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Current Funding Opportunities

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The Faculty and Grad Student buttons lead to UW Box folder spreadsheets that contain up-to-date information. Faculty funding is also posted in the weekly “Research funding opps, news & info” blog series. Graduate student opportunities include fellowships, dissertation, travel and conference grants and more.

Search for COVID-19 Funding Opportunities

Several resources offer compilations of funding opportunities relevant to COVID-19. Opportunities are updated frequently, so check them often. Contact Sarah Marcotte for assistance locating a COVID-19 funding opportunity in a specific area of research or public service activities.

SoHE Funding Opportunities

The following opportunities are available to SoHE faculty and/or staff. These opportunities are handled as internal competitions and are coordinated by the Associate Dean for Research or the respective Center of Excellence. Each opportunity outlines the process for submitting an application and the eligibility requirements but in general, these proposals are not submitted via WISPER. For more information, refer to the funding opportunity announcement below.

SoHE Course Release Incentive Applications - Next due date March 1, 2021

The current cycle has closed. Applications for Fall 2021 course release will be due March 1, 2021.


In support of advancing SoHE’s productivity and impact in research, scholarship, and grants, Dean Shim has allocated significant resources to fund faculty members’ course releases. The releases are intended to create time for developing promising external funding proposals.

The application focuses on the role the course release will play in the researcher’s overall scholarship and grant process. The course releases are intended for investigators who have identified a significant federal grant opportunity. The aim of the release is to carve out time for the investigator to advance or complete the grant proposal. The applicant will be more competitive if they have support from and/or connection with a SoHE research center. Consideration will also be given to the quality and impact of the proposed work, the applicant’s career stage and demonstrated capability to execute the proposed work (including track record from any of the SoHE’s previous investments), and the size and scope of the potential funding award.

Submission Instructions

Submit the completed application via email to Dr. Lauren Papp, Associate Dean for Research -

CCFW / CDL / P25 Research Incentive Funds - Opportunity has closed
This opportunity has closed.
Center for Child and Family Well-Being (CCFW), Child Development Lab (CDL), and Prenatal to Five (P25) Research Incentive Funds

This Call for Research Proposals is issued to affiliates of the Center for Child and Family Well-Being (CCFW), Child Development Lab (CDL), and Prenatal to Five (P25) Initiative with UW-Madison Principal Investigator (PI) status and to other investigators (e.g., Extension educators, faculty associates) applying in partnership with a PI.

To apply, submit your application as a single PDF (with the PI’s Firstname.Lastname as the PDF filename) via email to by 5pm on February 14, 2020. We anticipate disbursing $150,000 in total following review of meritorious proposals.

Award terms include:

  • Funds are available from April 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021.
  • For projects requiring IRB oversight, confirmation of IRB determination (protocol approval or exemption) must be provided to release funds.

A brief report (1-2 pages) of project outcomes, including any anticipated future funding or projects resulting from this allocation, will be due within one month of project completion, but no later than June 30, 2021.

Click here for the CCFW/CDL/P25 Call for Research Proposals.

CommNS Research Incentive Funds - Opportunity has closed
This opportunity has closed.
CommNS Research Incentive Funds - Click here for the Call for Proposals

This Call for Proposals is issued to Civil Society and Community Studies faculty. Proposals should be submitted via email (with a single attachment) to Mary Beth Collins ( and Amy Hilgendorf ( by January 21, 2020.

Proposals should be prepared in a single document no longer than two (2) pages, and should include:

  • The name of the proposed PI and any collaborators, including UW colleagues, Extension colleagues, community partners, or graduate students
  • An abstract describing the proposed project (100 words or less)
  • A project narrative describing the proposed project, addressing the "criteria and specifications" listed below
  • An itemized budget request, including brief justifications for each item - for a total project budget of up to $10,000
Criteria and Specifications for Proposals

Proposals must demonstrate that they 1) increase productivity in research, scholarship, and sponsored programs; and 2) reach beyond campus to build strategic partnerships to help to address real-world problems.

Proposals should clearly demonstrate or identify:

  • CSCS Faculty as PI (including as Co-PI, if a collaborator from outside the Department has a key role in the project)
  • Support of student engagement
  • Community-engaged approach and partner, and/or collaboration with UW Extension colleague(s)
  • Publication, presentation, and/or dissemination targets
  • Extramural funding targets which will be pursued in continuation of the work funded by this opportunity
  • Connection to one or more of the CommNS Focus Areas
Proposal Review

Proposals will be reviewed in January or early February 2020 by a review committee comprised of CommNS Director and Associate Director, two (2) CSCS faculty members, a CSCS graduate student, and a member of the CommNS Steering Committee

Award Announcements & Requirements

Award Announcements will be made in February 2020. Funds can be made available from early 2020 through the full academic year 2020-21.

Awardees will be required to:

  • Credit support from the CommNS and SoHE in all related publications, presentations, etc.
  • Share about the project at a CommNS outreach event
  • Pursue the publication, presentation, dissemination, and extramural funding opportunities reference in the proposal (or as modified)
  • For projects requiring IRB oversight, provide confirmation of IRB determination (protocol approval or exemption) in order to release funds
Center for Financial Security Research Incentive Funds - Opportunity has closed
This opportunity has closed.
Center for Financial Security Research Incentive Funds - Click here for the Call for Proposals

This Call for Proposals is issued to SoHE faculty who have submitted a research proposal to the Retirement and Disability Research Consortium (RDRC) in FY2019 or FY2020 through the Center for Financial Security. This call is limited to faculty who submitted proposals and did not receive funding for their proposal.

If you are eligible to submit a proposal, refer to the Call for Proposals for details about required format and submission instructions.

Proposals are due by January 21, 2020. Please send questions to Hallie Lienhardt (

DS/CDMC Research Incentive Funds - Opportunity has closed
This opportunity has closed.
DS/CDMC Research Incentive Funds - Click here for the Call for Proposals

This Call for Proposals is issued to Design Studies and Center for Design and Material Culture (DS/CDMC) faculty, and to faculty associates who are applying in partnership with a faculty member. Submit your application via email to Marina Moskowitz at, by December 19, 2019.


Dean Shim has allocated DS/CDMC $10,000 per year for five years to support scholarship (especially projects that can involve or lead to external grant support, ideally from federal agencies) and external partnerships. She has indicated that these funds are “to drive Strategic Goal #1: Increase productivity in research, scholarship and sponsored programs and support Strategic Goal #2: Collaborate beyond SoHE to build strategic partnerships to solve real-world problems.”

Year 1 will emphasize capacity building and prototyping, in order to aim for further research and community projects, and major grant applications later in the 5-year cycle. As such, up to $2,000 of this year's allocation will be used for grant workshops that are particularly suited to arts and humanities scholarship.  The remaining funds of at least $8,000 will be allocated to faculty projects in response to this call for proposals.

DS/CDMC Priorities

Priorities for the Year 1 allocation are listed below, and are designed to support first steps toward the goals outlined by Dean Shim, and also encourage collaborative projects, where appropriate. These priorities are rooted in conversations with faculty members and our discussions at the start of year retreat and subsequent faculty meetings.

  1. Seed funding for project or other support for faculty members in DS/CDMC who are in the process of preparing large-scale grant applications in 2019-2020 or shortly thereafter
  2. Seed funding for project that illustrates how to achieve longer-term impact (e.g., scholarly publication, website, film, podcast, app, policy white paper, etc.) from a short-term research or outreach event (e.g., exhibition, design thinking activity, community project, etc.)
  3. Seed funding for collaborative work among colleagues within DS/CDMC (ideally with participants from both TFD and IA), which might lead to scholarly output, grant application, or community project
  4. Seed funding for collaborative work between DS/CDMC and another unit at UW-Madison and/or a community partner, which might lead to scholarly output, grant application, or community project
Application Procedures

Proposals are welcome from any DS/CDMC faculty or faculty associates. Faculty associates should aim to apply in partnership with a faculty member.

Funding requests should be limited to $8,000 or less, but in an effort to fund multiple meritorious proposals, it is unlikely the entire amount will be allocated to one project.

To apply for funding, please submit the following information:

  • Name and contact details
  • Brief project description of c. 300 words. Please address the following: What do you want to do? How will this project help your longer-term plans for scholarship and/or community activity?
  • Provide a sentence or two indicating which of the priority areas listed above your project falls under, or why you feel another priority is equally relevant to the overall aims of the funding allocation
  • Project budget

Submit your application via email to Marina Moskowitz at, by December 19, 2019.

Review and Award Decisions

Prof. Moskowitz will convene a small committee of people who have not applied for funding to meet at the start of the semester in January to review proposals. The committee will include different constituents of DS/CDMC who carry out different forms of research (e.g., artists, designers, humanities scholars, etc.). Awardees will be notified by the end of January 2020.

Award terms include:

  • Funds must be expended by December 31, 2020.
  • A brief report (no more than one page) of project outcomes including any anticipated future funding or projects resulting from this allocation, will be due within one month of project completion, but no later than January 31, 2021.
  • For projects requiring IRB oversight, confirmation of IRB determination (protocol approval or exemption) must be provided in order to release funds.

UW-Madison Funding Opportunities

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (OVCRGE) at UW-Madison offers several internal funding opportunities for faculty, staff and/or graduate students throughout the year.

Search current OVCRGE internal funding opportunities

Limited Competition Grant Programs

Some external sponsors limit the number of applications an institution may submit, which is referred to as a limited competition. The OVCRGE oversees the process for selecting the designated applicant from across campus for limited competition grant programs. In addition, SoHE may conduct a limited competition when i) a sponsor limits applicants to one per academic unit on campus; or ii) the OVCRGE requests no more than one applicant from each School/College be put forth for a campus-wide limited competition.

Review the SoHE Process for a Limited Competition Grant Program.
Explore OVCRGE Policies & Procedures for limited competition grant programs.

Private Organizations and Foundations that Fund Academic Research

Many private organizations and foundations support academic research and public service projects. The table below provides a link to the organization and a basic overview of the types of research and public service projects supported.

Organization Name What They Fund
Mellon (Andrew W.) FoundationScholarship in the humanities, arts and cultural heritage, and scholarship in other countries.
Gates (Bill and Melinda) Foundation
Projects to improve global health and development (especially preventing disease in children and empowering women and girls), and education of underprivileged US students.
Packard FoundationProjects to improve the lives of children, families and communities, and restore and protect the environment. International work permitted.
Ford FoundationProjects that challenge inequality, including civil engagement and government, free expression and creativity, equitable development, inclusive economies and gender, racial and ethnic justice, internet freedom and youth opportunity and learning.
Johnson (Robert Wood) FoundationProjects to improve health and health care of Americans.
Spencer FoundationResearch on education and improvement of its practice. Includes Small Research Grants, Lyle Spencer Research Award, Strategic Initiatives, Research-Practice Partnership Grants, and Midcareer grants.
Kellogg (William K.) FoundationProjects to promote educated kids, healthy kids, and secure families. Focus is on early childhood (prenatal to age 8), within the context of their families and community. Committed to racial equity and community and civic engagement.
Hewlett FoundationProjects to help people build measurably better lives, including improving education, protecting the environment, and addressing global development and population.
Sage (Russell) FoundationPrograms of social science research in the areas of (i) Behavioral Economics, (ii) Future of Work, (iii) Race, Ethnicity and Immigration, (iv) Social, Political and Economic Inequality, and (v) Immigration and Immigrant Integration.
Grant (William T.) FoundationResearch that increases our understanding of (1) the programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality in youth outcomes; and (2) how policymakers and practitioners acquire, interpret, and use research evidence.
Sloan (Alfred P.) FoundationBasic scientific research in select areas of cutting-edge research including chemistry; economic institutions; behavior and performance; energy and environment; outsourcing; digital sky project; and working longer.
Open Society FoundationsProjects that promote tolerance, transparency, and open debate. Also supports strategic human rights litigation and impact investing, while incubating new ideas and engaging directly with governments and policymakers through advocacy to advance positive change. International projects supported.
Conservation, Food and Health FoundationProjects that protect natural resources, improve the production and distribution of food, and promote public health in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Projects that build the capacity of organizations and coalitions through research that improves the learning and generation of local solutions to complex problems.
Beckman FoundationBasic research in chemistry, biochemistry and medicine. Includes Beckman Young Investigators, Beckman Scholars, Beckman-Argyros Award in Vision Research, Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows. Applications are handled through a limited competition process at UW-Madison.
Bader PhilanthropiesSupports work in Milwaukee, greater Wisconsin, and to a limited degree beyond. Funds research and projects in community building, employment, Alzheimer’s and healthy aging, social equity, the arts, and youth development. Submit a brief LOI, full proposal submission by invitation only.
Casey (Annie E.) FoundationResearch and projects that address the needs of kids in the US facing the greatest challenges in the areas of child welfare (Foster Care), community change (Community Development), economic opportunity (Employment, Education and Training), and juvenile justice.
Joyce FoundationFunds projects that advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI), in the areas of culture, democracy, education & economic mobility, environment, and gun violence prevention & justice reform.
Mott (Charles Stewart) FoundationFunds projects in four major program areas: Civil Society (US and international), Education (US only) Environment (Great Lakes and limited international projects), Flint, MI Area.
Lefkofsky Family FoundationPrincipal giving interests are focused on four program areas: Education, Human Rights, Medical Research, and Arts & Culture. The Foundation accepts proposals by invitation only.

Searching for External Funding Opportunities

UW-Madison subscribes to several grant-seeking websites for searching available funding opportunities across a wide array of potential funders, from federal agencies to non-profits to foundations. Information about these resources can be found on RSP’s webpage for Finding Funding. If you would like help with setting up a profile and creating customized searches using one of these searching services, contact Sarah Marcotte, pre-award research administrator.

The UW Libraries Grants Information Collective (GIC) has compiled extensive grant-seeking resources including links to workshops, online tutorial videos, grant examples, etc.

Remember that all grant applications to external sponsors must be routed through WISPER for review and approval by SoHE and RSP, per campus policy. If you find a funding opportunity you would like to apply to, contact Sarah Marcotte, SoHE pre-award administrator, for assistance with WISPER, preparation and review of the budget, or for any questions about eligibility or the steps involved with submission.

External Funding – Sponsor Resources

Most grant-making sponsors maintain available funding opportunities on their websites, along with information about preparing and submitting a proposal and the award process. Below are links to frequently sought resources and sponsor websites.

grants.govA comprehensive resource for searching all federal funding opportunities.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)The NIH is the largest federal sponsor of research at UW-Madison and provides extensive resources for grant preparation.
National Science Foundation (NSF)NSF funds a significant amount of research on the UW-Madison campus.
Proposal CentralProvides funding opportunities and serves as the grant application portal for an array of not-for-profit, governmental, and private organizations.