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

Sponsoring Organization and Funding Opportunity:

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

Deadline:                     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, Office of Naval Research (ONR)

Young Investigator Program

Deadline:                     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.


Department of Defense, Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Young Investigator Program

Deadline:                     July


The Air Force Young Investigator Program (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.


Department of Defense, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Young Faculty Award

Deadline:                     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.


Department of Defense, Broad Agency Announcement, Army Research Office (ARO)

Young Investigator Program


Description:                 Open

The ARO Young Investigator Program (YIP), is included in the ARO Section of the Army Research Laboratory (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 (DOE)

Early Career Research Program, Office of Science

Deadline:                     September (required pre-application)

                                    November (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 (NASA)

New (Early Career) Investigator Program in Earth Science (ROSES program element)

Deadline:                     Applications solicited every two years (next solicitation in 2019)


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), Program

Deadline:                     April 2015


NASA Headquarters released the ECF solicitation as an appendix to the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), umbrella NASA Research Announcement (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 (NIH)

Early Stage Investigator (ESI) designation


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.  ESI applications with meritorious scores will be prioritized for funding.


National Science Foundation (NSF)

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER), Program

Deadline:                     mid-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)

Deadline:                     September


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.


Nonfederal Agencies

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Young Investigator Awards

Deadline:                     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.


American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)


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.


American Cancer Society

Research Scholar Grants

Deadline:                     April 1st

                                    October 15th


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.


American Chemical Society, Petroleum Research Fund

Doctoral New Investigator Grants (DNI)

Deadline:                     October 19, 2018


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.


American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)

ACLS Fellowships

Deadline:                     September 26, 2018


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.


American Diabetes Association

Core Program – Junior Faculty Development



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.


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Young Investigators Grants

Deadline:                     November 15, 2018


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.


American Heart Association

Beginning Grant-In-Aid – National Scientist Development Grant Program

Deadline:                     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.


American Liver Foundation

Liver Scholar Award

Deadline:                     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.


American Mathematical Association

Centennial Fellowships

Deadline:                     December 1, 2018


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.


American Political Science Association

Congressional Fellowship Program for Political Scientists

Deadline:                     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.


American Society for Mass Spectrometry

Research Awards

Deadline:                     November 30, 2018


Academic scientists within four years of joining the tenure-track faculty are eligible for awards of $35,000 for research in mass spectrometry.


Bayer Hemophilia Awards Program

Early Career Investigator Award

Deadline:                     November (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.


Arnold & Mabel Beckman Foundation

Beckman Young Investigators Program

Deadline:                     September (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.


Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation

Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards

Deadline:                     November, 2019 (Internal competition deadline for limited submission)

                                    February 7, 2019


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.


Foundation for Child Development (FCD)

Young Scholars Program

Deadline:                     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.


Global Probiotics Council

Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research

Deadline:                     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 Foundation

William T. Grant Scholars Program

Deadline:                     May (Internal competition deadline for limited submission)

                                    July 5, 2018 (application)


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 Foundation

Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics

Deadline:                     November (Letter of Intent)

January (Invited full proposals due)


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.


Health Effects Institute

Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award

Deadline:                     Solicitation to be announced in late 2018

March (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.


Human Frontier Science Program

Young Investigators’ Research Grants

Deadline:                     March (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).


The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Education and Research Foundation (ERF), and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)

IDSA ERF/NFID Joint Research Awards

Deadline:                     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.


Ester A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund

Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Awards in the Neurosciences

Deadline:                     February


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.


Leukemia Research Foundation

Hollis Brownstein Research Grants Program

Deadline:                     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.


Lymphoma Research Foundation

Young Investigator Grants

Deadline:                     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.


March of Dimes

Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award

Deadline:                     March (Letter of Nomination)

                                    July (Application, if selected in May to submit full application)


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.


McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience

Scholar Awards

Deadline:                     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.


Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia & Depression (NARSAD), Young Investigator Grants

Deadline:                     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.


Multiple Sclerosis Society

Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Awards

Deadline:                     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.


David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering

Deadline:                     February (Internal competition deadline for limited submission)

                                    April (Application)    


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.


Pew Foundation

Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences

Deadline:                     June (Internal competition deadline for limited submission)

                                    August (Application)


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.


Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation

Research Starter Grants

Deadline:                     February (for Health Outcomes, Translational Medicine and Therapeutics)

                                    September (for Pharmacology/Toxicology, Pharmaceutics and 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.


Searle Scholars Program

Searle Scholars

Deadline:                     August (Internal competition deadline for limited submission)

                                    September (Application)        


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.


Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Sloan Research Fellowships

Deadline:                     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.


Smith Richardson Foundation

Strategy and Policy Fellows Program

Deadline                      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.


Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

Mitzi & William Blahd, MD, Pilot Research Grant

Deadline:                     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.


Stanford Humanities Center

External Faculty Fellowships

Deadline:                     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.


University of California (UC), Cancer Research Coordinating Committee

Awards to New Assistant Professors

Deadline:                     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.


United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation

Start-Up Research Grant

Deadline:                     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.


Whitehall Foundation


Deadline:                     January 15/June 1 (letter of Intent/Application Deadline)

                                    April 15/September1

                                    October 1/February 15


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.

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