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Funding Opportunity Roundup, Feb. 19

DARPA Young Faculty Funding Opportunity

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has recently published its Young Faculty Award (YFA) solicitation. YFA seeks single investigator research proposals focused on “innovations that will enable revolutionary advances” as well as “high-risk/high-payoff ideas that could potentially transform a field or technology.” Research topics of interest are listed below and described on pp. 6-15 of the solicitation.

YFA supports untenured assistant or associate professors within 5 years of appointment to a tenure track position. There is no requirement for U.S. citizenship, but PIs are limited to a maximum of three applications to the YFA program during their term of eligibility. DARPA is particularly interested in eligible PIs who have not previously worked on DARPA programs, although the YFA is open to all qualified applicants.

As stated in the solicitation, proposals should address the questions contained in the “Heilmeier Catechism.” In addition, note that YFA research topics are often designed to fill voids in existing DARPA programs, so you should review the program descriptions relevant to your selected topic via this link. Programs will usually fall under Biological Technologies Office (BTO), Defense Sciences Office (DSO), and Microsystems Technology Office (MTO).

YFA Research Topics

  1. Sticky Logic
  2. Exploiting Nonlinearity in MEMS
  3. Wideband Transmitter–Antenna Interfaces
  4. Monolithic, Integrated 3D Integrated Circuits
  5. Machine Learning and Many Body Physics
  6. System and Method to Decode Human Intent
  7. Characterizing the Performance Envelope of Emergent Behavior and Evolutionary Selection in Real-world Systems
  8. Advancing Live Cell Super-Resolution Imaging
  9. “Smart” Fabrics for Soldier Health
  10. The Science of Individualized Gamification
  11. Accuracy and Uncertainty in Design: How Sloppy Can We Be?
  12. Gene Therapy Technology and Tools
  13. Multi-Scale Models of Infectious Diseases Dynamics
  14. Microbiomes for Maritime Provenance
  15. Nanofluidics for Biotic-Abiotic Interfaces

Please contact Paul Montgomery (paul.montgomery@utk.edu), director of federal relations, if you are interested in submitting a proposal.

Proposal due: April 5, 2016 at 4 p.m.
Anticipated award amount: Up to $250K annually for 2 years. For exceptional performance, up to $500K for 1 additional year is possible.
Details: Grants.gov

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.

Grand Challenges for Development: Saving Lives at Birth

Every two minutes, a woman dies in childbirth. And in sub-Saharan Africa, women are 136 times more likely to die than in developed countries. USAID, the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have joined together to launch Saving Lives at Birth. The goal of this program is to find the tools and approaches to help mothers and newborns during their most vulnerable hours.

They are seeking innovative ideas that can leapfrog conventional approaches in three main domains: (1) technology; (2) service delivery; and (3) “demand side” innovation that empowers pregnant women and their families to practice healthy behaviors and be aware of and access health care during pregnancy, childbirth and the early postnatal period, especially the first two days after birth.

Application due: February 29, 2016.
Details: savinglivesatbirth.net

NASA Early Career Funding Opportunity

The NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate has published its Early Career Faculty (ECF) solicitation. The ECF program seeks basic and applied research, and its goal is to “accelerate the development of groundbreaking, high-risk/high-payoff space technologies, not necessarily directed at a specific mission, to support the future space science and exploration needs of NASA….” Proposals should therefore seek to develop “unique, disruptive, or transformational space technologies that have the potential to lead to dramatic improvements at the system level — performance, weight, cost, reliability, operational simplicity, or other figures of merit associated with space flight hardware or missions. Although progress under an award may be incremental, the projected impact at the system level must be substantial and clearly defined.”

The 2016 ECF has the following four topics of interest, which are described on pp. 3-10 of the solicitation:

  1. Verification and Validation of Autonomous Systems
  2. Cryogenic Actuator Technology (CAT) Development
  3. Effective Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) for Space Exploration
  4. Advanced In-Space Propulsion Technologies

ECF offers single investigator awards. To be eligible, a PI must have received a PhD on/after Jan. 1, 2009, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and be an untenured assistant professor on tenure track.

Notice of intent: March 4, 2016
Proposal due: April 1, 2016
Anticipated number of awards: 6-8
Anticipated amount of awards: $200K annually for up to 3 years.
Details: nspires.nasaprs.com

NSF Opportunities

Antarctic Artists and Writers Program (AAW) NSF 16-542

This program furnishes U.S. Antarctic Program operational support, and round-trip economy air tickets between the U.S. and the Southern Hemisphere, to artists and writers whose work requires them to be in the Antarctic to complete their proposed project. The program does not provide any funding to participants, including for such items as salaries, materials, completion of the envisioned works, or any other purpose. This program supports writing and artistic projects specifically designed to increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the Antarctic and human endeavors on the southernmost continent. Priority will be given to projects that focus on interpreting and representing the scientific activities being conducted in and/or about the unique Antarctic region. Resulting projects must target audiences in the U.S. and be distributed/exhibited in the U.S. The program does not support site installations or performances in Antarctica. The program also does not support short-term projects that are essentially journalistic in nature. Potential proposers are encouraged to contact the Program Officer prior to submitting a proposal. Note: if the Polar Program determines, prior to the panel review, that the logistic needs for a project cannot be met in the upcoming field season, the proposal will be Returned Without Review.

Anticipated Type of Award:
Standard Grant or Continuing Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 2 to 4
Anticipated Funding Amount: 0
Full Proposal Deadline:  June 1, 2016


Antarctic Research NSF 16-541

Scientific research, along with operational support of that research, is the principal activity of the U.S. Antarctic Program in Antarctica. The National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Sciences Section (ANT), Division of Polar Programs (PLR), fosters research on globally and regionally important scientific problems. In particular, the Antarctic Sciences Section supports research that expands fundamental knowledge of the region as well as research that relies on the unique characteristics of the Antarctic continent as a platform from which to support research.  Antarctic fieldwork will be supported for research that can only be performed or is best performed in Antarctica. The Antarctic Sciences Section strongly encourages research using existing samples, models, and data as well as research at the intersection between disciplines.

Anticipated Type of Award:
Standard Grant or Continuing Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 50
Anticipated Funding Amount: Approximately $55 million over the duration of the awards in all programmatic areas in response to this solicitation, subject to the availability of funds.
Full Proposal Deadline:  May 16, 2016; Apr. 17, 2017; Apr. 15 annually thereafter


International Research Network Connections (IRNC) Europe and Africa NSF 16-523

This program supports high-performance network connectivity required by international science and engineering research and education collaborations involving the NSF research community. NSF expects to make 1-2 awards to link U.S. research networks with peer networks in Europe and Africa and leverage existing international network connectivity. High-performance network connections funded by this program are intended to support science and engineering research and education applications, and preference will be given to solutions that provide the best economy of scale and demonstrate the ability to support the largest communities of interest with the broadest services. Funded projects will assist the U.S. research and education community by enabling state-of-the-art international network services and access to increased collaboration and data services. Through extended international network connections, additional research and production network services will be enabled, complementing those currently offered or planned by domestic research networks.

Anticipated Type of Award:
Standard Grant or Continuing Grant or Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Number of Awards: 1 to 2
Anticipated Funding Amount: Up to $900,000/yr. for 4 yrs.
Full Proposal Deadline:  Mar. 17, 2016


NSF Dear Colleague Letters

Cultural Anthropology Research Experience for Graduates (RGE) and Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Supplements NSF 16-044 (Feb. 12, 2016)

NIH Opportunities

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

Limited Submissions

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

National Innovation Network Nodes Program (I-Corps Nodes)

I-Corps Nodes will foster understanding on how to: 1) identify, develop and support promising ideas that can generate value, 2) create and implement tools, resources and training activities that enhance our nation’s innovation capacity, 3) gather, analyze, evaluate and utilize the data and insight resulting from the experiences of those participating in regional programs and 4) share and leverage effective innovation practices on a national scale – to improve the quality of life for the U.S. citizenry.

The PI must be an academic Administrative Lead at the level of Dean or higher, preferably at the level of a provost or vice-president.

Please see the full solicitation for complete information.

Notification of Interest to ORE: 2/22/2016 12 PM
Application to Agency: 3/10/2016
Limit on Number of Applications: 1
Estimated Program Funding: $8.5M total
Anticipated No. of Awards: 4-7

Find new Engagement Opportunities and Funding at engagement.utk.edu. Use SciVal Funding to conduct a self-directed search for funding opportunities from 7,000 program sponsors around the world or the Foundation Directory Online to search a database of the 10,000 largest private, community, and corporate foundations in the U.S.