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 Research Foundation’s Opioid Relapse Reduction Therapeutics Grant - $50K — External Deadline: February 28, 2018 5:00 p.m. ET

Brain Research Foundation (BRF) invites eligible Principal Investigators to submit a LOI for the Opioid Relapse Reduction Therapeutics Grant. The goal of this program is to accelerate the development of new relapse reduction therapeutics. The purpose of this RFP is to support the development of novel, translational research that will help accelerate the understanding of the mechanisms associated with opioid use disorders and addiction, targeted to medication development for new relapse reduction therapeutics. The pre-clinical research areas of focus may include (but are not limited to): neurobiology of relapse to drug taking, identifying new chemicals for high potential for relapse reduction, repurposing of FDA-approved therapies for relapse reduction, alternative therapies, and vulnerability to relapse factors (e.g., genetics, epigenetics, environmental stresses). To be eligible, the PI must be a full-time tenure-track or tenured faculty at a U.S. institution, working in the area of study of opioid addiction. LOI deadline is February 28, 2018 5:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. CT).

Bay Area Lyme Foundation’s 2018 Emerging Leader Awards - $250K (1) & $100K (2) — External Deadline: February 28, 2018

The annual program supports new and innovative projects, with the goal of attracting new scientific talent to the field of Lyme disease.

1.         $250,000 ELA Grant: The $250,000 ELA grant targets veteran scientific talent with the title of associate professor or above who have not previously worked in Lyme disease research. Applicants must be at a US academic institution or corporate equivalent and propose to apply their work in other fields to therapeutics or diagnostics in Lyme disease. Research efforts funded by this award are required to generate initial proof of concept within 18-24 months.

2.         $100,000 ELA Grant: The $100,000 ELA grant is offered to researchers in academia or the private sector who are currently at the post-doctoral level through the assistant professor level, or equivalent. Applicants must have identified a defined approach to improving diagnostics or therapies for Lyme disease. Important criteria include demonstrated professional and scientific leadership in the biomedical sciences and a strong supporting scientific rationale for the project. Research efforts funded by this award are required to generate initial proof of concept within 12–18 months.

Applicants must complete an application, research proposal, and at least one supporting letter from their supervising manager or Principal Investigator, and send it to by February 28, 2018.

NJ Health Initiatives 2018 Call for Proposals - $100K — External Deadline: March 1, 2018 3:00 p.m. ET

The Upstream Action Acceleration initiative will support existing cross-sector coalitions working “upstream” with community stakeholders to implement environmental-, policy- and systems-change strategies that impact health prior to the onset of disease and illness, and accelerate their work in established priority areas to improve community health. Upstream means working with all community stakeholders to address the factors that influence health prior to the onset of disease and illness. These factors include: income, employment, education, early childhood development, housing, nutrition and the built environment.

The areas of focus for proposed action acceleration might include, but are not limited to:

•           Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

•           New Sector Engagement (e.g., business, library, law enforcement)

•           Effective Use of Data Tools and Resources to Guide Actions

•           Civic Engagement

•           Environment/Open Space

•           Medical-Legal Partnerships

•           Transportation

Brief proposal (Phase 1) submissions are due online by March 1, 2018 3:00 p.m. ET.

Vodafone Americas Foundation 10th Wireless Innovation ProjectTM - $600K — External Deadline: March 5, 2018

The Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project™ is seeking the latest connected innovations (mobile solutions) designed for social good. The competition is open to projects from universities and nonprofit organizations. The mobile or wireless solution must have the potential to solve a problem in the areas of: Access to Education, Health, Access to Communication, Economic Development, and the Environment/Disaster Relief. The project must be at a stage of research where an advanced prototype or field/market test can occur during the award period. The technology should have the potential for replication and large-scale impact. Applicants will compete for first-, second- and third-place prizes worth $300,000; $200,000 and $100,000; respectively. The deadline for submitting applications online is March 5, 2018.

ACGT 2018 Investigator Award in Cell & Gene Therapy for Cancer - $500K — External Deadline: March 13, 2018 11:00 a.m. ET

Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, Inc. (ACGT) funds research aimed at furthering the development of cell and gene therapy approaches to the treatment of cancer. ACGT is currently requesting applications for its 2018 Investigator Award in Cell and Gene Therapy for Cancer.

This award is for those conducting cell and gene therapy research in the following areas:

  • Technology for systemic delivery and treatment of metastatic disease that could involve novel tumor-targeted delivery vehicles (e.g. tumor-homing cells, nanoparticles and new recombinant viruses)
  • Altering the tumor cell microenvironment to support the induction of anti-tumor immunity
  • Identification of novel tumor targets
  • Novel approaches to either protective adoptively transferred cells from metabolic changes or alter the metabolism of transferred cells.

Preference will be given to those working in solid tumors, orphan tumors or pediatric tumors, and to research not previously funded, thus highly innovative proposals. Candidates must hold an MD, PhD, or equivalent degree and must be tenure-track or tenured faculty. The investigator must be conducting original research as an independent faculty member. The award provides up to a maximum of $500,000 distributed over 2-3 years, inclusive of a maximum of 10% indirect costs. There is a two-step process for submitting applications electronically via proposalCENTRAL. The deadline for submission of Step 1 LOI is March 13, 2018 11:00 a.m. ET.

RWJF Interdisciplinary Research Leaders (IRL) program - $350K — External Deadline: March 14, 2018 3:00 p.m. ET

The broad goal of the IRL program is to produce diverse interdisciplinary leaders who conduct and apply high-quality, community-engaged, action-oriented, equity-focused health research in order to drive improvements in the health of communities. Accordingly, the program will recruit and select applicant organizations represented by teams of three people (“IRL team”): two mid-career researchers and one community member to become IRL program fellows. IRL teams will join together as a diverse cohort of fellows that will participate in a three-year program. During this time, fellows will receive: leadership training; opportunities to learn and apply cutting-edge research methods; expert mentoring; networking opportunities; and both fellowship and research funds. For this third IRL cohort (beginning September 2018), applicant organizations will be represented by teams of three that will focus on one of these research focus areas (called themes): solutions for better health care delivery in rural America or addressing the social and economic determinants to prevent chronic conditions and to promote health, well-being, and equity in rural America. Total awards will be up to $350,000 per grantee organization for the duration of the three-year program. Application Deadline is March 14, 2018 3:00 p.m. ET.

The Sontag Foundation's Distinguished Scientist Award - $600K — External Deadline: March 14, 2018

Through its annual Distinguished Scientist Award (DSA) and other initiatives, The Sontag Foundation passionately supports the best and brightest researchers and organizations to advance treatments for brain cancer and more. The DSA seeks to provide career and research support to early career scientists who demonstrate outstanding promise for making scientific and medical breakthroughs in the field of brain cancer research. Recipients of the award are inspired individuals with projects that show potential to generate new knowledge relating to causes, cure or treatment of primary brain tumors or brain cancer. Applicants must hold a doctoral degree in a discipline which can be brought to bear on the intractable disease, brain cancer. Applicants must have received their first independent faculty appointment no earlier than March 1, 2013. If the institution grants tenure, the qualifying appointment must be on the tenure track. The Sontag Foundation will allow up to $19,500 to support institutional overhead with the maximum annual grant payout remaining at $150,000. Applications have to be submitted via the Online Application Portal. The Research Proposal Budget Template portion of the application can be downloaded here. The application deadline for 2018 is March 14, 2018.

American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) Doctoral New Investigator (DNI) Grants - $110K — External Deadline: March 16, 2018 5:00 p.m. ET

The DNI grants program aims to promote the careers of young faculty by supporting research of high scientific caliber, and to enhance the career opportunities of their undergraduate/graduate students, and postdoctoral associates through the research experience. DNI grants provide start-up funding for scientists and engineers in the United States who are within the first three years of their first academic appointment at the level of Assistant Professor or the equivalent. Applicants may have limited or no preliminary results for a research project they wish to pursue, with the intention of using the preliminary results obtained to seek continuation funding from other agencies. The DNI grants are to be used to illustrate proof of principle or concept, to test a hypothesis, or to demonstrate feasibility of an approach. Note that fundamental research is required as opposed to applied research or methods development. When submitting an application, you will be asked to select a scientific discipline that PRF supports. The submission deadline is March 16, 2018 5:00 p.m. ET.

American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund (PRF) New Directions (ND) Grants - $110K — External Deadline: March 16, 2018 5:00 p.m. ET

The ND grants program provides funds to scientists and engineers with limited—or even no—preliminary results for a research project they wish to pursue, and who intend to use the PRF-driven preliminary results to seek continuation funding from other agencies. ND grants are to be used to illustrate proof of concept/feasibility. Accordingly, they are to be viewed as seed money for new research ventures. A "new research direction" is something different from previous research performed by the lead principal investigator (lead PI). But, it may involve a field of science or engineering in which others are already working. Therefore, the proposed research should not be in the same direction as—or overlap with—current projects in the lead PI’s research group. One co-principal investigator (co-PI) is permitted on a ND grant proposal. The proposed research does not have to be a new direction of research for the co-PI. However, the co-PI must meet all other eligibility criteria as if he/she were the lead PI, and provide the same information requested of the lead PI in the application. The lead PI (who should be denoted as such) and his/her institution (designated as the grantee institution) would subcontract the co-PI through the co-PI’s institution. Any number of collaborators may participate on the project. However, no funds from the ND grant may be used to support the collaborators or their respective students. Note that fundamental research is required as opposed to applied research or methods development. When submitting an application, you will be asked to select a scientific discipline that PRF supports. The submission deadline is March 16, 2018 5:00 p.m. ET.

Craig H. Neilsen Foundation's 2019 Psychosocial Research Grants - $150K to $400K — External Deadline: March 23, 2018 5:00 p.m. ET

Craig H. Neilsen Foundation’s funding is dedicated to supporting both programs and scientific research to improve the quality of life for those affected by and living with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). The foundation has issued a RFP for its 2019 Psychosocial Research grants cycle. A goal of the funding is to identify and prioritize critical gaps in the psychosocial field and develop more effective interventions aimed at improving the health of individuals with SCI across the lifespan. Funding categories range from postdoctoral fellowships to pilot and demonstration project grants. Award amounts will range between $150,000 and $400,000. To be eligible, applicants must be a nonprofit organization that conducts research on the psychological and social factors that affect health, functioning, and quality of life for people living with SCI. LOI must be received no later than March 23, 2018 5:00 p.m. ET.

Human Frontier Science Program: 2019 Research Grants - $450K — External Deadline: March 28, 2018

The Human Frontier Science Program invites applications for grants in support of innovative approaches to understanding the complex mechanisms of living organisms. HFSP offers two areas of funding — Program grants and Young Investigator grants. Program grants are designed for independent scientists at all stages of their careers, while Young Investigators’ grants are for teams of scientists who are within five years of establishing an independent laboratory and ten years of obtaining their PhDs. Both tracks provide three years of support for two- to four-member teams, with not more than one member from any one country, unless critical for the innovative nature of the project. Applicants are expected to develop novel lines of research distinct from their ongoing research. Awards, which are dependent on team size, will range up to $450,000 a year. The principal applicant must be located in one of the HFSP member countries, but co-investigators may be located in any country. Applicants must register and obtain a 2019 reference number from the HFSP website by March 19, 2018. Letters of Intent must be received no later than March 28, 2018. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.