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 Opportunities

Limited Submission Opportunities

External Opportunities

Internal Opportunities

Office of the Vice Provost for Climate & Sustainability Climate Research Clusters Program
Concept Paper Deadline: May 20, 2022
Revised Concept Paper Deadline: July 30, 2022
Full Proposal Deadline: September 15, 2022
Award Amount: Up to $600,000 per research cluster, per year, for a period of up to three years
Eligible Applicants: Proposals are invited from Harvard University ladder faculty

The purpose of the Climate Research Clusters Program is to produce useful and impactful solutions to climate problems. Research clusters are intended to be ambitious, interdisciplinary, cross-School efforts to take on climate problems that are narrow enough to ensure that concrete solutions emerge, but broad enough that the solutions represent significant progress in meeting the world’s climate challenge. Research clusters will comprise Harvard faculty, post-docs, and students, and they may include visiting scholars, practitioners, and external collaborators. Cluster activities should include external engagement, for example, through conferences and/or convenings. The final result should be a concrete proposal or proposals to address an aspect of the climate crisis based on the new knowledge that the research cluster produces.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Climate & Sustainability has created a consultative process to facilitate the development of strong proposals to the program. By engaging in this process, prospective Principal Investigators (PIs) will be able to consult the Office, including its Faculty Advisory Committee, in honing their concept proposals, and to obtain assistance in identifying prospective collaborators. In addition, researchers who are interested in joining a cluster will have the opportunity to learn about proposed projects and to connect with prospective PIs. More information on the consultative process, including Q&A session dates and related events, can be found in the program FAQs. In addition to the consultative process, the OVPCS has created a Slack workspace to enable communication among members of the community who wish to participate in a climate research cluster.

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

NSF Physics Frontiers Centers
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: June 5, 2022
FAS/SEAS/OSP Pre-Proposal Deadline (if nominated): July 27, 2022
Sponsor Pre-Proposal Deadline (if nominated): August 1, 2022
FAS/SEAS/OSP Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): January 20, 2023
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): January 27, 2023
Award Amount: $1M-$5M/year for six years

The Physics Frontiers Centers (PFC) program supports university-based centers and institutes where the collective efforts of a larger group of individuals can enable transformational advances in the most promising research areas. The program is designed to foster major breakthroughs at the intellectual frontiers of physics by providing needed resources such as combinations of talents, skills, disciplines, and/or specialized infrastructure, not usually available to individual investigators or small groups, in an environment in which the collective efforts of the larger group can be shown to be seminal to promoting significant progress in the science and the education of students. Activities supported through the program are in all sub-fields of physics within the purview of the Division of Physics: atomic, molecular, optical, plasma, elementary particle, nuclear, particle astro-, gravitational, and biological physics. Interdisciplinary projects at the interface between these physics areas and other disciplines and physics sub-fields may also be considered, although the bulk of the effort must fall within one of those areas within the purview of the Division of Physics. The successful PFC activity will demonstrate: (1) the potential for a profound advance in physics; (2) creative, substantive activities aimed at enhancing education, diversity, and public outreach; (3) potential for broader impacts, e.g., impacts on other field(s) and benefits to society; (4) a synergy or value-added rationale that justifies a center- or institute-like approach.

Applicant institutions are limited to no more than two pre-applications or applications. In order to secure the Harvard nomination, interested applicants must submit a brief pre-proposal to the Office of the Vice provost for research online at by June 5, 2022.

NIH Director's Early Independence Award
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: June 13, 2022 by 5:00PM
Sponsor Letters of Intent Deadline (optional): August 2, 2022
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline (if nominated): August 26, 2022
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (if nominated): September 2, 2022
Award Amount: Up to $250,000/year in direct costs for up to 5 years plus applicable indirect costs
Eligible Applicants: Date of terminal doctoral degree or completion of post-graduate clinical training of the PI must be between June 1, 2021 and September 30, 2023. The PI must not yet have research independence
and must not have served as a post-doctoral fellow for more than 12 months following a previous doctoral degree.

The NIH Director's Early Independence Award Program supports exceptional investigators who wish to pursue independent research directly after completion of their terminal doctoral degree or post-graduate clinical training, thereby forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period and accelerating their entry into an independent research career. Though most newly graduated doctoral-level researchers would benefit from post-doctoral training, a small number of outstanding junior investigators would benefit instead by launching directly into an independent research career. Applications in all topics relevant to the broad mission of NIH are welcome, including, but not limited to, topics in the behavioral, social, biomedical, applied, and formal sciences and topics that may involve basic, translational, or clinical research. The primary requirements are that the research be highly innovative and have the potential for unusually broad impact.

To be eligible, at the time of application, candidates must be in non-independent research position and must have received their most recent doctoral degree or completed clinical training within the previous fifteen months or expect to do so within the following twelve months. By the end of the award period, Early Independence Award investigators are expected to be competitive for continued funding of their research program through other NIH funding activities and for permanent research-oriented positions.

This is a limited submission opportunity and only two applications may be submitted by Harvard University from the University Area (Cambridge Campus). Potential applicants to be hosted by Harvard schools in the University Area must submit a pre-proposal to no later than June 13, 2022 by 5PM on in order to be considered for the Harvard nominations. The pre-proposal should include:

  • A two-page research proposal. Subsequent pages for references and/or graphics may be included and do not count toward the page limit.
  • A current CV
  • A letter of support from the department chair or program director of the candidate’s proposed host department/program at Harvard. The letter should describe the position details, the institutional space and resources to be committed, and the commitment of the host to the career development of the applicant.

External Funding

NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant Programs (S10)
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: May 24­­, 2022
Sponsor Deadline: June 1, 2022
Award Amount: $50,000-$2,000,000
Target Applicants: Groups of three or more PIs on active, distinct NIH research awards

The objective of the NIH S10 Instrumentation Grant Programs is to make available to institutions expensive research instruments that can only be justified on a shared-use basis and that are needed for NIH-supported projects in basic, translational or clinical areas of biomedical/behavioral research. The program provides funds to purchase or upgrade a single item of expensive, specialized, commercially available instrument or an integrated instrumentation system. The S10 programs include the Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program (for direct costs $50,000-$600,000) and the High End Instrumentation Grant (HEI) Program (for direct costs $600,001-$2,000,000). There is a third S10 program, the Basic Instrumentation Program (BIG), which is targeted to institutions that receive lesser amounts of NIH funding per year compared with leading biomedical research institutions, and therefore Harvard will not be running an internal call for the BIG opportunity.

While there is no restriction on the number of applications an institution can submit for the Shared Instrumentation and High End Instrumentation Programs, there are restrictions to applications submitted for similar equipment from the same institution. The internal deadline has passed but potential applicants may still express interest as long as the proposed instrumentation does not overlap with any other requests. Please email regarding next steps.

DoD FY23 Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (MURI)
Sponsor Deadline for White Papers (strongly encouraged): May 16, 2022
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: September 1, 2022
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: September 9, 2022
Award Amount: Typical annual funding per grant is in the $1.25M to $1.5M range for up to 5 years

The MURI program supports high-risk basic research in science and engineering at U.S. institutions of higher education that is of potential interest to DoD. The program is focused on multidisciplinary research efforts where more than one traditional discipline interacts to provide rapid advances in scientific areas of interest to the DoD. The program was initiated over 25 years ago and it has regularly produced significant scientific breakthroughs with far reaching consequences to the fields of science, economic growth, and revolutionary new military technologies. Key to the program’s success is the close management of the MURI projects by Service program officers and their active role in providing research guidance.

This Department of Defense program is administered by three agencies. Each agency posts its own Funding Opportunity Announcement:

White papers and proposals addressing the following topics should be submitted to the relevant agency:


  • Topic 1: Integrated Bio-Hybrid Actuators
  • Topic 2: Neuro-Inspired Distributed Deep Learning (NIDDL)
  • Topic 3: Chemical and Microbial Indicators of Permafrost Degradation from Changes in Climate
  • Topic 4: Dynamically Tunable and Enhanced Thermal Conductivity in Polymeric Materials
  • Topic 5: The Stranger Within: The Ecology of the Brain
  • Topic 6: Control Theory for Novel Quantum Error Correction
  • Topic 7: Emergent Refractory Behaviors in Earth and Extraterrestrial Materials


  • Topic 8: Supremacy over Quantum: Efficient Real-World Optimization on Stochastic Binary Networks
  • Topic 9: Identifying the Fundamental Properties of Biological Soft Structures Subjected to High Hydrostatic Pressure that Preserve Structural and Functional Integrity of Deep-Sea Organisms
  • Topic 10: Advance Mixed-Precision and Deep Learning Algorithms for Computation of Multiscale-Multiphysics and Optimization Models
  • Topic 11: Fundamental Processes in Solid-Fuel Combustion
  • Topic 12: Climate Change Risk and Decision Superiority
  • Topic 13: Twist on Photonics (TOP): Light-Matter Interactions Defined by Novel Degrees of Freedom
  • Topic 14: Building Overall Cognitive Capability through Attention Control
  • Topic 15: Assessing the Role of Marine Biology in Driving Ocean Mixing Using Autonomous Sampling of Microstructure and eDNA (BIOMIX)
  • Topic 16: Spatially Programmed Material Properties via Designed Meso-Structures
  • Topic 17: Excited State Chemistry of Preceramic Polymers


  • Topic 18: Fluid-(Sub-) Surface Material Interactions for Passive Flow Control
  • Topic 19: Quantum Spin Effects in Chiral Matter
  • Topic 20: Cognitive Security
  • Topic 21: Open Hybrid Dynamical Systems: Compositions, Invariants, and Computation
  • Topic 22: Dislocations as One Dimensional Quantum Matters
  • Topic 23: Quantum Phononics
  • Topic 24: Fundamental Limits of Nanoscale X-ray Microscopy in Radiation Sensitive Materials

It is strongly recommended that applicants communicate with the Research Topic Chiefs before the submission of formal proposals. All pre-proposal inquiries and questions must be submitted by May 2, 2022.

Air Force FY2023 Young Investigator Research Program (YIP)
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: May 27, 2022
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: June 6, 2022
Award Amount: Most YIP awards are funded up to $150,000 per year for three years, for a total of $450,000. Exceptional proposals will be considered individually for higher funding levels and/or longer duration.

The Fiscal Year 2023 Air Force Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) intends to support early-in-career scientists and engineers who have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees April 1, 2015 or later showing exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. The program objective is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering; enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators; and increase opportunities for the young investigator to recognize the Air Force and Space Force mission and related challenges in science and engineering. YIP PIs must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident. The Air Force seeks unclassified proposals in the research areas of interest identified in its most recent Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) titled Research Interests of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Please note that the AFOSR open BAA updates annually in the March/April time frame and applicants are advised to make sure they coordinate topic ideas with the appropriate Program Officer (PO) to ensure the topic area is still relevant to the Air Force. YIP proposals may be submitted for only one research portfolio area.

Additionally, the AFOSR has partnered with the Laboratory for Physical Sciences (LPS) to award additional outstanding YIP proposals in the field of gate-based quantum computing under the “Quantum Information Sciences” research portfolio area (Section A.3.g of the AFOSR open BAA). Proposals for both experimental and theoretical research are encouraged. The primary focus is on innovative research to advance the state of the art in quantum computing systems by understanding and mitigating challenges, developing revolutionary new approaches, tracking, characterizing and reducing noise, and developing supporting technology. Specific research topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following: improving the gate and readout speed and fidelity in multi-qubit systems, characterizing and validating multi-qubit systems, investigating promising new qubit modalities that address existing qubit challenges, developing novel control and readout schemes, and exploring schemes for modular quantum computing. Proposals should describe the long-term vision of the proposed work and how it relates to gate-based quantum computing research.

Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program (YIP)
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: June 23, 2022
Sponsor Deadline for Full Proposals: July 1, 2022
Award Amount: Typical awards are $510,000 over a 36-month period of performance. Applicants may request up to $170,000 for each 12-month interval. Additional funding may be requested (under the 36-month period) up to $250,000 to cover certain expenses. These funds must be included as an option and the applicant MUST discuss any request for additional funding with the Program Officer prior to submission. ONR anticipates making 15-35 awards.

ONR's Young Investigator Program seeks to identify and support academic scientists and engineers who are in their first or second full-time tenure-track or tenure-track-equivalent academic appointment, who have received their PhD or equivalent degree on or after January 1, 2015, and who show exceptional promise for doing creative research. The Principal Investigator of a proposal must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident (on the date proposals are due). The objectives of this program are to attract outstanding faculty members of U.S. Institutions of Higher Education to the Department of the Navy's Science and Technology (S&T) research program, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. The YIP is not a "research initiation" opportunity with standards that are less demanding than ONR's other research grant programs; instead, it is intended to confer honor upon awardees beyond the funding being provided.

Proposals addressing research areas (as described in the ONR S&T Department section of ONR's website) which are of interest to ONR Program Officers will be considered. Contact information for each division (a subgroup of an S&T Department) is also listed within the S&T section of the website. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate Program Officer who is the point of contact for a specific technical area to discuss their research ideas before submitting a proposal. Brief informal white papers may be submitted to facilitate these discussions but are not required. Such discussions can clarify the content and breadth of the priority research areas and enhance the match between a subsequent proposal and Department of the Navy research needs. Please note that application inquiries and questions must be submitted to ONR by June 24, 2022. Questions received after this date may not be answered.

NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Program (DP2)
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: August 12, 2022
Sponsor Deadline: August 19, 2022
Award Amount: $1,500,000 direct costs over five years

The NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Program supports early stage investigators of exceptional creativity who propose highly innovative research projects with the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important areas relevant to the mission of NIH. For the program to support the best possible researchers and research, applications are sought which reflect the full diversity of the research workforce. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups and from the full spectrum of eligible institutions in all geographic locations are strongly encouraged to apply to this Funding Opportunity Announcement. In addition, applications in all topics relevant to the broad mission of NIH are welcome, including, but not limited to, topics in the behavioral, social, biomedical, applied, and formal sciences and topics that may involve basic, translational, or clinical research.

Applicants must meet the definition of an Early Stage Investigator (ESI) at the time of application submission. An ESI is a new investigator (defined as a PD/PI who has not competed successfully for a significant NIH independent research award) who is within 10 years of completing their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training. Awardees are required to commit at least three person-months (25%) of their research effort each year to activities supported by the New Innovator Award.

NIH Director's Pioneer Award (DP1)

FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: September 1, 2022

Sponsor Deadline: September 9, 2022

Award Amount: $700,000 in direct costs per year for up to 5 years


The NIH Director’s Pioneer Award Program supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose highly innovative research projects with the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important areas relevant to the mission of NIH. For the program to support the best possible researchers and research, applications are sought which reflect the full diversity of the nation’s research workforce. Thus, individuals from all backgrounds and from the full spectrum of eligible institutions in all geographic locations are strongly encouraged to apply to this Funding Opportunity Announcement. In addition, applications in all topics relevant to the broad mission of NIH are welcome, including, but not limited to, topics in the behavioral, social, biomedical, applied, and formal sciences and topics that may involve basic, translational, or clinical research. To be considered pioneering, the proposed research must reflect substantially different scientific directions from those already being pursued in the investigator’s research program or elsewhere.

Pioneer awardees are required to commit the major portion (more than 6 person-months or at least 51%) to activities supported by the Pioneer Award research project in the first three years of the project period. Effort expended toward teaching, administrative, or clinical duties should not be included in this calculation. Awardees may reduce effort to a minimum of 4 person-months (33%) and a minimum of 3 person-months (25%) in the fourth and fifth years, respectively, to help them transition to other sources of support since Pioneer Awards cannot be renewed.