Deadline Info: Annually, October 1 - October 20

Agency/Sponsor: National Science Foundation



Name Email Phone Room
Carol  Lucas (703) 292-2161   


Apply to PD 15-5345 as follows:

For full proposals submitted via FastLane: standard Grant Proposal Guide proposal preparation guidelines apply.
For full proposals submitted via the NSF Application Guide; A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Guidelinesapplies. (Note: The NSF Application Guide is available on the website and on the NSF website at:

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 16-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 16-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Window: October 1 - October 20, Annually 


These submission windows do not apply to workshop or supplement proposals, proposals for EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), or Rapid Response Grants (RAPID).  As noted below, PIs are strongly encouraged to discuss their requests with the Program Director before submission of proposals of this nature.


The goal of the Biomedical Engineering (BME) program is to provide opportunities to develop novel ideas into discovery-level and transformative projects that integrate engineering and life sciences in solving biomedical problems that serve humanity in the long-term.  BME projects must be at the interface of engineering and life sciences, and advance both engineering and life sciences.  The projects should focus on high impact transformative methods and technologies. Projects should include methods, models and enabling tools of understanding and controlling living systems; fundamental improvements in deriving information from cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems; new approaches to the design of structures and materials for eventual medical use in the long-term; and novel methods for reducing health care costs through new technologies.

The long-term impact of the projects can be related to fundamental understanding of cell and tissue function, effective disease diagnosis and/or treatment, improved health care delivery, or product development. The BME program does not support clinical studies, or proposals having as their central theme drug design and delivery or the development of biomedical devices that do not include a living biological component.  Furthermore, although research on biomaterials or  cellular biomechanics may constitute a part of the proposed studies, such research cannot be the central theme or key focus area of the proposed work.

The BME program supports fundamental and transformative research in the following themes:

  • Molecular, cellular and tissue approaches for advanced biomanufacturing: three-dimensional structures of biomolecules, cells, scaffolds/matrices by bioprinting or other technologies for fundamental studies on cells, disease modeling and drug testing, and for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications; fundamental studies of cell-cell, cell-matrix interactions, self-assembly; systems integration between biological components and electromechanical assemblies; cellular biomanufacturing, including stem cell engineering and reprogramming technologies, and cellular immunotherapies.
  • Neural engineering and brain mapping: technologies and tools to interrogate and monitor neuron activity at the molecular, cellular and neural network levels; new experimental methodologies and computational approaches to investigate brain structure and function, especially at the sub-cellular, cellular, and tissue levels, and to understand the interactions of the neural component of the brain with proximal and distant tissues; and to repair and renew deteriorated, damaged, or diseased neurons and neural circuits, especially of the central nervous system.

Special BME Requirement: On the last line of the project summary page for unsolicited and CAREER proposals, the PI should write the BME theme(s) that he/she is submitting the proposal for (check the two themes stated above to determine the BME theme(s) for your proposal). 

Innovative proposals outside of these specific interest areas may be considered.  However, prior to submission, it is strongly recommended that the PI contacts the Program Director to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review.

The duration of unsolicited awards is generally one to three years. The typical award size for the program is around $100,000 per year with allowance for up to $200,000 per year for collaborative projects or those involving multiple investigators.  Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation with the Program Director, may be returned without review.


Proposals should address the novelty and/or potentially transformative nature of the proposed work compared to previous work in the field.  Also, it is important to address why the proposed work is important in terms of engineering science, as well as to also project the potential impact on society and/or industry of success in the research.  The novelty or potentially transformative nature of the research should be included, as a minimum, in the Project Summary of each proposal.

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program proposals are strongly encouraged.  Award duration is five years.  The submission deadline for Engineering CAREER proposals is in July every year. Please see the CAREER URL here for more information. 

Proposals for Conferences, Workshops, and Supplements: PIs are strongly encouraged to discuss their requests with the Program Director before submission of the proposal.

Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) and EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) are also considered when appropriate.  Please note that proposals of these types must be discussed with the program director before submission.  Further details are available in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) download found here.  Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) proposals that integrate fundamental research with translational results and are consistent with the application areas of interest to each program are also encouraged.  Please note that GOALI proposals must be submitted during the annual unsolicited proposal window for each program. More information on GOALI can be found here.

COMPLIANCE: Proposals which are not compliant with the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) will be returned without review.

Unsolicited proposals received outside of the Announced Proposal Window dates will be returned without review.

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