Young Investigator Funding Opportunities

Below is a non-exhaustive list of programs intended for late postdoctoral investigators and new faculty—typically those at or below the rank of Assistant Professor. Please consult each program’s web page for more detailed information and current deadlines.

Pivot Search EngineTo find more funding opportunities use the Pivot funding opportunities database. In Pivot, to narrow results to New Investigators, use the Advanced Search. and under  "Applicant Type" select “New Faculty/New Investigator.” You may also with to further tailor the search to your research interests.  Alternatively you may click on this link for general search results geared to New Investigators.


Federal Agencies

Department of Agriculture

ProgramDeadlineProgram Synopsis
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), National Institute of Food and Agriculture varies by program area The Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants component of this program includes funding for new investigators. A new investigator is defined as an individual who is beginning his/her career, does not have an extensive scientific publication record, and has less than five years postgraduate, career-track experience. The new investigator may not have received competitively awarded Federal research funds with the exception of pre- or postdoctoral research grants or USDA NRI or AFRI Seed Grants.

Department of Defense

ProgramDeadlineProgram Synopsis
Young Investigator Program, Office of Naval Research early January ONR’s Young Investigator Program (YIP) seeks to identify and support academic scientists and engineers who are in their first or second full-time tenure-track or tenure-track-equivalent academic appointment and who show exceptional promise for doing creative research. The objectives are to attract outstanding faculty members to the Department of the Navy’s research program, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. Proposals may request up to $170,000 per year for three years.
Young Investigator Program, Air Force Office of Scientific Research July or August The Air Force YIP supports scientists and engineers who have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. The objective of this program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering; enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators; and increase opportunities for the young investigator to recognize the Air Force mission and related challenges in science and engineering. Each award will be funded at the $120,000 level for three years. Exceptional proposals will be considered individually for higher funding levels and longer duration.
Young Faculty Award, DARPA January The objective of the DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) program is to identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions and expose them to Department of Defense needs as well as DARPA’s program development process. The YFA program provides funding, mentoring, and industry and DoD contacts to awardees early in their careers so they may develop their research ideas in the context of DoD needs. The program focuses on untenured faculty, emphasizing those without prior DARPA funding. The long-term goal is to develop the next generation of academic scientists, engineers and mathematicians in key disciplines who will focus a significant portion of their career on DoD and national security issues.
Broad Agency Announcement - Young Investigator Program, Army Research Office open The ARO Young Investigator Program is included in the ARO Section of the ARL Core Broad Agency Announcement for Basic and Applied Scientific Research. The objective of the YIP is to attract to Army research outstanding young university faculty members, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. This program is open to U.S. citizens, Nationals, and resident aliens holding tenure-track positions at U.S. universities and colleges, who have held their graduate degrees (Ph.D. or equivalent) for fewer than five years at the time of application. YIP awards are up to $50,000 per year for three years.

Department of Energy

ProgramDeadlineProgram Synopsis
Early Career Research Program, Office of Science September for required preapplication, November for application Supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science: Advanced Scientific Computing Research; Biological and Environmental Research; Basic Energy Sciences, Fusion Energy Sciences; High Energy Physics, and Nuclear Physics. Applicants must be no more than ten years beyond the Ph.D. at the deadline for the application.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

ProgramDeadlineProgram Synopsis
New (Early Career) Investigator Program in Earth Science (ROSES program element), NASA varies; applications are solicited every two years The New (Early Career) Investigator Program in Earth Science, directed towards scientists and/or engineers within five years of their receipt of a terminal degree, is solicited every two years. (It is included in ROSES-2015.) Proposers can address research, applied sciences, data management, computing, and/or technology issues. The average anticipated award is $80,000-$90,000 per year for a period of up to three years.
Early Career Faculty (ECF) April 2015 NASA Headquarters released the ECF solicitation as an appendix to the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) umbrella NASA NRA, Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion 2015 (SpaceTech-REDDI-2015). The solicitation is focused on supporting outstanding faculty researchers early in their careers as they conduct space technology research of high priority to NASA’s Mission Directorates and STMD.

National Institutes of Health

ProgramDeadlineProgram Synopsis
New and Early Stage Investigator Policies, NIH   In general, a Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is considered a New Investigator if he/she has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award. In 2009, NIH instituted a new adjunct to the New Investigator policies involving the identification of Early Stage Investigators. ESIs are New Investigators who are within 10 years of completing their terminal research degree or within 10 years of completing their medical residency at the time they apply for R01 grants. The NIH New and Early Stage Investigator page includes:

National Science Foundation

ProgramDeadlineProgram Synopsis
Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, NSF July The intent of the program is to provide stable support at a sufficient level and duration to enable awardees to develop careers as outstanding researchers and educators who effectively integrate teaching, learning and discovery. The minimum CAREER award size is $400,000 for a five-year period except for the Directorate of Biological Sciences (BIO) or the Office of Polar Programs (OPP). For proposals submitted to BIO or OPP, the minimum award size is $500,000 over five years.
Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) September It is expected that funds will be used to support untenured faculty or research scientists (or equivalent) in their first two years in an academic position after the PhD. One may not yet have received any other grants in the PI role from any institution or agency, including from the CAREER program or any other award post-PhD.
Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP): Early Career Investigator Awards in Plant Genome Research May PGRP supports activities in four focus areas in FY 2015, including (4) Early Career Investigator Awards in Plant Genome Research (ECA-PGR) to increase the participation of early-career scientists in plant genome research.

Nonfederal Agencies

ProgramDeadlineProgram Synopsis
Young Investigator Awards, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation December Young Investigator Awards are designed as start-up funds for new scientists at the end of their fellowship training or early in their research career. Demonstration of outstanding mentorship and demonstration of a career plan that shows commitment to pediatric cancer investigation are critical components of a successful application.
Young Investigators Award, Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy September for abstract ACGT funds research aimed at furthering the development of cell and gene therapy approaches to the treatment of cancer. The emphasis of this initiative is to promote basic and pre-clinical research approaches utilizing cells and genes as medicine. Candidates must hold an MD, MPH, PhD, or equivalent degree, and be a tenure track Assistant Professor within five years of their initial appointment to this rank at the time of award activation.
New Investigator Research Grants, Alzheimer’s Association March for letter of intent, May for application The All Investigators Program includes several programs for new investigators: New Investigator Research Grant (NIRG), New Investigator Research Grant to Promote Diversity (NIRGD), and Mentored New Investigator Research Grant to Promote Diversity (MNIRGD).
AACR Funding Opportunities, American Association for Cancer Research Varies AACR offers an array of support mechanisms for cancer researchers at various stages in their careers, from fellowships to career development awards to grants for independent investigators. Multiple grant programs are offered.
Scholar Awards, American Asthma Foundation February Awards support early- to mid-career scientists in the United States.The program supports work in all investigative fields that may reveal new pathways in the pathogenesis of asthma. Studies may involve laboratory or clinical investigation, including genetic and epidemiological studies.
Research Scholar Grants, American Cancer Society April 1 and October 15 Research Scholar Grants support investigator-initiated projects across the cancer research continuum. Independent investigators in the first six years of an independent research career or faculty appointment are eligible.
Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Grants (DNI), American Chemical Society March Awards of $110,000 over two years provide start-up funding for scientists and engineers in the United States who are within the first three years of their first academic appointment at the level of Assistant Professor or the equivalent.
Fellowships, American Council of Learned Societies September or October Fellowships support research in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences. The ultimate goal of the project should be a major piece of scholarly work by the applicant. Awards provide up to $35,000 for assistant professor-level investigators for six to twelve months of research.
Core Program: Junior Faculty Development, American Diabetes Association April Awards support early investigators as they establish independence as diabetes researchers. Eligible applicants must be full-time independent faculty with less than 10 years of research experience since their terminal degree who do not have previous or current NIH R01 support. Applicants may not hold concurrent awards of similar intent, however they can have completed previous NIH K or other career development funding.
AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty, New Investigator Awards in Alzheimer’s Disease, American Federation for Aging Research December for letter of intent AFAR Junior Faculty Grants provides up to $100,000 for a one- to two-year award to junior faculty to conduct research that will serve as the basis for longer term research efforts. New Investigator awards of $100,000 for one or two years support research in areas in which more scientific investigation is needed to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Young Investigator Grants, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention November 15 Grants support studies that aim to increase understanding of the causes of suicide and factors related to suicide risk or that test treatments and other interventions designed to prevent suicide. Young Investigator Grants of up to $85,000 over two years are awarded to investigators at or below the level of assistant professor, with an additional $10,000 ($5,000 per year) for an established suicide researcher who will mentor the Young Investigator.
Beginning Grant-In-Aid, National Scientist Development Grant Program, American Heart Association January AHA funds research broadly related to cardiovascular disease and stroke and supports research in clinical and basic sciences, bioengineering, biotechnology and public health. Scientist Development Grant applicants should have no more than four years since his/her first faculty/staff appointment at the assistant professor level or its equivalent and must not be funded (extramurally) for more than one year at a level greater than $95,000 per year in direct costs. Beginning Grant-In-Aid applicants must hold a faculty/staff rank up to and including assistant professor (or equivalent), but may not have more than seven years of experience at the assistant professor level.
Liver Scholar Award, American Liver Foundation December Applicants must apply within the first three years of his/her first faculty appointment. Funding is provided in the amount of $225,000 over three years for research in liver physiology and disease.
Centennial Fellowships, American Mathematical Association December 1 The program makes awards to outstanding mathematicians to help further their careers in research. Recipients shall have held the doctoral degree for at least three years and not more than twelve years at the inception of the award. Preference will be given to candidates who have not had extensive fellowship support in the past. Recipients may not hold the Centennial Fellowship concurrently with another major research award.
Congressional Fellowship Program for Political Scientists, American Political Science Association December The purpose of this fellowship is to give early- to mid-career political scientists an opportunity to learn more about Congress and the legislative process through direct participation. Applicants must have a Ph.D completed within the last 15 years or a dissertation near completion. Fellowships include a stipend of $38,000.
Research Awards, American Society for Mass Spectrometry November 30 Academic scientists within four years of joining the tenure-track faculty are eligible for awards of $35,000 for research in mass spectrometry.
New Investigators Research Grant, American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation April Research should have clinical relevance to audiology and/or speech-language pathology.The investigator must have completed a PhD or equivalent research doctorate within the past five years. The investigator must not have received prior external funding for research; internal university funding is accepted. Grants are $10,000.
Early Career Investigator Award, Bayer Hemophilia Awards Program November for letter of intent This award will fund salary support and research funds for a junior faculty member who wishes to undertake a mentored basic and/or clinical research project in the bleeding disorders field. Provides funding of $100,000 annually for two years.
Beckman Young Investigators Program, Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation September for letter of intent The program provides research support to the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of academic careers in the chemical and life sciences particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science. To be eligible, an applicant should not have completed more than three full years in his or her tenure-track or other comparable independent research appointment. Grants may be in the range of $750,000 for up to four years.
Research Grants - New Investigators, Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation September This RFP seeks applications from young investigators who are new to desmoid tumor research, and need seed funding to gather preliminary data.
Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards, Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation January for limited submission application (approximate) This award funds talented young faculty in the chemical sciences. Criteria for selection include an independent body of scholarship attained within the first five years of their appointment as independent researchers, and a demonstrated commitment to education. Awards are $75,000 for one year.
Research Grants Program, Epilepsy Foundation August The Program provides funding for investigators in the early stages of their careers. Seed grants are awarded to clinical investigators or basic scientists for support of biological or behavioral research which will advance the understanding, treatment, and prevention of epilepsy.
Career Development Awards, Foundation Fighting Blindness Varies The award is for junior investigators to pursue research to find the therapies and cures for inherited retinal degenerative diseases. Clinician-scientists possessing an M.D., D.O., or recognized equivalent foreign degree and who are in their first, second, or third year of a junior faculty appointment are eligible.
Young Scholars Program, Foundation for Child Development July The FCD YSP supports policy- and practice-relevant research on the development and learning needs of the nation’s young children growing up under conditions of poverty and low-income. Eligible researchers will have received their doctoral degrees within seven years of application submission.
Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research, Global Probiotics Council February Young investigators who are senior fellows with a committed faculty appointment or early faculty members within a maximum of 5 consecutive years of his/her first faculty appointment (appointments must be in the U.S.) are eligible. Applicants must be interested in understanding the health benefits of probiotics and microbiota and the relationship between probiotics, gastrointestinal microbiota and the body.
William T. Grant Scholars Program, William T. Grant Foundation May for limited submission application (approximate) The Scholars Program is a professional development program for early-career researchers in the social, behavioral, or health sciences. The Foundation supports research to understand and improve the everyday settings of youth ages 8 to 25 in the U.S. Awards are for $350,000 over 5 years.
Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics September for limited submission application (approximate) The Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics is a career development award to enable junior faculty members to carry out innovative bioethics research. Priority will be given to applicants who have not yet been considered for tenure, who have not received a comparable career development award, and whose work will have an impact on public policy, biomedical research, or clinical practice.
Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award, Health Effects Institute March for letter of intent The award provides three years of funding for a small research project on the health effects of air pollution to a new investigator at the assistant professor or equivalent level.
Young Investigators’ Research Grants, Human Frontier Science Program March for letter of intent Research grants are provided for teams of scientists from different countries who wish to combine their expertise in innovative approaches to questions that could not be answered by individual laboratories. Emphasis is placed on novel collaborations that bring together scientists preferably from different disciplines to focus on problems in the life sciences. Young Investigators’ Grants are awarded to teams of researchers, all of whom are within the first five years after obtaining an independent laboratory (e.g., assistant professor, lecturer or equivalent).
IDSA ERF/NFID Joint Research Awards, Infectious Diseases Society of America April The IDSA Education and Research Foundation and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases have joined forces to offer awards to support needed research by promising young researchers who may not otherwise find funding as federal and other institutional research support becomes more difficult to obtain.
Future Leader Award, International Life Sciences Institute North America June The award supports new investigators for research in the areas of experimental nutrition, nutrition and toxicology, and nutrition and food science. Provides $15,000 per year for two years.
Career Development Awards, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation July The Award is intended for individuals in a relatively early stage of their career. Although JDRF is especially interested in fostering careers in clinical investigation, Career Development Awards may emphasize either basic or clinical topics.
Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Awards in the Neurosciences March The Award supports young investigators in the early stages of their careers engaged in basic or clinical research that may lead to a better understanding of neurological and psychiatric disorders. The candidate should be within four years of receiving his/her first tenure track appointment. The award of $225,000 is payable over a three-year period.
Hollis Brownstein Research Grants Program, Leukemia Research Foundation February The Foundation provides one year grants of $100,000 to selected New Investigator researchers to allow innovative scientists to act on their ideas and try new procedures and experiments that will hopefully lead to significant breakthroughs. New Investigators are considered to be within seven years of their first independent position.
Young Investigator Grants, Lymphoma Research Foundation September Young Investigator Grants attract and train early career scientists for lymphoma research through three programs: Postdoctoral Fellowships, Clinical Investigator Career Development Awards, and the Lymphoma Clinical Research Mentoring Program.
Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, March of Dimes March for letter of nomination This award is designed to support young scientists just embarking on their independent research careers in areas consonant with those of the March of Dimes mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Applicants may not be recipients of a major grant (e.g., an R01, or other grant exceeding $200,000 a year) at the time of the application.
Scholar Award in Complex Systems, James S. McDonnell Foundation March The program emphasis is furthering the science of complex systems via the continued development of the theory and tools used in the study of complex research questions and not on particular fields of research. Awards are $450,000. Principal investigators between 5 and 15 years post Ph.D. are eligible.
Scholar Awards, McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience January Supports neuroscientists in the early stages of their careers to focus on disorders of learning and memory. The Endowment Fund especially seeks applicants working on problems that, if solved at the basic level, would have immediate and significant impact on clinically relevant issues. Awards are $75,000 per year for three years.
MQ Fellows Programme, MQ: Transforming Mental Health April for letter of intent Supports the best and brightest early career researchers who are asking challenging questions that will contribute to transformative advances in mental health research. Awards are up to £75,000 per year for three years.
NARSAD Young Investigator Grants, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation February Grants provides support for the most promising young scientists conducting neurobiological research. Two-year awards up to $70,000, or $35,000 per year are provided to enable promising investigators to either extend research fellowship training or begin careers as independent research faculty. Basic and/or clinical investigators are supported, but research must be relevant to serious brain and behavior disorders such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders or child and adolescent mental illnesses.
Young Investigator Awards, National Ataxia Foundation August for letter of intent, September for application Young Investigator Awards provide one-year grants of $35,000 to encourage young investigators to pursue a career in the field of any form of ataxia research. Young Investigator Awards for SCA Research provide one-year grants of $50,000 to encourage young investigators to pursue a career in spinocerebellar ataxia research.
Early Investigator Grant Program, National Marfan Foundation March Grants support basic or clinical research on Marfan syndrome and related disorders. The grant program is designed to provide financial support for early investigators studying any or all disciplines involved in this area.
Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Awards, National Multiple Sclerosis Society August Supports candidates who have begun academic careers as independent investigators in an area related to multiple sclerosis. Maximum funding is $30,000 in the first year, increasing to $40,000 by the last year of the five-year award.
Nielsen Psychosocial Research Grants - Pilot Grant, Craig H. Neilsen Foundation March Grants are available for psychosocial research that addresses the interrelation of psychological, social and other quality of life factors that will benefit individuals living with spinal cord injury. Junior faculty members are encouraged to apply.
Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering, David and Lucile Packard Foundation February for limited submission application (approximate) The program invites up to two nominations from selected institutions. The program supports the innovative research efforts of young faculty members in the natural and physical sciences or engineering. Candidates must be faculty members in the first three years of their faculty careers. Awards provide $875,000 over five years.
Early Career Development Grants, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation November The research proposed for funding must focus on pediatric brain tumor(s). Projects may be discovery-oriented, translational or epidemiological in nature. Applicants ust be in the first five years of a first faculty position at the application deadline and on the project start date.
Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences June for limited submission application (approximate) The program invites one nomination from selected institutions. The program supports basic and clinical research relevant to the advancement of human health, carried out by investigators with full-time appointments at the rank of assistant professor. Awards provide $60,000 per year for four years.
Research Starter Grants, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation February 1 for Health Outcomes, Translational Medicine and Therapeutics; September 1 for Informatics, Pharmacology/Toxicology, Pharmaceutics; September 1 for Adherence Improvement The purpose of the PhRMA Foundation Research Starter Grants is to offer financial support to individuals beginning their independent research careers at the faculty level.
I.M. Rosenzweig Junior Investigator Awards, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation November Awards support projects that offer a high likelihood of improving the understanding of pulmonary fibrosis in the following areas: basic science, transnational research, clinical medicine/research, and social science/quality of life.
Cottrell Scholar Awards, Research Corporation May for pre-proposal, August for invited proposal Eligible applicants are tenure-track faculty members whose primary appointment is in a department of astronomy, chemistry or physics. Eligibility is limited to faculty in the third year after their first tenure-track appointment. Awards total $100,000 for three years.
Innovation Award, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation July The Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award is designed to provide support for the next generation of exceptionally creative thinkers with “high risk/high reward” ideas that have the potential to significantly impact our understanding of and/or approaches to the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of cancer.
New Investigator Grant, Scleroderma Foundation September Supports new investigators who hold faculty or equivalent positions and who wish to pursue a career in research related to systemic sclerosis. Applicants must have a doctoral degree in Medicine, Osteopathy, Veterinary Medicine or one of the sciences; and must have completed a postdoctoral fellowship by the grant award date.
New Investigator Grant, Scoliosis Research Society April 1 and October 1 This grant is specifically targeted to new investigators. The maximum award is $25,000 for up to two years.
Searle Scholars Program August for campus limited submission application (approximate) The program invites applications from selected universities and research institutions. Awards of $100,00 per year for three years support outstanding young scientists pursuing independent research careers in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and related areas in chemistry, medicine, and the biological sciences. Candidates should have begun their first appointment as an independent investigator at the assistant professor level on or after July 1 of the year prior to the application year.
Sloan Research Fellowships, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation September Fellowships support fundamental research by early-career faculty. Candidates must hold a Ph.D. (or equivalent) in chemistry, computational or evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, ocean sciences, physics, or a related field. Candidates should be no more than six years from completion of their most recent Ph.D. (or equivalent) as of the year of their nomination. Awards are $50,000 for two years.
Strategy and Policy Fellows Program, Smith Richardson Foundation June The program provides grants of $60,000 to support the research and writing of a book by young scholars and policy thinkers (junior or adjunct faculty, research associates, and postdocs) on American foreign policy, international relations, international security, military policy, and diplomatic and military history.
Pilot Research Grant, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging February The pilot research grant is designed to help a basic or clinical scientist in the early stages of their career conduct research that may lead to further funding.
Distinguished Scientist Awards, Sontag Foundation March The foundation is looking for early career scientists with the potential to create new waves across the brain cancer field. Proposed research should demonstrate potential to generate new knowledge relating to causes, cure or treatment of primary brain tumors/brain cancer.
External Faculty Fellowships, Stanford Humanities Center October Junior fellowships are for scholars who will be at least three and no more than ten years beyond receipt of the PhD by the start of the fellowship year. Fellowships are for one full academic year, and require the fellow to be in residence. Fellows are awarded stipends of up to $70,000 and a housing and moving allowance of up to $30,000.
Awards to New Assistant Professors, UC Cancer Research Coordinating Committee December CRCC funds support meritorious research in a wide range of scientific areas, including both applied clinical research and basic research relevant to cancer. Faculty members who are assistant professors at the time of application and for whom the award year will be their third through sixth year of appointment as UC faculty are eligible for New Assistant Professor awards.
Start-Up Research Grant, U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation November Projects must have a strong element of cooperation between an Israeli and an American scientist(s), and fall within the areas of research supported in that year by the BSF. In addition, at least one of the principal investigators should have attained his/her Ph.D., M.D. degree or equivalent, no more than ten years prior to submitting the proposal.
Grants-in-Aid, Whitehall Foundation January 15, April 15, and October 1 for letter of intent Funds researchers at the assistant professor level in the life sciences. The Foundation is currently interested in basic research in neurobiology. Awards are up to $30,000 for one year.

News & Announcements

View More