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Funding Opportunities Roundup, October 14

Limited Submission Opportunities

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

Professional Formation of Engineers: REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (IUSE/PFE: RED)

Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) is NSF’s comprehensive, Foundation-wide framework for an integrated vision of the agency’s investments in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Professional Formation of Engineers (PFE) and the Pledge of the Computing Professional refer to the formal and informal processes and value systems through which people become engineers and computer scientists respectively. They include the ethical responsibility of practicing engineers and computer scientists to sustain and grow the profession in order to improve quality of life for all people. The goal of REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (RED) is to address cultural challenges and develop well-functioning departments through faculty development, structural change, and cultural change, with a focus on student success in their professional formation attainment. While the RED program has a focus on the middle two years, approaches should consider the curriculum holistically. The Principal Investigator must be a department chair/head (or equivalent).

Please see the full RFP for complete information.
Estimated Program Funding: $11.9 million total
Anticipated Number of Awards: 6-8
Cost Share: No
Limit on Number of Applications: 2

Notification of Interest to ORE due: October 17, 2016 12:00 p.m.
Letter of Intent: YES
Application to Agency due: December 9, 2016

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.

DARPA Modeling Adversarial Activity (MAA)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has published a solicitation entitled Modeling Adversarial Activity (MAA). MAA seeks to “develop mathematical and computational techniques for the integration and analysis of multiple sources of transaction data including graph alignment and merging, sub-graph detection, and sub-graph matching for the purpose of modeling and detecting adversarial activity.”  The activity of particular interest involves “efforts to acquire, fabricate, proliferate, and/or deploy weapons of mass terrorism (WMT).”  MAA focuses on the following technical areas, which are described in detail on pp. 7-10 of the solicitation:

  • TA1 Synthetic data creation: Develop methods for creating synthetic data representative of general background transactions and of activities of interest, and methods to embed the activity-related data into the background.
  • TA2 Graph merging: Develop techniques for merging synthetic data from a variety of sources to create a unified transaction-oriented synthetic worldview of entities and actions in the form of a single aligned graph.
  • TA3 Activity detection: Develop techniques for detecting activities of interest modelled using activity templates in a unified synthetic worldview graph.

DARPA anticipates multiple awards of 2-4 years each.

Abstract (highly encouraged) due: October 28, 2016 12:00 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 BD2K Support for Meetings of Data Science Related Organizations (U13) (RFA-CA-16-020)
  • NIH BRAIN Initiative: Research Career Enhancement Award for Investigators to Build Skills in a Cross-Disciplinary Area (K18) (RFA-DA-17-022)
  • NIH Animal and Biological Material Resource Centers (P40) (PAR-17-006)
  • NCI National Cancer Institute Program Project Applications (P01) (PAR-16-457)
  • NINDS Institutional Center Core Grants to Support Neuroscience Research (P30) (RFA-NS-17-011)
  • NINDS Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) for Training of Postdoctoral Fellows (F32) (PAR-16-458)
  • RELATED SPONSOR: FY17 DoD Broad Agency Announcement for Medical Research (link)

NSF Opportunities

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

Spectrum Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, and Security (SpecEES): Enabling Spectrum for All NSF 16-616

The National Science Foundation’s Directorates for Engineering (ENG) and Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) are coordinating efforts to identify bold new concepts to significantly improve the efficiency of radio spectrum utilization while addressing new challenges in energy efficiency and security, thus enabling spectrum access for all users and devices, and allowing traditionally underserved Americans to benefit from wireless-enabled goods and services. The SpecEES program solicitation (pronounced “SpecEase”) seeks to fund innovative collaborative research that transcends the traditional boundaries of existing programs.

Anticipated Funding Amount: up to $750,000 over three years

Full Proposal due: January 19, 2017


Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science Phase I (TRIPODS) NSF 16-615

This program aims to bring together the statistics, mathematics, and theoretical computer science communities to develop the theoretical foundations of data science through integrated research and training activities. Phase I, described in this solicitation, will support the development of small collaborative Institutes. Phase II (to be described in an anticipated future solicitation, subject to availability of funds) will support a smaller number of larger Institutes, selected from the Phase I Institutes via a second competitive proposal process. All TRIPODS Institutes must involve significant and integral participation by all three of the aforementioned communities.

Anticipated Funding Amount: up to $500,000/yr. for 3 yrs.

Letter of Intent (required) due: January 4-19, 2017
Submission Window: March 1-15, 2017


Documenting Endangered Languages – Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants (DEL-DDRIG) NSF 16-617

This funding partnership supports projects to develop and advance knowledge concerning endangered human languages. Made urgent by the imminent death of roughly half of the approximately 7000 currently used languages, this effort aims to exploit advances in information technology to build computational infrastructure for endangered language research. The program supports projects that contribute to data management and archiving, and to the development of the next generation of researchers. Funding can support fieldwork and other activities relevant to the digital recording, documenting, and archiving of endangered languages, including the preparation of lexicons, grammars, text samples, and databases. Funding in this solicitation will be available in the form of doctoral dissertation research improvement grants (DDRIGs) for up to 24 months, and this solicitation addresses the preparation and evaluation of proposals for DDRIG awards.

Anticipated Funding Amount: maximum individual award size – $15,000 in direct costs

Proposals accepted at any time


Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes FY17 (CRISP) NSF 16-618

The goals of this program are to: (1) foster an interdisciplinary research community of engineers, computer and computational scientists and social and behavioral scientists, that creates new approaches and engineering solutions for the design and operation of infrastructures as processes and services; (2) enhance the understanding and design of interdependent critical infrastructure systems (ICIs) and processes that provide essential goods and services despite disruptions and failures from any cause, natural, technological, or malicious; (3) create the knowledge for innovation in ICIs so that they safely, securely, and effectively expand the range of goods and services they enable; and (4) improve the effectiveness and efficiency with which they deliver existing goods and services.

The NSF will hold an informational webcast on Monday, December 5, 2016 at 1:30pm EST to discuss the CRISP program and answer questions about this solicitation. More details about the webcast will be posted on the CMMI website, as they become available.

Anticipated Funding Amount:

  • Type 1 Awards: 2 years, up to $500,000.
  • Type 2 Awards: 3-4 years, from $1 million to $2.5 million.

Full Proposal due: February 8, 2017


Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs) NSF 17-500

The NSF vision for a Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21) considers an integrated, scalable, and sustainable cyberinfrastructure to be crucial for innovation in science and engineering. An integral part of CIF21, the DIBBs program encourages development of robust and shared data-centric cyberinfrastructure capabilities, to accelerate interdisciplinary and collaborative research in areas of inquiry stimulated by data. DIBBs investments enable new data-focused services, capabilities, and resources to advance scientific discoveries, collaborations, and innovations. The investments are expected to build upon, integrate with, and contribute to existing community cyberinfrastructure, serving as evaluative resources while developments in national-scale access, policy, interoperability and sustainability continue to evolve. This solicitation includes two classes of science data pilot awards:

Early Implementation:  large “at scale” evaluations, building upon cyberinfrastructure capabilities of existing research communities or recognized community data collections, and extending those data-focused cyberinfrastructure capabilities to additional research communities and domains with broad community engagement.

Pilot Demonstration:  address advanced cyberinfrastructure challenges across emerging research communities, building upon recognized community data collections and disciplinary research interests, to address specific challenges in science and engineering research.

Anticipated Funding Amount:

  • Early Implementation Awards:  up to $4 million for up to 5 years.
  • Pilot Demonstration Awards: up to $500,000 for up to 3 years.

Full Proposal due: January 3, 2017


Advanced Biomanufacturing of Therapeutic Cells (ABTC) NSF 17-502

In recent years, somatic cells as therapeutic agents have provided new treatment approaches for a number of pathological conditions that were deemed untreatable, or difficult to treat. Several successful cell therapies using T cells have been demonstrated for cancer and autoimmune diseases, while stem cell therapies have given relief for heart disease and stroke. Hundreds of clinical trials are ongoing to examine efficacy of cell therapies for a variety of other diseases including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Crohn’s disease. Production of therapeutic cells is currently expensive and, therefore, cost prohibitive for the large number of people who might benefit from these treatments. The overarching goal of this Advanced Biomanufacturing of Therapeutic Cells (ABTC) solicitation is to catalyze well-integrated interdisciplinary research to understand, design, and control cell manufacturing systems and processes that will enable reproducible, cost-effective, and high-quality production of cells with predictable performance for the identified therapeutic function.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $5 million total funding (7 to 10 awards)

Preliminary Proposal (required) due: January 4, 2017
Full Proposal due: April 17, 2017


Dear Colleague Letters

  • Intent to Release a Solicitation Regarding Future Continued Operations of the Arecibo Observatory NSF 16-144 Sept. 30, 2016
  • Life STEM NSF 16-143 Sept. 30, 2016
  • National Science Foundation, Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (NSF/SBE) and US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) Opportunity for Collaborations in Economics and Psychology NSF 16-141 Oct. 3, 2016
  • Collaborative Funding Opportunities in the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) NSF 17-011 Oct. 4, 2016
  • FY 2017 Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems (INFEWS) Funding Opportunity on Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Water NSF 17-013 Oct. 7, 2016
  • Support of State-of-the-Art Ground-Based Instrumentation and Facilities in AGS NSF 17-014 Oct. 12, 2016
  • Updates to the 2017 Smart and Connected Health Solicitation NSF 17-015  Oct. 11, 2016

Foundation Opportunities

Roddenberry Prize by the Roddenberry Foundation

The Roddenberry Prize is seeking bold solutions for global challenges that are on the cusp of achieving scale. Solutions may cover a range of topics and disciplines. Entries will be evaluated along three criteria: their potential for transformative and lasting impact, demonstration of a feasible and achievable path to implementation, and the boldness of their vision to benefit our shared future.

Transformative Impact:
• The solution strategically intervenes in a broader system to maximize impact.
• The solution will yield significant and meaningful outcomes.
• The solution will create transformative impact for its target community.
• The solution is designed to scale the magnitude of its impact.

Path to Implementation:
• The entrant has the skills, capacity and partnerships to deliver on the solution.
• The solution has a realistic and feasible plan to move forward.
• Major risks are identified and effectively addressed.

• The solution is substantially different from other efforts addressing similar issues or efforts in its field.

Grand Prize: $400,000
Runners Up (four in total): $150,000

Application due: November 16, 2016 by 11:59 p.m. EST


Other Opportunities

UT CORONET Awards: Collaborative Research Network Proposals in Cancer Research

Purpose: To stimulate innovative, interdisciplinary, team-based research on Cancer (inclusive of T0 to T4) that involves investigators from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC, all campuses), UT Knoxville, UT Chattanooga, UT Institute of Agriculture, UT College of Veterinary Medicine and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), that will give rise to future external funding. The Awards are designed to promote new lines of research and are not intended as bridge funds or a mechanism to extend ongoing funded research. Details, including required application materials, are available on the Office of Research and Engagement website.

Submissions due: February 1, 2017
Funding for selected grants will begin on April 1, 2017

Find new Engagement Opportunities and Funding at engagement.utk.edu. Use Pivot to search and save funding opportunities, set up funding alerts, or manage your scholar profile using your UT NetID. Use the Foundation Directory Online to search a database of the 10,000 largest private, community, and corporate foundations in the U.S.