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The U.S. Army Research Institute for Behavioral and Social Sciences (ARI) released a broad agency announcement (BAA) for its Foundational Science Research Unit (FSRU), which carries out the agency’s basic research in behavioral science.  ARI is the Army’s main funding agency for behavioral and social science research, with the objective of improving “Army readiness and performance via research advances and applications of the behavioral and social sciences that address personnel, organization, training, and leader development issues.”  Through this BAA, the Army is seeking groundbreaking multidisciplinary basic research approaches that will address difficult challenges facing the Army and lead to improvements in personnel performance.  The BAA’s basic research topics of interest are listed below, with key research objectives that proposals should address listed under each topic:

Basic Research Topics of Interest:

  • Personnel Testing and Performance
    • Understand the Predictor and Criterion Space
    • Improve Assessment Methods
    • Advance and Refine Psychometric Theory
  • Learning in Formal and Informal Environments
    • Choice and the Individual Learner
    • Skill Development in Context
    • Multiscale Learning Theory and Methods
  • Organizational Effectiveness
    • Organizational Theories: Processes & Dynamics
    • Multi-Level Methods & Models
  • Leader Development
    • Leader Development
    • Leadership Processes
    • Leadership Assessment
  • Culture
    • Defining and refining the meaning of culture
    • Understanding cultural differences
    • Assessing culture and understanding cultural change

The BAA notes that the use of military participants in proposals is neither necessary nor encouraged.  ARI will accept two types of proposals: Standard Proposals for experienced researchers, and Early Career Proposals intended to strengthen ARI engagement with PIs who are starting their career and have never received ARI funding.

Application Deadline:  White papers, while encouraged, are not mandatory and should be submitted via email to by April 12, 2019 at 5:00 PM EDT.  Full proposals should be submitted by email to usarmy.rtp.aro.mbx.baa@mail.mil or through http://www.grants.gov later than July 12, 2019 at 5:00 PM EDT.  Proposers should also send a copy of the proposal to the alisha.m.ness.civmail.mil.  Please see the full BAA for further instructions on submitting white papers and full proposals.

Total Funding and Award Size:  ARI has not predetermined the level of funding for awards, as this will be determined by funding constraints and priorities set by each budget cycle.  However, ARI estimates that standard proposals have been funded from two to three years at a median total award of $840,785.  Early career proposals should be initially designed for one year of funding and budgeted for an approximate maximum of $110,000.

Eligibility:  ARI will accept proposals from institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, and industry.  Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) are not eligible to apply.  To be eligible to submit an early career proposal, an applicant must have received their Ph.D. within five years of submitting a proposal, and never have received ARI funding as a PI before. Please see the full BAA for further instructions.

Sources and Additional Information: