Access a list of curated funding opportunities beyond BU.

External Funding Opportunities

Overview and Goals

The Shipley Center, part of the Digital Learning & Innovation Office, funds and co-manages pilot projects that have the potential to positively change the way in which one or more of Boston University’s Schools and Colleges deliver value to students, both inside and outside the classroom. Our aspiration is to incubate projects that have lasting impact on how we do things at BU and position our university in the forefront of educational innovation.

Our current focus areas are: project-based and work-integrated learning, mentoring and advising, technology-enabled inclusive pedagogy initiatives, and emerging educational technologies. Both the funding and timing of project implementation depends on the scale and requirements of the proposed idea. Funding for our previous projects has ranged from $5K for a single small-scale project to $200K for a multi-year, large-scale implementation effort. An overview of ongoing and past projects is available here.

The Shipley Center team is always interested in discussing ideas for potential pilot and pre-pilot projects that seek to align Boston University with emergent trends in educational innovation to improve the student experience. Please contact shipdli@bu.edu with any questions about our Call for Proposals.

The Shipley Center also encourages initial consideration of additional funding sources beyond BU. A curated list is available below. External Funding Opportunities are in alignment with the goals outlined below:

  • Increase the likelihood of project continuation post-pilot, in particular when significant resources are required and/or it is not possible to confirm commitment from the participating academic unit.
  • Encourage a diverse range of funding options for the sustainability of pilot projects.
  • Explore matching funding, if permitted under the policies of the funding organization, in particular when significant resources are required and/or it is not possible to confirm commitment from the participating academic unit.
  • Suggest alternative funding sources for projects that require resources exceeding the available funding.
  • Foster university research efforts focused on the impact of novel educational technologies on teaching and learning.

In support of those goals, the Shipley Center team collaborates with Research Support and Foundation Relations.

Repositories of Funding Opportunities

    1. RFPs from Philanthropy News Digest by Candid.org (formerly Foundation Center)
    2. Funding Opportunities from Science Education Partnership Award (supported by NIH)
    3. Grants.gov
    4. Inside Philanthropy
    5. HP Grants Support Program Technology Grants

 

Selected Funding Opportunities

Organization & Funding Opportunity Scope Deadlines & Funding Information Previously Funded Projects
National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes Supports the development of new AI Institutes that focus on one of the following themes: astronomical sciences, materials research and new methods for strengthening AI.

Group 1 - Awards anticipated in FY 2024:

Theme 1: AI for Astronomical Sciences

Group 2 - Awards anticipated in FY 2025:

Theme 2: AI for Discovery in Materials Research

Theme 3: Strengthening AI

Preliminary proposal required

Due October 31, 2023

Preliminary proposal required

Due January 12, 2024

Deadline: February 16 2024 

Themes listed under Group 1 (awards anticipated FY 2024)

Deadline: May 17 2024 - Themes listed under Group 2 (awards anticipated FY 2025)

Award information

Institute awards will be made for between $16,000,000 and $20,000,000 for four to five years ($4,000,000 per year on average).

For general inquiries regarding this program (not theme specific) please email the program leads at: 

AIInstitutesProgram@nsf.gov

Program Leads (Reachable at the above address)

James Donlon, CISE/IIS

Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT) In support of NSF’s goal to create a more diverse STEM workforce, the STEM Education (EDU) and Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) directorates are launching the Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT) program to establish new pathways for diverse learners into careers in emerging technology fields. Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

September 12, 2024

Second Thursday in September, Annually Thereafter

For General Inquiries, telephone: 

(703) 292-5111, email: ExLENT@nsf.gov

Spencer Foundation: Large Research Grants on Education Program

(Download PDF with full details)

Education research projects that will contribute to the improvement of education. The goal for this program is to support rigorous, intellectually ambitious, and technically sound research that is relevant to the most pressing questions and compelling opportunities in education.

This program is “field-initiated” in that proposal submissions are not in response to a specific request for a particular research topic, discipline, design, method, or location.

Intent to Apply forms are accepted twice per year. 

Next Intent to Apply date:

Late January

Full Proposal Deadline:

Late February

Budgets range: $125,000 - $500,000 for projects ranging from one to five years. 

Funding tiers -- $125,000 - 250,000; $250,001 - $375,000;  $375,001 - $500,000.

See the “Recent Awardees” section on the grants program page.
NIH Small Research Grant Program Small research projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources, including pilot and feasibility studies; secondary analysis of existing data; small, self-contained research projects; development of research methodology; and development of new research technology. Standard R03 application due dates apply:

Cycle I - Feb 16

Cycle II - Jun 16

Cycle III - Oct 16

Application budgets are limited to $50,000 in direct costs per year.

The total project period may not exceed two years.

To see the types of projects that have been funded, go to NIH RePORTER and select R03 in the Activity Code field.
NSF Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Program Proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. Projects aimed at piloting, testing, and validating innovative and potentially transformative approaches to graduate education (i.e., educational developments for this group such as curricula development, training or retention). Full Proposal Deadline:

March 25

IGE Awards are expected to be up to 3 years in duration with a total budget between $300,000 and $500,000. Funding amounts depend on availability of funds.

Limit on number of proposals per organization: 2

List of recent awards made through this program.
NSF STEM Ed IPRF The STEM Education Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (STEM Ed IPRF) Program funds postdoctoral fellowship projects designed to enhance the research knowledge, skills, and practices of STEM Education research by recent doctoral graduates in STEM, STEM Education, Education, and related disciplines. 

STEM Ed IPRF awards support Fellows engaging in research that explores impact of STEM teaching & learning environments including innovative research on technology enabled learning.

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):  

Last Friday in March

Anticipated Funding Amount: $2,500,000

Examples of previous awards 

can be found here.

Davis Educational Foundation The foundation’s objectives in making grants are to assist institutions in supporting more effective teaching and learning and/or controlling costs. Implementation Grants represent the original grantmaking program and are available for any of the foundation's objectives - teaching and learning and/or cost and affordability. 

Examples of funded projects include, among others, projects that improve the curriculum, the learning environment, assessment of undergraduate learning outcomes, faculty development, incentive systems, and administrative structures. Preference is given to projects aimed at strengthening the general education core of the undergraduate experience.

Application Deadline:

Summer & Fall Deadlines:

May 10 and Sept 29.

Please contact BU Foundation Relations if you are considering applying.

See the Grant History page for a searchable list of previously funded projects.
NEH Digital Humanities Advancement Grant (DHAG) Program Proposals that explore ways for graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs to develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. Projects aimed at piloting, testing, and validating innovative and potentially transformative approaches to graduate education (i.e., educational developments for this group such as curricula development, training or retention). Full Proposal Deadline:

June

IGE Awards are expected to be up to 3 years in duration with a total budget between $300,000 and $500,000. Funding amounts depend on availability of funds.

Limit on number of proposals per organization: 2

List of recent awards made through this program
NEH Digital Projects for the Public

The Digital Projects for the Public program supports projects that interpret and analyze humanities content in primarily digital platforms and formats, such as websites, mobile applications and tours, interactive touch screens and kiosks, games, and virtual environments. 

All Digital Projects for the Public projects should  present analysis that deepens public understanding of significant humanities ideas; incorporate sound humanities scholarship;  involve humanities scholars in all phases of development and production; include appropriate digital media professionals; reach a broad public through a realistic plan for development, marketing, and distribution; create appealing digital formats for the general public; and demonstrate the capacity to sustain themselves.

Deadlines

Application available (anticipated):

March 14

Next deadline (anticipated):

June 14

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount $30,000 (Discovery grants)

$100,000 (Prototyping grants)

$400,000 (Production grants)

Open to Organizations

Expected output: Game/Simulation; Mobile App; Virtual/Augmented Reality; Website

Period of performance: One to three years

List of recent Discovery grants

 

List of recent Prototyping grants

 

List of recent Production grants

NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.

Creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Courses for Skills Development
  • Research Experiences
  • Mentoring Activities
  • Curriculum or Methods Development
  • Outreach

Examples of projects within the scope of activity of SEPA include, among others:

- Innovative and inquiry-based P-12 curricula that will increase student interest in STEM topics.
- Understanding of the scientific research process to improve biomedical, behavioral, or clinical science education.
- Virtual reality or artificial intelligence-based educational tools.
- Maker Movement projects where students and teachers learn by "doing" or "making" inside or outside the classroom.
- Quantitative and computational skill-building educational resources for a data-science literate workforce.

Posted Date:
April 03
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date):
June 14

Expiration Date:

June 07, 2025

Information on current and past projects can be found on the SEPA website.
Spencer Foundation: Small Research Grants Program

(Download PDF with full details)

Education research projects that will contribute to the improvement of education. The goal for this program is to support rigorous, intellectually ambitious, and technically sound research that is relevant to the most pressing questions and compelling opportunities in education.

This program is “field-initiated” in that proposal submissions are not in response to a specific request for a particular research topic, discipline, design, method, or location.

Applications Open:

June 1

Full Proposal Deadline:

Aug 9

Applications are accepted three times per year.

See the “Recent Awardees” section of the grants program description.
DoD’s Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL): Future Scholars for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce Development Programs Programs or projects that improve the capacity of education systems and communities to create impactful STEM educational experiences for students and teachers, and prepare the 21st century STEM workforce. These include, but are not limited to:

- Internships (High School through Doctoral)

- Fellowship Apprentice/ Residency Programs

- College or University project-based learning programs

- Formal or informal workforce development programs or projects that align with the Federal STEM Strategy and DoD STEM Mission

Current Closing Date for Applications:

June 17, 2025

Estimated Total Program Funding: $50,000,000

Award range: $25,000 - $25,000,000

Before submitting an application, Recipients are highly encouraged to read the Federal STEM Education Strategy and the DoD STEM’s Mission.

N/A

Related: Past awardees of the National Defense Education Program for STEM Education

Institute of Education Sciences 

(Department of Education)

Various funding opportunities for research and training. 

14 programs of research (topics) under the Education Research Grants Program. Applicants across all topic areas should consider whether or not technology would be an effective way to address the education issue on which they are choosing to focus given that it is now pervasive in classrooms. If the goal is to develop or evaluate an education technology product, the application should focus on the topic area that is most closely aligned with the proposed research.

The details vary for each type of research and training program.

For example, each of the topics under the Education Research Grants Program typically accepts applications once per year. Application deadlines are announced in the Federal Register and on the IES website.

Information on past projects is available in the RFAs for each program (see the Types of Projects section). 

For example, this is a list of Development and Innovation projects in the Postsecondary and Adult Education topic under the Education Research Grants Program.