Broad agency announcements, or BAAs, are government calls for proposals to do basic and applied research. BAAs are described in the Federal Acquisition Regulation FAR 35.016 as:
Peer or Scientific Review (see 6.102(d)(2)) for the acquisition of basic and applied research and that part of development not related to the development of a specific system or hardware procurement. BAA’s may be used by agencies to fulfill their requirements for scientific study and experimentation directed toward advancing the state-ofthe-art or increasing knowledge or understanding rather than focusing on a specific system or hardware solution.
Examples of organizations that publish BAAs are the Army Research Lab, Defense Advanced Research Agency, Office of Naval Research, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.
All BAAs are published on the Federal Business Opportunities web site. You can search the site using a range of search criteria and even set up agents that will periodically email you a list of opportunities based on your search criteria.
Other Agencies, such as NASA, publish calls for research under different names. For NASA it is the NASA Research Announcements. The National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health and other government agencies also provide grants and other opportunities for research.
BAAs usually have a short response time, typically 30-60 days. Several agencies also maintain what is called an open BAA. These BAAs outline general research and development interests of an agency that anyone can respond to over a relatively long period of time (typically a year). An example open BAA is the ONR open BAA, which they call their Long Range BAA.