Limited and External Funding Opportunities

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Internal review process required to choose institutional nominees

Limited Submission Eligibility Guidelines

The following tags serve as a guide for submission instructions.

 Vanderbilt (VU + VUMC):  

  • VU and VUMC submit collaboratively to this LSO. ALL investigators should follow the guidelines posted on this site.


  • VU and VUMC submit separately to this LSO. VUMC investigators should follow the guidelines posted on this site. VU investigators should apply through InfoReady and address any questions to


  • High-profile or prestigious awards of particular interest to Vanderbilt investigators

Full internal call

  • Click on "View Full Internal Call" at end of each LSO description to access PDF with internal submission instructions 

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation: 2024 Creating Equitable Pathways to STEM Graduate Education

Applications due by 5pm April 23, 2024

VUMC:  These instructions are for VUMC investigators. VU investigators should apply through InfoReady and address any questions to

VUMC may submit one Letter of Inquiry as lead institution to the 2024 Creating Equitable Pathways to STEM Graduate Education program from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The Higher Education Program at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is continuing its investment in Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and in the establishment of partnerships between MSIs and graduate programs at other colleges and universities. Sloan’s Creating Equitable Pathways to STEM Graduate Education grants will engage the expertise of MSIs—and the unique experiences of their faculty and students—to model effective systems and practices that remove barriers and create opportunities for equitable learning environments in STEM graduate education so all students can thrive. Grant awards will support sharing MSIs’ institutional know-how on equitable undergraduate and graduate education, as well as modeling that know-how to create systemic changes that enhance pathways from MSIs to master’s and doctoral degree programs in astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, data science, Earth sciences, economics, engineering, marine science, mathematics, physics, and statistics at partner institutions.

Three types of grants will be funded:

  1. Planning grants to support two or more institutions to conduct internal reviews of existing barriers to student success and for analysis and planning for future partnership(s) (up to $75,000 for up to 1 year);
  2. Seed grants to two or more institutions that seek to formalize an existing partnership(s) and launch one or more pilot initiatives (up to $250,000 over 1-2 years); and
  3. Implementation grants to two or more institutions that allow for the augmentation or scaling of existing partnerships/collaborations (up to $500,000 over 2-3 years).

Full internal call

2024 V Foundation Pediatric Cancer Research Awards

Applications due by 11:59pm April 25, 2024

Vanderbilt (VU + VUMC): This is a joint competition for VU and VUMC investigators. All investigators should follow these instructions.

Vanderbilt (VU + VUMC, collaboratively) has been invited to participate in the V Foundation 2024 Pediatric Cancer Research Grant Program.  Vanderbilt may choose one nominee for the Pediatric Cancer Research Grant Program. The single nominee may apply in either the V Scholar or the Translational program type for support.

Pediatric Cancer Translational Research Award

The V Foundation seeks to support translational research projects within the scope of pediatric cancer research. The Translational Research Award is a $800,000 grant awarded in four annual installments of $200,000. Indirect costs up to a maximum of 10% within the total award are permitted.

Pediatric Cancer V Scholar Award

The Pediatric Cancer V Scholar Award supports young tenure-track faculty early in their cancer research career by funding projects that are either laboratory-based fundamental research or translational research. Emphasis for this grant mechanism is on supporting exceptional early career investigators at the Assistant Professor stage to be better positioned to leverage large R01 or similar sustaining grants. The total amount of the grant is $600,000 awarded in three annual installments of $200,000, each. No indirect costs are permitted.

Full internal call

2025 Brain Research Foundation Scientific Innovations Award

Applications due by 5pm May 7, 2024

Vanderbilt (VU + VUMC): This is a joint competition for VU and VUMC investigators. All investigators should follow these instructions


Vanderbilt (VU + VUMC, collaboratively) may nominate one associate or full professor to submit a Letter of Intent for the 2025 Brain Research Foundation Scientific Innovations Award (SIA). The SIA program provides $150,000 (direct costs) over two years for innovative science in both basic and clinical neuroscience. This funding mechanism is designed to support creative, exploratory, cutting-edge research in well-established research laboratories, under the direction of established investigators.

The SIA supports projects that may be too innovative and speculative for traditional funding sources but still have a high likelihood of producing important findings. It is expected that investigations supported by these grants will yield high impact findings and result in major grant applications and significant publications in high impact journals. Please note that indirect costs are prohibited.

Full internal call

NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI-RP) Research Partnerships Track

Applications due by 5pm May 15, 2024

VUMC: These instructions are for VUMC investigators. VU investigators should apply through InfoReady and address any questions to

VUMC may submit one application to the September 2024 cycle of the NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI-RP) Research Partnerships Track.

The Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program within the Division of Translational Impacts (TI) offers researchers from all disciplines of science and engineering funded by NSF the opportunity to perform translational research and technology development, catalyze partnerships and accelerate the transition of discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace for societal benefit.

The Research Partnerships (PFI-RP) track supports complex, multi-faceted technology development projects that are typically beyond the scope of a single researcher or institution and require a multi-organizational, interdisciplinary, synergistic collaboration. A PFI-RP project requires the creation of partnerships between academic researchers and third-party organizations such as industry, non-academic research organizations, federal laboratories, public or non-profit technology transfer organizations or other universities. Such partnerships are needed to conduct applied research on a stand-alone larger project toward commercialization and societal impact. In the absence of such synergistic partnership, the project’s likelihood for success would be minimal. The budget for PFI-RP proposals is up to $1,000,000 for 36 months.

Full internal call

NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards (DP5 Clinical Trial Optional)

Applications due by 5pm May 16, 2024

VU and VUMC may each submit two applications to the NIH Director's Early Independence Award.

The NIH Director's Early Independence Award (DP5 Clinical Trial Optional) supports rigorous and promising junior investigators who wish to pursue independent research soon after completion of their terminal doctoral degree or post-graduate clinical training, thereby forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period and accelerating their entry into an independent research career. For the program to support the best possible researchers and research, applications are sought which reflect the full diversity of the research workforce.

Though most newly graduated doctoral-level researchers would benefit from post-doctoral training, a small number of capable junior investigators are ready to launch independent research careers. The Early Independence Award is intended for these select junior investigators, who have already established a record of scientific innovation and research productivity and have demonstrated unusual scientific vision and maturity. Typical post-doctoral training would unnecessarily delay their entry into independent research. The NIH Director’s Early Independence Award also provides an opportunity for institutions to invigorate their research programs by bringing in fresh scientific perspectives of the awardees they host.

Full internal call

NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program

Applications due May 21, 2024

Vanderbilt (VU + VUMC): This is a joint competition for VU and VUMC investigators. All investigators should follow these instructions

Vanderbilt University may submit only 2 applications (participating either as Lead or non-lead institution) for the NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program, which supports the development and implementation of transformative models for STEM graduate education training. The NRT program seeks 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. The program is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary or convergent research areas, through a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs.

The NRT Program accepts proposals in any interdisciplinary or convergent research theme of national importance, and encourages specific priority research areas that change periodically. All interdisciplinary or convergent research themes should align with NSF or other national STEM research priority areas and have high potential to develop novel, innovative practices in graduate education. Proposers should describe the importance of the NRT project’s thematic focus to the nation and the particular need to train students for a variety of careers in that thematic area.

Full internal call

2025 Macy Faculty Scholars Program

Vanderbilt (VU + VUMC): This is a joint competition for VU and VUMC investigators. All investigators should follow these instructions.

Applications due May 22, 2024

Vanderbilt (VU + VUMC, collaboratively) may nominate one candidate each from the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing for the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation’s Faculty Scholars Program. The goal of this career development award is to identify and nurture promising early career educators in medicine and nursing. The program will help develop the next generation of national leaders in medical and nursing education by identifying outstanding educators, physicians, nurses, and role models—individuals who represent the breadth of diversity seen in learners, patient populations, and health care settings across the country.

For upcoming program cycles, the Foundation has shifted its focus to even more diverse early-career faculty who have shown great promise as educators, clinicians and role models and who are committed to careers in health professions education. The program aims to provide Scholars with protected time, mentoring, curricular activities, and a national network of colleagues with the goal of accelerating the Scholars’ careers. With an emphasis on mentorship and cultivating a professional network, the program will provide a national cohort of mentors, fellow scholars, and leaders to further enhance each new Scholar’s experience and development.

Full internal call

ADA Pathway to Stop Diabetes Awards (Initiator and Accelerator)

Applications due by 5pm May 22, 2024

VUMC:  These instructions are for VUMC investigators. VU investigators should apply through InfoReady and address any questions to


VUMC may submit two (2) nominations to the American Diabetes Association for the Pathway to Stop Diabetes Awards, one (1) nomination spanning basic through preclinical research and one (1) nomination spanning clinical through public health research. Each nomination can be for either of the Pathway Program funding mechanisms.

The Pathway to Stop Diabetes Program intends to attract brilliant scientists approaching the peak of their creativity to diabetes research, and to accelerate their research progress by providing the necessary resources and support for conducting transformative science.

Full internal call


Active External Non-Limited Calls

Internal review process NOT required- Submit directly to Sponsor

The VUMC Corporate & Foundation Relations team provides hands-on proposal development assistance for non-federal awards. Contact for more information.

The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research Emerging Leader Award

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Sue Reeves, Foundation Relations ( or 615-936-2964) before starting an application

Letters of Intent due April 29


The Mark Foundation Emerging Leader Awards support innovative cancer research from the next generation of leaders. These grants are awarded to outstanding early career investigators to support high-impact, high-risk projects that are distinct from their current research portfolio.

The Emerging Leader Award provides $250,000 per year for three years totaling $750,000. Applicants must be three to eight years from the start of an independent faculty research appointment (start date must fall within 2016-2021).

External call

Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Award (Winn CDA) for Early-Stage Investigator Physicians

Applications due May 13


Winn CDA is one of the program initiatives of the Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program (Winn Awards)a $122 million initiative funded by Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF), Gilead Sciences, and Amgen. This national program is designed to increase diversity in clinical trials and transform the clinical research landscape. 

Winn CDA is a 2-year program designed to support the career development of early-stage investigator physicians who are underrepresented in medicine (URiM) or who have a demonstrated commitment to increasing diversity in clinical research. The program prepares participants to become independent clinical trial investigators engaged in advancing health equity through their research and mentoring. The goal of Winn CDA is to transform the clinical research landscape by building and strengthening partnerships between clinical investigators and the communities where their patients reside, with a goal of ultimately engaging a patient population that mirrors the epidemiology of the disease studied.

Winn CDA provides $120K/year salary support for 2 years; funding is to protect 40% of the Scholars’ work time for program participation and research. 

External call

HHMI Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Sue Reeves, Foundation Relations ( or 615-936-2964) before starting an application

Applications due May 15


The HHMI Freeman Hrabowski Scholars program supports outstanding basic researchers, including physician-scientists, who have strong potential to become leaders in their fields and to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion through their mentoring efforts and understanding of systemic exclusion and marginalization in science of trainees from different backgrounds. Scholars will prioritize scientific excellence in their own research while creating an inclusive lab climate that serves as a model within their own institutions and beyond.

Scholars are appointed to a five-year term, renewable for a second five-year term after a successful progress evaluation. Each Scholar receives up to $8.6M over the ten-year period, including full salary, benefits, a research budget, and scientific equipment. They also participate in professional development to advance their leadership and mentoring skills.

External call