Each year, the Department of Defense (DoD) offers various funding opportunities to organizations, academic institutions, researchers, and individuals for the aim of progressing research, development, innovation, and capabilities related to national security and defense technology.
The objective of the DoD is to establish a strong basis for the national policy of the United States by utilizing its defense capabilities. It includes the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the departments of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force, and other agencies and allied services.
Which sub-agencies operate within the DoD?
The DoD offers numerous funding opportunities, spawning across different industries including education, health, science and technology.
Various agencies of interest operate under the DoD to help facilitate these programs, including:
- Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)
- Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (AMRMC)
- Office of Naval Research (ONR)
- Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)
- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
What are some examples of DoD funding opportunities?
Below are a few open grant opportunities offered by various sub-agencies within the DoD:
Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP):
- CDMRP has open funding opportunities related to cancer research, under different programs like the BCRP (Breast Cancer Research Program), the KCRP (Kidney Cancer Research Program), the MRP (Melanoma Research Program) and the NFRP (Neurofibromatosis Research Program).
A few examples of open grant opportunities are highlighted below:
- FY23 KCRP Idea Development Award: The FY23 KCRP Idea Development Award is intended to support innovative ideas and high-impact approaches, based on scientifically sound evidence, to move toward the vision of eliminating kidney cancer.
- DoD Breast Cancer, Innovator Award: The Innovator Award supports visionary individuals who have demonstrated exceptional creativity, innovative work, and paradigm-shifting leadership in any field including, but not limited to, breast cancer.
Office of Naval Research (ONR):
- FY23 Science & Technology for Advanced Manufacturing Projects (STAMP): The Department of Defense Manufacturing Technology Program (ManTech) is the Defense Department’s investment mechanism for staying at the forefront of defense-essential manufacturing capability. Through this award opportunity, ONR aims to promote initiatives that have the capacity to enhance the systems engineering methodology necessary for creating, producing, and crafting structural elements to tackle issues related to system weight, cost-effectiveness, and/or durability.
In 2016, the City of Hope Beckman Research Institute was awarded ~400k in grants as part of the BCRP program. Similarly, the Rogosin Institute, Inc was awarded $500k through the DoD’s KCRP program in 2017.
How do I apply for a DoD grant?
Registering for a DoD grant is a 6-step process. Here is as a general overview of the steps:
- Determine Eligibility: Review the specific grant opportunity of interest to ensure the organization meets the eligibility criteria. Different grants may have different eligibility requirements based on the nature of the research and the intended recipients – so read carefully!
- Register with Grants.gov and SAM.gov (System for Award Management): Prior to applying for federal government funding, the business must be registered with Grants.gov and SAM.gov. Through the SAM.gov registration, the business will be guided through the process of obtaining a unique entity identifier (UEI), formerly the DUNS number, completing representations and certifications documentation, and receiving a CAGE code.
- Register with eBRAP or other grant-specific portal: If one is applying for specific DoD grants managed by eBRAP (for biomedical research), they will need to follow the registration instructions provided by the respective systems. This may include creating an account, providing organization details, and designating key personnel.
- Prepare the pre-application submission where relevant: Many of the DoD grants require applicants to prepare a ‘pre-application’ submission, which is a high-level version of the main application.
- Prepare and review the application: Upon acceptance into the program, it’s now time to prepare the full application, keeping in mind deadlines, guidelines, and application/budget requirements.
- Submit and monitor the application: Proposals can be submitted via the Workspace portal on Grants.Gov. After submission, tracking the application is also available via the Workspace and/or respective grant portals.
How likely am I to be successful in receiving a DoD grant?
Google searches reveal that 15% of DoD grants are successful. But it’s a little more complex than that.
Competitive grants are a wild card. Funding may not be awarded, despite your strongest and most compelling application.
However, to enhance your chances of receiving a DoD grant, here are some steps to follow:
- Review the eligibility criteria carefully. The reviewers will not hesitate to disqualify an application if it does not meet the criteria.
- Ensure that your project aligns with the mission and objections of the sub-agency offering the funding. These are generally easy to identify, so it’s worthwhile to ensure that the synergy is clear.
- Reach out to the sub-agency contact listed to see if you can run the project past them. This may not always be a possibility, but if it is, their buy-in can be a major help.
- Be as process-driven as possible when preparing the application. Each application has many moving parts, and the key to successfully submitting one is through following a predefined process.
How can Leyton help with grant applications?
Leyton’s Grants & Incentives team can assist you throughout the entire grant application process. Our experts assist with identifying relevant government incentives that align with your business model, and subsequently assist with applying for those that you deem to be strategically relevant.
We will ensure that a robust, compelling, and timely submission is prepared, so you can feel confident about your application being a strong candidate for the relevant incentive.
- “Home.” SAM.Gov | Home, sam.gov/content/entity-registration. Accessed 31 Aug. 2023.
- I. Overview of the Funding Opportunity – Military Health System, cdmrp.health.mil/funding/pa/HT9425-23-BCRP-INNOV-GG.pdf. Accessed 31 Aug. 2023.
- I. Overview of the Funding Opportunity – Military Health System, cdmrp.health.mil/funding/pa/HT9425-23-KCRP-IDA-GG.pdf. Accessed 31 Aug. 2023.
- “Science and Technology for Advanced Manufacturing Projects (Stamp).” Office of Naval Research, 17 Jan. 2023, www.nre.navy.mil/work-with-us/funding-opportunities/science-and-technology-advanced-manufacturing-projects-stamp.
- “Transforming Health Care through Innovative and Impactful Research.” Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) Search Awards, cdmrp.health.mil/search.aspx. Accessed 31 Aug. 2023.
- “Transforming Health Care through Innovative and Impactful Research.” Synopsis of Open Program Funding Opportunities – Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), cdmrp.health.mil/funding/reftable. Accessed 31 Aug. 2023.
- “U.S. Department of Defense.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 23 Aug. 2023, www.britannica.com/topic/US-Department-of-Defense.