Current COVID-19 Funding Opportunities for R&D

May 14th, 2020 – The following, compiled by the SBA/CT and the University of Connecticut, lists currently available funding sources for companies and organizations conducting research and development efforts, or commercial product/service development, that could have a positive impact on the nation’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Contact the program manager of the respective agency prior to applying.

The following is not a comprehensive list. We will add to the list as we learn about these opportunities for COVID-19 related research.

Fast Funding Grants

  • (Due to the large number of applications, this is currently paused.) Fast Funding for COVID-19 Science: If you are a scientist at an academic institution currently working on a COVID-19 related project and in need of funding, we invite you to apply for a Fast Grant. Fast Grants are $10k to $500k and decisions are made in under 48 hours.

Federal Agencies

National Science Foundation (NSF)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The NIH has made supplements available for currently funded projects; the parent project must be realistically related to the COVID-19 research, and must be in the original performance period (not in an extension). New funding opportunities are expected to be published on an ongoing basis.

Health and Human Services (HHS)

Department of Defense (DOD)

Department of Energy (DOE)

Department of State

  • New Combatting COVID-19 Pandemic and Proliferation Threats: Build Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) partner capacity to continue to safely prevent, contain, and mitigate threats and impacts posed by the rapid spread of destabilizing biological and chemical threats at national borders and points of entry, including infectious diseases such as COVID-19 (award ceiling: $5,000,000; due date May 29, 2020)


American Lung Association

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Pfizer, Inc.

  • New COVID-19 Competitive Grant Program (budget $20,000-$250,000; due date May 22, 2020)
    • Category A: Independent Medical Education Grants
    • Category B: Quality & Process Improvement Grants

23andMe Research Innovation Collaboration Program

  • New COVID-19. These proposals can include studies of outcomes, comorbidities, health disparities, and impacts of policies implemented to address the pandemic (GWAS, Genetic Research) (Due Date: June 12, 2020)

Internet Society

  • New Emergency Response Programme: COVID-19 for projects that utilize the Internet to improve lives during or in response to an emergency situation (budget: $250,000 for 1 year; rolling due date until May 17, 2020)

Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC)

Mercatus Center (George Mason University)

  • New COVID-19 Response: A Call for Ideas: Proposals for policy briefs, working papers, and articles that address the next round of challenges facing the United States and other countries in the response to the pandemic (rolling due date)

American Heart Association (AHA)

Russell Sage Foundation

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Google (Google Cloud Research Credits)

Microsoft ( Institute)


Donaghue Foundation

International Opportunities

The GrandChallenge

Merck KGaA (Germany)

EdTech Hub

German Research Foundation (DFG)

Wellcome Trust, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Mastercard

  • New COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator: Focus on clinical-phase research into a limited range of repurposed therapeutics with potential for pre-exposure prophylaxis in high-risk populations (particularly in healthcare settings); and post-exposure prophylaxis in mild/moderate cases

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27. It will provide significant funding to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically and internationally.” The bill includes funding for research. Some of the funds will be available to higher education. We will follow this closely and update you as opportunities come up.

The final bill is available here. The amounts appropriated for several federal agencies give an idea where funding opportunities should be expected:

  • National Science Foundation:$76.0 million
  • Department of Energy:$99.5 million
  • National Endowment for the Arts:$75.0 million (60% of the funds are for direct grants)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities:$75.0 million (60% of the funds are for direct grants)
  • National Institutes of Health
    • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: $103.4 million
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: $706.0 million
    • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering: $ 60.0 million
    • National Library of Medicine: $10.0 million
    • National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences: $36.0 million
    • Office of the Director: $30.0 million
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    • Health Surveillance and Program Support: $425.0 million
      • At least $250.0 million will be made available for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Expansion Grant program
      • At least $50.0 million will be made available for suicide prevention programs
    • Environmental Protection Agency: $1.5M for research methods on reducing the risks from environmental transmission of the coronavirus via contaminated services or materials.
    • Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology: $6M for Scientific and Technical Research And Services to support continuity of operations, including measurement science to support viral testing and biomanufacturing, $60M for Industrial Technology Services, and $10M for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation to support development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures and biomedical equipment and supplies.
    • Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: $20M for operations, research, and facilities.
    • Department of Defense, Defense Health Program: $415M for research, development, testing and evaluation.
    • Food and Drug Administration: $80M for work on medical counter-measures, therapies, vaccines, and research.
    • Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response: $27B will go to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to prevent or treat the effects of the novel coronavirus.

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