Please do NOT submit any CUI, classified, or distributed limited materials to Qualtrics.
This is NOT a secure channel. If you require a CUI email address, please reach out to Amanda Ridge, to receive instructions BEFORE sending any materials.

PROPOSERS – please review the evaluation rubric (we follow it very, very closely), use the template for your proposal narrative, and refer to below in order to meet all of the expectations of this funding opportunity and maximize your score:


(1) Technical merit – captured in the Technical Background and Project Methodology sections

  • Provide a brief introduction to the science underlying your proposed research project
  • Clearly state the problem that your research addresses, including how it advances the state of the art (this would also be a good time to establish you are aware of other approaches/groups working in parallel or complementary veins of research)
  • Include objectives (goals, can link to your milestones and deliverables)
  • Address risks and your risk mitigation strategies
  • Discuss briefly the expected outcomes based on your expected results

(2) Transition potential – captured in Potential for Translation section

  • Explicitly state what your transition opportunities are likely to be
  • Address the significance of these transitions to the AFRL, AF, DoD ecosystem, and/or commercial markets
  • What are the key objectives within the first 6-month increment and support their realism
  • Briefly describe commercialization potential, what partners you have to support this strategy, and/or why a commercialization plan or partner is not yet necessary (with plans for future) – remember that we are advocating for early discussions and identification of roadblocks and needs for future commercialization

(3) Mutual interest – captured in Mutual Interest to AFRL section

  • It is fantastic when a letter of support addresses (suggested, NOT required) the impact and need within the AFRL for this research area
  • Discuss the AF need (area, investments, etc), the strength of this need, and/or value of the deliverables to the AF mission
  • Mention dual use – USAF, USSF, commercial markets, manufacturing, etc – (either here or above within your commercialization strategy)

(4) Collaboration – captured in Midwest Network Partners

  • Demonstrate clearly that your AFRL co-PI is a true collaborator (not simply watching, attending meetings, or providing input after the science happens)
  • State the opportunities to embed (from their secure locations to your/your other collaborators’ locations) AFRL scientists or engineers in the testing and fundamental work of the proposed effort – this is not necessary but those projects with actual embedding have a distinct edge – also include what skills or mentorship will occur for the AFRL co-PI. While AFRL contractors are valuable members of the AFRL research teams, we are specifically looking for AFRL military and civil servant professional development.
  • Please also include workforce and professional development of students, post-docs, and non-AFRL collaborators. Call out pipeline opportunities.
  • Also, be clear in skill transfer opportunities and the ability to interact and learn from other collaborators (academics, industry partners, etc.)

Approved projects will receive support for an initial 6-month period, with the possibility of further funding in subsequent increments, based on the progress and deliverables achieved, as well as availability. We encourage all submissions to be written with this funding structure and timeline in mind.

Please keep in mind that submissions should be brief and contain enough details to properly evaluate the proposal. Please limit the above criteria to five pages. We understand that your proposal may be longer than this with included appendices.

Proposals should be written with clear milestones and/or deliverables at 4-6 months. Proposals will be considered for additional 6 month increments after successfully meeting transition milestones and/or deliverables.

Some projects have the possibility of AFRL Technical Directorate matching funding. If your AFRL S&E wants to add funding to this project, please let Amanda Ridge ( know; however, this additional funding can NOT be discussed in your proposal or presentation.

We understand that this funding mechanism and the rubric metrics are not standard. We also understand it can be a challenge getting commitments from our AFRL colleagues to leave their spaces (limited time, travel $, etc.), but we are asking for the opportunity to have these exchanges.

Finally, take advantage of the opportunity to speak with our team prior to or during the funding call process.

If you would like to use TRLs in your proposal, please see this guide to ensure cohesion.

Click here to download: Proposal Template

(1) Abstract

2) Narrative (Total 4-6 pages NOT counting references and appendices)

(a) Technical Background

(b) Project Methodology

(c) Potential for Translation

(d) Mutual Interest to AFRL

(e) Midwest Network Partners (embedding, workforce development)

(f) Goals/ Objectives/ Metrics/ Deliverables/ etc

(g) Budget – details for 6 months, very general over full time period; do not include TD funding, if available

(h) Concurrent US funding sources

(i) References

(j) OPTIONAL (but highly recommended): Letters of Support

Click here to download: 2024 Full Proposal Rubric

Please save the template as PDF and append any additional letters and/or resources. When you have completed your proposal, please upload your completed proposal (in pdf format) here: by no later than by Close of Business on Monday, April 29th.

Once you have submitted your proposal, please click here to access the Presentation criteria here.