Finding US funding

Through a monthly newsletter and weekly online postings, KI's Grants Office disseminates information about current US funding opportunities. However, this information is not exhaustive. Here we provide an overview of the types of US funding available to KI researchers, as well as tips for creating your own, customized search for US funding opportunities

Search for US funding

There are several ways you can search for, and be alerted to, appropriate US funding opportunities:

  • use the Pivot-RP database to perform tailored searches and create tailored email alerts
  • visit the BILAT 4.0 website, which aims to foster research and innovation cooperation between the EU and the US and hosts useful documents, such as a report providing EU researchers with a list of potential funding sources in the US that accept applications and/or collaborations from foreign applicants. Note: This website is no longer being updated, however some of the information stored within may still be useful.
  • sign up for newsletters from US funding bodies (especially US foundations that are not included in the Research Professional database)
  • contact Grants Office for a curated list of US foundations in your field

US federal funding agencies

BILAT 4.0 has identified 14 US federal organisations that have demonstrated grantmaking to international universities and/or researchers. However, not all of these organisations allow international researchers to apply to them directly for grants. Here we provide information on the two main federal US funding agencies—namely NIH and CDMRP—that fund KI research and allow KI researchers to apply to them directly.

National Institutes of Health (NIH), US Department of Health and Human Services

Areas of focus:

  • Medicine
  • Public Health

The NIH is the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world. It is made up of 27 Institutes and Centers (ICs), each with its own specific research agenda. Each type of NIH grant program has its own set of eligibility requirements, and applicants can find eligibility information in Section III of each funding opportunity announcement (FOA).

Generally, KI researchers are eligible to apply for the following types of NIH grants, referred to as "activity codes":

  • NIH Research Project Grant Program (R01)
  • NIH Small Grant Program (R03)
  • NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award (R21)

NIH Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) come in several forms:

  • Parent Announcements: These are broad FOAs, issued by many NIH Institutes and Centers, allowing applicants to submit an investigator-initiated application for a specific activity code. They are usually ongoing (3 years).
  • Program Announcements (PAs): These FOAs are issued by one or more NIH Institute and Center to highlight areas of scientific interest. They are usually ongoing (3 years).
  • Requests for Applications (RFAs): These FOAs are issued by one or more NIH Institute or Center to highlight well-defined areas of scientific interest to accomplish specific program objectives. They usually have only a single due date.

Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP), US Department of Defense

Areas of focus:

  • more than 30 different diseases and health issues (e.g., cancer, autism, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, etc.)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) funds endeavors that further science, technology and engineering projects, and it is particularly known for funding high-risk projects that seek to exploit new knowledge. Most divisions within DOD post funding opportunities on the and websites, and identify applicant eligibility only in the individual funding opportunity announcements. Congressionally directed medical research program (CDMRP) is a collection of DoD programmatic funding opportunities that target more than 30 different types of disease and health issues.

US foundations and non-profits

In 2012, the US had more than 86,192 foundations with $715 billion in assets and $52 billion in giving. Not all support international research, so please make sure you are eligible before preparing your application.

Useful resources

  • The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) and are free, federally supported, searchable databases that serve as good resources for funding opportunities, with detailed program descriptions for federal grant programs.
  • is a resource that shows you what US federal grants have already been awarded to entities in a particular country. It can be used, among other things, to identify entities in a particular country that have already successfully applied for US federal grants (and that might be of interest as potential partners).
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