Open Call RFPs

Guidelines for Open Call RFPs

When a sponsoring program announcement does not limit the number of submissions per institution, interested, qualified individuals are free, pending departmental policy and while working with their ORPA representative within the standard University process, to apply. When the office of Corporate Engagement and Foundation Relations learns of an open Request for Proposals (RFP) opportunity, the opportunity is posted to the CEFR website and an email is sent to the relevant department chairs, deans, institute directors, departmental managers, departmental grant managers, faculty and ORPA announcing the opportunity. The submission requirements for open calls are determined by each sponsoring institution and vary by opportunity.

Those qualified and interested in applying then work with their department and grant managers, ORPA and CEFR to make sure that the external submission documents are complete and delivered on time.

If you would like assistance working with your proposal, please contact Rajiv Hota.

A list of current open requests for proposals (RFPs) appears below. RFPs are sorted according to their submission deadlines. The title of each entry links to the website with more information about the opportunity.

Simons Foundation Targeted Grants in Mathematics and Physical Sciences — External Deadline: Rolling

The Simons Foundation’s Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) division invites applications for its new Targeted Grants in MPS program. The program is intended to support high-risk projects of exceptional promise and scientific importance on a case-by-case basis. A typical Targeted Grant in MPS provides funding for up to five years. The funding provided is flexible and based on the type of support requested in the proposal. There is no recommended funding limit. Expenses for experiments, equipment, or computations, as well as for personnel and travel, are allowable. The deadline is rolling and an applicant can submit at any time.

Cisco RFP for Secure and Private Internet of Things — External Deadline: Rolling

This new Cisco RFP with a rolling deadline (an applicant can submit at any time) requests researchers to propose innovative approaches to address issues like those listed below (but not necessarily limited to these):

  • End-to-end architectures that are massively scalable, secure and privacy-preserving from the ground up
  • Development of new IoT hardware platforms, operating systems, services, application development framework and networking technologies
  • Edge computing for processing data at the edge of the network
  • End-to-End homogeneous architectures leveraging new paradigms
  • Development of security application taking into consideration its behavior when errors and exception are encountered
  • Techniques that convert the massive amount of data collected from IoT devices into usable knowledge
  • Define new cryptographic computational models and security mechanisms for IoT devices to be secure for decades or more
  • Design of ultra-low power micro controllers with integrated security, providing encryption and anonymity, and better able to evolve and adapt to changing security needs
  • Well-governed supply chain, traceable hardware and software, defensible products, trustworthiness, resilience, transparency, and agile response to incidents
  • Technical or economic analysis of any of the above proposed approaches by others.

Comcast Innovation Fund Research Grants and Open Source Development Grants - $150K Max Anticipated — External Deadline: Rolling

The Comcast Innovation Fund offers funding for researchers at leading academic institutions and elsewhere to support research that is of mutual interest to Comcast and the research community. It also provides funding to support open source software development. Research Grants can be either general or targeted. Open Source Development Grants are intended to fund new or continued development of open source software in areas of interest to Comcast or of benefit to the Internet and broadband industries. Topics of interest are listed at and applicant instructions are posted at

Smith Richardson Foundation’s Programs in International Security & Domestic Public Policy — External Deadline: Rolling

The mission of the Smith Richardson Foundation is to contribute to important public debates and to address serious public policy challenges facing the United States. The Foundation seeks to help ensure the vitality of our social, economic, and governmental institutions. It also seeks to assist with the development of effective policies to compete internationally and to advance U.S. interests and values abroad.

  1. International Security & Foreign Policy Program: The objective of the International Security and Foreign Policy Program is to assist the U.S. policy community in developing effective national security strategies and foreign policies. The Foundation is committed to supporting projects that help the policy community face the fundamental challenge of ensuring the security of the United States, protecting and promoting American interests and values abroad, and enhancing international order.
  2. Domestic Public Policy: The Domestic Public Policy Program supports projects that will help the public and policy makers understand and address critical challenges facing the United States.  To that end, the Foundation supports research on and evaluation of existing public policies and programs, as well as projects that inject new ideas into public debates.

The Foundation has a two-stage application process. Initial inquiries should be submitted by mail in the form of the concept paper. Foundation staff will review the concept paper and, if the project is determined to be a good candidate for a grant, will ask an applicant to prepare a full-length proposal.

Concept papers should be addressed to:

Smith Richardson Foundation

60 Jesup Road

Westport, CT 06880

Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) Explorer Awards - $80K — External Deadline: Rolling

Explorer Awards are intended to provide resources to support exploratory experiments that will strengthen hypotheses and lead to the formulation of competitive applications for subsequent larger-scale funding by SFARI or other organizations. Innovative, high-risk/high-impact proposals are prioritized. We especially encourage applications from investigators who are new to the field of autism, but who have expertise that could be brought to bear on this complex disorder. The maximum budget is $80,000, including indirect costs for one year, non-renewable. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

Brain Tumor Funders' Collaborative (BTFC) RFP for Human Neuro-Immune System Research - $750K Max — External Deadline: May 11, 2018 6:00 p.m. ET

The Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative (BTFC) invites responses to its current funding initiative focused on understanding the complex dynamics among the constituents comprising the human neuro-immune system, the heterogeneity of the primary brain tumor, and the brain environment.  The BTFC is requesting proposals on the role of the neuro-immune system in the origin and progression of the immune responses in primary human brain tumors with the hope of developing immunotherapies for treatment of these tumors in patients. The initial response to the RFP requires pre-proposals describing studies on the complex roles of immune responses in the context of primary brain tumors in pediatric and/or adult human patients. To further its aims, the BTFC is considering supporting a small number of multi-disciplinary team-based projects. Teams should represent the requisite skills to carry out the proposed research including clinical oncology, tumor biology, neuro-immunology, computational modelling, and data science. The project manager (PI) must have a doctoral degree, including MD, PhD, D.Ph., DO or equivalent and hold a full-time faculty appointment with the Sponsoring Grantee Institution. Grants of up to $250,000 per year over three years to support a small number of multidisciplinary team-based projects is available. Completed pre-proposals must be submitted electronically by 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday, May 11, 2018 via the Apply Now button on the BTFC website as a single PDF file and must contain all required information.

Russell Sage Foundation (RSF) Program on Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration - $75K/$175K — External Deadline: May 24, 2018 2:00 p.m. ET

RSF launched its program on Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in the spring of 2015. This new program seeks investigator-initiated research proposals on the social, economic, and political effects of the changing racial and ethnic composition of the U.S. population, including the transformation of communities and ideas about what it means to be American. RSF is especially interested in innovative research that examines the roles of race, ethnicity, nativity, and legal status in outcomes for immigrants, U.S.-born racial and ethnic minorities, and native-born whites. A primary goal of the new program is to find ways in which researchers from different social science traditions studying issues of race, ethnicity, and immigration may complement one another in productive and innovative ways. Applications must be limited to no more than a two-year period, with a maximum of $175,000 per project, including 15% overhead. Projects that use publicly available data are capped at $75,000, including overhead. Refer to RSF’s website for upcoming deadlines, application guidelines, FAQs, and budget guidelines. All applications must be submitted through RFS’s online submission system. Instructions on how to apply are available here. Questions should be addressed to Letters of inquiry for this initiative must be received no later than May 24, 2018 2:00 p.m. ET. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal by August 15, 2018 2:00 p.m. ET.

Russell Sage Foundation/Carnegie Corporation Initiative on Immigration and Immigrant Integration - $75K/$175K — External Deadline: May 24, 2018 2:00 p.m. ET

The Russell Sage Foundation (RSF)/Carnegie Corporation Initiative on Immigration and Immigrant Integration seeks to support innovative research on the effects of race, citizenship, legal status, politics and political culture, and public policy on outcomes for immigrants and the native-born of different racial and ethnic groups and generations. This initiative falls under RSF’s Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Program and represents a special area of interest within the core program, which continues to encourage proposals on a broader set of issues. Applications must be limited to no more than a two-year period, with a maximum of $175,000 per project, including 15% overhead. Projects that use publicly available data are capped at $75,000, including overhead. Refer to RSF’s website for upcoming deadlines, application guidelines, FAQs, and budget guidelines. All applications must be submitted through RFS’s online submission system. Instructions on how to apply are available here. Questions should be addressed to Letters of inquiry for this initiative must be received no later than May 24, 2018 2:00 p.m. ET. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal by August 15, 2018 2:00 p.m. ET.

The Franklin Institute’s 2019 Bower Award & Prize for Achievement in Science - $250K — External Deadline: May 31, 2018

The Franklin Institute is seeking nominations for the 2019 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science. The prize recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to green and sustainable chemistry—chemistry focused on the technological design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. Nominations are encouraged in, but not limited to, these subtopics:

  • New chemical processes with reduced hazardous byproducts
  • Applications of supercritical fluids in chemical processes as environmentally benign solvents for chemical reactions, extractions, and chemical analyses
  • Utilization of ionic liquids as environmentally friendly alternatives to volatile and flammable solvents in chemical processes
  • Use of catalysts that make chemical processes more selective, less energy intensive, or more economical in their use of feedstock

Self-nominations are accepted and nominations must clearly indicate the scientific impact of the nominee’s work— innovative, technical, and/or conceptual—and, when applicable, the societal impact of the nominee’s work. The award, gold medal, and cash prize of $250,000 are presented annually to a distinguished member of the international scientific community for work in a prescribed discipline that changes each year. All nominations and supporting letters should be mailed or emailed by May 31, 2018 to the address provided at this website.  

Environmental Research & Education Foundation’s Sustainable Solid Waste Management Research - $160K Average — External Deadline: June 1, 2018 

EREF is accepting pre-proposals for its research in sustainable solid waste management grants program. The program supports research projects related to sustainable solid waste management practices, including waste minimization; recycling; waste conversion to energy, biofuels, chemicals, or other useful products; strategies to promote diversion to higher and better uses (e.g., organics diversion, market analysis, optimized material management, logistics, etc.); and landfilling. Previously awarded grants have ranged from $15,000 to over $500,000 with the average grant amount in recent years being $160,000. Typical project durations are about two years. Proposed research in excess of $300,000 or longer than three years should contain sufficient details that justify the need for the higher than average amount requested and longer project duration. Pre-proposals are REQUIRED prior to submitting a full proposal using the pre-proposal template. All pre-proposals shall be submitted through an online application found HERE. The deadline for submitting pre-proposals is June 1, 2018.

The 2019 Audacious Project - $100M+ Max Anticipated — External Deadline: June 10, 2018 (link is external)

Housed at TED, the project is a partnership between some of the most respected organizations in philanthropy and the public. The Audacious Project is attempting to address a major frustration faced by the world’s change-makers. Without access to venture capital or stock markets, social entrepreneurs have to pitch donors one-by-one, often a deeply inefficient process for all involved. The Audacious Project aims to: (1) encourage the world’s greatest change-agents to dream bigger (2) shape the best ideas into viable multi-year plans and (3) present those ideas in a compelling way to potential supporters. The goal is to make philanthropy more collaborative, more inspiring — and more effective. The process begins with a short online application. The most promising 200 applicants will be invited to make a fuller description of their plan. Each candidate idea goes through a rigorous due diligence process, with research and vetting done by staff at both TED and their partner, Bridgespan. They will finally select five ideas that are both truly audacious and have a viable path to execution. The five are likely to span a wide area of issues. These five initiatives are unveiled at the annual TED Conference in the spring, and are also presented privately to groups of donors. The goal is that each initiative attracts a community of supporters. The due date is June 10, 2018.

2019 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science - $50K — External Deadline: June 11, 2018 5:00 p.m. ET

The Vilcek Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of immigrant contributions to American society.  The Foundation will award three prizes of $50,000 each to young foreign-born biomedical scientists who demonstrate outstanding early achievement.  Eligible work may be in basic, applied, and/or translational biomedical science.  Applicants must be age 38 and under as of 12/31/2018.  The winners of the Creative Promise Prize in Biomedical Science will be notified by November 2018 and invited to attend the Vilcek Foundation’s annual awards ceremony in New York City, in the spring of 2019. An online application must be submitted by June 11, 2018 5:00 p.m. ET.

Simons Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Marine Microbial Ecology - $261K Max — External Deadline: June 15, 2018

The foundation is particularly interested in applicants with training in different fields who want to apply their experience to understanding the role of microorganisms in shaping ocean processes, and vice versa, as well as applicants with experience in modeling or theory development. While these cross-disciplinary applicants will receive particular attention, applicants already involved in ocean research are also encouraged to apply. The foundation anticipates awarding five fellowships in 2018. Applicants should have received their Ph.D. or equivalent degree within three years of the fellowship’s start date. Preference will be for applicants with no more than one year of postdoctoral experience. Up to $87,000 (stipend of $62,000 and allowance of up to $25,000) per year for three years, contingent upon satisfactory annual progress reports. Application deadline is June 15, 2018.

Hamdan bin Mohammed Awards for Innovation in Project Management - $40K Max — External Deadline: June 30, 2018

Award celebrates specialists, professionals & corporations that have developed an innovative approach to the management of projects, programs and portfolios. The Award offers professional innovators a platform to promote their best practices and to discover, encourage and celebrate innovation in Project Management. The Award calls all individuals, teams and organizations who have introduced innovative practices in the management of their projects, programs or portfolios. Compete for the “Research in Innovative Project Management Practices Award” or the “Innovative Use of Project Management Practices Award – Academic Category” $40,000. Application deadline is June 30, 2018.

Merck KGaA Open Opportunities (3) for Scientists & Entrepreneurs - €3K to €1,050K — External Deadline: August 15, 2018 for grants & challenges (May 1 for conference)

This year Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, is celebrating its 350th anniversary. Merck is the oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company in the world. On the occasion of this anniversary, Merck is offering the following opportunities in science and technology and inviting scientists and entrepreneurs to engage with the company:

  1. Curious2018 – Future Insight Conference
    Accomplished scientists, technology pioneers and entrepreneurs from all over the world come together at the Curious2018 conference from July 16-18, 2018 to present their work and to discuss the future of science and technology. If you would like to participate at the conference, apply for a free ticket. A detailed description of the conference, a listing of the renowned speakers as well as opportunities to participate are available at:
    Application deadline: May 1, 2018

  2. 350 Research Grants
    Merck is offering a series of research grants to stimulate innovative research in challenging areas of future importance. Merck intends to provide several research grants of up to EUR 350,000 per year for three years in various research areas with the option of extension or expansion. A detailed description of the grants and an opportunity to submit your research proposal are available at: (for U.S. and Canada)
    Application deadline: August 15, 2018

  3. 350 Research Challenges
    Participate in research challenges in the areas of compound synthesis, protein production and game-changing technologies. A detailed description of the challenges and prizes as well as an opportunity to register for participation are available at: (for U.S. and Canada)
    Application deadline: August 15, 2018