The Office of Sponsored Research can assist at the earliest stages of proposal development by identifying potential sponsors for your project. The Office of Sponsored Research maintains up-to-date reference materials on program schedules and sponsor guidelines and policies. Discussions with the Office can help to broaden the pool of possible sponsors for your project.
If you have a sponsor in mind when developing a proposal, current information about the program deadline, the review process, allowable costs, past and present funding priorities, grantor policies, and sponsor program personnel contacts are available through the Office of Sponsored Research.
In addition to a number of resources to assist you in your search for external funding opportunities under Other Resources, below are links to a number of select early career funding opportunities, domestic and international sabbatical funding opportunities, and funding opportunities for Predominantly Undergraduate Institutes (PUIs).
Early Career Funding Opportunities
Sabbatical Funding Opportunities
Funding Opportunities for Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES)
NASA annually issues a broad solicitation for proposals in all areas relevant to the agency’s mission, including Astrophysics, Heliophysics and Earth Science and Planetary Science. Examples of current priority programs include: Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry; Biodiversity; Physical Oceanography; Modeling, Analysis and Prediction; New (Early Career) Investigator Program in Earth Sciences; Heliophysics Supporting Research; Planetary Science Fellowships for Early Career Researchers; Astrophysics Research and Analysis; Exoplanet Research; and Cross Division Conferences.
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
To support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Matching grants generally range from $10,000 to $100,000.
Creative Writing Fellowships
The NEA Literature Fellowships program offers $25,000 grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and poetry to published creative writers that enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. The NEA Literature Fellowships program operates on a two-year cycle with fellowships in prose and poetry available in alternating years.
Challenge America Grants
The Challenge America category offers support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations -- those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Grants are available for professional arts programming and for projects that emphasize the potential of the arts in community development. Challenge America grants are for a fixed amount of $10,000 and require a minimum $10,000 match.
Organizations may apply for creative placemaking projects that contribute to the livability of communities and place the arts at their core. Our Town offers support for projects in two areas: Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design; and Projects that Build Knowledge About Creative Placemaking.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
The mission of the NEH Office of Challenge Grants is to advance knowledge and understanding in the humanities by strengthening the institutional base of humanities teaching, scholarly research, public programming, and other humanities activities. Challenge grants are capacity-building grants, intended to support significant humanities activities of high intellectual quality and to help institutions secure long-term support for their humanities programs. NEH will offer successful applicants a matching grant. The requested grant amount should be appropriate to the humanities needs and the fundraising capacity of the institution. The federal portions of NEH challenge grants have ranged in recent years from $75,000 to $500,000.
Collaborative Research Grants
Collaborative Research Grants support interpretive humanities research undertaken by a team of two or more scholars, for full-time or part-time activities for periods of one to three years. Support is available for various combinations of scholars, consultants, and research assistants; project-related travel; field work; applications of information technology; and technical support and services. All grantees are expected to communicate the results of their work to the appropriate scholarly and public audiences. Awards are made for one to three years and normally range from an average of $25,000 to $100,000 per year. Awards for conferences are typically made for a minimum of one year and normally range from $15,000 to $65,000 per grant.
Fellowships support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources in the humanities. Projects may be at any stage of development. Fellowships cover periods lasting from six to twelve months at a stipend of $4,200 per month. The maximum stipend is $50,400 for a twelve-month period.
Museums, Libraries and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants
This grant program supports projects for general audiences that encourage active engagement with humanities ideas in creative and appealing ways. Many different formats are supported, including permanent and traveling exhibitions, book or film discussion programs, historic site or district interpretations, living history presentations, and other face-to-face programs in public venues. All projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship in disciplines such as history, art history, film studies, literature, religious studies, philosophy, or anthropology. Planning grants (up to $40,000) are used to refine the content, format, and interpretive approach of a humanities project; develop the project’s preliminary design; test project components; and conduct audience evaluation.
Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Summer Stipends support continuous full-time work on a humanities project for a period of two consecutive months. Summer Stipends support projects at any stage of development. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources. Summer Stipends are awarded to individual scholars.
Summer Seminars and Institutes
These grants support faculty development programs in the humanities for school teachers and for college and university teachers. NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes may be as short as two weeks or as long as five weeks. NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes: 1) extend and deepen knowledge and understanding of the humanities by focusing on significant topics and texts; 2) contribute to the intellectual vitality and professional development of participants; 3) build communities of inquiry and provide models of civility and excellent scholarship and teaching; and 4) link teaching and research in the humanities.
The NEH Enduring Questions grant program supports faculty members in the preparation of a new course on a fundamental concern of human life as addressed by the humanities. This question-driven course would encourage undergraduates and teachers to join together in a deep and sustained program of reading in order to encounter influential ideas, works, and thinkers over the centuries. The course is to be developed by one or more (up to four) faculty members at a single institution, but not team taught. An Enduring Questions course may be taught by faculty from any department or discipline in the humanities or by faculty outside the humanities (for example, astronomy, biology, economics, law, mathematics, medicine, or psychology), so long as humanities sources are central to the course.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) Program (R15)
The purpose of the Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) program is to stimulate research in educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees for a significant number of the Nation's research scientists, but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. AREA grants create opportunities for scientists and institutions, otherwise unlikely to participate extensively in NIH research programs, to contribute to the Nation's biomedical and behavioral research effort. AREA grants are intended to support small-scale research projects proposed by faculty members of eligible, domestic institutions, to expose students to meritorious research projects, and to strengthen the research environment of the applicant institution.
Summer Research Experience Program (R25)
The purpose of the NIH Summer Research Experience Program is to provide a high quality research experience for high school and college students and for science teachers during the summer academic break. The NIH expects that such programs will: help attract young students to careers in science; provide opportunities for college students to gain valuable research experience to help prepare them for graduate school; and enhance the skills of science teachers and enable them to more effectively communicate the nature of the scientific process to their students. The programs would also contribute to enhancing overall science literacy. Summer Research Programs that expand and complement existing summer educational and training programs are encouraged. Budgets cannot exceed $100,000 direct costs per year. A project period of up to 5 years may be requested.
National Science Foundation (NSF)
The Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) serves to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training. The program provides organizations with opportunities to acquire major instrumentation that supports the research and research training goals of the organization and that may be used by other researchers regionally or nationally. Each MRI proposal may request support for the acquisition (Track 1) or development (Track 2) of a single research instrument for shared inter- and/or intra-organizational use. Instrument acquisition or development proposals that request funds from NSF in the range $100,000-$4 million may be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization. Proposals that request funds from NSF less than $100,000 may also be accepted from any MRI-eligible organization for the disciplines of mathematics or social, behavioral and economic sciences and from non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education for all NSF-supported disciplines.
Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) and Research Opportunity Awards (ROA)
The Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) and Research Opportunity Awards (ROA) funding opportunities support research by faculty members at predominantly undergraduate institutions (PUIs). RUI proposals support PUI faculty in research that engages them in their professional field(s), builds capacity for research at their home institution, and supports the integration of research and undergraduate education. ROAs similarly support PUI faculty research, but these awards typically allow faculty to work as visiting scientists at research-intensive organizations where they collaborate with other NSF-supported investigators.
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program. This solicitation features two mechanisms for support of student research: (1) REU Sites are based on independent proposals to initiate and conduct projects that engage a number of students in research. REU Sites may be based in a single discipline or academic department or may offer interdisciplinary or multidepartment research opportunities with a coherent intellectual theme. Proposals with an international dimension are welcome. (2) REU Supplements may be included as a component of proposals for new or renewal NSF grants or cooperative agreements or may be requested for ongoing NSF-funded research projects.
Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER)
The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from junior faculty members at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.