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When checking the grants.gov I found that individuals can directly apply for available grants. Since it was not mentioned that individuals should be US citizen, I thought that everyone can apply, and judgement is based on the proposal.

  1. Can international people apply?

  2. Should the project conducted in the US territory? Or they care about the results no matter where it has been done?

  3. If yes to 1 & 2; can an international person apply, and upon success coming to the US to conduct the project?

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Usually, you can follow links or do a google search to find the original text of the Call for Proposals. The full text of those almost always provides clear criteria for who is eligible. Almost always (probably unless otherwise stated), the PI has to be from a US institution, but contrary to the other answer here, I am not familiar with the PI needing to have any particular academic status (especially not tenured already as an associate prof, and certainly all the kinds of non-TT research scientist positions), provided they have a position which their institution officially lists as being eligible to be sponsored as a PI. Sometimes, a post-doc, lecturer, or adjunct prof might be eligible. Remember, the grants go to the institution primarily, and the PI merely executes them on their behalf. The granting agencies defer the responsibility for administering who is legally OK to conduct the research to the accredited institution. Policies can vary between institution, so you'll need to ask your local administrators.

Certain kinds of award from private agencies or those who work with sensitive information, e.g. DARPA, DOD, or DOE, might require you to be a US Citizen (not even just a LPR), but that should be clearly listed. I am pretty sure that "unrestricted," in this context, means that there is no such restriction on immigration status.

You are always free to shoot an email or call to the cognizant program officer for a particular grant, to ask for clarification. They will expect you to have read the full, original CfP, unless you want to put them in a bad mood that might bias the review of your prospective application!

  • At least for DARPA, it depends on the program, like with the Air Force, some of them openly state that you can apply even if you are a foreigner with a PI position, others state that you cannot. – Leon palafox May 29 '14 at 17:45
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You wrote,

I found that individuals can directly apply for available grants.

This is true only in a few rare cases - generally, grants are awarded to PIs with an organizational affiliation. As per grants.gov's section on Grant Eligibility:

Although there are many funding opportunities on Grants.gov, few of them are available to individuals

Unless specified for Individual Eligibility, funding opportunities on grants.gov are open only to those affiliated with an eligible organization, as further stated:

Individual applicants may only apply for grant opportunities, on Grants.gov, that indicate individual eligibility within the Synopsis and Full Announcement.

and elsewhere it says:

The only time it is appropriate to register as an individual with Grants.gov is when you are submitting an application that specifies it is open only to individuals, such as for an individual fellowship or traineeship.

If you click "Browse Eligibilities" on the grants.gov homepage, you can click through directly to the grants for which individuals may apply. (These are basically a handful of fellowships or extremely specialized grants - currently there are ~20 open opportunities. You will have to read the extended details for these to determine if they have any additional eligibility requirements.)

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As far as I know for many of the grants, at least for DARPA, NSF, NIH, NASA, you need a PI located in a US institution, you may be located somewhere else, but the main PI should be from a US institution.

For the look of it grants.gov is more like a splash age from where you can search grants in diverse institutions. I can only talk of those(DARPA, NIH, etc..), since are the one I'm familiarized with.

Also, the PI applying for the grant usually needs to hold at least an associate professorship, there might be other grants that do not have this requirement but again, those are the ones I'm familiarized with.

  • in my gran opportunities, it states: Eligible Applicants: Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity above). I was unable to find a statement for the requirement of holding associate professorship in a US institution, particularly for the case of individual applicants where no organizational affiliation is needed. Can you elaborate or link to some references describing these requirements? – user13854 May 29 '14 at 1:15
  • Is not like one institutions gives money in general, usually the NASA (for example) will release a grant call for a specific project, that particular project might (or might not) have requirements like a US based institution or a PI with an associate professorship. The same institution may have different requirements for different grants. For example, the NASA Roses do not allow for collaboration with Chinese institutions and do not allow international organizations to participate. Different grants different requirements – Leon palafox May 29 '14 at 1:30

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