Funding Resources

Federal Funding

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Mission: Funds biomedical research that enhances life and reduces incidence of disease and disability

Structure: 27 institutes and centers each with a different focus and funding guidelines

Types of grants/Areas funded:

Resources:

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Mission: Funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering including social, behavioral, and economic sciences

Structure: 7 directorates with each directorate subdivided into several divisions

Types of grants/Areas funded: Find current funding opportunities here and upcoming funding deadlines here.

Resources:

Other U.S. Government Agencies

You can search for active funding opportunities offered from any government agency at www.grants.gov. You can browse funding by category, by agency, and by intended recipient (choose “eligibilities”), or search using a variety of filters. Beyond NSF and NIH, you can check out funding available from:

Philanthropic Funding and Professional Societies

Particularly in the translational life sciences, research is increasingly being supported through funding from philanthropic foundations. The trick is to find a foundation whose mission and funding focus overlaps your project. Examples of such foundations include:

In addition to these, the Rockefeller Foundation has assembled a list of links to other philanthropic sources.

Other Options for Research Funding

  • Professional societies: Some professional societies offer travel grants and some training and/or research grant opportunities to their members.
    • The American Heart Association, for example, offers competitions for training and research grants every summer and winter. You should investigate whether the professional societies in your field offer research funds.
  • Your institution’s office of research: Find funding avenues only open to researchers at your institution, which foundations are receptive to proposals from your institution, or state or local funding. Institutions often purchase exclusive access to funding opportunity databases— this means money with less competition. If your institution doesn’t have such an office (unlikely…), search online the terms “office of research,” “office of research support,” or “office of research development” to see which resources are freely available.
  • Talk to people in your professional network: Talk to colleagues at your institution and in your science networks. Institutional colleagues have a good sense of which funders are friendliest to the department and may provide you with examples of successfully funded proposals. Colleagues from professional organizations are more likely to have a sense for which funders are most appropriate for your specific research.
    • ASCB offers numerous opportunities for networking at the annual meeting, regional meetings, through committees, social media, and online communities (coming in early 2019).