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Opportunities for Research Funding in Natural Science

The following lists include several federal agencies and foundations that provide national-level funding of research in Natural Science. To maximize your likelihood of success in obtaining funding, choose a funding source and mechanism that best matches the topic, scope, and budget of your proposed research, as well as your career level. Private agencies can be good sources of seed money needed to collect preliminary data for larger scale federal funding. Several agencies offer email alerts when new funding opportunities become available; see individual agency websites for details.

Funder Description
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Program: Sloan Research Fellowship, STEM Research, STEM Higher Ed, Public Understanding of Science, Technology & Economics, Digital Information Technology, Economics, Energy and Environment, Select Issues/Civic Initiatives.

Deadline: Varies by Program

The Foundation is unique in its focus on science, technology, and economic institutions. In each grant program, the Foundation seeks proposals for original projects led by outstanding individuals or teams. They are interested in projects that it expects will result in a strong benefit to society, and for which funding from the private sector, the government, or other foundations is not widely available. 
Visit the funder's Site
American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Program: Visiting Scholars Program
Deadline: October (annually)

One-year research fellowships in the areas of science, scholarship, business, public affairs, and the arts, for postdoctoral scholars and junior faculty; stipends of up to $65,000
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Program: Policy Fellowship in the Humanities, Education, and the Arts

Deadline: June

Provides Policy Fellowship in the Humanities and Education, for an early-career professional with experience or training in higher education who is interested in transitioning to a career in public policy and administration. While in residence, the Fellow will work with senior scholars and policy experts on critical national and international issues related to humanistic and social scientific research, the strength of artistic and cultural institutions, and the role of education in a well-functioning democracy.
Visit the funder's site
American Association of University Women  
Program: Career Development Grants
Deadline: December

Career Development Grants provide funding to women who hold a bachelor’s degree and are preparing to advance or change careers or re-enter the workforce. Primary consideration is given to women of color and women pursuing their first advanced degree or credentials in nontraditional fields.

Program: International Fellowships

Deadline: December

International Fellowships are awarded for full-time study or research in the United States to women who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Both graduate and postgraduate studies at accredited U.S. institutions are supported.
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Program: International Project Grants

Deadline: December

When AAUW International Fellows pursue education in the United States, their commitment to empowering women and girls in their home countries does not end — and their need for funding does not either. To create lasting support for women and girls across the globe, AAUW gives grants to recent International Fellowship alumnae who have returned to their home countries to build on their academic work and implement community-based projects that will improve the lives of women and girls.

Program: Selected Professions Fellowships 

Deadline: Varies by Program 
Selected Professions Fellowships are awarded to women who intend to pursue a full-time course of study at accredited U.S. institutions during the fellowship year in one of the designated degree programs where women’s participation traditionally has been low. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
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Program: American Fellowships
Deadline: November
American Fellowships support women scholars who are completing dissertations, planning research leave from accredited institutions, or preparing research for publication. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of scholarly excellence; quality and originality of project design; and active commitment to helping women and girls through service in their communities, professions, or fields of research.
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American Chemical Society
- Research Grants
- Fellowships
- Community Recognition
- Education Grants

Deadline: Varies by Program

ACS offers grants to support the advancement of the chemical sciences through research, education, and community projects.

American Heart Association
Program: Grants and Awards

Deadline: July

Focus is biochemistry and cell biology; neurobiology and behavior.

American Lung Association
Program: American Lung Association-Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC)/Junior Investigator Awards - Mentor required/Training Awards Alliance Awards Program

Deadline: Varies by Program

The American Lung Association offers annual funding opportunities as a part of its Awards and Grants Program. The Awards and Grants Program supports basic, clinical and behavioral/policy research through training and investigator-initiated peer-review proposals.

American Philosophical Society
Program: APS/British Academy Fellowship for Research in London, APS/Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Fellowship for Research in Edinburgh

Deadline: October/December

A scholarly organization of international reputation, the American Philosophical Society promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach.

American Psychological Foundation
Program: Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship

Deadline: May 2018

The APF Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship supports graduate-level scholarly projects that use a psychological perspective to help understand and reduce stigma associated with mental illness. The scholarship helps address research which shows that stigma is a significant barrier to treatment and recovery for many of the 50 million Americans living with mental illness. The amount of the scholarship is $5,000. The Franks Scholarship is made possible by the generosity of Drs. Violet and Cyril Franks.

Arnold & Mabel Beckman Foundation
Program: Young Investigator Program

Deadline: Letter of Intent due September; Invite to full application due November

Supports early career scientist not yet in receipt of a major award from another organization. Must be US citizen or permanent resident of US. Encourages applications of innovative, high-risk projects, which show promise for significant advances in chemistry and life sciences. Encourages work that cuts across traditional scientific boundaries.

Brain Research Foundation
Program: Grants

Deadline: Letter of Intent is January 8, 2018.

The Brain Research Foundation has invited Stony Brook to nominate one senior faculty member to submit a letter of Intent for the 2018 Scientific Innovations Award (SIA). Brain Research Foundation’s Scientific Innovations Award Program provides funding for innovative science in both basic and clinical neuroscience. This funding mechanism is designed to support creative, exploratory, cutting edge research in well-established research laboratories, under the direction of established investigators. Brain Research Foundation’s Scientific Review Committee will review the SIA proposals and make recommendations for funding to the Foundation.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Program: Ad Hoc Grants/Biomedical Sciences/Career Guidance/Diversity in Science/Infectious Diseases/Interfaces in Science/Population Sciences/Regulatory Science/Reproductive Sciences/Science Education/Translational Research

Deadline: Most awards are made to degree-granting institutions in the United States and Canada on behalf of individual researchers, who must be nominated by their institution. Varies by grant.

Supports biomedical scientists at the beginning of their careers and areas of science that are poised for significant advancement but are currently undervalued and underfunded.

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation
Program: Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program

Deadline: February

Supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences. Based on institutional nominations, the program provides discretionary funding to faculty at an early stage in their careers. Criteria for selection include an independent body of scholarship attained within the first five years of their appointment as independent researchers, and a demonstrated commitment to education, signaling the promise of continuing outstanding contributions to both research and teaching.

Program: Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program

Deadline: May

Supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences at undergraduate institutions. Based on institutional nominations, the program provides discretionary funding to faculty at an early stage in their careers. The award is based on accomplishment in scholarly research with undergraduates, as well as a compelling commitment to teaching, and provides an unrestricted research grant of $60,000.

Program: Postdoctoral Program in Environmental Chemistry

Deadline: August

The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation seeks to further the development of scientific leadership in the field of environmental chemistry with a postdoctoral fellowship program. The Postdoctoral Program in Environmental Chemistry provides a principal investigator with an award of $120,000 over two years to appoint a Postdoctoral Fellow in environmental chemistry.

Program: ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences

Deadline: November

To recognize significant accomplishments by individuals who have stimulated or fostered the interest of women in chemistry, promoting their professional developments as chemists or chemical engineers.

Program: ACS Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences

Deadline: November

To recognize significant accomplishments by individuals in stimulating students, underrepresented in the profession, to elect careers in the chemical sciences and engineering.

Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University
Program: Residential Fellowships

Deadline: January

Participants will engage one another on the possible societal implications of astrobiology.

Center of Theological Inquiry & NASA
Program: Research Fellowship

Deadline: July/November

Offers a residential fellowship program for scholars from this country and abroad. These include the five core social and behavioral sciences (anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology) as well as humanistic disciplines, education, linguistics, communications, and the biological, natural, health, and computer sciences.

Council for International Exchange of Scholars
Program: Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program

Deadline: August

Traditional Fulbright Scholar Program Grants for U.S. faculty and professionals to lecture and conduct research abroad in a wide variety of academic and professional fields.

Program: Fulbright Specialist Program

Deadline: January

The Fulbright Specialist Program (FSP) promotes linkages between U.S. scholars and professionals and their counterparts at host institutions overseas. Grant Duration: Two- to six-weeks.

DAAD (German Studies Research Grant) Doctoral & Post-Doctoral Research Grant
Program: Dissertation/Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Deadline: November/May

DAAD Short-term Graduate and Postdoctoral Research Grants are awarded to qualified PhD candidates and recent PhDs. Ten-month scholarships must take place during the German academic year (October 1 through July 31).

Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowships
Program: Dissertation Fellowship

Deadline: January

Liebmann Fellowships support graduate study in any field of the humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences (including law, medicine, architecture,and other formal professional training programs).

Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Awards in the Neurosciences
Program: Fellowship

Deadline: November

Aimed at advancing cutting-edge investigations, the awards are presented to highly promising, early career scientists. The fellowship awards promote higher-risk, and potentially higher-reward, projects.

MacArthur Foundation
Program: Grants and Fellowships

Deadline: Varies by program

MacArthur develops grantmaking strategies designed to meet very specific goals. We encourage you to closely read information about each program to determine whether your project falls within MacArthur’s grantmaking guidelines.

The Foundation awards the majority of its grants to organizations identified by our staff. Each year we also award grants to individuals through the MacArthur Fellows program, which does not accept applications or nominations. Areas of focus are aging, arts & culture, climate change, community development, conservation, debt/deficit, education, health, housing, human rights, justice, media, migration/immigration, peace & security, policy, population, research, science, technology, youth.

Mahindra Humanities Center
Program: Post-Doctoral Fellowship/PhD

Deadline: December

Welcome applications from scholars in all fields whose work innovatively engages with slow violence in relation to areas such as: environment, labor practices, human rights, privacy/security/migration, citizenship, cultural transmission, secularism, fundamentalism.

March of Dimes
Program: Grants

Deadline: April

The three grant categories, general March of Dimes Research Grants, Prematurity Research Initiative (PRI) and Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Awards (BOC). Basic biological processes of development, genetics, clinical studies, studies of reproductive health, environmental toxicology, and studies in social and behavioral sciences that focus on factors contributing to adverse pregnancy outcomes, and on consequences of birth defects and prematurity.

National Academies
- Research Fellowships
- Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs
- Jefferson Science Fellowship
- Optical Society of America Foundation Fellowships

Deadline: Varies by Program

The Fellowships Office (FO) of the National Academies administers predoctoral, postdoctoral, and senior fellowship awards on behalf of government and private/foundation sponsors; these fellowship awards play an important role in the career development of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers and scholars for the academic, federal, industrial and international workforce.

National Historical Publications and Records Commission
- Access to Historical Records
- Digital Dissemination of Archival Collections
- Literacy and Engagement with Historical Records
- Publishing Historical Records in Documentary Editions
- State Board Programming Grants
- State Government Electronic Records

Deadline: Varies by Program

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), a statutory body affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), supports a wide range of activities to preserve, publish, and encourage the use of documentary sources, created in every medium ranging from quill pen to computer, relating to the history of the United States.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Program: Multiple Programs

Deadline: Varies by Program

NIH is the primary federal agency responsible for biomedical and behavioral research to improve the health of the nation.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)- AREA
Program: Multiple Programs

Deadline: Varies by Program

Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15) AREA awards support biomedical and behavioral research projects proposed by faculty members at institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees, but have not been major recipients of NIH support.

National Kidney Foundation
Program: Grants

Deadline: Varies by Program

3 Young Investigator Grants

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Program: Multiple Programs

Deadline: Varies by Program

The NSF funds research and education in diverse areas of science. Most grants are funded through program solicitations or program announcements (unsolicited applications with no deadlines).

Nemmers Prizes Northwestern University
Program: The Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics

Deadline: December

Candidacy for the Nemmers Prize is open to those with careers of outstanding achievement in the field of economics as demonstrated by major contributions to new knowledge or the development of significant new modes of analysis. Prizes are awarded to individuals of all nationalities and institutional affiliations, excepting current or recent members of the Northwestern University faculty and recipients of the Nobel Prize.

Pew Biomedical Scholars
Program: Grants

Deadline: November

The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding individuals who are in their first few years of their appointment at the assistant professor level.

The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study
Program: Graduate Student Fellowships

Deadline: November

The NDIAS encourages graduate student applicants to include questions of values in their analyses, to integrate diverse disciplines, and to ask how their findings advance civilization. The Institute offers its fellows the opportunity to engage not only in analysis but also in evaluating what should be done, to analyze the world in substantive and collaborative ways, and to think through the implications of present behavior for the future of the world.

The Packard Fellowships
Program: Fellowships

Deadline: January

Every year, the Foundation invites the presidents of 50 universities to nominate two early-career professors each from their institutions. The Fellowship Program provides support for highly creative researchers early in their careers; faculty members who are well established and well-funded are less likely to receive the award. Packard Fellows are inquisitive, passionate scientists and engineers who take a creative approach to their research, dare to think big, and follow new ideas wherever they lead.

The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center
Program: Residency

Deadline: December

Arts & Literary Arts and Academic Residencies.

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
Program: Fellowships

Deadline: November

Every year, The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans supports thirty New Americans, immigrants or the children of immigrants, who are pursuing graduate school in the United States.

Smithsonian Institute
Program: Fellowships and Internships

Deadline: Varies by Program

Smithsonian fellowships are awarded competitively to graduate, pre-doctoral, or post-doctoral students – or granted non-competitively to visiting professionals, students, scientists, or scholars – are offered to individuals who design and develop proposals for independent study or collaborative research in fields pursued by and of interest to Smithsonian staff.

Templeton Foundation
Program: Grants

Deadline: Online inquiry February - April; invite to propose

Areas of focus are Natural and Human Sciences, Philosophy, and Theology; Science and the Big Question; Character Virtue Development; Individual Freedom & Free Markets; Exceptional Cognitive Talent & Genius; Genetics.

Trust for Mutual Understanding
Program: Grants

Deadline: Online Inquiry twice per year; invite to full application

Provides grants specifically for international travel associated with professional exchanges in the arts and environmental sciences. Activities common to both fields include advanced training programs, workshops, conferences, seminars, joint research projects, and exchanges intended to aid organizations seeking greater institutional stability.

U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
Program: Research Interests of the US Air Force Academy

Deadline: September 2019

These awards are for study or program development in languages and regions critical to national security. Based on this legislation, the National Security Education Program (NSEP) was established. NSEP is one of the most significant efforts in international education since the 1958 passage of the National Defense Education Act, and it continues to play a critical role within the Department of Defense.

Program: Research Interests of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Deadline: Open

These awards are for study or program development in languages and regions critical to national security. Based on this legislation, the National Security Education Program (NSEP) was established. NSEP is one of the most significant efforts in international education since the 1958 passage of the National Defense Education Act, and it continues to play a critical role within the Department of Defense.

W. M. Keck Foundation
Program: Grants

Deadline: 1-page concept paper two cycles per year; invite to propose

Supporting pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research. They fund high-risk/high-impact work. Both Senior and Early Career investigators are encouraged to apply.

Woodrow Wilson International Center
Program: Fellowships and Grants

Deadline: October

The Woodrow Wilson Center awards approximately 20-25 residential fellowships annually in an international competition. Topics and scholarship should relate to key public policy challenges or provide the historical and/or cultural framework to illuminate policy issues of contemporary importance. Fellows should be prepared to interact with policymakers in Washington and with Wilson Center staff who are working on similar topics.

Washington Center for Equitable Growth
Program: Grants

Deadline: January/February

Academic grants program aims to build a portfolio of cutting-edge scholarly research that investigates the various channels through which economic inequality may (or may not) impact economic growth and stability, including both direct and indirect pathways. They consider economic inequality across wages, incomes, wealth, job quality, and benefits, though they are open to proposals that examine the effects of inequality in other ways, such as by gender, race, or ethnicity.

Whitehall Foundation
Program: Grants

Deadline: Letter of Intent through mail only; invited proposal

Basic research in vertebrate (excluding clinical) and invertebrate neurobiology.