on three action areas: public policy, health care, and disease/disability prevention. It emphasizes (1) basic social and behavioral research -- acting with or through biological -- pathways that give rise to disparities in health and (2) applied or translational research on the development, testing, adaptation, and delivery of interventions to reduce disparities. It encourages a multi-level analytic framework (i.e., ranging from individuals to societies) in investigating public health issues and their interactions (e.g., multiple morbidities rather than single illnesses) as well as attention to risk factors or causal processes common to various health conditions (e.g., smoking, diet, exercise, environmental risk, and access to health care).

Moreover, this announcement encourages research on the causes of and solutions to the "health differences" between a focus-population group and a reference-population group. By definition, health disparities refer to the health of a group in comparison to that of other groups. Although improving the absolute level of a group's health is a laudable goal, it may not result in changing the group's relative level of health. The reference population's health might also improve, thereby maintaining or widening the gap. The study of a single population group, in order to elucidate the circumstances that may contribute to health disparities or to test an intervention targeting a particular group, may be included under this announcement; however, the relevance to disparities must be addressed explicitly.

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Systems Science and Health in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (R01)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research/NIH/DHHS

LOI due 30 days prior to application due date
Standard dates apply. Next deadline is February 5, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its participating Institutes and Centers invite applications to increase the breadth and scope of topics that can be addressed with systems science methodologies. This FOA calls for research projects that are applied and/or basic in nature (including methodological and measurement development), have a human behavioral and/or social science focus, and employ methodologies suited to addressing the complexity inherent in behavioral and social phenomena, referred to as systems science methodologies. Additionally, this FOA seeks to promote interdisciplinary collaboration among health researchers and experts in computational approaches to further the development of modeling- and simulation-based systems science methodologies and their application to important public health challenges. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

This FOA encourages R01 applications that apply system science approaches such as system dynamic modeling, agent-based modeling, social network analysis, discrete event analysis, and Markov modeling to better understand complex and dynamic behavioral and social sciences processes and problems relevant to health. Research projects applicable to this FOA are those that are either applied or basic in nature (including methodological development), have a human behavioral and/or social science focus, and employ systems science methodologies, a suite of methods suited to addressing the complexity inherent in behavioral and social phenomena.

This FOA is intended to increase the breadth and scope of topics that can be addressed with systems science methodologies. This FOA calls for research projects that are applied and/or basic in nature (including methodological and measurement development), have a human behavioral and/or social science focus, and employ methodologies suited to addressing the complexity inherent in behavioral and social phenomena, referred to as systems science methodologies. Additionally, this FOA seeks to promote interdisciplinary collaboration among health researchers and experts in computational approaches to further the development of modeling- and simulation-based systems science methodologies and their application to important public health challenges.

Systems science methodologies are specific methodological approaches that have been developed to understand connections between a system's structure and its behavior over time. "Systems science methodologies" is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of such methodologies including, but not limited to, agent-based modeling, microsimulation, system dynamics modeling, network analysis, discrete event analysis, Markov modeling, control systems engineering and related engineering methods, and a variety of other dynamic and computational modeling and simulation approaches.

A system, in this context, refers to the particular configuration of all relevant entities, resources, and processes that together adequately characterize the problem space under study (i.e., a system is defined by the boundaries that stakeholders use to determine which acts/observations are relevant for their inquiry as well as the interpretations/judgments that they use to guide decisions or actions). Systems science methodologies are valued for their ability to address the complexity inherent in behavioral and social phenomena. For example, these approaches excel at identifying non-linear relationships, bi-directional feedback loops, time delayed effects, emergent properties of the system, and oscillating system behavior. Examples of research topics encouraged under this FOA include, but are not limited to, those listed below:

NCI is interested in research projects that address the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.

NIA supports genetic, biological, clinical, behavioral, social, and economic research related to the aging process and the life course, diseases and conditions associated with aging, and other special problems and needs of older Americans.

NIAAA conducts and supports research in a wide range of scientific areas including genetics, neuroscience, epidemiology, health risks and benefits of alcohol consumption, prevention, and treatment.

NIBIB is dedicated to improving health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies http://www.nibib.nih.gov/About. The Institute is committed to integrating the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care. This is achieved through: research and development of new biomedical imaging and bioengineering techniques and devices to fundamentally improve the detection, treatment, and prevention of disease; enhancing existing imaging and bioengineering modalities; supporting related research in the physical and mathematical sciences; encouraging research and development in multidisciplinary areas; supporting studies to assess the effectiveness and outcomes of new biologics, materials, processes, devices, and procedures; developing technologies for early disease detection and assessment of health status; and developing advanced imaging and engineering techniques for conducting biomedical research at multiple analytic scales.

NICHD is interested in basic and applied research on models of behavioral and social processes associated with health, disability, and developmental outcomes from pre-conception to adulthood.

NIDCR supports research that examines community characteristics, the organization of health care systems, and the social contexts that contribute to oral health. Many of the opportunities for improving oral health lie in achieving behavioral, lifestyle and social changes--objectives that are shared with many other scientific areas. The NIDCR supports systems science projects that explain the determinants of and/or methodologies to improve dental, oral, and craniofacial health.

NIEHS supports research that spans the range from basic mechanistic research, research involving laboratory animal models and systems, to clinical and epidemiologic studies using human subjects (see http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/index.cfm). NIEHS is particularly interested in projects that address complex, multi-faceted problems related to how environmental pollutants impact human health. Projects should involve environmental scientists and test scientific questions and/or develop simulations models to examine how environmental exposures (physical, chemical, and biological) interact with social and behavioral conditions to influence the development and progression of human disease. The ultimate goal of this research should be to generate knowledge that can inform the development and prioritization of environmental policies, interventions, and programs that are designed to promote healthier lives.

NIMH supports research to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic, translational, clinical, and services research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.

NINR is interested in research projects that promote and improve the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations. The Institute supports and conducts clinical and basic research and research training on health and illness across the lifespan to build the scientific foundation for clinical practice, prevent disease and disability, manage and eliminate symptoms caused by illness, and improve palliative and end-of-life care.

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National Science Foundation (NSF)

Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (CDS&E)
National Science Foundation (multiple directorates)

Deadlines vary per directorate

SYNOPSIS: 

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.  The intellectual drivers may be in an individual discipline or they may cut across more than one discipline in various Directorates.  The key identifying factor is that the outcome relies on the development, adaptation, and utilization of one or more of the capabilities offered by advancement of both research and infrastructure in computation and data, either through cross-cutting or disciplinary programs. 

The CDS&E program welcomes proposals in any area of research supported through the participating divisions that:

·         Promote the creation, development, and application of the next generation of mathematical, computational and statistical theories and tools that are essential for addressing the challenges presented to the scientific and engineering communities by the ever-expanding role of computational modeling and simulation and the explosion and production of digital experimental and observational data.

·         Promote and encourage integrated research projects that create, develop and apply novel computational, mathematical and statistical methods, algorithms, software, data curation, analysis, visualization and mining tools to address major, heretofore intractable questions in core science and engineering disciplines, including large-scale simulations and analysis of large and heterogeneous collections of data.

·         Encourage adventurous ideas that generate new paradigms and that create and apply novel techniques, generating and utilizing digital data in innovative ways to complement or dramatically enhance traditional computational, experimental, observational, and theoretical tools for scientific discovery and application.

·         Encourage ideas at the interface between scientific frameworks, computing capability, measurements and physical systems that enable advances well beyond the expected natural progression of individual activities, including development of science-driven algorithms to address pivotal problems in science and engineering and efficient methods to access, mine, and utilize large data sets.

Supplement requests to existing awards within a program that address one of the points above will also be considered. 

The CDS&E program in MPS explicitly addresses the distinct intellectual and technological discipline lying at the intersection of applied mathematics, statistics, computer science, and the core science disciplines of astronomy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and materials research.  Proposals are expected to be relevant to mathematical and physical sciences.  The CDS&E program in ENG recognizes the importance of complex and heterogeneous data as well as high fidelity simulations over disparate scales that can be interrogated, analyzed, modeled, optimized or controlled, and even integrated with experiments or physical facilities representing engineering systems.  Proposals are expected to be relevant to engineering and to have cross-cutting and integrative themes.  The Engineering Directorate encourages the effective leveraging of NSF centers and public-private partnerships to realize CDS&E program objectives and accelerate innovation.  The CDS&E program in ACI encourages the development and use of new cyberinfrastructure capabilities that advance complex applications in science and engineering and further the integration of modeling, experiment and observation.  Proposals are expected to be relevant to ACI and are encouraged to leveraging existing or upcoming cyberinfrastructure investments.

Astronomy:  CDS&E encompasses those areas of inquiry where significant progress is critically dependent upon the application of new computational hardware, software, or algorithms, or upon the use of massive data sets. CDS&E encompasses fundamentally new approaches to large-scale simulation and to the analysis of large and heterogeneous collections of data, as well as research into the nature of algorithms and techniques that can be both enabled by data and enable more data-intensive research.

Chemistry: CDS&E encourages innovative and adventurous ideas that generate new paradigms at the algorithmic, software design and data acquisition levels in computational chemistry, simulations, chemical data analysis and cheminformatics, producing new approaches to gaining fundamental chemical knowledge and understanding. 

Materials Research:  CDS&E includes the creation, development, and application of computational tools, or the creation and application of novel techniques that utilize digital data in innovative ways to complement or dramatically enhance traditional computational, experimental, and theoretical methods to discover new materials, new materials-related phenomena, or advance fundamental understanding of materials.

Mathematical Sciences: CDS&E includes the creation, development, and application of the next generation of mathematical and statistical theories and tools that will be essential for addressing the challenges presented to the scientific and engineering communities by the ever expanding role of computational modeling and simulation on the one hand, and the explosion and production of digital and observational data on the other.

Physics:   CDS&E includes ideas at the interface between scientific frameworks and computing capability that enable advances well beyond the expected natural progress of either activity, including development of science-driven algorithms to address pivotal problems in physics and efficient methods to access and mine large data sets.

Directorate of Engineering: The CDS&E program in engineering recognizes the importance of engineering in CDS&E and vice-versa. Many natural and built engineering processes, devices and/or systems require high fidelity simulations over disparate scales that can be interrogated, analyzed, modeled, optimized or controlled, and even integrated with experiments or physical facilities. This program accepts proposals that confront and embrace the host of research challenges presented to the science and engineering communities by the ever-expanding role of computational modeling and simulation on the one hand, and experimental and/or observational data on the other.  The goal of the program is to promote the creation, development, and utilization of the next generation of theories, algorithms, methods, tools, and cyberinfrastructure in science and engineering applications.

Successful research supported by CDS&E in engineering will encompass all engineering and related disciplines that are potentially transformative and multidisciplinary and that address computational and/or data challenges.  Proposals submitted to this program should draw on productive intellectual partnerships that synergistically capitalize upon knowledge and expertise in multiple fields or sub-fields in science or engineering and/or in multiple types of organizations.  Proposals submitted to this program announcement should address the relevance of the proposed project to engineering.

Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport (CBET): CDS&E in CBET includes the use of high performance and emerging computational tools and environments in advancing mathematical modeling, simulation and analysis to describe and analyze with greater fidelity, complexity and scale, engineering processes in chemical, biochemical and biotechnology systems, bioengineering and living systems, sustainable energy and environmental systems, and transport and thermal-fluids systems.

Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI): CDS&E in CMMI encourages the submission of proposals that meet the expectations of the Directorate of Engineering and include advancing mathematic modeling and simulation to describe and analyze, with greater fidelity, complexity and scale, as well as create and apply novel techniques that utilize digital data in innovative ways to complement or dramatically enhance traditional computational, experimental, and theoretical methods. Proposals should advance the frontiers in advanced manufacturing, mechanics and materials, tools for dynamics, monitoring and control of complex systems, resilient and sustainable infrastructures and novel theories, or algorithms and methods in systems engineering and design.

Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI):  CDS&E in ACI addresses research in cyberinfrastructure with the clear potential to impact multiple research disciplines through the development of the paradigms, algorithms and processes needed to provide general CDS&E solutions as part of comprehensive, integrated, sustainable and secure cyberinfrastructure.

The CDS&E program is not intended to replace existing programs that make awards that involve computation and the analysis of large data sets.  Rather, the CDS&E program is meant to fund awards that have a significant component of cyber development or cyber science that goes well beyond what would normally be included in these programs.  PIs should ask for consideration and review as a CDS&E proposal only if the proposal addresses at least one of these additional cyber components.  Any proposal submitted to the CDS&E program that does not satisfy at least one of these additional criteria will be reviewed within the context of the individual program.  A proposal that is requesting consideration within the context of CDS&E should begin the title with the identifying acronym "CDS&E:". 

 

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Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies (Cyberlearning)

Deadline: Various, see program announcement

The purpose of the Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies program is to integrate opportunities offered by emerging technologies with advances in what is known about how people learn to advance three interconnected thrusts:

  • Innovation: inventing and improving next-generation genres (types) of learning technologies, identifying new means of using technology for fostering and assessing learning, and proposing new ways of integrating learning technologies with each other and into learning environments to foster and assess learning;

  • Advancing understanding of how people learn in technology-rich learning environments: enhancing understanding of how people learn and how to better foster and assess learning, especially in technology-rich learning environments that offer new opportunities for learning and through data collection and computational modeling of learners and groups of learners that can be done only in such environments; and

  • Promoting broad use and transferability of new genres: extracting lessons from experiences with these technologies that can inform design and use of new genres across disciplines, populations, and learning environments; advancing understanding of how to foster learning through effective use these new technologies and the environments they are integrated into. 

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Dear Colleague Letter - Support for Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure and Research during FY 2015-FY 2019
NSF - Advance Notice

90 Days after publication date

The purpose of this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) is to inform the natural hazards engineering research community of two forthcoming program solicitations anticipated to be issued by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Engineering, Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation, between April and June 2014, for the following: (1) operations of natural hazards engineering research infrastructure for FY 2015-FY 2019 and (2) research on multi-hazard resilient and sustainable civil infrastructure. NSF does not intend to provide additional information beyond this DCL until the program solicitations and any accompanying Frequently Asked Questions are issued, as those will be the official issuances for these competitions and take precedence over the information in this DCL. The anticipated due dates for full proposals submitted to these solicitations will be 90 days following the publication date.

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Dear Colleague Letter: BRAIN EAGERs to Enable Innovation Neurotechnologies to Reveal the Functional and Emergent Properties of Neural Circuits Underlying Behavior and Cognition

Deadline: This notice does not constitute a solicitation; therefore, no award of any kind will result from this notice.

This Dear Colleague Letter is aimed at identifying opportunities to leverage and synthesize technological and conceptual innovation across disciplines and scales to accelerate progress toward an integrated understanding of neural circuits in behavior and cognition, or more simply "catching circuits in action". The neuroscience research community and specialists in other areas including, but not limited to genetics, physiology, synthetic biology, engineering, physics, mathematics, statistics, behavior and cognition are encouraged to work across disciplines to develop new approaches and neurotechnology focused at understanding the properties of circuits that underlie behavior and/or cognition in any organism. Projects that take advantage of existing DBI investments in informatics, computing and other infrastructure, such as the Neuroscience Gateway, in novel ways are also eligible.

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Dear Colleague Letter: Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP): Supplemental Funding to Current SBIR/STTR Phase II Awards

Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP) supplements to Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program Phase II grants are intended to assist the small businesses in their technology commercialization efforts. Specifically, this supplemental funding is aimed at enabling the grantee to secure the services of a third-party service provider that will assist with one or more of the following commercialization activities:

  1. the identification and development of customers for the NSF-funded technology;
  2. providing advice on financing strategy and fundraising from private sector;
  3. establishing strategic partnerships with relevant stakeholders; and/or
  4. the evaluation and protection of intellectual property.

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Dear Colleague Letter: Computing About the Ebola Virus
Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) (National Science Foundation)

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

November 13, 2014

Dear Colleague:

This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) follows a recent National Science Foundation (NSF) DCL (NSF 15-006,http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf15006) that referred to the emergence of the lethal Ebola virus in the US and expressed NSF's interest in proposals to conduct non-medical, non-clinical care research that can be used immediately to better understand how to model and understand the spread of Ebola; educate about prophylactic behaviors; and encourage the development of products, processes, and learning that can address this global challenge.

In that DCL, NSF invited researchers to use the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism, which allows NSF to receive and review proposals having a severe urgency with regard to availability of, or access to, data, facilities or specialized equipment, as well as quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic disasters and similar unanticipated events.

The NSF Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) is particularly interested in proposals that include software development activities, such as those that would be funded by the Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (CDS&E, http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504813) or Software Structure for Sustained Innovation (SI2, http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf14520) programs, along with the use of petascale computing on Blue Waters, such as that which would be funded by the Petascale Computing Resource Allocations (PRAC, http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf14518) program. ACI encourages such submissions through this DCL.

Complete guidance on submitting a RAPID proposal may be found in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG):http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf14001/gpg_2.jsp#IID1.

Questions about this specific DCL should be addressed to:

Daniel S. Katz, dkatz@nsf.gov or Rudolf Eigenmann, reigenma@nsf.gov.

Sincerely,

C. Suzanne Iacono
Acting Assistant Director
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering

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Dear Colleague Letter: Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE)
National Science Foundation

Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

SYNOPSIS: 

The Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE) pilot seeks to support bold interdisciplinary projects in all NSF-supported areas of science, engineering, and education research. INSPIRE has no targeted themes and serves as a funding mechanism for proposals that are required both to be interdisciplinary and to exhibit potentially transformative research (IDR and PTR, respectively). Complementing existing NSF efforts, INSPIRE was created to handle proposals whose: scientific advances lie outside the scope of a single program or discipline, such that substantial funding support from more than one program or discipline is necessary; lines of research promise transformational advances; and prospective discoveries reside at the interfaces of disciplinary boundaries that may not be recognized through traditional review or co-review.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The implementation of the INSPIRE pilot is based on two overarching goals:

Goal 1: To emphasize to the science, mathematics, engineering and education research community that NSF is welcoming to bold, unconventional ideas incorporating creative interdisciplinary approaches. INSPIRE seeks to attract unusually creative high-risk/high-reward "out of the box" interdisciplinary proposals.

Goal 2: To provide NSF Program Officers (POs) with additional tools and support to engage in cross-cutting collaboration and risk-taking in managing their awards portfolios.

INSPIRE supports projects that lie at the intersection of traditional disciplines, and is intended to 1) attract unusually creative high-risk / high-reward interdisciplinary proposals; 2) provide substantial funding, not limited to the exploratory stage of the pursuit of novel ideas (unlike NSF's EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research, or EAGER); and 3) be open to all NSF-supported areas of science, mathematics, engineering, and education research. NSF will initiate an external formative assessment to test whether the INSPIRE pilot is achieving program and portfolio-level goals.

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Dear Colleague Letter: Joint NSF/NOAA Agreement regarding the National Centers for Environmental Prediction and related AGS

Deadline: Not Specified

This letter announces opportunities in FY2014 and FY2015 to support the translation of research supported by the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) to operations at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). AGS will provide support to enable the AGS research community to transition the basic research in which they are engaged to use in national operational activities at NCEP. This opportunity would support extended visits by AGS-supported investigators and research groups, including students and post-doctoral researchers to NOAA's NCEP. Support would be awarded in the form of a supplement to an existing NSF award. This opportunity provides AGS PIs an opportunity to advance their NSF-supported research by working closely with environmental scientists at NOAA's NCEP and having access to a wealth of real-time and archived datasets and computational facilities.

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Earth Sciences: Instrumentation and Facilities (EAR/IF)
Directorate for Geosciences and Division of Earth Sciences (National Science Foundation)

Proposals accepted on a rolling basis.

SYNOPSIS: 

The Instrumentation and Facilities Program in the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR/IF) supports meritorious requests for infrastructure that promotes research and education in areas supported by the Division (see http://www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?div=EAR). EAR/IF will consider proposals for:

    1. Acquisition or Upgrade of Research Equipment that will advance laboratory and field investigations and student research training opportunities in the Earth sciences. The maximum request is $750,000. The maximum request for upgrade of research group computing facilities is $75,000.
    2. Development of New Instrumentation, Techniques or Software that will extend current research and research training capabilities in the Earth sciences. The maximum request is $750,000.
    3. Support of National or Regional Multi-User Facilities that will make complex and expensive instruments, systems of instruments or services broadly available to the Earth science research and student communities.
    4. Support for Early Career Investigators to facilitate expedient development and operation of new research infrastructure proposed by the next generation of leaders in the Earth Sciences. The Early Career opportunity specifically allows for submission of a proposal for Acquisition or Upgrade of Research Equipment or Development of New Instrumentation, Techniques or Software which may include additional budget line items associated with support of a new full-time technician who will be dedicated to manage, operate and maintain the instrument(s) being requested. Any request for technical support under this opportunity is limited to three years duration. The maximum total request is $1,000,000.

Planned research uses of requested instruments, software, and facilities must include basic research on Earth processes SUPPORTED BY CORE PROGRAMS OR SPECIAL PROGRAMS OF THE DIVISION OF EARTH SCIENCES (see http://www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?div=EAR for a current list of programs funded by the Division of Earth Sciences).

Support is available through grants or cooperative agreements awarded in response to investigator-initiated proposals.

Human resource development and education are expected to be an integral part of all proposals submitted to EAR/IF.

Efforts to support participation of underrepresented groups in laboratory and/or field instrument use and training are encouraged.

All proposers to EAR/IF are encouraged to consider Support of Outreach and/or Broadening Participation Activities. Proposals submitted to the EAR/IF Program may request up to $20,000 for such activities (please refer to Sections V.A Proposal Preparation Instructions and V.B Budgetary Information). Proposals for Support of National or Regional Multi-User Facilities are excluded from the $20,000 maximum for outreach and broadening participation activities.

Proposals requesting equipment, infrastructure or personnel that will also serve disciplines outside the Earth sciences may be jointly reviewed with other programs within the Foundation. EAR/IF will consider co-funding of projects with other NSF programs and other agencies. Potential applications who consider joint review a possibility for their proposal are encouraged to contact the relevant program officer to discuss this possibility.

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Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Directorate for Biological Sciences/NSF

Deadlines: July 21, 2014 (CISE) (BIO) (EHR) July 22, 2014 (ENG) July 23, 2014 (GEO) (MPS) (SBE)

CAREER: The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from junior faculty members at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.

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Recompetition of the Management of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory

Deadline: TBD

Deadline:  This notice does not constitute a solicitation; therefore, no award of any kind will result from this notice. Although the competition is still in the planning stage, NSF anticipates that a program solicitation will be issued in the second quarter of calendar year 2014.

Consistent with the National Science Board Resolution on Competition and Recompetition of NSF Awards (NSB-08-12), NSF will carry out a competition for the next cooperative agreement to manage and operate the IceCube Neutrino Observatory through an open, merit-based external peer-review process. The Division of Polar Programs (PLR) of the Directorate for Geosciences and the Division of Physics of the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences are currently preparing the program solicitation. This solicitation is expected to lead to the award of a five- to ten-year cooperative agreement for the management and operation of ICNO following the end of the current cooperative agreement on September 30, 2015.

This letter provides general information regarding the upcoming competition and invites potential proposing organizations to contact NSF representatives to identify information they believe is needed for proposal preparation.

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Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)
Industrial Innovation and Partnerships

December 2, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program stimulates technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening the role of small business concerns in meeting Federal research and development needs, increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.

The SBIR program solicits proposals from the small business sector consistent with NSF's mission. The program is governed by Public Law 112-81 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011). SBIR policy is provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the SBA Policy Directive. A main purpose of the legislation is to stimulate technological innovation and increase private sector commercialization. The NSF SBIR program is therefore in a unique position to meet both the goals of NSF and the purpose of the SBIR legislation by transforming scientific discovery into both social and economic benefit, and by emphasizing private sector commercialization.

Accordingly, NSF has formulated broad solicitation topics for SBIR that conform to the high-technology investment sector's interests. The topics are detailed on the SBIR/STTR topics homepage.

Note: The submission of the same project idea to both this SBIR Phase I solicitation and the concurrent STTR Phase I solicitation is strongly discouraged.

More information about the NSF SBIR Program can be found on the Program Homepage.

For assistance with SBIR opportunities, MSU's Techlink has generously offered their support. Please contact Ray Friesenhahn at rayf@montana.edu or 994-7726. 

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Hydrologic Sciences

December 5, 2014

The Hydrologic Sciences Program focuses on the fluxes of water in the environment that constitute the water cycle as well as the mass and energy transport function of the water cycle in the environment.  The Program supports studying processes from rainfall to runoff to infiltration and streamflow; evaporation and transpiration; as well as the flow of water in soils and aquifers and the transport of suspended, dissolved and colloidal components.  Water is seen as the mode of coupling among various components of the environment and emphasis is placed on how the coupling is enabled by the water cycle and how it functions as a process.  The Hydrologic Sciences Program retains a strong focus on linking the fluxes of water and the components carried by water across the boundaries between various interacting components of the terrestrial system and the mechanisms by which these fluxes co-organize over a variety of timescales and/or alter the fundamentals of the interacting components.  The Program is also interested in how water interacts with the solid phase, the landscape and the ecosystem as well as how such interactions and couplings are altered by land use and climate change.  Studies may address aqueous geochemistry and solid phase interactions as well as physical, chemical, and biological processes as coupled to water transport. These studies commonly involve expertise from basic sciences and mathematics, and proposals may require joint review with related programs.  The Hydrologic Sciences Program will also consider some synthesis activities.

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Dear Colleague Letter: Seeking Community Input for Topic Ideas for Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI)
Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Program

The deadline for topic idea submission is: December 19, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

November 17, 2014

The purpose of this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) is to invite the research community to submit suggestions for Topic Ideas to be considered for the FY 2016 Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Program Solicitation.

Suggestions for EFRI Topic Ideas are currently solicited and vetted every two years. Selected Topics become the foci of EFRI-supported research. Solicitations are announced annually for research proposals that fall under the specified Topic areas.

This DCL is not a request for submission of a single research proposal idea; rather, it is meant to generate potential topic areas of emerging transformational research and innovation. You may submit your candidate topic idea along with a one-page description by visiting https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/efritopicideas. The deadline for topic idea submission is:December 19, 2014.

EFRI was established in FY 2007 to serve a critical role in focusing the engineering community on important emerging areas in a timely manner. Each year, EFRI evaluates, recommends, and funds interdisciplinary initiatives at the emerging frontiers of engineering research and innovation. These transformative opportunities may lead to: new research directions; new industries or capabilities that result in a leadership position for the country; and/or significant progress on a recognized national need or grand challenge.

EFRI invests in high-risk multidisciplinary opportunities with high-potential payoff. Its role is to support research opportunities that would be difficult to fund through the current funding mechanisms of EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), typical core programs, or large research center awards. These frontier ideas cannot be pursued by one researcher or within one field of expertise. They are "frontier" because they not only push the limits of knowledge of one field, but actually overlap multiple fields. The EFRI funding process is designed to both inspire and enable a group of researchers with diverse technical expertise to work together on one frontier idea.

The EFRI Program is perpetually gathering information for use in deciding future research topic areas to support. This process operates continually, ensuring input and feedback from the engineering community on promising upcoming research opportunities. This input comes from diverse sources such as workshops, advisory committees, proposals and awards, technical meetings, and professional societies as well as from individual engineering researchers. From this comprehensive input, the EFRI team identifies, evaluates, and prioritizes those frontier topics that best match the EFRI criteria.

In order to provide a wider and more direct opportunity for the research community to provide input on selection of topic ideas for FY 2016, the NSF EFRI team is inviting the community to submit emerging frontier Topic Idea suggestions for consideration by NSF.

Submit Your Ideas at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/efritopicideas.

NOTE: Ideas you submit should provide forward-looking views and identify opportunities in emerging frontiers of research and innovation; topic ideas should not simply summarize or justify your own ongoing research activities. Topics or areas of opportunity should be those that would be unlikely to be supported through other programs at NSF. The topic suggestion that you submit will not be confidential, in order to facilitate broader discussion of the ideas. NSF staff will review submitted candidate topic ideas in consultation with external experts. NSF plans to invite up to ten submitters to NSF for further discussions on their proposed topic. Those selected submitters will be notified in January 2015 and will be invited to come to NSF in February 2015.

We thank you in advance for taking the time to submit your emerging frontier ideas to the NSF Directorate for Engineering.

Sincerely,

Sohi Rastegar, Director 
Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI)
Directorate for Engineering

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Hydrologic Sciences
Directorate for Geosciences

December 5, 2104

SYNOPSIS: 

The Hydrologic Sciences Program focuses on the fluxes of water in the environment that constitute the water cycle as well as the mass and energy transport function of the water cycle in the environment. The Program supports studying processes from rainfall to runoff to infiltration and streamflow; evaporation and transpiration; as well as the flow of water in soils and aquifers and the transport of suspended, dissolved and colloidal components. Water is seen as the mode of coupling among various components of the environment and emphasis is placed on how the coupling is enabled by the water cycle and how it functions as a process. The Hydrologic Sciences Program retains a strong focus on linking the fluxes of water and the components carried by water across the boundaries between various interacting components of the terrestrial system and the mechanisms by which these fluxes co-organize over a variety of timescales and/or alter the fundamentals of the interacting components. The Program is also interested in how water interacts with the solid phase, the landscape and the ecosystem as well as how such interactions and couplings are altered by land use and climate change. Studies may address aqueous geochemistry and solid phase interactions as well as physical, chemical, and biological processes as coupled to water transport. These studies commonly involve expertise from basic sciences and mathematics, and proposals may require joint review with related programs. The Hydrologic Sciences Program will also consider some synthesis activities.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Hydrologic Sciences Program focuses on the fluxes of water in the environment that constitute the water cycle as well as the mass and energy transport function of the water cycle in the environment. The Program supports studying processes of rainfall to runoff to infiltration and streamflow; evaporation and transpiration; as well as the flow of water in soils and aquifers and the transport of suspended, dissolved and colloidal components. The Hydrological Sciences Program retains strong emphasis on linking the fluxes of water and the components carried by water across boundaries between various interacting components of the terrestrial system and the mechanisms by which these fluxes co-organize over a variety of timescales and/or alter the fundamentals of the interacting components. Water is seen as the mode of coupling among various components of the environment and emphasis is placed on how the coupling is enabled and how it functions as a process. Topics may be investigated as deterministic or stochastic processes by observational, experimental or modeling approaches. The program supports studies examining (1) the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of water and chemical fluxes and storages from local to global scales, (2) interfacial water fluxes and pathways among system compartments; and (3) how hydrologic processes couple to the critical zone via land use change, climate change and ecosystems function. Hydrologic Sciences also supports research in aqueous, colloidal and suspended geochemistry directly connected to hydrologic transport processes. Since the study of hydrologic processes requires expertise from basic sciences, engineering and mathematics, Hydrologic Sciences encourages interdisciplinary proposals and provides joint review with related programs.

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Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF): Core Programs
Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

Deadlines vary depending on project size, see announcement

SYNOPSIS: 

The Division of Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF) supports transformative research and education projects that explore the foundations of computing and communication. The Division seeks advances in computing and communication theory, algorithm design and analysis, and the architecture and design of computers and software. CCF-supported projects also investigate revolutionary computing models and technologies based on emerging scientific ideas and integrate research and education activities to prepare future generations of computer science and engineering workers. CCF supports three core programs as described below - Algorithmic Foundations (AF), Communications and Information Foundations (CIF), and Software and Hardware Foundations (SHF).

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Computational Mathematics
Division of Mathematical Sciences

Full Proposal Window: December 1, 2014 - December 15, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

Supports mathematical research in areas of science where computation plays a central and essential role, emphasizing design, analysis, and implementation of numerical methods and algorithms, and symbolic methods.  The prominence of computation with analysis of the computational approach in the research is a hallmark of the program.  Proposals ranging from single-investigator projects that develop and analyze innovative computational methods to interdisciplinary team projects that not only create and analyze new mathematical and computational techniques but also use/implement them to model, study, and solve important application problems are encouraged.

 

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Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research (IBSS)
Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences

December 2, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research (IBSS) competition promotes the conduct of interdisciplinary research by teams of investigators in the social and behavioral sciences. Emphasis is placed on support for research that involves researchers from multiple disciplinary fields, that integrates scientific theoretical approaches and methodologies from multiple disciplinary fields, and that is likely to yield generalizable insights and information that will advance basic knowledge and capabilities across multiple disciplinary fields.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research (IBSS) competition builds on the definition of interdisciplinary research presented in a 2004 National Academy of Sciences report:

Interdisciplinary research is a mode of research by teams or individuals that integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice.

A series of recent reports have called attention to the integrative and interdisciplinary nature of research problems in the social, behavioral, and economic (SBE) sciences. "The SBE sciences are focused on human activity at every level -- from an individual's brain, to behavior, to the actions of groups and organizations," the Subcommittee on Social, Behavioral, and Economic (SBE) Sciences of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has observed in a 2009 report. SBE scientists conduct innovative and methodologically diverse research that promises to address many of the nation's -- and the world's -- most pressing challenges: such as access to education and healthcare; combating terrorism and crime; and responding to natural disasters.

Unpacking phenomena like the obesity epidemic, global migration, disaster response, global climate change, or urban development defies conventional disciplinary boundaries. Studies like these rely on deep analysis of immediate conditions and also bear on fundamental dimensions of human behavior: How do we make choices? How do different groups understand and respond to information? How do circumstances and experiences in the first six months of life affect behaviors 20 or 30 years later in contexts as different as choosing to engage in civic life and deciding on when to start a family? Such research meets the criteria of the NSF's strategic plan's first strategic goal, Transforming the Frontiers: "The Foundation embraces our unique role in supporting the fundamental, interdisciplinary, high-risk, and potentially transformative research and education that are central to the discovery of emergent properties and structures in physical, living, human, and engineered systems."

Within the NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (NSF/SBE), and building on the successful experience of a five-year special emphasis area in Human and Social Dynamics, NSF/SBE undertook a year-long, community-engaging study of programmatic priorities. The resulting report finds that "future research will be interdisciplinary, data-intensive, and collaborative. That vision rests on thorough grounding in the core SBE sciences that continue to present important, discipline-based research and methodological challenges." That report also identified four major cross-cutting research themes for which interdisciplinary research by SBE scientists might be especially productive:

  • Population change
  • Sources of disparities
  • Communication, language, and linguistics
  • Technology, new media, and social networks

Since 2010, NSF's Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (NSF/SBE) has provided matching funds for core SBE programs to facilitate their support of interdisciplinary research projects reviewed independently or co-reviewed by multiple programs. That opportunity will continue. [see Dear Colleague Letter for Interdisciplinary Research Across the SBE Sciences located under Related URLs on this program's web site.] The IBSS competition establishes new opportunities to encourage, facilitate, and support interdisciplinary research that brings together researchers from different SBE disciplinary communities. It will focus on research problems that can be fully addressed only by interdisciplinary teams using approaches from multiple fields, and it will support research that promises results that will be meaningful across the contributing disciplines and that will explicitly advance science beyond existing intellectual boundaries.

The IBSS competition seeks to support research conducted by SBE scientists as collaborating members of teams that come from multiple disciplines, who engage in integrated research that employs methods and techniques from multiple disciplines, and whose results are likely to enhance theories and/or methodological approaches or have other stimulating and/or catalytic impact across a range of disciplinary fields.

The IBSS competition invites proposals for two different kinds of projects:

1. IBSS Large Interdisciplinary Research Projects. Large interdisciplinary research projects may be supported by awards as large as $1,000,000. Budgets should be developed at scales appropriate for the project to be conducted. Most projects will extend from two to five years in duration.

2. IBSS Interdisciplinary Team Exploratory Projects. Support for exploratory efforts by emerging multidisciplinary teams is designed to facilitate the kinds of contact, interaction, and active research activities necessary to enable researchers from multiple disciplines to engage in effective interdisciplinary research. Emphasis is to be placed on the conduct of research and potential outcomes, not on the preparation of plans and proposals for future research. Exploratory projects may be supported by awards as large as $250,000. Most exploratory projects will extend from one to two years in duration.

(Note that the amounts listed above are total budgets over the duration of the project, including both direct and indirect costs.)

Proposals seeking IBSS support may address any topic, issue, or problem. Researchers are encouraged to pursue research on one of the four cross-cutting themes identified in the Rebuilding the Mosaic report (population change; sources of disparities; communication, language, and linguistics; and technology, new media, and social networks), but the IBSS competition will be open and receptive to other topics that address topics having theoretical and societal significance.

Proposals submitted for IBSS funding should focus on basic research projects. Development of new methods, collection of new databases of broader value, engagement in education and training activities, and/or other forms of infrastructural activity may be a part of the project's activities, but the project's primary emphasis should be on scientifically exploring the validity of answers to focused, theoretically based questions.

Researchers who are interested in submitting proposals for IBSS funding should take special note of the special review criteria that will be used in the IBSS competition. In addition to asking reviewers to assess the intellectual merit and potential broader impacts of a project, IBSS program officers will seek their assessment of the breadth of disciplinary participation in the work of the project's research team, the breadth of research approaches to be used in the conduct of the project, and the breadth of the disciplinary communities that will benefit from project results. As a general principle, projects that display more breadth in these different categories will be at a competitive advantage over more narrowly focused projects, provided that the quality and significance of the research to be conducted is maintained.

Investigators submitting proposals for the IBSS competition should be aware that proposals will be evaluated by reviewers drawn from the full range of SBE disciplines. They therefore should prepare their proposals in ways that will make them readily understandable by a diverse set of reviewers. 

Projects for which IBSS support is sought must include at least three individuals as members of the project's senior personnel, and these individuals must be associated with two or more different SBE disciplinary fields. IBSS is especially interested in supporting teams that range across relevant SBE disciplines. Researchers from other non-SBE disciplines may also serve as members of research teams if their expertise will help advance the conduct of the proposed research. In some cases, NSF programs outside the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences may be willing to co-review a proposal with IBSS.

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Research on the Science and Technology Enterprise: Statistics and Surveys

Deadline: January 15, 2015

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) is one of the thirteen principal federal statistical agencies within the United States. It is responsible for the collection, acquisition, analysis, reporting and dissemination of objective, statistical data related to the science and engineering enterprise in the United States and other nations that is relevant and useful to practitioners, researchers, policymakers and the public. NCSES uses this information to prepare a number of statistical data reports as well as analytical reports including the National Science Board's biennial report, Science and Engineering (S&E) Indicators, and Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering. The Center would like to enhance its efforts to support analytic and methodological research in support of its surveys, and to engage in the education and training of researchers in the use of large-scale nationally representative datasets. NCSES welcomes efforts by the research community to use NCSES data for research on the science and technology enterprise, to develop improved survey methodologies for NCSES surveys, to create and improve indicators of S&T activities and resources, and strengthen methodologies to analyze and disseminate S&T statistical data. To that end, NCSES invites proposals for individual or multi-investigator research projects, doctoral dissertation improvement awards, workshops, experimental research, survey research and data collection and dissemination projects under its program for Research on the Science and Technology Enterprise: Statistics and Surveys.

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Geomorphology and Land Use Dynamics (GLD-SEP)
Directorate for Geosciences/NSF

January 16, 2015

The Geomorphology and Land-use Dynamics Program is part of the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR). EAR provides funding for the conduct of research concerning the solid Earth and its surface environment. EAR supports investigations of the Earth's structure, composition, evolution, and the interaction of the lithosphere with the Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere. In addition, EAR provides support for instrumental and observational infrastructure, cyberinfrastructure, and innovative educational and outreach activities. Projects may employ any combination of field, laboratory, and computational studies with observational, theoretical, or experimental approaches. Support is available for research and research infrastructure through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements awarded in response to investigator-initiated proposals from U.S. universities and other eligible organizations. EAR will consider co-funding of projects with other agencies and supports international work and collaborations.

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Decision, Risk and Management Sciences (DRMS)
Division of Social and Economic Sciences

August 18, 2014 and January 18, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Decision, Risk and Management Sciences program supports scientific research directed at increasing the understanding and effectiveness of decision making by individuals, groups, organizations, and society. Disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, doctoral dissertation research improvement grants (ddrigs), and workshops are funded in the areas of judgment and decision making; decision analysis and decision aids; risk analysis, perception, and communication; societal and public policy decision making; management science and organizational design. The program also supports small grants that are time-critical (Rapid Response Research - RAPID) and small grants that are high-risk and of a potentially transformative nature (EArly-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research - EAGER). For detailed information concerning these two types of grants, please review Chapter II.D of the NSF Grant Proposal Guide.

Funded research must be grounded in theory and generalizable. Purely algorithmic management science proposals should be submitted to the Operations Research Program rather than to DRMS.

General Guidance concerning the DRMS Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (DDRIGs) funding opportunity includes the following:

  • The advisor of the doctoral student is strongly encouraged to contact one of the DRMS Program Directors by e-mail prior to the preparation of the DDRIG proposal.
  • DRMS DDRIG awards have a recommended maximum duration of 12 months.
  • The proposal title should start with "Doctoral Dissertation Research in DRMS:".
  • On the FastLane Cover Sheet, the advisor should be listed as the Principal Investigator (PI) and the doctoral dissertation student as the Co-PI.
  • DDRIG awards are designed to cover expenses such as travel, special equipment, and participation fees.
  • DRMS does not provide general stipends or cost-of-living support for DDRIG awards.
  • Your DDRIG proposal's project desciption should be essentially a research design (statement of the research problem, literature review, hypotheses, research site, data to be collected, methods of analysis, and schedule).
  • The review process for DDRIG proposals may involve only mail reviews, or it may include both mail reviews and assessment by the DRMS advisory panel.
  • Outstanding DDRIG proposals specify how the knowledge to be created advances our theoretical understanding of the subject.

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Dear Colleague Letter: CPS EAGERs Supporting Participation in the Global City Teams Challenge
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Science Foundation

January 15, 2015

Dear Colleague:

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) launched the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC; seehttp://www.nist.gov/cps) with a kickoff meeting on September 29-30, 2014, in Gaithersburg, MD. This meeting brought together city planners and representatives from technology companies, academic institutions and non-profits with the aim of fostering teams that will contribute to a vision for "smart cities" that takes advantage of networked technologies to better manage resources and improve quality of life.

NIST's GCTC builds upon the National Science Foundation's (NSF) longstanding investments in cyber-physical systems (CPS). NSF established the CPS program in 2008 to develop the principles, methodologies, and tools needed to deeply embed computational intelligence, communications, and control, along with new mechanisms for sensing, actuation, and adaption, into physical systems. The NSF CPS program, which today includes the participation of the US Department of Homeland Security and US Department of Transportation, has funded a strong portfolio of projects that together have advanced fundamental knowledge and systems engineering of the kinds of systems that comprise the emerging smart city infrastructure and associated services. Furthermore, these advances have often been in the context of areas such as the smart grid and renewable energy sources, intelligent transportation systems including autonomous cars and traffic optimization, medical devices and networked medical systems, intelligent building control, and air transportation including air traffic management and Unmanned Air Vehicles that can be immediately applied to smart city efforts. Along the way, the CPS program has also nurtured a vibrant CPS research community.

With this Dear Colleague letter (DCL), the NSF is announcing its intention to accept EArly-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals to support NSF researchers in participating in the NIST GCTC teams, with the goal of pursuing novel research on effective integration of networked computer systems and physical devices that will have significant impact in meeting the challenges of the smart city. Priority will be given to researchers who have previously received funding from CPS, or who have related projects from other NSF programs (e.g., Computer Systems Research (CSR), Energy, Power, Control and Networks (EPCN), Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC), including CAREER awardees), and who are members of, or are seeking to, establish GCTC teams building upon the results of NSF-funded projects.

The deadline for submission of EAGERs is January 15, 2015, but earlier submissions are encouraged, and decisions will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Submission of EAGER proposals will be via Fastlane or Grants.gov. EAGER submissions should follow the NSF's Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) II.D.2 (see http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg). (As noted in the GPG, EAGER is a funding mechanism for supporting exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This work may be considered especially "high risk high payoff," for example, in the sense that it involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives.)

An investigator may be included in only one submission in response to this DCL; if more than one is submitted, only the first one will be considered.

For further information, please contact the cognizant CPS program directors:

Sincerely,

Suzanne Iacono
Acting Assistant Director, CISE

Pramod Khargonekar
Assistant Director, ENG

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Developmental and Learning Sciences (DLS)
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences

January 15, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

DLS supports fundamental research that increases our understanding of cognitive, linguistic, social, cultural, and biological processes related to children's and adolescents' development and learning.  Research supported by this program will add to our basic knowledge of how people learn and the underlying developmental processes that support learning, social functioning, and productive lives as members of society. 

DLS supports research that addresses developmental processes within the domains of cognitive, social, emotional, and motor development using any appropriate populations for the topics of interest including infants, children, adolescents, adults, and non-human animals. The program also supports research investigating factors that impact development change including family, peers, school, community, culture, media, physical, genetic, and epigenetic influences. Additional priorities include research that: incorporates multidisciplinary, multi-method, microgenetic, and longitudinal approaches; develops new methods, models, and theories for studying learning and development; includes participants from a range of ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and  cultures; and integrates different processes (e.g., learning, memory, emotion), levels of analysis (e.g., behavioral, social, neural), and time scales (e.g. infancy, middle childhood, adolescence).

The budgets and durations of supported projects vary widely and are greatly influenced by the nature of the project. Investigators should focus on innovative, potentially transformative research plans and then develop a budget to support those activities, rather than starting with a budget number and working up to that value.

While there are no specific rules about budget limitations, a typical project funded through the DLS program is approximately 3 years in duration with a total cost budget, including both direct and indirect costs, between $100,000 and $200,000 per year. Interested applicants are urged to explore the NSF awards database for the DLS program to review examples of awards that have been made.

The DLS program also accepts proposals for workshops and small conferences. These typically have total cost budgets, including direct and indirect costs, of approximately $35,000.

In addition to consulting the NSF awards database, it is often useful for interested applicants to submit (via email) a summary of no more than one-page so that the Program Officer can advise the investigator on the fit of the project for DLS prior to preparation of a full proposal. New Investigators are encouraged to solicit assistance in the preparation of their project proposals via consultation with senior researchers in their area, pre-submission review by colleagues, and attendance at symposia and events at professional conferences geared towards educating investigators seeking federal funding.

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Exploiting Parallelism and Scalability (XPS)
Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

January 27, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Computing systems have undergone a fundamental transformation from the single-processor devices of the turn of the century to today's ubiquitous and networked devices and warehouse-scale computing via the cloud. Parallelism is abundant at many levels. At the same time, semiconductor technology is facing fundamental physical limits and single processor performance has plateaued. This means that the ability to achieve predictable performance improvements through improved processor technologies alone has ended. Thus, parallelism has become critically important.

The Exploiting Parallelism and Scalability (XPS) program aims to support groundbreaking research leading to a new era of parallel computing. Achieving the needed breakthroughs will require a collaborative effort among researchers representing all areas -- from services and applications down to the micro-architecture -- and will be built on new concepts, theories, and foundational principles. New approaches to achieve scalable performance and usability need new abstract models and algorithms, new programming models and languages, new hardware architectures, compilers, operating systems and run-time systems, and must exploit domain and application-specific knowledge. Research is also needed on energy efficiency, communication efficiency, and on enabling the division of effort between edge devices and clouds.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

This program seeks transformative proposals on new and visionary approaches to re-evaluate and possibly re-design the traditional computer hardware and software stack for today's heterogeneous parallel, concurrent, and distributed systems, and should explore new holistic approaches to parallelism and cross-layer design. New approaches should encompass both software and hardware to achieve scalable performance and usability through new abstract models and algorithms, programming models and languages, data models and declarative query languages, hardware architectures, compilers and runtime systems. Research may focus on scalable performance, energy efficiency and communication efficiency, and/or on enabling the division of effort between edge devices and clouds. Programmability and reliability are both of primary importance to the program.

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Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE: EHR)
Directorate for Education & Human Resources and Division of Undergraduate Education

January 13, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

A well-prepared, innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce is crucial to the Nation's health and economy. Indeed, recent policy actions and reports have drawn attention to the opportunities and challenges inherent in increasing the number of highly qualified STEM graduates, including STEM teachers. Priorities include educating students to be leaders and innovators in emerging and rapidly changing STEM fields as well as educating a scientifically literate populace. Both of these priorities depend on the nature and quality of the undergraduate education experience. In addressing these STEM challenges and priorities, the National Science Foundation invests in evidence-based and evidence-generating approaches to understanding STEM learning; to designing, testing, and studying instruction and curricular change; to wide dissemination and implementation of best practices; and to broadening participation of individuals and institutions in STEM fields. The goals of these investments include: increasing the number and diversity of STEM students, preparing students well to participate in science for tomorrow, and improving students' STEM learning outcomes.

The Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program invites proposals that address immediate challenges and opportunities that are facing undergraduate STEM education, as well as those that anticipate new structures (e.g. organizational changes, new methods for certification or credentialing, course re-conception, cyberlearning, etc.) and new functions of the undergraduate learning and teaching enterprise. The IUSE program recognizes and respects the variety of discipline-specific challenges and opportunities facing STEM faculty as they strive to incorporate results from educational research into classroom practice and work with education research colleagues and social science learning scholars to advance our understanding of effective teaching and learning.

Toward these ends the program features two tracks: (1) Engaged Student Learning and (2) Institutional and Community Transformation. Two tiers of projects exist within each track: (i) Exploration and (ii) Design and Development. These tracks will entertain research studies in all areas. In addition, IUSE also offers support for a variety of focused innovative projects that seek to identify future opportunities and challenges facing the undergraduate STEM education enterprise.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The IUSE program envisions all undergraduate students fully engaged in their STEM learning within institutions of higher education deeply committed to the broad use of practices of teaching and learning that are rooted in a solid research base of demonstrated effectiveness. Towards this vision, the program recognizes the key role faculty play both as creators of innovative learning materials and teaching approaches, and implementers of promising practices. To achieve this vision, two goals guide the IUSE program: 1) to promote the development, use, and testing of instructional practices and curricular innovations that engage and improve student learning and retention in STEM, and 2) to promote community and institutional transformation that will increase opportunities for the application of highly effective STEM teaching methods.

The National Science Foundation is committed to agency-wide investments to increase the numbers, broaden the diversity, and improve the preparation of STEM professionals through undergraduate education. Projects supported by IUSE can serve to build evidence, adding to the literature on what works and the conditions under which success is achieved. Equally important, projects can serve to generate new knowledge about how to continue to transform undergraduate STEM teaching and learning and about how to apply such improved practices at an institution-wide scale and sustain such applications. Indeed, transferability and propagation are critical aspects for IUSE-supported efforts and should be addressed throughout a project's lifetime by ensuring attention to designing for use in a large variety of institutions.

IUSE supports a broad range of projects, including: research and development of innovative learning resources; design research to understand the impact of such resources; strategies to implement effective instruction in a department or multiple departments, within or across institutions; faculty development projects; design and testing of instruments for measuring student outcomes; and proposals for untested and unconventional activities that could have a high impact on learning and contribute to transforming undergraduate STEM education.

Through its projects, the IUSE program offers the opportunity to couple STEM disciplinary and interdisciplinary expertise with education research expertise to increase our knowledge about the most effective practices to transform the undergraduate STEM learning and teaching enterprise. Results and findings of IUSE projects, in turn, contribute to NSF's and EHR's larger themes that focus attention on STEM workforce development, STEM literacy across the population, and increasing participation and persistence in STEM, especially by members of underrepresented groups.

IUSE invites proposals that address immediate challenges and opportunities that are facing undergraduate STEM education, as well as those that anticipate new structures (e.g. organizational changes, new methods for certification or credentialing, course re-conception, cyberlearning, etc.) and new functions of the undergraduate learning and teaching enterprise. The IUSE program recognizes and respects the variety of discipline-specific challenges and opportunities facing STEM faculty as they strive to incorporate results from educational research into classroom practice and work with education research colleagues and social science learning scholars to advance our knowledge of effective teaching and learning. Principal Investigators are encouraged to consider the value of the project from the perspective of the end users as well as the relationships, partners, and structures which would eventually be needed to sustain the improvement on a wide scale.

Toward these ends the program features two tracks: (1) Engaged Student Learning and (2)Institutional and Community Transformation. Two tiers of projects exist within each track: (i)Exploration and (ii) Design and Development. The Engaged Student Learning and Institutional and Community Transformation tracks include research studies.

IUSE also offers support for a variety of focused innovative projects that seek to identify future opportunities and challenges facing the undergraduate STEM education enterprise. Included among such projects are workshops and special projects that explore revolutionary ideas to improve undergraduate STEM education, proposals to increase the diversity of the institutions and faculty participating in the IUSE enterprise, and those involving collaborations of education researchers and discipline scientists to ensure that undergraduate STEM education reflects cutting-edge STEM and educational research and to encourage the development of a healthy community of STEM education researchers and practitioners.

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Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers
Directorate for Education and Human Resources/NSF

November 6, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The ITEST program through research and model-building activities seeks to build understandings of best practice factors, contexts and processes contributing to K-12 students' motivation and participation in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) core domains along with other STEM cognate domains (e.g., information and communications technology (ICT), computing, computer sciences, data analytics, among others) that inform education programs and workforce domains. The ITEST program funds foundational and applied research projects addressing the development, implementation, and dissemination of innovative strategies, tools, and models for engaging students to be aware of STEM and cognate careers, and to pursue formal school-based and informal out-of-school educational experiences to prepare for such careers.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

ITEST supports projects that: increase students' awareness of STEM and cognate careers; (2) motivate students to pursue the appropriate education pathways for STEM and cognate careers; and/or (3) provide students with technology-rich experiences that develop disciplinary-based knowledge and practices, and non-cognitive skills (e.g., critical thinking and communication skills) needed for entering STEM workforce sectors. ITEST projects may adopt an interdisciplinary focus on one or more STEM domains or focus on sub discipline(s) within a domain. ITEST projects must involve students, and may also include teachers. ITEST is especially interested in broadening participation of student groups from traditionally underrepresented in STEM and cognate intensive education and workforce domains. Strongly encouraged are projects that actively engage business and industry to better ensure K-12 experiences are likely to foster the skill-sets of emerging STEM and cognate careers. ITEST supports two project types: Strategies and SPrEaD (Successful Project Expansion and Dissemination) projects. Strategies projects address the creation and implementation of innovative technology-related interventions that support ITEST's objectives. SPrEaD projects support the wider and broader dissemination and examination of innovative interventions to generate evidence and understanding regarding contextual factors that operate to enhance, moderate, or constrain the desired results. All ITEST projects include activities designed to inform judgments regarding the feasibility of implementing strategies in typical delivery settings such as classrooms and out-of-school settings

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National Robotics Initiative (NRI)
NSF, NASA, NIH, USDA, DOD, and DARPA

January 14, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The goal of the National Robotics Initiative is to accelerate the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside or cooperatively with people. Innovative robotics research and applications emphasizing the realization of such co-robots working in symbiotic relationships with human partners is supported by multiple agencies of the federal government including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). The purpose of this program is the development of this next generation of robotics, to advance the capability and usability of such systems and artifacts, and to encourage existing and new communities to focus on innovative application areas. It will address the entire life cycle from fundamental research and development to manufacturing and deployment. Questions concerning a particular project's focus, direction and relevance to a participating funding organization should be addressed to that agency's point of contact listed in section VIII of this solicitation.

Methods for the establishment and infusion of robotics in educational curricula and research to gain a better understanding of the long-term social, behavioral and economic implications of co-robots across all areas of human activity are important parts of this initiative. Collaboration between academic, industry, non-profit and other organizations is strongly encouraged to establish better linkages between fundamental science and technology development, deployment and use.

Only one class of proposals will be considered in response to this solicitation; there will not be separate competitions for small, medium, and large proposals. Please refer to section III of this solicitation for budget size information.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The primary purposes of the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) are to provide leadership in research fundamental to the development of the next generation of robots and co-robots, to advance the capability and usability of such systems and artifacts, and to encourage existing and new communities to focus on innovative application areas where robots collaborate productively with humans. The NRI looks to stimulate partnering arrangements necessary to create next-generation operational systems in such areas as manufacturing, space and undersea exploration, healthcare and rehabilitation, military and homeland security, civil and environmental infrastructure protection, food production, processing, and distribution, assistive devices for improving independence and quality of life, and safer driving. It covers the entire life cycle from fundamental research and development to industry manufacturing and deployment. Methods for the establishment and infusion of robotics in educational curricula and research to gain a better understanding of the long term social, behavioral and economic implications of co-robots across all areas of human activity are important parts of this initiative. The scope of the application domains perceived as worthy and viable adopters of this technology include robotic systems that serve as co-workers, co-inhabitants, co-explorers, and co-defenders.

Collaboration among academic, industry, non-profit and other organizations is strongly encouraged to establish better linkages between fundamental science and technology development and use, through partnerships among researchers, applications developers, users and industry. While the NRI encourages projects that include some aspects of technology development, fundamental research should dominate. Proposers focused on developmental work are encouraged to consider submission to SBIR and STTR programs.

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Petrology and Geochemistry
Directorate for Geosciences/NSF

January 12, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Petrology and Geochemistry Program supports basic research on the formation of planet Earth, including its accretion, early differentiation, and subsequent petrologic and geochemical modification via igneous and metamorphic processes. Proposals in this program generally address the petrology and high-temperature geochemistry of igneous and metamorphic rocks (including mantle samples), mineral physics, economic geology, and volcanology. Proposals that are focused on the development of analytical tools, theoretical and computational models, and experimental techniques for applications by the igneous and metamorphic petrology, and high temperature geochemistry communities are also invited.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Petrology and Geochemistry program supports basic research on Earth's history of planetary accretion and differentiation through time via igneous and metamorphic processes occurring at high temperatures and pressures, at a variety of scales operating in the Earth's crust, mantle, and core. This program also supports projects that study: chemical properties of natural minerals at high pressures and temperatures; formation of magma and melts in the deep Earth, their physical and chemical properties, their transport to the surface, and eruptive dynamics; chemical reactions and diffusion in minerals present in the lower crust and mantle; linkages between volcanic and plutonic systems, and time residence of minerals in magma chambers; geochemical models for the bulk Earth; formation of ore deposits; modern and ancient volcanic activity. The CH program is open to a variety of scientific ideas. If a PI is unclear about the relevance of a proposal topic to this program, s/he should contact one of the CH Program Directors.

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Petrology and Geochemistry (CH)
Directorate for Geosciences

January 12, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Petrology and Geochemistry Program supports basic research on the formation of planet Earth, including its accretion, early differentiation, and subsequent petrologic and geochemical modification via igneous and metamorphic processes. Proposals in this program generally address the petrology and high-temperature geochemistry of igneous and metamorphic rocks (including mantle samples), mineral physics, economic geology, and volcanology. Proposals that are focused on the development of analytical tools, theoretical and computational models, and experimental techniques for applications by the igneous and metamorphic petrology, and high temperature geochemistry communities are also invited.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Petrology and Geochemistry program supports basic research on Earth's history of planetary accretion and differentiation through time via igneous and metamorphic processes occurring at high temperatures and pressures, at a variety of scales operating in the Earth's crust, mantle, and core. This program also supports projects that study: 1) chemical properties of natural minerals at high pressures and temperatures; 2) formation of magma and melts in the deep Earth, their physical and chemical properties, their transport to the surface, and eruptive dynamics; 3) chemical reactions and diffusion in minerals present in the lower crust and mantle; 4) linkages between volcanic and plutonic systems, and time residence of minerals in magma chambers; 5) geochemical models for the bulk Earth; 6) formation of ore deposits; 7) modern and ancient volcanic activity. The CH program is open to a variety of scientific ideas. If a PI is unclear about the relevance of a proposal topic to this program, s/he should contact one of the CH Program Directors.

Projects supported through this program employ analytical methods such as major and trace element geochemistry; stable and radiogenic isotope geochemistry and geochronology. This program also supports experimental studies on the chemical properties of minerals and rocks at high temperatures, laboratory experiments on volcanic systems; thermodynamic modeling of high temperature geochemical and mineral-forming processes; spectroscopy and crystallography of high pressure and temperature phases; physical and chemical volcanology, broadly speaking. Proposals to study meteorites are considered only if the work is applicable to understanding processes that led to the formation and evolution of Planet Earth. Analytical method development for applications in high temperature geochemistry, and disciplinary-focused or research-based GeoInformatics proposals may be considered by this program or co-reviewed with other programs in EAR or GEO. Regarding terrestrial vs. marine samples: Proposals that use volcanic samples and xenoliths from continental environments and from islands above the waterline that target a broader understanding of the composition of the mantle and evolution of igneous rocks are considered primarily by the CH program. Proposals in solid earth petrology and high temperature geochemistry that use a combination of samples from the below and above the waterline may be considered jointly with the Marine Geology and Geophysics program (MGG - in the Division of Ocean Sciences). The CH program also co-reviews many proposals with the Geophysics program in the areas of high pressure mineral physics, and in the application of geophysical methods to understand volcanic systems. As per the GPG, proposals that are not viewed as appropriate for the program will be transferred to another program across NSF, when it is deemed appropriate by Program Directors from the respective programs. Principal Investigators are encouraged to contact the cognizant Program Directors regarding proposals that may cross disciplinary boundaries before submission.

The Petrology and Geochemistry Program is committed to supporting the most meritorious research in any relevant area, including interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research, as well as studies that involve international collaborations and partnerships. The Program is especially interested in proposals in emerging fields, and those that are responsive to recent reports from the community. Proposals for community workshops that can guide the program on new research topics and grand challenge questions are encouraged. All proposals for the RAPID and EaGER mechanisms, as described in the Grant Proposal Guide, must be discussed with one of the Program Directors before submission via Fastlane.

Examples of projects supported by the program can be found using the NSF Award Search (Program Information) engine by entering Element Code 1573.

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EHR Core Research

Deadline: February 3, 2015

The EHR Core Research (ECR) program establishes a mechanism in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources to provide funding in foundational research areas that are broad, essential and enduring. EHR seeks proposals that will help synthesize, build and/or expand research foundations in the following core areas: STEM learning, STEM learning environments, workforce development, and broadening participation in STEM. We invite researchers to identify and conduct research on questions or issues in order to advance the improvement of STEM learning in general, or to address specific challenges of great importance. Two types of proposals are invited: Core Research Proposals (maximum 5 years, $1.5 million) that propose to study a foundational research question/issue designed to inform the transformation of STEM learning and education and Capacity Building Proposals (maximum 3 years, $300,000) intended to support groundwork necessary for advancing research within the four core areas.

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Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems (NSF-NCS)
National Science Foundation (multiple directorates)

LOI due December 10, 2014
Full submission due January 26, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The complexities of brain and behavior pose fundamental questions in many areas of science and engineering, drawing intense interest across a broad spectrum of disciplinary perspectives while eluding explanation by any one of them. Rapid advances within and across disciplines have led to newly converging theories, models, empirical methods and findings, opening new opportunities to understand complex aspects of the brain in action and in context. Innovative, integrative, boundary-crossing approaches are necessary to push the field forward.

This solicitation describes the first phase of a new NSF program to support transformative and integrative research that will accelerate understanding of neural and cognitive systems. NSF seeks exceptional proposals that are bold, potentially risky, and transcend the perspectives and approaches typical of disciplinary research programs. This multi-directorate program is one element of NSF's broader aim to foster innovation in Cognitive Science and Neuroscience, a multi-year effort that includes NSF's participation in the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative (http://www.nsf.gov/brain/).

For FY 2015, this competition is organized around two research themes:Neuroengineering and Brain-Inspired Concepts and Designs and Individuality and Variation. Within each theme, general advances in theory and methods, technological innovations, educational approaches, enabling research infrastructure, and workforce development are all of significant interest. Competitive proposals must be consistent with the missions of the participating directorates. Potentially groundbreaking approaches that entail significant risk are encouraged.

Two classes of proposals will be considered in FY 2015. INTEGRATIVE FOUNDATIONSawards will support projects that develop foundational advances that are deeply connected to a broad scope of important research questions in cognitive and neural systems, and have significant potential for transformative advances in one or more of the FY 2015 thematic areas. CORE EXTENSIONS will provide additional support to projects selected for funding by other programs in the participating offices and directorates, to enable additional activities that will connect those projects to significant new integrative opportunities in cognitive and neural systems.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

This program will support innovative, potentially transformative science and engineering that will accelerate our understanding of neural and cognitive systems. Projects responsive to this solicitation will integrate across existing disciplines or approaches, spatial or temporal scales, and/or levels of abstraction or analysis and, where appropriate, challenge prevailing paradigms, practices, and scientific cultural norms. Proposals should specify how this integration occurs within one or more of the research themes outlined below, and how the proposal bridges the conceptual gaps that impede our understanding of neural and cognitive systems.

Proposals must articulate significantly new, integrative strategies that will have considerable impact and must transcend the perspectives and approaches typical of individual NSF core programs. Integrative strategies are expected to advance scientific frontiers, generate research questions beyond the bounds currently possible, and build productively on the state of the art across multiple disciplines. They will also maximize opportunities for interdisciplinary training and outreach, and for sharing resources such as data, code, models, or stimuli that will be useful to a wide range of researchers. In the global context, proposals that call for linking U.S. teams with international counterparts should identify opportunities to leverage resources through cooperation that enable advances of scope, scale, flexibility, expertise, or access to phenomena, that would not readily occur otherwise.

All proposals must clearly address how the proposed activity will:

  • Extend the boundaries of what is currently possible, with a vision of how important frontiers can be advanced over the long term;
  • Significantly advance existing literature, knowledge, and technologies, or challenge current scientific paradigms, as appropriate, by incorporating innovative approaches, exploring novel integration of expertise and/or technology, or engaging novel perspectives; and
  • Bridge temporal or spatial scales, levels of abstraction, levels of analysis, and/or disciplinary and methodological approaches.

Potentially groundbreaking approaches that entail significant risk are encouraged. Proposers are encouraged to explicitly address the risk-reward propositions posed by their projects so that the investigators' understanding of feasibility, contingencies, and potentially transformative impacts can be evaluated.

Proposals must be consistent with the missions of the participating directorates listed on the cover page, or they will not be considered responsive to the solicitation. Questions about appropriateness may be addressed to the directorate representatives listed in Section VIII of the solicitation.

Research Themes

For FY 2015, this competition is organized around the following two research themes. Within each theme, general advances in theory and methods, technological innovations, educational approaches, enabling research infrastructure, and workforce development are all of significant interest:

  1. Neuroengineering and Brain-Inspired Concepts and DesignsMerging insights gained from neuroscience and cognitive science with those from rapidly changing technologies will lead to significant innovations that are inspired by or directed toward the brain. These may include technologies for imaging, sensing, recording, or affecting real-time brain activity and behavior; computing paradigms; brain-computer interfaces; augmented and adaptive systems (e.g., for communication, learning, and/or performance); and other computational and bioengineered systems.
  2. Individuality and Variation are characteristic of all neural and cognitive processes, including biological and machine systems, signaling and communication at all levels, representations, learning and adaptation, development, resilience, ability, cultural and social processes, and group differences. Explaining functionally important individuality and variation, as well as the role of noise, will have far-reaching consequences in many scientific domains. Alongside these domain-specific issues are statistical and modeling challenges to explore, describe, and understand the role of naturally occurring variability.

Proposal Classes

Two classes of proposals will be considered in FY 2015: INTEGRATIVE FOUNDATIONS and CORE EXTENSIONS. Please carefully review the descriptions of each proposal class and the application instructions in Section V of this solicitation.

INTEGRATIVE FOUNDATIONS awards will support projects that develop foundational advances that are deeply connected to a broad scope of important research questions in cognitive and neural systems, and have significant potential for transformative advances in one or more of the FY 2015 thematic areas. Teams of two or more investigators with distinct but complementary expertise are required. Proposals must demonstrate the transformative potential of the work to be funded, and clearly articulate their enabling contributions and interactions within the broader intellectual context of related work. Total award budgets are anticipated to range from $500,000 to $1,000,000 (including direct and indirect costs) over periods of 2 to 4 years.

CORE EXTENSIONS will provide additional support to projects selected for funding by other programs in the participating offices and directorates, to enable additional activities that would connect those projects to significant new integrative opportunities in cognitive and neural systems. A request for a CORE EXTENSION should be embedded in a proposal to another primary program, through a supplementary document prepared according to the instructions in Section V of this solicitation. The proposal will first be reviewed by the primary program to which it was submitted. Additional activities described in the supplementary document should extend the main project into new cognitive or neural arenas (for example, by connecting a project to a challenging new domain or application area, or distinctly different scale or level of analysis, or by establishing a synergistic domestic or international collaboration). Up to an additional $100,000 in funding (including direct and indirect costs) may be provided to support these activities.

Anticipated Future Activities

This solicitation represents the first of a broader set of activities that are planned within a multi-year initiative. Subject to availability of funds, anticipated future research themes include Cognitive and Neural Processes in Realistic, Complex Environments, and Data-Intensive Neuroscience and Cognitive Science. Also anticipated is a class of larger proposals, INTEGRATIVE FRONTIERS, intended to provide support for ambitious, highly integrative, interdisciplinary projects requiring teams of three or more investigators with distinct but complementary expertise, engaged in a sustained collaborative effort. Proposers are advised to consider all of the research themes and proposal classes that are anticipated, in order to submit to the most appropriate opportunity.

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Research in Engineering Education
Directorate for Engineering/NSF

January 22, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The sponsor seeks to enable a world-leading system of engineering education, equally open and available to all members of society, that dynamically and rapidly adapts to meet the changing needs of society and the nation's economy.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Research areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

Increasing our understanding of how engineering students learn and the capacity that supports such discovery. Fundamental research is encouraged on how engineering is learned, including engineering epistemologies and identities; and how to evaluate or operationalize aspects of engineering thinking, doing, and knowing.

Understanding how to increase the diffusion and impact of engineering education research. Research projects are sought that discover how to improve the process by which engineering education research is translated into practice; how to accomplish organizational and cultural change in institutions of engineering education that leads to improved learning outcomes; or identifying and overcoming barriers to widespread adoption of engineering education research. Research projects that partner with other engineering education stakeholders (e.g. private companies, NGOs, or professional societies) to measure the value and impact of engineering education research on practice are also sought.

Understanding engineering education in broader, organizing frameworks such as innovation, globalization, complex engineered systems, or sustainability. Research in this theme explores learning from perspectives and contexts that cut across disciplines and in which learners integrate expertise from multiple fields. Research projects that align with this theme include discovering processes to effectively teach engineering students to succeed in such environments or "eco-systems"; discovering key concepts and principles of educating engineers within such frameworks; or exploring factors such as teamwork, communication, or identity formation in such environments.

Diversifying pathways to and through engineering degree programs. Research projects that align with this theme explore how engineering programs can engage and develop students with a broad range of backgrounds, interests, and experiences; investigate how real world experiences germane to engineering--such as military service or being a "maker"--impact, improve, or accelerate learning; or investigate how to fundamentally restructure courses, curricula, or programs to substantially boost student success, especially for under-represented populations.

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Tectonics
Division of Earth Sciences

January 12, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Tectonics Program supports a broad range of field, laboratory, computational, and theoretical investigations aimed at understanding the deformation of the terrestrial continental lithosphere (i.e. above the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary). The Program focuses on non-magmatic deformation processes and their tectonic drivers that operate at any depth within the continental lithosphere, on time-scales of decades/centuries (e.g. active tectonics) and longer, and at micro- to plate boundary/orogenic belt length-scales.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Tectonics Program supports a broad range of field, laboratory, computational, and theoretical investigations aimed at understanding the deformation of the terrestrial continental lithosphere (i.e. above the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary). The Program focuses on non-magmatic deformation processes and their tectonic drivers that operate at any depth within the continental lithosphere, on time-scales of decades/centuries (e.g. active tectonics) and longer, and at micro- to plate boundary/orogenic belt length-scales. The Program also supports research on the structural expression of deformation processes at the surface or at depth, the geological record of continental lithosphere deformation, the rheological properties of continental lithosphere materials, and plate movements and continental reconstructions.

Because understanding continental deformation commonly requires a variety of expertise and methods, the Program supports investigations that engage a wide variety of disciplines. The program encourages the application of new methods from all fields to tectonic problems. Because of its integrative and commonly interdisciplinary nature, the science supported by the Program may bridge programmatic boundaries with other programs in the Earth Sciences Division and Geosciences Directorate, in which case such research projects may be considered for co-review with other those programs. For example, research proposals addressing deeper mantle processes (those operating below the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary) that affect continental lithosphere deformation may be jointly considered by Tectonics and Geophysics Programs. Projects involving both the terrestrial and marine realms may be jointly considered by the Tectonics and the Marine Geology and Geophysics Programs. As per the NSF Grant Proposal Guide, proposals may be transferred to other programs within EAR or to other Divisions within the National Science Foundation when it is deemed appropriate by Program Officers from the respective programs or divisions. Principal Investigators are encouraged to contact the cognizant program officers regarding proposals that may cross disciplinary boundaries before submission.

The Tectonics Program is committed to supporting the most meritorious research in any relevant area in single- or multi-institution proposals, including interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research, as well as research involving international collaboration. The Program is especially interested in proposals in emerging fields. Proposals for community workshops that can guide the program on new research topics and grand challenge questions are encouraged. All proposals for the RAPID and EAGER mechanisms, as described in the Grant Proposal Guide, must be discussed with one of the Program Directors before submission via FastLane.

Examples of projects supported by the program can be found using: 1) NSF Search Awards: Advanced Search engine by entering Element Code 1572 or Program Tectonics; or 2) Research.gov: Research Spending and Results: Advanced Search.

Two types of proposals will be considered by the Tectonics Program:

1. Single- or multi-institution proposals that address the goals of the Tectonics Program as described above.

2. Tectonic Collaboratories: The goal of Tectonic Collaboratories is to explore emerging frontier directions in tectonics research by supporting groups of investigators to communicate and coordinate their research activities across broad disciplinary boundaries in the earth sciences. Tectonic Collaboratories provide opportunities to foster new research collaborations, including international partnerships, but are not meant to support the activities of existing or well-established collaborations. Tectonic Collaboratories support activities that promote research coordination and networking such as workshops, field forums, summer institutes, virtual networks, and webinars, for example, and thus will not directly support costs related to primary research. Tectonics Collaboratories proposals should specify what activities will be undertaken, what new groups of investigators will be brought together, what products will be generated, who will coordinate the activities, and how information about the Collaboratory and opportunities to participate will be disseminated. The inclusion of new researchers, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students is encouraged. Project sizes for Tectonic Collaboratory proposals are expected to range up to $300,000 for up to 4 years duration.

Proposed Tectonic Collaboratory activities should focus on a theme to give coherence to the collaboration, such as a broad research question or particular technologies or approaches. Illustrative examples of themes of interest include, but not limited to, are:

  • geologically-based investigations of active or exhumed fault zones to understand fundamental fault zone processes, structure, and rheology to understand seismogenic behavior (e.g., episodic tremor and slip; earthquake recurrence; pre- co- and post-seismic slip, etc.).
  • feedbacks and linkages between tectonics, climate, and surface processes with mountain building and decay

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US Ignite
Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

January 21, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

US Ignite is an Administration initiative seeking to promote US leadership in the development and deployment of next-generation gigabit applications with the potential for significant societal impact. The primary goal of US Ignite is to break a fundamental deadlock: there is insufficient investment in gigabit applications that can take advantage of advanced network infrastructure because such infrastructure is rare and dispersed. And conversely, there is a lack of broad availability of advanced broadband infrastructure for open experimentation and innovation because there are few advanced applications and services to justify it. US Ignite aims to break this deadlock by providing incentives for imagining, prototyping, and developing public sector gigabit applications, and by leveraging and extending this network testbed across US college/university campuses and cities.

This solicitation builds on the experience gained from initial US Ignite activities to further engage the US academic research and non-profit communities along with local cities, municipalities, and regions in exploring the challenges of developing and applying next-generation networking to problems of significant public interest and benefit. In particular, this solicitation has two tracks: the first encourages the development of applications in national priority areas that explore new uses for networks, giving rise to novel networking and application paradigms; and the second expands and enhances the ecosystems in which these applications will evolve and be evaluated.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

In the last decade, CISE's investments in research infrastructure, particularly networking research infrastructure, have demonstrated the value of developing and using shared infrastructure for accelerating research and education. For example, since 2007, CISE has supported the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI), laying the foundation for a unique national virtual laboratory for at-scale networking experimentation. Over 300 networking researchers spanning more than 60 universities throughout the US have contributed to developing and prototyping GENI. GENI currently has over 700 unique users each quarter using the infrastructure for research and education experimentation. Key features of GENI are resource slicing and deep programmability with configurations defined by declarative specifications and a rich authorization infrastructure. More than 50 "GENI racks," small computing clusters with access to national software-defined advanced networking infrastructures, have been deployed in campuses and cities throughout the US. Recently, driven by the data communication needs of the domain sciences as well as the potential and opportunity to move advances enabled by GENI and related efforts onto campus environments, NSF established the Campus Cyberinfrastructure - Infrastructure, Innovation and Engineering (CC*IIE) program. CC*IIE seeks improvements and re-engineering at the campus level to leverage dynamic network services and support both a range of scientific data transfers and GENI-like experimental infrastructure. To date, the CC*IIE program has made awards to approximately 120 institutions widely spread across the United States.

Beginning in June 2012, US Ignite has sought to leverage NSF's investments in networking research infrastructure, notably in GENI and CC*IIE, by integrating academic campuses that have GENI technology with research backbone networks and numerous broadband cities across the nation. Through US Ignite, NSF and other Federal agencies are exploring next-generation networking at scale, and creating a national innovation ecosystem that will have profound, long-term social and economic impacts.

This solicitation builds on the experience gained from initial US Ignite activities to further engage the US academic research and non-profit communities along with local cities, municipalities, and regions in exploring the challenges of developing and applying next-generation networking to problems of significant public interest and benefit. In particular, this solicitation has two tracks: the first (Track 1) builds on, and expands, the activities explored by the US Ignite Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs) described above, enabling development of applications in national priority areas that explore new uses for networks, giving rise to novel networking and application paradigms; and the second (Track 2) seeks to expand and enhance the ecosystems in which these applications will evolve and be evaluated.

 

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Energy for Sustainability

Deadline: January 15 to February 19, 2015

This program supports fundamental research and education that will enable innovative processes for the sustainable production of electricity and transportation fuels. Processes for sustainable energy production must be environmentally benign, reduce greenhouse gas production, and utilize renewable resources.

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Environmental Engineering

Deadline: January 15 to February 19, 2015

The goal of this program is to encourage transformative research which applies scientific and engineering principles to minimize or avoid solid, liquid, and gaseous discharges resulting from human activity into land, air, and inland and coastal waters, while promoting resource and energy conservation and recovery. The program fosters cutting-edge scientific research for identifying, evaluating, and monitoring the waste assimilative capacity of the natural environment and for removing or reducing contaminants from polluted air, water, and soils.

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Environmental Health and Safety of Nanotechnology

Deadline: January 15 to February 19, 2015

The program emphasizes engineering principles underlying the environmental health and safety impacts of nanotechnology. Innovative methods related to clean nanomaterials production processes, waste reduction, recycling, and industrial ecology of nanotechnology are also of interest. Current areas of support include: Understanding, measuring, mitigating, and preventing adverse effects of nanotechnology on the environment and biological systems; Nanotechnology environmental health and safety impacts; Predictive methodology for the interaction of nanoparticles with the environment and with the human body, including predictive approaches for toxicity; Fate and transport of engineered nanoparticles and their by-products; and Risk assessment and management of the effect of nanomaterials in the environment.

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Fluid Dynamics

Deadline: January 15 to February 19, 2015

The Fluid Dynamics program supports fundamental research and education on mechanisms and phenomena governing fluid flow. Proposed research should contribute to basic understanding; thus enabling the better design; predictability; efficiency; and control of systems that involve fluids. Encouraged are proposals that address innovative uses of fluids in materials development; manufacturing; biotechnology; nanotechnology; clinical diagnostics and drug delivery; sensor development and integration; energy and the environment.

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Particulate and Multiphase Processes Program

Deadline: January 15 to February 19, 2015

The Particulate and Multiphase Processes program supports fundamental and applied research on phenomena governing particulate and multiphase processes, including flows of suspensions of particles, drops or bubbles, granular and granular-fluid flows, flow behavior of micro or nano-structured fluids, aerosol science and technology, and self- and directed-assembly processes involving particulates. Innovative research is sought that contributes to improving the basic understanding, design, predictability, efficiency, and control of particulate and multiphase processes with particular emphasis on: novel manufacturing techniques, multiphase systems of relevance to energy harvesting, multiphase transport in biological systems or biotechnology, and environmental sustainability.

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Algorithms in the Field (AitF)
Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

February 9, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Algorithms in the Field encourages closer collaboration between two groups of researchers: (i) theoretical computer science researchers, who focus on the design and analysis of provably efficient and provably accurate algorithms for various computational models; and (ii) applied researchers including a combination of systems and domain experts (very broadly construed - including but not limited to researchers in computer architecture, programming languages and systems, computer networks, cyber-physical systems, cyber-human systems, machine learning, database and data analytics, etc.) who focus on the particular design constraints of applications and/or computing devices. Each proposal must have at least one co-PI interested in theoretical computer science and one interested in any of the other areas typically supported by CISE. Proposals are expected to address the dissemination of the algorithmic contributions and resulting applications, tools, languages, compilers, libraries, architectures, systems, data, etc.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

Algorithms in the Field posits the need for closer collaboration between two groups of researchers: (i) theoretical computer science researchers, who focus on the design and analysis of provably efficient and provably accurate algorithms for various computational models; and (ii) applied researchers including a combination of systems and domain experts (very broadly construed - including researchers in computer architecture, programming languages and systems, computer networks, cyber-physical systems, cyber-human systems, machine learning, data mining, artificial intelligence and its applications, database and data analytics, etc.) who focus on the particular design constraints of applications and/or computing devices. Today, these communities operate largely independently of one another, leading to the design and analysis of algorithms that often manifest a gap between theory and practice. Adapting and applying proven algorithmic solutions to a particular computational challenge necessitates partnerships and collaborations that are often not in place. On the other hand, when existing theory shows intractability, the technology can adapt and lead to new theories and innovations. This again requires a close collaboration between these two communities. The bi-directional cross-fertilization envisioned by the Algorithms in the Field program can lead to new fields as well as broader applicability of cutting-edge applications.

The objective of Algorithms in the Field is to bridge the gap between theory and practice in the design, analysis, implementation, and evaluation of algorithms. The premise is that by working jointly "in the field" researchers from these different communities will continually inform each other, innovate in their respective areas, and forge algorithms that are simultaneously validated by theory, systems, and applied communities. Some specific details of the community needs are as follows:

    • In the absence of close collaboration, it can be a long time from emergence of an exciting new application area before a new concrete model and its fundamental problems are identified and appreciated by the theory community. On the other hand, foundational work in theory develops deep and rich techniques for abstract problems, and in many cases the standard algorithmic toolbox already contains the answers to a new application area's problems. In these cases, the value of a theoretical background is the ability to recognize the problems and apply/adapt the known solutions. Most new problems necessitate a more dynamic interaction between theory and applied groups.
    • An ideal algorithm is simultaneously efficient, intuitive, and easy to implement. Asymptotic analysis provides a good first order approximation on the performance of an algorithm, but it often hides huge constants and may lead to complicated algorithmic steps that shave off small multiplicative factors. On the other hand, simple heuristics are often widely implemented and successfully used. This raises questions regarding what existing theory fails to predict and how to develop new theories that lead to new practical and useful algorithms.
    • Closer collaboration between theorists and researchers in the applied community will bring new challenges to theorists. Concomitantly, new teaming with the theory community has the potential to significantly advance algorithm development in applied domains that are experiencing an explosion of challenges associated with big data throughput, privacy, real-time response, data heterogeneity, model complexity, computational costs of inference and learning, and data quality - to name but a few. This solicitation aims to provoke radically new approaches to real problems such as optimization, scalability, information in social networks, provable quality of crowd-sourced data, theoretical constructs that advance understanding in neuroscience, and quantification of tradeoffs between resources and precision.
  • Collaboration and algorithm development are needed in important areas such as approximate computing, new coding strategies for distributed data storage, large-scale protocol verification with program-semantics-based proofs, energy-efficient sensing and data logging methods, black-box software testing, and the many facets of data privacy, keeping in mind challenges posed by trends such as ever-proliferating heterogeneity and parallelism, novel devices and architectures, and new programming paradigms, languages, and systems.

Bringing researchers with widely varying research interests together with algorithms researchers is expected to lead to fruitful new relationships and unexpected directions of research. The program will consider collaborations between researchers interested in the rigorous design and analysis of algorithms, and researchers interested in any of the other applied areas typically supported by CISE. AitF seeks to support proposals that make strong advances in both the area of algorithmic design and in the application area to which the algorithms are being deployed. Proposals that make strong advances primarily to only one side of this relationship should be submitted to the appropriate program for that side.

We purposely avoid defining "field" or providing a list of targeted fields. We encourage a wide variety of areas and will rely on the reviewer community to evaluate projects' suitability for the program in the spirit of the Algorithms in the Field concept as described above.

Project Classes

There are two classes of AitF projects with differing budget limits and project durations. Both classes of projects must involve two or more researchers (at least one focusing on algorithmic theory and at least one focusing on application), each providing different and distinct expertise relevant to the program's goals related to theory and application.

    • FULL-SIZE (FULL) projects, with total budgets up to $800,000 for up to four years.
    • EXPLORATORY (EXPL) projects, with total budgets up to $400,000 for up to three years. EXPL projects are an opportunity to initiate smaller efforts that are exploratory in nature or limited in scope. Similar to NSF's EAGER mechanism, the intent is to support work in its early stages on untested but potentially transformative research ideas or approaches.

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CISE-MPS Interdisciplinary Faculty Program in Quantum Information Science
Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences

February 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The CISE-MPS Interdisciplinary Faculty Program in Quantum Information Scienceis designed to promote research in the area of Quantum Information Science (QIS) by providing resources to allow QIS researchers and researchers from the CISE or MPS disciplines to actively engage in joint research efforts, addressing problems at the interface between the mathematical and physical sciences and computer and information sciences through long-term visits to a host institution.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The goal of the CISE-MPS Interdisciplinary Faculty Program in Quantum Information Science is to bring together QIS researchers and researchers from the CISE or MPS disciplines to:

  1. Address cross-disciplinary research questions in QIS that explore the power of quantum computation and its impact on other disciplines, investigate the use of advanced techniques from the MPS and CISE disciplines in QIS, advance knowledge on the fundamental limits of quantum computation and systems, and explore advances in physical realization of quantum systems, as well as
  2. Increase the number of US researchers who are actively working in QIS and enhance the training of the future generation of QIS scientists.

The program provides support for academic researchers with demonstrated potential or success in MPS or CISE research fields to actively engage in new interdisciplinary research with QIS scientists. Requests for support of visits to well-established host research groups and centers in Quantum Information Science are particularly welcome.

The PI must be in a faculty position in his or her US home institution and must be prepared to spend a minimum of one contiguous semester working with the host's group. The PI and host must be from substantially different intellectual backgrounds, so that the collaborative activity represents a broadening of experience and a bona fide change in the PI's research direction. The PI and host must also be based in different institutions, so that the interaction with the host research group represents a full immersion and not a part-time activity.

The awards provide support for a faculty member, or a faculty-led team including graduate students and/or postdoctoral researchers, to actively engage in new interdisciplinary research with QIS scientists through long-term visits to host scientists and their institutions. In the case of a visiting group, it is expected that the visiting faculty group leader will be on site working with the team and the host for the duration of the visit. Exceptions must be approved in advance by the managing NSF program director.

Upon successful completion of the project, the NSF will entertain a request for supplemental funding up to $50,000 per award, not to exceed 20% of the value of the original award, to allow the PI to support a graduate student upon returning to the home institution and initiating research in QIS or continuing a collaboration with the host institution.

While the primary intent of the program is to foster connections between scientists within the US, proposals to visit institutions with outstanding QIS activities abroad will also be considered. In such cases the application should include as part of the Project Description what the host institution will provide and a plan of how the activity will foster the development of QIS research and education within the US.

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Cognitive Neuroscience
Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences and Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences

February 25, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The National Science Foundation announces the area of Cognitive Neuroscience within the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences.

Cognitive neuroscience has emerged in the last decade as an intensely active and influential discipline, forged from interactions among the cognitive sciences, neurology, neuroimaging (including physics and statistics), physiology, neuroscience, psychiatry, and other fields. Of particular importance for this discipline have been new methods for non-invasive functional neuroimaging of humans performing psychological tasks. As this field is reaching maturity, the National Science Foundation intends for the new cognitive neuroscience emphasis to spur the development of highly novel techniques and models directed toward enabling basic scientific understanding of a broad range of issues involving brain, cognition, and behavior. The emphasis at NSF will be placed on integration of the cognitive sciences, social and economic sciences, and engineering in service of insights into healthy functions of brain, cognition, and behavior.

The cross-disciplinary integration and exploitation of new techniques in cognitive neuroscience has generated a rapid growth in significant scientific advances. Research topics have included sensory processes (including olfaction, thirst, multi-sensory integration), higher perceptual processes (for faces, music, etc.), higher cognitive functions (e.g., decision-making, reasoning, mathematics, mental imagery, awareness), language (e.g., syntax, multi-lingualism, discourse), sleep, affect, social processes, learning, memory, attention, motor, and executive functions. Cognitive neuroscientists further clarify their findings by examining developmental and transformational aspects of such phenomena across the span of life, from infancy to late adulthood, and through time.

New frontiers in cognitive neuroscience research have emerged from investigations that integrate data from a variety of techniques. One very useful technique has been neuroimaging, including positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), optical imaging (near infrared spectroscopy or NIRS), anatomical MRI, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). A second class of techniques includes physiological recording such as subdural and deep brain electrode recording, electroencephalography (EEG), event-related electrical potentials (ERPs), and galvanic skin responses (GSRs). In addition, stimulation methods have been employed, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), subdural and deep brain electrode stimulation, and drug stimulation. A fourth approach involves cognitive and behavioral methods, such as lesion-deficit neuropsychology and experimental psychology. Other techniques have included genetic analysis, molecular modeling, and computational modeling. The foregoing variety of methods is used with individuals in healthy, neurological, psychiatric, and cognitively-impaired conditions. The data from such varied sources can be further clarified by comparison with invasive neurophysiological recordings in non-human primates and other mammals.

Findings from cognitive neuroscience can elucidate functional brain organization, such as the operations performed by a particular brain area and the system of distributed, discrete neural areas supporting a specific cognitive, perceptual, motor, or affective operation or representation. Moreover, these findings can reveal the effect on brain organization of individual differences (including genetic variation), plasticity, and recovery of function following damage to the nervous system.

Hypotheses springing from the data of a cognitive science, social, developmental, or life span study can now in some instances be constrained by brain-based data. Strategies for collecting brain-based data that bear on cognitive/behavioral hypotheses include but are not limited to the following four examples. Other powerful strategies are expected to evolve in the future.

  • First, if a pattern of neural activity can be linked to a particular cognitive process, the presence of that pattern can be used as a marker of that cognitive process in studies of other mental performances.
  • Second, data from studies of stimulus adaptation during neuroimaging can elucidate the character of mental representations in a particular neural system. Thus, as in the "looking time" paradigms used with infants, the neural sensitivity to the "sameness" of stimuli can be used to provide rich descriptions of equivalence classes, invariances, and non-invariances for neural representations in each cortical region.
  • A third example of using brain data for evaluating cognitive hypotheses is experiments in which behavioral success on a given task is correlated with the intensity of a neuroimaging signal in a specific brain area. Such relationships between cognitive performance and neural activity are important indicators of a necessary relationship between a brain area and a component of cognitive/behavioral processing.
  • Fourth, hypotheses derived from behavioral data suggesting separable processes can be evaluated with respect to the functional brain organization implied by cognitive neuroscience findings. If a given theory hypothesizes that two specific cognitive states are supported by the same underlying process, but an alternative assumes those states are supported by different processes, data from cognitive neuroscience might favor one account. Neuroimaging data from healthy humans can be refined by comparison with findings from studies of cognitive/behavioral impairments exhibited either by humans with discrete lesions (stroke patients), humans with implanted deep brain stimulators, healthy humans with transient neural disruptions (via TMS), or humans stimulated by a pharmacological agent.

Moreover, cognitive neuroscience also can elucidate the duration and sequencing of sub-processes, for example, by integrating high temporal resolution MEG data with high spatial resolution fMRI within subject and task. Such finely calibrated data can then inform cognitive and behavioral process models. Finally, subsequent comparisons of brain organization across species may allow the neural basis of such processes to be understood in a biological context.

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Cognitive Neuroscience Grants
Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences/NSF

February 25, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Cognitive Neuroscience program seeks highly innovative proposals aimed at advancing a rigorous understanding of how the human brain supports thought, perception, affect, action, social processes, and other aspects of cognition and behavior.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The Cognitive Neuroscience program seeks highly innovative proposals aimed at advancing a rigorous understanding of how the human brain supports thought, perception, affect, action, social processes, and other aspects of cognition and behavior. Topics may bear on core functions such as sensory, learning, language, reasoning, emotion, and executive processes, or more specialized processes such as empathy, creativity, representation of self and other, or intentionality, among many other possibilities. Topics may also include how such processes develop and change in the brain.

The program is particularly interested in supporting the development of new techniques and technologies for recording, analyzing, and modeling complex brain activity. Such projects should include a plan for sharing new software and other technologies with the research community at large.

Studies of disease states (e.g., brain damaged patients) may be components of projects supported by this program. However, the emphasis in such projects must be to advance basic scientific understanding of neural mechanisms, and not on disease etiology, diagnosis, or treatment.

The program also intends to foster projects that integrate perspectives across disciplines, e.g., from the cognitive sciences, developmental sciences, biology, computer science, engineering, education, anthropology, physics, mathematics and statistics. For example, projects that involve collaborations among individuals with expertise in one of the cognitive sciences, neuroimaging, neural microcircuitry, and modeling complex systems are strongly encouraged. Other interdisciplinary emphases are also of keen interest.

Examples of appropriate grant proposals include, but are not be limited to, the following. It is to be expected that scientific advances will overtake many of the following issues, and that other research and development matters will emerge as key enablers to progress in basic cognitive neuroscience. Approaches addressing research questions with a novel range of techniques (e.g., using neuroimaging, lesion-deficit data, and computational modeling); Hypotheses based on cognitive/behavioral/social/developmental research that lead to tests either of systems level or neuro-computational models of psychological processes. The computational models should involve vertical integration over realistic neural circuitry at specified scales; Development of new methods for acquisition-time representation of functional neuroimaging data, e.g., providing output which can be used to control online continuous, experimental manipulations of behavioral/cognitive (stimulus) variables; Study of the relation between cognitive/behavioral performance and structural features of brain such as white/gray matter ratio, neurotransmitter sites, connectivity maps, unfolded topological models of cortex, morphology, or diffusion tensor imaging; Integrated use of techniques involving both human and animal models to provide convergent evidence about a specific research problem (e.g., the neural codes for perceptual representations, the role of endogenous neurochemicals in social bonding); Development of quantitative techniques for meta-analysis and modeling of functional neuroimaging data with respect to localization, temporal dynamics, and componential modeling of cognitive/behavioral processes; Neuroimaging of the infant and child brain for comparison with adults in order to understand the development of functional brain organization; Development of new methods for characterizing the morphology of activation clusters in neuroimaging data (going beyond the stereotactic location of peak activation); Comparative gene expression studies in nonhuman primates of the neural regions governing higher cognitive functions within a biological framework; Study of the development and character of specialization of brain areas for particular cognitive, perceptual, affective, and action processes; Development of new techniques for integrating independent measurements of the dynamic interactions in time and space of specific neural activity; Mathematical analyses of stable individual differences in brain organization (e.g., modeling individual differences in localized neural activity for elementary psychological operations); Adaptation of advanced experimental psychology methods for adults and children afflicted with neurological or cognitive impairments in order to characterize more fully the effects of dysfunctions of specific brain areas, clarifying thereby the functions of those areas. (For instance, do brain areas compromised by Parkinson's Disease support non-motor cognitive or executive functions?); The effect of environmental factors (impoverishment or enrichment) on the development and function of specific brain areas; and Development of effective techniques for mapping receptor/ligand binding profiles during cognitive functions such as working memory, selective attention, and implicit memory in healthy humans.

The sponsor provides funding for two types of projects:

Individual Investigator Research Projects -- Many research topics are studied most effectively by individual research scientists or by small teams of collaborating investigators. Investigators are invited to submit proposals that focus on cognitive neuroscience topics, including but not limited to those illustrated above.

Workshops -- Workshops will be supported that bring together diverse scientific partners around specific topics. Meetings will be focused on topics that can benefit from intensive small group discussions.

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Cyber-Innovation for Sustainability Science and Engineering (CyberSEES)
Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

February 24, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Cyber-Innovation for Sustainability Science and Engineering (CyberSEES) program aims to advance interdisciplinary research in which the science and engineering of sustainability are enabled by new advances in computing, and in which computational innovation is grounded in the context of sustainability problems.

The CyberSEES program is one component of the National Science Foundation's Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) activities, a Foundation-wide effort aimed at addressing the challenge of sustainability through support for interdisciplinary research and education. In the SEES context, a sustainable world is one where human needs are met equitably without harm to the environment or sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Computational approaches play a central role in understanding and advancing sustainability. CyberSEES supports research on topics that depend on advances in computational areas including optimization, modeling, simulation, prediction and inference; large-scale data management and analytics; advanced sensing techniques; human computer interaction and social computing; infrastructure design, control and management; and intelligent systems and decision-making. Additionally, the widespread, intensive use of computing technologies also introduces sustainability challenges and motivates new approaches across the lifecycle of technology design and use.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

This Cyber-Innovation for Sustainability Science and Engineering (CyberSEES) solicitation aims to advance computing and information sciences research and infrastructure in tandem with other disciplines to develop analyses, methods, prototypes, and systems that lead to an increased understanding of sustainability and to solutions to sustainability challenges. Proposals must forge interdisciplinary collaborations among the computer and information sciences, social and natural sciences, geosciences, mathematical sciences, engineering, and associated cyberinfrastructure to address challenging sustainability problems.

Computational challenges are woven into many areas of sustainability research and their solutions are opening up possibilities for radical new approaches and unforeseen opportunities. Close intellectual partnerships between computing and other disciplines are essential to inform new approaches to these integrative challenges, respecting the specific characteristics of complex phenomena, data, and models; understanding the tradeoffs and consequences inherent to design and decision processes; and effectively dealing with limitations and constraints of computational techniques. Some prominent underlying challenges are outlined below. These descriptions are meant only as examples of integrative challenges, not intended to span the scope of program interests.

Large-scale Data Analysis and Management. Data sets used in many sustainability-related topics are challenging because of their complexity (such as control variables in smart infrastructures), heterogeneity (such as social or behavior data along with physical sensors), or variability and uncertainty (such as environmental sensor data). Additionally, sustainability data often have distinct short-term and long-term end uses, and data sets must be appropriately curated with these uses in mind. The sustainability context requires attention to issues such as the use, management, and preservation of data over a large range of time scales; data modeling and ontologies; metadata extraction, management, and data provenance; and cognitive prediction/optimization applied to data sets of differing ontologies and semantics, aiming for causal inference to inform effective policies, decisions, management and control.

Robust Observation, Sensing, and Inference. Monitoring of human, built and natural systems, such as hydrologic, waterway, or atmospheric phenomena; species migrations; water, gas, or electricity distribution systems, requires scalable observation infrastructures. Effective infrastructures must be nondisruptive, easily deployed and managed, and robust under sensor failures, and/or satisfy applicable security or privacy requirements. These monitoring systems must be able to operate unattended for long periods of time yet be remotely configurable, controllable, and testable for correct operation. Interdisciplinary research is needed on integrated sensing, monitoring and modeling for decision making in relation to air, water and soil environments, as well as the optimization of complex sensor systems.

Modeling of Complex Systems. Behavior in systems facing sustainability challenges is the result of complex interactions between human, built, and natural systems. Modeling, simulating, analyzing, and optimizing these systems may require combinations of physics- or economics-based models, model-based reasoning, and statistical models built from data, or interactions involving entities or individuals with different and often conflicting interests. New interdisciplinary research is needed for accurate and efficient methods of tackling complexity, scaling, uncertainty quantification, reliability, coupling between systems, massively parallel architectures and constrained optimization in order to achieve needed performance.

Dynamic and Intelligent Decision Making. Solving sustainability problems often requires contending with dynamically evolving or unstable situations. These scenarios present challenges to modeling and decision making due to inadequate or changing data; model, data, and system response uncertainty; resource constraints; fast response needs; and risk, safety and security concerns. A key characteristic of these environments is the need to continuously assimilate new data as it becomes available and to effectively handle new or altered constraints. Techniques are also needed to proactively discover such changing constraints within these environments. Both dynamic and static sustainability-related data analysis can leverage intelligent and machine learning methods exploiting massive parallelism, Bayesian methods, and fusion of data with physics-based models (data assimilation) for data-enabled discovery.

Control and Management of Infrastructure. Smart and sustainable management of built systems such as transportation systems, manufacturing systems, and smart homes and buildings requires comprehensive and flexible control systems that satisfy performance, policy, reliability, and other constraints. The design and study of these systems will require bold new computing research and knowledge in areas such as resource management algorithms and architectures, systems analysis, real-time coordination and communications.

Human-centered Systems. Large and long-lived impacts on sustainability will depend on human behavior, human factors, and collaboration across large communities. Sociotechnical systems built on sound understanding of people, organizations, and how to inform and assist them will play a key role in sustainability efforts. Computational approaches will lead to tools and systems that support engagement and decision making by the public; collection, modeling, and presentation of information about resource usage via usable interfaces, appropriate visualizations, and persuasive technology; preference elicitation and decision support/automated decision making for effective and efficient use of resources; and models, methods and tools for dissemination and increasing awareness of sustainable practices. Projects that include real-world evaluation by policy-makers and infrastructure managers and other stakeholders are encouraged.

The interdisciplinary challenges considered above are invariably shaped by human, societal, and economic factors, requiring consideration of the human interface, security and privacy, socio-cultural norms, non-compliance, herding behavior, economic incentives, and amenability to deployment in the real world. Sustainable systems must be designed for transparency, legitimation, and participation, and must foster greater awareness of sustainability challenges, solutions and best practices among the workforce and greater population.

As information and communication technologies are applied with increasing intensity to address sustainability issues, there is a parallel challenge of sustainability of the computing and networking systems themselves. In particular, as computing and communication technologies - from mobile phones to massive data centers - proliferate, challenges in managing their consumption of energy, materials, and other resources have become a critical sustainability issue. CyberSEES also welcomes interdisciplinary research that addresses holistic, integrative approaches to sustainable computing and information technologies and systems, including consideration of design and use with impact across the lifecycle in mind.

As the SEES research community increases in numbers of researchers and breadth of scientific participation, the shared computing and communication infrastructure must allow easy and timely sharing of data and computational tools to advance interdisciplinary SEES research. CyberSEES welcomes cyberinfrastructure research that connects currently distinct SEES research activities.

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EHR Core Research (ECR)
Directorate for Education and Human Resources/NSF

February 3, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The EHR Core Research (ECR) program of fundamental research in STEM education provides funding in critical research areas that are essential, broad and enduring. EHR seeks proposals that will help synthesize, build and/or expand research foundations in the following focal areas: STEM learning, STEM learning environments, STEM workforce development, and broadening participation in STEM. The ECR program is distinguished by its emphasis on the accumulation of robust evidence to inform efforts to (a) understand, (b) build theory to explain, and (c) suggest interventions (and innovations) to address persistent challenges in STEM interest, education, learning, and participation. The program supports advances in fundamental research on STEM learning and education by fostering efforts to develop foundational knowledge in STEM learning and learning contexts, both formal and informal, from childhood through adulthood, for all groups, and from the earliest developmental stages of life through participation in the workforce, resulting in increased public understanding of science and engineering. The ECR program will fund fundamental research on: human learning in STEM; learning in STEM learning environments, STEM workforce development, and research on broadening participation in STEM.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The fundamental research that ECR supports advances the frontiers of understanding about how more people learn, and use more STEM knowledge, more effectively. To do this, ECR projects are grounded in theory, ask well formulated research questions, employ relevant data and analytic techniques, and contribute to the growing body of literature on STEM education research. ECR projects bring together the expertise, literatures, methods and learning priorities of the entire range of scientific communities represented by the NSF research directorates as well as EHR. ECR supports researchers who use large scale, next generation data resources and relevant big data analytic techniques to advance fundamental research in STEM learning, STEM learning environments, STEM workforce development, and broadening participation research where appropriate. ECR also supports research on efforts to make that knowledge available to other researchers, education developers, leaders and practitioners so that research is used broadly to improve STEM education and the development of a flexible, knowledgeable and diverse STEM workforce. The specific strands of research ECR seeks to support include STEM learning and learning environments, workforce development, and broadening participation in STEM.

STEM learning and learning environments: EHR encourages the creative use of formal and informal STEM learning environments--including the full array of available and emerging materials, platforms, and learning opportunities--to ensure that all students have access to high-quality, inspiring STEM learning and teaching to better prepare tomorrow's scientists and engineers, as well as engage the public and youth living in an increasingly science-rich and technological world. EHR investments in this area seek to amplify the most promising developments and build a coherent, cumulative knowledge base, focusing on high-leverage topics.

In this context, ECR seeks to provide the foundational knowledge necessary to improve and to advance STEM learning and education for all populations (including students, parents, and teachers), in all settings (formal, informal and technological) across the life course. To this end ECR supports fundamental research on learning in STEM that combines theory, techniques, and perspectives from a wide range of disciplines and contexts. Proposals may address topics including, but not limited to: the neural bases of STEM learning, the cognitive bases of such learning (how people learn in and across STEM disciplines and settings, e.g., the skills, knowledge and cognitive models needed to support data science); the affective dimensions of learning (what motivates and sustains learner interest in STEM and what fosters engagement and persistence); education policy and policy-relevant research grounded in the cognitive and social conditions of STEM learning, along with the development of methods, models and measures including those used in the data sciences; and the use of new and existing datasets (including large-scale datasets).

ECR also supports fundamental research on STEM learning environments. Such research attends to the interfaces between teaching and learning and the mediation of STEM learning (see e.g., National Research Council, 2012d). To this end ECR supports fundamental research investigating: how learning in organizations (schools, classrooms, museums, systems, work places), and technologies of any type can make critical and far-reaching improvements in a range of learning outcomes; the alignment of curriculum, instruction and assessment; and the development of diagnostic and performance assessments. ECR also supports design-based iterative research on foundational knowledge for the implementation of new models of teaching and learning (including, for example, cyberlearning).

STEM professional workforce development: The need to prepare a diverse, highly skilled and motivated workforce, including teachers who can meet the demands of a dynamic and complex global economy is a widely recognized national challenge. EHR investments respond to that challenge by providing the evidence on how to best support and prepare a STEM professional workforce that is ready to capitalize on unprecedented advances in technology and science, and to address current and future global, social, and economic challenges. Key time frames of importance relative to workforce development occur as early as middle school, and may continue through technical training in community colleges or career preparation in undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate programs and then into lifelong, personalized learning as the competencies and knowledge needed for STEM careers shift.

In this context, ECR supports fundamental research on STEM professional workforce development and invites proposals for studies that will strengthen the research base that informs investments in STEM workforce preparation and development at all levels of education from K-12 to postdoctoral training. Evidence-based understanding of STEM education and training is needed with respect to STEM career pathways and transitions; academic and non-academic STEM careers; emerging practices and changing contexts of the STEM workforce; and the changing higher education climate and capacity for reforming STEM workforce development efforts.

Proposals may address topics including, but not limited to the: impact of different funding models at the undergraduate and graduate levels (e.g., teaching assistantship, fellowship, traineeship, research assistantship, work-for-pay, loans) on the preparation of 21st century STEM workers with advanced and flexible skills needed for the STEM job market; impact of technology, demographics, and social media for professional networking on the STEM labor market and education and training; persistence in STEM majors and careers; influence of public/private partnerships on workforce preparation; and use of big data for interpreting the implications of labor market trends on STEM education and training. Mapping backward from workplace expectations for knowledge and competencies to the design of educational interventions might yield more effective interventions. Proposers are encouraged to leverage current NSF investments (e.g., interdisciplinary research centers, large facilities, funded workforce development projects) as research bases.

Broadening participation in STEM: EHR supports the investigation of issues underlying the learning and participation of members of groups underrepresented in STEM fields. Underrepresented groups may include (but are not necessarily limited to): women and girls, people with disabilities, underrepresented minorities (e.g., African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders), English-language learners, veterans and students from rural or lower socio-economic backgrounds. ECR seeks to catalyze the foundational knowledge building through research that informs the development of interventions and models to impact learning, persistence, and success in STEM for members of various groups under specific conditions and in specific contexts. Proposers must document the STEM disciplinary underrepresentation of the groups they wish to study and place the proposed work in the broader context of STEM education and workforce participation in the U.S. This effort is in collaboration with and complements similar research tracks in the various programs in the Division of Human Resource Development (HRD) in EHR and the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Science (SBE) as outlined in the Dear Colleague Letter "Stimulating Research Related to the Science of Broadening Participation" (NSF 13-020) (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13020/nsf13020.pdf).

In this context ECR supports fundamental research on broadening participation in STEM and invites proposals that will pursue fundamental research about what it takes to diversify and increase participation in STEM effectively, including research improves our understanding of how to build institutional capacity and informal learning environments that foster the untapped potential of underrepresented minority groups in STEM fields. Proposals may address topics including, but not limited to, better understanding of what leads to: retention and degree attainment; development of measures, processes and metrics to assess impacts and outcomes of broadening participation and institutional capacity initiatives and programs; studies that examine the impact of diversity (or the lack thereof) of various kinds on innovation and productivity in STEM education and in the STEM workforce (including in-depth studies on practices that have proved effective in reducing stumbling blocks across multiple sites). Current technologies and cyberlearning options have provided new opportunities to further enhance STEM research and education; however, issues of accessibility for and impacts on underrepresented groups are not yet fully understood. Broadening participation research areas of special interest include research in disabilities education and research on gender in science and engineering. ECR research in disabilities education includes fundamental research about learners (of all ages) with disabilities in STEM, with a particular focus on efforts to understand and address disability-based differences in STEM education and workforce participation. Fundamental research projects typically address areas such as stereotype threat, an individual's identity (e.g. STEM and disability identity), underlying attention and physical barriers that impact STEM learning, and the societal and organizational characteristics that influence learning and educational pathways. Projects must employ evidence-based educational exemplars, have a strong theoretical base, and be justified by relevant educational, disability, and social science research. ECR research on gender in science and engineering seeks to understand and address gender-based differences in STEM education and workforce participation through education and implementation research that will lead to a larger and more diverse domestic STEM workforce. Typical projects will contribute to the knowledge base addressing gender-related differences in learning and in the educational experiences that affect student interest, performance, and choice of careers; how pedagogical approaches and teaching styles, curriculum, student services, and institutional culture contribute to causing or closing gender gaps that persist in certain scientific fields.

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Engineering for Natural Hazards (ENH)
Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation

Full Proposal Window: February 1, 2015 - February 17, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The goals of the Engineering for Natural Hazards (ENH) program are to prevent natural hazards from becoming disasters, and to broaden consideration of natural hazards independently to the consideration of the multi-hazard environment within which the constructed civil infrastructure exists. The ENH program, PD 15-7396, replaces the annual George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) research (NEESR) program solicitations to enable proposal submissions during the two CMMI unsolicited proposal submission windows each year, with the due dates shown above, and to support fundamental research for a broader range of natural hazards, including earthquakes, windstorms (tornadoes and hurricanes), tsunamis and landslides. The ENH program also supports natural hazards engineering research that had been supported under the Hazard Mitigation and Structural Engineering Program (HMSE) (PD 13-1637) and the Geotechnical Engineering (GTE) Program (PD 12-1636). .

The constructed civil infrastructure supported by the ENH program includes building systems such as the soil-foundation-structure-envelope-nonstructural system, as well as the façade and roofing, and other structures, geostructures, and underground facilities such as tunnels. While research may focus on a single natural hazard, research that considers civil infrastructure design and performance in the context of multiple hazards, that is, a multi-hazard approach, is encouraged. Research may integrate geotechnical, structural, and architectural engineering advances with discoveries in other science and engineering fields such as earth and atmospheric sciences, materials science, mechanics of materials, dynamical systems and control, systems engineering, decision theory, risk analysis, high performance computational modeling and simulation, and social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Multi-disciplinary and international collaborations are encouraged. .

Research topics of interest to the ENH program include, but are not limited to: advances in system-level design concepts for new and existing sustainable civil infrastructure to achieve desired lifetime system-level performance under single or multi-hazard loadings; advances in geotechnical engineering for design and construction of natural hazard-resistant foundations and geostructures, liquefaction mitigation, soil-foundation-structure interaction, levee and earth dam stability, and landslide, mudflow and debris flow analysis and mitigation, with a focus on field or system performance; applications of decision theory for design concepts for civil infrastructure to achieve desired lifetime system-level performance for both multi-hazard resilience and sustainability; and advances in computational modeling and simulation that integrate theory, computation, experimentation, and data, as appropriate, to advance natural hazard mitigation for civil infrastructure. The ENH program encourages knowledge dissemination and technology transfer activities that can lead to broader societal benefit and implementation for natural hazard mitigation for civil infrastructure..

The ENH program will also support research that addresses the grand research challenges for earthquake and wind engineering impact reduction outlined in the following two reports:

& National Research Council, Grand Challenges in Earthquake Engineering Research: A Community Workshop Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2011, http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13167.

& NIST GCR 14-973-13, Measurement Science R&D Roadmap for Windstorm and Coastal Inundation Impact Reduction. (This roadmap developmental effort was supported in part by NSF, through award CMMI-1235689, to obtain community input on related long-term fundamental research challenges in windstorm and coastal inundation impact reduction), http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=915541.

The ENH program does not support research on investigation of blast loads and fire effects on civil infrastructure, sensor technologies, or long-term structural and field site monitoring. .

As appropriate to the awards supported under the ENH program, ENH-supported research will contribute to NSF's role in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, created by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, and the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program, created by the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act of 2004 (PL 108-360).

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Materials Engineering and Processing (MEP)
Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation

Full Proposal Window: February 1, 2015 to February 17, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Materials Engineering and Processing (MEP) program supports fundamental research addressing the processing and mechanical performance of engineering materials by investigating the interrelationship of materials processing, structure, properties and/or life-cycle performance for targeted applications.

Materials processing proposals should focus on manufacturing processes that convert material into useful form as either intermediate or final composition.  These include processes such as extrusion, molding, casting, deposition, sintering and printing.  Proposed research should include the consideration of cost, performance, and feasibility of scale-up, as appropriate.  Novel processes for the production of nanoscale materials (nanotubes, nanocrystals, etc.) are of interest.  Process optimization studies without a fundamental scientific contribution are not supported.

Research proposals related to mechanical performance should be driven by a targeted application(s). Structural materials that, in service, bear mechanical load are of interest.  These include materials such as metals, polymers, composites, biomaterials, ceramics, hybrids and cement, intended for applications ranging from the microscale (e.g., MEMS) to the macroscale (e.g., civil infrastructures).  Research related to the deterioration of performance during service (e.g., corrosion and degradation) is also of interest.

In some cases, the performance of functional materials is also of interest.  This includes materials that possess native properties and functions that can be controlled by external influences (e.g., temperature, light and pH) as well as responsive materials (e.g., piezoelectric, chromogenic, shape memory and self-healing).  Research proposals on performance of electronic materials to be used for energy storage or conversion (e.g., fuel cells, batteries and PVs) are not appropriate for the MEP program.  One exception to this would be for proposals related to multifunctional (versus a single function) material performance that include a consideration of mechanical performance.  Proposals on this topic are encouraged.

Research plans driven by scientific hypotheses are encouraged.  Material structures across length scales ranging from nano to meso to macro are of interest.  Research on materials in the bulk or in special configurations such as surfaces or interfaces is appropriate as are research proposals related to surface engineering or tribology.  Analytical, experimental, and/or numerical studies are supported. Collaborative proposals with industry (GOALI) are encouraged.

Proposals related to additive manufacturing, laser processing or bonding/joining processes are welcome in CMMI and should be submitted to the Manufacturing Machines and Equipment (MME) program, even if the focus of such proposals is on the materials for those processes.  Proposals addressing the manufacture (scale up, quality, reliability, etc.) of nanoscale materials, structures, devices and systems should be submitted to the Nanomanufacturing (NM) program.  Proposals addressing atomic/molecular scale synthesis or thin film synthesis (as opposed to manufacturing) are not appropriate for the MEP program.  Research proposals on electronic materials to be used for energy storage or conversion (e.g., fuel cells, batteries, PVs) are not appropriate for the MEP program unless there is new science being proposed about manufacturing processes for these materials.  Research on the mechanics of solid materials should be directed to the Mechanics of Materials (MoM) program.  Investigators with proposals focused on design methodological approaches and theory enabling the accelerated development and insertion of materials should consider the Design of Engineering Material Systems (DEMS) program.  In response to the Materials Genome Initiative, there is a special initiative for research on a combined theoretical and experimental approach to accelerate materials discovery and development; such proposals should be directed to the Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer Our Future (DMREF) opportunity.

PIs are encouraged to email a project summary to mep@nsf.gov at least a few weeks before the proposal submission deadline to determine if the research topic aligns with the MEP program.

Investigators wishing to serve on a proposal review panel should send an email tomep@nsf.gov with a short biographical sketch, a list of areas of expertise and a link to their home page.

REU/RET supplement requests should be submitted by March 31 each year.

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NSF/Intel Partnership on Visual and Experiential Computing (VEC)
National Science Foundation Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering and Intel Labs University Collaboration Office

February 20, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The advancement of sensing technology such as RGBD (Red Green Blue Depth), multi-camera and light field imaging systems, networks of sensors, advanced visual analytics and cloud computing will challenge the longstanding paradigms of capturing, creating, analyzing and utilizing visual information. Advances in Visual and Experiential Computing (VEC) will enable capability, adaptability, scalability, and usability that will far exceed the simple information systems of today. VEC technology will transform the way people interact with visual information through, for example, the realization of new mobile and wearable devices and the emergence of autonomous machines and semantically aware spaces. VEC research will drive innovation and competition in many industrial sectors as well as enhance the quality of life for ordinary people.

Fast growing visual data has become a bottleneck in human decision processes in several emergent situations. New VEC technology is crucial to extracting information from complex visual and related data sets, combining this information with intuitive modes of human perception, and generating actionable information.

The goal of this joint solicitation between NSF and Intel is to foster novel, transformative, multidisciplinary approaches that promote research in VEC technologies, taking into consideration the various challenges present in this field. This solicitation aims to foster a research community committed to advancing research and education at the confluence of VEC technologies, and to transitioning its findings into practice. NSF and Intel will support three types of projects, each three years in duration: Small projects with funding from $500,000 to $1,000,000 per project; Medium projects with funding from $1,000,001 to $2,000,000 per project; and Large projects with funding from $2,000,001 to $3,000,000. It is intended that NSF and Intel will cofund each project in equal amounts.

This NSF/Intel partnership combines CISE's experience in developing and managing successful large, diverse research portfolios with Intel's long history of building research communities in emerging technology areas through programs such as its Science and Technology Center Program.

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Partnerships for Innovation: Accelerating Innovation Research- Research Alliance (PFI:AIR-RA)
National Science Foundation (Directorate for Engineering, Industrial Innovation and Partnerships)

LOI due January 12, 2015
Full submission due February 18, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) is an umbrella for two complementary subprograms, Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) and Building Innovation Capacity (BIC). Both programs are concerned with the movement of academic research discoveries into the marketplace, although each focuses on different stages along the innovation spectrum. The PFI:AIR program has two additional subprograms: the PFI:AIR-Technology Translation (See NSF 14-569,) and PFI:AIR- Research Alliance (this solicitation). This PFI:AIR-Research Alliance (RA) solicitation is intended to accelerate the translation and transfer of existing research discoveries into competitive technologies and commercial realities by leveraging the investments NSF has made in research consortia (e.g., Engineering Research Centers, Industry University Cooperative Research Centers, Science and Technology Centers, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers, Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers, Centers for Chemical Innovation, and others) and catalyzing academic-based innovation ecosystems. The goal is that these synergistic partnerships and collaborations between government, academia, and other public and private entities will result in new wealth and the building of strong local and regional economies.

WEBINAR: A webinar will be held within 6 weeks of the release date of this solicitation to answer any questions about this solicitation. Details will be posted on the PFI:AIR-RA website (http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/pfi/air-ra.jsp) as they become available.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The Directorate for Engineering (ENG) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) invites requests for funding under the Partnerships for Innovation: Accelerating Innovation Research- Research Alliance (PFI:AIR-RA) solicitation. Through this solicitation, NSF seeks to accelerate the translation and transfer of existing research discoveries into competitive technologies and commercial realities, to promote the development of and/or the extension of an academic-based innovation ecosystem around an NSF-funded research consortium, and to enhance knowledge and practice of innovation in faculty and students.

To accomplish these goals, the solicitation requires a partnership between an NSF-funded consortium, defined below, and two or more separate additional entitiesAlthough two is the minimum requirement and may make sense for some proposals, NSF encourages the participation of multiple entities (three or more) in order to build the necessary relationships required to develop and sustain a viable innovation ecosystem. At least one of the entities must be a third party investor and at least one must be a research partner. "Research partner" and "third party investor" are defined below. It is also allowable that an entity may serve as both a research partner and a third party investor; however, in that case, the proposal must make clear how the entity performs both roles. The expertise of the research entity(s) will complement that of the NSF-funded consortium so that competitive technologies, which neither party could develop as well or rapidly alone, are accelerated to commercial realities and transferred to the marketplace in collaboration with the third-party investor(s). These partnerships and collaborations will link multiple entities such that competitive technologies, which are derived from the NSF-funded consortium research results, are moved more rapidly into marketable solutions through the formation of new start-up businesses or strategic partnerships with existing businesses. Ideally, the relationships developed under this program will be leveraged to enable a sustainable, academic-based innovation ecosystem.

This PFI:AIR-RA solicitation is aimed at technology translation and transfer, e.g., research activities necessary to accelerate the technologies with clear value propositions toward commercial realization. It is an opportunity to develop an innovation "arm" or thrust of an existing research consortium; e.g., a specific set of technology translation efforts in strategic partnerships with third party investor(s) and new research partner(s). A PFI:AIR-RA award will enable 1) faster translation and transfer of research results into new start-up business(es) or existing firms; 2) development or enhancement of a network of connections between the university researchers and others to build a sustainable, academic-based innovation ecosystem; and 3) preparation of students and/or post-doctoral fellows who understand the innovation and entrepreneurship processes.

NSF-funded research consortium

An NSF-funded research consortium is defined as a research partnership between/amongst universities and other entities that is formed for mutual benefit and funded by the NSF. A research consortium is based on partnerships developed between faculty members, between faculty and industry, between faculty and federal laboratories, and/or between universities to conduct research on problems typically beyond the reach of a single investigator. In addition to having research results and technology ready for translation, an NSF-funded research consortium will have an established network of connections and relationships that can be leveraged to develop and sustain the PFI:AIR-RA innovation ecosystem. Examples of NSF research consortia include but are not limited to NSF centers, such as Engineering Research Centers, Industry University Cooperative Research Centers, Science and Technology Centers, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers, Centers for Chemical Innovation, and Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers. Other examples include, but are not limited to, large, multi-year, multi-faculty/institution awards such as CISE Expeditions in Computing, CISE Frontiers, and Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI).

One and only one academic institution within the NSF-funded research consortium can be the lead/submitting institution. The NSF-funded research consortium must be funded currently by NSF, or have had NSF funding 3 years or less prior to the Letter of Intent due date. If the research consortium is not currently under NSF support but within 3 years of the end of that support, it must still be functioning as a research partnership between/amongst universities and other entities and be in good standing. Additional information is required in supplementary documents to provide evidence of good standing.

The narrative must provide a clear description of how a PFI:AIR-RA award would leverage the existing network of connections and established collaborations between the researchers of the existing NSF-funded research consortium. While it is not required that every participant in the underlying NSF-funded research consortium be a part of the proposed PFI:AIR-RA, it is encouraged that the proposed work takes advantage of the relevant existing expertise of current participants in the underlying research consortium as appropriate. In addition, it should be clear how a PFI:AIR-RA award would leverage the core technical capabilities and expertise of the underlying research consortium to accelerate its research results and technology developments for commercial use.

If the PI of the PFI:AIR-RA proposal is not the PI of the NSF-funded research consortium, the proposal must include a letter from the PI of the NSF-funded research consortium that describes how the work proposed leverages the core mission and research/technology capabilities of the research consortium.

Research partner

The purpose of the research partner(s) is to add a complementary skill set(s) to the underlying NSF-funded research consortium so that competitive technologies, which neither party could develop as well or rapidly alone, are accelerated to commercial realities and transferred to the marketplace. The proposal must clearly describe the role of the research partner(s), the skill set they add to the underlying research consortium and how this will help accelerate the transfer of consortium technologies. Examples of potential research partners include another research consortium or academic institution, an industry entity, a small business (for eligibility, see:http://sbir.gov/sites/default/files/elig_size_compliance_guide.pdf), or a federal laboratory. This solicitation is interested in catalyzing new partnerships while leveraging the existing ones. The proposed PFI:AIR-Research Alliance must have at least one research partner as one of the required minimum of two entities partnering with the NSF-funded research consortium in the Alliance.

A research partner may also contribute as a third party investor; however, the proposal must clearly describe both roles. 

Third-party investor

In order for research to lead to competitive innovation, it is essential that third-party investment is in place as a means to accelerate the innovation towards commercialization. The collaboration among the third-party investor, the NSF-funded research consortium, and the research partner(s) will create an academic-based innovation ecosystem that offers a cost-effective, timely, and risk-reduced approach for potential investors to participate in research and development leading to new products, processes, systems or services having high commercial impact. A third-party investor may include such entities as a company, a venture capital firm, one or more individual "angel" investor(s), federal (non-SBIR), state, or local government, or any combination of the above.

The maximum award size for the PFI:AIR-RA is up to $800,000 for up to 3 years per award, commensurate with the planned activities. Prior to submission of a PFI:AIR-RA proposal, the proposer must secure third-party investment commitment for the full duration of the proposal (See the Special Award Conditions section of this solicitation). The total NSF proposal budget must not exceed the total investment from the third-party investor(s). The third-party investment(s) can be cash, liquid assets, or tangible financial instruments. Up to 25 percent of the third-party investment may be intangible assets (e.g., "in-kind"). Please note that third-party investment funding should be maintained separately from the NSF research award funding.

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Research on the Science and Technology Enterprise: Statistics and Surveys - R&D, U.S. S&T Competitiveness, STEM Education, S&T Workforce
Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences/NSF

February 18, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) is one of the thirteen principal federal statistical agencies within the United States. It is responsible for the collection, acquisition, analysis, reporting and dissemination of objective, statistical data related to the science and engineering enterprise in the United States and other nations that is relevant and useful to practitioners, researchers, policymakers and the public. NCSES uses this information to prepare a number of statistical data reports as well as analytical reports including the National Science Board's biennial report, Science and Engineering (S&E) Indicators, and Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering. The Center would like to enhance its efforts to support analytic and methodological research in support of its surveys, and to engage in the education and training of researchers in the use of large-scale nationally representative datasets. NCSES welcomes efforts by the research community to use NCSES data for research on the science and technology enterprise, to develop improved survey methodologies for NCSES surveys, to create and improve indicators of S&T activities and resources, and strengthen methodologies to analyze and disseminate S&T statistical data. To that end, NCSES invites proposals for individual or multi-investigator research projects, doctoral dissertation improvement awards, workshops, experimental research, survey research and data collection and dissemination projects under its program for Research on the Science and Technology Enterprise: Statistics and Surveys.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

NCSES welcomes proposals for research, workshops and studies to advance the development, understanding, and quality of the S&T enterprise. Research could include improved approaches to indicator construction and presentation, new S&T indicator development, strengthening of methodologies to improve the surveys of S&T data, analytical or theoretical work on S&T policy relevant issues, and better understanding of the S&T enterprise in the United States and globally. NCSES encourages proposals that analyze NCSES data or NCSES data in conjunction with those from other sources, but does not limit the work to the analysis of the data it collects. NCSES mission is very explicitly geared toward activities that support use of data it collects through surveys, to methodological improvement of those surveys, and support of researchers in using this type of information.

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Resource Implementations for Data Intensive Research in the Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences (RIDIR)
Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences and SBE Office of Multidisciplinary Activities

February 23, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

As part of NSF's Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) activity, the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) seeks to develop user-friendly large-scale next-generation data resources and relevant analytic techniques to advance fundamental research in SBE areas of study. Successful proposals will, within the financial resources provided by the award, construct such databases and/or relevant analytic techniques and produce a finished product that will enable new types of data-intensive research. The databases or techniques should have significant impacts, either across multiple fields or within broad disciplinary areas, by enabling new types of data-intensive research in the SBE sciences.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Over the last three years, SBE actively has encouraged and supported communities to develop visions, teams, and capabilities dedicated to the creation of new, large-scale, next-generation data resources and relevant analytic techniques to advance fundamental research in the SBE sciences. This has been done both through the SBE/EHR BCC competition and other mechanisms, such asResearch Coordination Networks (RCNs). This solicitation seeks to build upon those earlier efforts. It describes an annual competition which is planned, contingent on available funds, to extend for at least three years.

The goal of this competition is to produce one or both of two types of finished products:

    1. Databases which may be a new large scale database, a substantial expansion or revision of an extant database, or the merging of extant databases. Databases might include traditional relational data in digital form, collections of historical data, images, video recordings, administrative data/records or any other form of structured sets of data. The database must be accompanied by a usable interface that allows for the application of extant analytic tools or analytical tools that are developed as part of the project. Within this competition, the justification for the database rests on the potential it provides for enabling "data intensive SBE research", which is amenable to utilization by substantial numbers of investigators. Central to the evaluation of proposals are the types, scope and potential significance of the research such a database would afford. For the purpose of this competition, data-intensive research is defined as research involving data resources that extend well beyond the storage requirements, computational intensiveness or complexity that is currently typical in SBE areas of research.Proposals should make clear how the proposed activities will enable promising SBE research that would not otherwise be possible. The investigations enabled by such data intensive research may be within or between any new or existing SBE field or fields. It may involve linkages between SBE science and other fields of science, although this is not required.
  1. Analytic tool(s) which would serve to enhance database use to address significant research questions within the SBE sciences. While a strong proposal would produce a tool of general utility it is required that the applicant link and discuss the tool within the context of a specific named database or set of databases. The tool must be made readily available to a broad research community at no more cost than is necessary to cover the expenses of its provision.

Successful proposals will describe products that will have significant impacts by enabling new types of data-intensive research. These products should be fundamental and generalizable rather than narrow and specific. Database proposals should define/identify a resource that can be used to answer scientific questions that could not otherwise be addressed. Analytic tool development proposals should be directed towards the same goal of enabling researchers to address new and significant SBE science questions. Investigators are encouraged to think broadly and to create a vision that extends intellectually to more than one SBE area of research potentially linking to other fields of science as well. Proposals should describe the bodies of data and other significant attributes regarding data structures, metadata, analytics, or tools needed to facilitate research. Investigators are encouraged to think creatively about data and consider new data collections, repurposed existing data, and new approaches to data as appropriate for the research questions of interest. Novel approaches are encouraged. Proposals should have a well-defined work plan with steps sufficiently detailed to enable a clear understanding of specific work activities and milestones.

An explicit goal of this competition is to establish broad and large scale databases with relevant analytic tools which will be utilized by a large number and wide range of researchers. It is anticipated that successful proposals may extend well beyond a single discipline. The relevance of the proposed work should be of interest to a broad intellectual community by virtue of its potential or actual generalizability or extendibility.

Applicants should examine the following questions in an integrated manner, to the extent that they are relevant to their own projects.

Science:

  • What broad, important, fundamental research questions will be addressed?
  • What research communities would be interested in exploring these questions?

Information technology:

  • What kinds of data are to be involved, including the metadata and the broader infrastructure in which data are embedded? How will the data be collected? If the database structures are novel (e.g., not a relational database), what would be their design? What analytic or statistical approaches will be provided to analyze the data?
  • What infrastructure and financial support is required to ensure access to and long-term maintenance of these large scale data?

Governance:

  • How will the research communities involved in the project address governance as they relate to issues such as sustainability, access and ethical use of data relating to privacy and data confidentiality?
  • How will issues such as interoperability and potential integration with existing resources be addressed?

Applicants are strongly encouraged to include, as part of the project description, a discussion of any social and public policy issues that relate to the type, use, and acquisition of data associated with the large-scale database envisioned. Topics bearing on these issues could include the ethical uses of these data, the protection of human-subject privacy and data confidentiality, and how the broader social impacts of the enabled research can enhance the well-being of society and its members. Applicants should make clear the relationship between any new large-scale databases and existing large-scale databases in related areas.

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Science of Organizations (SoO)
Division of Social and Economic Sciences

February 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

Organizations -- private and public, established and entrepreneurial, designed and emergent, formal and informal, profit and nonprofit -- are critical to the well-being of nations and their citizens. They are of crucial importance for producing goods and services, creating value, providing jobs, and achieving social goals. The Science of Organizations (SoO) program funds basic research that yields a scientific evidence base for improving the design and emergence, development and deployment, and management and ultimate effectiveness of organizations of all kinds.

SoO funds research that advances our fundamental understanding of how organizations develop, form and operate. Successful SoO research proposals use scientific methods to develop and refine theories, to empirically test theories and frameworks, and to develop new measures and methods. Funded research is aimed at yielding generalizable insights that are of value to the business practitioner, policy-maker and research communities.

SoO welcomes any and all rigorous, scientific approaches that illuminate aspects of organizations as systems of coordination, management and governance. 

In considering whether a particular project might be a candidate for consideration by SoO, please note:

  • Intellectual perspectives may involve (but are not limited to) organizational theory, behavior, sociology or economics, business policy and strategy, communication sciences, entrepreneurship, human resource management, information sciences, managerial and organizational cognition, operations management, public administration, social or industrial psychology, and technology and innovation management.
  • Phenomena studied may include (but are not limited to) structures, routines, effectiveness, competitiveness, innovation, dynamics, change and evolution.
  • Levels of analysis may include (but are not limited to) organizational, cross-organizational collaborations or relationships, and institutional and can address individuals, groups or teams.
  • Research methods may be qualitative and quantitative and may include (but are not limited to) archival analyses, surveys, simulation studies, experiments, comparative case studies, and network analyses. 

Consistent with NSF merit review criteria, each SoO proposal should discuss both the intellectual merit and the potential broader impacts of the proposed research. SoO values basic research that has the potential to provide broader societal benefits. However, the majority of space in any proposal will need to be dedicated to the explication of theory, methods, and specific contribution to the evidence base about organizational effectiveness.

Projects that aim to implement and subsequently evaluate particular organizational training, effectiveness or change programs, rather than to advance fundamental, generalizable knowledge, are not appropriate for SoO.

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Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences

February 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Science, Technology, and Society (STS) program supports research that uses historical, philosophical, and social scientific methods to investigate the intellectual, material, and social facets of the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) disciplines. It encompasses a broad spectrum of STS topics including interdisciplinary studies of ethics, equity, governance, and policy issues that are closely related to STEM disciplines, including medical science.

The program's review process is approximately six months. It includes appraisal of proposals by ad hoc reviewers selected for their expertise and by an advisory panel that meets twice a year. The deadlines for the submission of proposals are February 2nd for proposals to be funded as early as July, and August 3rd for proposals to be funded in or after January. There is one exception: Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant proposals will have only one deadline per year, August 3rd.

The Program encourages potential investigators with questions as to whether their proposal fits the goals of the program to contact one of the program officers.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

STS is an interdisciplinary field that investigates topics relating to the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) disciplines, including medical science. STS research uses historical, philosophical, and social scientific methods to investigate STEM theory and practice with regards to history and socio-cultural formation, philosophical underpinnings, and impacts of science and technology on quality of life, culture, and society. STS researchers strive to understand how STEM fields contribute to the development and use of systems of knowledge, the production and use of materials and devices, the co-evolution of socio-technical systems and their governance, and the place of science and technology in the modern world.

STS research focuses on the intellectual, material, and social facets of STEM. Such research endeavors to understand how scientific knowledge is produced and sanctioned, and how it is challenged and changes. It explores broader societal ramifications and underlying presuppositions. STS research studies how materials, devices, and techniques are designed and developed; how and by whom they are diffused, used, adapted, and rejected; how they are affected by social and cultural environments; and how they influence quality of life, culture, and society. STS research explores how socio-cultural values are embedded in science and technology, and how issues of governance and equity co-evolve with the development and use of scientific knowledge and technological artifacts.

STS researchers make use of methods from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, communication studies, history, philosophy, political science, and sociology. STS research includes interdisciplinary studies of ethics, equity, governance, and policy issues. STS studies may be empirical or conceptual.

The STS program supports proposals across the broad spectrum of STS research areas, topics, and approaches. Examples include, but are by no means limited to:

  1. Societal aspects of emerging high-tech technologies (e.g., nanotechnology, synthetic biology, neuroscience, robotics, drones, ubiquitous computing, crowd sourcing, remote-sensing)
  2. Societal aspects of emerging low-tech technologies (e.g., paper microscopes; whirlwind wheel chairs)
  3. Issues relating to equity, ethics, governance, sustainability, public engagement, user-centeredness, and inclusiveness.
  4. Integration of traditional STS approaches with innovative perspectives from the arts or humanities.
  5. Ethical, policy, and cultural issues regarding big data, surveillance and privacy in an increasingly networked world, and
  6. The science of broadening participation in STEM disciplines.

Effective STS proposals will clearly present the research questions, describe and explain the suitability of the methods to be used to address those questions, and provide a detailed work plan with a timeline that demonstrates adequate resources and access to any required data. If the plan involves research at archives, working in specific labs, or engaging with pertinent community groups, it is important to provide evidence of access and to indicate the specific questions to be asked or addressed. If the plan involves surveys, the proposal should discuss sample selection and survey design and content. Similar advice pertains for other modes of STS research involving focus groups, ethnographies, modeling, conceptual analysis, and so forth. Effective proposals suitably situate the proposed project in pertinent STS literatures, issues, and conceptual or theoretical frameworks, and articulate how the results of the proposed project would serve to advance STS, or subfields thereof.

Finally, successful proposals make a strong case for broader impacts. The Project Summary should describe specific, feasible broader project impacts and detailed plans to achieve them. A work plan for maximizing potential broader impacts and dissemination of results to multiple audiences including stakeholders and the public should be included in the Project Description. PIs are encouraged to engage in new modes of disseminating results broadly, not just to academics, but to stakeholders and the general public.

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Sensors, Dynamics, and Control (SDC)
Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation

Full Proposal Window: February 1, 2015 to February 17, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Sensors, Dynamics, and Control (SDC) program supports fundamental research on the analysis, measurement, monitoring and control of complex dynamical and structural systems, including development of new analytical, computational and experimental tools, and novel applications to engineered and natural systems. Program objectives are the discovery of new phenomena and the investigation of innovative methods and applications for dynamics, measurement, and control. Transformative research on complex networks, linear and nonlinear discrete or infinite dimensional systems spanning a multitude of time and length scales and physical domains are of interest, as are highly interdisciplinary projects and projects addressing security, resilience and sustainability. Basic research strongly motivated by industry needs or other real-life applications is welcome.

The SDC program supports fundamental research on the theories of dynamical systems to uncover novel paradigms for modeling, control and analysis of dynamic phenomena and systems that undergo spatial and temporal evolution with applications crossing interdisciplinary boundaries, along with fundamental studies on stability, phase transitions, and wave propagation in complex and non-local media. Furthermore, the program supports fundamental research on monitoring, analysis, and decision-making processes for integrity monitoring, sensors reliability and safety of complex engineered systems, especially under conditions of uncertainty. Of interest is the investigation of big data (high-volume and high-speed) issues related to virtually-continuous streams of measurements from heterogeneous sensors for continuous systems monitoring. The SDC program also includes fundamental research on control theory and its applications. Topics of current interest include unconventional applications of control; the combined roles of feedback, feedforward and uncertainty; integrated feedback, communication and signal processing; and control concepts inspired by nature. 

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Service Enterprise Systems
Directorate for Engineering/NSF

Proposal window: February 1, 2015 to February 17, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The SES program supports research on strategic decision making, design, planning and operation of commercial, nonprofit, and institutional service enterprises with the goal of improving their overall effectiveness and cost reduction.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

The program has a particular focus on healthcare and other similar public service institutions, and emphasizes research topics leading to more effective systems modeling and analysis as a means to improved planning, resource allocation, and policy development.

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Systems Science (SYS)
Directorate for Engineering/NSF

Full Proposal Window: February 1, 2015 to February 17, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Systems Science (SYS) program supports fundamental research leading to a theoretical foundation for design and systems engineering.   In particular, the Systems Science program seeks intellectual advances in which underlying theories (such as probability theory, decision theory, game theory, organizational sociology, behavioral economics or cognitive psychology) are integrated and abstracted to develop explanatory models for design and systems engineering in a general, domain-independent fashion.  Ideally, the explanatory models, derived from the underlying theoretical foundations will lead to testable hypotheses.  Based on collected evidence supporting or falsifying the hypotheses, new insights are gained allowing the explanatory models to be refined or updated.

Systems research that does not address the Engineering of Systems is out of scope.  Domain-specific applications of the theoretical foundations are also out of scope.  Research that focuses on domain-specific applications, but simultaneously advances our fundamental understanding of design and systems engineering will be considered for co-funding with other programs (see "Related Programs" below for examples). Such proposals should be submitted to the appropriate disciplinary program, with the System Science program identified as a secondary program.

Research topics of interest in SYS include, but are not limited to:

  • Processes:  Search Strategy, Guidance and Control
    Design and systems engineering are processes consisting of a large number of synthesis and analysis steps in sequence or parallel, at gradually increasing levels of detail and accuracy.  SYS supports research towards understanding the nature of this search process:  How best to monitor, guide and control the search process? Which progress metrics to use?  Which search strategy to use?  How best to frame individual design decisions?  How to determine appropriate abstractions for specification and analysis at each step in the process?  To what extent should the expected downstream process steps be considered when contemplating the current search steps?
  • Organizations: Decomposition, Communication and Incentivisation
    Systems engineering and design processes are executed in an organizational context.  Depending on the nature of the artifact being developed, different processes and corresponding organizational structures are best. This raises questions: How best to decompose problems and delegate the decomposed parts?  What is the impact of incentive structures on design outcomes?  How best to facilitate interactions and communication between experts with disparate backgrounds towards ideation and analysis in design?  These are questions at the boundary of traditional engineering disciplines, so that rigorous advances are likely to require collaboration between engineering researchers and organizational sociologists. 
  • Modeling: Creation, Use and Assessment of Models
    In design and systems engineering practice, models are ubiquitous.  Models enable designers to communicate, to predict, and ultimately to explore the design space efficiently and effectively.  But several questions remain:  How to determine which modeling formalism is most appropriate?  What are the cognitive models of modeling?  How best to teach modeling to engineering students?  How to facilitate the reuse and sharing of models?  How to assess and characterize the accuracy and applicability of models?
  • Research Methodology
    An important challenge in design and systems engineering research is that it involves a normative aspect: the ultimate goal is to "improve" design.  This raises the questions:  Which metric should be used to express "goodness"?  How to measure it rigorously?  What constitutes acceptable evidence when comparing the "goodness" of different design methods?

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Dear Colleague Letter (DCL): Submission of I/UCRC Proposals in Response to NSF 13-594 in Areas Related to Understanding the Brain's Structure and Function
National Science Foundation (multiple directorates)

LOI due January 5, 2015
Full submission due March 3, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) Program has for over 30 years fostered long-term partnerships among academe, industry, and government in various technology sectors through center-scale activities. These partnerships developed through the cooperative execution of pre-competitive research strengthen the U.S. innovation ecosystem and competitiveness. Pre-competitive research conducted by I/UCRCs addresses industry-inspired fundamental research challenges; industry members benefit from collaboration with academic partners in the definition and execution of the corresponding research. NSF provides catalyzing investment to the centers, which are primarily supported by industrial members and other stakeholders. The research carried out at each center is of interest to both the center faculty and the center's industry members. I/UCRCs contribute to the nation's research infrastructure base and enhance the intellectual capacity of the engineering and science workforce through the integration of research and education. As appropriate, I/UCRCs establish international collaborations to advance these goals within the global context.

NSF is committed to understanding the brain, in action and in context, which poses significant theoretical and technological challenges. For example, understanding the function and architecture of the living human brain and replicating it using artificial components and circuitry is one of the grand engineering challenges. Understanding how neuronal activity at variable temporal and spatial scales is dynamically related to human cognition and behavior is another grand challenge. Techniques for imaging the structure and functioning of the human brain, and modeling their interdependencies, are of particular value because they can reveal the relationships between the neural activity within specific regions and networks of the brain and corresponding perceptions, thoughts or behaviors. To advance the imaging techniques in humans, potentially outside of a laboratory setting, there is a great need for developing methodologies that are portable and noninvasive. Multiple fundamental challenges exist in meeting the system requirements for non-invasive brain imaging at room temperature. These challenges become even more apparent when thinking about the mobile platform that can operate under ambient conditions in a noisy environment and that might image several interacting brains simultaneously. Strategies that could overcome these challenges and provide significant advancement in the current state-of-the-art techniques are of interest. Additional topics of interest include signal processing, mathematical and computational modeling, neuronal and theoretical physics, and molecular tagging/engineering. The broader interest includes development of brain-inspired technologies, novel materials and components, and advanced manufacturing techniques.

This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) is intended to foster collaborations between industry and academe in the field of brain imaging and in identifying structure - behavior relationships. NSF welcomes and encourages proposals in response to NSF 13-594 in the areas outlined in this DCL. Brain imaging and the science behind the complex architecture is revealing numerous opportunities and challenges in engineering and sciences. Potential areas of pre-competitive research that are of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Understanding the limitations of and improving the imaging modalities (spatial resolution, temporal resolution, environmental constraints, sensitivity, etc.)

  • New instrumentation concepts that are flexible and adaptive to advance the understanding of the full complexity of the brain in context and in action; hybrids of electric, magnetic and optical non-invasive imaging techniques to provide new insight into brain function

  • New analytic techniques to link data collected by advanced non-invasive neuroimaging technologies to cognition and behavior

  • Multiscale modeling and simulation techniques that can improve our understanding of in vivo brain function and its relationship to perceptions, thoughts or behaviors; New computational sensing, modeling, and visualization technologies for better understanding of brain connectivity and activity

  • New methods that address structural and functional variability of the brain, and individual differences in cognition

  • Bio-inspired technologies that could enable game changing sensors, control systems or imaging modalities; brain - inspired components and systems

  • New material systems, magnetoelectric composites, metamaterials, and nanostructures that can launch better performing imaging sensors and neuronal circuit components

  • Advanced manufacturing techniques such as aerosol deposition and 4D printing to reproduce multi-dimensional conformal structures

  • Advances in the topical areas of energy-scavenging, mm3 computer chips, noise reduction circuits, short range wireless, signal processing and magnetic semiconductors, as relevant to brain imaging and understanding of functionality

  • Wearable electronics and communication systems to understand the human brain structure - behavior relationships in dynamic environments

The above list is provided for illustrative purposes only. Any pre-competitive research areas that enhance basic research in understanding of brain and the translation of that research into application, including engineering the brain architecture and neural signal processing, would be considered. The structure of I/UCRCs promotes the extensive industrial involvement in research planning and review which leads to direct technology transfer, bridging the gap that traditionally has kept the industry from capitalizing fully and quickly on the results of research at universities. This close relationship with industry in the Centers through the cooperative research model also ensures the broader impact of the projects. Thus, the areas mentioned above or any other appropriate topic should be considered with respect to the nature and structure of I/UCRCs. 
Please contact one of the following program officials if you have questions about this I/UCRC DCL:

  • Shashank Priya, I/UCRC Program Director, Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships, Directorate for Engineering. Telephone: (703) 292-4709; E-mail: spriya@nsf.gov.
  • George Haddad, Program Director, Division of Electrical, Communications & Cyber Systems, Directorate for Engineering. Telephone: (703) 292-8339; E-mail: ghaddad@nsf.gov.
  • Sohi Rastegar, Director of EFRI Office, Directorate for Engineering. Telephone: (703) 292-5379; E-mail:srastega@nsf.gov.
  • Anne Cleary, Program Director, Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, Telephone: (703) 292-7276; E-mail: acleary@nsf.gov.
  • Kenneth Whang, Program Director, Information and Intelligent Systems, Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering. Telephone: (703) 292-5149; Email: kwhang@nsf.gov

Sincerely,

Pramod Khargonekar
Assistant Director, Directorate for Engineering (ENG)

Fay Lomax Cook
Assistant Director, Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE)

Suzanne Iacono
Acting Assistant Director, Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)

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Dear Colleague Letter: Increasing College Opportunity Through Improved Mathematics Success in the First Two Years of College
Directorate for Education and Human Resources

May 1, 2015

SYNOPSIS:

December 4, 2014

Dear Colleague:

Students who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and STEM-related careers have challenges moving ahead unless they have successful experiences in mathematics in their first one or two years of college1. The Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) is pursuing a multi-faceted approach to funding efforts to help us understand and improve learning in mathematics to support college success. This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) highlights funding opportunities for innovative, early-stage work to improve success in mathematics in the first two years of college. This includes studies on ways to improve the learning of the content of developmental mathematics, independent of setting, and design and development work on interventions and tools, including technology-enhanced learning approaches.

Researchers are invited to submit supplemental funding requests for existing awards; to use the EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) funding mechanism, which supports exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches; or submit proposals for conferences to support the following types of activities:

  • design and development work to pilot innovations with high impact potential for helping students learn the mathematics generally taught in the first two years of both 2-year and 4-year postsecondary institutions
  • conferences in 2015 on using research to improve student success in the mathematics generally taught in the first two years in the first two years of college.

Mechanisms of Support:

Proposers may request supplemental funding to existing awards, Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) funding, or funding for conferences:

  • Proposers may immediately submit a request for supplemental funding to any existing EHR awards with an end date beyond fiscal year 2015 by prefixing the title with "MATH: Supplement. Additional information about requesting supplemental support is contained in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Part II:Award and Administration Guide (AAG), Chapter I.E.4 available at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=aag.
  • Researchers may also immediately submit EAGER proposals to programs in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources and prefix the title with "MATH: EAGER:" Proposals must conform to the guidelines for preparation of EAGER proposals (including the requirement to discuss with a program officer prior to submission) as specified in the PAPPG Part I: Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), Chapter II.D.2 available at:http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg.
  • Researchers may also immediately submit conference proposals to programs in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources and prefix the title with "MATH: CONFERENCE:" Instructions for preparing proposals for conferences can be found in the GPG, Chapter II.D.9 available at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg.

Questions should be addressed to: MathDCL@NSF.gov. This DCL is expected to be in effect from December 4, 2014, through May 1, 2015. All proposals should be submitted by May 1, 2015.

Sincerely,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy
Assistant Director
Education and Human Resources

1 National Science and Technology Council, Committee on STEM Education (2013) Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education 5-Year Strategic Plan.

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Research Coordination Networks (RCN)
Directorate for Biological Sciences, Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering, and others

March 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The goal of the RCN program is to advance a field or create new directions in research or education by supporting groups of investigators to communicate and coordinate their research, training and educational activities across disciplinary, organizational, geographic and international boundaries. RCN provides opportunities to foster new collaborations, including international partnerships, and address interdisciplinary topics. Innovative ideas for implementing novel networking strategies, collaborative technologies, and development of community standards for data and meta-data are especially encouraged. RCN awards are not meant to support existing networks; nor are they meant to support the activities of established collaborations. RCN awards do not support primary research. RCN supports the means by which investigators can share information and ideas, coordinate ongoing or planned research activities, foster synthesis and new collaborations, develop community standards, and in other ways advance science and education through communication and sharing of ideas.

Proposed networking activities directed to the RCN program should focus on a theme to give coherence to the collaboration, such as a broad research question or particular technologies or approaches.

Participating core programs in the Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Geosciences (GEO), Engineering (ENG) and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) will accept General (non-targeted) RCN proposals. Some submission deadlines for the general RCN proposals vary by program; consult program websites. BIO is joined by the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) in the Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE) track described below.

The following targeted track within the RCN programs is intended to foster linkages between BIO and EHR.

  • RCN-UBE: The Undergraduate Biology Education track focuses on any topic likely to lead to improved participation, learning, or assessment in undergraduate biology education and follows the same guidelines outlined below for the general RCN program.

Note: Because it addresses undergraduate biology education, the RCN-UBE track is offered in alignment with the NSF-wide undergraduate STEM education initiative, Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE). More information about IUSE can be found in the Program Description section of this solicitation.

Several other NSF solicitations accept RCN proposals, or support research networking activities if appropriate to the solicitation. Please see section IX. Other Information of this solicitation for a listing of these programs.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Support will be provided for groups of investigators to communicate and coordinate their efforts across disciplinary, organizational, institutional, geographical and/or international boundaries. The objectives are to facilitate open communication and exchange of information and resources, to integrate research, education, and/or cyberinfrastructure activities of scientists, educators, and engineers working independently on topics of common interest, to nurture a sense of community among young scientists, educators, and engineers, and to minimize isolation and maximize cooperation so as to eliminate unnecessary duplication of efforts.

There are 2 different types of RCN proposals:

    1. General RCN proposals. General RCN proposals should focus on a research question, topic or particular technologies, approaches, or development of standards relevant to one or more participating units. For the general RCN program, consideration will be given to all well-justified, cohesive proposals advancing research coordination in a field or combination of fields under the purview of the NSF Directorates and Offices listed under the Summary for Program Requirements, or interdisciplinary networks that cross between Directorates. In addition, EHR and BIO are supporting proposals submitted to the Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE) track. General RCN proposals can be up to 5 years in duration and budgets should not exceed $500,000. Investigators should consult program descriptions on the NSF website and are strongly encouraged to contact appropriate program directors to discuss suitability of an RCN idea prior to submitting a proposal. If an RCN project is relevant to multiple programs, divisions, or directorates, before submitting a proposal the investigator should consult with program directors in those programs for guidance on suitability for co-review among programs and instructions on how to submit.
    2. Targeted Undergraduate Biology Education track. BIO and EHR (Division of Undergraduate Education-DUE) have developed a targeted Undergraduate Biology Education track (RCN-UBE) in recognition of the importance of networking activities to advance biology education. Although the primary focus is on undergraduate education, novel ideas for graduate education will also be considered. RCN-UBE proposals could focus on improving learning in "gateway" courses (e.g., exploring the use of methods that foster active learning or inquiry-based learning), improving learning through the use of emerging technologies in the biology curriculum, strategies and approaches for engaging biology faculty in professional development activities related to undergraduate education, incorporating emerging sub-disciplines into the biology curriculum (e.g., informatics research, proteomics, systems and computational biology), improving assessment of student learning, improving the transition of students from two-year to four-year institutions, or incorporating authentic research experiences in undergraduate laboratory courses, with an emphasis on introductory and lower division courses. RCN-UBE proposals can be up to 5 years in duration and budgets should not exceed $500,000. To assist initial networking efforts of scientists and educators who are developing innovative proposals for the RCN-UBE track, the RCN-UBE track will accept Incubator proposals for up to $50,000 for one year.

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Archaeology and Archaeometry
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences

Deadlines vary per program. See announcement

SYNOPSIS: 

The goal of the Archaeology Program is to fund research which furthers anthropologically relevant archaeological knowledge. In accordance with the National Science Foundation's mission such research has the potential to provide fundamental scientific insight. While within the broad range of "archaeology" the focus is on projects judged to be significant from an anthropological perspective, the Program sets no priorities based on time period, geographic region or specific research topic. The Program administers four competitions each of which is described below. It also supports projects submitted under NSF-wide competition guidelines. These include CAREER, EAGER, RAPID and Research Experiences for Undergraduates Supplement requests.

Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Awards (DDRI)

For a detailed description of the Archaeology Program DDRI competition, see Solicitation NSF 14-566 which can be accessed via the Archaeology DDRI web site. It contains additional rules not presented in this synopsis. The DDRI competition provides up to $20,000 ( university indirect/overhead costs) to permit graduate students enrolled in US universities to conduct dissertation research. The student need not be a US citizen or national. While the student writes the proposal and conducts/supervises the research, the dissertation advisor serves as the Principal Investigator and the student is listed as the co-PI. Salary and normal living expenses are not eligible costs but per diem and most other research expenses are allowable. Both field and non-field projects are funded.  Proposals may be submitted at any time and applicants are normally informally notified of the likely outcome within three months. Applications are sent for evaluation to six individuals ("ad hoc reviewers") specifically selected for subject matter expertise. Students are allowed to resubmit one time if their original proposal is declined.

Senior Archaeological Research

The Archaeology Program holds a twice yearly competition to provide support for senior investigator archaeological research. The target dates, as noted above, are July 1 and December 20. (In contrast to "deadlines", "target dates" permit leeway as determined by the Program Director.) Each proposal is sent to a set of ad hoc reviewers and is also evaluated together with the other applications submitted in that round by a broadly based panel of anthropological archaeologists. Grants are normally two to three years in duration. In the US Government fiscal year 2014 (FY14), the average award (including both direct and indirect costs) was approximately $178,000 with individual grants ranging from $48,872 to $349,964 in size.

Archaeometry Research Awards

The Archaeology Program administers an annual "archaeometry" competition with a target date of December 1. The goal is to fund projects either to develop/refineanthropologically relevant archaeometric techniques and/or support laboratories which provide relevant services. Examples of the former include the development of methods to identify specific types of organic residues on ceramics and sample pre-treatment techniques for radiocarbon analysis. Service laboratories which, for example provide trace element, isotopic and dendrochronological analyses illustrate the latter. Projects which apply standard archaeometic techniques with the goal to answer specific archaeological questions should be submitted to the "senior" archaeology competition. Proposals are evaluated by both ad hoc reviewers and a panel composed of individuals who combine both archaeological and archaeometric expertise. Awards (including indirect costs) are normally two to three years in duration and in FY14 ranged from $89,868 to $207,879 in size. The average award was $179,120.

High Risk Research in Biological Anthropology and/or Archaeology (HRRBAA)

(See Solicitation NSF 08-523 which can be accessed via the HRRBAA program web site.)

This competition is designed to permit the submission of high-risk, exploratory proposals that can lead to significant new anthropological knowledge. Because of a highly competitive environment, proposals that have both a high risk of failure and the potential for significant payoffs are less able to compete with standard research proposals. This program is designed to provide a mechanism whereby risky proposals with a great potential for advancement of the discipline can compete for funding. The risk involved in such endeavors must significantly exceed that associated with regular archaeology research projects. "Risk" in this context refers to risk of project failure and not risk of site destruction. The competition is also not intended to provide "start-up" grants. Maximum awards are limited to $35,000 in total cost and proposals may be submitted at any time. They are evaluated by ad hoc reviewers only.  In FY14 the Program funded a single award of $34,090.

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Genealogy of Life (GoLife)
Directorate for Biological Sciences

March 25, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

All of comparative biology depends on knowledge of the evolutionary relationships (phylogeny) of living and extinct organisms. In addition, understanding biodiversity and how it changes over time is only possible when Earth's diversity is organized into a phylogenetic framework. The goals of the Genealogy of Life (GoLife) program are to resolve the phylogenetic history of life and to integrate this genealogical architecture with underlying organismal data.

The ultimate vision of this program is an open access, universal Genealogy of Life that will provide the comparative framework necessary for testing questions in systematics, evolutionary biology, ecology, and other fields. A further strategic integration of this genealogy of life with data layers from genomic, phenotypic, spatial, ecological and temporal data will produce a grand synthesis of biodiversity and evolutionary sciences. The resulting knowledge infrastructure will enable synthetic research on biological dynamics throughout the history of life on Earth, within current ecosystems, and for predictive modeling of the future evolution of life.

Projects submitted to this program should emphasize increased efficiency in contributing to a complete Genealogy of Life and integration of various types of organismal data with phylogenies.

This program also seeks to broadly train next generation, integrative phylogenetic biologists, creating the human resource infrastructure and workforce needed to tackle emerging research questions in comparative biology. Projects should train students for diverse careers by exposing them to the multidisciplinary areas of research within the proposal.

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Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program (I/UCRC)
Directorate for Engineering, Industrial Innovation and Partnerships

LOI due on January 5, 2015
Full submission due on March 3, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) program develops long-term partnerships among industry, academe, and government. The centers are catalyzed by a small investment from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and are primarily supported by industry center members, with NSF taking a supporting role in the development and evolution of the center. Each center is established to conduct research that is of interest to both the industry members and the center faculty. An I/UCRC contributes to the nation's research infrastructure base and enhances the intellectual capacity of the engineering and science workforce through the integration of research and education.  As appropriate, an I/UCRC uses international collaborations to advance these goals within the global context.

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United States-Israel Collaboration in Computer Science (USICCS)
Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering and Division of Computing and Communication Foundations

Submission Window: March 2, 2015 - March 16, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The United States-Israel Collaboration in Computer Science (USICCS) program is a joint program of NSF and the United States - Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF). The program supports research projects that develop new knowledge in the areas of theory of computing; algorithm design and analysis; design, verification, and evaluation of software systems; and revolutionary computing models based on emerging scientific ideas.

Through this program, NSF and BSF will jointly support collaborations among US-based researchers and Israel-based researchers. US-based researchers will receive funds from NSF to support travel to Israel to interact with their Israeli counterparts. Israel-based and US-based researchers will receive funds allowable under the BSF program described athttp://www.bsf.org.il/.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

USICCS supports transformative research in the following areas of theoretical computer science and the foundations of software design and systems:

Theoretical Computer Science

The USICCS program supports potentially transformative research projects advancing the design and analysis of algorithms and characterized by algorithmic thinking accompanied by rigorous analysis. Research on algorithms for problems that are central to computer science and new techniques for the rigorous analysis of algorithms are of interest. USICCS supports theoretical research that bounds the intrinsic difficulty of problems to determine the measures of complexity in formal models of computation, classical or new. The goal is to understand the fundamental limits of resource-bounded computation and to obtain efficient solutions within those limits. Specifically, the time and space complexity of finding exact and approximate solutions in deterministic and randomized models of computation is a central concern of the program.

Research on resource usage other than time and space, such as communication complexity and energy cost, is also encouraged. In addition to the traditional sequential computing paradigm, USICCS supports research on the design and analysis of novel algorithms in parallel and distributed models, in particular, in heterogeneous multi-core and many core machines; the computational models and algorithms that capture essential aspects of computing over massive data sets; game theory; and alternative forms of computation and information processing, including quantum computing and biological models of computation.

The program supports research in algorithms needed in all areas, both within and outside computer science. Algorithmic research with applications in databases, information retrieval, machine learning, data mining, natural language processing, networks, communications, operating systems, languages, compilers, and machine abstractions is supported. New techniques for the design and analysis of algorithms in areas such as cryptography, computational geometry, computational biology, game theory and numerical, symbolic, and algebraic computing are appropriate for this program.

Software Foundations

USICCS supports research projects on the science of design, verification, operation, utilization, and evaluation of computer systems through novel approaches, robust theories, high-leverage tools, and lasting principles. Such advances may offer models, methods, languages, logics, novel software artifacts, algorithms to enable new or enhanced functionality, and formal methods and tools for the design, implementation, and verification of computer systems and their applications.

The USICCS program seeks transformative ideas that reformulate the relationship between requirements, design, and evolution of software and software-intensive systems. The program welcomes research projects focusing on program analysis and synthesis, compositionality, verifiability and certifiability of software, as well as research on static, dynamic, functional and non-functional analysis and testing techniques in all stages of the software life cycle. USICCS supports fundamental research on formal and semi-formal methods for the specification, development, and verification of software systems. The program seeks proposals that enhance the applicability, usability, and efficiency of techniques such as model checking, theorem proving, automated decision procedures, static analysis and constraint solving. Research topics involving the semantics, logics, verification, and analysis of concurrent systems are welcome. USICCS supports the entire range of programming language and compiler research, ranging from foundations to design to implementation and application, including new approaches to languages and compilers for parallel and concurrent programming.

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Dear Colleague Letter: SaTC EAGERs Enabling New Collaborations
Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)

December 1, 2014 and March 2, 2015
Full submissions are by invitation only and will be due February 17, 2015 and May 1, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

October 23, 2014

The National Science Foundation is announcing its intentions to build upon the success of previous Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGERs) in the area supported by the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program (see solicitation 14-599: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf14599) and to accept additional EAGER proposals that encourage novel interdisciplinary research resulting from new collaborations between one or more Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) researchers and one or more Social, Behavioral and Economic Science (SBE) researchers. (Research teams with a history of collaborating together should instead submit directly to the SaTC solicitation.) The proposed research should fit both the Trustworthy Computing (TWC) and the Social, Behavioral and Economic (SBE) Sciences perspectives within the SaTC solicitation.

Below are some examples of the types of topics that computer and social and behavioral scientists could conceivably study together under such an EAGER project. This list is by no means intended to be complete, nor is it meant to suggest what topics are of interest to the NSF. Instead, it is meant to give some notion of the broad spectrum of possibilities for such research. The respective role of social and computer scientists under different topics may vary from fully interdisciplinary involvement of both, which would be ideal, to varying degrees of mutual consultation and resource provision.

  • Incentive, communication, and profitability mechanisms of attackers.
  • Modeling and experimentation to identify the strengths and weaknesses of incentive mechanisms for enhancing security, particularly in realistic cyber-contexts.
  • Methods, including automated methods, for detecting deception or adverse intentions relevant to attacks on cyberinfrastructure.
  • Social network analysis and other methods of detecting malware propagation, for instance via social media.
  • Socio-technical solutions to reduce end-user risk exposure, such as crowdsourcing.
  • Research to ascertain the tradeoffs between security and privacy and how better mixtures of these could be found or negotiated.
  • Methods, including automated methods, to train, incentivize, or nudge end-users to improve their cybersecurity position.
  • The impact of norms and other factors on promoting good citizenship with respect to cyberspace.
  • End-user motivating factors that allow successful security invasion tactics and countermeasures.
  • Cyber-security insurance: obstacles and solutions.
  • The privacy needs of end-users and organizations and how these constrain or do not constrain cybersecurity efforts.
  • Motivators and indicators of insider threat and countermeasures to such threat among end-users, user communities, national and international communities, and so forth.
  • Factors behind susceptibility of subpopulations to cybercrime e.g., youth, the elderly and countermeasures.
  • The impact of trust and institutional design on cybersecurity decisions.
  • Incentives and motivators for cybersecurity in firms and other organizations.
  • International norms, rules of engagement, and escalation dynamics of cyber-attacks and cyber-warfare.
  • Systemic and structural factors that promote or undermine a secure cyberspace.

The above topics could involve an array of social science fields, including, but not limited to: economics, sociology, psychology, political science, science of organization (organizational research/management science), communication research, education research, linguistics, and anthropology. The subfields that may be relevant are many, and can include such areas as behavioral economics, behavioral decision theory, behavioral game theory, game theory, political psychology, social network analysis and theory, social psychology, cognitive psychology, online communication research, and criminology.

Two rounds of submissions are anticipated, with approximately 4 to 5 EAGERs to be awarded during each round, subject to the availability of funds.

The process for submission is as follows:

  • Investigators should e-mail a two-page summary of their research idea(s) (plus references and CVs on additional pages, if desired) to jepstein@nsf.gov. The deadline for consideration in the first round is December 1, 2014; the deadline for consideration in the second round is March 2, 2015. There is no specified format for these summaries, but a brief statement of any prior collaboration between the proposing PIs should be included.
  • NSF Program Directors will review the two-page summaries, and will invite those of most interest to submit EAGER proposals. Notifications for first-round submissions are expected by January 16, 2015, and for second-round submissions by April 1, 2015.
  • The anticipated deadlines for submission of invited EAGER proposals are February 17, 2015, and May 1, 2015 for the first and second rounds, respectively. Submission of EAGER proposals will be via Fastlane or Grants.gov. EAGER submissions should follow the NSF's Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) II.D.2 (seehttp://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg). Additionally, they must indicate that the collaboration is new and should clarify how the proposed collaboration will take place. (As noted in the GPG, EAGER is a funding mechanism for supporting exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This work may be considered especially "high risk high payoff," for example, in the sense that it involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives.)

Investigators are encouraged to review the abstracts of projects funded under the previous Dear Colleague Letters (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf13037 and http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf14016) to understand representative topics and approaches that may be of interest to NSF1.

An investigator may be included in only one submission in response to this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL); if more than one is submitted, only the first one submitted will be considered. Submission in response to the previous Dear Colleague Letters does not preclude submission in response to this DCL.

For further information, please contact the cognizant SaTC program directors at satc@nsf.gov.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Iacono
Assistant Director (Acting), CISE

Fay Lomax Cook
Assistant Director, SBE

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Division of Environmental Biology (core programs) (DEB)
Directorate for Biological Sciences & Division of Environmental Biology

LOI due January 23, 2015
Full submission due August 2, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) supports fundamental research on populations, species, communities, and ecosystems. Scientific emphases range across many evolutionary and ecological patterns and processes at all spatial and temporal scales. Areas of research include biodiversity, phylogenetic systematics, molecular evolution, life history evolution, natural selection, ecology, biogeography, ecosystem structure, function and services, conservation biology, global change, and biogeochemical cycles. Research on organismal origins, functions, relationships, interactions, and evolutionary history may incorporate field, laboratory, or collection-based approaches; observational or manipulative experiments; synthesis activities; as well as theoretical approaches involving analytical, statistical, or computational modeling.

 

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Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research: Workshop Opportunities (EPS-WO)
National Science Foundation

Rolling submission deadline

SYNOPSIS: 

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is designed to fulfill the mandate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote scientific progress nationwide. The EPSCoR program is directed at those jurisdictions that have historically received lesser amounts of NSF Research and Development (R&D) funding. Thirty jurisdictions, including twenty-eight states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U. S. Virgin Islands, currently participate in EPSCoR. Through this program, NSF establishes partnerships with government, higher education and industry that are designed to effect sustainable improvements in a jurisdiction's research infrastructure, R&D capacity, and hence, its national R&D competitiveness. The EPSCoR Office welcomes unsolicited proposals from EPSCoR jurisdictions for workshops involving the EPSCoR community. These workshops will focus on innovative ways to address multi-jurisdictional efforts on themes of regional to national importance with relevance to EPSCoR's goals/objectives and NSF's mission.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Workshops should address multi-jurisdictional efforts that need collaboration for optimal success. Speakers from non-EPSCoR institutions can be involved in the workshop, and funding for their travel expenses can be provided by the workshop award, but funding cannot go to non-EPSCoR institutions. Workshops should address major regional or national themes of relevance to EPSCoR's goals/objectives and NSF's mission. Workshops may have as their goal the development of high quality collaborations that are capable of competing for major funding from non-EPSCoR programs. Workshops should address multi/interdisciplinary perspectives common to major initiatives in science and engineering. Workshops should have appropriate representation of underrepresented groups. Workshops are not intended solely for within-jurisdiction or single institution planning activities. Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) planning efforts by EPSCoR jurisdictional committees accomplish these types of activities. Workshops are not to be used for new RII proposal development by a single jurisdiction. However, in those cases where multiple jurisdictions have similar thematic plans and there is value in collaboration among jurisdictions on a common theme, then a workshop might be appropriate. Jurisdictions considering such collaborative projects should contact the NSF EPSCoR Office to outline their plan and to obtain advice on the suitability of a potential workshop proposal. A successful workshop proposal will demonstrate a compelling rationale, with clear goals, a committed leadership team, institutional support, leveraged resources, and strategic planning. Inclusivity of groups underrepresented in STEM must be evident at all levels, from the planning committee to the final participants. The level of inclusivity, and measures of workshop programmatic success, must be obtained through evaluation and feedback. A plan for long-term and widespread dissemination of results must also be included.

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Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC)
Directorate for Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering/NSF

Deadlines vary depending on project size, see announcement

SYNOPSIS: 

The Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program welcomes proposals that address Cybersecurity from a Trustworthy Computing Systems (TWC) perspective and/or a Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) perspective, or from the Secure, Trustworthy, Assured and Resilient Semiconductors and Systems (STARSS) perspective. In addition, the sponsor welcomes proposals that integrate research addressing all of these perspectives.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

With the exception of Cybersecurity Education proposals described below, any proposal submitted to this solicitation must be consistent with one of three project classes defined below. Proposals will be considered for funding within their project classes.

Small Projects are well suited to one or two investigators (PI and one co-PI or other Senior Personnel) and at least one student and/or postdoc.

Medium Projects are well-suited to one or more investigators (PI, co-PI and/or other Senior Personnel) and several students and/or postdocs. Medium project descriptions must be comprehensive and well-integrated, and should make a convincing case that the collaborative contributions of the project team will be greater than the sum of each of their individual contributions. Rationale must be provided to explain why a budget of this size is required to carry out the proposed work. Since the success of collaborative research efforts is known to depend on thoughtful coordination mechanisms that regularly bring together the various participants of the project, a separate Collaboration Plan is required for all Medium proposals with more than one investigator. Up to 2 pages are allowed for Collaboration Plans. The length of and level of detail provided in the Collaboration Plan should be commensurate with the complexity of the proposed project. Medium projects may be submitted to the Trustworthy Computing Systems (TWC) and/or the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) perspectives.

Large Projects are well suited to two or more investigators (PI, co-PI and/or other Senior Personnel), and a team of students and/or postdocs. They should be large, multi-disciplinary, multi-organizational, and/or multi-institution projects that provide high-level visibility to grand challenge research areas in cybersecurity. Project descriptions must be comprehensive and well-integrated, and should make a convincing case that the collaborative contributions of the project team will be greater than the sum of each of the individual participants' contributions. Rationale must be provided to explain why a budget of this size is required to carry out the proposed work. Since the success of collaborative research efforts is known to depend on thoughtful coordination mechanisms that regularly bring together the various participants of the project, a separate Collaboration Plan is required for all Large proposals. Large projects may be submitted to the Trustworthy Computing Systems (TWC) and/or the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) perspectives. A Large proposal should have a long-term vision, with objectives that could not be attained simply by a collection of small or medium proposals provided similar resources. Such research may or may not be multidisciplinary. A successful Large project could also be a deep, intensively focused effort on a single cybersecurity problem in a single discipline.

Proposals addressing Cybersecurity with a Trustworthy Computing Systems perspective aim to provide the basis for designing, building, and operating a cyberinfrastructure with improved resistance and resilience to attack that can be tailored to meet a wide range of technical and policy requirements, including both privacy and accountability. Within its scope, the program supports all research approaches from theoretical to experimental, including human factors aspects of systems. Theories, models, cryptography, algorithms, methods, architectures, languages, software, tools, systems and evaluation frameworks are all of interest. Of particular interest is research addressing how better to design into components and systems desired security and privacy properties, as well as principled techniques for composing security mechanisms. Methods for raising attacker costs by incorporating diversity, misdirection/confusion, and change or self-adaptation into systems, while preserving system manageability, are also relevant. Approaches and methods for securing cyber-physical systems (CPS) are also welcome, including, but not limited to, critical infrastructure such as power and water, health care, transportation, and manufacturing. Submissions relating to CPS should be specific about the threat model, in particular addressing the sophistication of expected adversaries. Research that studies the tradeoffs among trustworthy computing properties, e.g., security and usability, or accountability and privacy, as well as work that examines the tension between security and human values such as openness and transparency is also welcomed. Also, methods to assess, reason about, and predict system trustworthiness, including observable metrics, analytical methods, simulation, experimental deployment and, where possible, deployment on live testbeds for experimentation at scale are considered. Statistical, mathematical and computational methods in the area of cryptographic methods, new algorithms, risk assessments and statistical methods in cybersecurity are also welcome.

Proposals addressing the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) perspective of Cybersecurity may include research at the individual, group, organizational, market, and societal levels, identifying cybersecurity risks and exploring the feasibility of potential solutions. All research approaches, including (but not limited to) theoretical, experimental, observational, statistical, survey, and simulation-based are of interest. A variety of methods can be used in research from the SBE perspective, including field data, laboratory experiments, observational studies, simulations, and theoretical development, among others. Not all proposals that examine aspects involving people are from the SBE perspective. Proposals in which such aspects are not the primary focus of the proposal or that merely apply rather than make contributions to the SBE sciences might fit under "Trustworthy Computing Systems" as human factors research. A proposal with SBE as its primary perspective must have SBE science as its main focus and must involve theoretical or methodological contributions to the SBE sciences. Contributions to the SBE sciences include identifying generalizable theories and regularities and "pushing the boundaries" of our understanding of social, behavioral, or economic phenomena in cybersecurity and beyond. We seek research that is generalizable, identifies scope conditions, or provides an advance in SBE science methods. We seek research that holds the promise of constructing new SBE theories that would apply to a variety of domains, or new generalizations of existing theory which clarify the conditions under which such generalizations hold (scope conditions). More inductive or interpretative approaches may contribute to the SBE sciences as well, especially if they set the groundwork for generalizable research or reveal broad connections that forward SBE science understandings. SBE / SaTC proposals should clearly state and elaborate how the proposed research will contribute to SBE sciences. A proposal that involves SBE, but not as its primary perspective, must include at least an application of the SBE sciences, but need not involve a theoretical or methodological contribution. All SBE primary or non-primary proposals must, like all SaTC proposals, also contribute toward the goal of creating a secure and trustworthy cyberspace. The SBE science contribution of any SBE / SaTC proposal must be related to bringing about that goal. It is not sufficient for a proposal submitted under SBE / SaTC to have an SBE science contribution alone or one that is not related to bringing about a secure and trustworthy cyberspace. Such proposals are perhaps best submitted to a standing (core) SBE program. Strong proposals will demonstrate the capabilities of the research team to bring to bear state-of-the-art research in the human sciences. In particular, they will seek to understand, predict and explain prevention, attack and/or defense behaviors and contribute to developing strategies for remediation. Proposals that contribute to the design of incentives, markets or institutions to reduce either the likelihood of cyber attack or the negative consequences of cyber attack are especially welcome, as are proposals that examine incentives and motivations of individuals.

The STARSS perspective is a joint effort of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC). A STARSS proposal is similar to other Small proposals submitted to the TWC and/or SBE perspective except that it must include a statement of consent authorizing NSF to share the proposal and any reviews and ancillary documents with SRC. As noted previously, STARSS proposals may not include the TWC or SBE perspective, but may include a TTP Option. Trends in semiconductors and their application pose challenges to security and trustworthiness. On one hand, leading edge processors are the "brains" behind critically-important systems and infrastructure, including networking and communications, electric power grids, finance, military and aerospace systems. On the other hand, smaller embedded processors, sensors and other electronic components provide "smart" functionality and connectivity in a variety of applications, such as automotive braking and airbag systems, personal healthcare, industrial controls, and the rapidly growing list of other connected devices often referred to as the Internet of Things. The wide range of devices and applications and the exponential growth in the number of connected "things" has made security and trustworthiness a prime concern. Design and manufacture of today's complex semiconductor circuits and systems requires many steps and involves the work of hundreds of engineers, typically distributed across multiple locations and organizations worldwide. Moreover, today's semiconductor chip is likely to include design modules or blocks (also referred to as intellectual property, or IP, blocks) from multiple sources. Detailed specifications are converted into schematic and then physical designs that may include billions of transistors. Many processes have been developed, and considerable resources are invested along the design and manufacture path to verify, test and validate that the product performs as intended. However, to date, these processes do not provide confidence about whether the chip is altered such that it provides unauthorized access or control. Such undesirable behavior can be due to a weakness in the design that results in an unintentional side channel or due to maliciously inserted functionality or "Trojan" hardware.

Proposals for Small, Medium or Large projects may include a Transition to Practice (TTP) option. Proposed activities under the TTP option MUST NOT be described in the project description, and instead MUST be described in a supplementary document of no more than five pages. The objective of the TTP program is to support the proposed research activities and ideas whose outcomes at the end of the award are capable of being implemented, applied, experimentally useable, or deployed in an operational environment. The TTP option supplementary document should specifically describe how the successful research results will be further developed and experimentally deployed in organizations or industries, including in networks and end systems.

On occasion, the results of SaTC funded research lead to widespread changes in our understanding of the fundamentals of cybersecurity that can, in turn, lead to fundamentally new ways to motivate and educate students about cybersecurity. Proposals submitted to this perspective leverage successful results from previous and current basic research in cybersecurity and research on student learning, both in terms of intellectual merit and broader impact, to address the challenge of expanding existing educational opportunities and resources in cybersecurity.

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Law and Social Sciences
Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences/NSF

Deadlines vary - please see full announcement

SYNOPSIS: 

The Law & Social Sciences Program considers proposals that address social scientific studies of law and law-like systems of rules. The program is inherently interdisciplinary and multi-methodological. Successful proposals describe research that advances scientific theory and understanding of the connections between law or legal processes and human behavior. Social scientific studies of law often approach law as dynamic, made in multiple arenas, with the participation of multiple actors.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Fields of study include many disciplines, and often address problems including though not limited to: Crime, Violence and Punishment; Economic Issues; Governance; Legal Decisionmaking; Legal Mobilization and Conceptions of Justice; and Litigation and the Legal Profession. LSS provides the following modes of support: Standard Research Grants and Grants for Collaborative Research; Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants; Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowships; and Workshop and Conference Proposals.

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Division of Integrative Organismal Systems
Directorate for Biological Sciences and Division of Integrative Organismal Systems

LOI due January 16, 2015
Full submission due August 7, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) supports research aimed at understanding why organisms are structured the way they are and function as they do. Proposals should focus on organisms as a fundamental unit of biological organization. Principal Investigators (PIs) are encouraged to apply systems approaches that will lead to conceptual and theoretical insights and predictions about emergent organismal properties. Areas of inquiry include, but are not limited to, developmental biology and the evolution of developmental processes, nervous system development, structure, and function, physiological processes, functional morphology, symbioses, interactions of organisms with biotic and abiotic environments, and animal behavior.

Proposals are welcomed in all areas of science supported by the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems. All investigator-initiated proposals to the core programs in the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems must now be invited based on merit review of preliminary proposals. There is a single submission deadline with a limit of 2 preliminary proposals per investigator per year as PI or Co-PI in response to this solicitation. Please see the GPG for definition of roles for PI and Co-PI. There are no limits on the number of proposals you can participate on as collaborator. The PI/Co-PI limits apply only to this solicitation and do not pertain to proposals submitted in response to other NSF solicitations.

Unsolicited full research proposals are no longer accepted into the IOS Core Programs.


PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: 

Proposals are welcomed in all areas of science supported by the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems, including projects that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. Please read the cluster descriptions below and then discuss any questions about the potential fit of a project to one of the clusters with the Program Director you believe is most closely associated to your field of interest.

Please consult the IOS web page (http://www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?div=IOS) for information about Program Directors associated with each programmatic area. This interaction can be a critical aspect for ensuring that your proposal is assigned to the most appropriate program for review.

The core scientific programs in IOS are organized into four Clusters:

Behavioral Systems Cluster

The Behavioral Systems Cluster consists of the Animal Behavior Program which supports research in the area of integrative animal behavior to understand how and why individuals and groups of animals do what they do in nature. Research in this area occurs in field, laboratory and captive environments and covers a wide range of scientific fields and levels of analysis to study the development, mechanisms, adaptive value, and evolutionary history of behavior. The Cluster encourages species specific and comparative studies as well as modeling and theoretical approaches that use animal systems to discover and explore overarching principles of the biology of behavior and to advance a fully integrated understanding of the behavioral phenotype from genes to ecosystems.

The Cluster supports these goals through the core program in Animal Behavior and the Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant program (DDIG).

Developmental Systems Cluster

The Developmental Systems Cluster supports research aimed at understanding how interacting developmental processes give rise to the emergent properties of organisms. Systems level approaches to understanding these processes at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels of organization, combining the use of molecular, genetic, biochemical, and physiological techniques as well as techniques from outside biology are encouraged. The Developmental Systems Cluster is also particularly interested in understanding how emergent properties result in the development of complex phenotypes and lead to the evolution of developmental mechanisms.

Proposals should be submitted to one of the three programs below:

The Plant, Fungal and Microbial Developmental Mechanisms Program supports research that addresses developmental processes in plants from algae to angiosperms, microbes and fungi.

The Animal Developmental Mechanisms Program supports research that seeks to understand the processes that result in the complex phenotypes of animals. Because different organisms may be more amenable to certain approaches than others, analyses of development in a wide range of different species are encouraged. Proposals directed to study the development of the Nervous System should be submitted to the Organization Program of the Neural Systems Cluster (see below).

The Evolution of Developmental Mechanisms Program supports research to discover the developmental processes that are shared by all organisms, and also those processes that produce diversity (phenotypic variation within a species and/or between species). For example, the program is interested in elucidating how gene networks are modified to generate different phenotypic outcomes. Understanding these processes will likely require inter-disciplinary and collaborative approaches using a wide range of organisms.

Neural Systems Cluster

The Neural Systems Cluster focuses on the basic functions of the nervous system and its interactions with the physical and social environments. The neuronal mechanisms underlying organismal responses and adaptation to an ever-changing biosphere are also of interest. The Cluster encourages the use of comparative species approaches to better understand how organisms perceive their environment, transduce that information in the nervous system and respond appropriately. Projects supported by the Neural Systems Cluster span multiple levels of analysis ranging from the molecular and cellular to the complex behavioral aspects of organisms functioning in their natural environments. The use of comparative and evolutionary studies, as well as the development of novel theoretical, computational, and transdisciplinary approaches to guide and instruct experimental design, are particularly encouraged. Interdisciplinary research in neuroscience at the interfaces of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and engineering is also supported.

Proposals should be submitted to one of the three programs below, each of which reflects one of three conceptual domains in neurobiology:

The Organization Program supports research focused on how the nervous system is organized along developmental, genetic, molecular and cellular lines; exploring developmental mechanisms and determining how experiential/environmental interactions affect the basic structural and functional characteristics of the nervous system.

The Activation Program supports research focused on how signals from the external environment activate the nervous system to produce motor responses; investigating how the internal state of the organism reaches a decision threshold, integrates sensorimotor responses, and triggers an action.

The Modulation Program supports research focused on how various factors modulatethe nervous system to produce complex behavior, and how that complex behavior, in turn, feeds back to have an impact on the nervous system; examining basic neural mechanisms underlying neuroendocrine and neuroimmune function, learning and memory, biological rhythms, and other complex behavior.

Physiological and Structural Systems Cluster

The Physiological and Structural Systems (PSS) Cluster supports research to advance understanding of physiological mechanisms and functional morphology. PSS supports hypothesis- and discovery-based research encompassing a wide range of approaches at levels of organization from molecules to populations. The Cluster encourages submission of proposals aimed at identifying fundamental design principles of physiological and structural systems and at understanding why particular patterns of morphology and physiological mechanisms have evolved and how they are integrated at the level of the whole organism. The Cluster encourages modeling and theoretical approaches to augment experimental approaches. Multidisciplinary research at the interfaces of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and engineering is encouraged. Normally, the PSS Cluster will not consider projects that are primarily focused on environmental toxicology or endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Proposals should be directed to one of the three programs described below:

The Symbiosis, Defense and Self-recognition Program (SDS) supports research on processes mediating both antagonistic and beneficial symbiotic interactions, as well as mechanisms of self/non-self recognition within and between species. The program welcomes proposals on the dynamics of initiation, transmission, maintenance and dissolution of these complex associations, including studies of metabolic interactions, immune defenses (especially involving comparative studies, new systems or novel mechanisms), host-symbiont regulation, and recognition, signaling, communication, and reciprocal responses among interacting species. Integrative approaches and attention to emergent effects of symbiotic interactions are encouraged. All aspects of symbiosis are supported, including commensalism, mutualism, parasitism, host-pathogen interactions, and mechanisms of foreign organelle acquisition.

The Physiological Mechanisms and Biomechanics Program (PMB) supports research on the physiological and structural features that contribute to life processes in plants, animals, microbes, and other organisms. Broad thematic areas include, but are not limited to sensing and signaling mechanisms, transport, energetics and metabolism, growth and development, stress adaptation mechanisms, biomaterials, muscle physiology, endocrinology, biomechanics, functional morphology, coordination of reproductive processes, gas exchange, circulation and osmoregulation. Systems approaches that predict or reveal the nature of coordination among functional processes and/or structural components as a means to further the understanding of organismal integrity are particularly encouraged.

The Integrative Ecological Physiology Program (IEP) supports research on the structural and physiological traits of organisms that underlie their capacities to live in various ecological settings. A central focus of the program is research on physiological mechanisms underlying organism responses to biotic and abiotic components of their environments. The program seeks proposals framed in explicit ecological or evolutionary contexts, and therefore projects may address time scales ranging from the short-term to evolutionary. Projects focused on understanding how genetic, biochemical, morphological and physiological processes integratively result in the capacities of organisms to live in dynamic environments are encouraged. The IEP Program particularly encourages proposals focused on using physiological traits to improve predictive models of organismal responses to global change.

OTHER SOLICITATIONS THAT USE THE IOS CORE CLUSTER DEADLINES

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Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB)
Directorate for Biological Sciences and Division of Environmental Biology

LOI due on January 30, 2015
Full submission due August 1, 2015

SYNOPSIS: 

The Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) Program supports the generation of extended time series of data to address important questions in evolutionary biology, ecology, and ecosystem science. Research areas include, but are not limited to, the effects of natural selection or other evolutionary processes on populations, communities, or ecosystems; the effects of interspecific interactions that vary over time and space; population or community dynamics for organisms that have extended life spans and long turnover times; feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes; pools of materials such as nutrients in soils that turn over at intermediate to longer time scales; and external forcing functions such as climatic cycles that operate over long return intervals.

The Program intends to support decadal projects. Funding for an initial, 5-year period requires submission of a preliminary proposal and, if invited, submission of a full proposal that includes a 15-page project description. Proposals for the second five years of support (renewal proposals) are limited to an eight-page project description and do not require a preliminary proposal.

Continuation of an LTREB project beyond an initial ten year award will require submission of a new preliminary proposal that presents a new decadal research plan.

Successful LTREB proposals address three essential components:

A Decadal Research Plan that clearly articulates important questions that cannot be addressed with data that have already been collected, but could be answered if ten additional years of data were collected. This plan is not a research timeline or management plan. It is a concise justification for ten additional years of support in order to advance understanding of key concepts, questions, or theories in environmental biology.

Core Data: LTREB proposals require that the author has studied a particular phenomenon or process for at least six years up to the present or for long enough to generate a contemporary time series that contains six data points. These data constitute Core Data on which the new project should be based, and analysis of these data should generate new questions, on the same phenomenon or process, that provide the focus of the LTREB project.

A Plan for Data Management and Dissemination that details information management and plans for data sharing with the broader research community and the interested public. Data from long-term research projects have value beyond the peer-reviewed and other publications generated by the investigators collecting the data.

Specific review criteria for LTREB proposals and renewals are explained in Section VI of the current program solicitation. Prospective applicants are advised to read this solicitation carefully.

All proposals submitted to the LTREB program are co-reviewed by participating Clusters in the Division of Environmental Biology: Ecosystem Science, Population and Community Ecology, and Evolutionary Processes. Proposals must address topics supported by these programs. Researchers who are uncertain about the suitability of their project for the LTREB Program are encouraged to contact the cognizant program director.

Beginning in January 2014, the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) will no longer accept proposals submitted to the LTREB solicitation. Long-term projects that address questions of a) development, mechanisms, adaptive value, or evolutionary history of behavior, b) mechanisms and processes mediating antagonistic and beneficial symbioses, c) growth, development, stress adaptation mechanisms, energetics and metabolism, or other physiological processes, and d) structural and physiological traits that underlie organisms' capacities to live in various environments will no longer be supported through LTREB. Core IOS programs supporting all of these areas will entertain proposals based on long-term data http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503623&org=IOS&from=home.

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NSF 13-570 Joint DMS/NIGMS Initiative to Support Research at the Interface of the Biological and Mathematical Sciences

Deadlines: September 15, 2014 and September 15, 2015

The Division of Mathematical Sciences in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health plan to support research in mathematics and statistics on questions in the biological and biomedical sciences. Both agencies recognize the need and urgency for promoting research at the interface between the mathematical sciences and the life sciences. This competition is designed to encourage new collaborations, as well as to support existing ones.

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NSF 14-504 Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS)
Innovative Approaches to Science and Engineering Research on Brain Function

Deadlines: Oct. 28, 2014, Oct. 29, 2015

Co-sponsors: 

-NSF Directorates of : Computer & Information Science & Engineering, Biological Sciences, Social, Behavioral and Economic Scienes, Mathematical & Physical Sciences, Engineering, International and Integrative Services; -NIH NINDS, NIMH, NIDA, NEI, NIDCD, NIBIB, NAAA, NICHD, NCCAM; Federal MInistry of Education and Research Germany; French National Research Agency; United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation

Two classes of proposals will be considered in response to this solicitation: Research Proposals describing collaborative research projects, and Data Sharing Proposals to enable sharing of data and other resources.

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Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into Geoscience (IUSE: GEOPATHS)
Directorate for Geosciences

LOI due January 5, 2015
Full submission due March 16, 2015

NOTE: 

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization:

An organization may serve as sole submitting institution or as lead institution of a collaborative project on only one submission per competition, regardless of track, but may serve as the non-lead institution of a collaborative project more than once per competition. Additional eligibility requirements are described later in the solicitation.

Potential PIs are advised to contact OSP at 406-994-2831 or email research@montana.edu regarding current applicants to determine if a limited submissions process will be warranted. 

SYNOPSIS: 

A well-prepared, innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce is crucial to the Nation's health and economy. Indeed, recent policy actions and reports have drawn attention to the opportunities and challenges inherent in increasing the number of highly qualified STEM graduates, including STEM teachers. Priorities include educating students to be leaders and innovators in emerging and rapidly changing STEM fields as well as educating a scientifically literate populace. Both of these priorities depend on the nature and quality of the undergraduate education experience. In addressing these STEM challenges and priorities, the National Science Foundation invests in evidence-based and evidence-generating approaches to understanding STEM learning; to designing, testing, and studying instruction and curricular change; to wide dissemination and implementation of best practices; and to broadening participation of individuals and institutions in STEM fields. The goals of these investments include: increasing the number and diversity of STEM students, preparing students well to participate in science for tomorrow, and improving students' STEM learning outcomes.

NSF's Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) initiative, launched in Fiscal Year 2014, supports a coherent set of investments to address immediate challenges and opportunities that are facing undergraduate STEM education, as well as those that anticipate new structures (e.g. organizational changes, new methods for certification or credentialing, course re-conception, cyberlearning, etc.) and new functions of the undergraduate learning and teaching enterprise. The NSF-wide IUSE initiative acknowledges the variety of discipline-specific challenges and opportunities facing STEM faculty as they strive to incorporate results from educational research into classroom practice and work with education research colleagues and social science learning scholars to advance our understanding of effective teaching and learning.

The Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) contributes to the IUSE initiative through theImproving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into Geoscience (IUSE: GEOPATHS) funding opportunity. IUSE: GEOPATHS invites proposals that specifically address the current needs and opportunities related to undergraduate education within the geosciences community. The primary goal of the IUSE: GEOPATHS funding opportunity is to increase the number of undergraduate students interested in pursuing undergraduate degrees and/or post-graduate degrees in geoscience through the design and testing of novel approaches for engaging students in authentic, career-relevant experiences in geoscience. In order to broaden participation in the geosciences, engaging undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented groups or from non-geoscience degree programs is a priority. The IUSE: GEOPATHS solicitation features two funding Tracks: (1) Engaging students in the geosciences through extra-curricular experiences and training activities (GEOPATHS-EXTRA), and (2) Improving pathways into the geosciences through institutional collaborations and transfer (GEOPATHS-IMPACT).

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

The IUSE: GEOPATHS funding opportunity invites creative proposals to broaden and strengthen the pathways that will engage and retain undergraduate students in geoscience education and career pathways, and help prepare them for a variety of careers. The long-term goal of this program is to dramatically increase the number and diversity of students earning undergraduate degrees or enrolling in graduate programs in geoscience fields, as well as ensure that they have the necessary skills and competencies to succeed as next generation professionals in a variety of employment sectors. IUSE: GEOPATHS projects are expected to utilize effective, evidence-based strategies for improving student engagement and retention, and to expose students to meaningful experiences in the geosciences through leveraging of academic and/or non-academic research and instrumentation infrastructure. The underlying "theory of change" for this solicitation is that using novel ways of engaging a larger population of students and exposing them to authentic, career-relevant geoscience experiences that augment the formal curriculum will increase their desire to earn degrees and pursue careers in the field.

The overarching questions being address through this solicitation are:

  • Which strategies are most effective for increasing the number and diversity of students entering the geoscience workforce pipeline?
  • Which approaches are most effective in retaining undergraduate students in the geoscience pipeline?
  • Which activities are most effective in preparing undergraduate geoscience majors for the workforce, and smoothing their transition post-graduation?
  • Which strategies are most effective for increasing the number and diversity of non-geoscience undergraduate majors that pursue post-baccalaureate degrees in geoscience?

IUSE: GEOPATHS projects also offer an opportunity to tap the nation's diverse student talent pool and broaden participation in science and engineering. NSF is particularly interested in increasing the numbers of women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities in professional experiences related to the geosciences. IUSE: GEOPATHS projects are strongly encouraged to involve students who are members of these groups. (Underrepresented minorities are African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders.) When designing recruitment plans, IUSE: GEOPATHS projects are also encouraged to consider students who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Services.

The IUSE: GEOPATHS solicitation offers two distinct funding Tracks: (1) Engaging students in the geosciences through extra-curricular experiences and training (GEOPATHS-EXTRA) and (2) Improving pathways into the geosciences through institutional collaborations (GEOPATHS-IMPACT).

GEOPATHS-EXTRA Projects

GEOPATHS-EXTRA projects are focused on providing individual undergraduate students with sustained or catalytic experiences that develop their expertise in geoscience, enhance their professional skills, increase their access to professional networks, and demonstrably deepen their interest in, and knowledge of, geoscience career pathways. Introducing students to the geosciences through extra-curricular experiential learning, internships, field trips, and culturally-relevant or problem-based learning scenarios, are well-documented as successful approaches for recruitment. More than a decade of empirical research has demonstrated the benefits to students from participating in undergraduate research, in particular, because it not only socializes undergraduates into scientific thinking and practices, it may also play a significant role in students' educational and career trajectories, especially among Hispanic/Latino students (e.g., References 19 to 22). AGI reports that more than 80% of Bachelor's and Master's graduates in the geosciences who participated in some form of internship during their education felt it was very important for their academic and professional development; yet, less than half of undergraduate geoscience majors participated in an internship-like experience. Increasing the number and types of opportunities that provide individual undergraduate students with authentic, career-relevant experiences - across all employment sectors - may increase both student engagement and retention in the pipeline. Many academic, private sector and government-managed facilities within the geosciences community could be leveraged to provide such experiences.

GEOPATHS-EXTRA proposals can be submitted by institutions of higher education that offer undergraduate courses or bachelor's degrees in any of the geoscience fields, with some restrictions (see eligibility criteria). GEOPATHS-EXTRA projects are expected to focus on the needs of individual students, primarily by offering cohort-based, extra- or co-curricular experiences that complement the submitting institution's existing Bachelor's degree curriculum. Each cohort should involve a minimum of 6 students per institution. Collaborations with other academic and non-academic institutions that create opportunities to expose participating students to a variety of working environments are strongly encouraged, as are collaborations that engage diverse undergraduate students from local community colleges and MSI's. While requests to support academic year undergraduate research as one component of a GEOPATHS-EXTRA project will be considered, they must not duplicate the types of undergraduate research experiences that can be supported through the REU Site and Supplement program solicitation.

Specific activities that might be supported through the GEOPATHS-EXTRA track include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Establishing new multi-year, academic-year geoscience research opportunities for cohorts of undergraduate students at the awardee institution
  • Partnering with large research facilities, to provide students with hands-on training and experience using sophisticated geoscience instrumentation, large data sets, and/or models
  • Creating mentored geoscience-related internships, externships, or apprenticeship programs in collaboration with the private sector
  • Engaging students in large, ongoing, and separately funded field-based research campaigns and subsequent data analysis and synthesis
  • Providing students with service-learning or community-based opportunities related to the geosciences
  • Creating competitions and prizes that offer capstone experiences at large or unique geoscience research facilities
  • Engaging pre-service science teachers in activities that foster their interest in becoming secondary Earth science teachers
  • Providing experiences that help pre-college students transition more successfully into undergraduate geoscience programs
  • Conducting novel outreach programs aimed at recruiting more diverse students into undergraduate and graduate geoscience pathways

Proposals submitted to this Track should be designed to build on the evidence-base for effective strategies for undergraduate engagement, recruitment and retention, particularly among underrepresented student populations. Similarly, they should be designed to contribute to the evidence base through formative and summative assessment and documenting the impacts of the experiences on student attitudes, learning outcomes, and persistence in the pipeline. Competitive proposals will clearly articulate how the proposed activities scaffold to, and integrate with, the instructional program(s); carefully describe methods for recruitment and selection of students; and, discuss professional development activities that better prepare faculty and other professional participants for their role as mentor/supervisor.

GEOPATHS-IMPACT Projects

GEOPATHS-IMPACT projects are expected to establish new, or strengthen existing, institutional partnerships and collaborations that provide sustainable pathways and support mechanisms for facilitating transitions of undergraduate students at critical junctions: between high school and undergraduate geoscience programs; between two-year undergraduate institutions and four-year institution geoscience degree programs; between baccalaureate degrees in geoscience and the geoscience workforce; or, between baccalaureate degrees (in any field) and post-baccalaureate geoscience programs. GEOPATHS-IMPACT projects are expected to focus less on the engagement of individual students in the geosciences and focus more on implementing systemic and sustainable approaches that can increase access to geoscience education and research opportunities and open doors to education and career pathways over time. The emphasis is on using NSF funding to establish programs, structures, and collaborations that can have lasting impact. For example, formal articulation agreements, e.g., between four-year and two-year institutions, can ease student transfers into geoscience Bachelor's degree programs. Education and research collaborations between institutions may also help first and second year students, who might otherwise not encounter geoscience before deciding on a major, explore the possibilities within the field. Providing reliable and current information about career paths and opportunities, as well as sustained mentoring, networking, and professional development, are also important strategies, especially in helping students make the transition from undergraduate to graduate study and beyond.

Specific activities that might be supported through the GEOPATHS-IMPACT track include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Creating mechanisms to engage upper level high school or community college students in experiences that demonstrate the geosciences as a viable career path before applying for college admission or transfer to a 4-year program
  • Creating summer bridge programs that expose incoming undergraduate freshmen to the geosciences
  • Leveraging large research infrastructure (e.g., ships, Critical Zone Observatories) to expose non-geoscience and pre-service teacher majors to geoscience content and opportunities
  • Cross-listing and/or co-teaching introductory geosciences classes between 2-year and 4 year institutions
  • Creation of enrichment programs that develop undergraduate skills required by the evolving job market for geoscientists and increase their matriculation into jobs classified as geoscientists
  • Formalizing collaborations between geoscience departments and education schools that strengthen the preparation of pre-service geoscience teachers
  • Developing career-aligned collaborations between academia and the local private sector or state/local government that facilitate transitions between undergraduate programs and the geoscience workforce
  • Convening small workshops or strategic planning activities to establish new institutional collaborations
  • Designing and testing novel bridge programs that help post-undergraduate students from non-geoscience fields transition into geoscience graduate programs

Proposers seeking to engage community college students through this track are reminded of some of the specific barriers to attainment that these students must confront (e.g., References 16, 21, 22). These include: limited knowledge about college navigation; financial concerns; insufficient academic preparation, especially in math; misalignment of core courses across community colleges and four-year schools; limited advising, orientation, and mentoring; constraints affecting the academic and social integration of working students; and lack of self-efficacy.

Competitive proposals submitted to the GEOPATHS-IMPACT track will show evidence that all institutional partners are committed and have been engaged intellectually in the design and execution of the proposed work. A management plan, a sustainability plan, and a plan for tracking students should be described. Proposals seeking funds to support an existing institutional collaboration must clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of current activities being implemented through the partnership and identify the gaps that would be addressed if additional resources are made available.

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Energy for Sustainability
Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems

November 5, 2014

SYNOPSIS: 

The goal of the Energy for Sustainability program is to support fundamental engineering research and education that will enable innovative processes for the sustainable production of electricity and transportation fuels. Processes for sustainable energy production must be environmentally benign, reduce greenhouse gas production, and utilize renewable resources. 

Current topics of interest in sustainable energy technologies are:

  • Biomass Conversion, Biofuels & Bioenergy: Fundamental research on innovative approaches that lead to the intensification of biofuel and bioenergy processes is an emphasis area of this program. Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to: biological, thermochemical, or thermocatalytic routes for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to advanced biofuels beyond cellulosic ethanol; microbial fuel cells for direct production of electricity from renewable carbon sources; hydrogen production from autotrophic or heterotrophic microorganisms; hydrocarbons and lipids from phototrophic or heterotrophic microorganisms.  Proposals that focus primarily on chemical reactor analysis related to biomass conversion should be submitted to Process and Reaction Engineering (CBET 1403), and proposals related to the combustion of biomass should be sent to Combustion and Fire Systems (CBET 1407).  Proposals that focus on the fundamentals of catalysis or biocatalysis should be submitted to Catalysis and Biocatalysis (CBET 1401).
  • Photovoltaic Solar Energy: Fundamental research on innovative processes for the fabrication and theory-based characterization of future PV devices is an emphasis area of this program. Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to: nano-enabled PV devices containing nanostructured semiconductors, plasmonic materials, photonic structures, or conducting polymers; earth-abundant and environmentally benign materials for photovoltaic devices; photocatalytic or photoelectrochemical processes for the splitting of water into H2gas, or for the reduction of CO2 to liquid or gaseous fuels.  Proposals that focus on the fundamentals of photocatalysis should be submitted to Catalysis and Biocatalysis (CBET 1401). The generation of thermal energy by solar radiation is not an area supported by this program, but may be considered by Thermal Transport Processes (CBET 1406).
  • Advanced Batteries for Transportation and Renewable Energy Storage: Radically new battery systems or breakthroughs based on existing systems can move the US more rapidly toward a more sustainable transportation future. The focus is on high-energy density and high-power density batteries suitable for transportation and renewable energy storage applications.  Advanced systems such as lithium-air, sodium-ion, as well as lithium-ion electrochemical energy storage are appropriate. Work on commercially available systems such as lead-acid and nickel-metal hydride batteries will not be considered by this program.  Fuel-cell related proposals should be directed to other CBET programs, depending on emphasis:  electrocatalysis (Catalysis and Biocatalysis, CBET 1401); membranes (Chemical and Biological Separations, CBET 1417); systems (Process and Reaction Engineering, CBET 1403).
  • Wind Energy: This program no longer supports wind, wave, tidal, or hydrokinetic energy research.  The proposer is encouraged to contact the program director for suggestions on a possible program home for proposal submission.

NOTE: For proposals involving any aspect of chemistry, including but not limited to biochemistry or physical chemistry, consider making proposal submissions to this program (7644) with the Proposal Title as: 'SusChEM: Name of Your Proposal'.  For more information on SusChEM-related proposals visit this link.  The same applies for proposals involving sustainable engineering.

The duration of unsolicited awards is typically three years.  The typical award size for the program is $100,000 per year. Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation with the Program Director, may be returned without review.

Innovative proposals outside of these specific interest areas can be considered. However, prior to submission, it is recommended that the PI contact the Program Director to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review or transferred to another program.

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Dear Colleague Letter: FY 2015 Clean Energy Technologies Funding Opportunities
Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), Engineering (ENG), Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)

Deadlines vary per directorate

SYNOPSIS: 

Dear Colleagues:

It is critical to provide sustainable and economical energy systems on a scale sufficient to power all of society's needs. The development of clean energy technologies is an important step in that direction as it addresses the interrelated challenges of producing safe and responsible energy sources while reducing our dependence on foreign oil and minimizing the impact on the environment.

All of the Divisions in the following Directorates are participating in clean energy technology research and education through ongoing funding opportunities: Biological Sciences (BIO)Engineering (ENG), and Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS).

For BIO: fundamental research topics of interest in clean energy technology include, but are not limited to: systems and synthetic biology to streamline and scale the metabolic and energetic potential of living organisms such as microbes, fungi, algae and plants to produce non-petroleum based sources of important chemicals/materials, feedstocks and fuels. Investigations to assess the impact of fuel and/or bio-renewable chemical production on genome stability, fitness, and phenotype of the production organisms are of interest, as are studies to assess the potential environmental impacts of these technologies.

For ENG and MPS: examples of fundamental research topics of interest in clean energy technologies include, but are not limited to: hydrogen generation and storage; biological, chemical, and catalytic conversion of renewable carbon sources (such as biomass, methane, and carbon dioxide); the development of methods and materials that increase energy efficiency, such as the replacement of stoichiometric with catalytic processes; energy storage, transmission, or distribution (e.g. smart grid); power-electronic and energy-conversion devices; fuel cells; solar energy capture and conversion (including biological and bio-inspired processes for the conversion of sunlight to fuels, electricity, or thermal energy); wind/wave/tidal energy; nuclear energy; studies of energy efficiency and use; and carbon dioxide sequestration and storage.

Within these general guidelines, the Directorates encourage the submission of proposals in the areas of clean energy research. Proposals should be submitted to the NSF program appropriate to the disciplinary area of the proposed research in accordance with the submission window and conditions of that program.

Proposals are welcome from either single or multiple investigators. Interdisciplinary proposals that involve principal investigators traditionally supported by different participating divisions are encouraged. Please follow the guidelines and program descriptions located on the NSF website.

Proposals may