The following funding opportunities are intended for postdoctoral research and new faculty members. Although we strive to make sure all information is up to date and accurate, please consult each program’s individual website for program details and current deadlines.
Contact RSI for help choosing the right early career funding opportunity.
Early career programming for nonfederal agencies can be found on WPI's Office of Foundation & Corporate Philanthropy.
Department of Defense
Synopsis: 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. Applicants may request up to $500,000 for 24 months with an option for up to $250,000 for an additional 12 months.
Synopsis: 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.
Synopsis: 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.
Synopsis: 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
Deadline: October 21, 2021 for required pre-application, January 20, 2022 for application
Synopsis: 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
New (Early Career) Investigator Program in Earth Science (ROSES program element), NASA
Deadline: Varies; applications are solicited every two years
Synopsis: 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.
Synopsis: 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.
Synopsis: 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.
Synopsis: 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
The NIH Early Stage Investigator Policies page includes:
- Policy Summary
- Determination of Investigator Status
- Extension of ESI Status
- Special Programs
- NIH Director’s New Innovator Award (DP2)
- NIH Director’s Early Independence award (DP5)
Resources for early career researchers include:
- Early Research Career Development
- F05 International Research Fellowships
- Synopsis: To provide collaborative research opportunities for qualified foreign scientists who hold a doctoral degree or its equivalent in the biomedical or behavioral sciences.
- K02 Independent Research Scientist Development Award
- Synopsis: For support of an early to mid-career scientists with research funding, in need of additional protected time committed to research.
- K07 Academic Career Development Award
- Synopsis: To support either a mentored or independent investigator to develop or enhance curricula, foster academic career development of promising young teacher-investigators, and to strengthen existing teaching programs.
- K22 Career Transition Award
- Synopsis: To provide support to outstanding newly trained basic or clinical investigators to develop their independent research skills through a two phase program; an initial mentored research experience, followed by a period of independent research.
- K25 Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award
- Synopsis: To support the career development of investigators with quantitative scientific and engineering backgrounds outside of biology or medicine who have made a commitment to focus their research endeavors on basic or clinical biomedical research.
- K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award
- Synopsis: To support both an initial mentored research experience (K99) followed by independent research (R00) for highly qualified, postdoctoral researchers, to secure an independent research position. Award recipients are expected to compete successfully for independent R01 support during the R00 phase.
- F05 International Research Fellowships
National Science Foundation
Synopsis: 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.
Synopsis: 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.
Deadline: June 18, 2021
Synopsis: The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Engineering (ENG) seeks to build engineering research capacity across the nation by investing in new academic investigators who have yet to receive research funding from Federal Agencies. The Engineering Research Initiation (ERI) program aims to support new investigators as they initiate their research programs and advance in their careers as researchers, educators, and innovators. This funding opportunity also aims to broaden the base of investigators involved in engineering research and therefore is limited to investigators that are not affiliated with “very high research activity” R1 institutions (according to the Carnegie Classification https://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/).
Deadline: January 3 - January 31, 2022 or June 1 - June 30, 2022
Synopsis: With a focus on enhancing research capacity and broadening participation of new faculty of biology at minority-serving institutions (MSIs), predominantly undergraduate institutions (PUIs), and other universities and colleges that are not among the nation’s most research-intensive institutions, the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) offers the Building Research Capacity of New Faculty in Biology (BRC-BIO) program. The BRC-BIO program aims to a) broaden participation by expanding the types of institutions that submit proposals to BIO, and b) expand opportunities to groups underrepresented in the biological sciences, including Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities, especially those serving at under-resourced institutions. Awards will provide the means for new faculty to initiate and build independent research programs by enhancing their research capacity. These projects might also include biology-focused research collaborations among faculty within the same institution, across peer-, or research-intensive institutions, or partnerships with industry or other non-academic partners that advance the candidate’s research program. By providing this funding opportunity, BIO recognizes the national urgency to broaden, strengthen, and diversify the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce. In particular, these awards will build capacity for research at institutions that have a primary focus on teaching and undergraduate education, or that have limited capacity for research. Projects should enable the establishment of sustainable research programs for faculty and also enrich undergraduate research experiences and thereby grow the STEM workforce. BRC-BIO welcomes proposals from principal investigators who share NSF's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.