Federal Funding Opportunities for New and Young Faculty

July 13, 2016

A quick search of research opportunities for new faculty/investigators in the grant searching database Pivot yielded 6,544 results.

That is a lot of opportunities and they vary in sponsor types (federal government, private institutions, and professional societies), areas of research, and practically every other area in which they can vary. So, the good news is there are a lot of options specifically designed for new researchers. The bad news is there are so many options it can become a challenge for new researchers to narrow down the options as well as understanding the differences between them.

The Office of Research is going to start a series of blogs on some of the larger funding opportunities for new researchers. In some detail, we will discuss the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER awards, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award and the Young Investigator Program associated with several sponsors.

However, if you are interested in a sample of some of the opportunities available for new researchers, below is a table of just some of the available options. If you are interested in Pivot for finding your own funding opportunities, check out the user’s guide or email your questions.

Sponsor/Program Deadline Program 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.
Sponsor/Program Deadline Program Synopsis
Early Career Research Program, Office of Science September for required pre-application, 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.
Sponsor/Program Deadline Program 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.
Sponsor/Program Deadline Program Synopsis
New and Early Stage Investigator Policies, NIH See Program Announcement for Deadline 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:

Sponsor/Program Deadline Program 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.

*Adapted from UC Berkley

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