Academia and Industry $upport

Let us help put your research to work!

Industry engagement brings myriad benefits to an academic research program, including speaking to the utility of laboratory research, opening possibilities for the discovery of new lines of inquiry and creating tangible opportunities for students and post docs in university systems. Moreover, federal funding agencies are increasingly pressured to articulate the impacts of their funding, which makes the establishment of industry-academia connections particularly attractive; as a result, many federal agencies have developed programs specific to developing such interactions. For most academics, however, the hard part is figuring out how to get a collaboration going. We created this program to help cultivate connections to industry to support work you are proposing to federal granting agencies. Let us help put your research to work!     

The National Science Foundation has several programs that have been created to foster collaboration between academia and industry. All require some level of industry support for a given project or effort, ranging from simple letters of support all the way through to annual commitments of time and funding. Finding the right contacts and establishing the right types of organizational relationships to make the collaboration mutually productive can take time and often requires directed support. The Innovation and Research Engagement Office is leading a team to support your application development and best position the grant proposal for success.

What is provided below is a summary of relevant & reoccurring NSF programs. This is not intended to limit the types of applications this group will support, they simply represent some broad programs that are regularly available. If you are considering forwarding a proposal please contact us at to set up a time to talk through the proposed effort and explore how our group might support your proposal development.

Partnerships for Innovation (PFI)

The PFI Program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) 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.

  • Program description:
    • Focused on translational research and commercialization
    • $250K for 18-24 month grant (PFI-Technology Translation)
    • $550K for 36 month grant (PFI-Research Partnerships)
    • Requires NSF lineage (past or current NSF funding)
    • Limited submission
    • Industry partner letter of support
  • Deadlines for full proposal (no pre-proposal):
    • 2nd Wednesday in January
    • 2nd Wednesday in July

Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC)

The IUCRC program catalyzes breakthrough pre-competitive research by enabling close and sustained engagement between industry innovators, world-class academic teams, and government agencies.  IUCRCs help industry partners and government agencies connect directly and efficiently with university researchers to achieve three primary objectives: 

  1. Conduct high-impact research to meet shared and critical industrial needs in companies of all  sizes;
  2. Enhance U.S. global leadership in driving innovative technology development, and
  3. Identify, mentor and develop a diverse, highly skilled science and engineering workforce.
  • Minimum requirements:
    • $400K/year match from industry ($2m over life of grant)
    • 8 industry partners
  • 3-step application cycle:
    1. Planning grant ($20K, 12 months)
    2. Pre-proposal
      • No financial support for this stage
      • Annual/rolling deadlines:
        • 2nd Wednesday in March
        • 2nd Wednesday in September
    3. Invited proposal
      • $150K per year
      • 5 years of support
      • Annual/rolling deadlines:
        • 2nd Wednesday in June
        • 2nd Wednesday in December
  • Your team:
    • Should be a capable research team with an entrepreneurial mindset.
    • Should be comprised of Universities, faculty, and students interested in engaging industry.
    • Should include industry partners who are seeking use-inspired research projects.

Engineering Research Centers (ERC)

The NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) program supports convergent research, education, and technology translation at U.S. universities that will lead to strong societal impacts. For most recent solicitation, click here.

Each ERC has interacting foundational components that go beyond the research project, including engineering workforce development at all participant stages, a culture of diversity and inclusion where all participants gain mutual benefit, and value creation within an innovation ecosystem that will outlast the lifetime of the ERC.

  • Multi-institutional proposals required
  • Up to 10 years of funding, up to $50M
  • Requires dedicated management
  • Active advisory boards are expected
  • Annual/rolling deadlines:
    • LOI in September
    • Pre-proposal in October
    • Invited proposals in May

Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI)

GOALI is a type of proposal that seeks to stimulate collaboration between academic research institutions and industry. Under this proposal type, academic scientists and engineers request funding either in conjunction with a regular proposal submitted to a standing NSF program or as a supplemental funding request to an existing NSF-funded award.

GOALI is not a separate program; proposals must be submitted to an active NSF funding opportunity and must be submitted in accordance with the deadlines specified therein. A proposer interested in submitting a GOALI proposal or a GOALI supplemental funding request to an existing NSF-funded award must contact the cognizant NSF Program Officer listed in the relevant funding opportunity prior to submission.

  • This opportunity is specifically focused on developing an industry interaction
  • Any existing award is eligible for a GOALI supplement
    • Contact your NSF Program Officer for application steps
  • Any existing RFP can be applied for in partnership/conjunction with a GOALI proposal
    • Contact the NSF Program Officer listed on the RFP
  • An industry partner MUST be identified as Co-PI
    • Confirmation/support letter is required from industry Co-PI
  • A signed University-Industry agreement on Intellectual Property is required.
  • Annual/rolling deadlines:
    • Contact the appropriate NSF Program Officer