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Funding Opportunities Roundup, November 11

Limited Submission Opportunities

Find information about limited submissions on the Limited Submissions Opportunities page.

NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (S-STEM)

The program seeks: 1) to increase the number of low-income academically talented students with demonstrated financial need obtaining degrees in STEM and entering the workforce or graduate programs in STEM; 2) to improve the education of future scientists, engineers, and technicians, with a focus on academically talented low-income students; and 3) to generate knowledge to advance understanding of how factors or evidence-based curricular and co-curricular activities affect the success, retention, transfer, academic/career pathways, and graduation in STEM of low-income students.

The STEM disciplines supported by the S-STEM program include:

  • Biological Sciences (except medicine of other clinical fields)
  • Physical Sciences (including physics, chemistry, and materials science)
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Technology areas associated with the preceding disciplines (for example, biotechnology, chemical technology, engineering technology, information technology, etc.

Please see the full RFP for complete information.

Limit on Number of Applications: 1 per college
Estimated Program Funding: $70 million total
Anticipated Number of Awards: 60-80
Cost Share: See Program Information

Letter of Interest to ORE due: November 18, 2016 12:00 p.m.
Application to Agency due: April 20, 2017

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


Federal Opportunities

Please notify Paul Montgomery (paul.montgomery@utk.edu)  of your interest in the following opportunities.

NASA’s Centennial Challenges: Cube Quest Challenge

Registration is open for NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge, which advances communication and propulsion technologies for CubeSats. Competitors have a shot at a share of $5 million in prize money and an opportunity to participate in space exploration and technology development. Participants can compete for a chance at flying their very own CubeSat to the moon and beyond as secondary payload on the first integrated flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System, or SLS. Or the competitors can launch their satellite using an independent launch provider.

Challenge objectives include designing, building and launching flight-qualified, small satellites capable of advanced operations near and beyond the moon. The challenge and prize purse are divided into three major areas:

  • Ground Tournaments: $500,000 in the four qualifying ground tournaments to determine who will have the ability to fly on the first SLS flight
  • Deep Space Derby: $1.5 million purse for demonstrating communication and CubeSat durability at a distance greater than almost 2.5 million miles (4,000,000 km), 10 times the distance from Earth to the moon
  • Lunar Derby: $3 million purse for demonstrating the ability to place a CubeSat in a stable lunar orbit and demonstrate communication and durability near the moon

The Cube Quest Challenge seeks to develop and test subsystems necessary to perform deep space exploration using small spacecraft. Advancements in small spacecraft capabilities will provide benefits to future missions and also may enable new mission scenarios, including future investigations of near-Earth asteroids.

The Lunar Derby focuses primarily on propulsion for small spacecraft and near-Earth communications, while the Deep Space Derby focuses on finding innovative solutions to deep space communications using small spacecraft. Together, these competitions will contribute to opening deep space exploration to nongovernment spacecraft.

For more information on the Cube Quest Challenge, visit http://www.nasa.gov/cubequest.
To learn more about NASA’s challenges and citizen science efforts, visit http://www.nasa.gov/solve.
Please direct any questions about the Cube Quest Challenge to James Cockrell at james.j.cockrell@nasa.gov.

Teams must register at least 30 days prior to the ground tournament in which they plan to participate.
Submissions for the final tournament, GT-4 are DUE February 3, 2017.


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

The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) seeks basic and applied research as well as technology development pre-/proposals for the topics listed below, which are described in “statements of need” at the above link.  Be sure you are reviewing the “Non-Federal Broad Agency Announcement” section on the web page.

Multiple awards are anticipated, with a total program budget of around $10 million available to fund awards.

5 page Pre Proposal due: January 5, 2017; 2:00 p.m. EST
Proposal (if requested) due: March 7, 2017; 2:00 p.m. EST


NIH Opportunities

Join the UT NIH Research Community by contacting Jennifer Webster (jwebster@utk.edu) and start receiving the weekly NIH Digest.

  • NIH Addressing the Etiology of Health Disparities and Health Advantages Among Immigrant Populations (R01) (PA-17-041)
  • NIH Addressing the Etiology of Health Disparities and Health Advantages Among Immigrant Populations (R21) (PA-17-042)
  • NIH Addressing Health Disparities through Effective Interventions Among Immigrant Populations (R01) (PA-17-043)
  • NIH Addressing Health Disparities through Effective Interventions Among Immigrant Populations (R21) (PA-17-044)
  • NIH Blueprint Diversity Specialized Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Advancement in Neuroscience (D-SPAN) Award (F99/K00) (RFA-NS-17-009)
  • NCI Research Specialist (Laboratory-based Scientist) Award (R50) (PAR-17-049)
  • NIGMS Research Education (Limited Submission): Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program (R25) (PAR-17-040)


NSF Opportunities

Please contact Sharon Pound (spound@utk.edu) regarding your interest in NSF opportunities.

Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies (Cyberlearning) NSF 17-520

The purpose of this program is to integrate opportunities offered by emerging technologies with advances in what is known about how people learn to advance three interconnected thrusts:

  • Cyber innovation: Developing next-generation cyberlearning approaches through high-risk, high-reward advances in computer and information science and engineering;
  • Learning 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; and
  • 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.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $550,000 to $750,000 for three years

Full Proposal due: February 10, 2017


Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program (IUCRC) NSF 17-516

The Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) program develops long-term partnerships among industry, academe, and government. The Centers are catalyzed by an 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 IUCRC 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 IUCRC uses international collaborations to advance these goals within the global context.

Anticipated Funding Amount:

  • Planning Grants: $15,000 for 1 year
  • Full Center: up to $150,000 per year

Pre Proposal Deadlines: January 3, 2017 and April 18, 2017
Full Proposal Target Dates: February 28, 2017 and June 21, 2017

National Robotics Initiative 2.0: Ubiquitous Collaborative Robots (NRI-2.0) NSF 17-518

The goal of this initiative is to support fundamental research that will accelerate the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside or cooperatively with people. The NRI-2.0 program significantly extends this theme to focus on issues of scalability: how teams of multiple robots and multiple humans can interact and collaborate effectively; how robots can be designed to facilitate achievement of a variety of tasks in a variety of environments, with minimal modification to the hardware and software; how robots can learn to perform more effectively and efficiently, using large pools of information from the cloud, other robots, and other people; and how the design of the robots’ hardware and software can facilitate large-scale, reliable operation. In addition, the program supports innovative approaches to establish and infuse robotics into educational curricula, advance the robotics workforce through education pathways, and explore the social, behavioral, and economic implications of our future with ubiquitous collaborative robots. Collaboration between academic, industry, non-profit, and other organizations is encouraged to establish better linkages between fundamental science and engineering and technology development, deployment and use. Well-justified international collaborations that add significant value to the proposed research and education activities will also be considered. The NRI-2.0 program is supported by multiple agencies of the federal government including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

Anticipated Funding Amount:

  • Foundational Project: up to $750,000 for up to 3 years
  • Integrative Projects: up to $1.5 million for up to four years

Full Proposal due: February 7, 2017


Division of Integrative Organismal Systems Core Programs NSF 17-508

This Division 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.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $3 million for 10-20 awards

Preliminary Proposal due: January 19, 2017
Full Proposal due: August 4, 2017


Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems (NSF-NCS) NSF 17-519

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 are leading to an increasingly interconnected fabric of theories, models, empirical methods and findings, and educational approaches, opening new opportunities to understand complex aspects of neural and cognitive systems through integrative multidisciplinary approaches. This program calls for innovative, integrative, boundary-crossing proposals that can best capture those opportunities. NSF seeks proposals that are bold, risky, and transcend the perspectives and approaches typical of single-discipline research efforts. This cross-directorate program is one element of NSF’s broader effort directed at Understanding the Brain, a multi-year activity that includes NSF’s participation in the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative (http://www.nsf.gov/brain/). NSF envisions a connected portfolio of transformative, integrative projects that create synergistic links across investigators and communities, yielding novel ways of tackling the challenges of understanding the brain in action and in context. Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems is open to proposals to advance the foundations of one or more of the following integrative research themes, described within the solicitation:

  • Neuroengineering and Brain-Inspired Concepts and Designs
  • Individuality and Variation
  • Cognitive and Neural Processes in realistic, Complex Environments
  • Data-Intensive Neuroscience and Cognitive Science

Anticipated Funding Amount: $10-15 million total, for up to 30 awards

Letter of Intent (required) due: January 9, 2017
Full Proposal due: February 6, 2017


Geophysics (PH) NSF 16-598

This program supports basic research in the physics of the solid earth to explore its composition, structure, and processes from the Earth’s surface to its’ deepest interior. Laboratory, field, theoretical, and computational studies are supported. Topics include (but are not limited to) seismicity, seismic wave propagation, and the nature and occurrence of geophysical hazards; the Earth’s magnetic, gravity, and electrical fields; the Earth’s thermal structure; and geodynamics. Supported research also includes geophysical studies of active deformation, including geodesy, and theoretical and experimental studies of the properties and behavior of Earth materials.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $15.9 million total funding up to 80 new awards

Full Proposal Target Dates: December 9, 2016 and June 9, 2017


Dear Colleague Letters

Further Strengthening Research Capacity at Historically Black Colleges and Universities NSF 17-027 Nov. 4, 2016


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