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Funding Opportunities, April 21

Federal Opportunities

Please contact Paul Montgomery ( regarding your interest in federal opportunities.

DHS Funding Opportunity on Bio-threat Agent Collection & Analysis

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently published a solicitation entitled Methods and Technologies to Enhance the Collection and Analysis of Biothreat Agents in the Environment, which seeks to “improve the detection and characterization of biological agent signatures, and provide novel and significant improvements to current capabilities.”

Technical Topic Areas

  1. Improvement in the activity, stability, inherent processive integrity, and capabilities of amplification enzymes and polymerases used in the analysis of nucleic acids derived from select and non-select agents.
  2. Development of novel primer and probe chemistries, methods to reduce or defeat primer dimer formation, provide methods and reagents (fluor and quencher dyes) to increase the sensitivity and spectral range of detection.
  3. Development of new and novel environmental filter materials for the recovery of nucleic acid signatures and the use of (RNA and DNA) nuclease inhibitors in the filters to increase stability of signature nucleic acids, and subsequently the rates of recovery from environmental filters of various compositions.
  4. Development of novel signature extraction chemistries to allow for the recovery and subsequent analysis of intact, low concentration, agent genomic nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and proteins from environmental filters of various compositions.
  5. Inhibitors for use in transport “buffers” to allow for the immediate transport and indefinite storage of environmental filters to prevent the degradation of nucleic acid, antigenicprotein signatures, or both.
  6. Development of techniques, methods, stabilizers, preservatives, to allow for the recovery and culture of “live” or “viable” biological materials and organisms, and viruses from environmental collectors (This task is separate from signature recovery efforts.)
  7. Development of technologies that allow recovery of live bacterial or viral agents from the air such that the sample can be used for growth of the organism or virus.
  8. Techniques and technologies that allow real-time detection of select biological agents without amplification or use of specialized reagents; e.g., antibodies, primers, probes, RT-PCR, PCR.

Proposals are due by 3 p.m. on May 3. DHS expects to make one or two awards for “proof-of-concept results and data,” using up to $1M in FY 17 funds for an initial performance period of up to 18 months, although proposers may submit “a base effort with additional option years.”

Please notify Paul Montgomery of your intention to submit a proposal.

NOTE: Individuals interested in any solicitation that limits the number of submissions allowed by UT must submit a notification of interest to See the ORE limited submission policy, view current and past opportunities, and sign up for the listserv.

NIH Opportunities

Join the UT NIH Research Community by contacting Jennifer Webster ( and start receiving the weekly NIH Digest.

  • NIH Standard Deadlinesfor Investigator-Initiated Research Projects
  • NIH Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program Si2/R00 (PAR-17-254)
  • NIH ORIP Limited Competition: National Swine Resource and Research Center (U42) (PAR-17-255)
  • NIH Roadmap Initiatives Limited Competition: Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC): Technologies to Understand the Control of Organ Function by the Peripheral Nervous System (OT2) (RFA-RM-17-010)
  • NCI SBIR Phase II Bridge Awards to Accelerate the Development of Cancer Therapeutics, Imaging Technologies, Interventional Devices, Diagnostics, and Prognostics toward Commercialization (R44) (RFA-CA-17-024)
  • NHLBI Integrative Computational Biology for Analysis of NHLBI TOPMed Data (RFA-HL-18-020)
  • NIAMS Small Business Innovation Research on Rare Musculoskeletal, Rheumatic and Skin Diseases (SBIR) (R43) (RFA-AR-18-005)
  • NICHD Identification of Reproductive-Tract Specific Proteins/Transcripts for the Development of Male and Female Non-Hormonal Contraceptives (R01) (RFA-HD-18-002)
  • NICHD Point of Care Technologies for the Evaluation and Management of Obstetrics, Neonatal, and Pediatric Critical Care Patients, and for Patients with Disorders of Reproductive Tract and Infertility (R43)(RFA-HD-18-028)
  • NIDA Expanding Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders in the Context of the SAMHSA Opioid STR Grants (R21/R33) (RFA-DA-18-005)
  • NIMH From Genomic Association to Causation: A Convergent Neuroscience Approach for Integrating Levels of Analysis to Delineate Brain Function in Neuropsychiatry (Collaborative R01) (PAR-17-252)
  • NIMH From Genomic Association to Causation: A Convergent Neuroscience Approach for Integrating Levels of Analysis to Delineate Brain Function in Neuropsychiatry (R01) (PAR-17-253)
  • NIMH Collaborative R01s for Clinical Studies of Mental Illness Not Involving Clinical Trials (Collaborative R01) (PAR-17-256)
  • NINDS Program Project Grant (P01) (PAR-17-251)

NSF Opportunities

Please contact Sharon Pound ( regarding your interest in NSF opportunities.

Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes NSF 17-553

Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes are national resources that aim to advance research in the mathematical sciences through programs supporting discovery and dissemination of knowledge in mathematics and statistics and enhancing connections to related fields in which the mathematical sciences can play important roles. Institute activities help focus the attention of some of the best mathematical minds on problems of particular importance and timeliness. Institutes are also community resources that involve a broad segment of U.S.-based mathematical sciences researchers in their activities. The goals of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes program include advancing research in the mathematical sciences, increasing the impact of the mathematical sciences in other disciplines, and expanding the talent base engaged in mathematical research in the United States.

Anticipated Funding Amount: up to $5 million/yr. for 5 yrs.
LETTER OF INTENT DUE DATE (required): Dec. 14, 2018

Plant Biotic Interactions NSF 17-551

This program seeks to support research that will deepen our understanding of the fundamental processes that mediate interactions between plants and the organisms with which they intimately associate and advance the application of that knowledge to benefit agriculture, including the processes that mediate beneficial and antagonistic interactions between plants and their viral, bacterial, oomycete, fungal, plant, and invertebrate symbionts, pathogens and pests. This joint NSF-NIFA program supports projects focused on current and emerging model and non-model systems, and agriculturally relevant plants. The program’s scope extends from fundamental mechanisms to translational efforts, with the latter seeking to put into agricultural practice insights gained from basic research on the mechanisms that govern plant biotic interactions. Projects must be strongly justified in terms of fundamental biological processes and/or relevance to agriculture and may be purely fundamental or applied, or include aspects of both perspectives. All types of symbiosis are appropriate, including commensalism, mutualism, parasitism, and host-pathogen interactions. Research may focus on the biology of the plant host, its pathogens, pests or symbionts, interactions among these, or on the function of plant-associated microbiomes. The program welcomes proposals on the dynamics of initiation, transmission, maintenance and outcome of these complex associations, including studies of metabolic interactions, immune recognition and signaling, host-symbiont regulation, reciprocal responses among interacting species and mechanisms associated with self/non-self recognition such as those in pollen-pistil interactions. Explanatory frameworks should include molecular, genomic, metabolic, cellular, network and organismal processes, with projects guided by hypothesis and/or discovery driven experimental approaches.

Anticipated Funding Amount: up to $300,000/yr. for 4 yrs.

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