Research Sponsors

Online Computer Science Degree Guide: Research Sponsors

Computer science is one of the most in-demand fields in industry and business today. As systems become digital and increasingly more complex, computer scientists are required to construct and maintain them. This demand has lead to a great deal of research and development in the computer science industry. A significant portion of this research occurs within the academic sphere of higher education. However, the budgets allocated for research in computer science, like most educational programs, have been restricted in the last several years, particularly from government agencies. As traditional funding for these programs may be restricted, it is important to find alternative methods for financing them. Funding is available through grants, awards, discounts on products and fellowships. A recent focus on Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education has also lead to some new opportunities for computer science research in academia. In particular, the primary sources of funding for computer science often originate from some of the larger, technology-focused departments of government, such as the Department of Defense and NASA, as well as private companies from within the computer industry, who rely on the next generation of computer scientists to power their companies.

There is still a large amount of funding available for computer science research, provided researchers and institutions know where to look. This guide has been created to help  fund seekers find  available grants, programs and funding to help finance and  continue their research. As part of an ongoing effort to provide the best information on computer science research, and the computer science field in general, this guide contains resources for supporting research in academics. These resources include overviews of the process of finding and applying for funding, as well as specific programs and initiatives that finance computer science research. Additionally, several directories and databases of funding sources have been included. The hope is that this guide will prove to be useful for teachers and directors of computer science, who may require additional funds to continue or establish industry-related research.

Computer Science Research Funding

The process of finding and applying for grants and funding can be rather tedious. Often this is accomplished by responding to calls for proposals, competing for awards or applying for specific grants, endowments and sponsorships. The following resources attempt to give a background and overview of the current state of the funding process for computer science.

  • STEM Education Funding Opportunities – The I-STEM education initiative was created by the University of Illinois to help reform and provide opportunities for STEM education across the US. Along with other information on STEM education, specific programs that provide funding opportunities are detailed.
  • STEM Funding – A helpful guide for going through the process of applying for funds and grants for STEM education. Includes several links to help find funding.
  • Computer Science Proposal Preparation – A collections of guides for developing proposals for research funding in the field of computer science. Covers various types of research sponsors and also includes a selection of grants and funding resources.

Specific Computer Science Funding Programs

The expansion of, and demand for, computer science as an industry and educational field has lead to the establishment of funding programs that are specific or closely related to the computer science field. These programs are offered by both government and privately sponsored organizations and agencies. The following are some of the major financial sponsors of computer science research in academics.

  • European Commission ICT Research – Information for participating in the Information and Communication Technologies research program. Part of the Seventh Framework Programme, sponsored by the European Commission of the European Union.
  • Microsoft Research Connections – Microsoft regularly sponsors research in the computer science field. Click on the ‘opportunities’ tab for further information on specific programs.
  • Opportunities for STEM Teachers – The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association provides resources for STEM programs and teachers.
  • Computer Research Association – The Computer Research Association is one of the leading authorities for computer science research in America, comprised of over 200 academic departments, as well as industry and government organizations. Their mission is to provide support and innovation for computer science education and research.
  • Technology Innovation Program – The Technology Innovation Program is an initiative of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and promotes technology, and computer science, through targeted R&D funding.
  • NASA Research Opportunities – NASA funds a good deal of scientific research through various initiatives and programs. This resource links to the required forms for submitting proposals for funds and support.
  • National Science Foundation CISE Program – One of the primary sources of government funding for scientific research is the National Science Foundation. Their Computer Information and Science Engineering Program provides multiple opportunities for funding, grants and awards.
  • Department of Energy Grants and Funding – The Office of Science at the DOE, is responisble for allocating grants and funding for scientific research. This agency occasionally releases Funding Opportunity Announcements for computer science related projects.
  • MOSIS Educational Programs – The MOSIS service has provided discounted circuitry and semiconductors to academic institutions for three decades. Additonally, the MOSIS Educational Program provides the opportunity for students to work with and design circuitry.
  • HP Open Innovation Project – An educational initiative from Hewlett-Packard that provides funding and collaborative research with academic institutions. Features calls for proposals, awards and discounted technology.
  • Intel University Research Grants Programs – Intel regularly funds University research programs in the field of computer science. This resource covers the current topics that Intel’s Academic Research Office is involved with.
  • National Institute of Justice Funding – The field of criminal justice increasingly requires computer science input, as computer systems are established to track and model criminal and forensic data. The National Institute of Justice awards funding, grants and fellowships for this type of research.

Funding Directories

Due to the large number of individual research funding programs, it can be difficult to find one that is applicable for the type of research that is to be conducted. The following resources contain online directories and databases of sources for research funding. These include both government and private sources of funding and are searchable for easier access to applicable funds and grants.

  • Government Grants - An official government database of available government grants for research and education. Features a search function for finding appropriate programs and funds.
  • COS Research Resources – One of the largest databases for research funding resources, the COS online presence features an internal search engine for finding funding. Their website also includes help and advice for finding and applying for research funding.
  • Foundation Center’s Fund Finder – The Foundation Center was established to help those who need research funding to find grants and charitable agencies. The Fund Finder provides a searchable listing of grantmakers along with information on data on specific agencies and organizations.
  • Research Research – An online resource for finding out more about the current state of research funding worldwide. Features the latest news on research funding as well as a database of over 7,000 calls for funding.