COVID-19 Funding Opportunities Supplement
May 8, 2020
A Note from the Research Development Team

To accommodate new COVID-19 funding opportunities with quick turn-around times, we will be sending supplements to this monthly newsletter when appropriate.  Our team is working remotely and is available to provide assistance via email, phone, or Zoom conferencing. As circumstances are evolving quickly, please also refer to our   FAS RAS website and the OSP website for information about submitting proposals and managing your awards.
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Unless otherwise noted, all proposals to funders outside of Harvard must be sent for review to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) five business days prior to the sponsor deadline. We can help you navigate the routing process for your proposal.

Questions? Please contact Paige Belisle, Research Development Officer at  or 617-496-7672.

News and Announcements
Star-Friedman Challenge for Promising Scientific Research: Update
New Deadline: May 20, 2020
The Star-Friedman Challenge will briefly reopen to accept proposals related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the magnitude of the global crisis which emerged shortly after the original deadline in February, the Challenge is interested in expanding its application pool to include high-risk and high-impact research projects in the life, physical, and social sciences with relevance to COVID-19. Read more here.
*Indicates opportunities new to this supplement
C OVID-19 Funding Opportunities 

This supplemental newsletter will highlight opportunities relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: May 29, 2020
Sponsor Deadline: June 5, 2020
Award Amount: up to $100,000

The Booz Allen Foundation has established the Innovation Fund to help nonprofits, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, innovators at colleges and universities, and startups and small businesses harness the power of data, technology, and diverse intellectual capital to improve COVID-19 relief efforts and make a difference. The Foundation wants to surface the most innovative solutions and empower the individuals and organizations behind those solutions to drive their development and implementation.  Through the Innovation Fund, the Foundation is specifically targeting solutions and projects that will build lasting community resilience through protecting vulnerable populations and frontline workers or providing for the safe return to work.
Credits for COVID-19 Research
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling
Award Amount: no budget limit stated; research credits are meant to fully fund COVID-19 related research in accordance with the proposal submitted.

The Harvard Global Health Institute is partnering with Google Cloud to enable researchers to harness the power of the Cloud in their fight against COVID-19. Google will be funding COVID-19 related research projects for potential treatments, techniques and datasets, and working with the Harvard Global Health Institute to prioritize grant recipients based on the project impact on public health. Preference will be given to projects that plan to make their datasets publicly available and referenceable. Unlike academic research seed grants, COVID-19 research grants are designed to fund urgent public health related projects in-full. COVID-19 research grants are valid for 90 days only. Projects will be evaluated based on four criteria:
  • Is the work timely and essential?
  • Is it innovative?
  • Is it feasible?
  • Is there an articulated need for Google Cloud credits?
All research approaches will be considered under this call, including areas such as clinical research, bench science research, drug delivery and therapeutics research, health services and policy research, and epidemiological research.
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission 
Sponsor Deadline: varies; please see below
Award Amount: varies; please see below

The following J-PAL initiatives are opening dedicated off-cycle rounds to fund research by J-PAL affiliates and invited researchers that will generate rapid, actionable insights that can help inform policy responses to the pandemic. Proposals for each of these off-cycle windows can be  submitted through a common application .
  • J-PAL South Asia's Cash Transfers for Child Health (CaTCH): Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis, and must involve a government partnership in India.
  • The Crime and Violence Initiative (CVIis now accepting off-cycle proposals for time-sensitive research that tests or supports strategies for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. The recommended cap for funding is $50,000, but proposals that demonstrate a clear need for additional funding will be considered. Proposals will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • Innovation in Government Initiative (IGI): IGI is accepting proposals for up to US $25,000 for short-term, quick-response technical assistance and/or analysis for government partners that has the potential to mitigate the spread and/or consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in low- and middle-income countries, particularly for low-income and other vulnerable communities. The IGI Co-Chairs will review applications on a rolling basis starting Friday March 27 and aim to issue funding decisions within 1-1.5 weeks.
  • J-PAL North America Short Term Research Management Program (STReaM): Research projects may need to adapt quickly in the context of COVID-19. STReaM makes experienced research management staff available to help researchers in the North America region navigate these challenges. STReaM will continue to accept requests for support through its regular application process.
J-PAL is prioritizing projects that can start promptly and would be willing to share preliminary results online in weeks--not months--so they can feed back to knowledge and decisions quickly in the fight against COVID-19. All applications must follow  J-PAL's COVID-19 response guidelines  and must not increase in-person interactions. All research and technical assistance must take place remotely via phone, email, video calls, etc. and have necessary IRB approvals for any research components. 
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: June 11, 2020
Sponsor Deadline: June 18, 2020
Award Amount: varies

Solve is an initiative of MIT with a mission to solve world challenges. COVID-19 is the latest in a series of infectious disease emergencies, including cholera, Ebola, SARS, Chikungunya, HIV/AIDS, and influenza. In the near term, we need improved solutions for prevention, accurate detection, and rapid response. MIT Solve is seeking tech innovations that can slow and track the spread of an emerging outbreak. Examples include improving individual hygiene, developing low-cost rapid diagnostics, analyzing data that informs decision making, and providing tools that support and protect health workers. Solve is also seeking solutions that focus on preventative and mitigation measures that strengthen access to affordable primary healthcare systems, enhance disease surveillance systems, and improve healthcare supply chains.
All solutions selected will receive a $10,000 grant. In addition to this funding, the following prizes are available to Solver teams selected for the Health Security & Pandemics Challenge:
  • The Elevate Prize for Health Security will be awarded to one Solver team. The Solver team that is selected will be named an Elevate Prize Global Hero and will participate in both the MIT Solver program and the Elevate Prize Global Heroes program, receiving a minimum of $300,000 over two years and ongoing support from the Elevate Prize Foundation and MIT Solve.
  • The AI for Humanity Prize is open to solutions that are already using strong data science, artificial intelligence, or machine learning to benefit humanity, and to solutions that are not yet using these technologies but plan to do so to amplify their impact in the future. Up to $200,000 will be granted across several Solver teams.
  • Solutions that use innovative technology to improve quality of life for women and girls are eligible for the Innovation for Women Prize. Up to $75,000 will be granted across up to three Solver teams.
  • The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion is open to solutions that advance the economic, financial, and political inclusion of refugees. Up to $100,000 will be granted to up to four eligible Solver teams.
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Sponsor Deadline: varies
Award Amount: varies
In light of the emergence and spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States and abroad, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting proposals to conduct non-medical, non-clinical-care research that can be used immediately to explore how to model and understand the spread of COVID-19, to inform and educate about the science of virus transmission and prevention, and to encourage the development of processes and actions to address this global challenge. NSF encourages the research community to respond to this challenge through  existing funding opportunities . In addition, researchers are invited to use the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism, which allows NSF to receive and review proposals having a severe urgency with regard to availability of or access to data, facilities or specialized equipment as well as quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic disasters and similar unanticipated events. Requests for RAPID proposals may be for up to $200K and up to one year in duration. Well-justified proposals that exceed these limits may be entertained. All questions should be directed either to a program officer managing an NSF program with which the research would be aligned or t
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Sponsor Deadline: varies by NOSI
Award Amount: varies
NIH has compiled Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Funding at the link above. This includes guidance for proposal submission and award management, answers to frequently asked questions, and funding opportunities.

To get funding as quickly as possible to the research community, NIH is using Urgent and Emergency competing revisions and administrative supplements to existing grant awards. This approach allows NIH to leverage resident expertise, getting additional funding to those researchers who are already working with other organisms, models, or tools so that they can quickly shift focus to the novel coronavirus. These Urgent and Emergency competitive revision Funding Opportunity Announcements allow NIH to fund applications quickly, often in under three months, because evaluation for scientific and technical merit is done by an internal review panel convened by staff of the NIH awarding institute or center rather than by the  traditional peer review process. These opportunities require applications to be submitted in response to an Emergency or Urgent Notice of Special Interest (NOSI). In addition to the opportunities for revisions and supplements to existing awards, other notices of special interest seek full research project grant proposals to conduct research on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-2019 through an array of parent FOAs. NIH is maintaining a list of COVID-19 specific notices of special interest in the funding opportunities section at the link above. 
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling
Award Amount: OTF offers direct financial support of up to $50,000 for a period of six months or less as well as technical services from trusted partners. See list of service providers and supported services  here
Given the magnitude of the global COVID-19 crisis, the Open Technology Fund (OTF) has increased the total pool of funding available through the  Rapid Response Fund  for interventions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rapid Response Fund aims to facilitate the digital emergency response community to resolve threats in a timely and comprehensive manner for individuals, communities, and organizations. Examples of COVID-19-related rapid response projects could include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Circumvention solutions to access blocked health and safety information and to respond to increased COVID-19-related censorship
  • Secure hosting for health and safety websites
  • Guidance / assistance on digital security best practices while working from home, including updating existing resources
  • Research and documentation on censorship of COVID-19 health and safety information and/or the increasing use of surveillance technology 
Support is only available through the Rapid Response Fund when there is a clear time-sensitive digital emergency in which an applicant is seeking short-term and urgent support. The Rapid Response Fund does not provide support for projects that are more long-term in nature or that aim to build digital security capacity among groups or organizations. 
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Sponsor Deadline: Rolling 
Award Amount:  The average Pioneer grant in 2019 was $315,031. However, there is not an explicit range for budget requests. Grant periods are flexible, though generally range from 1 to 3 years.

Pioneering Ideas: Exploring the Future to Build a Culture of Health seeks proposals that are primed to influence health equity in the future. The Foundation is interested in ideas that address any of these four areas of focus: Future of Evidence; Future of Social Interaction; Future of Food; and Future of Work. Additionally, the Foundation welcomes ideas that might fall outside of these four focus areas, but which offer unique approaches to advancing health equity and progress toward a Culture of Health.

The Foundation wants to hear from scientists, anthropologists, artists, urban planners, and community leaders--anyone, anywhere who has a new or unconventional idea that could alter the trajectory of health, and improve health equity and well-being for generations to come. The changes the Foundation seeks require diverse perspectives and cannot be accomplished by any one person, organization, or sector. 

Please Note:  While this call for proposals is focused on broader and longer-term societal trends and shifts that were evolving prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Foundation recognizes that the unique circumstances and learning created by the COVID-19 pandemic may inform your response. It is at your discretion whether you propose a project related to the pandemic directly or indirectly.
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: May 14, 2020
Sponsor Deadline: May 21, 2020
Award Amount: up to $175,000

Because of the effects of COVID-19 on all facets of American life, the Russell Sage Foundation is changing its immediate priorities for letters of inquiry for the May 21, 2020, deadline. For this deadline, RSF will only consider LOIs that satisfy at least one of the following criteria:
  • The research is so timely and time-sensitive that the project must start before April 1, 2021; or,
  • The research analyzes social, political, economic, or psychological disruptions resulting from the coronavirus crisis that affect social and living conditions in the United States.
All LOIs must focus on issues related to the foundation's core program areas and special initiatives: Behavioral Economics; Decision-Making and Human Behavior in Context; Future of Work; Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration; Social, Political, and Economic Inequality.  Any LOIs submitted for the May 21 deadline must include an appendix of one or two pages that explains why the proposed research meets either or both criteria. This appendix does not count against the usual page limits for LOIs.  RSF will accept LOIs in all programs and special initiatives for the August 5, 2020 deadline, with funding decisions made at the March 2021 board of trustees meeting, according to its usual guidelines.
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: May 13, 2020
Sponsor Deadline: May 20, 2020
Award Amount: $15,000

The Sasaki Foundation believes design has the power to address the most urgent challenges facing us, from social equity to environmental resilience. Design is an agent of change. And yet, access to design - for communities that need it most - is often limited. To that end, the Foundation is inviting proposals for its Design Grants program, which encourages teams to use the power of design to create more vibrant places, buildings, landscapes, and public realms. 
Through the program, three grants of $15,000 will be awarded to winning teams in support of creative, interdisciplinary approaches to new design concepts that address complex challenges. Projects may be dedicated to proactive approaches to climate adaptation, housing or transit inequities, displacement of residents, or how to foster community building. The Foundation is particularly interested in proposals that address health and wellness in light of the current pandemic. 

Support includes time in the Incubator at Sasaki in Watertown, Massachusetts - an open and collaborative shared studio space for innovators - and access to design expertise from Sasaki professionals. Projects must engage communities in the Gateway Cities, Metro West, and the greater Boston area, including Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Peabody, Pittsfield, Quincy, Revere, Salem, Springfield, Taunton, Westfield, and Worcester. Applicants must be a team of two to four individuals, with at least one of the individuals from the community in which the project will be located. Teams may consist of either individuals or representatives of nonprofits, civic, and community organizations. Teams are encouraged to be multidisciplinary in their composition and thinking.
Rapid Response Grants on COVID-19 and the Social Sciences
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: May 22, 2020
Sponsor Deadline: June 1, 2020
Award Amount: $2,000 - $5,000

While essential public health and economic research in measuring and modeling COVID-19 and its effects is underway, the full range of the social sciences--its questions, analytical frameworks, and methods--needs to be drawn upon to understand the pandemic as a social phenomenon, and to inform responses based on knowledge of human interactions and institutions. While new knowledge is urgently needed, in the present moment many social science research methodologies are either not possible or require adaptation in order to protect the health and safety of both researchers and research subjects. The SSRC's COVID-19 Rapid-Response Grants thus support innovative research projects that deploy remote research methods to shed light on both the short- and potential long-term effects of COVID-19 across a range of issues. These include:
  • "Social distancing" and virtual social interaction
  • Governance and democracy
  • Public trust and (dis)information
  • Social inequality and the pandemic's disproportionate effects by race and ethnicity
  • The lessons of past disasters, and responses to them, for the present
  • The role of religious ideas, practices, and institutions in responding to the pandemic
  • The workplace and labor markets
  • Technology, surveillance, and ethics
  • The uses of, and the limits to, modeling in responses to the pandemic's effects and in scenario planning
These topics are illustrative. Applicants are welcome to propose others. Projects focused on groups most affected by the pandemic are especially encouraged, as are those that can constructively inform responses across communities, public actors and institutions, and others.
Social Data Research Fellowships
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: June 9, 2020
Sponsor Deadline: June 16, 2020
Award Amount: up to $50,000

The Social Data Research Fellowship seeks to encourage multifaceted pathways for the collection and analysis of social data, with the larger aim of cultivating robust research on technology and society. In particular, the SSRC is interested in supporting research that makes creative use of available social data to investigate how social media interacts with democracy and elections. Expanding ethical scholarly access, use, and analysis of a range of social data is critical to understanding the complex ways that social media and other technologies impact political life and processes. Fellowships will support research projects of up to 12 months in length that are focused on two key areas: 
  1. Advancing scholarly research on the role of social media in elections and democracy, with an emphasis on the 2020 US elections, including local, state, and/or national primary or general elections. Topics may include (but are not limited to) disinformation, polarization, election integrity, political engagement, political advertising, microtargeting, voter suppression, forms of algorithmic bias related to elections, the impact of news reporting and changes to the media ecosystem, or other related areas. Research that explores more than one social media platform or the relationship between social media platforms is particularly welcome, as is research that explores the disproportionate effects on the political participation of women and under-represented groups.
  2. Expanding best practices and methods for accessing and analyzing relevant data that can inform our understanding of the impact of social media on democracy, including (but not limited to) new methods of data collection and sharing; exploring implications for data privacy and ethics; alternative proxy data to inform our broader understanding of proprietary social media data; and ethnographic, journalistic, or other qualitative approaches to data collection.
COVID-19: The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly changed the policy, electoral, and media landscapes related to the 2020 US elections. This grant opportunity's primary emphasis is related to social media and the 2020 elections, as described above; however, applications that investigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as it intersects with the core themes outlined above are particularly encouraged. For example, explorations of policy debates, news, or disinformation circulated via social media on topics relevant to the 2020 US elections and amplified by circumstances related to COVID-19--such as vote-by-mail debates, health care policy, COVID-19 disinformation campaigns related to the election, and so on--are welcome.
Research Grants on Education: COVID-19 Special Grant Cycle
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: 5 business days prior to submission
Sponsor Deadline: May 18, 2020; June 8, 2020
Award Amount: up to $50,000

The COVID-19 Related Research Grants support education research projects that will contribute to understanding the rapid shifts in education in this time of crisis and change. The Spencer Foundation is especially interested in supporting two primary categories of projects. First, the Foundation is interested in supporting studies that aim to understand and disrupt the reproduction and deepening of educational inequality caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Second, the Foundation also recognizes that in times of great disruption and change, there may be opportunities to remake and imagine anew forms of equitable education. Thus, the Foundation is also interested in research projects that are working to reimagine educational opportunities in these times.
Deadline: May 20, 2020
Award Amount: up to $150,000 (Individuals); up to $300,000 (Collaborative Proposals)

The Star-Friedman Challenge will briefly reopen to accept proposals related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the magnitude of the global crisis which emerged shortly after the original deadline in February, the Challenge is interested in expanding its application pool to include high-risk and high-impact research projects in the life, physical, and social sciences with relevance to COVID-19. Ladder faculty in FAS, SEAS, HMS and HSPH may submit an application following the guidelines in the  initial call for proposals .

Award notifications are expected by mid-June 2020. The interdisciplinary Challenge event, originally scheduled for May 7, 2020, was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. Future plans will be announced on the Star-Friedman Challenge webpage as they are confirmed.
FAS/SEAS/OSP Deadline: May 28, 2020
Sponsor Deadline: June 4, 2020
Award Amount: varies by award type

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently added a program area to its main Agricultural and Food Research Initiative  RFA : Rapid Response to Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Impacts Across Food and Agricultural Systems.  There are four areas of priority: 
  • Health and Security of Livestock; 
  • Well-being of Farm, Food Service Providers, and Rural Americans; 
  • Economic Security; and 
  • Food Safety. 
Applicants should focus on critical and urgent research, extension, or integrated solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the nation's food and agricultural system. Applications should include strategies and knowledge that can be rapidly implemented to minimize or eliminate COVID-19 impacts on the nation's food and agricultural system. NIFA will expedite application evaluation and awards review to ensure rapid project start-up. 
For assistance, please contact:
Paige Belisle
Research Development Officer | 617-496-7672
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