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Funding Opportunities: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Science and Mathematics

1.  Reminder that The Division of Chemistry has moved to single Proposal Submission Window        
      in either September or October:

Programs and New Deadlines: Proposals may be submitted to the following programs between October 1 and October 31: Chemical Measurement and Imaging (CMI), Chemistry of Life Processes (CLP), Environmental Chemical Sciences (ECS), and Macromolecular, Supramolecular and Nanochemistry (MSN).

More Information: The CRIF, CAREER, REU, MRI and the Centers for Chemical Innovation programs and any other programs that specify the submission date in a solicitation were not affected by this change. PIs should continue to visit http://www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?div=CHE for the deadlines of these and other programs.

2.  Research at the Interface of the Biological and Mathematical Sciences

Synopsis: The Division of Mathematical Sciences in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health plan to support research in mathematics and statistics on questions in the biological and biomedical sciences. Both agencies recognize the need and urgency for promoting research at the interface between the mathematical sciences and the life sciences. This competition is designed to encourage new collaborations, as well as to support existing ones. Appropriate application areas are those currently supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (see http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Research/).

: The anticipated funding amount is $5,000,000 per year for new applications ($2,000,000 from NSF, $3,000,000 from NIGMS), subject to availability of funds and receipt of proposals of adequate quality. Award sizes are expected to range from $100,000 to $400,000 (total costs) per year with durations of 3-5 years.

Deadlines: The next deadline for submission is September 15, 2014. Fifteen to twenty awards from this competition may be made by either NSF or NIH at the option of the agencies, not the grantee.

More Info: For more information about deadlines and submission procedures, follow this link to the guidelines: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jspWT.z_pims_id=5300&ods_key=nsf13570

3.  Change in Review Mechanism for Proposals submitted to the Physics Division during the FY2014 Competition

Synopsis: The Physics Division will be reviewing proposals submitted for review during the FY2014 competition using a combination of ad hoc and panel review. The panel review portion may use an asynchronous mechanism the Division piloted in FY2013. The review principles remain the same as those with which you may already be familiar. The only mechanistic difference is that panel members are able to review and provide input to the panel discussion in the weeks prior to the panel meeting rather than limiting the discussion to the narrow range of time dedicated to the face-to-face panel meeting itself. Our experience with the pilot indicates that the extra time that this mechanism allows can lead to a more thorough examination of all the proposals by the full panel and hence more useful input to the NSF and feedback to the PIs. In the course of implementation, all normal rules of conflict of interest and confidentiality of information will apply.

It is important to stress that the review will strictly follow the established NSF review criteria of intellectual merit and broader impact. Each of the PHY Program Officers will decide on whether to employ this asynchronous mechanism or to continue their review process as they have in the past. 

More info: Please visit the NSF merit review website for complete information about the merit review process http://nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/merit_review/.

4.  Instrumentation Fund to Provide Mid-Scale Instrumentation for FY2014 Awards in Physics Division

Synopsis: One of the most critical needs of research projects funded through the Physics Division is that of having cutting-edge instrumentation that enables investigators to remain competitive in a rapidly-changing scientific environment. Because this instrumentation can often cost significantly beyond what an individual investigator award can provide, the Physics Division has established a special Mid-Scale Instrumentation Fund that enables Program Officers to include an instrumentation allotment in awards beyond the level that might be feasible otherwise. This Fund does not constitute a separate program to which investigators can apply directly. Rather, anyone needing specialized equipment should request funding for that equipment as part of a regular proposal to a disciplinary program in the Division.

The Mid-Scale Instrumentation Fund is not designed to be used for all instrumentation purchases needed by the awardee. Rather, the Fund can only be accessed when the level needed exceeds the $4 million limit of the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program. Resources from the Fund can only be used for the instrumentation portion of the overall activity. For any award utilizing resources from the Fund, all R&D and operating expenses for the instrumentation must be provided by disciplinary program funds or other sources. Mid-Scale Instrumentation Fund resources are non-renewable and are intended to be one-time investments in the project. PIs are encouraged to contact the cognizant Program Officer for the program to which the PI is applying prior to submission of a proposal that includes a mid-scale request.

More Info: The names of these individuals are attached to the Program Descriptions for the respective programs on the Physics Division web page at http://www.nsf.gov/phy/.

Engineering and Technology

1.  Biomedical Engineering Program at NSF:

Synopsis: The mission of the Biomedical Engineering (BME) program is to provide opportunities to develop novel ideas into discovery-level and transformative projects that integrate engineering and life science principles in solving biomedical problems that serve humanity in the long-term. The Biomedical Engineering (BME) program supports fundamental research in the following BME themes:

  • Neural engineering (brain science, computational neuroscience, brain-computer interface, neurotech, cognitive engineering)

  • Cellular biomechanics (motion, deformation, and forces in biological systems; how mechanical forces alter cell growth, differentiation, movement, signal transduction, transport,celladhesion, cell cytoskeleton dynamics, cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions; genetically engineered stem cell differentiation with long-term impact in tissue repair and regenerative medicine)

Awards:The duration of unsolicited awards is generally one to three years. The typical annual award size for the program is $100,000 for individual investigators or $200,000 for multiple investigators per year (including indirect cost). Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation with the Program Director, may be returned without review. Small equipment proposals of less than $100,000 will also be considered and may be submitted during the annual submission window.

Deadlines:The window to submit full proposal is from September 27, 2013 to October 29, 2013.

More Info: The Biomedical Engineering program page for full guidelines, a list of programofficers, and abstracts of previous awards i sat

2. National Robotics Initiative (NRI) at NSF: 

Synopsis: The goal of the National Robotics Initiative is to accelerate the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside, or cooperatively with, people. Innovative robotics research and applications emphasizing the realization of such co-robots acting in direct support of and in a symbiotic relationship with human partners is supported by multiple agencies of the federal government including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The purpose of this program is the development of this next generation of robotics, to advance the capability and usability of such systems and artifacts, and to encourage existing and new communities to focus on innovative application areas.

Two classes of proposals will be considered in response to this solicitation:

  1. Small projects: One or more investigators spanning 1 to 5 years.
  2. 2. Large projects: Multi-disciplinary teams spanning 3 to 5 years.

Deadlines: The full proposal deadline date for Small Proposals is November 14, 2013. The full proposal deadline date for Large Proposals is January 23, 2014.

More Info: See the National Robotics Initiative page for full guidelines, a list of program officers, and abstracts of previous awards at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503641&org=NSF&sel_org=NSF&from=fund

3. Advanced Technological Education (ATE) at NSF:

Synopsis: With an emphasis on two-year colleges, the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program focuses on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation's economy. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions and employers to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels. The ATE program supports curriculum development; professional development of college faculty and secondary school teachers; career pathways to two-year colleges from secondary schools and from two-year colleges to four-year institutions; and other activities. Another goal is articulation between two-year and four-year programs for K-12 prospective teachers that focus on technological education. The program also invites proposals focusing on research to advance the knowledge base related to technician education.

Deadline: The proposal deadline date is October 17, 2013.

More Info: The Advanced Technological Education Program page for full guidelines, a list of program officers, and abstracts of previous awards is at http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5464&org=NSF&sel_org=NSF&from=fund


For an extensive list of grant deadlines and program descriptions, visit to the Grants Resource Center (GRC). GRC publishes an upcoming "Deadlines" list each month. Various Fellowships are included. To access GRC, you must be linked to an NIU server.  A proxy login is available; contact your Research Development Specialist for off-campus login information.

Please note that NIU faculty and staff may not be eligible to apply for all the programs listed at the GRC site; some may have geographic limitations or be targeted to medical schools, minority institutions, etc.  Check individual agency sites for detailed guidelines of a particular listing, or contact your Research Development Specialist for assistance in determining eligibility for a funding opportunity.