The FY23 TIER Submission Guidelines and application link will be available on November 3.


Research Development will be hosting four TIER 1 Q&A Sessions on Teams, please click on the links below to join:


PI Eligibility: All Co-PIs must be considered PI eligible by both their college(s) and by NU-RES PI Eligibility guidelines. If you are not in a college and/or unsure of your eligibility status, please consult with your director or Associate Dean for Research to determine if you are eligible to be a PI.  Library staff are no longer eligible to be PIs on TIER 1 awards but can be named as additional collaborators.


Proposal Guidance:

Please read the instructions carefully as the application process has changed from previous years.

Applications may ONLY be submitted by the Contact Co-PI, no exceptions. The Contact Co-PI (Lead PI) must be based at Northeastern’s Boston campus and will be responsible for proposal submission, reporting and budget management.

The Contact Co-PI will need to create an account with AmpliFund before accessing the application.

For Mentored Award applications, the Contact Co-PI role must be assigned to the junior faculty member.


This year’s TIER 1 proposal application is based on the NABC method (Need, Approach, Benefit, Competition) from the Experiential Innovation Program, described below. The proposal has been organized into the four NABC categories, budget narrative, and Mentored Award plan (if applicable).  Each proposal question has a character limit (see application).


Experiential Innovation at Northeastern University:

The Experiential Innovation program at Northeastern, led by Dr. Curt Carlson and Dr. Len Polizzotto, is a new way of presenting research projects, with a goal of increasing interdisciplinary collaboration, proposal successes and research impacts. The Experiential Innovation program helps research teams focus on identifying important opportunities and then convert them into successful new proposals and eventually sustainable research products or innovations. It is hands on and intensely interactive.  It uses a team’s current project as the basis to learn new value-creation concepts, approaches to applying them, and then enhancing them using team feedback.

These underlying principles consist of four fundamental elements, which are termed “NABC”. The four questions must always be clearly, quantitatively and convincingly answered. If they don’t understand what you’re offering, they will not be compelled to fund it.

The NABC Method:

1) NEED – What important problem are you attempting to solve? And, if it is so important, what has prevented it from being solved to date. This is your unmet need in the research –it must be a gap in current knowledge, something that a sponsor wants to fund, depending on their own objectives.

2) APPROACH – Your compelling offering that addresses the Need – What makes your approach unique and special? Show how it is better than anyone else’s approach. Should include the route to addressing the Need, as well as how you will get your solution into the hands of the key stakeholders.

3) BENEFITS/COSTS – The value you are offering for your solution to the need – you want to be 2-10 x better than the competition. You must be clearly superior in some element of your proposal in order to be competitive.

4) COMPETITON – A summary of other ways the need could be satisfied. Includes direct competitors as well as those that can fulfill the need in other ways. Address the competition’s performance and list them by name.

There are several workshops annually based at Northeastern that help faculty use these parameters to address directly their research proposals using this framework.  If you are interested in participating in a workshop, please email resdev@northeastern.edu