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Funding Opportunities

Types of Sponsored Funding Mechanisms

A grant is used when the sponsor anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during the performance of the project. Grants are among the most flexible award mechanisms.

Cooperative Agreement
Cooperative agreements are funding mechanisms used by the Federal government. The main difference between a grant and a cooperative agreement is that a cooperative agreement entails substantial staff involvement from a federal agency.

The transferring of a substantive portion of the research/program effort of the prime award to another institution or organization.

A contract is used when the principal purpose is to provide a prescribed service or "good" for the direct benefit or use of the funding agency.

Consulting Agreement
A consultant is an independent contractor engaged to provide expert advice or services, typically for short or intermittent time periods.

Unlike funds governed by agreements, gifts are awarded irrevocably and, generally, without contractual requirements (again, generally "no strings attached").

Common Types of Funding Announcements

Science and Engineering Indicators

The federal government provides the bulk of funds for academic R&D; during the past two decades, its share has fluctuated around 60%.

  • The federal government provided 59% ($32.6 billion) of the $54.9 billion of academic spending on S&E R&D in FY 2009. The federal share was somewhat higher in the 1970s and early 1980s.
  • Six agencies provide almost all (97% in 2009) federal academic R&D support—the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Department of Energy, and Department of Agriculture.