Limited Submission - Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Call for Ideas

Updated March 17, 2020 by the Sloan Foundation: "In light of the coronavirus pandemic, we will be extending the deadline for our Call for Ideas by four weeks to Wednesday, May 13 .  We hope this allows for enough time to both adjust to the rapid changes the virus is bringing about and bring forth strong proposals." The Stanford Internal Deadline is April 29, 2020. 

  • Internal Submission Deadline: Wednesday, April 29, 2020
  • Funding Organization's Deadline: Wednesday, May 13, 2020
  • Award Cycle: 2021
  • Please view the updated timeline below!

New limited opportunity—up to THREE proposals are permitted from Stanford; therefore, a university-wide internal selection process is required.


The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which makes grants supporting basic research, expects to start one or more new grant-making programs aimed at driving important advances in an area of science. The Foundation is looking for inspired ideas so they’re asking a select group of researchers to send their vision for either starting a new field of science or for advancing an existing area of science. Your ideas could mean near-term funding for a research project, longer-term support for a research community, or both.

Call for Ideas

The Sloan Foundation is asking researchers to present a vision for advancing an area of science by supporting a community of investigators (at $5-10M/yr over about a decade) working on complementary aspects of a scientific problem, and to then propose a specific experiment to pursue some aspect of that vision with a near-term Sloan Foundation grant of $500K-$1M/yr for up to 3 years.

The proposed research should advance one or more areas in the physical and/or life sciences and should not be biomedically focused. Researchers should refrain from proposing work in already well-funded areas unless they can convincingly argue that the important research they propose is not likely to be supported by other funding sources. While submissions will be organized through a single lead PI, the Foundation encourages researchers to self-organize into proposal submission teams whose broader scope of expertise may strengthen a proposal.


Faculty members who are eligible to serve as principal investigators engaged in research in one or more areas of the physical and/or life sciences. Proposals must fall into one of the science categories listed Sloan Call for Ideas (CFI) FAQs document.

Essential Resources

Sloan Call for Ideas Dear Colleague Letter

Sloan Call for Ideas FAQs

Sloan Call for Ideas Proposal Submission Template (this form will download to your computer)

Updated Timeline

  1. Internal Selection Process
  • April 29, 2020, Submit via the VP DoR Funding Opportunity Portal
    • items 1 - 6 of the Sloan Proposal Submission Template (includes CV + brief bio for lead PI, up to 2 pages). Items 7 and 8 of the Sloan Proposal Submission Template optional; the entire proposal can be developed if desired.
  • May 6, 2020 (Wednesday) Decision on finalists will be made by the VP DoR Limited Submission Review committee

2. Updated Sloan Deadline for Proposals: May 13, 2020 (Wednesday) 2:00 pm PST:

  • Up to three proposals will be submitted by the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research to the Foundation via email
  • Summer 2020: Foundation to select next-stage propose

 Read more about and submit a proposal for this competition here.