Vice President for Research & Economic Development
Proposal Services & Faculty Support
April Funding Focus Newsletter #2
What is a Limited Submission?
A limited submission solicitation (RFA, RFP, etc.) places a cap on the number of proposals that Auburn may submit to a sponsor. Auburn coordinates limited submissions by sending out a notification via this newsletter and creating competitions in the Auburn University Competition Space (also known as InfoReady).To apply to any limited submission posted below, click on the above link and search for your competition reflected on the page. Please refer to the Limited Submission Procedures page for a list of requirements.
Limited Submission Announcements

The Basic Instrumentation Grant (BIG) Program encourages applications from groups of NIH-supported investigators to purchase a single high-priced, specialized, commercially available instrument or an integrated instrumentation system. The BIG Program is limited to institutions that have not received S10 instrumentation funding of $250,001 or greater in any of the Federal fiscal years 2018-2020. The minimum award is $25,000. There is no maximum price limit for the instrument; however, the maximum award is $250,000. Instruments supported include, but are not limited to, basic cell sorters, confocal microscopes, ultramicrotomes, gel imagers, or computer systems.

Institutional Limit: 1 Proposal
Internal Deadline: April 30, 2021 4:45 pm

The William T. Grant Scholars Program supports career development for promising early-career researchers. The program funds five-year research and mentoring plans that significantly expand junior researchers' expertise in new disciplines, methods, and content areas. Applicants should have a track record of conducting high-quality research and an interest in pursuing a significant shift in their trajectories as researchers. They recognize that early-career researchers are rarely given incentives or support to take measured risks in their work, so this award includes a mentoring component, as well as a supportive academic community.

Focus Areas:
The Foundation's mission is to support research to improve the lives of young people ages 5-25 in the United States. Researchers must select one focus area:

Reducing Inequality - They support studies that aim to build, test, or increase understanding of programs, policies, or practices to reduce inequality in the academic, social, behavioral, or economic outcomes of young people, especially on the basis of race, ethnicity, economic standing, language minority status, or immigrant origins.

Improving the Use of Research Evidence - They support research to identify, build, and test strategies to ensure that research evidence is used in ways that benefit youth. They are particularly interested in research on improving the use of research evidence by state and local decision makers, mid-level managers, and intermediaries.

Institutional Limit: 1 Proposal per College
Internal Deadline: April 30, 2021 4:45 pm

The DEI in STEM Higher Education Program at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is seeking to invest in Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and in the establishment of partnerships between MSIs and graduate programs at other colleges and universities. The Foundation’s Equity-Minded Pathways to STEM Graduate Education program will support institutional pathways from MSIs to master’s and doctoral degree programs in astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, data science, Earth sciences, economics, engineering, marine science, mathematics, physics, and statistics. The intent is to create and strengthen diverse, inclusive, and equitable pathways to and through STEM graduate education with the recognition that student pathways are too often disrupted by systemic racism, discrimination, and bias through prevailing institutional and departmental policy and practice.

The Sloan Foundation is soliciting Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) for projects that seek to dismantle systemic barriers and create sustainable pathways to graduate education in the above disciplines for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students. Compelling LOIs will result in the invitation of a full proposal. Proposed projects may take multiple forms, including, for example, planning activities on MSI campuses that set the stage for new pathways between MSIs and graduate programs at other MSIs or at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs); projects that establish mutually beneficial partnerships between undergraduate and graduate programs at two or more institutions, at least one of which must be a MSI; and reform of graduate recruitment efforts, admission policies and processes, mentoring practices, and other gatekeeping (or gateway) structures within STEM graduate programs that open doors for students from MSIs.

Please note, all projects must have at least one MSI partner. It is preferred, but not required, that the primary PI be housed at the MSI.

Please note that the requirements for this submission
differ from the standard limited submission.

Institutional Limit: 1 Proposal
Internal Deadline: May 7, 2021 4:45 pm
Important Updates
Hanover Research Queue Proposal Review Availability
Between April 20 - May 31, 2021
After June 22, 2021

In order to provide resources for faculty and staff, Auburn University has partnered with Hanover Research for a number of grant development solutions including: Pre-proposal Support; Proposal Development; and Capacity Building. Their full-service grant development solutions are available to set goals, build strategies to achieve key grant-seeking objectives, and develop grant proposals that are well-planned, researched, and written. For information regarding Hanover’s core capabilities and project time lines, click here. If you are interested in a slot in the queue, please e-mail Tony Ventimiglia ( ).
NSF Updates to Proposal Submission System

Three new proposal types now accepted:
  • Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED)
  • Equipment
  • Travel

New Proposal Withdrawal Functionality:
  • Withdraw single submission and separately submitted collaborative proposals
  • Organizations no longer have to contact NSF Help Desk to initiate withdrawal

New Training Resources:
  • FAQs by topic
  • Proposal demo video
  • How-to Guides
NEH Summer Stipend Applications Available

Auburn University can nominate two applicants for NEH Summer Stipends (summer 2022). Dr. Paula Backscheider is head of the five-person committee that selects our nominees. Last year we had several competitive applicants, and we hope to have another successful cycle. 
Summer Stipends carry an award of $6,000 for scholarly projects including books, articles, digital materials, translations, editions and other scholarly resources.
Applicants should read the NEH guidelines carefully and submit an electronic copy of a polished draft of the NEH application form to the Auburn NEH Committee by the deadline:  June 15, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.  The official form is available on the NEH Summer Stipends website .
The application is composed of
  • The cover sheet
  • 3-page narrative
  • 1 page bibliography (which should demonstrate preparation for the project)
  • 2-page resume (in editing the full resume, proof of competence for the project should be a priority)
  • Appendices if relevant
Applications should be submitted to Dr. Backscheider at who will be collecting them and coordinating with the committee this summer. The committee will make its selections after that and will work with the selected nominees to refine their proposals. The NEH deadline is September 22, 2021. NEH accepts applications only from those nominated by their university or organization.
Federal Agency Coronavirus Resource Hubs
Funding Opportunity Reminders

This NEH program supports projects that interpret and analyze humanities content in primarily digital platforms and formats, such as websites, mobile applications and tours, interactive touch screens and kiosks, games, and virtual environments. All projects should demonstrate the potential to attract a broad, general, non-specialist audience, either online or in person at venues such as museums, libraries, or other cultural institutions. Applicants may choose to identify particular communities and groups, including students, to whom a project may have particular appeal.

Draft Proposals Due (Optional): May 5, 2021
Proposals Due: June 9, 2021
FY 2021 DoD Funding Opportunities

Multiple opportunities available with varying due dates for each program. Click on the program names below for links to the relevant websites.

New Funding Opportunities

The Mark Foundation Emerging Leader Awards support innovative cancer research from the next generation of leaders. These grants are awarded to outstanding early career investigators to support high-impact, high-risk projects that are distinct from their current research portfolio.

Letters of Intent Due: May 3, 2021 5:00 pm ET

This program builds upon the preceding National Robotics Initiative (NRI) programs to support fundamental research in the United States that will advance the science of robot integration. The program supports research that promotes integration of robots to the benefit of humans including human safety and human independence. Collaboration between academic, industry, non-profit, and other organizations is encouraged to establish better linkages between fundamental science and engineering and technology development, deployment, and use.

Proposals Due: May 3, 2021 5:00 pm

The National Science Foundation Directorates for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Engineering (ENG), and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) will jointly sponsor new research collaborations consisting of mathematicians, statisticians, electrical engineers, and computer scientists. Research activities should be focused on explicit topics involving some of the most challenging theoretical questions in the general area of Mathematical and Scientific Foundations of Deep Learning. Each collaboration should conduct training through research involvement of recent doctoral degree recipients, graduate students, and/or undergraduate students from across this multi-disciplinary spectrum.

When responding to this solicitation, even though proposals must be submitted through the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Division of Mathematical Sciences (MPS/DMS), once received, the proposals will be managed by a cross-disciplinary team of NSF Program Directors. PI teams must collectively possess appropriate expertise in three disciplines - computer science, electrical engineering, and mathematics/statistics. Each project must clearly demonstrate substantial collaborative contributions from members of their respective communities; projects that increase diversity and broaden participation are encouraged.

Proposals Due: May 12, 2021 5:00 pm

There are currently no FDA approved disease-modifying treatments available for frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and symptomatic treatments only provide limited benefit for patients. Recent scientific advances have provided an increased understanding of pathogenic mechanisms underlying FTD and are driving the development of potential disease-modifying therapies. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) seek to accelerate this progress by supporting innovative small molecule and biologic (antibodies, oligonucleotides, peptides, gene therapy etc.) drug development programs for FTD through this request for proposals (RFP). Drug targets in the areas of inflammation and proteostasis will be considered high priority.

The RFP supports:
  • Lead optimization of novel disease-modifying compounds, including medicinal chemistry refinement and in vitro ADME.
  • In vivo testing of novel lead compounds, biologics, vaccines, or repurposed drug candidates in relevant animal models for pharmacokinetics, dose-range finding, target engagement, in vivo efficacy, and/or preliminary rodent tolerability studies.

Letters of Intent Due: May 28, 2021 5:00 pm ET

The Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood is an incubator of promising research and development projects that appear likely to improve the welfare of young children, from infancy through 7 years, in the United States. Welfare is broadly defined to include physical and mental health, safety, nutrition, education, play, familial support, acculturation, societal integration and childcare.
Grants are only made if a successful project outcome will likely be of significant interest to other professionals, within the grantee’s field of endeavor, and would have a direct benefit and potential national application. The Foundation’s goal is to provide seed money to implement those imaginative proposals that exhibit the greatest chance of improving the lives of young children, on a national scale. Because of the Foundation’s limited funding capability, it seeks to maximize a grant's potential impact.
The Foundation provides funding in the following areas:
  • Early Childhood Welfare
  • Early Childhood Education and Play
  • Parenting Education

Letters of Intent Due: May 31, 2021

The High-End Instrumentation (HEI) Grant program encourages applications from groups of NIH-supported investigators to purchase or upgrade a single item of high-end, specialized, commercially available instruments or integrated systems. The minimum award is $600,001. There is no maximum price limit for the instrument; however, the maximum award is $2,000,000. Instruments supported include, but are not limited to, biomedical imagers, high throughput robotic screening systems, X-ray diffractometers, mass spectrometers, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers, DNA and protein sequencers, biosensors, electron and light microscopes, and cell sorters.

Proposals Due: June 1, 2021 5:00 pm
Proposal Services & Faculty Support
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