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Foundation Sponsored Funding

The University of Utah Foundation Relations program can help build a relationship between you and potential private funding partners. Our team can advise on strategic approaches, arrange visits, review draft proposals and help translate ideas into fundable projects or programs. Please contact Lynn Marsella Wong if you are interested in applying for an opportunity listed below. You may also find additional funding opportunities on the foundation relations website.


Ionis: Janice Wiesman Young Investigator Grant Program
Amount: $50,000
Deadline: April 2nd, 2021 

The objective of the Janice Wiesman Young Investigator Grant Program is to provide funding to researchers at eligible academic or nonprofit institutions who submit innovative research proposals in the areas of translational, clinical, or applied research. The research should advance the understanding of ATTR amyloidosis, facilitate early diagnosis of patients with ATTR amyloidosis, and/or enhance management of patients with a diagnosis of ATTR amyloidosis. Specifically, this program will support two young investigators, such as current fellows, residents, or junior faculty, annually to promote quality research related to ATTR amyloidosis and to support the development of future researchers and clinicians. 

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Machine Learning in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering
Amount: determined by applicant
Deadline: April 8, 2021 

The Dreyfus program for Machine Learning in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering, initiated in 2020, provides funding for innovative projects in any area of Machine Learning (ML) consistent with the Foundation’s broad objective to advance the chemical sciences and engineering. The Foundation anticipates that these projects will contribute new fundamental chemical insight and innovation in the field. 

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James S. McDonnell Foundation Opportunity Awards 
Amount: $250,000 over 2-4 years
Deadline: April 9, 2021  

Through the Opportunity Awards, JSMF is seeking to fund projects leading to new conceptual and empirical studies of cognition and behavior that recognize the dynamic nature of cognition and behavior, are situated in real world contexts, cross levels of analysis, unite traditionally separate domains of inquiry (e.g. vision and speech), embrace complexity, and consider how behavior is influenced by interactions among individuals. JSMF is encouraging researchers to pursue important questions using conceptual and methodological approaches that takes seriously the trajectories, biological and experiential, contributing to the ongoing development of cognition and behavior occurring across the lifespan. 

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Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI): 2021 Bridge to Independence Award
Grant Amount: $495,000 over three years
Deadline: April 12, 2021 (for Letters of Inquiry)

The Bridge to Independence Award program engages talented early-career scientists in autism research by facilitating their transition to research independence. Awardees receive a commitment of $495,000 over three years, activated upon assumption of a tenure-track professorship. The foundation welcomes applications that span the breadth of science that SFARI normally supports, including genetics, molecular mechanisms, circuits and systems, and clinical science. While the foundation encourages applications from scientists who are working on autism-related projects, this award is also open to researchers who are not currently working on autism but who are interested in starting research projects in this area and have expertise that could be brought to bear on this complex condition. 

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Facebook: Privacy Enhancing Technologies
Amount: $100,000
Deadline: April 21st, 2021 

Facebook are interested in PETs/PPTs that minimize data exposure and limit its purpose, while enabling a range of products and use cases (e.g., Ads, Messaging, etc). These technologies enable Facebook to offer leading services while minimizing the data we collect, process, or retain. By integrating novel privacy-preserving technologies in our products, Facebook aim to build trustworthy experiences that people love to use. 

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The Elsa U. Pardee Foundation
Amount: no limit
Deadline: April 30, 2021 

The Elsa U. Pardee Foundation funds research to investigators in United States non-profit institutions proposing research directed toward identifying new treatments or cures for cancer. The Foundation funds projects for a one year period which will allow establishment of capabilities of new cancer researchers, or new cancer approaches by established cancer researchers. It is anticipated that this early stage funding by the Foundation may lead to subsequent and expanded support using government agency funding. Project relevance to cancer detection, treatment, or cure should be clearly identified. 

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Systems and Services Research to Build a Culture of Health 
Amount: Up to $500,000 over 36 months
Deadline: April 30, 2021 (1-page Letter of Intent)

Achieving racial equity and health equity in American communities requires effective solutions to the "wrong-pocket problem": we invest in systems that are designed to improve social and economic conditions—such as housing, transportation, education, income, and employment assistance; child and family supports; and legal and criminal justice services—but the financial benefits of these often flow elsewhere, in reduced costs for medical care from diseases and injuries prevented. This creates imbalances in power, information, and financial resources that exist across medical, social, and public health systems—a fundamental problem that confronts many attempts at meaningful cross-sector collaboration. Such solutions must allow collaborating organizations to equitably share in the costs and the benefits of multisector collaborative initiatives, and to share in the power and influence that govern these initiatives. This call for proposals will provide funding for new research to rigorously test and evaluate innovative solutions to the wrong-pocket problem that persists across health and social service systems. 

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J.M. Kaplan Fund: J.M.K. Innovative Prize 
Grant Amount: Up to $175,000
Deadline: April 30, 2021 

The J.M.K. Innovation Prize seeks to identify, support, and elevate innovators who are spearheading transformative early-stage projects in the fields of: 

  • Social Justice: Buttressing democracy, voter education, and reforms to the criminal justice and immigration systems. 
  • The Environment: Slowing the pace of climate change and mitigating climate impacts. 
  • Heritage Conservation: Conserving the places that communities care about most. 

Projects should: 

  • Represent a game-changing answer to a clearly identified need; 
  • Be innovative within one or more of the Fund’s three program areas; 
  • Demonstrate the potential to develop an actionable pilot or prototype with Prize funding; and 
  • Hold out the promise to benefit multiple individuals, communities, or sectors through a clearly articulated theory of change. 

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Last Updated: 4/13/21