Vice President for Research & Economic Development
Proposal Services & Faculty Support
December Funding Focus Newsletter #1
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

This Appendix G to the already announced/awarded NASA EPSCoR ISS Flight Opportunity acts as a stand-alone solicitation. This is an opportunity to propose a suborbital flight aboard a commercial suborbital vehicle funded by the Space Technology Mission Directorate’s Flight Opportunities program and is for current or previously funded EPSCoR projects or other research projects that are mature enough to design a research experiment or develop research experimental hardware to the point that it can be flown in a suborbital environment. Each NASA-funded EPSCoR proposal is expected to perform scientific and/or technical research in areas that support NASA’s strategic research and technology development priorities and contribute to the overall research infrastructure, science and technology capabilities of higher education, and economic development of the jurisdiction receiving funding.

There is no requirement that Science/Co PIs be U.S. citizens, however, foreign nationals (e.g., non-U.S. citizens who do not have a green card) will likely not be permitted access to NASA Centers. This may or may not be relevant to the research being proposed. The Science-I/Co-I's should propose for $180,000 (which will be a sub-award from UAH).

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

Questions? Please contact AU Space Grant Director David Beale - x3336

Institutional Limit: 1 Proposal
Internal Deadline: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 4:45 pm
Full Proposal Due to Alabama EPSCoR: January 18, 2021

The purpose of the BRAG program is to support the generation of new information that will assist Federal regulatory agencies [USDA’s – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Biotechnology Regulatory Services (APHIS-BRS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Food and Drug Administration (FDA)] in making science-based decisions about the environmental effects of introducing genetically engineered (GE) organisms by recombinant nucleic acid techniques. The organisms include plants, microorganisms (including fungi, bacteria, and viruses), arthropods, fish, birds, livestock, and other animals these include related wild and agricultural organisms.

The BRAG program supports applied and/or fundamental research relevant to environmental risk assessment, including biological risk, and the Federal regulatory process. When evaluating GE organisms, Federal regulators must answer the following four general questions:

  1. Is there a hazard? (Potential hazard identification);
  2. How likely is the hazard to occur? (Quantifying the probability of occurrence; identifying likely exposure scenarios);
  3. What is the severity and extent of the hazard if it occurs? (Quantifying the effects); and
  4. Is there an effect beyond what might occur with an unmodified organism or an organism that has similar traits, but was developed using other technologies?

The BRAG program will also support risk management research, which is defined as either:
  1. Research aimed primarily at reducing negative effects of specific biotechnology derived agents; or
  2. A policy and decision-making process that uses risk assessment data in deciding how to avoid or mitigate the negative consequences identified in a risk assessment.

Internal Limit: 1 Proposal
Internal Deadline: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 4:45 pm
Funder's Letter of Intent Deadline: January 21, 2021
Full Applications Due: February 24, 2021

The purpose of the Program is to provide start-up monies for new research projects in the field of neuroscience that will likely lead to extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other outside funding sources. The objective of the program is to support new and innovative projects, especially those of junior faculty, who are working in new research directions. BRF Seed Grant awards are not intended to supplement existing grants. The area of studies is brain function. This includes molecular and clinical neuroscience as well as studies of neural, sensory, motor, cognitive, behavioral and emotional functioning in health and disease.

Funding preferences are as follows:
  • Funding is to be directed at pilot research projects that are both innovative and will likely lead to successful grant applications to NIH and other public and private funding entities.
  • Assistant Professor: Junior faculty with a new research project that will generate pilot data that will lead to RO1 funding or a comparable outside grant will be first priority.
  • Associate Professor: Faculty who are pursuing new research directions. Must explain how the project is a new research direction. Must provide abstract and specific aims for current grant(s). (Note: A new technique is not considered a new direction unless it pertains to a different area of study.)
  • Seed Grants are not to be used for bridge funding between grants.

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

Internal Limit: 1 Proposal
Internal Deadline: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 4:45 pm
Funder's Letter of Intent Deadline: January 5, 2021
Full Applications Due: March 30, 2021
Important Update for Sponsored Programs Agreements

Effective December 1, 2020 all Sponsored Programs Agreements (including industry contracts) will be negotiated and handled by the Office of Sponsored Programs. As such, all award documents (grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, etc.) received electronically should be sent to and they will be distributed to the appropriate Contract Administrator for processing. Note that the template agreements on the OSP Website have been updated to reflect the address change - please ensure that the new versions of these agreements are utilized moving forward. The AU Principal Investigator Handbook has also been updated.

Under the DMS Policy, NIH requires researchers to prospectively plan for how scientific data will be preserved and shared through submission of a Data Management and Sharing Plan (Plan). Upon NIH approval of a Plan, NIH expects researchers and institutions to implement data management and sharing practices as described. The DMS Policy is intended to establish expectations for Data Management and Sharing Plans, which applicable NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices (ICO) may supplement as appropriate. It also emphasizes the importance of good data management practices and establishes the expectation for maximizing the appropriate sharing of scientific data generated from NIH-funded or conducted research, with justified limitations or exceptions. This Policy applies to research funded or conducted by NIH that results in the generation of scientific data.
Help us improve by filling out a brief survey:

Our Funding Focus newsletter is sent out to Auburn University faculty and researchers with the goal of providing an assortment of funding opportunity announcements and information designed to help you reach your research goals. Please help us continue to improve our services to you by filling out this brief survey:
Federal Agency Coronavirus Resource Hubs

This initiative will support the use of longitudinal cohorts to develop greater understanding of important elements of influenza immunity that impact vaccine response and vaccine effectiveness in older adults (those 65 and older). In addition, this work will increase our understanding of how these elements relate to severe outcomes from influenza virus infection in older adults (i.e., hospitalization and death).
Letters of Intent Due: January 4, 2021
Full Proposals Due: February 4, 2021

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), issued by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), is to encourage Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant (R21) applications that employ innovative research to identify mechanisms of influence and/or promote positive sustainable health behavior(s) in children and youth (birth to age 18). Positive health behaviors may include: developing healthy sleep patterns, developing effective self-regulation strategies, adaptive decision-making in risk situations, practicing proper dental hygiene, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, engaging in age-appropriate physical activity and/or participating in healthy relationships.

Applications to promote positive health behavior(s) should target social and cultural contexts, including, but not limited to: schools, families, communities, population, food industry, age-appropriate learning tools and games, social media, social networking, technology and mass media. Topics to be addressed in this announcement include: effective, sustainable processes for influencing young people to make healthy behavior choices; identification of the appropriate stage of influence for learning sustainable lifelong health behaviors; the role of technology and new media in promoting healthy behavior; identification of factors that support healthy behavior development in vulnerable populations; and, identification of mechanisms and mediators that are common to the development of a range of habitual health behaviors. Given the many factors involved in developing sustainable health behaviors, applications from multidisciplinary team that include nurse scientists are strongly encouraged. The goal of this FOA is to promote research that identifies and enhances processes that promote sustainable positive behavior or changes social and cultural norms that influence health and future health behaviors.

Proposals Due: January 7, 2021

The Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities program supports national or regional (multistate) training programs for scholars, humanities professionals, and advanced graduate students to broaden and extend their knowledge of digital humanities. Through this program NEH seeks to increase the number of humanities scholars and practitioners using digital technology in their research and to broadly disseminate knowledge about advanced technology tools and methodologies relevant to the humanities.

Applicants may apply to create institutes that are a single opportunity or are offered multiple times to different audiences. Institutes may be as short as a few days or as long as six weeks and held at a single site or at multiples sites; virtual institutes are also permissible. Training opportunities could be offered before or after regularly occurring scholarly meetings, during the summer months, or during appropriate times of the academic year. The duration of a program should allow for full and thorough treatment of the topic; it should also be appropriate for the intended audience.

These professional development programs may focus on a particular computational method, such as network or spatial analysis. They may also target the needs of a particular humanities discipline or audience. 

(Optional) Draft Proposals Due: January 19, 2021
Full Proposals Due: March 2, 2021

The National Science Foundation (NSF), through its Science of Science program (PD 19-125Y), encourages research on broadening participation in entrepreneurship and innovation. The purpose of this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) is to invite proposals identifying contextual factors and mitigation strategies to enhance participation and success of various populations in STEM entrepreneurship and innovation. This DCL is supported by five allied programs from five NSF Directorates and Offices, reflecting the broad support and timeliness of this "BPINNOVATE" effort.

Click here to read the entire Dear Colleague Letter.

Proposals Due: February 9, 2021

The Environmental Convergence Opportunities in Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (ECO-CBET) solicitation will support fundamental research activities that confront vexing environmental engineering and sustainability problems by developing foundational knowledge underlying processes and mechanisms such that the design of innovative new materials, processes, and systems is possible. Projects should be compelling and reflect sustained, coordinated efforts from highly interdisciplinary research teams. A key objective of the solicitation is to encourage dialogue and tightly integrated collaborations wherein the chemical process systems, transport phenomena, and bioengineering communities engage with environmental engineering and sustainability experts to spark innovation and arrive at unanticipated solutions. Furthermore, training the future workforce to successfully engage in discipline-transcending research will support continued innovation toward surmounting the complex environmental and sustainability challenges facing our global community.

Proposals Due: February 11, 2021

NSF's Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) Big Idea is a national-scale activity to enable new modes of data-driven discovery that will allow fundamental questions to be asked and answered at the frontiers of science and engineering. In 2019, the HDR Big Idea launched three parallel efforts in pursuit of these aims: Institutes for Data-Intensive Research in Science and Engineering (I-DIRSE), HDR: Transdisciplinary Research In Principles Of Data Science Phase I (HDR TRIPODS Phase I), and Data Science Corps (DSC).

The Data Science Corps is one of the components of the HDR ecosystem enabling education and workforce development by focusing on building capacity for harnessing the data revolution at the local, state, and national levels to help unleash the power of data in the service of science and society. The Data Science Corps will provide practical experiences, teach new skills, and offer learning opportunities in different settings. This solicitation prompts the community to envision creative educational pathways that will transform data science education and expand the data science talent pool by enabling the participation of undergraduate and Master’s degree students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, skills, and technical maturity in the Data Science Corps. These activities are envisioned to be inherently collaborative, with a lead organization and one or more collaborating organizations.

Proposals Due: February 12, 2021
Proposal Services & Faculty Support
844-5929 /