An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

AFOSR - Funding Opportunities - Special Programs



 AFRL/AFOSR banner graphic



Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) Program
Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) 
Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR)  
AFRL/AFOSR Center of Excellence


AFOSR HBCU/MI program consists of two main components:

AFOSR Core Research. Research proposals from HBCU/MI are reviewed by AFOSR Program Officers as part of their core program and may be funded from funds set aside by the AFOSR Director.

Department of Defense Infrastructure Support Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions. The DoD has been providing grants for research and educational equipment at HBCU/MI. This program is administered by the Army Research Office, in collaboration with the AFOSR. Schools interested in this program should look for the Broad Agency Announcement that is usually published in the Fall of each year in the ARO webpage.

Click here to search for other AFOSR opportunities on
Mr. Edward Lee
Tele: (703) 696-7318
DSN: 426-7318
FAX: (703) 696-7320



Program Description: The Air Force YIP supports scientists and engineers who have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees within the last seven years and show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. The objectives of this program are: foster creative basic research in science and engineering;

2. enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators;

3. and increase opportunities for the young investigator to recognize the Air Force mission and related challenges in science and engineering.

Eligibility:  Individual awards are made to U.S. institutions of higher education, industrial laboratories, or non-profit research organizations where the principal investigator (PI) is employed on a full-time basis and holds a regular position. YIP PIs must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident. Researchers working at a Federally Funded Research and Development Center or DoD Laboratory are not eligible for this competition. Research proposals must address Research Interests of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, FA9550-18-S-0003, found on

Most YIP awards are funded up to $150,000 per year for three years, for a total of $450,000. Exceptional proposals will be considered individually for higher funding levels and/or longer duration.

Ellen M. Robinson
(703) 588-8527
DSN 425-8527
FAX: (703) 696-8450



The primary objective of the AF STTR program is to involve small businesses in AF-relevant defense research, and enable them to commercialize their innovative technologies for the advancement of U.S. economic competitiveness. Specifically, the STTR Program is designed to provide an incentive for small companies, academic institutions, and non-profit research institutions, including federally-funded research and development centers (FFRDC), to work together to move emerging technical ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Each STTR proposal must be submitted by a team that includes a small business (as the prime contractor for contracting purposes) and at least one academic or non-profit research institution, which have entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement for the proposed effort. The STTR has two phases: Phase I efforts are up to $100,000 for a period not to exceed one year; and Phase II projects are two year efforts for amounts up to $750,000.

Get more information about the program at the AF STTR website.

Similarities to SBIR
AFOSR has no SBIR program but we do have a very active STTR Program. For those of you not familiar with it, STTR was established as a companion program to the SBIR Program, and is executed in essentially the same manner; however, there are several distinct differences which are summarized below:

While STTR has the same objectives as SBIR, regarding the involvement of small businesses in federal R&D and the commercialization of their innovative technologies, the STTR Program also provides a mechanism for participation by universities, federally-funded research and development centers (FFRDCs), and other non-profit research institutions. Specifically, the STTR Program is designed to provide an incentive for small companies, and researchers at academic institutions and non-profit research institutions, to work together to move emerging technical ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace, to foster high-tech economic development and to advance U.S. economic competitiveness. Each STTR proposal must be submitted by a team which includes a small business (as the prime contractor for contracting purposes) and at least one research institution, which have entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement for the purposes of the STTR effort. Furthermore, the project must be divided such that the small business performs at least 40% of the work and the research institution(s) performs at least 30% of the work. The remainder of the work may be performed by either party or a third party. Please note that the primary Principle Investigator may be either from the small business or the non-profit research institution.

STTR moves through the same two-phase process which SBIR uses. The STTR Phase I effort are for $60,000 to $100,000 for a period not to exceed one year. Phase II STTR projects are 24 month efforts for amounts up to $500,000 through FY02 for FY03 and later they are $750,000 (vs. $750,000 in SBIR). Complete details on the DoD SBIR/STTR program as well as current programs solicitations, forms required, and contracting guidance can be found at the DoD SBIR & STTR Programs web site and at the Air Force SBIR/STTR web site.

Links for More Information
Links are provided for information only and do not imply any official endorsement of those sites by AFOSR.

Information for Phase I & II Contractors:

Reporting and Technical Information:

Business and Contracting Information:



Certifications and Representations 

NOTE: In addition to completing the Applicable Certifications above, all contractors must comply with the On-line Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA) requirement effective January 1, 2005. Consult the ORCA web site above under the heading "Information for Phase I & II Contractors" in order to fulfill this requirement. This requirement does not apply to grantees.


Mr. Edward Lee
AFOSR SBIR/STTR Program Manager
Tele: (703) 696-7318
DSN: 426-7318
FAX: (703) 696-7320



DESCRIPTION: An AFRL/AFOSR Center of Excellence (CoE) is a joint effort among AFOSR, another Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Technology Directorate (TD), and an outstanding university or team of universities to perform high priority collaborative research. A CoE should extend the research capabilities of AFRL and provide opportunities for a new generation of US scientists and engineers to address Air Force research needs.

The goals of a CoE are perform excellent research in high priority Air Force interest areas, strengthen AFRL in-house technical capabilities by providing frequent substantive professional interchanges between AFRL and university personnel, and educate students within the US in vital technology areas and offer opportunities for AFRL new employee recruitment.

Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Length: 3 years; with an option to extend 2 additional years
Solicitation: Each year AFRL TDs propose the establishment of new CoEs to the AFOSR Chief Scientist, who along with a technical advisory committee, reviews each in alignment with AFOSR needs and priorities and submits to the AFOSR Director for selection. New CoE topics are posted on as Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). Individual and/or teams of universities apply to these FOAs and a joint AFOSR-TD review panel competitively selects the winning university team for award. The award is made in the form of a grant to the university team, similar to an extramural single-investigator grant.