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Funding Opportunities Roundup, September 30

NIH Opportunities

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

  • NIH BRAIN Initiative: Data Archives for the BRAIN Initiative (R24) (RFA-MH-17-255)
  • NIH BRAIN Initiative: Integration and Analysis of BRAIN Initiative Data (R24) (RFA-MH-17-257)
  • NIH BRAIN Initiative: New Concepts and Early-Stage Research for Large-Scale Recording and Modulation in the Nervous System (R21) (RFA-EY-17-001)
  • NHGRI Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science (CEGS) (RM1) (PAR-16-436)
  • NIA Basic and Translational Research on Decision Making in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease (R01) (PAR-16-448)
  • NIA Basic and Translational Research on Decision Making in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease (R21) (PAR-16-449)
  • NICHD Learning Disabilities Research Centers (P50) (RFA-HD-17-006)
  • NINDS High Impact Neuroscience Research Resource Grants (R24) (RFA-NS-17-002)

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.

NSF Opportunities

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

Earth Sciences: Instrumentation and Facilities (EAR/IF) NSF 16-609

The Instrumentation and Facilities Program in the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR/IF) supports meritorious requests for infrastructure that promote research and education in areas supported by the Division (information here) 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 $500,000. The maximum request for upgrade of research group computing facilities remains $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 $500,000.
3) Community Facility Support to make complex and expensive instruments, systems of instruments or services broadly available to the Earth science research and student communities. There are no maximum request limitations but potential proposers of new Community Facilities must contact cognizant Program Officers before submission.

Full Proposal due: Proposals accepted at any time


Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) NSF 16-610

The goal of this Smart & Connected Communities (S&CC) solicitation is to support strongly interdisciplinary, integrative research and research capacity-building activities that will improve understanding of smart and connected communities and lead to discoveries that enable sustainable change to enhance community functioning. Successful projects are expected to pursue research and research capacity-building activities that integrate multiple disciplinary perspectives and undertake meaningful community engagement, and to include appropriate and robust evaluation plans for assessing activities and outcomes. Proposals must meaningfully integrate across both social and technological research dimensions.

Anticipated Funding Amount:

  • S&CC Integrative Research Grants (IRGs) Track 1. Awards support the conduct of fundamental, multidisciplinary, integrative research and the building of research capacity – three to five years of support for projects at a level not to exceed $5,000,000 for the total budget.
  • S&CC Integrative Research Grants Track 2. Awards support the conduct of fundamental, multidisciplinary, integrative research and the building of research capacity – three or four years of support for projects at a level not to exceed $1,000,000 for the total budget.
  • S&CC Research Coordination Networks (RCNs). Awards support the establishment of a network of multidisciplinary researchers and others who will collectively and significantly advance S&CC research through active exchange of ideas, development of fundamental research directions, and other approaches – four or five years of support for projects at a level not to exceed $500,000 for the total budget.
  • S&CC Planning Grants. Awards provide one year of support to stimulate research capacity through multidisciplinary team-building and the development of high-impact, fundamental research concepts – not to exceed $100,000 for the total budget.

Preliminary Proposal (required) due: November 30, 2016
Full Proposal due: February 16, 2017


Earth Sciences: Laboratory Technician Support (EAR/LTS) NSF 16-611

Under this solicitation EAR/IF will consider proposals for Laboratory Technician Support to provide for optimal and efficient operation of advanced instrumentation, analytical protocol development, and user training for Earth science research instrumentation. Support is available through grants in response to investigator-initiated proposals. Technician support duties that promote human resource development and education are expected to be an integral part of proposals. Efforts to support participation of underrepresented groups in laboratory and/or field instrument use and training are encouraged as part of any described technician’s duties. Proposals from early career (tenure track but untenured) lead investigators are also encouraged. Such proposals will be given due consideration as part of the Broader Impacts merit review criterion.

Anticipated Funding Amount: Maximum 5 yrs. of support. $150,000/yr. (salary, fringe, and indirect)

Full Proposal due: February 9, 2017


Emerging Frontiers In Research And Innovation 2017 (EFRI-2017) NSF 16-612

This program serves a critical role in helping ENG focus on important emerging areas in a timely manner. EFRI seeks proposals with transformative ideas that represent an opportunity for a significant shift in fundamental engineering knowledge with a strong potential for long term impact on national needs or a grand challenge. The proposals must also meet the detailed requirements delineated in this solicitation. This solicitation enables interdisciplinary teams of researchers to embark on rapidly advancing frontiers of fundamental engineering research. Proposals in the following two research areas will be considered: 1. Advancing Communication Quantum Information Research in Engineering (ACQUIRE), and 2. •New Light, EM (Electronic) and Acoustic Wave Propagation: Breaking Reciprocity and Time-Reversal Symmetry (NewLAW). This solicitation will be coordinated with the Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS) and the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), within NSF.

Information Webcast: The Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities (EFMA) Office held an informational workshop in 2015. Click here to view slides.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $2 million over 4 yrs.

Full Proposal due: February 9, 2017


Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) NSF 16-613

This program supports activities that accelerate materials discovery and/or development by building the fundamental knowledge base needed to design and make materials with specific and desired functional properties from first principles. This will be accomplished through forming interdisciplinary teams of researchers working synergistically in a “closed loop” fashion, building a vibrant research community, leveraging Big Data science, providing ready access to materials data, and educating the future MGI workforce. Specifically, achieving this goal will involve modeling, analysis, and computational simulations, validated and verified through sample preparation, characterization, and/or device demonstration. DMREF will enable development of new data analytic tools and statistical algorithms; advanced simulations of material properties in conjunction with new device functionality; advances in predictive modeling that leverage machine learning, data mining, and sparse approximation; data infrastructure that is accessible, extensible, scalable, and sustainable; the development, maintenance, and deployment of reliable, interoperable, and reusable software for the next-generation design of materials; and new collaborative capabilities for managing large, complex, heterogeneous, distributed data supporting materials design, synthesis, and longitudinal study.

Anticipated Funding Amount: up to $400,000/yr. for up to 4 yrs.

Submission Window: January 3-17, 2017


Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) NSF 16-614

This program supports genome-scale research in plant genomics that addresses challenging questions of biological importance and of relevance to society. The Program encourages the development of innovative tools, technologies and resources that push the boundaries of research capabilities and permit the community to answer seemingly intractable and pressing questions on a genome-wide scale. Emphasis is placed on the creativity of the approach and the scale and depth of the question being addressed. Data produced by plant genomics should be usable, accessible, integrated across scales and of high impact across biology. Training and career advancement in plant genomics is featured as an essential element of scientific progress. The PGRP continues to focus on plants of economic importance and biological processes and interactions that will have broad impact on the scientific research community and society in general. Four funding opportunities are currently available:

  1. Genome-scale plant research and/or tool development to address fundamental biological questions in plants of economic importance on a genome-wide scale (RESEARCH-PGR);
  2. Plant Transformation Challenge Grants to overcome constraints in plant transformation through breakthrough discoveries (TRANSFORM-PGR);
  3. Data Mining Challenge Grants to mine, reuse and unleash new information from available large-scale datasets (MINE-PGR);
  4. Career Advancement to build new careers in plant genomics as early career awards (ECA-PGR) or mid-career awards (MCA-PGR).

Anticipated Funding Amount: Total – $15 million for 10-20 awards

Proposals accepted at any time


ADVANCE: Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE) NSF 16-594

The goals of this program are (1) to develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers; (2) to develop innovative and sustainable ways to promote gender equity that involve both men and women in the STEM academic workforce; and (3) to contribute to the research knowledge base on gender equity and the intersection of gender and other identities in STEM academic careers. The ADVANCE program contributes to the development of a more diverse science and engineering workforce because of the focus on equity for STEM academic faculty who are educating, training, and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. One track is open to all investigators:

  • Partnership track: supports partnerships of two or more non-profit academic institutions and/or STEM organizations to increase gender equity in STEM academics. Projects should have national or regional impact and result in systemic change within one STEM discipline, several STEM disciplines, or all STEM disciplines.

Anticipated Funding Amount: Partnership track: up to $1 million for 3-5 yrs.

Letter of Intent (required) due: December 14,  2016
Full Proposal due: January 11, 2017


Dear Colleague Letters

  • Robust and Reliable Research in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences NSF 16-137 Sept. 20, 2016
  • Opportunities for Research in Smart & Connected Communities NSF 16-140 Sept. 26, 2016
  • Advanced Measurement Systems for Experimental Determination of Complex Biomaterial Properties NSF 16-142 Sept. 28, 2016


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