Center Grant Programs

The information provided on this page is intended to help with the long-range planning necessary to pursue large center grants.  Please be aware that the priorities and timing of these programs can change.  This is not an exhaustive list and will continue to grow.

NIH Center Grant Programs

AMOUNT: $600K - $750K / Year | Add'l. $500K for Special-purpose equipment

PERIOD: Up to 5 years Within the duration of a 5-year project

DEADLINE: Standard NIH deadlines - January, May and September


FREQUENCY: 3 times / Year

This FOA issued by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), encourages grant applications for national Biomedical Technology Research Centers. These Centers conduct research and development on new technologies and new/improved instruments driven by the needs of basic, translational, and clinical researchers. The Centers are charged to make their technologies available, to train members of the research community in the use of the technologies, and to disseminate these technologies and the Center's experimental results broadly.

NSF Center Grant Programs

AMOUNT: $4M / Year  | $1.8M / Year

PERIOD: 5 Years  | 3 Years

DEADLINE: Preliminary - September  |  Full Proposal March (by invitation)



The Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) Program supports research centers focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges. CCIs that address these challenges will produce transformative research, lead to innovation, and attract broad scientific and public interest. CCIs are agile structures that can respond rapidly to emerging opportunities and make full use of cyberinfrastructure to enhance collaborations. CCIs may partner with researchers from industry, government laboratories and international organizations.

AMOUNT: $100-400K / Year 

PERIOD: 5 years

DEADLINE: September


FREQUENCY: Annually.

The Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) plan to support research in mathematics and statistics on questions in the biological and biomedical sciences. Both agencies recognize the need for promoting research at the interface between the mathematical sciences and the life sciences. This program is designed to encourage new collaborations, as well as to support existing ones.

AMOUNT: $2.5M / Year

PERIOD: 5 Years

DEADLINE: November

LIMIT:  None


The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases program supports research on the ecological, evolutionary, and socio-ecological principles and processes that influence the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases. The central theme of submitted projects must be quantitative or computational understanding of pathogen transmission dynamics. The intent is discovery of principles of infectious disease transmission and on testing mathematical or computational models that elucidate infectious disease systems. Projects should be broad, interdisciplinary efforts that go beyond the scope of typical studies. They should focus on the determinants and interactions of transmission among humans, non-human animals, and/or plants. Research may be on zoonotic, environmentally-borne, vector-borne, or enteric diseases of either terrestrial or freshwater systems and organisms, including diseases of animals and plants, at any scale from specific pathogens to inclusive environmental systems.

AMOUNT: $2M total

PERIOD: 4 Years

DEADLINE: September



The Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation has established the Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) to serve a critical role in focusing on important emerging areas in a timely manner. This solicitation is a funding opportunity for interdisciplinary teams of researchers to embark on rapidly advancing frontiers of fundamental engineering research.  Specific focus changes annually.

AMOUNT: ~$3M / Year

PERIOD: 5 Years



FREQUENCY: Every other year.  Next 2019.

The goal of the Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Program is to create a culture in engineering research and education that links discovery to technological innovation through transformational fundamental and engineered systems research in order to advance technology and produce engineering graduates who will be creative U.S. innovators in a globally competitive economy.

AMOUNT: $2M / Year

PERIOD: 5 Years

DEADLINE: April (Preliminary) / January (Full)


FREQUENCY: Every other year.  Next 2018.

The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) has created the Expeditions in Computing (Expeditions) program to provide the CISE research and education community with the opportunity to pursue ambitious, fundamental research agendas that promise to define the future of computing and information.   In planning Expeditions, investigators are encouraged to come together within or across departments or institutions to combine their creative talents in the identification of compelling, transformative research agendas that promise disruptive innovations in computing and information for many years to come.

AMOUNT: $2M - 5M / Year

PERIOD: 6 Years

DEADLINE: July (Preliminary) / December (Full)


FREQUENCY: Every 3 years. Next 2019.

Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSECs) provide sustained support of interdisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality while addressing fundamental problems in science and engineering. MRSECs address research of a scope and complexity requiring the scale, synergy, and interdisciplinarity provided by a campus-based research center. They support materials research infrastructure in the United States, promote active collaboration between universities and other sectors, including industry and international institutions, and contribute to the development of a national network of university-based centers in materials research, education, and facilities. A MRSEC may be located at a single institution, or may involve multiple institutions in partnership.

AMOUNT: $3M - Traineeship Track $300-500K - Innovations in Graduate Education Track 

PERIOD: 5 years - Traineeship Track | 3 years - Innovations in Graduate Education Track

DEADLINE: December (LOI) / February (Proposal)


FREQUENCY: Every other year.  Next RFP anticipated in October 2017.

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education training. The NRT program seeks proposals that ensure that graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. The NRT program includes two tracks: the Traineeship Track and the Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Track.

The Traineeship Track is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary research areas, through the use of a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs. For FY2016, there are four priority areas: (1) Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (DESE), (2) Understanding the Brain (UtB), (3) Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS), and (4) any other interdisciplinary research theme of national priority. The priority research areas for the FY2017 competition will be (1) UtB, (2) INFEWS, and (3) any other interdisciplinary research theme of national priority.

The IGE Track focuses on test-bed projects aimed at piloting, testing, and validating innovative and potentially transformative approaches to graduate education. IGE projects are intended to generate the knowledge required for their customization, implementation, and broader adoption. While the Traineeship Track promotes building on the current knowledge base to develop comprehensive programs to effectively train STEM graduate students, the IGE Track supports testing of novel models or activities with high potential to enrich and extend the knowledge base on effective graduate education approaches.

The NRT program addresses both workforce development, emphasizing broad participation, and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. For both tracks, strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers, informal science centers, and academic partners are encouraged.


PERIOD: 5 Years

DEADLINE: September (Preliminary) / April (Proposal)


FREQUENCY: Every 2 years.  Next 2018.

Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) is an NSF-wide program that supports international activities across all NSF-supported disciplines. The primary goal of PIRE is to support high quality projects in which advances in research and education could not occur without international collaboration. PIRE seeks to catalyze a higher level of international engagement in the U.S. science and engineering community.

International partnerships are essential to addressing critical science and engineering problems. In the global context, U.S. researchers and educators must be able to operate effectively in teams with partners from different national environments and cultural backgrounds. PIRE promotes excellence in science and engineering through international collaboration and facilitates development of a diverse, globally-engaged, U.S. science and engineering workforce.

This PIRE competition will be open to all areas of science and engineering research which are supported by the NSF.

AMOUNT: $1M - 5M / Year

PERIOD: 5 Years

DEADLINE: August (Preliminary) / January (Full - by invitation)


FREQUENCY: Every 3 years.  Next 2019.

The Physics Frontiers Centers (PFC) program supports university-based centers and institutes where the collective efforts of a larger group of individuals can enable transformational advances in the most promising research areas.  The program is designed to foster major breakthroughs at the intellectual frontiers of physics by providing needed resources such as combinations of talents, skills, disciplines, and/or specialized infrastructure, not usually available to individual investigators or small groups, in an environment in which the collective efforts of the larger group can be shown to be seminal to promoting significant progress in the science and the education of students.

AMOUNT: $250K - 375K / Year

PERIOD: 4 Years




The SNM program focuses on five high-risk/high-reward research and education themes, four focusing on nanomanufacturing and the fifth on societal issues associated with continuing advances in nanomanufacturing and the associated increasing use of nanoscale materials, devices and systems. All proposals, regardless of the theme or themes under which they are submitted, should clearly state what roadblocks to scale-up exist and what new approach or approaches will be investigated to overcome those obstacles. The scientific and technical barriers to commercialization, in terms of production rate, throughput, quality, reproducibility, and yield should be addressed in the proposal.

AMOUNT: Up to $4M in the first year, and, thereafter $5M per year

PERIOD: 5 to 10 years

DEADLINE: December (Preliminary) / June (Full)


FREQUENCY: Every 3 years.  Next anticipated in 2017.

The Science and Technology Centers (STC): Integrative Partnerships program supports innovative research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term investments. STCs conduct world-class research through partnerships among academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities, and via international collaborations, as appropriate. These partnerships build intellectual and physical infrastructure within or between disciplines and facilitate the creation, integration, and transfer of new knowledge.

The STC program supports important investigations at the interfaces of disciplines or fresh approaches within disciplines. STCs may involve any area of science and engineering that NSF supports. STCs exploit opportunities in science, engineering and technology where the complexity of the research agenda requires the duration, scope, scale, flexibility, and facilities that center support can provide. They help enable U.S. leadership in research in a world in which discovery, learning and innovation enterprises are increasingly interconnected, and increasingly global. Centers offer the science and engineering community a venue for interaction and an effective mechanism to undertake long-term integrated scientific and technological research and education activities; to explore better and more effective ways to educate students; to broaden participation of underrepresented groups; and to develop approaches to ensure the timely transfer of research and education advances made in service to society. STC partner institutions work together with the lead institution as an integrated whole to achieve the shared research, education, broadening participation, and knowledge-transfer goals of the Center.

DOD Center Grant Programs

AMOUNT: $1.5M - $2M / Year

PERIOD: 3-5 Years

DEADLINE: July (White Paper) / November (Full)



The Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program supports basic research in science and engineering at U.S. institutions of higher education that is of potential interest to DoD. The program is focused on multidisciplinary research efforts where more than one traditional discipline interacts to provide rapid advances in scientific areas of interest to the DoD. 

The research topics described in the MURI announcement generally underpin dual use defense technologies that are critical to national defense and that also have good potential for commercial application. Interactions with research and development organizations that transition research findings to application, particularly industrial organizations, DoD laboratories, and other organizations that perform research and development for defense applications, are encouraged.

Please note:  Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact a program officer in the relevant agency (ARO, ONR or AFOSR) before submitting a proposal to DoD.  Proposals submitted without prior contact with program officers are rarely successful.  

Program Announcement & URL

DOE Center Grant Programs

AMOUNT: $2M - 4M / year

PERIOD: 5 years

DEADLINE: September


FREQUENCY: Every five years.  Next 2019.

Energy Frontiers Research Centers (EFRC) are integrated, multi-investigator centers which involve various combinations of researchers at universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit firms. The EFRCs have conducted fundamental research focused on one or more "grand challenges" and use-inspired "basic research needs" identified in major strategic planning efforts by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) and the scientific community. These centers bring together the skills and talents of teams of investigators to perform energy-relevant basic research with a scope and complexity beyond that possible in standard single-investigator or small-group projects. The multi-investigator, multi-disciplinary nature of these centers fosters an environment in which innovations are encouraged and scientific breakthroughs accelerated to provide the basis for transformative energy technologies.