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Funding Agency Guidelines & Advice

A number of federal sources provide funding to support the research enterprise at Illinois. The Office of Proposal Development assists faculty and other researchers in identifying and strategizing opportunities that will further their research goals.

The first step to external funding success is learning about funding opportunities. Choose an agency to learn more:

ARPA-E: Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy

The mission of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is to decrease our nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency across the board, and maintain or reestablish U.S. scientific leadership in the energy sector. ARPA-E projects focus on improving the U.S. economic prosperity, national security, and overall well-being of the environment. 

DARPA: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has one mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security.  DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission, and continues to reach for transformational change through its technological developments. 

DOD: Department of Defense

The Department of Defense (DoD) has several offices and agencies which award research grants to universities. The DoD provides several funding opportunities to advance scientfic research and support its overall mission; to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country.

DOE: Department of Energy

The mission of the Department of Energy (DOE) is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. Within the DOE, there are several offices which provide funding opportunities to Universities. 

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect human health and the environment. The EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD) supports six different research programs that identify the most pressing environmental health research needs. 

NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) works to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research. There are 20 different Centers and Facilities within NASA that award grants to advance University research. 

NIH: National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeks fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. The NIH works to foster fundamental creative discoveries, exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, and to expand the knowledge base in medical and associated sciences. 

NSF: National Science Foundation

The mission of the National Science Foundation (NSF) is to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense. The NSF supports basic research through funding opportunities made available to America’s colleges and universities. 

USDA: Department of Agriculture

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management. The USDA invests in research projects that will support rural America, preserve the Nation’s natural resources, and provide economic opportunity through innovation. 

For additional information about engaging with federal agencies, see How to Engage with Federal Research Funding Agencies from Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC May 2016