Funding Spotlight

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Questions about any of the funding opportunities listed below can be addressed to Erin Hale on 617-496-5252 or Susan Gomes on 617-496-9448.

Internal Harvard Opportunities

Limited Submission Opportunities

External Opportunities

Internal Harvard Opportunities

Star-Friedman Challenge for Promising Scientific Research
Deadline: February 28, 2019
Award Amount: up to $150,000 in direct costs for individual investigators; up to $300,000 in direct costs for collaborative proposals involving funding to multiple independent investigators (project budgets should not include indirect costs). Up to five awards will be made annually.
Eligible Applicants: This competition is open to ladder faculty members in the four participating schools (HMS, HSPH, FAS and SEAS). In HMS, this program is open to ladder faculty (assistant professors, associate professors, and professors) who have primary appointments in the HMS basic and social science departments AND whose laboratories are located on the HMS Quadrangle.In HSPH, eligible PIs include primary Harvard Chan School ladder faculty whose research operation is based at the Harvard Chan School.

The Star-Friedman Challenge for Promising Scientific Research (formerly known as the Star Family Challenge for Promising Scientific Research) provides seed funding to interdisciplinary high-risk, high-impact projects in the life, physical, and social sciences. Early-stage projects that are unlikely to receive funding from traditional grant-making agencies are encouraged. Award recipients will present and discuss their projects with a range of scholars in multiple disciplines at a Challenge event on May 10, 2019, prior to receipt of funding.

Harvard China Fund Faculty Grants Program
Deadline: January 31, 2019
Award Amount: Up to $50,000
Eligible Applicants: Full-time Harvard faculty at the assistant, associate, or full professorial rank

The Harvard China Fund aims to strengthen the study of China across the University's faculties and schools and to support Harvard’s activities within China. For the FY19 grant cycle, the Faculty Grants Program is offering conference and research grants of approximately $50,000 each. Proposed conferences should take place at the Harvard Center Shanghai, preferably before December 2020. Conference proposals in all research fields are welcome. Research proposals are welcome in any field and the fund especially encourages proposals in the areas of traditional Chinese arts and culture, environmental studies and education.

Preference will be given to proposed projects for which funding might not be otherwise available from traditional sources. Proposals are judged partially or fully on the following criteria:

  1. Academic excellence and benefit to or involvement of Harvard faculty
  2. Feasibility, innovation, and interdisciplinary nature
  3. Organizational support (from Harvard and from Chinese universities and relevant institutions)
  4. Potential for impact in China

Lemann Brazil Research Fund
Deadline: January 22, 2019
Award Amount: Up to $150,000 payable over one or two years
Target Applicants: Applications are invited from individuals who hold a faculty appointment at a Harvard school and who have principal investigator rights at that school.

Applications are invited from researchers across disciplines proposing research projects relating to Brazil. Proposals are sought for 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. Applications must be submitted online here by January 22, 2019.

Harvard Global Institute Grants
Expression of Interest Deadline: January 22, 2018
Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): April 17, 2019
Award Amount for Small Grants: $50,000-$100,000 annually for 1-2 years
Award Amount for Large Grants: $500,000-$1M annually for 1-2 years
Target Applicants: The principal investigator must be an active tenure-track faculty member. Students and postdoctoral scholars may participate in a grant under the supervisory auspices of the faculty member who applies for an award.

In the 2019-20 academic year, HGI will fund research projects in China and India that have the potential for impact both locally and globally. Project activities are not limited to the Harvard campus but also include work that happens in China and/or India. Faculty conducting research in China have access to space at the Harvard Center Shanghai, and HGI encourages project teams to make use of the Center as a convening site. Faculty from across the Schools who are already working on China and/or India-related topics, as well as those who wish to begin doing so, are invited to apply for funding by submitting preliminary expressions of interest (EOIs).

Funding will be provided at two levels:

  • Large grants will support multi-faculty, cross-school, cross-discipline, integrative projects on problems or issues of global relevance that build on existing research and include significant collaboration with scholars in China. The goal is to help innovative research "scale up" and "scale out." There should thus be a substantial track record of prior work upon which a more ambitious project would be developed. Ideally, such a project should represent not just quantitative enhancement of previous research, but qualitative transformation of that research through heightened collaboration with colleagues in other Schools, disciplines, and countries
  • Small grants will support innovative, interdisciplinary projects that, like the large grants, focus on issues of global significance that would be unlikely to find funding from other sources. Funding is available at this level for projects with a focus on China and/or on India, or for comparative work. The majority of the funding, however, is available for projects that are related to China.

Fund for Research on the Foundations of Human Behavior
Deadline: 11:59pm on the last day of February, May, August, and November
Award Amount: Maximum $40,000 for ladder faculty, $5,000 for doctoral students and post-docs
Eligible applicants: Harvard University full time doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, and ladder faculty

These research funds support proposals that promise to advance understanding of the social, institutional and biological mechanisms shaping human beliefs and behavior. The funds will be used to support interdisciplinary social science research projects based on innovative experimental or observational designs that make use of sophisticated quantitative methods. The Fund also supports seminars, conferences, and other research-related activities.

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

NIH NCI Pathway to Independence Award for Outstanding Early Stage Postdoctoral Fellows (K99/R00)
University Area Pre-Proposal Deadline: January 28, 2019 by 5:00PM
Sponsor Deadline (if nominated): February 26, 2019
Eligible Applicants: Applicants must have no more than 2 years of postdoctoral research experience as of the application due date and must be in mentored, postdoctoral training positions. Parental, medical, or other well-justified leave for personal or family situations of generally less than 12 months duration is not included in the 2-year eligibility limit, nor is clinical training with no research involvement (e.g., full-time residency training)

The objective of the NCI Pathway to Independence Award for Outstanding Early Stage Postdoctoral Fellows (K99/R00) is to help outstanding postdoctoral researchers complete needed, mentored training and transition in a timely manner to independent tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty positions. The K99/R00 award is intended to foster the development of a creative, independent research program that will be competitive for subsequent independent funding and that will help advance the mission of the NCI. This program is designed for outstanding postdoctoral fellows with research and/or clinical doctoral degrees who do not require extended periods of mentored research training beyond their original doctoral degrees before transitioning to research independence, which is common for those working in data science and cancer control science.

The University Area (FAS, SEAS, etc) may submit a combined total of three applications to RFA-CA-19-029 and/or RFA-CA-19-030. Additionally, each application must be in a different scientific area as defined below:

  1. Data Science, defined as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry in which quantitative and analytical approaches, processes, and systems are both developed and used to extract knowledge and insights from increasingly large and/or complex sets of data. This includes cancer-focused data integration and visualization, systems biology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, informatics, genomics, precision oncology, and developing analytics for epidemiological or biostatistical studies.
  2. Cancer Control Science, defined as basic and applied research in the behavioral, social, and population sciences to create or enhance interventions that, independently or in combination with biomedical approaches, reduce cancer risk, incidence, morbidity, and mortality, and improve quality of life. This includes research in epidemiology, behavioral sciences, health services, surveillance, cancer survivorship, and healthcare policy.
  3. Other Sciences, which includes all scientific fields supported by the NCI that are not included in (A) or (B). Applicants proposing research in (C) "Other Sciences" may apply only if it is reasonable to expect them to transition to independence with an abbreviated period of mentored research training beyond their original doctoral degrees.

Smith Family Foundation Odyssey Award
FAS and SEAS Pre-Proposal Deadline: January 22, 2019 by 5:00PM
Award Amount: $300,000 over two years
Eligible applicants: Untenured faculty appointed to their first independent faculty appointment on or between July 1, 2010 and July 1, 2015. Time taken for leaves of absence does not count toward the eligibility window.

The Smith Family Foundation Odyssey Award was created to fuel creativity and innovation in junior investigators in the basic sciences. The two-year award supports established junior faculty in 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. Investigators in the physical sciences (physics, chemistry and engineering) whose projects focus on biomedical science are also encouraged to apply. Clinical research is beyond the scope of this program.

Applicants are ineligible if, at the time of application, they have combined federal and non-federal funding totaling $750,000 or more in direct costs per year in either of the first two years (7/1/19 - 6/30/20 or 7/1/20 - 6/30/21) of the two-year Smith Odyssey Award.

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation 2019 Inventor Fellows
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: January 22, 2019
Sponsor Deadline: March 4, 2019
Award Amount: $200,000/year for 3 years plus $25,000/year to the applicant institution to cover costs associated with administering the grant award. Each host institution will be required to contribute $50,000 in annual direct support of the inventor's work (see details below).
Eligible Applicants: Faculty, research scientists, postdocs or other full-time staff at eligible institutions who received their terminal degree on or after January 1, 2009.

The Moore Inventor Fellows program focuses on supporting outstanding inventors and innovators at a critical stage of research to capture opportunities that otherwise might be missed. The program seeks to support early-career scientist-inventors who create new tools, technologies, processes, or approaches with a high potential to accelerate progress in the foundation’s three main areas of interest: scientific research, environmental conservation and patient care. Fellows are expected to be personally engaged in pursuing their invention and required to devote at least 25 percent of their own time to their invention. Fellows may use the grant funds to support their own salary to create this opportunity. Fellows may also hire undergraduates, graduate assistants or postdoctoral scholars and purchase services, equipment, or supplies.

Each host institution is required to contribute $50,000 in annual direct support of the inventor’s work each year of the fellowship. This could include support for undergraduate or graduate students, equipment, supplies and other needs that will enable the fellow to make progress on their work. Direct salary support is acceptable provided it includes a proportionate release of time from teaching or other duties. Funds that were designated for a fellow’s use before the fellow was awarded a Moore Inventor Fellowship (such as start-up funds) do not qualify. The internal application requires a brief statement written by the applicant acknowledging the cost share associated with this opportunity and confirming the source of this funding. This statement must be signed by the applicant's Department Chair or Area Dean.

Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering
Harvard Pre-Proposal Deadline: January 22, 2019 by 12:00PM
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
Eligible Faculty: Faculty members appointed between May 31, 2016 and May 31, 2019

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. The Foundation encourages them to use their funds in whatever ways would best advance their research. Initial faculty appointments should have begun no earlier than May 31, 2016 and no later than May 31, 2019.

External Funding

Foundational Questions Institute: Intelligence in the Physical World
Sponsor Initial Proposal Deadline: February 11, 2019
Sponsor Full Proposal Deadline (if invited): June 17, 2019
Award Amount: Grants totaling about $1.5M will be available for projects up to 2 years in duration

This Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) program targets research on Intelligence in the Physical World, both in physics and also in related fields including cosmology, astrophysics, philosophy of physics, complex systems, biophysics, neuroscience, computer science, and mathematics. Intelligence in the Physical World seeks to inspire investigations into the many connections between basic physical laws and the nature of intelligence and intelligent agents. This RFP is limited to research with potentially significant and broad implications for our understanding of the deep or “ultimate” nature of reality, and is intended to fill a gap, not a shortfall, in conventional funding. This program builds upon FQXi and the Fetzer Franklin Fund’s past program on Agency in the Physical World, with a focus on foundational questions at the frontiers of physics, biology, and consciousness research. Applicants should ensure that the research or outreach project can be completed with a guaranteed final date of August 31, 2021 or earlier.