Federal Funding Opportunities For Junior Faculty (Tenure Track)

Federal Funding Opportunities For Junior Faculty (Tenure Track)


Name of Award



August, Annually

Young Investigator Program (DOD-ONR)

Program 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, who have received their doctorate or equivalent degree on or after 01 January 2012, and who show exceptional promise for doing creative research.

$510K for 3 years.

Additional funding may be requested (under the 36-month period) up to $250K to cover equipment costs, testing, ship time, etc.

July, Annually

Young Investigator Program (DOD-AFOSR)

The program 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.


To be announced

Young Faculty Award (DARPA)

The objective of the DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) program 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.

$250K per year ($500K max)

To be announced

Early Career Research Program (DOE)

The program is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work. A researcher must be untenured, tenure-track assistant or associate professor.

$150K per year for 5 years

April, Annually

Early Career Faculty (NASA)

The program awards grants to accredited U.S. universities on behalf of outstanding faculty researchers early in their careers. The grants sponsor research in specific high-priority areas of interest to America's space program.

$200K per year for 3 years

September, Annually

NIH Director’s Early Independence Award

The award supports outstanding junior scientistswith the intellect, scientific creativity, drive, and maturity bypass the traditional postdoctoral training period to launch independent research careers.

$250K per year for 5 years

August, Annually

NIH Director’s New Innovator Award

The award supports exceptionally creative early career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects in the biomedical, behavioral or social sciences within the NIH mission.

$1.5M for 5 years

Fourth Monday in July, Annually

NSF Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER)

The intent of the program is to provide stable support at a sufficient level and duration to enable awardees to develop careers not only as outstanding researchers but also as educators demonstrating commitment to teaching, learning, and dissemination of knowledge.

$500K for 5 years

Third Monday in September, Annually


NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Research initiation Initiative (CRII)

The program seeks to award grants intended to support research independence among early-career academicians who specifically lack access to adequate organizational or other resources. It is expected that funds obtained through this program 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 five years after completion of their PhD.

$175K for 2 years

Fourth Friday in Fedruary

Education and Human Resources Core Research: Building Capacity in STEM Education (ECR: BCSER) (NSF) 

Supports activities that enable early- and mid-career researchers to acquire the requisite expertise and skills to conduct rigorous fundamental research in STEM education. This opportunity is open specifically through the Education and Human Resources directorate.

$375K for 2 years

Anytime. Need Program Manager’s approval.

Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER( (NSF) 

The EAGER funding mechanism supports exploratory work in early stages on untested but potentially transformative research ideas or approaches that are considered “high risk/high reward.” Note that EAGER proposals are reviewed internally, which allows for shorter time between proposal submission and available funding. 

$300K for 2 years

Anytime. Need Program Manager’s approval.

Grants for Rapid Response Research (RAPID) (NSF) 

For research that involves urgent data collection, such as for quick-response research to natural disasters. RAPID proposals are reviewed internally, which allows for shorter time between proposal submission and available funding.

$200K for 1 year


Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) (NSF)

Supports genome-scale research that addresses challenging questions of biological, societal and economic importance. PGRP encourages the development of innovative tools, technologies and resources that empower a broad plant research community to answer scientific questions on a genome-wide scale.

$5M for 5 years

January, May, September

Stephen I. Katz Early-Stage Investigator Research Project Grant (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (NIH) (no link)

Supports an innovative project that represents a change in research direction for an early-stage investigator (ESI) and for which no preliminary data exists.

Budgets are not limited

Duration: 5 years


ROSES Planetary Sciences Early Career Award (NASA)

Applicants must have received their PhD within ten calendar years of the year of the submission of the research proposal.


July to September

Alan T. Waterman Award (NSF)

Recognizes outstanding young researchers in any field of science or engineering supported by the National Science Foundation.

$1M for 5 years


Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) for Early Stage Investigators (R35-Clinical Trial Optional) (NIH)

Provides support for a program of research in an early-stage investigator's laboratory that falls within the mission of NIGMS. For the purpose of this FOA, a program of research is a collection of projects in the investigator's lab that are relevant to the mission of NIGMS.

Duration: 5 years


Avenir Award Program for Genetics or Epigenetics of Substance Use Disorders (DP1 Clinical Trial Optional) (NIH)

The award will support those in an early stage of their career who may lack the preliminary data required for an R01 grant, but who propose high impact research and who show promise of being tomorrow's leaders in the field of genetics or epigenetics of substance use disorders.

$300K per year


Duration: 5 years