Research Funding


Identifying funding opportunities can be considered the first stage in the sponsored projects lifecycle. Here at GW, and within the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health (GWSPH), there are various resources for those seeking extramural funding and intramural opportunities.



GWSPH has many opportunities for funding to support investigators, doctoral and master’s candidates, in addition to our research administrative staff.

Research Faculty

Intramural funding available for Research Faculty at GWSPH.

  • Collection and analysis of pilot data to improve reviewed extramural grant applications
  • Promising initiatives responsive to an active funding announcement (such as an open NIH RFP)
  • Fostering research innovation that can attract future funding (demonstrated by RFPs from a donor agency currently open or expected in the near future)
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion which can be addressed as a research topic, through a diverse research team, or research focused on a neglected topic or population
  • Research projects by new/junior investigators (up to 40% of awards will be dedicated for Assistant Professors)
Mentor Match Review Award

The Milken Institute School of Public Health (GWSPH) Office of Research Excellence (ORE) is committed to providing principal investigators (PIs) with opportunities and tools to develop the most competitive and compelling research proposals. The Mentor Match Review Awards (MMRA) are provided as a service by the ORE with the aim of harnessing expertise existing throughout the country in promoting research excellence within GWSPH.

The MMRAs are designed to support a mentoring process between a GWSPH investigator and an expert in the investigator’s field of research. This initiative allows SPH investigators to partner with experts in their fields to solicit advice and input, including obtaining critical scientific review of their draft proposals. This preliminary advice and critique are instrumental in the development of the proposed project and can often serve as the difference between a successful and unsuccessful grant. Ideally, the process would evolve into a collaborative research relationship between the PI and the mentor. The amount of $600 is awarded for review and critique of draft proposals prepared in response to NIH R03, R21, R34 or similar funding mechanisms (approximately 6-10 pages) and $900 for NIH R01 or similar funding mechanisms (approximately 11-25 pages).

It is recommended that GWSPH PIs initiate the MMRA process 2-3 months prior to a grant submission deadline. The first step is for the PI to identify possible mentors. Mentors should be experts in the relevant field of study who have a history of successful grantsmanship. Experience with the relevant funding agency or sponsor is ideal. Getting an early start allows time to draft the proposal ideas, engage the mentor, receive the mentor’s critique, and incorporate the mentor’s comments into a final proposal. Mentor Match Research Review Award recipients have benefited from successful proposals and on-going collaborations with mentors.

Please be mindful and plan ahead, allow at least 4-weeks prior the sponsor deadline date.

To receive an application, please email [email protected]

Your request for MMRA consideration will be sent to the Senior Associate for Research (SADR) for review. Once our SADR has approved, your identified Mentor Reviewer will be asked to agree to the terms outlined in a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that will be provided by ORE. This agreement aims to ensure the confidentiality of your work.

In the meantime, if you have questions, please email [email protected].

  • ORE will also send to you review criteria for you and your mentor to use. Expect a completed NIH-type scientific critique with rankings. Please initiate conference calls or meetings to discuss your Mentor’s findings.
  • Once the scientific review is completed, please send a copy to [email protected]. At that time ORE will initiate honorarium payment to your reviewer.
Research Enhancement Award

The Milken Institute School of Public Health (GWSPH) Office of Research Excellence (ORE) is pleased to offer Research Enhancement Awards (REAs) to support investigators in their research missions. REAs can provide nominal support to cover expenses and costs that may not be covered by other resources associated with a specific, active research project (This is an active award/funded project that a funding agency has obligated for a particular project).

REAs are open to all GWSPH full-time faculty, full-time specialized faculty hired on the research track, full-time research scientists, and post-doctoral fellows.

Each REA may be granted for up to a maximum of $1,500 per investigator. Only one award per investigator may be funded in a 12-month period. Accordingly, anyone who has received a REA may apply for another REA 12 months after the date of receiving the initial award.

The funds may be used to support future research-related activities or expenses on an active research project, which are not covered by other resources, including: travel (e.g., conference attendance for oral presentations, meetings with official research collaborators, NIH network meetings), purchase of data, purchase of specialized equipment, and publication fees.

A REA is not intended to reimburse past expenses or provide salary support.

ORE accepts applications on a rolling basis. There is no application deadline. Using the Research Enhancement Award Application Form, eligible faculty, research scientists, and post-doctoral fellows may request one award only in a 12-month period. Due to limited funding, applications shall be reviewed on a first come, first served basis and prioritized with other funding requests received by ORE.

Following the steps below, interested GWSPH faculty, research scientists, and post-doctoral fellows may apply for Research Enhancement Awards (REAs):

1. Applicants must complete the Research Enhancement Award Application Form.
2. The ORE will receive and track applications submitted through the website and will forward submissions to the GWSPH Senior Associate Dean for Research for review.
3. Within two weeks of receiving the application, notification of an approved or disapproved requested will be sent via [email protected].
4. Expenditures related to approved REA applications should be processed through the Investigator's Departmental Administrator or grants management staff (see below for more details).

The expense reporting and reimbursement process for REA awards includes the following steps:

1. The email notification of REA funding shall accompany the expense receipts or purchase orders forwarded to grants management staff for processing.
2. Grants management staff will apply approved REA expenses to the ORE Banner account.
3. Funds requested by Investigators, but not utilized in accordance with the approved request, will be retained by the ORE. REA funds can only be used for the purpose for which they were requested. Investigators must seek ORE approval for any changes to the approved purpose.

Application Form: Research Enhancement Award Application 

Send filled out REA Application Forms and any questions to [email protected]


Research Innovation Award

The Milken Institute School of Public Health (GWSPH) RIAs aim to encourage innovation and creativity in public health research, and support research initiatives aimed at generating extramural grant funding. Faculty who have a primary appointment in GWSPH and may serve as Principal Investigators only are eligible to apply for this award.

In general, GWSPH will give priority to applications that serve one of the following areas:

  • Collection and analysis of pilot data to improve reviewed extramural grant applications
  • Promising initiatives responsive to an active funding announcement (such as an open NIH RFP)
  • Fostering research innovation that can attract future funding (demonstrated by RFPs) from a donor agency currently open or expected in the near future
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion which can be addressed as a research topic, through a diverse research team, or research focused on a neglected topic or population Research projects by new/junior investigators (up to 40% of awards will be dedicated to Assistant Professors)
  • Investigators who have not yet received an RIA will be given special consideration

For this specific round of Innovation Awards, the GWSPH Research Committee has decided that applications must include consideration or a focus on one or both of the following two themes:

1.  Use of big data, predictive analytics, or crowd sourced information for public health; and/or
2. Development or application of any form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML) for improving population health in the United States or globally.

The following rules apply to these awards:

  • Funding under this mechanism may be awarded for one or two years, and cannot exceed a total of $25,000 per year (up to a total of $50,000 total for two years).
  • Projects must be completed in the projected time frame and in general funding cannot be extended.
  • The actual award of grants and number of awards made will depend on the availability of funding and the quality of the applications received.
  • Funds will not be issued for similar projects currently supported by other funding mechanisms.
  • Investigator salary support, rent, and hospitality costs are not allowable budget costs.
  • Upon receipt of an award and the Department Chair’s approval, up to ten percent of the Principal  Investigator’s salary support may be available via Department funds (contingent on department  approval – please contact your chair prior to submission).

Applications should be submitted by 15 March 2024 in PDF format using Arial 11-point font (1-inch margins) and include:

  • A Research Plan consisting of: A half-page summary of specific aims;  a two-page summary of the project addressing significance, innovation, and approach/methods; and a half-page timeline for project activities and plan for obtaining extramural funding upon completion
  • An up-to-date biosketch (most current NIH ​Biosketch Form) for PI and all Co-PIs listed highlighting the relevance of prior research funding or the proposed project;
  • An up-to-date Other Support for the Principal Investigator including current and pending funding (Other Support, instructions and template included);
  • A budget and budget justification (template included)

Applications will be scored by the GWSPH Research Committee based on following criteria: (1)  innovation (20%); (2) research approach (40%); (3) project team (10%); (4) significance (10%); and (5) potential for leading to a subsequent successful grant application (20%). Applications not addressing or  including one or both of the themes stated above will be considered unresponsive. The length of the proposal (1 or 2 years) and the total funding are not a criteria that will be considered  in the score. All decisions will be final.

Decisions of awards will be shared with applicants by 17 May 2024.
It is anticipated that work will start by 15 June 2024.

Award recipients are expected to acknowledge support of work funded by this program in publications and presentations as appropriate. A final report must be submitted to the GWSPH Office of Research Excellence within 60 days of the end of the award. A link to the final report form will be provided to you via email.

Questions and final applications should be sent to [email protected].


Intramural funding available for GWSPH students.

  • Expenditures made during the course of the project.
  • The award's contribution to the student's dissertation research.
  • The student's success in the program.

*Please note that unspent funds will remain with ORE.*

Doctoral Professional Development Award

Doctoral candidates (DrPH or PhD) currently enrolled in the GWSPH who have successfully completed their comprehensive exams may apply for funds from the GWSPH Office of Research Excellence (ORE) to support expenses associated with their dissertation research and dissemination of findings.

Note: This award can only be granted once during a Doctoral candidate's studies, having met all of its requirements.

Doctoral candidates must submit a brief application summarizing the primary aims, research questions, hypotheses, proposed methodology, strengths and limitations, and a timeline. Each application must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation/support from the student's dissertation committee chair. Individuals may only receive one Doctoral Professional Development Award while at GWSPH.

Funds may be used to support the following types of activities.

  • Dissertation-related travel (e.g., data collection site visits, meetings with collaborators)
  • Purchase of research equipment
  • Purchase of research supplies and software
  • Research-related professional membership fees
  • Professional journal subscription costs
  • Publication fees
  • Software costs

Application submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis contingent on the available ORE budget. Applications must be submitted to ORE ([email protected]) at least two months before funds are needed.

Up to $1,500 in funding will be awarded per applicant.

Notification of decisions will be sent from ORE via email to the awardee, his/her dissertation Chair, and Departmental Finance Manager. Award spending information and requirements will be included in the notification. Students who do not receive awards will also be notified.

A completed Doctoral Professional Development Award Application must be submitted and contains the following.

1. Completed application form.
2. The application should include a two-page, single-spaced Project Description (font size 11 points with 1-inch margins). Figures and references are not included in the two-page limit. The Project Description should be written for a general audience using non-technical language whenever possible to be understandable by research faculty in other fields. It should consist of the following components:

  • Summary of the Primary Aims and Research Questions
  • Hypotheses
  • Proposed Methodology
  • Strengths and Limitations
  • Proposed Timeline
3. Letter of recommendation/support from the student’s dissertation Committee Chair.
4. Budget and budget narrative using the template.

The required forms and components should be merged into a single PDF and submitted via email to [email protected]. Use the following format for the file name: Lastname_Firstname_Application_Doctoral_Professional_Development_ Award_Date of Submission.

Awardees must submit a two-page Final Report within 30 days of the award end date or 30 days before graduation (whichever comes first) outlining the following points.

Capital Connection Fund


Scholarships, assistantships, and various other funding opportunities are available through several different groups.

Link: Funding for current students


For Master's students:

The GWSPH Alumni Association established the Capital Connection Fund to provide financial assistance for students engaged in off-campus research, internship, conference and other professional development activities. Contributions of alumni, faculty, and other friends of the Milken Institute School of Public Health help to make these opportunities possible (Make a Gift).

Link: Download the CCF guidelines and application (PDF)

Undergraduate Research and Scholarship

Undergraduates who participate in research projects and the development of original scholarship build valuable skills that can be applied throughout their education and professional careers. These proficiencies range from research-specific skills such as developing a testable hypothesis, evaluating source material, interpreting results, analyzing data and synthesizing conclusions to professional skills such as organization, critical thinking, time management, teamwork, problem solving and effective written and oral communication.

Link: Undergraduate Research and Scholarship



The Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) sponsors various intramural funding competitions and incentive programs to support and encourage research and scholarship at the George Washington University (GW).

Link: GW Intramural Funding

Questions: [email protected] or 202-994-6255

Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI-CN)

The Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI-CN) is the Research Support Center for GW investigators conducting health-related research. It offers investigators with resources, tools and services for every stage of their research. The CTSI-CN's mission is to advance clinical research and accelerate the application of research findings, to ultimately improve the health outcomes of the population.

The CTSI-CN provides funding opportunities to GW investigators including Pilot Awards, Voucher Awards, Team Science Awards, and KL2 Career Development Awards. These funding opportunities support research relevant to health and well-being, and are not limited to pediatric research. Information about current funding opportunities is available through the CTSI-CN website.

Link: CTSI-CN Funding Resources

Link: CTSI Funding Opportunities

To receive notification of upcoming solicitations, register for the CTSI-CN Newsletter by becoming a CTSI-CN member.

Link: CTSI Homepage



Extramural funding entities vary from international and domestic sources, and those may be from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. The following are resources to help navigate the funding sources landscape.

  • Corporate & Foundation Funding
  • Federal Sponsors & Research Grants
  • GW Office of Sponsored Projects
  • International Support
  • Pivot


Corporate & Foundation Funding

GW Corporate & Foundations Relations Funding Database: A select list of funding opportunities from GW Corporate and Foundation Relations.

Link: GW Funding Database  (provides a compilation of open Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from foundations and corporations curated by GW Corp and Foundation Relations).

Link: Funding Database

Link: GW Corporate and Foundation Funding Database

Questions: Corporate & Foundations Relations contact list by School

Philanthropy News Digest
: PND publishes RFPs and notices of awards as a free service for United States-based grant-making organizations and nonprofits.

Link: Philanthropy News Digest

Foundation Directory Online (FDO) Quick Start: FDO Quick Start has information on any U.S. foundation on your prospect list. Find the foundation searching by name, EIN, location, and assets or giving range. Search the IRS Forms 990 and 990-Private Foundation (PF) for those funders by those facets or by keyword.

Link: Foundation Directory Online Quick Start

Federal Sponsors & Research Grants

The sponsor's website is a great place to start when you search for federal research funding. The following list of federal funders is not an exhaustive one, but it will provide a good place to begin your search. Each agency provides different types of information that can include current opportunities, funding priorities and previously funded projects. These sites are particularly helpful when combined with the searchable web-based funding databases.

When preparing proposals for federal funding opportunities, it is important to keep in mind that all projects must comply with federal guidelines, including (for travel) the Fly America Act.

Link: Federal Sponsors

GW Office of Sponsored Projects

The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) within the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) supports the university research mission.

All proposals from GW faculty must utilize myResearch for electronic routing and approval through the Office of Sponsored Projects. GW OVPR sponsors research enhancement initiatives and periodic grant writing workshops.

Several funding resources are available through GW’s Office of Sponsored projects.

Samples include: Federal sponsors, international funding, and sources for travel and travel-related support.

Link: Office of Sponsored Projects

Questions: [email protected] or 202-994-0728

International Support

GW supports international research and new foreign collaborations by providing funds that may be used for travel and travel-related living expenses and/or project-related costs. Projects designed to generate new external funding, research strategies and collaborations receive the highest priority.

Link: GW International Research Support Programs

Link: International Funding

Questions: [email protected] or 202-994-6255


Pivot is a searchable database of funding opportunities from federal and non-federal sources, including foundations and commercial sponsors. GW subscribes to this service to offer its users the ability to customize their searches and to routinely have those searches e-mailed directly as they are published. Enter search terms to browse by keyword or explore the latest funding opportunities and research trends.

Link: Pivot

Questions: [email protected] or 202-994-6255 for Pivot access and training



The ORE has compiled a document with descriptions of all facilities and other resources available at the George Washington University for proposal preparation. Feel free to access a copy of this document by clicking on the downloadable link. GWSPH Facilities and Other Resources Document (2023 Update)

Additional Resources

For any questions or additional information, please email [email protected].