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Funding opportunities for COVID-19 research available to investigators

Research Development and the Research Concierge Service at Penn State College of Medicine have developed a list of funding opportunities for investigators interested in research projects related to COVID-19.

The National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and other institutions are supporting research from a variety of disciplines to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note regarding human subjects research

In order to reduce any additional personal contact between individuals, any observational study (whether inpatient or outpatient) that requires any additional face-to-face contact with patients will not be allowed. In addition, any sample collection that requires any use of personal proactive equipment (masks, gowns, face shields, etc.) is not allowed, except as part of an interventional study with the potential for direct patient benefit.

Due to biosafety concerns, any study that aims to enroll COVID-19 subjects will require a modification to the protocol for IRB approval, which will include a biosafety review. COVID-19 patients cannot be enrolled on existing protocols without this modification approved.

COVID-19-related studies that require storing specimens must be closely coordinated with the Human Subjects Protection Office, IRB and the Department of Pathology.

See details on the University’s requirements for human subjects research here.

University funding

  • Added April 7, 2020: Institute for Computational and Data Sciences’ Explore Grants – note that this opportunity focuses on supporting Penn State researchers using Penn State’s supercomputing system (ICDS-ACI), collaboration with the ICDS RISE team of computational experts and assistance accessing the rapidly growing stores of COVID-19 data beyond Penn State (rolling deadline)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Department of Defense

Department of Defense: Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)

Department of Defense: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)


  • Added March 23, 2020: From the agency’s COVID-19 FAQI have a research project idea related to COVID-19. Where should I submit my proposal? DARPA is always interested in new ideas and emerging technologies and solutions. The DARPA technical offices that are focused on these efforts are the Defense Sciences Office (DSO) and the Biological Technology Office (BTO), both of which have Office-Wide Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) that are open for the submission of new ideas at any time.

Department of Energy


Department of Health and Human Services

Department of Homeland Security: Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)


National Science Foundation: RAPID Research on Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)



Note: Investigators with interest in foundation funding should contact Corporate and Foundation Relations before proceeding with any application process.

Other Funders

Note: Investigators with interest in corporate funding should contact Corporate and Foundation Relations before proceeding with any application process.

Learn more

For details, contact the Research Concierge Service at

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