Archives—July 2017


 Full Proposal Deadline Date: August 23, 2017
Deadline for REU Site proposals except those requiring access to Antarctica
Program Guidelines: NSF 13-542   The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program. This solicitation features two mechanisms for support of student research: (1) REU Sites are based on independent proposals to initiate and …More at


Dear Colleague Letter: Removal of Deadlines for the Process Separations Program in the Division of Chemical, Biological, Environmental, and Transport Systems in the Directorate for Engineering


 Full Proposal Deadline Date: August 21, 2017
Program Guidelines: NSF 17-563    Proposals are solicited to support needs of the marine seismic research community that are currently provided by the specialized seismic research vessel R/V Marcus G. Langseth. The vessel is owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (LDEO). NSF has determined that the current operational model is unsustainable and, with this solicitation, seeks …More at


CISE Research Infrastructure (CRI)


Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change (P2C2)


NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowships (EAR-PF)


 Solicitation: NSF 17-585
Due Date: October 25, 2017
Institutional Limit: 2
Limit Summary: An eligible organization may participate in two Innovations in Graduate Education proposals per competition.  Participation includes serving as a lead organization on a non-collaborative proposal or as a lead organization, non-lead organization, or subawardee on a collaborative proposal.  Organizations participating solely as evaluators on projects are excluded from this limitation.  Proposals that exceed the institutional eligibility limit (beyond the first two submissions based on timestamp) will be returned without review regardless of the institution’s role (lead, non-lead, subawardee) in the returned proposal.
 Solicitation: NSF 17-587
Due Date: October 25, 2017
Institutional Limit: See Limit Summary
Limit Summary: One proposal as Lead Institution per organization.  A proposed Lead Institution may serve as a SubAwardee for another proposed Lead Institution.

Update on the FY 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

Descriptions provided by Federal Science Partners.
On July 27, 2018, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill with a total of $56.4 billion to support national security, law enforcement, and American scientific innovation.  The FY2018 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which is $3.2 billion below the FY2017 enacted level and $4.4 billion above the budget request, funds the U.S. Departments of Commerce (including NOAA) and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies. 
The Committee’s report says, “For the science agencies, the administration proposes a reduction of 3 percent below the fiscal year 2017 spending level to NASA, and 11 percent to NSF.  This budget request attempts to navigate a challenging fiscal environment, but the deep cuts to these science agencies would dramatically curtail ongoing missions and research, for NASA, delay future exploration for years to come.  While leveraging some strategic reductions, this bill makes it possible for NASA and NSF to achieve balanced and cost-effective operations.  NASA in particular will have sufficient financial resources to achieve its management plans and launch schedules for the agency’s science and exploration missions, many of which will reach critical states of development during fiscal year 2018.”
National Science Foundation (NSF) – $7.3 billion for NSF, $161 million below the FY2017 enacted level and $658 million above the request.  Funding is provided for basic research across all scientific and engineering disciplines.  NSF Research is funded at $5.9 billion, down $116 million from FY 2017 but $556 million above the request.
The Senate bill rejects the administration’s request to reduce funding for climate, weather, and oceans research by 32 percent, and instead funds NOAA research at the fiscal year 2017 level of $478 million.  The bill rejects the proposal to eliminate successful NOAA programs like Sea Grant, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), Coastal Zone Management (CZM) grants, and the Regional Coastal Resilience Grant (RCRG) program.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – $19.5 billion for NASA, $124 million below the FY2017 enacted level and $437 million above the budget request, to support the human and robotic exploration of space, fund science missions that enhance the understanding of the Earth, the solar system, and the universe, and support fundamental aeronautics research.  The bill rejects the proposed elimination of NASA education programs.

Invitation to Young Investigators Meeting – Chicago Sept 2017

We are writing to invite you to participate in the 2nd Science and Research Opportunities in India (Sci-ROI) Young Investigator Meeting – Chicago (YIM-C) to be held from September 9-10, 2017 at the Gordon Center for Integrative Science, University of Chicago, Chicago.

Sci-ROI was inaugurated in 2015 at the Consulate General of India, Chicago to bridge the gap between scientific community and entrepreneurs from USA and India.


Outreach flyer YIMC 2017-1

VentureWell: Upcoming Events & Opportunities

Welcome to the July events and opportunities newsletter! Enjoy!

Open 2018 Conference– Have you attended our Open annual conference? We invite you to submit a proposal. Save the date, call for proposals will open August 21.

ASPIRE (Accelerating Startup Partnership and Investment Readiness)
We are seeking science and engineering startups in the cleantech and sustainability sector to participate in an intensive 5-day workshop to prepare for the investments and partnerships that are necessary to launch. This program is an opportunity to decelerate, focus, and deliver on work product created alongside a group of dedicated mentors. The ASPIRE program is not about the 5-minute pitch or the “startup shuffle.” Startups leave with a clear investment ask or next steps in order to get there. The request for proposals is open, deadline to apply is August 6.

E-Team Program
Our E-Team program provides early-stage funding of up to $25,000 and cultivates opportunities for student STEM inventors and innovators to move ideas out of the lab and into the market. Applications are due October 4. Informational webinars are August 17 and September 6

Other Community Events and Funding Opportunities

MD5 Hacking Emergency Response
Developers. Designers. Engineers. Come to a three-day hackathon to build product prototypes that incorporate functional fabrics as part of a system that addresses emergency response in challenging environments. Winning teams will be awarded up to $15,000 to further develop their ideas. Free and open to the public. The event takes place July 28-30, 2017.

National Geographic Chasing Genius Challenge
A new initiative built on the premise that transformational ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. National Geographic is currently soliciting ideas—big and small—around three critical issues: sustainable planet, global health, and feeding 9 billion. Four winners will each receive $25,000 to develop their ideas further. Submissions close July 31

Ocean Exchange Call for Solutions
Ocean Exchange welcomes registration from innovators with Solutions (with working prototypes) in materials, devices, processes, and systems with the ability to: Have Impact Though Sustainability—innovations that generate economic growth and increased productivity, while reducing the use of nature’s resources and waste. Submissions close July 31.

ISAM 2017
The International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces joins the people, knowledge, and inspiration that fuse to catalyze higher education makerspaces and maximize their impact on student learning experiences and alumni success. ISAM fosters community, networking, interaction and learning between people who are passionate about making. The event takes place September 24-27, 2017.

Other News 

We’re excited to announce our Spring 2017 Faculty Grant awardees! We’ve given $254k in total to 25 university staff and faculty across the country. Our faculty grants help fund and support their innovative ideas to develop or transform courses and programs that help students develop inventions and gain the necessary skills to bring them to market.

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Follow us to see daily stories and posts. For Snapchat, follow @VentureWell and for Instagram, follow @idea2impact.

Please visit our website to learn about other VentureWell events and opportunities, and subscribe to our newsletter to receive announcements in your inbox each month.

Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Workshop

The Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program and the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship will host its next National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Workshop in August over a 4-week period, with the first session starting on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

The I-Corps Site program is a team-based program structure that was developed through a partnership between the NSF and successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. The workshop provides an introduction to the Lean Start-up business development methodology which focuses on getting out of the lab and using the proven tools of Customer Discovery and the Business Model Canvas to evaluate the commercial potential of innovative technologies.

This is a great opportunity to work with an experienced team of workshop leaders to determine, document and fully realize the commercial potential of your technology. Michigan Tech affiliated teams which successfully complete the program requirements are eligible for $2,500 to advance their technology-focused start-up ideas through customer discovery and prototyping. Teams also become eligible for NSF’s National I-Corps program which includes $50,000 in funding.

Participants of I-Corps Site programs and NSF’s National I-Corps have demonstrated significantly higher funding rates from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) programs which offer Phase I awards up to $225,000 and Phase II awards up to $750,000. Past participants also report that the I-Corps program had a positive impact on their careers, as well as their approach to research, teaching and mentoring.

Apply today for this great experience. For more information on the Michigan Tech I-Corps Site Program or to apply for the August workshop, visit

USCIS to Resume H-1B Premium Processing for Certain Cap-Exempt Petitions

Release Date: July 24, 2017

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions effective immediately. The H-1B visa has an annual cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Additionally, there is an annual “master’s cap” of 20,000 petitions filed for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.

Premium processing will resume for petitions that may be exempt from the cap if the H-1B petitioner is:

* An institution of higher education;

* A nonprofit related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education; or

* A nonprofit research or governmental research organization.

Premium processing will also resume for petitions that may also be exempt if the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, organization or entity.

Starting today, those cap-exempt petitioners who are eligible for premium processing can file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Form I-907 can be filed together with an H-1B petition or separately for a pending H-1B petition.

USCIS previously announced that premium processing resumed on June 26 for H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians under the Conrad 30 waiver program as well as interested government agency waivers.

USCIS plans to resume premium processing of other H-1B petitions as workloads permit. USCIS will make additional announcements with specific details related to when we will begin accepting premium processing for those petitions. Until then, premium processing remains temporarily suspended for all other H-1B petitions. USCIS will reject any Form I-907 filed for those petitions, and if the petitioner submitted one check combining the Form I-907 and Form I-129 fees, USCIS will have to reject both forms.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook(/uscis), and Instagram (@USCIS).