Technical areas at AOARD are tied to AFOSR and thus the AFOSR BAA. The general AFOSR BAA is open all year and is usually reissued in the first quarter of the year to capture any changes or special programs. While proposals are accepted at any time under this BAA, a key point is to know when the PO prefers to receive a white paper. Receipt of the white paper is tied to when current or future FY year money is available to be put onto a grant. If received too late, it could take over a year for a grant to be awarded.
BAA's are also used to advertise special allocations of funding, but these special solicitations may be open for only a short time. The deadlines for special BAAs are usually hard and are unforgiving when a proposal is received late. The PO is the key person that should be contacted about specifics of submitting an idea or white paper for consideration, and to learn when a full proposal would be required.
The process of applying for AOARD funding can be extremely competitive. Reading the BAA only gives an investigator an idea of the overall areas of interest; they really must contact the PO to understand what areas are actively being considered.
For a good chance for a proposal to be selected for funding, the investigator should receive encouragement to submit a proposal from the PO. There is no guarantee of funding, but contacting the PO prior to submitting a white paper or proposal may increase chances for success. There is always the possibility that an unsolicited proposal be selected for funding, but chances of success are usually very low.