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request for proposals (RFP) is a funder’s written announcement inviting proposals, usually for a specific grant program. 

  • Our office serves as a clearinghouse for many RFPs. Current opportunities can be found below.
  • We disseminate select RFPs via email directly to faculty and administrators in relevant schools and centers.
  • If an RFP is a limited funding opportunity, for which a limited number of applicants per institution may apply, it is announced by our office or by the Dean of Research Office, and an internal selection committee decides on the final candidate(s).
  • Additional RFP resources are listed on the Funding Search Tools page.

June Deadlines:

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Evidence for Action: Making Health a Shared Value

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has issued a call for proposals for its Evidence for Action: Making Health a Shared Value program. The purpose of the program is to improve our understanding of the Action Area 1 drivers and outcomes related to health, well-being and equity, particularly with respect to disadvantaged children and families. We seek evidence on the extent to which Action Area 1 drivers—mindsets and expectations, sense of community, and civic engagement—can be changed through intervention at the individual or population levels to result in better health, well-being and equity outcomes.

An ideal study to provide such evidence would experimentally manipulate a driver, measure changes in that driver, and then measure resulting health impacts. However, we recognize that a variety of constraints could preclude such a design within the parameters of this funding opportunity. Thus, we have established two key aims for funding:

  • Aim 1: To test the effects of specific interventions on the Action Area 1 drivers, in order to determine the extent to which they can be changed; and
  • Aim 2: To establish evidence of causal relationships between Action Area 1 drivers and health outcomes.

While projects that can achieve both aims are preferred, we also anticipate funding research that addresses either of the aims independently. In addition, we hope to support research that can assess the potential of drivers to “move the needle” on health, well-being, and equity outcomes for children and families by examining Action Area 1 drivers within the context of underlying and structural determinants of health.

Preference will be given to applicant organizations that are either institutes of higher education, public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, but other types of nonprofit and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. While the principal investigator is not required to hold an advanced degree, the applicant team must demonstrate the ability to conduct the proposed research.

Funding Amount: Varies
Deadline: June 1, 2018 (Letters of intent)

The Audacious Project

Housed at TED, the Audacious Project is a collaborative approach (between a leading group of nonprofits and social entrepreneurs) to funding ideas with the potential to create change at thrilling scale.  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.

But before you apply, please review whether your submission fulfills the following criteria for consideration:

  • You are applying on behalf of yourself and/or your organization
  • The idea you are sharing belongs to you and is unique in its field
  • You have, or are closely affiliated with, an existing organization that will help you execute your idea
  • You have already demonstrated impact in this area
  • Your idea is ready for action, and you could begin working towards your goal within the first year of funding
  • You have recorded a video that outlines your idea and have uploaded it to a place where it can be easily viewed
  • Your idea is big, and will inspire gasps and goosebumps in a short TED Talk

In order to track who submits initial applications, faculty are encouraged to send an email to Jeanne Heschele at indicating they’ve submitted an application.

Funding Amount: $50M-$100M
Deadline: June 10, 2018

Vilcek Foundation
Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science

The Vilcek Foundation will award three prizes of $50K 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: have been born outside the U.S.; not be more than 38 years old as of December 31, 2018 (born on or after January 1, 1980); be a naturalized citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) of the U.S., be a holder of an H1B or O-1 visa and have been living and working in the U.S. for at least 5 years, or have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA); have earned a doctoral degree (MD, PhD, or equivalent); hold a full-time position at an academic institution or other organization; and intend to pursue a professional career in the United States. Self-nominations are accepted.

Funding Amount: $50K prize
Deadline: June 11, 2018

Smith Richardson Foundation
Strategy and Policy Fellows Program

The Smith Richardson Foundation sponsors an annual Strategy and Policy Fellows grant competition to support young scholars and policy thinkers on American foreign policy, international relations, international security, military policy, and diplomatic and military history. The purpose of the program is to strengthen the U.S. community of scholars and researchers conducting policy analysis in these fields. The Foundation will award at least three research grants of $60K each to enable the recipients to research and write a book. Within the academic community, this program supports junior or adjunct faculty, research associates, and post-docs who are engaged in policy-relevant research and writing. Within the think tank community, the program supports members of the rising generation of policy thinkers who are focused on U.S. strategic and foreign policy issues. Applicants must be an employee or affiliate of either an academic institution or a think tank. Please note that the Fellowship program will only consider single-author book projects.  It will not consider collaborative projects (e.g., edited or multi-authored books, conference volumes or reports, or a collection of previously published articles, chapters or essays.)

Funding Amount: $60K
Deadline: June 15, 2018

Russell Sage Foundation
Visiting Scholars Program

The Russell Sage Foundation's Visiting Scholars Program provides a unique opportunity for select scholars in the social, economic and behavioral sciences to pursue their research and writing while in residence at the Foundation’s New York headquarters. Research carried out by Visiting Scholars constitutes an important part of the Foundation’s ongoing effort to analyze and understand the complex and shifting nature of social and economic life in the United States. While Visiting Scholars typically work on projects related to the Foundation’s current programs, a few scholars whose research falls outside these areas are occasionally invited as well. The Foundation annually awards up to 17 residential fellowships to select scholars in the social sciences who are at least several years beyond the Ph.D. Visiting Scholar positions begin September 1st and ordinarily run through June 30th. Scholars are provided with an office at the Foundation, research assistance, computer and library facilities, and supplemental salary support of up to 50% of their academic year salary when unavailable from other sources (up to a maximum of $125,000 for the full academic year, or up to a maximum of $62,500 for a half year). Only early career scholars within 7 years of completing a PhD, whose home institution does not provide sabbatical within the first 7 years, may request more than 50% of their academic salary when unavailable from other sources, up to a maximum of $125,000. Child care subsidies are also available. Scholars who reside outside the greater New York City area are also provided with a partially-subsidized apartment near the Foundation offices. Because this is a residential fellowship that requires significant Foundation resources, scholars are expected to be in residence at the Foundation throughout the scholar year. All scholar applicants must have a Ph.D. or comparable terminal degree, or a career background that establishes their ability to conduct high-level, peer-reviewed scholarly research.

Funding Amount: Up to $125K
Deadline: June 28, 2018

July Deadlines:

Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group and American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
The American Heart Association/Allen Initiative in Brain Health and Cognitive Impairment

The American Heart Association / American Stroke Association (AHA) and Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group have a mutual interest in brain health and healthy aging. We believe, and emerging research supports, that the current dichotomy between cerebrovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases, once considered mutually exclusive conditions, may impair a more effective approach to understanding and mitigating these disorders. Together with other contributors, we seek innovative proposals to disrupt the incremental trajectory of brain health research and open new frontiers of biomedical discovery to improve and lengthen lives.

The purpose of this research initiative is to discover and fund highly-promising teams of investigators who will expand the frontiers of bioscience, pursuing creative, transformative ideas with the potential to move brain health and cognitive impairment science forward. The AHA and Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, with additional funding contributors including the Oskar Fischer Project, will grant a competitive basic science research award(s) of up to $43 million over eight years to one or more highly inspiring and innovative integrated team(s).

Team lead applicants are expected to demonstrate the following attributes: Ph.D. and/or M.D. (or the equivalent); Faculty appointment at an eligible nonprofit institution in the U.S. or equivalent faculty position at a foreign University that meets foreign equivalency determinants for a non-profit in the United States; Ability to develop new tools and methods that support creative experimental approaches to questions, utilizing techniques from other disciplines, if appropriate; and Creativity in their scientific ideas and commitment to take risks on forward-looking concepts of major scientific impact.

Funding Amount: Minimum level of $15M+ for first stage applicants
Deadline: July 6, 2018

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Healthy Eating Research

Healthy Eating Research (HER) is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program that supports research on policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) strategies with strong potential to promote the health and well-being of children at a population level. Specifically, HER aims to help all children achieve optimal nutrition and a healthy weight. HER grantmaking focuses on children and adolescents from birth to 18, and their families, with a priority on lower-income and racial and ethnic minority populations that are at-risk of poor nutrition and obesity. Findings are expected to advance RWJF’s efforts to ensure that all children and their families have the opportunity and resources to experience the best physical, social, and emotional health possible, promote health equity, and build a Culture of Health.

Healthy Eating Research issues calls for proposals (CFPs) to solicit scientifically rigorous, solution-oriented proposals from investigators representing diverse disciplines and backgrounds. This CFP is for two types of awards aimed at providing advocates, decision-makers, and policymakers with evidence to promote the health and well-being of children through nutritious foods and beverages. The focus of this program is the United States; studies in other countries will be considered only to the extent that they may directly inform U.S. policy.

Funding Amount: Up to $200K (small-scale grants); up to $500K (large-scale grants)
Deadline: July 18, 2018 (Letters of Inquiry)

August Deadlines:

William T. Grant Foundation
Research Grants

The William T. Grant Foundation’s mission is to support research to improve the lives of young people ages 5-25 in the United States. Researchers interested in applying for research grants must select one focus area:

  1. Reducing Inequality: In this focus area, we support research to build, test, and increase understanding of approaches to reducing inequality in youth outcomes, particularly on the basis of race, ethnicity, economic standing, or immigrant origin status. We are interested in research on programs, policies, and practices to reduce inequality in  academic, social, behavioral, and economic outcomes.
  2. Improving the Use of Research Evidence: In this focus area, we support research to identify, build, and test strategies to ensure that research evidence reaches the hands of decision makers, responds to their needs, and is used in ways that benefit youth. We are particularly interested in research on improving the use of evidence by state and local decision makers, mid-level managers, and intermediaries.

For both focus areas, projects involving secondary data analysis are at the lower end of the budget range, whereas projects involving new data collection and sample recruitment can be at the higher end. Proposals to launch experiments in which settings (e.g., classrooms, schools, youth programs) are randomly assigned to conditions sometimes have higher awards. Grants are made to organizations, not individuals.

Funding Amount: $100K-$600K (reducing inequality); $100K-$1M (improving the use of research)
Deadline: August 1, 2018 (Letters of Inquiry)

Russell Sage Foundation
Social Science Research Programs

The Russell Sage Foundation dedicates itself exclusively to strengthening the methods, data, and theoretical core of the social sciences as a means of diagnosing social problems and improving social policies. The Foundation is accepting letters of inquiry for its Behavioral Economics, Future of Work, and Social Inequality programs. The Behavioral Economics program focuses on research that uses behavioral insights from psychology and other social sciences to examine and improve social and living conditions in the United States. The Future of Work program is concerned primarily with examining the causes and consequences of the declining quality of jobs for less- and moderately educated workers in the U.S. economy and the role of changes in employer practices, the nature of the labor market and public policies on the employment, earnings, and the quality of jobs of American workers. The Social Inequality program focuses on whether rising economic inequality has affected social, political, and economic institutions in the U.S., and the extent to which increased inequality has affected equality of opportunity, social mobility, and the intergenerational transmission of advantage. Letters of inquiry are also accepted for special initiatives on Non-Standard Employment; Integrating Biology and Social Science Knowledge; and The Social, Economic, and Political Effects of the Affordable Care Act. All applicants (both PIs and Co-PIs) must have a Ph.D. or comparable terminal degree, or a strong career background that establishes their ability to conduct high-level, peer-reviewed scholarly research.

Funding Amount: Up to $150K
Deadline: August 20, 2018

John Templeton Foundation
Small Grant and Large Grant Programs

The John Templeton Foundation is accepting online funding inquiries for its funding areas: Science & The Big Questions; Character Virtue Development; Individual Freedom & Free Markets; Exceptional Cognitive Talent & Genius; Genetics; and Voluntary Family Planning. More than one OFI may be submitted. You may also submit to both the Small Grant (requests for $234,800 or less) and Large Grant (more than $234,800) programs.

Funding Amount: Varies
Deadline: August 31, 2018 (Online Funding Inquiry)

October Deadlines:

Spencer Foundation
Lyle Spencer Research Awards

The Spencer Foundation’s Lyle Spencer Research Awards program supports intellectually ambitious research oriented to improving the practice of education, independent of any particular reform agendas or methodological strictures. This program encourages proposals initiated by scholars across a variety of disciplines and fields in an effort to create much-needed space for creative and ambitious research projects that promise to advance our understanding of educational practice and its improvement. Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession. The PI must be affiliated with a college, university, school district, non-profit research facility, or non-profit cultural institution that is willing to serve as the administering organization if the grant is awarded. The Spencer Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals.

Funding Amount: Up to $1M
Deadline: October 2, 2018 (Letter of Intent)

Ongoing Deadlines:

American Honda Foundation
Youth Education Programs

The American Honda Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American Honda Motor Company, is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations and schools for youth education programs with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Environmental projects, job training, and literacy programs also will be considered.

Funding Amount: $20K-$75K
Deadlines: February 1, May 1, August 1, November 1

California Wellness Foundation
Responsive Grantmaking Program

The California Wellness Foundation’s Responsive Grantmaking Program is accepting letters of interest from nonprofit organizations that provide direct services in disease prevention, health promotion, and wellness education in California. Focus areas include: diversity in the health professions; environmental health; healthy aging; mental health; teenage pregnancy prevention; violence prevention; women's health; and work and health. In addition, funding for special projects that relate to emerging health issues or issues outside these eight priorities will be considered.

Funding Amount: $20K-$300K
Deadline: Letter of Interest accepted anytime

Nathan Cummings Foundation
Environment Program

The Nathan Cummings Foundation is accepting letters of inquiry for its Climate Program, which has two objectives. The first objective is to increase access to cleaner energy in poor regions, while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Strategies include: supporting investment and cross-sector collaborations in energy-innovation technology; catalyzing domestic policy pathways that will reduce emissions and promote equitable and sustainable economic growth in the US and in the developing world; and funding research, public education, and activism to shift public opinion and advance commonly accepted standards for global energy access.

The second objective is to improve resilience for those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Strategies include: encouraging the leadership and creativity of communities on the frontlines of climate change to develop solutions to the problems that affect them and building multilateral bridges among local communities and energy innovators to ensure that community priorities are embedded in the plans and projects of the energy innovation sector and that the roles of arts, culture, religious traditions and contemplative practices, and spiritual traditions are elevated.

Funding Amount: Not specified
Deadline: Letter of Inquiry accepted anytime

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Evidence for Action: Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is accepting Letters of Intent for its Evidence for Action: Investigator-Initiated Research to Build a Culture of Health, a national program that supports the foundation’s commitment to building a Culture of Health in the United States. The program aims to provide individuals, organizations, communities, policymakers, and researchers with the empirical evidence needed to address the key determinants of health encompassed in the Culture of Health Action Framework, as well as efforts to assess outcomes and set priorities for action. It will do this by encouraging and supporting creative, rigorous research on the impact of innovative programs, policies, and partnerships on health and well-being, and on novel approaches to measuring health determinants and outcomes. Applicants must be either public entities or nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Investigators from a variety of areas and disciplines, including anthropology, architecture, business, community planning, criminal justice, economics, epidemiology, health policy, medicine, nursing, psychology, history, public health, social work, and sociology, are encouraged to apply.

Funding Amount: Varies
Deadline: Letter of Intent accepted anytime

The Lawrence Foundation
Funding for Environmental, Education, Human Services Projects

The Lawrence Foundation awards grants to organizations working in the areas of the environment, education, human services, and disaster relief. The foundation awards both program and operating grants with no geographic restrictions to nonprofit organizations that qualify for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as public schools and libraries.

Funding Amount: Varies
Deadlines: April 30, November 1

James S. McDonnell Foundation
21st Century Collaborative Activity Awards

The James S. McDonnell Foundation offers Collaborative Activity Awards to initiate interdisciplinary discussions on problems or issues, to help launch interdisciplinary research networks, or to fund communities of researchers/practitioners dedicated to developing new methods, tools, and applications of basic research to applied problems. In each case the focus of the collaborative activity must meet the program guidelines for one of the following program areas: Studying Complex Systems, Understanding Human Cognition, or Mathematical & Complex Systems Approaches for Brain Cancer. Strong preference will be given to applications involving multi-institutional collaboration. There are no geographic restrictions on these awards and the foundation encourages international applications.

Funding Amount: Not specified
Deadline: Letter of Inquiry accepted anytime

RGK Foundation
Grants in Education, Community, and Health/Medicine

RGK Foundation awards grants in the broad areas of education, community, and health/medicine. The Foundation's primary interests within education include programs that focus on formal K-12 education (particularly mathematics, science and reading), teacher development, literacy, and higher education. Within the community program area, they support a broad range of human services, community improvement, abuse prevention, and youth development programs. The Foundation is also interested in programs that attract female and minority students into the fields of mathematics, science, and technology. Their current interests in the area of health/medicine include programs that promote the health and well-being of children, programs that promote access to health services, and Foundation-initiated programs focusing on ALS.

Funding Amount: Average grant size is $25K
Deadline: Letter of Intent accepted anytime

Simons Foundation
Targeted Grants in Mathematics and Physical Sciences

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. Indirect costs are limited to 20% of direct costs, with the following exceptions: equipment, tuition, and any subcontracts with budgets, including indirect expenses. Indirect costs paid to a subcontractor may not exceed 20 percent of the direct costs paid to the subcontractor. Expenses for experiments, equipment, or computations, as well as for personnel and travel, are allowable. Applications may be submitted by established U.S. and foreign public and private educational institutions and stand-alone research centers.

Funding Amount: Varies
Deadline: Letter of Intent accepted anytime

Smith Richardson Foundation
Domestic Public Policy Program

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. 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 the evaluation of existing public policies and programs, as well as projects that inject new ideas into public debates.

Funding Amount: Varies
Deadline: Concept papers accepted anytime

Spencer Foundation
Small Research Grants

The Spencer Foundation is dedicated to the belief that research is necessary to the improvement of education. To that end, the foundation supports high-quality investigations of education through its research programs and the strengthening and renewal of the educational research community through its fellowships, training programs, and related activities. The Small Research Grants program is intended to support education research projects with budgets of $50,000 or less. In keeping with the Spencer Foundation’s mission, this program aims to fund academic work that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived. Historically, work funded through these grants has spanned a range of topics and disciplines, including education, psychology, sociology, economics, history, and anthropology, and they employ a wide range of research methods. PIs and co-PIs must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession. In addition, the PI must be affiliated with a college, university, school district, nonprofit research facility, or nonprofit cultural institution that is willing to serve as the fiscal agent if the grant is awarded. The Spencer Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals.

Funding Amount: Up to $50K
Deadlines: February 1, 2017; May 1, 2017; August 1, 2017; November 1, 2017

Surdna Foundation
Sustainable Environments Program

The Surdna Foundation is accepting Letters of Inquiry from nonprofit organizations for programs that connect and improve the infrastructure systems of urban places and surrounding areas in ways that maximize positive impacts and minimize negative environmental, economic, and social consequences. Through the Sustainable Environments program, the foundation supports four main categories of work: sustainable transportation networks and equitable development patterns, energy efficiency in the built environment, urban water management, and regional food supply. Requested grant amounts should relate directly to the size of the organization's budget and the amount needed to successfully complete the project. Organizations should promote meaningful collaborations and an integrated approach to infrastructure solutions; focus on infrastructure decisions that better meet the needs of historically underserved communities, including low-income communities and people of color; promote long-term solutions and leverage strategic infrastructure investments; and/or highlight, especially through communications, the multiple benefits of next generation infrastructure.

Funding Amount: Varies
Deadline: Letter of Intent accepted anytime

Toyota USA Foundation
K-12 Math, Science, Environmental Science Initiatives

The Toyota USA Foundation is committed to enhancing the quality of K‐12 education by supporting innovative programs and building partnerships with organizations dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of mathematics, science, and environmental science. Priority consideration for: 1) Creative and innovative programs which develop the potential of students and/or teachers; 2) Programs which are broad in scope and incorporate systemic approach; and 3) Cost‐effective programs that possess a high potential for success with relatively low duplication of effort.

Funding Amount: $50K-$500K
Deadline: Online application accepted anytime

The Unger Vetlesen Foundation
Grants in Natural and Earth Sciences

The G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation makes grants for research and operational support in marine and ocean conservation, earth sciences, climate change, and wildlife management. Grants are to nonprofit organizations, mainly in the U.S., for projects ranging from local to international.

Funding Amount: Varies
Deadline: Letters of inquiry accepted anytime

Whitehall Foundation
Research Grants and Grants-in-Aid Programs

The Whitehall Foundation, through its program of grants and grants-in-aid, assists scholarly research in the life sciences. It is the foundation's policy to assist those dynamic areas of basic biological research that are not heavily supported by federal agencies or other foundations with specialized missions. The foundation emphasizes the support of young scientists at the beginning of their careers and productive senior scientists who wish to move into new fields of interest. Consideration is given, however, to applicants of all ages.

Research grants are available to established scientists of all ages working at accredited U.S. institutions. Grants-in-Aid are designed for researchers at the assistant professor level who experience difficulty in competing for research funds because they have not yet become firmly established. Grants-in-Aid can also be made to senior scientists. The principal investigator must hold no less than the position of assistant professor, or the equivalent, in order to participate in the application process. The foundation does not award funds to investigators who have substantial existing or potential support, even if it is for an unrelated purpose.

The foundation is currently interested in basic research in neurobiology, defined as follows: Invertebrate and vertebrate (excluding clinical) neurobiology, specifically investigations of neural mechanisms involved in sensory, motor, and other complex functions of the whole organism as these relate to behavior. The overall goal should be to better understand behavioral output or brain mechanisms of behavior. The foundation does not support research focused primarily on disease(s) unless it will also provide insights into normal functioning.

Funding Amount: Up to $225K over 3 yrs (Research Grants); Up to $30K (Grants-in-Aid)
Deadlines: January 15; April 15; October 1

Limited Programs:

Please click here for limited program announcements.