Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Research Funding

This page provides over 20 different funding sources and information on the various offices that provide research support. There is also information about the Columbia-sponsored Faculty Research Allocation Program (FRAP) and the Tenured Faculty Research Program (TFRP). 

Research Support 

Executive Vice President For Research

The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research has overall responsibility for the University's research enterprise. It oversees most of the operations which support research and is responsible for establishing and maintaining University-wide policies relating to research. The Office also assists investigators seeking research funding, encourages interdisciplinary research, provides seed money for early stage investigations, and generally helps provide for the intellectual and physical environment to maintain high quality of research and maximize productivity. The office includes a Research Initiatives Coordinator to offer special support for center grants and other large cross-disciplinary projects.

Sponsored Projects Administration

Research Administration is the University's primary support office for sponsored research grants and contracts. RA can provide assistance through all stages of a proposal. It is responsible for assuring compliance with the regulatory and other requirements that govern the grant application process and for the non-financial requirements that govern awards.

Research Administration can help investigators learn about funding opportunities and apply for funding. Each department is served by a dedicated project manager (Kammy Cabral for SEAS) for the pre-award process and a financial analyst for account setups and other post-award matters. The RA web site contains information about GRANTA 101 (a course on grants fundamentals) InfoED (the New grants management IT system) and other help.

RASCAL

RASCAL is the University's on-line research compliance system. Through RASCAL, you can create and submit for regular approval most research protocols, draft content forms, complete required and additional training, build a CV, and submit your conflict of interest disclosures.

Sponsored Projects Finance

The Division of Restricted Funds in the Office of the Controller is responsible for the Financial Administration and reporting of all sponsored research awards, and for ensuring compliance with the regulatory and other requirements that govern the financial management of those awards.

Columbia Technology Ventures

Columbia Technology Ventures helps facilitate transfer of scientific discoveries and innovations from the University setting to the marketplace in furtherance of the public interest. CTV’s mission is:

  • To facilitate the translation of academic research into practical applications, for the benefit of society on a local, national and global basis
  • To support the research of Columbia faculty by generating funding for the University and facilitating partnerships with industry where appropriate
  • To educate and serve as a resource for the Columbia community on matters relating to entrepreneurship, intellectual property, and technology commercialization.
  • If you believe that you have an invention or discovery that is or may be patentable, contact CTV for guidance on filing the appropriate forms and to obtain a brochure explaining the technology transfer process. CTV also can assist researchers on material transfer agreements that may be required to send or receive certain reagents.  

Environmental Health & Safety

EH&RS provide a broad range of services to promote the health and safety of all university personnel, and to protect the health and safety of the community and the environment in which we live and work. Personnel conducting laboratory research using potentially infections materials, hazardous chemicals, recombinant DNA, and/or radioactive materials need to attend the relevant EH&RS-sponsored safety training(s). The use of recombinant DNA must be approved by Columbia's Institutional Biosafety Committee. The ER&RS web site contains laboratory safety information along with safety training schedules.

Research Compliance and Training

The Office of Research Compliance and Training helps ensure that Columbia faculty and staff are in compliance with the complex web of regulatory requirements that govern research. The ORCT collaborates with many of the other offices on campus to foster an integrated research compliance program. The ORCT administers the University's Conflict of Interest review process for research, serves as a resource for international research compliance issues, and administers Columbia's Standing Committee on Conduct of Research, which addresses issues of research misconduct. The ORCT works to integrate compliance education programming across the University, and to develop new programming that promotes understanding of compliance issues throughout the research enterprise. The ORCT web site contains information about required training for researchers, postdocs and others involved in research.

Office of Research Initiatives (RI)

The Office of Research Initiatives works across disciplines, schools and campuses to foster interdisciplinary research collaboration, and supports efforts to secure funding for such collaborations. They provide:

·       Interdisciplinary opportunities and/or shared instrumentation grants

·       Seed funding

·       Limited submissions - where only a select number of grant applications are allowed to be submitted to a sponsor on behalf of Columbia University (as determined by the sponsor)

·       Several Listservs available for:

·       Basic Science, Technology and Engineering

·       Medical Research

·       Stem Cell Research

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

The mission of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is to enhance the educational and training experience of the University's postdoctoral appointees. The Office provides administrative support, serves as an information clearinghouse, and fosters communication among postdocs, faculty and administrators. it also works to promote consistency in University policies that affect postdocs.

Human Subjects Research

If you plan to conduct research that involves human subjects, including biomedical investigations, one of Columbia's four Institutional Review Boards will help ensure that your study complies with all applicable ethical and regulatory requirements. The University's IRB's are responsible for protecting human subjects in research and are made up of faculty and community members. All human subjects research conducted by Columbia Faculty, staff and students must be approved by a Columbia IRB.

Clinical Trials Office

The mission of the Clinical Trials Office is to facilitate quality clinical trial research - the effective and efficient evaluation of new pharmaceuticals and medical devices - by providing the Columbia University Medical Center research community with comprehensive administrative services that help move trials quickly from initial proposal through contract execution. CTO assists with trials supported by federal and foundation grants and industry contracts, including investigator-initiated trials.

The foundation center

We encourage the use of SPIN Plus for all non-federal funding searches. 

However, The Foundation Center can also provide information about the foundations and corporations that provide grants. The Center has the Foundation Finder that offers basic information on sponsors in the United States, including private foundations, community foundations, public charities and corporate giving programs.

To search the Foundation Finder: http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/foundfinder/

The foundation directory

The Foundation Directory is a database of 80,000 grantors and 500,000 awards.

To search the Foundation Directory: https://fconline.foundationcenter.org/

research iniatives for science and engineering (rise)

Each year, the Office of the EVPR sponsors a competition for RISE funding. These seed monies enable researchers to initiate a project to develop a novel theory or idea in order to gather the data necessary to then secure external funding. Interdisciplinary projects are favored. These formal announcements are sent via email to the University community, and contain the details on proposal submission, availability of funds, eligibility and deadlines. 

For more information about RISE: http://researchinitiatives.columbia.edu/fundingresources/research-initiatives-science-and-engineering-rise.

individual school and center seed funds

Many centers and schools offer seed funding as well from time to time. Examples are Columbia University Population Center and the Earth Institute. You may wish to contact central administration at your center or school to inquire about the existence of such opportunities.

Funding Opportunities

WEB-BASED SEARCH AND ALERT TOOLS: INFOED AND SPIN PLUS

SPIN Plus is part of the InfoEd suite of web-based modules for grants management that the University uses. See Preparing a Sponsored Project Proposal: University IT Systems Used in Proposal Development and Submission (Chapter IV, Section F) for more information regarding InfoEd and other University systems. The URL is https://www.infoed.columbia.edu/. To access SPIN Plus, all you need is your UNI and password to be able to log into the system. If you are unable to log in, call the InfoEd Help Desk at (212) 305-6462.

SPIN Plus consists of three modules. Users can take advantage of any or all three of the services offered according to their individual preferences.

  • SPIN (Sponsored Programs Information Network) – A searchable database of funding opportunities from current national and international government and private funding sources, including fellowships, research grants, publication support, sabbatical support, curriculum development and more. SPIN can be used to conduct manual searches of  funding opportunities. SPIN has an Advanced Search tool, so that users can identify finding by specific scientific keywords, grant types, locations of research and sponsors.
  • GENIUS (Global Expertise Network for Industry, Universities and Scholars)—GENIUS can assist investigators in identifying potential collaborators through a registry and expertise profile system that contains profiles and/or curriculum vitae created and updated by investigators who can optionally choose to make their profiles public. GENIUS is used to store specific information about the user, such as scientific areas of interest, biosketches, degrees and contact information.
  • SMARTS (SPIN Matching and Research Transmittal Service)—An automated daily alert system that notifies investigators of relevant new programs that match their profiles. SMARTS sends relevant funding opportunities to users via daily email reports (when there are relevant matches) in either Summary or Full Program format. SMARTS uses both the GENIUS profiles and SPIN database to generate the emails. The automatic system matches the areas of scientific keywords stored in the user’s GENIUS profile against funding opportunities identified in SPIN.

SPA has developed online training to demonstrate how to sign up for SMARTS. See http://spa.columbia.edu/funding/search-funding-spin. For more information, or to learn how to sign up for SMARTS, contact the InfoEd Help Desk at (212) 305-6462.

GRANTS.GOV

Grants.gov is a central portal to find and apply for federal government grants. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the managing partner for Grants.gov. It provides access to the 26 grant-making HHS agencies, where federal grant and contract opportunities can be found. You can search by agency, keyword, funding opportunity number or category.

To search for grants on Grants.gov, go to: http://www07.grants.gov/applicants/find_grant_opportunities.jsp

It is sometimes beneficial to view what HHS grant opportunities are in the planning stages, but have not been formally announced, in order to learn who might provide future opportunities.

To search for future funding opportunities, go to: http://www.acf.gov/hhsgrantsforecast/

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH) 

While you can locate all NIH opportunities on Grants.gov, it is helpful to explore the NIH site to stay current on upcoming opportunities.

NIH’s Funding Opportunities and Notices Search Page: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/index.html

You can sign up for the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts, that announces new NIH grant opportunities on a weekly basis. Sign up for their email listserv: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/listserv.htm

NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices:

Depending on your specific area of interest, browse the specific NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices website, for recently cleared concepts or upcoming solicitations. This website presents key information, including the objectives and descriptions of future solicitations and a direct link to NIH staff contacts. The listing of potential future initiatives is meant to provide the earliest possible alert to potential applicants in order to maximize application preparation time. For a listing of NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices, go to http://www.nih.gov/icd/ and then search for recently cleared concepts..

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (NSF)

The NSF promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics and engineering.

The NSF website (http://www.nsf.gov) is the most comprehensive source of information

on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. In addition, National Science Foundation Update, which has replaced “My NSF”, is an information delivery system that includes subscription options for documents that were available in My NSF, as well as new content categories such as Images and Videos, Events and Upcoming Due Dates for Funding Opportunities. “National Science Foundation Updates” is available on NSF’s website at: http://service.govdelivery.com/service/multi_subscribe.html?code=USNSF&custom_id=823.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE)

The Office of Science of the DOE is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. It oversees – and is the principal federal funding agency of – the nation’s research programs in high-energy physics, nuclear physics and fusion energy sciences.

An entity within DOE – the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) was established by Congress in 2007 under the America Competes Act “to overcome the long-term and high-risk technological barriers in the development of energy technology” and the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided its first funding. Its focus is on research that is both “transformational” and “translational” (i.e., breakthrough research that can move swiftly toward applications).

To search the Office of Science for DOE opportunities: http://science.energy.gov/grants/

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD)

The DOD supports University research through several agencies and programs. 

The DOD branches generally indicate their areas of interst through the issuance of annual Broad Agency Announcements (BAA). If a researcher finds that his/her research might be responsive to the needs expressed in a BAA, he/she should contact the relevant DOD Program officer to determine whether it is of interest to the DOD. 

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the central research and development organization for the DOD. It manages and directs selected basic and applied research and development projects for the DOD. 

To search for DARPA opportunities: http://www.darpa.mil/Opportunities/Solicitations/DARPA_Solicitations.aspx 

The armed services have the following science and technology providers:

● Department of the Air Force: Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)

To search for AFOSR opportunities: http://www.wpafb.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=8127

● Department of the Army: Army Research Laboratory (ARL)

To search for ARL Opportunities: http://www.arl.army.mil/www/default.cfm?Action=6&Page=8

● Department of the Navy: Office of Naval Research (ONR)

To search for ONR opportunities: http://www.onr.navy.mil/02/baa/

To search for DOD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs: http://cdmrp.army.mil/funding/.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION (NOAA)

The mission of NOAA is to understand and predict changes in earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet the nation’s economic, social and environmental needs. NOAA provides funding for research that will improve understanding of the role of the oceans, coasts and atmosphere in the global ecosystem.

To search for NOAA opportunities: http://www.ago.noaa.gov/quicklinks/grantee.html.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY (NIST)

As part of the Department of Commerce, NIST’s funding for extramural research focuses on “advancing measurement science, standards and technology”. While it will fund early research, there must be a clear line between the potential research outcome and practical application. NIST seeks to fund research that is complementary with other agencies and can be used for tools and platform technologies. Its own laboratories include: Manufacturing Engineering, Nanoscale Science and Technology, Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Science and Technology, Information Technology, Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Physics, and Building and Fire Research. NIST typically awards money under a contract rather than a grant. 

To search for NIST funding opportunities: http://www.nist.gov/director/grants/grants.cfm
OTHER FEDERAL RESOURCES

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

There are currently 15 types of assistance available, including surplus equipment, training, guaranteed loans and grants. www.cfda.gov 

Federal Business Opportunities 

Commercial vendors seeking federal markets for their products and services can search, monitor and retrieve opportunities solicited by the entire federal contracting community. These opportunities can also be accessed through SPIN. http://www.fedbizopps.gov/

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Technology

The SBA Office of Technology administers the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. Through these two programs, SBA ensures that the nation’s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts. Eleven federal departments participate in the SBIR program; five departments participate in the STTR program awarding $2 billion to small high-tech businesses. NSF administers the sbir.gov website on behalf of the federal government.

To view current SBIR/STTR opportunities: http://www.sbir.gov/solicitations/ 

Federal Register 

The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules and notices of federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. This publication can also be accessed through SPIN. http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html

NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

The New York State Department of Health is comprised of a number of offices that provide funding for research that will address healthcare issues affecting New Yorkers.

To search for New York State Department of Health opportunities: http://www.health.state.ny.us/funding/

NEW YORK STEM CELL SCIENCE (NYSTEM)

NYSTEM was created for the purpose of administering grants for basic, applied, translational or other research and development activities, and facilitates the acquisition and development of specialized equipment, that will advance scientific discoveries in fields related to stem cell biology.

To search for NYSTEM opportunities: http://stemcell.ny.gov

NY STATE DIVISION OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION (NYSTAR)

NYSTAR is a division of the Empire State Development Corporation that supports technology development, innovation and commercialization leading to economic growth and job development in New York State. 

To search for NYSTAR opportunities: http://www.esd.ny.gov/CorporateInformation/RFPs.html

NY STATE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (NYSERDA)

Through collaborations with industry, academia and governmental and non-governmental organizations, NYSERDA seeks to develop a diversified energy supply portfolio, improve market mechanisms, and facilitate the introduction and adoption of advanced technologies that will help New Yorkers plan for and respond to uncertainties in the energy markets.

To search for NYSERDA opportunities: http://www.nyserda.org/Funding/

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES (NEH)

NEH funds a wide-variety of programs that can help you expand your humanities knowledge, engage in concentrated research, or improve your classroom teaching. Check out the list below for the latest offerings, ordered by division.

Division of Education Programs: Workshops and Seminars

Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers
Attendees spend between two to five weeks on in-depth study of a humanities topic.

Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers
Attendees spend between two to five weeks on in-depth study of a humanities topic.

Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers
These one-week programs will give participants direct experiences in the interpretation of significant historical and cultural sites and the use of archival and other primary evidence.

Division of Education Programs: Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges

These funded projects focus on the theme of Bridging Cultures, an agency-wide initiative that encourages exploration of the ways in which cultures from around the globe, as well as cultures within America’s borders, have influenced American society.

Division of Research Programs: Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions

Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions support qualified centers and institutions to offer NEH fellowships in the humanities. Scholars can pursue their research while benefitting from the center's special resources or its location abroad and the collegial association with other fellows.

Attend An ODH Funded Institute

The NEH program Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities funds workshops and institutes on various topics in the digital humanities..

Faculty Research Allocation Program

The FRAP Card is a university purchasing card exclusively for use in the Arts & Sciences Faculty Research Allocation Program (FRAP). The card can be used for most FRAP purchases, including, but not limited to, air and ground transportation, book purchases, office supplies, shipping, professional membership dues, computers, computer peripherals and software.

The FRAP Card is a declining balance card. Each faculty member eligible for FRAP will be issued a FRAP Card pre-set with a spending limit that matches his/her FRAP allocation. Faculty can use the card in stores or on-line where VISA is accepted for FRAP-eligible purchases up to the amount of their individual FRAP allocations. As purchases are made, the amount available to spend on the card will automatically decrease until the FRAP allocation is fully spent.

What are the benefits of the FRAP Card?

  • No Layout of Funds; No Waiting to be Reimbursed – All purchases are charged directly to a FRAP account in the Arts & Sciences.
  • No Sales Tax on Most Purchases – The FRAP Card clearly identifies Columbia University’s tax exempt status.
  • Reduction of Paperwork – No travel and business expense reports to be signed and approved by Arts & Sciences and Accounts Payable.
  • Later FRAP Deadline – By eliminating the reimbursement process with Accounts Payable, we can extend the FRAP deadline for FRAP Card purchases from the first week of May to last week in May.

​Fill out the FRAP Application here

The FRAP Card guidelines and overview is here

If you have any questions or need more information regarding FRAP, please contact Kathy Maqsudi, Manager, Budget Operations, at km3052@columbia.edu or at(212) 854-9855.

Tenured Faculty Research Program

The Tenured Faculty Research Program (TFRP) offers tenured faculty annually the equivalent of one-ninth of their academic year salary. The TFRP allocation may be used either toward a paid leave with salary or for research assistance. The 2017-2018 Application Form should be returned to the Office of the Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences, 635 West 115th street, by March 31, 2017.

If you have any questions or need more information regarding TFRP, please contact Joseph Werst, Director, Academic Appointments and Payroll, at jw19@columbia.eduor at (212) 854-6110.