At Nebraska, we are laser-focused on growing our defense and national security research. Our partnership with the University of Nebraska National Strategic Research Institute, one of 13 Department of Defense University Affiliated Research Centers, plus our unique research facilities and collaborative environment offer faculty competitive advantages in pursuing defense-related funding.

To accelerate our defense-related research growth we have established NGUARD – Nebraska Growing University Activity for Research in Defense. NGUARD offers access to information and services you will need to successfully navigate sponsored research opportunities at the Departments of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies. On this site, you will find stories about innovative Nebraska defense-related research and information on research capabilities, facilities and partnerships that can benefit your research.

NGUARD can connect you with the experts in the Office of Research and Economic Development who can help you find research opportunities and understand different agencies’ requirements. This site offers links to ORED staff with expertise in proposal development, export control and other services aimed at the needs of researchers seeking defense-related funding.

Our unique partnership with  National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska offers a specialized route to funding. Government sponsors interested in a Nebraska project may be able to task research through NSRI via an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract.

To learn more about how NGUARD can benefit your research, contact Dr. Christopher Bohn at or 402-472-1803.



Slowing traffic to increase protection

Preventing terrorists from entering U.S. military installations begins before they reach the gates. At bases worldwide, the military uses road design and traffic control devices to slow threatening vehicles and give security personnel time to protect the base. Nebraska Transportation Center researchers are helping the U.S. Department of Defense improve this defensive strategy by better understanding the delays that various devices and roadway designs provide.

Learn more about roadway design

Developing next-gen materials

Mother Nature may inspire the next generation of materials for defense and industrial purposes. Nebraska engineers are using lasers to copy microscopic structures found in nature onto metal surfaces, giving them unique properties able to withstand extreme environments. These laser-created materials –able to resist drag or improve heat transfer or reflect light – hold promise for the military and NASA.

Learn more about surfaces that mimic nature

Exploiting potential of world’s brightest laser

By focusing laser light to a brightness 1 billion times greater than the surface of the sun, Nebraska physicists have observed changes in a vision-enabling interaction between light and matter. Those changes yielded unique X-ray pulses with the potential to generate extremely high-resolution imagery useful for medical, engineering, scientific and security purposes.

Learn more about harnessing light

Exploring cybersecurity defense threats

Husker researchers are teaming with Iowa State University and cybersecurity industry experts to investigate potential security challenges in cyber-physical systems that support operations, telecommunications and information technology systems. The goal is to explore strategies for reducing and mitigating attacks on critical industrial control system devices.

Learn more about threat analysis

Funding Announcements

Funding Announcements is a weekly publication of funding opportunities offered by federal (including Department of Defense) and non-federal sources. Subscribe to and customize your email through NUgrant. View the  searchable archive of active opportunities.

Proposal Development

Proposal Preparation

The Office of Proposal Development supports University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty, staff and administrators developing grant proposals to the Department of Defense. The OPD team enhances proposal quality by helping to ensure applicants meet sponsor guidelines and by improving the content, organization, and visual appeal of proposal packages. OPD staff serve their clients by:

  • Helping to develop marketing materials in preparation for meetings with funding agency staff.
  • Supporting the proposal planning process by creating proposal checklists, outlines and timelines.
  • Reviewing proposal drafts to ensure alignment with review criteria and sponsor requirements.
  • Editing and formatting grant proposals for enhanced readability and visual appeal.
  • Advising on the development of ancillary proposal documents, including biographical sketches, current and pending support forms, facility and resource descriptions, and other supplementary documentation to maximize effectiveness and ensure sponsor compliance.
  • Offering graphic design support for proposals to create easy-to-read, visually appealing illustrations that conform to proposal preparation requirements.
  • Connecting investigators with institutional resources for budget development, assessment and evaluation, and broader impacts (education/outreach) plans as appropriate.
  • Generating non-scientific proposal content (e.g., plans for project management and dissemination).

Expert External Review

For another layer of proposal review, investigators preparing proposals to the Department of Defense are encouraged to take advantage of Nebraska’s expert external review service. Expert external review provides investigators with valuable feedback from objective technical experts, producing review comments similar to those offered by peer reviewers of proposals submitted to federal agencies. This information can be leveraged to strengthen a grant application prior to submission. Click here to request this service, or contact Tisha Mullen, director of proposal development, for more information.

Faculty Travel Awards

The Office of Research and Economic Development is pleased to consider faculty requests for travel awards to help defray the costs associated with visiting funding agency staff. The goal of these awards is to enhance the competitiveness of research proposals by facilitating interaction with sponsors and program staff. For more information, click here.

Write Winning Grant Proposals Seminar

The Office of Research and Economic Development hosts a one-day seminar (free for university faculty, staff and students) that addresses the practical and conceptual aspects of proposal writing. ORED offers this seminar annually, usually the Friday before spring break. Click here for event updates and registration.

Pen Your Proposals @ Paul Hall

Faculty writing proposals to the Department of Defense are welcome to take advantage of the quiet writing space and individual proposal development consultations provided during Pen Your Proposals @ Paul Hall. Pen Your Proposals @ Paul Hall takes place on the second and fourth consecutive Thursday and Friday of each month. Click here for more information and a fall semester schedule.

Export Control

The university’s Export Control staff will help review and manage defense-related research that falls under export control regulations. Research sponsored by the Department of Defense and its affiliated agencies is subject to an export control review to ensure compliance with export control regulations. As with all sponsored research, your DoD research may be subject to export controls oversight when there are:

  • Restrictions on Publication
    Certain contract terms might prevent a project from freely publishing results, require pre-approval or allow the sponsor to claim resulting information as proprietary or trade secrets.
  • Restrictions on Foreign Nationals
    Depending upon the nature of the research, foreign national participation may be limited or not allowed.
  • Military or Space Related Research
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations are administered by the U.S. Department of State and have strict controls on military, space related, or controlled items for national security reasons.
  • Research related to nuclear, chemical, biological weaponry; missiles; or unmanned vehicles
  • Research related to encryption technologies

Sharing, shipping, transmission or transfer of almost all encryption software in either source code or object code is subject to U.S. export regulations. Source code for most strong encryption software is also subject to export controls.

There are many things to consider for export control review of your research. Visit the Export Control or contact the Export Control Staff at 402-472-6929 for more information. 

Sponsored Programs       

The Office of Sponsored Programs supports University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty, staff and administrators with the full life cycle of all externally sponsored projects. OSP is divided into three main areas of expertise: pre-award, legal/awards and post-award.

Pre-award Expertise and Services

Pre-award grants coordinators assist clients in preparing and submitting grant and contract proposals to the Department of Defense by:

  • Serving as liaisons to external funding agencies.
  • Reviewing funding announcements and agency guidelines for proposal submission requirements.
  • Helping clients interpret agency guidelines and required forms.
  • Helping clients navigate agency submission systems, including required client registrations.
  • Guiding clients in the use of the OSP NUgrant module for internal routing and approval of proposal submissions.
  • Reviewing completed proposal packages and providing feedback to ensure all submission administrative requirements are met.
  • Completing institutional information in forms and systems.
  • Providing institutional signatures and handling proposal submission to sponsoring agencies.
  • Connecting investigators with institutional resources for compliance services.
  • Offering budget and budget narrative development as well as detailed budget reviews supported by the proposal budget coordinator, Elijah Luebbe.
  • Providing a specific budget template for DOD proposals.

Legal/Award Expertise and Services

Awards coordinators assist clients in all aspects of award receipt, review and acceptance by:

  • Reviewing terms and conditions required for submission of proposals and noting any of the university’s exceptions.
  • Reviewing all incoming grants, contracts, material transfer agreements, non-disclosure and confidential disclosure agreements.
  • Drafting and negotiating subaward agreements.
  • Developing standard agreement templates
  • Drafting, reviewing and submitting award change requests and agreement amendments.
  • Securing institutional signatures on agreements.

Post-award Expertise and Services

Post-award specialists assist clients in all aspects of financial management of sponsored awards by:

  • Reviewing award terms and conditions to ensure accurate management during the life of the project.
  • Providing financial management and guidance to clients.
  • Assisting in problem resolution and coordination of interactions with sponsoring agencies.
  • Providing financial reports and invoices to sponsoring agencies.
  • Managing the award close-out process.
  • Coordinating audits.