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Some of the best-known funding agencies for faculty-initiated projects are listed below. Also see the Internal Funding Sources page, past issues of the funding newsletter News, Notes, and Deadlines, and the suggestions for developing your own customized list of funding sources. For student opportunities, see Student Research and Travel Support.

All Disciplines
Arts and Arts Education
Business and Health Administration
Education Science, Higher Education, and Teacher Education
Humanities and Humanities Education
Behavioral and Social Sciences, Health & Medicine, Health Education
Biological & Physical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics
International Studies and International Education
Links to other College and University Web Sites

All Disciplines

  • The American Fellowship Program of the American Association of University Women provides support to females scholars who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Grants are available for dissertation completion, postdoctoral research leave, and short-term support for the final stages of manuscript preparation.
  • Fulbright programs are administered by a number of different organizations. The Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) administers programs for college faculty and professionals. The Institute for International Education (IIE) administers programs for students. The U.S. Department of Education funds programs for faculty seminars and for curriculum development. CIES’s Fulbright Program for U.S. Scholars provides support for international travel, lecturing, and research. Short-term and academic-year programs are available. The Fulbright Program for non-U.S. Scholars allows U.S. institutions to host visiting faculty for lecturing and research. The Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant Program brings young graduates of foreign universities to U.S. campuses to act as language teaching assistants.
  • The Scholarly Societies Project is compiled by the University of Waterloo Library and provides links to scholarly society web pages and their journals and other publications. These scholarly societies often provide information about grants, fellowships, and scholarships pertaining to their discipline, which provides a good starting point for finding funding opportunities.
  • Grants.gov is a good place to search for opportunities supported by various agencies of the federal government. You can also set up search terms and have notifications and updates e-mailed to you automatically.
  • Through its program of Diversity Fellowships, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. To do this, they offer a one year stipend of $40,000 for a postdoctoral fellowship

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Arts and Arts Education

  • The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) provides support for projects in arts education, music, theatre, visual arts, literature (creative writing, translation, and education), and other fields of the arts.
  • The Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) provides support for projects in the arts and arts education, with particular emphasis on increasing access to high quality arts for all Virginians.

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Business and Health Care Administration

  • The Virginia Health Care Foundation makes grants for projects that will develop or expand patient capacity; establish a broader scope of services; create local systems of care; or strengthen the infrastructure of health safety net providers. It will not fund research projects that do not have a direct primary care service component.

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Education Science, Higher Education, and Teacher Education

  • The U.S. Department of Education provides funding to strengthen teaching and learning in colleges and other postsecondary institutions as well as providing support for rehabilitation, adult education, research and development, statistics, and assessment.
    • The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education supports innovative grants and cooperative agreements to improve post-secondary education. It supports reforms, innovations, and significant improvements of postsecondary education that respond to problems of national significance and serve as national models.
  • The National Academy of Education/Spencer Fellowship funds grant proposals from early career scholars whose research projects are related to education. This funding opportunity is a non-residential fellowship open to all disciplines. They also aid in the development of the recipients’ careers through professional development activities involving National Academy of Education members.
  • The National Research Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition administers the Paul P. Fidler Research Grant which accepts proposals addressing students of color, community colleges, advising, transfer and articulation, administrative policies, and other issues related to college student transitions.
  • The Braitmayer Foundation is a family-run foundation interested in the preparation of and professional development opportunities for teachers, particularly those which encourage people of high ability and diverse background to enter and remain in K-12 teaching. The foundation provides two levels of support: grants for up to $10,000 and grants for up to $35,000. They offer a summer and fall grant cycle with deadlines of June 1st and November 15th, respectively.

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Humanities and Humanities Education

  • The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent governmental agency that supports research, education, preservation and access to cultural resources, and public programs in the humanities. Examples of the types of grants available are highlighted below:
    • Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions help small and mid-sized institutions improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections. These may include special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine arts, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, and historical objects.
    • Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants are designed to encourage innovations in the digital humanities. By awarding relatively low-dollar grants during the planning stages, the goal is to identify projects that are particularly innovative and have the potential to make a positive impact on the humanities.
    • Teaching Development Fellowships support college and university teachers pursuing research aimed specifically at deepening their core knowledge in the humanities to improve their undergraduate teaching.
    • Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to scholars and general audiences in the humanities. Summer Stipends support full-time work on a humanities project for a period of two months.
    • Fellowships support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to scholars and general audiences in the humanities. Fellowships support full-time work on a humanities project for a period of six-twelve months.
  • The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) provides fellowships and funding for research in the humanities and social sciences. Social science projects must employ a predominantly humanistic approach. Humanities include American studies; anthropology; archaeology; art and architectural history; classics; economics; film; geography; history; languages and literatures; legal studies; linguistics; musicology; philosophy; political science; psychology; religious studies; rhetoric, communication, and media studies; science, technology, and medicine studies; sociology; and theater, dance, and performance studies.
  • The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities funds grant proposals that seek to develop public humanities programs which increase public understanding of important issues and enrich the cultural life of Virginia.
  • The American Philosophical Society promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach. They offer several grants to individuals:
    • Franklin Research Grants are designed to help meet the costs of travel to libraries and archives for research purposes; the purchase of microfilm, photocopies, or equivalent research materials; the costs associated with fieldwork; or laboratory research expenses.
    • Phillips Fund Grant for Native American Research provides grants for research in Native American linguistics, ethnohistory, and the history of studies of Native Americans, in the continental United States and Canada.
    • Sabbatical Fellowships in the Humanities and Social Sciences is open to mid-career faculty of universities and 4-year colleges in the United States who have been granted a sabbatical/research leave, but for whom financial support from the home institution is available for only part of the year.
    • Library Resident Research Fellowship offers short-term residential fellowships for conducting research in The American Philosophical Society Library collections near Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
  • Teaching American History Grant program is designed to raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge and understanding of and appreciation for traditional U.S. history. Grants are used to improve the quality of history instruction by supporting professional development for teachers of American history.

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Behavioral and Social Sciences, Health & Medicine, Health Education

  • The Commonwealth Health Research Board (CHRB) provides grants for human health research, especially for those efforts that have the potential of maximizing human health benefits for citizens of the Commonwealth. A request for up to two years of funding is available with a maximum of $100,000 per year.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the primary government funding agency for behavioral and biomedical research. They fund research on many different aspects of human health including biological effects of environmental contaminants, disease, mental, physical and addictive disorders, and human growth and development. NIH uses activity codes (e.g. R01, R43, etc.) to differentiate the wide variety of research-related programs they support. Examples of some of the activity codes and types of grants available are highlighted below:
    • R03 provides limited funding for a short period of time to support a variety of types of projects, including: pilot or feasibility studies, collection of preliminary data, secondary analysis of existing data, small, self-contained research projects, development of new research technology, etc.
    • R15 provide support for high quality conferences/scientific meetings that are relevant to NIH’s scientific mission and to the public health.
    • R25 education projects are used in a wide variety of ways to promote an appreciation for and interest in biomedical research, provide additional training in specific areas, and/or to develop ways to disseminate scientific discovery into public health and community applications.
    • Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy (R03) Program encourages empirical research on health literacy concepts.  Health literacy is defined as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. 
    • The Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) accepts grant applications from colleges/universities that offer a baccalaureate degree in biomedical and behavioral sciences in conjunction with a community college that offers associate degrees. The goal of this program is to promote inter-institutional partnerships to increase the number of minority students graduating with more advanced degrees in biomedical and behavioral sciences.
  • The National Science Foundation is a governmental funding agency that funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. They also provide funding opportunities for undergraduate students.
  • The Virginia Academy of the Sciences funds small research projects (<$1250) and research in cancer (<$1500) or chemistry (<$10,000). Must be a member of the academy for at least six months before you are eligible to apply.
  • The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) provides the military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of the United States through five major areas: peacekeeping and war-fighting efforts, Homeland Security, evacuation and humanitarian causes. Examples of the types of grants available are highlighted below:
    • Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) is designed to improve the capabilities of U.S. institutions of higher education to conduct research and to educate scientists and engineers in areas important to national defense, by providing funds for the acquisition of research equipment.

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Biological & Physical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the primary government funding agency for medical research. They fund research on many different aspects of human health including biological effects of environmental contaminants, disease, mental, physical, and addictive disorders, and human growth and development (see additional information under behavioral and biomedical sciences).
  • The Virginia Academy of the Sciences funds small research projects (<$1250) and research in cancer (<$1500) or chemistry (<$10,000). Must be a member of the academy for at least six months before you are eligible to apply.
  • The AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship accepts applications September – December 20th of each year from individuals interested in bridging the gap between federal decision-makers and science professionals interested in public policy. This fellowship allows the applicant to provide scientific expertise to lawmakers dealing with complex scientific and technical issues. In turn, the applicant receives a unique public-policy learning experience.

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International Studies and International Education

  • The International Education Programs Service is administered by the Office of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education. This service performs planning, policy development, and grant administration functions for the international education programs. The International Education and Foreign Language Studies domestic programs are designed to strengthen the capability and performance of American education in foreign languages and in area and international studies.
    • Fulbright-Hays Training Grants–Faculty Research Abroad is designed to contribute to the development and improvement of modern foreign language and area studies in the U.S. by providing opportunities for scholars to conduct research abroad.
    • Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad–Bilateral Projects provides short-term study and travel seminars abroad for U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities for the purpose of improving their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries.
    • Fulbright-Hays Training Grants–Group Projects Abroad provides grants to support overseas projects in training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for teachers, students, and faculty engaged in a common endeavor. Projects may include short-term seminars, curriculum development, group research or study, or advanced intensive language programs.
    • International Research and Studies provides a single grant to assist a consortium of colleges and universities to establish an institute designed to increase the representation of minorities in international services, including private international voluntary organizations and the U.S. Foreign Service.
  • The Vietnam Education Foundation/US Faculty Scholars Program was founded by the US to promote the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the US through educational exchange. The US Faculty Scholars Program allows for a faculty member to teach in English in Vietnamese universities on-site or via real-time video-conferencing from the US for one or two semesters.

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Links to other College and University Funding Web Sites

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