Research and Sponsored Programs - 2018

Funding Opportunities

Welcome to the first stage of applying for research grants - figuring out what opportunities you should apply to in the first place! The RSP office provides faculty members with a list of funding agencies and collaborative institutes on and off campus to assist you with your grant applications.

Join our mailing list to receive current funding opportunities and announcements.

Federal Funding

State/Local Funding

CSU/CSUN Funding

RSP Summer Grant Program

The Research & Sponsored Programs (RSP) office is pleased to announce a Call for Proposals for the 2020 Summer Grant Program. The purpose of the program is to provide summer salary to support the development of a proposal for external funding.


All individuals who meet the General Eligibility Requirements to serve as PI (as defined in the RSP Joint Statement, section III.D.) are eligible to apply.

Please note: Faculty who hold an Academic Year (AY) appointment and are teaching or have other CSUN-paid obligations during the summer 2020 term will be limited in the salary support they can receive. While we will not disqualify those who are teaching 12 or more units, summer commitments will be considered during the review.


The deadline to apply is 5:00 pm on April 15, 2020. Complete applications must be submitted within the InfoReady system by the deadline. Incomplete applications and applications received outside of InfoReady (e.g., via email) will not be considered for funding.


For this application, a specific funding opportunity from an external sponsor must be identified. For the purposes of this competition, “external” awards are defined as not funded by CSUN or the CSU (including CSU affinity groups) and may include federal, state, city/county, corporate foundation, or other philanthropic funders. The proposed funding opportunity must offer awards of at least $10,000 to qualify.

For projects up to $600,000, only one applicant per project team should submit an application, regardless of the size of the project team.  Projects with budgets anticipated to exceed $600,000 over the project period may have up to two applicants who collaborate on one Summer Grant application. If awarded, both applicants will receive the $3,000 in summer salary. Awardees commit to submit a full proposal for external funding for the proposed project no later than March 31, 2021.


Applications will be submitted through the InfoReady website, accessible via Sign in using your University credentials (CSUN user ID and password). A complete application will include all of the following:

  1. InfoReady Questionnaire
  2. Project Summary (1 page)
  3. Current CV

InfoReady Questionnaire

The brief questionnaire will ask you to identify the following:

  • Name of Principal Investigator
  • Funding agency or sponsor
  • Funding opportunity announcement/program announcement (provide link, if available)
  • Estimated length of the proposed project
  • Estimated cost of the proposed project
  • Target submission date
  • For projects over $600,000, name of co-applicant (if any)
  • Number of units obligated to teach during Summer 2020
  • Disclosure of assignments to special projects, grants or other CSUN-paid work during Summer 2020

Project Summary

Please describe your project in sufficient detail for reviewers to understand the research activity, other scholarly work, or creative activity for which you are seeking funding. The project summary is limited to one single-spaced page. Use a minimum 11pt font and half-inch margins.

  • Provide the scope of work for your proposed project. Be sure to clarify both how your project connects to prior work in your area and how it will establish new knowledge or understanding.
  • Briefly describe what you want to do, why you want to do it, and how you plan to do it
  • Briefly outline the potential impact of your project.
  • For proposals to the NIH, we recommend you clearly articulate your project’s Significance, Innovation, and some details about your Approach, and state your Specific Aims.
  • For proposals to the NSF, we recommend that you clearly articulate the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts of your project.
  • References may be cited in-text but are not required and should not extend your summary beyond the one-page limit.


Include a current CV for the investigator. Please be sure to include publications and prior funding, including internal funding awards (if any).

Review Criteria

The goal of this program is to support the development of proposals that are highly competitive for external funding. As such, applications will be ranked high, medium, or low priority in each of the following areas:

  • Alignment: Proposed project strongly aligns with the identified funding opportunity and sponsor goals.
  • Grantsmanship: The applicant follows all guidelines in this document and submits a complete application free of grammatical errors or typos.
  • Articulation: The project is clearly articulated, feasible given the time and budget provided by the funding opportunity, and addresses the information requested in the Project Summary section.
  • Background: Investigator has appropriate background and experience to carry out the project and is a good match for the chosen funding opportunity.

All applications will be reviewed by a minimum of two reviewers.  Feedback will be available on request after May 25, 2020.


Awards will be announced by May 15, 2020. We anticipate that a total of 20 awards will be made at $3,000 each.  Awardees are expected to follow the RSP Timeline for Proposal Review and Submission. Awardees who do not meet the minimum deadlines, or who fail to submit a full proposal by March 31, 2021, will be ineligible to receive Summer Grant funding until 2022.


Please direct any questions regarding the InfoReady application to Liza Johnston at x3441 or Questions regarding the Summer Grant Program in general may be submitted to Sherrie Hixon,  


Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (RSCA) Awards

NEW! The 2020-2021 RSCA competition has been announced! Click here to see the full announcement and guidelines.

Each year, the CSU Chancellor's Office provides funding to each campus to support faculty research, scholarship and creative activity, interpreted broadly to mean the disciplined quest for broadening human understanding. This quest includes artistic creation and the study of moral values, as well as logical and empirical inquiry into any field appropriate to the functions of the University. Please note, projects related to curriculum development will not be considered through this competition.

Faculty are encouraged to use the activities and results from these awards to pursue external funding, if applicable, to broaden the scope of their research, scholarship and creative activities.  There are two categories of awards: 1) mini-grant, not to exceed $5,000 or 2) 3 units of reassigned time (to be utilized during the academic year). Mini-grants may be used for student assistants, materials and supplies, travel to conduct research, and/or equipment. The RSCA awards are judged by the members of the CSUN Research and Grants Committee.

For more information about the RSCA award, please see the informational video prepared by the Research & Grants Committee that includes an overview and some helpful tips for this competition.

The application deadline for submission to the 2020-2021 cycle of the RSCA program is 5:00pm on February 24, 2020. Please direct any questions regarding the RSCA to Liza Johnston.


Other Internal Funding Opportunities

Intramural grants are funded by the university. These funds are a good way for new or junior faculty to get used to leading funded research activities, improve their track record, and prepare to apply for external funding. Proposals are evaluated based on the quality of the project, the researcher's qualifications, the necessity of the funding to complete the project, the expected contribution of the project to the professional growth of the researcher and to the reputation of the University, and the appropriateness of the proposed budget.  


Limited Submissions

For some funding mechanisms, many funding agencies place limits on the number of letters of intent (LOI), pre-proposals, or full proposals that an institution can submit in response to the Request for Proposals (RFP), Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), or Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) in a given funding cycle. Submissions that limit the number of proposals that an institution can submit are those we refer to as “Limited Submission” opportunities.

RSP will make every effort to identify limited submission opportunities early to allow enough time for faculty to obtain appropriate internal approvals. However, it is ultimately the PI's responsibility to immediately notify RSP of their intent to submit an application to such a program. Once an opportunity is identified, RSP will send a notice to all colleges and departments to ensure that all faculty are given a fair chance to respond. 

Please review the Limited Submission Application Guidelines for step-by-step instructions and application format. Please reach out to Liza Johnston with any questions about the Limited Submission process.


CSUN I-Corps Customer Discovery Program 

Do you have an innovation or technology that you think is ready for market?

Are you interested in customer discovery around your innovation?

Are ready to commercialize your innovation?

Teams selected for CSUN’s I-Corps based customer discovery program will receive training in customer discovery and can receive up to $3000 to explore customer discovery around their innovation. Please contact Erika Reyes to learn more.


Research Funding from Charitable Foundations

In addition to government-based funding, RSP partners with our colleagues in CSUN's Advancement office to obtain research support from corporate foundations, philanthropic organizations, and private donors.

  • Foundation Center Finder offers basic information on funders in the U.S. including private foundations, community foundations, public charities, and corporate giving programs.
  • Philanthropy News Digest  a service of the Foundation Center, publishes RFPs and notices of awards as a free service for grant-making organizations and nonprofits.

Submitting a proposal to an agency that has not put out a call for proposals is considered an unsolicited proposal. If you have a new and innovative idea that does not fall under the topic areas publicized in a call for a proposal, you may wish to consider submitting it as an unsolicited proposal. The submission should be relevant to the agency’s research and mission, and should be persuasive enough to convince the agency to fund the proposal.

Please contact the CSUN Foundation for additional information about obtaining grants from charitable foundations.