Funding Program Overview and Process Detail: Call 2 2024

The AFRL Regional Network – Midwest is excited to announce the availability of funding for projects that can immediately and significantly benefit the technology and development of AFRL S&Es. This call will seek proposals from researchers who are members of the Midwest Regional Network, along with their AFRL and additional collaborators. Our primary focus areas are:

  • Hypersonics
  • Microelectronics
  • Energetic materials
  • On Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (previous known as ISAM)
  • Space domain awareness

Special consideration will be given to proposals with the following topics:

  • Alternate Processes to Develop Cathode Ray Tubes
  • Application of Carbon Nanotubes via CVD
  • Automated tool to combine circuit card imagery from different image modalities (e.g., X-Ray and THz) for image techs. For additional information click here
  • Quantum Computing
  • Hardware-in-the-loop Modeling and Simulation for Developmental Testing
  • High Strain Rate Materials
  • High Temperature Thermocouples
  • Hypersonic Modeling & Simulation
  • Modeling and Simulation Efforts to Minimize Testing and/or Aid in Down Select for EM systems
  • Performance Simulations for Energetic Materials
  • 3D SAR ATR
  • Detection of Hypersonic Signatures via Sensor Fusion and Aggregation
  • Detection of Space Debris with Existing Orbiting SAR Sensors
  • Environmentally Induced Noise in Microelectronics as Source of Sensor Data
  • Event Based Sensing
  • Lidar Tomography
  • Low-cost Cryocooler
  • Multi-channel Acoustic Transceiver
  • Passive Sensing Fusion and Tracking on Small UAVs
  • Photonic Structures for MWIR Imaging Arrays
  • Real-time Monitoring of Device Thermal Characteristics under RF stress
  • Single/entangled Photon Detection
  • Tools (software) to ID elements of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) in code to understand the functionality.  For additional information click here
  • Ultrasonic Phased Array Transducer
  • Vertical Gallium Nitride Device

We are happy to elaborate or provide more specific information on needs upon request.  Please email our director with these requests:

Please read BEFORE submission:

  • We cannot fund basic research (6.1). All proposals submitted should be fundamental or applied research (6.2 or above).
  • The majority of funding MUST be executed in the Midwest region. The Midwest Region was defined by the AFRL as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
  • PI’s must be located in the Midwest region and be an existing member of the AFRL Regional Network – Midwest. Please see below for information on Network Membership.
  • Proposals without an AFRL co-PI will NOT be accepted. To find an AFRL co-PI, please enter your information on Tech Connect. The AFRL co-PI can be from any AFRL location. The AFRL co-PI must be either military personnel or civil servants. Contractors do not meet the requirement.
  • Do NOT submit CUI or distribution limited materials to Qualtrics. Qualtrics is not a secure channel. Please contact Amanda Ridge ( before submitting any materials that may be sensitive, distribution limited, or CUI.

Projects will be funded at $50,000 each 6 months, with a maximum of two years for a total of $200,000 from the AFRL Regional Network – Midwest. AFRL Technical Directorates may match funding as deemed necessary and appropriate. Milestones and deliverables will be based on six-month cycles. Funding continuation will be evaluated in six-month intervals and will depend on meeting transition milestones and deliverables. All funding is contingent upon security checks, availability, and is at the discretion of the AFRL Regional Network – Midwest.

  • Milestones and deliverables will be based on six-month cycles.
  • Video deliverables are required as part of this program. We have dedicated staff to assist in making your video.
Application process

Before applying for funding, you must have an established relationship with an AFRL Scientist and/or Engineer (S&E). If you still need to connect with an AFRL S&E, please submit your ideas through TechConnect available here:

If you have distribution limited materials or CUI information, please do NOT submit it to Qualtrics. Qualtrics is not a secure channel.

Please contact Amanda Ridge ( before submitting any materials that may be sensitive, distribution limited, or CUI.


To apply for funding, please submit a brief pre-proposal through the link:


The application process consists of two phases:

  • Pre-Proposal (Phase I): Submit 1-3 paragraphs describing the project, collaborator information, and connection to the AFRL mission, AFRL interest, opportunities for AFRL S&E personnel exchanges, and potential for technical transition. Proposals will be reviewed against established criteria, and comments will be provided to the proposers. Based on the assessment, you may be invited to submit a full proposal for Full Proposal (Phase II) review.
  • Full Proposal (Phase II): Full Proposal is by invitation only. Submit a 3- to 5-page proposal for review based on these criteria:
    • Mutual interest to AFRL
    • Potential for rapid transition
    • Technical merits
    • Opportunity for leveraging AFRL research, including opportunities for embedding AFRL S&Es within the Network
Call Schedule

Project Submission Opens: 3/4/24
Pre-Proposal (Phase I) Proposal Due Date: 3/22/24

Submit HERE

Program Contacts:

For any questions, please contact Amanda Ridge

Estimated Number of Awards:

The Midwest Network plans three proposal cycles per year. Specific dates for each proposal cycle will be communicated to the Midwest community prior.
The award selection process is prioritized first by proposal quality and AFRL mission alignment followed by the availability of funds. The selection committee may allocate funding recommendations in any cycle to any proposals based on project alignment with AFRL goals and quality of proposal.

Who May Submit Proposals and Serve as PI:

Proposals are to be submitted by members of the AFRL Regional Network – Midwest; however, only members within the Midwest region may serve as PIs. PIs may not be changed from Phase I to Phase II.

All Proposals require a co-PI from the US Air Force or Space Force. Midwest Network members preparing proposals without an AF/SF co-PI or AF/SF PI’s are encouraged to leverage the Tech Connect function on the Midwest Network website to identify (co-)PI’s as necessary:

There is a limit of one proposal per PI per cycle.

All PI and proposal team members to comply with:

Recipient employees requiring access to USAF bases, AFRL facilities, and/or access to U.S.
Government Information Technology (IT) networks in connection with the work on this award must be U.S. citizens. For the purpose of base and network access, possession of a permanent resident card (“Green Card”) does not equate to U.S. citizenship. This requirement does not apply to foreign nationals approved by the U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. State Department under international personnel exchange agreements with foreign governments. It also does not apply to dual citizens who possess U.S. citizenship, to include Naturalized citizens. Any waivers to this requirement must be granted in writing by the Grants/Agreements Officer prior to providing access. Specific format for waiver request will be provided upon request to the Grants/Agreements Officer. The above requirements are in addition to any other award requirements related to obtaining a Common Access Card (CAC)

(a) Access to the technology developed under this agreement by foreign firms, institutions or individuals shall be controlled by the recipient under applicable U.S. export control laws.

(b) If required under a Research Project Plan agreed to in writing in advance by the Recipient, the Recipient shall obtain Grants Officer approval before assigning or granting access to any work, equipment, or technical data generated or delivered under this agreement to foreign persons or their representatives. The notification shall include the name and country of origin of the foreign person or representative, the specific work, equipment, or data to which the person will have access. The Grants Officer will not provide approval until a favorable Foreign Disclosure Office determination is received.

Network Membership

To join the Network, simply visit:

Fill out the form, and we will be in contact.

As a member of the network, you will have access to collaboration opportunities, events, news, and funding calls.

Members do not need to be part of our region to join. The Midwest Region was defined by the AFRL as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

We welcome non-regional members. You can collaborate with us. You can attend events. We will also help you connect with an AFRL scientist and/or engineer.

If you are interested in hosting an event to expand the network and increase your collaboration opportunities, please email

Evaluation Rubrics

Please click below to access the evaluation rubrics:

AFRL Regional Network – Midwest Phase I Evaluation Rubric

AFRL Regional Network Phase II Evaluation Rubric