Department of Defense (DOD):
The FY19 TBDRP Investigator-Initiated Research Award (IIRA) intends to support highly rigorous, high-impact studies that have the potential to make important contributions to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases research, patient care, and/or quality of life. This award mechanism promotes a wide range of research from basic through translational, including preclinical studies in animal models or human subjects, as well as correlative studies associated with an existing clinical trial to establish proof-of-principle for further development in future studies. Applications should include a well-formulated, testable hypothesis based on strong scientific rationale that is established through logical reasoning, preliminary data, and critical review and analysis of the literature. Applications should articulate both the short- and long-term impact of the proposed research. High-impact research will, if successful, significantly advance Lyme disease and/or other tick-borne diseases research, patient care, and/or quality of life.
- Award: Up to $650,000 for up to 3 years.
- Pre-applications due: May 22, 2019
The FY19 TBDRP Career Development Award supports independent, early-career investigators in their efforts to conduct impactful research with the mentorship of an experienced tick-borne diseases researcher (i.e., the Mentor), thus providing an opportunity to obtain the funding, guidance, and experience necessary for productive, independent careers at the forefront of tick-borne diseases research. This award supports impactful research projects with an emphasis on discovery that may be translational in nature, but are not clinical trials. Under this award mechanism, the early-career investigator is considered the Principal Investigator (PI), and the application should focus on the PI’s research and career development. It should be clear that the proposed research is intellectually designed by the PI and not a product of the Mentor. Preliminary data are not required. However, logical reasoning and a sound scientific
rationale for the proposed research must be demonstrated.
- Award: Up to $250,000 for up to 3 years.
- Pre-applications due: May 22, 2019
The FY19 TBDRP Idea Award intends to support conceptually innovative, high-risk/potentially high-reward research in the early stages of development that could lead to critical discoveries or major advancements that will accelerate progress in improving outcomes for individuals affected by Lyme disease and/or other tick-borne illnesses. This award mechanism promotes new ideas that represent innovative approaches to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases research and have the potential to make an important contribution toward the TBDRP mission. Applications should include a well-formulated, testable hypothesis based on strong scientific rationale that is established through inferential reasoning and/or critical review and analysis of the literature. Innovative research may introduce a new paradigm, challenge existing paradigms, look at existing problems from new perspectives, or exhibit other uniquely creative qualities that may include high-risk/potentially high-gain approaches to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases research. Research that is merely an incremental advance (the next logical step) is not considered innovative.
- Award: Up to $300,000 for up to 2 years.
- Pre-applications due: May 22, 2019
NSF and DARPA’s Microsystems Technologies Office (MTO) released a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the RTML program to “develop the foundational breakthroughs in hardware and machine learning needed to build systems that respond and adapt in real time.” The RTML program is aimed at funding basic (6.1) and applied (6.2) research into machine-learning hardware generators and circuit architectures that address the grand computing challenge of creating a processor that can proactively interpret and learn from data in real-time, solve unfamiliar problems using what it has learned, and operate with the energy efficiency of the human brain. The program jointly addresses the need for future defense systems with AI capabilities to learn from data in real time and future computing challenges laid out in DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI), aimed at advanced microelectronics hardware and processing capabilities.
The NSF portion (see link to solicitation under NSF opportunities below) of the RTML program is dedicated to path finding research, while the DARPA portion will create the tools and circuit development infrastructure needed to enable raid innovation in next wave AI hardware. While DARPA and NSF have distinct efforts within the RTML program there will be opportunities for both DARPA and NSF awardees to collaborate. For example, the outcome of the DARPA Phase 1 hardware compiler will be made available to NSF awardees as an option to evaluate their proposed new RTML approaches. New techniques and results produced by NSF awardees during the first 18 months will be made available to DARPA project teams for them to implement in their Phase 2 efforts to explore novel ML architectures and circuits that will enable RTML. Additionally, four joint NSF-DARPA workshops are anticipated throughout the three-year program.
- Funding Amount and Duration: DARPA is making $10 million available and multiple awards are anticipated. NSF is also making $10 million available for the program and anticipates making eight to 12 awards. NSF’s award size will range from $500,000 to $1.5 million over a three-year period.
- Proposal Deadlines: DARPA will hold a proposers day on April 2, 2019. Questions regarding the BAA or submissions are due by 1:00 PM ET on April 15, and full proposals are due by 1:00 PM ET on May 1, 2019. NSF’s proposal deadline is June 6, 2019.
Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR):
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and McDonald’s Corporation have teamed up to offer multiple grants (totaling $4 million) to the groups or individuals who successfully develop and commercialize automated monitoring tools that can objectively assess key animal welfare indicators in broiler chickens. Existing methods for assessing animal welfare rely on human observation and subjective scoring. This initiative aims to identify Sensors, Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technologies (SMART) solutions to provide objective and comprehensive information about broiler welfare across the supply chain. SMART Broiler seeks applications to develop technologies that capture key welfare indicators in commercial broiler chicken facilities. This initiative will fulfill a need for commercially-feasible tools that enable real-time, quantitative assessment of behavior, health and well-being of animals in large-scale poultry facilities.
The SMART Broiler initiative is broken out into two distinct phases:
- Phase I ($500,000 for 18 months): Early Testing and Refinementis accepting applications from April 2, 2019 through June 5, 2019. Phase I is designed for applicants to explore potential technologies and monitoring methods. FFAR anticipates funding up to 4 grants during Phase I.
- Pre-proposal due date: May 29, 2019
- Full proposal due date (if selected): September 5, 2019
- Phase II ($1,000,000 for 18 months): Validation of Welfare Assessment Tools is designed to refine and validate the most promising technologies from Phase I. Phase II funding is in addition to the previous awards and is dependent upon demonstrated progress in Phase I and submission of a new work plan.
National Institute for Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA):
Applications to the FY 2019 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) Request for Applications (RFA) must focus on approaches that promote transformational changes in the U.S. food and agriculture system within the next 25 years. NIFA seeks creative and visionary applications that take a systems approach, and that will significantly improve the supply of abundant, affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible food, while providing sustainable opportunities for expansion of the bioeconomy through novel animal, crop, and forest products and supporting technologies. These approaches must demonstrate current and future social, behavioral, economic, health, and environmental impacts. Additionally, the outcomes of the work being proposed must result in societal benefits, including promotion of rural prosperity and enhancement of quality of life for those involved in food and agricultural value chains from production to utilization and consumption.
- Award: Up to $10,000,000 for up to 5 years.
- Please contact me if you are interested in applying to this program – proposal coordination assistance is available.
- Letters of Intent Due: Tuesday, June 4, 2019
The purpose of the Aquaculture Research program is to support the development of an environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture industry in the U.S. and generate new science-based information and innovation to address industry constraints. Over the long term, results of projects supported by this program may help improve the profitability of the U.S. aquaculture industry, reduce the U.S. trade deficit, increase domestic food security, provide markets for U.S.-produced grain products, increase domestic aquaculture business investment opportunities, and provide more jobs for rural and coastal America. The Aquaculture Research program will fund projects that directly address major constraints to the U.S. aquaculture industry and focus on one or more of the following program priorities: (1) genetics of commercial aquaculture species; (2) critical disease issues impacting aquaculture species; (3) design of environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture production systems; and (4) economic research for increasing aquaculture profitability.
- Awards: Seed projects – $50,000-100,000 for 1 year; Standard proposals – up to $300,000 for 2 years
- Cost share not required
- A Letter of Intent (LOI) for the FY 2019 funding cycle is highly encouraged; Full Proposal due May 28.
The purpose of this program is to support research, education/teaching, and extension projects that increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in STEM. NIFA intends this program to address educational needs within broadly defined areas of food, agriculture, natural resources, and human (FANH) sciences. Applications recommended for funding must highlight and emphasize the development of a competent and qualified workforce in the FAHN sciences. WAMS-funded projects improve the economic health and viability of rural communities by developing research and extension initiatives that focus on new and emerging employment opportunities in STEM occupations. Projects that contribute to the economic viability of rural communities are also encouraged.
- LIMITED SUBMISSION: Please check with your SRS preaward administrator. Only one application per institution may be submitted.
- Award: $95,000 for 2-3 years
- Applications Due: Tuesday, May 21, 2019
National Institutes of Health (NIH):
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to accelerate the development and validation of sample sparing assays that can be applied for studying the human immune system in health and disease. Development of new, cutting-edge sample sparing assays will lead to maximum use of the human-derived specimens by significant reduction of sample volumes/amounts required or by simultaneous multi-parameter assessments of immune function.
- Awards: $350,000 per year for up to 5 years.
- Letters of Intent Due: June 30, 2019; Full proposals due July 30, 2019
National Science Foundation (NSF):
Real-Time Machine Learning (RTML) (Repost)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are teaming up through this Real-Time Machine Learning (RTML) program to explore high-performance, energy-efficient hardware and machine-learning architectures that can learn from a continuous stream of new data in real time, through opportunities for post-award collaboration between researchers supported by DARPA and NSF.
- Awards: Small Awards: up to $500,000 for 3 years; Large Awards: up to $1,500,000 for 3 years.
- Full proposals due: June 6, 2019
Dear Colleague Letter: Supporting Research at the Intersection of Agricultural Science, Big Data, Informatics, and Smart Communities, a joint effort between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA) (Repost)
Building on NSF’s history of investments in data and computational sciences and USDA/NIFA’s history of investments in agricultural science, NSF and USDA/NIFA wish to notify the community of our intention to jointly fund convergent research that combines methods in agricultural, biological, and computer and information science and engineering to address pressing challenges and opportunities in digital agriculture. This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) is aligned with NSF’s Harnessing the Data Revolution Big Idea, and aims to build capacity across disciplinary boundaries, in preparation for larger scale investments at the intersection of computational, agricultural, and biological sciences.
- Proposals pursuant to this DCL may be submitted to one of the three programs listed below:
- Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) program;
- Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS): Core Programs—Information Integration and Informatics (III) program; and
- Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) program.
You may notice changes to open RFAs and future RFAs and to new competitive awards to adjust the language regarding indirect cost rate limitations and matching requirements. This is due to new provisions in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). Please see the news release linked above for further details on these changes.
Questions on either the changes to matching requirements or indirect cost recovery may be directed to the program contact listed in the RFA, or the grant contact included on the Notice of Award. Additional information is available on the NIFA webpages: Match Requirement and Indirect Costs.
NIFA is hosting a webinar, April 10 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. EDT, for applicants interested in the FY 2019 Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program. No need to register, just follow the HEC Webinar link to join. Call-in number 1-888-844-9904, access code 204 647 3. Contact NIFA National Program Leader, Dr. Joyce Parker, for more information. HEC focuses on improving formal, baccalaureate, or master’s degree level food, agricultural, natural resources, and human sciences education and first professional degree level education in veterinary medicine. More information about the HEC funding opportunity is available on NIFA’s website.