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Disability and Rehabilitation Engineering (DARE)

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived. See PD 23-5342 for the latest version.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.


The Disability and Rehabilitation Engineering program is part of the Engineering Biology and Health cluster, which includes also 1) Cellular and Biochemical Engineering; 2) Engineering of Biomedical Systems; 3) Biophotonics; and 4) Nano-Biosensing.

The Disability and Rehabilitation Engineering program supports fundamental engineering research that will improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities through: development of new technologies, devices, or software; advancement of knowledge regarding normal or pathological human motion; or understanding of injury mechanisms.

Research may be supported that is directed toward the characterization, restoration, rehabilitation, and/or substitution of human functional ability or cognition, or to the interaction of persons with disabilities and their environment may be supported. Areas of particular interest are neuroengineering and rehabilitation robotics.  The program will also consider research in the area of: new engineering approaches to understanding normal or pathological motion, both as a target for rehabilitation and as a means to characterize motion related to disability or injury; or, understanding injury at the tissue or system-level such that interventions may be developed to reduce the impact of trauma and subsequent disability.

Emphasis is placed on significant advancement of fundamental engineering knowledge that facilitates transformative outcomes. We discourage applications that propose incremental improvements. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Program Director prior to submitting a proposal. 

Innovative proposals outside of the above specific interest areas may be considered. However, prior to submission, it is recommended that the PI contact the Program Director to avoid the possibility of the proposal being returned without review.

The duration of unsolicited awards generally is one to three years. The typical award size is approximately $100,000 per year.  Proposals requesting a substantially higher amount than this, without prior consultation with the Program Director, may be returned without review.


Proposals should address the novelty and/or potentially transformative nature of the proposed work compared to previous work in the field.  Also, it is important to address why the proposed work is important in terms of engineering science, as well as to also project the potential impact on society and/or industry of success in the research.  The novelty or potentially transformative nature of the research should be included, as a minimum, in the Project Summary of each proposal.

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program proposals are strongly encouraged.  Award duration is five years.  The submission deadline for Engineering CAREER proposals is in July every year. Please see the CAREER URL here for more information. 

Proposals for Conferences, Workshops, and Supplements: PIs are strongly encouraged to discuss their requests with the Program Director before submission of the proposal.

Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) and EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) are also considered when appropriate.  Please note that proposals of these types must be discussed with the program director before submission.  Further details are available in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) download found here.  Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) proposals that integrate fundamental research with translational results and are consistent with the application areas of interest to each program are also encouraged.  Please note that GOALI proposals must be submitted during the annual unsolicited proposal window for each program. More information on GOALI can be found here.

COMPLIANCE: Proposals which are not compliant with the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) will be returned without review.

Unsolicited proposals received outside of the Announced Proposal Window dates will be returned without review.

Related Programs

Biomechanics & Mechanobiology

Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience

Communications, Circuits, & Sensing Systems

Dynamics, Control, and System Diagnostics

Electronics, Photonics, and Magnetic Devices

Engineering of Biomedical Systems

Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems


Smart and Connected Health

Program contacts

Michele Grimm
mgrimm@nsf.gov (703) 292-4641

Awards made through this program

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Map of recent awards made through this program