Extramural Funding Opportunities

BRAIN Initiative Request for Information (RFI)

The BRAIN Initiative® aims to develop new tools and technologies to understand and manipulate networks of cells in the brain. BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision serves as the strategic plan for the BRAIN Initiative at NIH and outlines an overarching vision, seven high level scientific priorities, and many specific goals. Designed to be achieved over at least a decade, the first five years of BRAIN 2025 emphasizes development of tools and technology, and the next five years shifts emphasis to using these tools to make fundamental discoveries about how brain circuits work and what goes wrong in disease.

The BRAIN Initiative is well underway, and we are now approaching the midpoint. At this time, NIH is seeking feedback on the BRAIN Initiative’s progress and on opportunities moving forward given the current state of the science. NIH has established a new BRAIN Initiative Advisory Committee of the NIH Director (ACD) Working Group that will provide scientific guidance to the ACD on how best to continue to accelerate the ambitious vision for the BRAIN Initiative.

The ACD-WG will use the responses to this Request for Information (RFI), along with information gathered through a series of public workshops, to help inform their discussions of the BRAIN Initiative’s progress and potential updates to the plan moving forward.

vThe purpose of RFI (NOT-NS-18-075is to solicit input on how best to accomplish the ambitious vision for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative® set forth in BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision. NIH is soliciting input from all interested stakeholders, including members of the scientific community, trainees, academic institutions, the private sector, health professionals, professional societies, advocacy groups, and patient communities, as well as other interested members of the public.  

Enabling Quantum Leap: Quantum Idea Incubator for Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems (QII – TAQS)
LOI Deadline: January 7, 2019

In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) unveiled a set of “Big Ideas,” 10 bold, long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering (see https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/index.jsp). The Big Ideas represent unique opportunities to position our Nation at the cutting edge of global science and engineering leadership by bringing together diverse disciplinary perspectives to support convergence research. As such, when responding to this solicitation, even though proposals must be submitted to the Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences/Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (MPS/OMA), once received, the proposals will be managed by a cross-disciplinary team of NSF Program Directors.

The Quantum Idea Incubator for Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems (QII – TAQS) program is designed to support interdisciplinary teams that will explore highly innovative, original, and potentially transformative ideas for developing and applying quantum science, quantum computing, and quantum engineering. Proposals with the potential to deliver new concepts, new platforms, and/or new approaches that will accelerate the science, computing, and engineering of quantum technologies are encouraged. Breakthroughs in quantum sensing, quantum communications, quantum simulations, or quantum computing systems are anticipated. This Quantum Idea Incubator solicitation aims to support the process of translating such ideas into reality.

This solicitation calls for proposals focused on interdisciplinary research that includes elements from the following thrust areas: (i) fundamental science such as, but not limited to, physics, chemistry, materials science, mathematics, biology, or geoscience, as well as foundational concepts and techniques in quantum information science and engineering; (ii) communication, computation, and modeling; and (iii) devices and engineered systems. Proposals must articulate how the project leverages and/or promotes advances in knowledge in the selected thrust areas. Proposals should be innovative and must focus on quantum functionality and must result in experimental demonstrations and/or transformative advances towards quantum systems and/or proof-of-concept validations. Competitive proposals will come from an interdisciplinary research team led by at least three investigators who collectively contribute synergistic expertise from one or more engineering domains, from mathematics, computational and/or computer and information science, and from one or more physical, chemical, biological, or materials science domains. Proposals will be judged on how likely the integrated effort is to lead to transformative advances in quantum systems. Both fundamental and applied topics are encouraged

NSF—Partnerships for Innovation (PFI)
Deadline: January 17, 2019

The Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) offers researchers from all disciplines of science and engineering funded by NSF the opportunity to perform translational research and technology development, catalyze partnerships and accelerate the transition of discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace for societal benefit.

PFI has five broad goals, as set forth by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2017 (“the Act”, S.3084 — 114th CongressSec. 602. Translational Research Grants): (1) identifying and supporting NSF-sponsored research and technologies that have the potential for accelerated commercialization; (2) supporting prior or current NSF-sponsored investigators, institutions of higher education, and non-profit organizations that partner with an institution of higher education in undertaking proof-of-concept work, including the development of technology prototypes that are derived from NSF-sponsored research and have potential market value; (3) promoting sustainable partnerships between NSF-funded institutions, industry, and other organizations within academia and the private sector with the purpose of accelerating the transfer of technology; (4) developing multi-disciplinary innovation ecosystems which involve and are responsive to the specific needs of academia and industry; (5) providing professional development, mentoring, and advice in entrepreneurship, project management, and technology and business development to innovators.

NASA Centennial Challenges Program
Deadline: January 24, 2019 

In accordance with the NASA Prize Authority, the NASA Centennial Challenges program has released Phase 1 of the CO₂Conversion Challenge.  Interested teams that wish to compete may now register on the official Challenge site at www.co2conversionchallenge.org.

NASA Centennial Challenges is a program of prize competitions to stimulate innovation in technologies of interest and value to NASA and the nation.  NASA is providing the prize purse, and NASA Centennial Challenges will be managing the Challenge with support from Common Pool.

The CO₂ Conversion Challenge is devoted to fostering the development of CO₂ conversion systems that can effectively produce singular or multiple molecular compounds identified as desired microbial manufacturing ingredients and/or that provide a significant advancement of physicochemical CO₂ conversion for the production of useful molecules.  NASA envisions this competition having two phases with a total prize purse of up to $1 million.  Phase 1 (the current phase) is the Concept Phase with a prize purse of up to $250,000 to demonstrate capabilities to develop technologies to manufacture “food” for microbial bioreactors from CO₂ and hydrogen molecules, with the ultimate goal of producing glucose.   The initiation of Phase 2, a Demonstration Challenge with a prize purse of up to $750,000, is contingent on the emergence of promising submissions in Phase 1 that demonstrate a viable approach to achieve the Challenge goals. The official rules for Phase 2 will be released prior to the opening of Phase 2.

Official documentation related to this Challenge can be found at www.co2conversionchallenge.org.

Interested teams should submit their registration by 5:00pm Central Time on January 24, 2019.  Submissions must be received by 5:00pm Central Time on February 28, 2019.  No further requests for review will be accepted after this date.

L’Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship Program
Deadline: February 1, 2019

The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship program honors female scientists at a critical stage in their careers with grants of $60,000 each. Since 2003, we’ve awarded 75 postdoctoral women scientists nearly $4 million in grants. We’re seeking five exceptional female scientists looking to advance their research and serve as role models for the next generation of girls in STEM.

Candidates are selected from a variety of fields including the life and physical/material sciences, technology (including computer science), engineering, and mathematics. Candidates must have completed their PhD and have started in their postdoctoral position by the application deadline.

Should you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Rachel Pacifico.

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Fellowship
Deadline: February 15, 2019

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is excited to announce that the INL Graduate Fellowship postings are now open. This year there are two INL Graduate Fellowship postings. The first is specific to National and Homeland Security research, the second is associated with other INL mission areas.

The INL Graduate Fellowship program is designed to identify exceptional talent in research areas aligned with INL’s strategic agenda to enable the current and future mission of the INL. The program, a collaboration between INL and universities, provides mentoring and financial support for outstanding students who plan to enroll in graduate degree programs.

Applicants are invited to apply online through inl.gov/careers job posting numbers 12535 and 12584. The postings will close February 15, 2019. Selections will be announced in May. Letters of recommendation can be emailed directly to Ali Josephson.

Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier: Core Research (FW-HTF)
Deadline: March 6, 2019

The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF), one of the Big Ideas, is one mechanism by which NSF is responding to the challenges and opportunities for the future of jobs and work. The overarching vision is to support convergent research to understand and develop the human-technology partnership, design new technologies to augment human performance, illuminate the emerging socio-technological landscape, understand the risks and benefits of new technologies, understand and influence the impact of artificial intelligence on workers and work, and foster lifelong and pervasive learning.

The specific objectives of the Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier program are:

  1. to facilitate convergent research that employs the joint perspectives, methods, and knowledge of computer science, engineering, learning sciences, research on education and workforce training, and social, behavioral, and economic sciences;
  2. to encourage the development of a research community dedicated to designing intelligent technologies and work organization and modes inspired by their positive impact on individual workers, the work at hand, the way people learn and adapt to technological change, creative and supportive workplaces (including remote locations, homes, classrooms, or virtual spaces), and benefits for social, economic, and environmental systems at different scales;
  3. to promote deeper basic understanding of the interdependent human-technology partnership to advance societal needs by advancing design of intelligent work technologies that operate in harmony with human workers, including consideration of how adults learn the new skills needed to interact with these technologies in the workplace, and by enabling broad workforce participation, including improving accessibility for those challenged by physical or cognitive impairment; and
  4. to understand, anticipate, and explore ways of mitigating potential risks arising from future work at the human-technology frontier.

A proposal for a research grant in this program must focus on advancing fundamental understanding of future work, and potential improvements to work, workplaces, workforce preparation, or work outcomes for workers and society. It must be convergent research that addresses the technological as well as the human and societal dimensions and potential impact of future work, and in doing so, make significant contributions to both intellectual merit and broader impact. Achieving this goal requires integration and convergence of disciplines across computer science, engineering, learning sciences, research on education and workforce training, and social, behavioral, and economic sciences.

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