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Government Grant Opportunities

A complete listing of federal agencies and links to their funding opportunities is available at

The National Science Foundation  is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense..." With an annual budget of about $7.0 billion (FY 2012), NSF funds approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.  Search for available funding opportunities or read notes from recent NSF conferences. A 6 minute video on NSF's merit review process is very helpful to most researchers.

The Department of Education was established by the Department of Education Organization Act (96) of October 17, 1979.  The U.S. Department of Education is the agency of the federal government that establishes policy for, administers and coordinates most federal assistance to education. It assists the president in executing his education policies for the nation and in implementing laws enacted by Congress. The Department's mission is to serve America's students—to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. Current funding opportunities from the Department of Education are available here.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was created as the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare on April 11, 1953 (5 U.S.C. app.).  HHS is the Cabinet-level department of the Federal executive branch most involved with the Nation's human concerns.  HHS grant opportunities for health research and initiatives are funded through multiple divisions, including the National Institutes of Health.                        

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports biomedical and behavioral research domestically and abroad, conducts research in its own laboratories and clinics, trains research scientists, and develops and disseminates credible, science-based health information to the public.  Click here to perform a search of current NIH funding opportunities.

The Office of Justice (OJP) and the  National Institute of Justice (NIJ) provide support for initiatives and research related to criminal justice.  OJP's funding announcements can be found here.  NIJ was created in 1969 by the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act as the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice with the purpose of monitoring and supporting federally funded criminal justice research to assist State and local governments to improve police, courts and corrections issues. Renamed National Institute of Justice in 1978, NIJ currently functions as the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice and offers grant funding opportunities.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123000 libraries and 17500 museums.  The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. We provide leadership through research, policy development, and grant making opportunities. IMLS supports key issues of national concern.

U. S. Institute of Peace (USIP) is the country's global conflict management center. Created by Congress to be independent and nonpartisan, USIP works to prevent, mitigate and resolve international conflict through nonviolent means and to support faculty and projects through program and fellowship grants.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.  NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.  NEA grant announcements are available here.

The Illinois Arts Council (IAC) was created as a state agency by the Illinois General Assembly in 1965 through legislation sponsored by Senators Paul Simon, Thomas McGloon, and Alan Dixon. The agency is governed by up to twenty-one private citizens chosen for their demonstrated commitment to the arts and appointed by the Governor. Council members serve in a voluntary, non-paid capacity and are charged with developing the state’s public arts policy, fostering quality culturally diverse programs, and approving grants expenditures. A small professional staff with in-depth knowledge of the arts develops and administers the agency’s programs, provides technical assistance, and ensures the responsible and impactful distribution of all funds. Resources to support the Illinois Arts Council are provided by the Governor and General Assembly of Illinois and the National Endowment for the Arts.   Funding and application deadlines available online.

Illinois Board of Higher Education provides several different program areas for funding; diversification of higher education faculty, nursing program initiatives, college work-study grants, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) initiatives and capital grants are available.  Click here for a listing of IBHE grant programs.  

 Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is a state agency of Illinois, headquartered in Springfield.  The agency promotes public health through various programs and project support.  Funding announcements and deadlines available here.   

Illinois  Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity  (DCEO) Economic Development, Certain federal funding streams or programs may be available through local units of government.  

Illinois Humanities Council gives Community Grant support to Illinois nonprofit organizations to develop public humanities programs for Illinois audiences and to provide technical assistance or general support to help accomplish their core humanities missions.  Click here for funding announcements and deadlines.