Funding Opportunities for New and Early Career Faculty and Investigators


In an increasingly competitive funding environment, opportunities exist to help researchers at the beginning stages of their careers. Examples of federal funding opportunities specifically geared toward early career investigators working at UAF are available in the table below. This list is not exhaustive but does represent some of the sponsors that offer awards specifically geared toward new, junior and early career faculty.

 As with all funding opportunities, it is essential to review the sponsor guidelines to confirm eligibility, deadlines and research priorities. Many philanthropic organizations also support early career researchers. 

 These programs are intended for late postdoctoral investigators and new faculty, usually those at or below the rank of Assistant Professor. Consult each program’s web page for more detailed information and current deadlines.

 Department of Agriculture



Program 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 includes funding for new investigators. A new investigator is defined as an individual who is beginning their 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 as Project Director with the exception of pre- or postdoctoral grants or AFRI Seed Grants.


Department of Defense



Program Synopsis

Young Investigator ProgramOffice of Naval Research


ONR’s 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. Typical awards are $510,000 over a 36-month period of performance. Additional funding may be requested up to $250,000 to cover equipment costs, testing, ship time, etc.

Young Investigator ProgramAir Force Office of Scientific Research


The Air Force YIP supports scientists and engineers who have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees within the last seven years and show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. The objective 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. Most YIP awards are funded up to $150,000 per year for three years. Exceptional proposals will be considered individually for higher funding levels and longer duration.

Young Faculty AwardDARPA


The objective is to identify and engage rising stars in junior research positions, emphasizing those without prior DARPA funding, and expose them to DoD needs and DARPA’s program development process.

Broad Agency Announcement - Young Investigator ProgramArmy Research Office


The ARO Young Investigator Program is included in the ARO Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Fundamental Research. The objective of the YIP is to attract outstanding young university faculty members to pursue fundamental research in areas relevant to the Army, to support their research in these areas, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. This program is open to U.S. citizens, U.S. Nationals, and Permanent 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 $120,000 per year for three years.


Department of Energy



Program Synopsis

Early Career Research ProgramOffice of Science

for required preapplication, April for application

This program supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the following program areas: Advanced Scientific Computing Research; Biological and Environmental Research; Basic Energy Sciences, Fusion Energy Sciences; High Energy Physics, and Nuclear Physics. No more than ten years can have passed between the year the Principal Investigator’s Ph.D. was awarded and the year the application was issued.


National Aeronautics and Space Administration



Program Synopsis

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

varies; applications are solicited every two years

The NIP in Earth Science is designed to support outstanding scientific research and career development of scientists and engineers at the early stage of their professional careers. The program aims to encourage innovative research initiatives and cultivate scientific leadership in Earth system science. A NIP proposal PI must be a U.S. citizen or have lawful status of permanent residency, and be a recent Ph.D. recipient, defined as having graduated on or after January 1 of the year that is no more than five years before the issuance date of the ROSES NRA.

New Early Career Fellowship Program


The Early Career Fellowship (ECF) program supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulate s research careers in the areas supported by the Planetary Sciences Division.

Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowships for Early Career Researchers


The goals of the RTF program in Astrophysics are to provide early-career researchers the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to lead astrophysics flight instrument development projects; to develop innovative technologies for space astrophysics that have the potential to enable major scientific breakthroughs; and to foster new talent by putting early career instrument builders on a trajectory towards long-term positions. To be eligible, PIs must have received a Ph.D. on or after January 1 of a year that is no more than eight years before the issuance date of the ROSES NRA.

Early Career Faculty (ECF) (SpaceTech-REDDI)


NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate solicits proposals for innovative, early-stage space technology research. The PI must be an untenured Assistant Professor on the tenure track at the sponsoring U.S. university at the time of award. The PI must be a U.S. citizen or have lawful status of permanent residency no later than August 1 following the proposal submission deadline.


National Institutes of Health



Early Stage Investigator PoliciesNext Generation Researchers InitiativeNIH

The NIH Early Stage Investigator Policies page includes:

Research Training and Career Development

Resources for early career researchers include:


National Science Foundation



Program Synopsis

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) ProgramNSF


CAREER supports early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. The minimum award is $400,000 total for the five-year duration, except for the Directorate for Biological Sciences, the Directorate for Engineering, or the Office of Polar Programs, with a minimum total of $500,000 for the five-year duration.

Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Research Initiation Initiative (CRII)


It is expected that funds will be used to support untenured faculty or research scientists (or equivalent) in their first three years in a primary academic position after the PhD, but not more than a total of five years after completion of their PhD. One may not yet have received any other grants or contracts in the Principal Investigator role from any department, agency, or institution of the federal government, including from the CAREER program or any other program, post-PhD, with certain exceptions.


Non-Federal Agencies



Program Synopsis

Young Investigator GrantsAcademic Pediatric Association


Provides awards of up to $15,000 for research related to child health promotion, health services research, teaching, or patient care.

Young Investigator GrantsAlex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation


Grants are designed to support scientists during their fellowship training or early in their research careers. Demonstration of outstanding mentorship and demonstration of a career plan that shows commitment to pediatric cancer investigation are critical components of a successful application.

Research GrantsAlzheimer’s Association

March for letter of intent

The association offers several grant programs that provide support for new investigators, including Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant and Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant to Promote Diversity.

AACR Funding OpportunitiesAmerican Association for Cancer Research


Grants support researchers, both domestically and abroad, at every stage of their career, representing a global commitment to understanding, preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer.

Research Scholar GrantsAmerican Cancer Society

April and October

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 GrantsAmerican Chemical Society


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.

FellowshipsAmerican Council of Learned Societies


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 $40,000 for Assistant Professor and career equivalent.

Core Program: Junior Faculty DevelopmentAmerican Diabetes Association


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, with restrictions on previous or current support.

Glenn Foundation for Medical Research and AFAR Grants for Junior FacultyAmerican Federation for Aging Research


One- to two-year awards provide up to $100,000 to junior faculty to conduct research that will serve as the basis for longer term research efforts on the biology of aging.

Young Investigator Innovation GrantsAmerican Foundation for Suicide Prevention

November 15

Grants of up to $90,000 over two years are awarded to investigators at or below the level of assistant professor. Grants must allocate $10,000 for an established suicide researcher to mentor the Young Investigator.

Career Development AwardAmerican Heart Association


Supports healthcare and academic professionals, in the early years of their first professional appointment, to explore innovative questions or pilot studies that will provide preliminary data and training necessary to assure future success as a research scientist in the field of cardiovascular and stroke research.

Liver Scholar AwardAmerican Liver Foundation


Provides early career scientists with support for their research to bridge the gap between completion of research training and attainment of status as an independent research scientist.

Centennial FellowshipsAmerican 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. Recipients may not hold the Fellowship concurrently with another major research award.

Research AwardsAmerican Society for Mass Spectrometry

November 30

The program is open to academic scientists within four years of joining the tenure track faculty or equivalent. Awards are $35,000.

New Investigators Research GrantAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation


Research should have clinical relevance to audiology and/or speech-language pathology. The investigator must have completed a PhD or equivalent within the past five years. The investigator must not yet have received external research funding since completion of the PhD.

Genentech Age-related Macular Degeneration Research FellowshipsARVO Foundation for Eye Research


Available to newly established investigators who are age 45 or younger at the application deadline and have received their MD, PhD or equivalent degree ten years before the application deadline.

Emerging Leader AwardBay Area Lyme Foundation


The $100,000 ELA grant is offered to researchers in academia or the private sector who are currently at the post-doctoral level through the assistant professor level, or equivalent.

Beckman Young Investigators ProgramArnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation

August for letter of intent

The program provides research support to 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. The program is open to those within the first three years of a tenure-track position, or an equivalent independent research appointment.

BBRF Young Investigator GrantsBrain and Behavior Research Foundation


The program offers up to $35,000 per year for two years to enable promising investigators to either extend their research fellowship training or to begin careers as independent research faculty. All research must be relevant to our understanding, treatment and prevention of serious psychiatric disorders.

Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious DiseaseBurroughs Wellcome Fund


The PATH award provides $500,000 over five years to support investigators at the assistant professor level to study pathogenesis, with a focus on the interplay between human and microbial biology.

Young Investigator AwardsChildren’s Tumor Foundation


The foundation supports neurofibromatoses research. The YIA provides two-year funding, commensurate with NIH, to young scientists early in their careers.

CITRIS Seed Funding ProgramCITRIS and the Banatao Institute


CITRIS and the Banatao Institute create information technology solutions for society’s most pressing challenges. The program highly encourages inclusion of pre-tenured faculty.

Grant OpportunitiesCURE: Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy


The Taking Flight Award seeks to promote the careers of young epilepsy investigators. CURE Epilepsy Awards also fund early career investigators.

Research Grants - New InvestigatorsDesmoid Tumor Research Foundation


This RFP seeks applications from young investigators (at the rank of Associate Professor or below) who are new to desmoid tumor research and need seed funding to gather preliminary data.

Career Development AwardFoundation Fighting Blindness


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 ProgramFoundation for Child Development

June for letter of intent

The program supports policy and practice-relevant research that is focused on the early learning and development needs of the nation’s children who are growing up under conditions of economic insecurity and social exclusion. Eligible researchers must have received their doctoral degrees within one to eight years of application submission.

Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics ResearchGlobal Probiotics Council


Young investigators who are senior fellows with a committed faculty appointment or early faculty members within a maximum of five consecutive years of his/her first faculty appointment (appointments must be in the U.S.) are eligible.

Postdoctoral and Early Career AwardsFulbright U.S. Scholar Program


The program offers over 300 research and teaching awards that are open to early career scholars. Awards are open to U.S. citizens who have recently completed their doctoral degree.

Rosenblith New Investigator AwardHealth Effects Institute


The award provides up to three years of funding to a new investigator at the assistant professor or equivalent level for a small research project on the health effects of air pollution.

Young Investigators’ Research GrantsHuman Frontier Science Program

March for letter of intent

Grants are awarded to teams of researchers from different countries, all of whom are within the first five years after obtaining an independent laboratory. Emphasis is placed on novel collaborations that bring together scientists preferably from different disciplines to focus on problems in the life sciences.

Michelson PrizesHuman Vaccine Projects


Awards of $150,000 are given to young investigators who are applying disruptive concepts and inventive processes to advance human immunology, vaccine discovery, and immunotherapy research across major global diseases.

IDSA Foundation Young Investigator AwardsInfectious Diseases Society of America


Candidates for Young Investigator Awards must have a medical or equivalent doctoral level degree and should have completed an accredited infectious diseases fellowship within the last four years.

Future Leader AwardInternational Life Sciences Institute North America


The award allows new investigators the opportunity to add to an existing project or to conduct exploratory research in the areas of experimental nutrition, nutrition and toxicology, and nutrition and food science.

Trainee Expansion ProgrammeInternational Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation - Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation


TEP funds two types of projects in human milk and lactation research: Trainee Travel Fund for activities achievable within three months, and Trainee Bridge Fund for activities achievable within one year.

Career Development AwardsJuvenile Diabetes Research Foundation


Researchers who have received their first faculty-level appointment less than three years before the submission date are eligible to apply for this award.

Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Awards in the Neurosciences


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 must be within four years of completing postdoctoral training and the start of his/her first tenure-track appointment.

Hollis Brownstein Research Grants ProgramLeukemia Research Foundation

February for letter of intent

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.

Career Development Award ProgramLUNGevity

February for letter of intent

The goal is to train and retain the next generation of lung cancer researchers. Applicants must be within the first five years of their faculty appointment.

Young Investigator GrantsLymphoma Research Foundation


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 AwardsMarch of Dimes

July for nomination

This award supports young investigators who are just embarking on an independent research career. The program supports research that will advance our translational understanding of, or lead to improved clinical treatment of any serious medical conditions that afflict mothers during pregnancies or newborns within the first year of life.

Early Investigator Grant ProgramMarfan Foundation


The program supports early investigators studying any or all disciplines involved in Marfan syndrome or a related disorder. Applicants must have less than seven years experience in a faculty position and have never received an NIH R01 grant award.

Scholar AwardsMcKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience


Awards encourage neuroscientists in the early stages of their careers to focus on disorders of learning and memory. Candidates must hold a full-time appointment at the rank of assistant professor, and must have served at that rank for less than four years at the application deadline.

Request For Proposals: Young Investigator AwardsMelanoma Research Alliance


Applicants must be within four years of their first independent, full time academic faculty appointment at the time of application at the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent position).

MQ Fellows AwardMQ: Transforming Mental Health Through Research


The Award supports early career scientists who are asking challenging questions that will contribute to transformative advances in mental health research.

Young Investigator AwardsNational Ataxia Foundation

October for letter of intent

One-year grants of $35,000 encourage young investigators to pursue a career in the field of any form of Ataxia research. Candidates must have attained an MD or PhD degree, and have an appointment as a junior faculty member, senior post-doc or clinical fellow.

Career Development AwardNational Hemophilia Foundation

February for letter of intent

NHF funds innovative research studies in the area of bleeding disorders to be carried out at the sub cellular, cellular, animal or human/patient levels. CDA candidates must hold a MD, PhD, or equivalent degree, with no more than six years of postdoctoral years of experience in hematology, nor more than six years since completion of medical training.

Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar AwardsNational Multiple Sclerosis Society


The awards support candidates who have concluded their research training and begun academic careers as independent investigators in an area related to multiple sclerosis.

Spinal Cord Injury Research on the Translational SpectrumCraig H. Neilsen Foundation

May for letter of intent

Two-year Pilot Research Grants help to establish new investigators in the field of spinal cord injury research and support studies by established investigators who are undertaking new directions in their work.

Research Starter Grants, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation

February 1 for Health Outcomes, Translational Medicine and Therapeutics; September 1 for Informatics, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology/Toxicology

PhRMA Foundation Research Starter Grants offer financial support to individuals beginning independent research careers at the faculty level.

Young Investigator AwardsProstate Cancer Foundation


Awards offer support for young (generally 35 and younger) proven investigators in postdoctoral fellowships or who have recently achieved junior faculty positions and are committing their lives to the field of prostate cancer.

I.M. Rosenzweig Junior Investigator AwardsPulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

November for letter of intent

Awards support projects that offer a high likelihood of improving the understanding of pulmonary fibrosis in the following areas: basic science, translational research, clinical medicine/research, and social science/quality of life.

Cottrell ScholarsResearch Corporation for Science Advancement

May for preproposal

Eligible applicants are tenure-track faculty members who hold an appointment in a chemistry, physics or astronomy department. Eligibility is limited to faculty at the end of third year of first faculty appointment.

ScialogResearch Corporation for Science Advancement


Scialog supports early career faculty to expand research in a focused area of high scientific importance. Within each multi-year initiative, Fellows collaborate in high-risk discovery research on untested ideas and communicate their progress in annual closed conferences.

Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation AwardDamon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation


The 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.

Small Grants in Behavioral EconomicsRussell Sage Foundation


Applicants must be advanced doctoral students or post-docs/junior (non-tenured) faculty members who have been out of graduate school for two or fewer years.

Small Grants in Computational Social ScienceRussell Sage Foundation


Applicants must be advanced doctoral students or post-docs/junior (non-tenured) faculty members who have been out of graduate school for two or fewer years.

New Investigator GrantScleroderma Foundation


The Foundation seeks applications from promising new investigators who hold faculty or equivalent positions and who wish to pursue a career in research related to scleroderma.

New Investigator Research GrantScoliosis Research Society

April 1 and October 1

Grants are meant to stimulate young members into a career of investigation in spinal deformity and are open to SRS Candidate Fellows or investigators within the first five years of completing their training.

Sloan Research FellowshipsAlfred P. Sloan Foundation


Fellowships support fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars. 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.

Strategy and Policy Fellows ProgramSmith Richardson Foundation


Grants enable the recipients to research and write a book. The program supports junior or adjunct faculty, research associates, and post-docs who are engaged in policy-relevant research and writing.

Pilot Research GrantSociety of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging


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 AwardSontag Foundation


The award provides career and research support to early career scientists who demonstrate outstanding promise for making scientific and medical breakthroughs in the field of brain cancer research.

External Faculty FellowshipsStanford Humanities Center


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.

Start-Up Research GrantsU.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation


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. At least one of the PIs should have attained his/her Ph.D., M.D. degree or equivalent, no more than ten years prior to submitting the proposal.

Grants-in-AidWhitehall 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.