Grants.gov is the primary place to find and apply for US federal grants. It lists all discretionary grants offered by the 26 federal grant-making agencies.
National Institute of Health (NIH)
The NIH, a part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, is the US’s medical research agency and the largest source of funding for medical research in the world. NIH is made up of 27 Institutes and Centers which each have a specific research agenda often focusing on particular diseases or body systems.
NIH uses activity codes to differentiate research programs. For example, the RO1 NIH Research Project Grant Program, NIH’s most commonly used grant program, supports a discrete, specified, circumscribed research program between 3-5 years. There is no specific dollar limit unless this is specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). The R03 NIH Small Grant Program provides limited funding for a short period of time to support a variety of projects including pilot or feasibility studies. The R03 is limited to two years, with direct costs of up to $50,000 a year.
Useful NIH links
- Searching for NIH Funding
- Foreign Applicants – remember to check eligibility criteria first. Section III.1.A of each FOA describes the type of institutions/organizations that are eligible to apply and Section III.1.B provides information on the type of individuals that are eligible to apply.
- Submission process – the majority of competing applications now require electronic submission. Electronic submission requires institutions to register through Grants.gov and eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system. Flinders is registered on both systems. (Principal investigators also need to ensure they are registered with eRA Commons.)
US Defence Research Agency Funding
The Education and Science Office, Embassy of Australia, has produced an informal guide to key United States Defence Research Agency Funding for Australian Researchers, which provides general guidance on how to apply for funding from the four key US defence research agencies below:
Funding opportunities for all of the above agencies are listed on Grants.gov and also on each agency website (apart from AFOSR).
The Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) is funded through the Department of Defense (DoD) and funds research programs in various areas including autism and cancer. The CDMRP uses the electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal (eBRAP). Application submission is a two-step process requiring both:
- pre-application submission through the eBRAP and
- application submission through Grants.gov, with application status available on eBRAP.
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal funding agency with an annual budget of $8.1 billion (FY 2019). It is the major source of federal backing in many fields such as mathematics, computer science and social sciences.
NSF rarely provides support to foreign organizations. NSF will consider proposals for cooperative projects involving US and foreign organizations, provided support is requested only for the US portion of the collaborative effort.
Proposals to NSF must be submitted electronically via either the NSF FastLane System or Grants.gov.
Useful NSF links
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant opportunities focus principally on solving key health and development problems for the underprivileged.
The Australian-American Fulbright Commission promotes mutual understanding through educational and cultural exchange between Australia and the United States, primarily through the administration of Fulbright scholarships.
National Geographic offers conservation, exploration and research grants.