Funding Strategies

Government Funding Opportunities

  • SBIR, Bioeng Research Partnerships


  • Engineering Directorate
    • Bioengineering & Environmental Systems (BES)
      • Biomedical Eng & Research to Aid Persons with Disabilities (BME/RAPD) Program
        • CAREER, investigator-initiated, SGER projects
    • Design and Manufacturing Innovation (DMI)
      • Grant Opportunities For Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI)
    • Engineering Education & Centers (EEC)
      • Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Examples below
        • MIT – – Bioprocess Engineering
        • Georgia Tech with Emory University School of Medicine- – Engineering of Living Tissue
        • Johns Hopkins with CMU and MIT, Brigham Women’s Hospital and Johns Hopkins University Hospital – – Computer Integrated Surgical Systems
        • Vanderbilt University with Harvard-MIT, Northwestern Univ. and U. of Texas-Austin – – VaNTH ERC for Bioengineering Educational Technologies
        • U. of Southern California with Caltech and UC-Santa Cruz – Biomimetic Microelectronic Systems
        • U. of Michigan with Mich. St., & Mich. Technological Univ. – Wireless Integrated Microsytems
        • Northeastern U. with Boston U., U. of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM), & Rensselaer – – Subsurface Sensing & Imaging Systems
        • Caltech – – Neuromorphic Systems
      • Partnership for Innovation Program
      • Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program
  • Office of Integrative Activities
    • Science and Technology Centers (STCs)
  • Office of Industrial Innovation (OII)
    • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
    • Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR)
  • Education & Human Resources Directorate
    • Graduate Education
      • Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) Initiatives


  • Budgetary constraints
  • Funding for Projects
  • Adequate monetary Support
  • Industrial Funding
  • Difficulty Getting Technical Advisors (and often funding) for projects sponsored by clinicians or other non-engineers
  • Finding Funding that will allow high quality designs
  • Finding the necessary resources and support
  • Obtaining funding for prototyping materials and custom components
  • Limited financial resources


  • Fortunate to have industry sponsors
  • Wealthy individuals contributing
  • Clinical departments
  • Industry client self funding
  • Grants within university
  • Some students are self-funding projects
  • Government funding
  • NCIIA funded projects
  • Intra-departmental funding, some are 30 project per term
  • Lab fees charged for credit hours using facilities, charged through the university tuition and then given back to the class. This does not cover the costs but can help with the extras
  • Other Divisions/Directorates to consider
    • Biological Sciences (BIO)
    • Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering (CISE)
    • Geosciences (GEO)
    • Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)
    • Social, Behavioral And Economic Sciences (SBES)
    • Polar Programs
    • Cyberinfrastructure
  • Partnerships for Innovation (~$600K over 3 years) NSF Industry + Govt + University
  • Interagency Programs
    • Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (NSF/NIH)
    • NIH-NSF Bioengineering and Bioinformatics Summer Institutes (BBSI)
    • Joint DMS/BIO/NIGMS Initiative to Support Research in the Area of Mathematical Biology
    • DDDAS: Dynamic Data Driven Applications Systems
    • Interagency Opportunities in Multi-Scale Modeling in Biomedical, Biological, and Behavioral Systems
      (NSF, NIH, NASA, DOE)


    Interface Initiative for
    Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Training
  • NIBIB Quantum Projects
  • NIH Director’s Pioneer Award


  • Employment Research
  • Participation and Community Living Research
  • Health and Function Research
  • Technology for Access and Function Research
  • Disability Demographics Research

Other NIH Institutes; NIH BRP, DARPA (e.g. CIMIT)

Other Possible Sources


  • National Collegiate Inventors and Innovator Alliance (NCIIA)
    • E-Teams
    • Course & Program Grants
    • Resource Grants
    • Sustainable Vision Grants
  • Kauffman Foundation
  • Coulter Foundation
  • Gates Foundation


  • Governments
  • Universities
  • Companies

Project Funding Mechanisms

  • Industry-sponsored projects (~$20k – $35k)
  • Endowment
  • Grant programs (seed level, e.g. NCIIA)
  • Student lab fees (~$150/student)
  • Entrepreneurial-friendly alumni

Other Creative Approaches

  • Corporate and VC partners, affiliates
  • Alliances across schools to leverage eship resources for the institution
  • Use portion of license/royalty income to support eship training
  • Entrepreneurial-minded alumni gifts
  • Income from industry-targeted education
  • Faculty Eship Exec-level education
  • Reduce Indirect Cost Rate to Foster Industry Collaboration, Increase Income to Dept/Program