Funding Spotlight

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Questions about any of the funding opportunities listed below can be addressed to Erin Hale or Susan Gomes on 617-496-9448.

Internal Harvard Opportunities

Limited Submission Opportunities

External Opportunities

Internal Harvard Opportunities

Provost Fund for Interfaculty Collaboration
Deadline: November 20, 2020
Award Amount: up to $20,000

The Provost's Fund for Interfaculty Collaboration (PFIC) was developed to promote faculty collaboration across multiple Harvard Schools. This fund can be used to support a variety of projects, including but not limited to cross-School interdisciplinary course support, research working groups, and small-scale conferences. To be eligible for support, the designated faculty leader(s) must hold primary Harvard faculty appointments at the rank of Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor or senior non-ladder faculty appointments including Senior Lecturer, Senior Preceptor, and Professor of Practice, and the project must engage faculty and/or students from at least two Harvard Schools. Priority will be given to applicants who have not previously received funding from the grant.

Motsepe Presidential Research Accelerator Fund for Africa
Deadline: November 30, 2020
Award Amount: Up to $100,000

The primary purpose of this new internal fund is to support faculty-led and student-driven research projects that focus on advancing key challenges and opportunities facing Africa - whether it be emerging technologies and the Fourth Industrial Revolution; climate change and its effect on health, agriculture, water, and/or sanitation; renewable energy and its benefit to infrastructure and/or society; health; aging; materials science; and the governance and policies needed for an entrepreneurial economy. Activities the Fund may support include but are not limited to research; associated travel costs; and the publication and dissemination of findings. Special consideration will also be given to projects that propose multidisciplinary collaboration between Harvard faculty across more than one school and Africa-based academics. More information is available in the request for applications and at the link above.

Questions about this opportunity may be directed to Li-Ming Tseng at

Pre-Proposal Deadlines: January 8, 2021 for Development and Pilot applications. The deadline for Pilot applications has passed.
Award Amount: $100,000 for 1 year for Pilot grants; $300,000 for 2 years for Development grants
The Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator at Harvard University provides essential gap funding, development support, and business expertise to help faculty investigators achieve the full potential of their work. The Accelerator seeks to support innovative, investigator-initiated research, and to develop preliminary observations into robust intellectual property positions. Its primary goal is to advance technologies to the point where an industry partnership can commence. Proposals are welcomed from Harvard principal investigators with early-stage research in a range of life science areas, including therapeutics, diagnostics, drug delivery technologies, medical devices/instruments, and enabling technologies for drug discovery. Pilot Grants are intended to support proof-of-concept activities that (if successful) would establish a basis for a subsequent Development Grant proposal. Development Grants are expected to generate partnerable technology within the proposed timeframe.

Only one pre-proposal per applicant will be accepted per cycle. Based on recommendations from the Accelerator Advisory Committee and OTD, a subset of applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal. 
We strongly recommend that all applicants work with the Office of Technology Development (OTD) and the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator (BBA) team to develop a strong pre-proposal. Anu Natajaran, BBA Senior Associate Director, is available to meet virtually. To set up a meeting to discuss your proposal idea, please contact Dr. Natajaran at

Lemann Brazil Research Fund
Deadline: January 25, 2021
Award Amount: up to $150,000 payable over one or two years. It is anticipated that 5 - 10 grants will be awarded each year.

The Lemann Brazil Research Fund is intended to foster collaboration between scholars and to support research projects focused on current issues facing Brazil. Proposals are sought for research projects that address education management and administration; social science and its applications; public administration and policy; technological advances in education; and evidence-based research. Consideration will also be given to projects that propose collaboration between Harvard faculty and Brazilian academics in the life sciences, physical sciences and engineering, and basic and applied sciences. Given the challenges of this year, special consideration will be given to applicants in any field proposing work related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are invited from individuals who hold a faculty appointment at a Harvard school and who have principal investigator rights at that school.

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of academic merit, feasibility, and their anticipated advancement of the objectives of the Fund and must meet at least one of the following three criteria:

  1. Include collaboration with Brazilian academics
  2. Be undertaken in Brazil in whole or in part
  3. Focus on Brazil

Limited Submission Opportunities
For upcoming competitions, see our list of annually recurring limited submission opportunities

Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: November 23, 2020
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline (if nominated): January 28, 2021
Sponsor Deadline (if nominated): February 4, 2021
Award Amount: $100,000 over five years
Eligible Applicants: Applicants must hold a full-time, tenure-track academic appointment, and are normally expected to have been appointed no earlier than mid-year 2015.

The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program provides discretionary funding to support the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences. The Foundation seeks Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholars who demonstrate leadership in research and education. Applicants should describe their dedication and contributions to education in the chemical sciences, particularly with respect to undergraduates.

This is a limited submission opportunity and only one nomination may be put forward from Harvard University. The Office of the Vice Provost for Research is facilitating the internal application process. To be considered for the Harvard nomination, potential applicants must submit an internal pre-proposal via the link above.

NSF Ethical and Responsible Research
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: November 30, 2020
Sponsor Deadline (if nominated): February 22, 2021

Award Amount: $600,000 maximum for 5-year awards; $400,00 maximum for 3-year awards

The Ethical and Responsible Research (ER2) program funds research projects that identify (1) factors that are effective in the formation of ethical STEM researchers and (2) approaches to developing those factors in all STEM fields that NSF supports.

Types of proposals:

  1. Standard Research Grants and Institutional Transformation Research Grants: ER2 research projects will use basic research to produce knowledge about what constitutes or promotes responsible or irresponsible conduct of research, and how to best instill this knowledge into researchers and educators at all career stages. In some cases, projects will include the development of interventions to ensure ethical and responsible research conduct. Proposals including international collaborations are encouraged when those efforts enhance the merit of the proposed work by incorporating unique resources, expertise, facilities or sites of international partners. For Institutional Transformation Research Grants, investigators are expected to gather and report baseline data in the first annual report. Both Standard and Institutional Transformation Research Grant proposals can be collaborative.
  2. Conference Proposals: The ER2 program supports thematic conferences designed to bring together researchers and students to foster new ER2 research, synthesize results across previously funded ER2 projects, and develop new ethical standards for STEM research. Conference proposals should generally be submitted a year in advance of the proposed event. ER2 conference support is typically around $30,000 in direct costs.
  3. Project Incubation Proposals: ER2 supports small Project Incubation proposals that provide funds for STEM researchers and administrators from multiple organizations to collaborate to develop and submit a full ER2 Standard Grant. Proposers must span at least two organizations. Those who intend to submit a Project Incubation proposal must consult with a cognizant NSF Program Officer before submitting to ascertain the suitability of the envisioned activity. Project Incubation proposals provide only one year of support, typically around $60,000 in direct costs.

The ER2 program will not consider proposals focused on ethics for medical students or in medical education. Proposals that address medical informatics, biomedical engineering, systems engineering and social scientific studies in health and medicine will be considered.

This is a limited submission opportunity. Harvard University, as a single institution, is limited to submitting one proposal as the lead organization. The Office of the Vice Provost for Research will administer the internal competition to select the Harvard nominee. To be considered for the Harvard nomination, potential applicants must submit an internal pre-proposal.

Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: January 21, 2021
Award Amount: $875,000 over five years
Eligible Disciplines: physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science, and all branches of engineering

The Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering provides the nation’s most promising early-career scientists and engineers with flexible funding and the freedom to take risks and explore new frontiers in their fields of study. Packard Fellows are encouraged to think big and look at complex issues with a fresh perspective. Fellows may use their funds in whatever way would best advance their research. Initial faculty appointments should have begun no earlier than May 31, 2018 and no later than May 31, 2021. The Foundation allows exceptions to the eligibility window for time taken for family/medical leave. If a nominee is outside the eligibility window this should be briefly acknowledged in the nomination letter.

Recent recipients include Julia Mundy (Physics, 2020), Marine Denolle (EPS, 2017), Kang-Kuen Ni (CCB, 2016), Karin Oberg (Astronomy, 2014), Emily Balskus (CCB, 2013), Charlie Conroy (Astronomy, 2013), Karinne Gibbs (MCB, 2012), and John Johnson (Astronomy, 2012).

This is a limited submission opportunity and Harvard University may put forward only two nominations. Applicants for the Harvard nomination must be nominated by a department chair or area chair and must submit a pre-proposal to an internal competition administered by the Office of the Vice Provost of Research (OVPR) at the link above.


External Funding

NIH NIAID Emergency Awards: Rapid Investigation of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling
Award Amount for R01 Applications: Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. The total project period may not exceed 5 years.
Award Amount for R21 Applications: The combined budget for direct costs for the two-year project period may not exceed $275,000. No more than $200,000 may be requested in any single year. The total project period may not exceed 2 years.

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is to provide an expedited funding mechanism for research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). NIAID is issuing this FOA in response to the declared public health emergency issued by the Secretary, HHS, for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This program is designed to provide expedited funding for research projects focusing on obtaining time-sensitive data in light of this public health emergency (e.g., the research questions cannot be efficiently addressed in another context and the nature of the event and/or impacted populations are well suited for the proposed study). Information on specific areas of high priority can be found in the solicitation at the link above.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Scientific/Research staff listed in the solicitation (Diane Post, or Kentner Singleton, before submitting an application to determine whether or not the proposed work is within the intended scope of this program, whether requested expedite funding is likely to be available, and whether the idea should be considered for initial submission as a fully developed application. Inquiries not meeting the expedite guidelines will be guided to other grant mechanisms and to program contacts to discuss alternatives.

PAR-20-178 uses the R01 mechanism, PAR-20-177 uses the R21 grant mechanism. High-risk/high-payoff projects that lack preliminary data or utilize existing data may be most appropriate for the R21 mechanism. Applicants with preliminary data and/or planning to include longitudinal analysis may wish to apply using the R01 mechanism.

Department of Energy Early Career Research Program
Sponsor Pre-application Deadline (required): November 20, 2020
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: February 8, 2021
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline: February 16, 2021
Award Amount: Awards average $750,000 over five years

The DOE Office of Science (SC) invites applications for support under the Early Career Research Program in the following program areas: Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR); Basic Energy Sciences (BES); Biological and Environmental Research (BER); Fusion Energy Sciences (FES); High Energy Physics (HEP); Nuclear Physics (NP); Isotope R&D and Production (DOE IP); or Accelerator R&D and Production (ARDAP). The purpose of this program is to support the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and to stimulate research careers in the areas supported by SC.

The PI must be an untenured Assistant Professor or Associate Professor on the tenure track at a U.S. academic institution as of the deadline for the application. For the present competition, those who received doctorates no earlier than 2010 are eligible. If a PI has multiple doctorates, the discipline of the one they have earned within the 10-year eligibility window should be relevant to the proposed research. Extensions to eligibility will be considered for individuals who have had a major life event requiring an extended absence (3 months or longer) from the workplace.

Recent recipients include Jarad Mason (CCB, 2020), Cora Dvorkin (Physics, 2019), Stratos Idreos (SEAS, 2019), and Kang-Kuen Ni (CCB, 2018).

Smith Family Foundation Odyssey Award
SEAS/FAS/OSP Deadline: December 15, 2020
Sponsor Initial Proposal Deadline: January 5, 2021
Award Amount: $300,000 over two years
New this year: There is no limit on the number of applicants from a given institution so applicants no longer need to be internally selected by their institutions.

The Smith Family Foundation Odyssey Award supports the pursuit of high impact ideas to generate breakthroughs and drive new directions in biomedical research. The awards will fund high-risk, high-reward pilot projects solicited from the brightest junior faculty in the region. Projects should be conceptualized as a novel research line and a distinct and novel off-shoot from the applicant’s current research.

Applications will be accepted from full-time, independent faculty at academic research institutions who have not yet achieved tenure or its equivalent by the funding start date of October 1, 2021. Applicants must have received their first independent faculty appointment on or between October 1, 2012 and October 1, 2017. Applicants are ineligible if, at the time of application or in either of the first two years (10/1/21 - 9/30/22 or 10/1/22 - 9/30/23) of the two-year Smith Odyssey Award, they have combined federal and non-federal funding totaling $750,000 or more in direct costs. This figure refers to external funding only and not an applicant’s start-up package, other intramural support, or the Smith Family Awards Program for Excellence in Biomedical Research. Applications from women and people of color are particularly encouraged. 

DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA)
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: December 23, 2020
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: January 8, 2021
Award Amount: Each award will include a 24-month base period (each 12-month interval of the base period shall not exceed $250,000 for a maximum of $500,000) and a 12-month option period (a maximum of $500,000 awarded as the “Director’s Fellowship,” reserved for a limited number of awardees who demonstrate exceptional YFA project performance over the 24-month base period).

DARPA’s Young Faculty Award (YFA) program aims to identify and engage rising stars in junior faculty positions in academia and equivalent positions at non-profit research institutions and expose them to DoD and National Security challenges and needs. In particular, YFA will provide high-impact funding to elite researchers early in their careers to develop innovative new research directions in the context of enabling transformative DoD capabilities. Participation is open to individuals who are U.S. Citizens, U.S. Permanent Residents, and Foreign Nationals who are current Tenure-Track Assistant/Associate Professors; or current Tenured faculty within 3 years of their Tenure date. DARPA is particularly interested in identifying outstanding researchers who have previously not been awardees on DARPA programs, but the program is open to all qualified applicants with innovative research ideas. Once awards are made, each YFA awardee will be assigned a DARPA Program Manager with interests closely related to their research topic. The Program Manager will act as project manager and mentor to the YFA award recipients.

DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals in the areas of interest to DARPA’s six technical offices: Biological Technologies Office (BTO), Defense Sciences Office (DSO), Information Innovation Office (I2O), Microsystems Technology Office (MTO), Strategic Technology Office (STO), and Tactical Technology Office (TTO). This RA solicits single PI proposals for research and development in the following specific Topic Areas (TAs) of interest:

  1. Cutting the Cold Chain (C3)
  2. Infectious Disease Detection of Individuals at Facility Ingress
  3. Musculoskeletal Injury-associated Microbiomes
  4. Spike Plus: Innovative Models of Neural Computation and Control
  5. Developing a Molecular Strategy to Control Invasive Plant Species that Impede Logistics
  6. Broadband, Efficient Upconversion with 2D Material Platforms
  7. Analogical Decision Planning
  8. Multifunctional Molecular Networks
  9. Extreme Photon Sensing
  10. Lessons in Asymmetric Adversarial Reasoning (LiAAR)
  11. Analysis of Corporate Access, Ownership, and Control
  12. A Unified Theoretical and Computational Framework for Narratives in Information Operations
  13. Analyzing Differential Privacy Misuse
  14. Effective Hardware Supported Monitoring of Software
  15. Robot Adaptation as Living Creatures
  16. Ferroelectric Material for FerroElectronic Devices
  17. Ultra-Wide Bandgap Material and RF Device Technology
  18. Electroluminescent-Based Coolers Approaching Carnot Limit
  19. Topologically-enhanced Reconfigurable Optoelectronics
  20. Materials and Interconnect Approaches for 3D Heterogeneous Integration for Millimeter Wave Arrays
  21. Acoustic Sensing with Electro-momentum Coupling
  22. Access to Networks with Machine Learning (ANML)
  23. Lithography-free Integrated Photonics
  24. Extension of Hypersonic Sonic Boom Theory to Include Lift Components
  25. Unique Robotics Using Flexible Films with Embedded Actuators
  26. Energy Web Dominance
  27. Novel Methods for High-Rate, Short-Duration Force Measurement


NSF Mid-Career Advancement (MCA)
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: January 25, 2021
Sponsor Deadline: February 1, 2021
Award Amount: Varies across disciplinary research programs. Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds. See solicitation for details.

Through the Mid-Career Advancement (MCA) program, the NSF is seeking proposals from mid-career scientists at the Associate Professor rank (or equivalent) who wish to substantively advance their research program and career trajectory. A primary objective of the MCA is to ensure that scientists and engineers remain engaged and active in cutting-edge research at a critical career stage replete with constraints on time that can impinge on research productivity, retention, and career advancement. Thus, by (re)-investing in mid-career researchers, NSF hopes to enable a more diverse scientific workforce (more women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities) at high academic ranks.

The MCA provides protected time and resources to enable advancements in creativity and productivity. Projects that envision new insights on existing problems or identify new but related problems previously inaccessible without new methodology or expertise from other fields are encouraged, but not required. The MCA fosters innovation by supporting synergistic and mutually beneficial partnerships to catalyze convergence across different disciplines or sub-disciplines. Scientists at the Associate Professor rank (or equivalent) are freer than their more junior colleagues to pursue bold and innovative research ideas, but at the same time are often more constrained due to increased service and teaching responsibilities that can hamper scientific productivity. MCA support is expected to help lift these constraints and reduce workload inequities.

A key component of a successful MCA will be the demonstration that the PI's current research program could substantively benefit from the protected time, mentored partnership(s), and resources provided through this special program, such that there is a substantial enhancement to the PI's research and career trajectory, enabling scientific and academic advancement not likely without this support.