Office of Sponsored Programs

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Physics/Astronomy Funding Opportunities

SIGMA XI Grants-in-Aid of Research Program (GIAR)
Deadline: October 15 and March 15 annually.
Abstract: This program awards grants of up to $1,000 to undergraduate 
and graduate students from all areas of the sciences and engineering. 
Designated funds from the National Academy of Sciences allow for grants 
of up to $5,000 for astronomy research and $2,500 for vision related research. 
Students use the funding to pay for travel expenses to and from a research site, 
or for purchase of non-standard laboratory equipment necessary to complete 
a specific research project. While membership in Sigma Xi isnot a requirement 
for applying for funding, approximately 75% of the funds are restricted for use 
by dues paying student members.

NSF – S-STEM Scholarships in Science, Engineering, Math
Deadline: July 10, 2008 for the August 12, 2008 competition

Abstract: This program makes grants to institutions of higher education to support 
scholarships for academically talented, financially needy students, enabling them to 
enter the workforce following completion of an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate
level degree in science and engineering disciplines. Grantee institutions are responsible 
for selecting scholarship recipients, reporting demographic information about student 
scholars, and managing the S-STEM project at the institution. Students to be awarded
scholarships must demonstrate academic talent and financial need. In addition, they 
must be US citizens, permanent residents, nationals, or refugees. The S-STEM 
program emphasizes the importance of recruiting students to science and engineering 
disciplines, mentoring and supporting students through degree completion, and 
partnering with employers to facilitate student career placement in the STEM 
workforce. Participating institutions are expected to support the goals of the S-STEM 
program including:

Improved educational opportunities for students;

Increased retention of students to degree achievement;

Improved student support programs at institutions of higher education;

Increased numbers of well educated and skilled employees in technical 
areas of national need.

Estimated Number of Awards:    90 to 130

Anticipated Funding Amount:   $50,000,000 to $70,000,000

Institution may submit one proposal from each constituent school or college 
that awards degrees in an eligible field.  


RESEARCH CORPORATION - Cottrell College Science Fund 
Deadline: November 15 or May 15 for consideration at the spring or 
fall Program Advisory Committee meetings.

Deadline: The application cycle is from August to November
Abstract: This program is intended for U.S. citizens or permanent residents 
who have an earned doctorate in science or engineering and who hold full-time 
science or engineering faculty positions at U.S. colleges, community colleges and 
universities. The duration of this summer fellowship is from 8 to 12 continuous 
weeks and research is performed on-site. There is a competitive weekly stipend 
and relocation and daily expense allowances are available.

NASA Faculty Fellowship
Deadline: The application cycle is from October to February
Abstract: This program is intended for U.S. citizens who hold full-time science 
or engineering faculty positions at U.S. colleges, community colleges and 
universities. The duration of this summer fellowship is 10 weeks with a possible 
option for extended support during the academic year. Research is performed 
on-site. Competitive stipend, relocation and travel allowances are available.


Deadline: The application cycle is from September to January
Abstract: The fellowship program is sponsored by the Army Research Office, 
Office of Naval Research, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the DoD 
High Performance Computing Modernization Program This program is intended 
for U.S. citizens at or near the beginning of their graduate studies in science and/or 
engineering programs. The fellowships are for three year tenures. The stipends begin
at $30,500 for first year fellows, $31,000 for second year fellows, and $31,500 for 
third year fellows. Full tuition and fees and a health insurance allowance are included
as part of the program.

ONR Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program 
Deadline: The application is from October to February
Abstract: This program is intended for high school students who have completed 
at least Grade 9. SEAP is an eight week summer research opportunity at 
participating ONR laboratories. Applicants must be 16 years of age for most 
Laboratories, and U.S. citizens. A competitive stipend is available.

NSF - Astronomy and Astrophysics Research (AAG) 
CFDA Number: 47-049                                    
Funding Opportunity Number: NSF 05-608
Deadline: Submission window is September 15-November 15 each year
Abstract: Individual and collaborative research grants for observational, 
theoretical, laboratory, and archival data studies in all areas of astronomy 
and astrophysics including but not limited to: planetary astronomy, stellar astronomy 
and astrophysics, galactic astronomy, and extragalatic astronomy and cosmology.

NSF- Physics (PHY) Active Funding Opportunities 
Due: Various Dates January – December 2008
See website for details.

American Astronomical Society, International Travel Grants 
Deadline: Early January and late June annually
Abstract: The goal of the program is to help defray costs of travel to overseas
scientific meetings, including the International Astronomical Union (IAU) General 
Assembly. Generally, grants are limited to the cost of a round-trip economy class 

NSF - Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)
Deadline: 4th Thursday in January annually – Internal USD Deadline November 15
(MRI) PROGRAM seeks to improve the quality and expand the scope of 
research and research training in science and engineering, and to foster the 
integration of research and education by providing instrumentation for 
research-intensive learning environments.

NSF - Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI)
DeadlineFull Proposal Deadline Date:  January 10, 2008 f
or Phase 2 and 3 proposals.
Abstract: The CCLI program seeks to improve the quality of science, technology, 
engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for all undergraduate students. The 
program supports efforts to create new learning materials and teaching strategies, 
develop faculty expertise, implement education innovations, assess learning and 
evaluate innovations, and conduct research on STEM teaching and learning. The 
program supports three types of projectsrepresenting these different phases of 
development, ranging from small exploratory investigations to large, 
comprehensive projects.

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION - In-Residence Fellowships
Deadline: January 14
FELLOWSHIP provide opportunities for postdoctoral and senior investigators to 
conduct research in the following fields: animal behavior, ecology, environmental 
science (including an emphasis on the tropics), astrophysics, astronomy, earth 
sciences, paleobiology, evolutionary and systematic biology, history of science and 
technology, materials research and molecular biology.

Research Grants
Deadline: April 1 annually
Abstract: Up to $20,000 is available each year to one or more individuals 
or groups to be used for the support of international observational astronomy 
with an emphasis on long-term, international visits.

NSF - Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER)
Abstract: The SGER program funds small-scale, exploratory, high-risk 
research in the fields of science, engineering and education normally supported 
by NSF. Investigators are strongly encouraged to contact the program officer prior 
to submission to ensure that their project meets the guidelines.

NSF - Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI)
CFDA Number: 47.041                                    
Funding Opportunity Number: NSF 00-144
Deadline: Varies, this program accepts proposals at any time during the 
year and has no fixed due dates

Abstract: The RUI program supports research by faculty members of predominately 
undergraduate institutions through the funding of

  • individual and collaborative research projects,

  • the purchase of shared-used research instrumentation, and

  • Research Opportunity Awards for work with NSF-supported 
    investigators at other institutions.

All NSF directorates participate in the RUI activity; proposals are evaluated 
and funded by the NSF programs in the disciplinary areas of the proposed research.

American Physical Society, Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award 
Deadline: July 1 annually.
Abstract: The award provides $2,500 plus a $4,000 travel 
allowance to a woman physicist to provide her opportunities 
to give lectures in her field of physics at four institutions and at an APS meeting.


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE -Defense University 
Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) 

Deadline: August or September annually




Abstract: DURIP is a multi-agency DoD program designed to improve the
capabilities of U.S. institutions of higher education to conduct research and to 
educate scientists and engineers in areas important to national defense by 
providing funds for the acquisition of research equipment. Proposals may 
request $50,000 to $1,000,000. Proposals for purely instructional equipment 
are not eligible. General-purpose computing facilities are not appropriate for DURIP 
funding, but requests for computers for DoD-relevant research programs are appropriate.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY - Used Energy-Related Laboratory 
Equipment (ERLE)

Deadline: Open. 
Abstract: This program grants available excess of used energy-related laboratory 
equipment to universities and colleges and other nonprofit educational institutions 
of higher learning in the United States for use in energy-oriented educational 

NASA - Planetary Major Equipment

NASA - Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 
Deadline: Varies

Abstract: This program element allows proposals for upgrading the analytical, 
computational, telescopic, and other instrumentation required by investigations 
sponsored by the Solar System Exploration programs entitled Cosmochemistry, 
Planetary Geology and Geophysics, Origins of Solar Systems, Planetary Astronomy, 
Near Earth Object Observations, Planetary Atmospheres, Exobiology, and Mars 
Fundamental Research.

NIH - Shared Instrumentation Grant Program
Deadline: February annually, Campus limited submission
Abstract: This program funds groups of NIH-supported investigators to purchase 
or upgrade commercially available instruments that cost at least $100,000.  The 
maximum award is $500,000.  Types of instruments supported include confocal 
and electron microscopes, biomedical imagers, mass spectrometers, DNA sequencers, 
biosensors, cell sorters, X-ray diffraction systems, and NMR spectrometers among others.  
There is no restriction on the number of applications an institution can submit to the SIG 
program each year provided the applications request different types of equipment. 
However, if two or more applications are submitted for similar equipment from the same 
institution, documentation from a high level institutional official must be provided stating that 
this is not an unintended duplication, but part of a campus-wide 
institutional plan.

NIH - Advanced Instrumentation for High Resolution 
Electron Microscopy
Deadlines: Standard application deadlines. 
Abstract: This program is intended to ensure that ongoing and new research 
projects that develop and/or apply advanced (3-D and high-resolution) EM
methods are equipped with the instruments that are needed to achieve the required 
data throughput and image resolution. This applies to basic research in molecular cell 
biology using EM for the structural analysis 
of large macromolecular assemblies and for the imaging of macromolecules in cells.

NSF - Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program 
Deadline: November 15: NSF Deadline: 4th Thursday in January Campus 
limited submission
Abstract: This program assists in the acquisition, development, maintenance, 
and/or technical support of major research instrumentation by U.S. institutions that 
is, in general, too costly for support through other NSF programs. Proposals may 
be for a single instrument, a large system of instruments, or multiple instruments that 
share a common research focus. Computer systems, clusters of advanced workstations,
networks, and other information infrastructure components specifically necessary for 
research are encouraged. Awards for instrumentation range from $100,000 to $2 million. 
An organization may submit or be included as a partner or subawardee in NO MORE 
THAN THREE PROPOSALS. If an organization submits or is included as a partner or 
subawardee in three proposals, at least one of the three proposals must be for instrument

NSF - Instrumentation for Materials Research - Major Instrumentation 
Projects (IMR-MIP)

Deadline: August annually, Campus limited submission
Abstract: This program provides support for the design and construction of
major instruments costing more than $2 million at major US facilities. NSF 
accepts one proposal per institution per year.

NSF - Instrumentation for Materials Research (IMR) 
Deadline: Second Thursday of January annually. 
Abstract: The IMR Program supports the acquisition of research instruments 
that will provide and/or advance capability to:

  • discover fundamental phenomena in materials;

  • synthesize, process, and/or characterize the composition, structure, 
    properties, and performance of materials; and

  • improve the quality, expand the scope, and foster and enable the integration 
    of research and education in research-intensive environments.

Only proposals seeking $100,000 or greater will be considered.

Email Grant Alert Systems
Many of the funding organization and database e-mail services send out 
announcements to registered individuals. Such providers include:


provides an email alert system for opportunities offered by federal agencies.

  • MyNSF

Formerly the Custom News Service of the National Science Foundation, 
allows you to receive notifications about new content posted on the NSF 
website. Notification can be received via email

  • NASA


  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)

includes the full text of all Requests for Applications

  • National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)

Bimonthly Reports

  • ScienceWise Alert

An e-mail service that delivers federal research opportunities within your 
areas of interest. Participating agencies include: DOD, NASA, EPA, ONR, 

  • Chronicle of Higher Education – Academe Today



Grant Advisor Plus
Community of Science (not just Science) Now a part of the Copley Library 
PAIS Database.

Has about 600 funding opportunities and is uniquely targeted to biomedical 
science training and research.

PROPOSAL WRITING GUIDES - Federal Agency Guidelines

  • NSF Grant Proposal Guide (June 2007)


  • NSF Guide to Proposal Writing (Education/Human Resources Division)


  • EPA Grant Writing Tutorial


  • NIH Resources

    • Grant writing tips


    • NIH All About Grants Tutorials


    • NIH Grant Application Basics


    • National Cancer Institute (NIH) Guide to Applications


    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious 
      Diseases Institute – Tutorial


    • A Walk Through the SF 424 (R&R)


    • NIH Resources for New Investigators



  • The Grants Doctor


  • Grant Resources-Deborah Kluge


  • Proposal Writers Guide – Don Thackrey


  • Science Info Grants ENewsletter