How Are Sponsored Projects Generated?

Funding opportunities arise through many formal and informal means. See Finding Funding.

Generally, sponsored applications or proposals are:


  • Program Announcements (PAs) – No specific resources are set aside at the agency for the PA, but an area of research interest in a general discipline or subdiscipline is described
  • Request for Applications/Proposals (RFAs/RFPs) – Specific resources have been allocated at the agency or sponsor for a given objective, and a public request has been issued with directions for proposers
  • Request for Quote (RFQ) – A standard request for price quotations from competing procurement sources
  • Informal Requests – non-federal sponsors and non-competing projects - the sponsor's representative and MIT's investigator together develop the proposal and agree to a budget

Unsolicited – An open request for applications with general submission guidelines

  • Examples – Investigator-initiated proposals to the NSF; R01 applications to the NIH

Limited Applications – Some requests for proposals limit the number of applications that may be submitted from the Institute. These cases are coordinated through the Vice President for Research.