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Research Grants

Science and Technology Directorate Solicitations

The Science and Technology Directorate is the primary research and development arm of the Department of Homeland Security. In partnership with the private sector, national laboratories, universities, and other government agencies (domestic and foreign), it helps push the innovation envelope and drive development and the use of technology in support of homeland security.

Its mission and goal are to identify revolutionary, evolving, and maturing technologies that can be demonstrated to provide significant and improvement to homeland security missions and operations through proof of concept and prototyping with potential for transition to current and future Department acquisition processes.

Several active solicitations on a broad range of topics are available at the Solicitations Portal.

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Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA)

The Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) focuses on homeland security research and development that could lead to significant technology breakthroughs and greatly enhance departmental operations.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 established HSARPA to support basic and applied homeland security research to promote revolutionary changes in technologies; advance the development, testing and evaluation, and deployment of critical homeland security technologies; and accelerate the prototyping of technologies that would address homeland security vulnerabilities.

HSARPA manages a broad portfolio of programs and projects for developing homeland security technology. It performs this function in part by awarding procurement contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, or other transactions for research or prototypes to public or private entities, businesses, federally funded research and development centers, and universities.

HSARPA funding opportunities are posted on the  Solicitations Portal.

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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

The Department's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was initiated in 2004. Two Departmental organizations, the Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), participate in the federal program.

Phase I awards are limited to $100,000 for Science and Technolgoy Directorate SBIR projects and $150,000 for Domestic Nuclear Detection Office SBIR projects. Phase I awards are typically made within 90 days of selection.

Invited Phase II projects will be reviewed and awards will be made incrementally. Phase II awards are limited to $750,000 for S&T SBIR projects and $1,000,000 for DNDO SBIR projects. The Phase II proposal invitation process expeditiously identifies those Phase I awardees deserving Phase II awards.

The DNDO currently issues one solicitation per year. The DNDO SBIR topics are chosen to support mission objectives. Contact the program manager at dndo.sbir@dhs.gov.

The SBIR program issues two solicitations per year, generally in November and May. Topics for solicitations are developed by program managers in each of the S&T divisions, and from time to time, by the Offices of Innovation and Basic Research. The annual solicitations consist of topics relevant to the following divisions:

  • Chemical and Biological
  • Borders and Maritime
  • Human Factors
  • Explosives
  • Infrastructure and Geophysical
  • Command, Control and Interoperability

SBIR topics generally address the needs of seven Department operational units: U.S. Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Secret Service, as well as first responders.  

The Small Business Innovation Research Web site has more information. You may also contact the Science and Technology Directorate's SBIR Program at stsbir.program@dhs.gov or contact Program Director Elissa (Lisa) Sobolewski at 202-254-6768 or via e-mail at elissa.sobolewski@dhs.gov

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Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) Nuclear Detection Research

Recognizing the risks associated with the potential use of a nuclear weapon within the United States, the Department has integrated all nuclear detection research, development, testing, evaluation, acquisition, and operational support into a single office: the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO). 

This office will develop a global nuclear detection architecture; conduct research and development; and acquire and support the deployment of domestic nuclear detection systems.

Business Opportunities

All opportunities can be found on Federal Business Opportunities (Fed Biz Opps)

Office of Assessments (OA)

  • A — Advanced Technology Demonstration for Intelligent Personal Radiation Locator (IPRL)

Office of Systems Development and Acquisition (OSDA)

  • 58 — Human Portable Radiation Detection System (HPRDS)
  • A — Cargo Advanced Automated Radiography System (CAARS)

Office of Transformational Research and Development (OTRD)

Direct all business inquiries to dndoinfo@dhs.gov

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Department-funded awards through the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG)

The Science and Technology Directorate has been coordinating research and development projects to combat terrorism with the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG). Several Department-funded tasks addressing Science and Technology Directorate requirements were recently funded through the Technical Support Working Group.

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This page was last reviewed/modified on April 24, 2009.