Young Investigator's Funding Opportunities

Many funding organizations provide special grant opportunities for faculty just starting their research careers. Below are a variety of programs that provide this early career funding. Contact OFCG for additional information about any of these opportunities.

McKnight Foundation, McKnight Scholar Awards

The McKnight Scholar Awards encourage neuroscientists in the early stages of their careers to focus on disorders of learning and memory. The awards support young scientists who hold the M.D. and/or Ph.D. degree, who have completed formal postdoctoral training, and who demonstrate a commitment to neuroscience. 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.

Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Awards in the Neurosciences

The Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Awards in the Neurosciences supports, in the early stages of their careers, young investigators engaged in basic or clinical research that may lead to a better understanding of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Awards are $225,000 over three years.

American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate Beginning Grant-in-Aid Program

Supports research projects in the cardiovascular or stroke area. Applicants must have no more than seven years of active faculty appointment prior to award activation. Up to $70,000 per year for two years.

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research

This program recognizes junior faculty who are beginning to establish a record of scholarship and exhibit the potential to make significant contributions to the body of research in the field of entrepreneurship. Award provides $35,000 over two years.

American Diabetes Association, Junior Faculty Award, and Career Development Award

The Junior Faculty Development Awards provide early scientists the crucial salary and research support needed to establish a track record of success that ultimately leads to subsequent long-term research support. Awards are up to $138,000 per year for up to four years, including 10% allowable indirect costs.PI's salary support cannot exceed $75,000 per year. Additionally, applicants can request up to $10,000 per year towards the repayment of the principal on loans for a doctoral degree (MD, PhD, PharmD, DPM or DO).

Whitehall Foundation, Grants-in-Aid

The Grants-in-Aid program is designed for researchers at the assistant professor level who experience difficulty in competing for research funds because they have not yet become firmly established. Grants-in-Aid can also be made to senior scientists. All applications will be judged on the scientific merit and innovative aspects of the proposal, as well as on past performance and evidence of the applicant’s continued productivity. Grants-in-Aid are awarded for a one-year period and do not exceed $30,000.

National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, Young Investigator Award

The NARSAD Young Investigator Grant 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.

Children’s Tumor Foundation, Young Investigator Awards

CTF’s longest running program, YIA provides two-year awards for young scientists early in their careers, bringing them into the NF field and helping to establish them as independent investigators. Applicants must be either a postdoctoral fellow, no more than 8 years past the completion of their first doctoral degree or a graduate student pursuing their doctoral degree.

David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering

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. Awards provide $875,000 over five years.

US Probiotic Scientific Board : Young Investigator Grant

The purpose of the Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research (YIGPRO) is to contribute to the advancement of probiotics and gastrointestinal microbiota research in the United States. The annual grant amount is $50,000 per grant recipient with no more than 10% of this amount dedicated to overhead costs.

ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research

The Foundation accepts applications for grants to conduct research on important aspects of alcohol consumption and its effects. Highest priority is given to young investigators, new to the field or trained in the field, to start a new line of independent research.

Program currently on hold.

Thrasher Research Fund, Early Career Awards

The purpose of this program is to encourage the development of medical research in child health by awarding small grants to new researchers. Awards may be up to $25,000 in direct costs with 7% indirect costs. 

Leukemia Research Foundation, New Investigator Research Grants

The goal of the Hollis Brownstein Research Grants Program is to support new investigators; preference will be given to applicants demonstrating new lines of investigation. Grants are for a period of one year for up to $100,000.

Human Frontier Science Program, Young Investigators' Research Grants

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 libraries.  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.

March of Dimes, Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award

This award is designed to support young scientists just embarking on their independent research careers. The applicants’ research interests should be consonant with those of the March of Dimes’ mission: The Mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The March of Dimes defines a birth defect as any abnormality of structure or function, whether inherited, or acquired in utero and presenting in infancy or early childhood. Deviations from reproductive health of women and men as an underlying basis of birth defects, i.e. preconceptional events, perinatal course, and premature births, are appropriate subjects for research support. The award is $150,000 for two years, including 10 percent indirect costs to sponsoring institutions.

Foundation Fighting Blindness, Career Development Awards

The award is for junior investigators to pursue research to find the therapies and cures for inherited retinal degenerative diseases. In general, each five-year award will be for a total of $375,000. Clinical scientists possessing an M.D., D.O., or equivalent foreign degree and who are in their first, second, or third year of a junior faculty appointment are eligible.

Research Corporation for Science Advancement, Cottrell Scholar Awards

Available to early career faculty at US research universities. Eligible applicants are tenure-track faculty members whose primary appointment is in a department of astronomy, chemistry or physics. CSA proposals contain a research plan, an educational plan and a clear statement on how the CSA will help applicants become truly outstanding teacher-scholars and future academic leaders. Awards are $100,000 for three year projects. 

American Cancer Society, Research Scholar Grants in Basic, Preclinical, Clinical, and Epidemiology Research

Research Scholar Grants support investigator-initiated projects across the cancer research continuum. Awards are for up to four years and for up to $165,000 per year (direct costs), plus 20% allowable indirect costs. Independent investigators in the first six years of an independent research career or faculty appointment are eligible to apply.

Scoliosis Research Society, New Investigator Grant

This grant is specifically targeted to new investigators. The maximum award is $25,000 for up to two years. Extensive list of research focus areas can be viewed on the website.

Health Effects Institute, Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award

This award supports creative junior investigators, at assistant progressor or equivalent level, with outstanding promise who are interested in the health effects of air pollution. Provides up to 3 years of funding.

William T. Grant Scholars Program, William T. Grant Foundation

The WT Grant Scholars program is for early-career researchers in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. This career development program supports promising early-career researchers with interests in reducing inequality or understanding the use of research evidence. 

International Life Sciences Institute, Future Leader Awards

The ILSI North America Future Leader Award, given annually to promising nutrition and food scientists, allows new investigators the opportunity to add to an existing project or to conduct exploratory research that might not receive funding from other sources or add to an existing project. Consideration will be given to individuals proposing research in the areas of experimental nutrition, nutrition and toxicology, and nutrition and food science. Grants extend for a period of 2 years at a funding level of $15,000 USD per year. Funds may not be used for overhead or to support the investigator's salary.

Young Investigator Grants, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Young Investigator Grants (up to $85,000 over 2 years): Grants awarded to investigators at or below the level of assistant professor. These grants must allocate $10,000 ($5,000 per year) of their award for an established suicide researcher to mentor the Young Investigator. AFSP can assist in matching mentors with mentees.

Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences

The program invites one nomination from selected institutions. The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding individuals who are in their first few years of their appointment at the assistant professor level. The current grant level is $240,000; $60,000 per year for a four-year period.

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Innovation Award

The Innovation Award is specifically designed to provide funding to extraordinary early career researchers who have an innovative new idea but lack sufficient preliminary data to obtain traditional funding. It is not designed to fund incremental advances. The research supported by the award must be novel, exceptionally creative and, if successful, have the strong potential for high impact in the cancer field. The initial award will be for two years, $150,000 per year ($300,000 total) with the opportunity for up to two additional years of funding (up to four years total for $600,000). Continued support for years three and four will be granted to those awardees who demonstrate significant progress on their proposed research during years one and two of the award.

The Hartwell Foundation Individual Biomedical Research Program

The Hartwell Foundation provides funding to individual researchers at eligible research institutions in the United States. The Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Awards offer support for three years at $100,000 direct cost per year. Through a unique and selective funding process, The Hartwell Foundation seeks to inspire innovation and achievement by funding early-stage, transformative biomedical research with the potential to benefit children of the United States. It seeks to fund early-stage, innovative, and cutting-edge applied research that has not yet qualified for funding from traditional outside sources. Only investigators nominated by the chief executive of an invited research institution are eligible for consideration for the Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award.

American Heart Association, National Scientist Development Grant Program

To support highly promising beginning scientists in their progress toward independence by encouraging and adequately funding research projects that can bridge the gap between completion of research training and readiness for successful competition as an independent investigator. Research broadly related to cardiovascular function and disease and stroke, or to related clinical, basic science, bioengineering or biotechnology, and public health problems, including multidisciplinary efforts. Award is up to $77,000 per year for four years.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Career Development Award

The primary purpose of the Career Development Award is to attract qualified and promising scientists early in their faculty careers and to give them the opportunity to establish themselves in areas that reflect the JDRF research emphasis areas.  Award provides a maximum of $150,000 per year for up to five years.

National Ataxia Foundation, Young Investigator Award

Young Investigator (YI) Award: One-year grants* of $35,000 to encourage young investigators to pursue a career in the field of any form of ataxia research.

Young Investigator (YI-SCA) Award for SCA Research: One-year grants of $50,000 will be awarded to encourage young investigators to pursue a career in spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) research.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has a variety of funding opportunities available for researchers at all levels.

Greenwall Foundation, Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics

Career development award to enable junior faculty members to carry out innovative bioethics research. Awardees receive 50 percent salary support for three years to enable them to develop their research program.

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation, Research Starter Grants

Research Starter Grants offer financial support to individuals beginning independent research careers at the faculty level, providing a research grant of $100,000 for one year. Funded disciplines include Adherence Improvement; Health Outcomes; Informatics: Pharmaceutics; Pharmacology/Toxicology; Translational Medicine and Therapeutics.

Lymphoma Research Foundation of America, Young Investigator Grants

A cornerstone of LRF's grants portfolio, the Young Investigator Grants have consisted of the Clinical Research Career Development Award and Postdoctoral Fellowship grants since 2002. Beginning with the 2014 cycle, the Foundation added the LRF Clinical Research Mentoring Program (LCRMP), which provides hands on career development and networking opportunities to early career scientists.

Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, Young Investigators Award

The overall objective of this grant is to advance cell and gene therapy into the causes, treatment and prevention of all types of cancer by promoting development of novel and innovative studies by young investigators. The emphasis of this initiative is to promote basic, and pre-clinical research approaches utilizing cells and genes as medicine.  Grants range from $250 - $500,000 over three years.

The Kinship Foundation, Searle Scholars Program

The Searle Scholars Program supports research of outstanding individuals who have recently begun their appointment at the assistant professor level, and whose appointment is their first tenure-track position at a participating academic or research institution. Awards are $100,000 per year for three years. 

Susan G. Komen, Career Catalyst Research Grants (CCR)

CCR grants provide unique opportunities for scientists who have held faculty positions for no more than six years at the time of full application to achieve research independence. Grants up to $150,000 per year for three years.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Sloan Research Fellowships

The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.  These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. The size of the award is $50,000 for the two-year period.

Scleroderma Foundation, New Investigator Grant

The Scleroderma Foundation seeks applications from promising new investigators who hold faculty or equivalent positions and who wish to pursue a career in research related to systemic sclerosis. This grant supports promising research that is likely to lead to individual research project grants. Awards up to $50,000 for three years.

Alzheimer's Association, New Investigator Research Grants

Program funds investigators who are less than 10 years past their doctoral degrees. Provides $100,000 for up to two years.

American Society for Clinical Oncology, Career Development Award

The Career Development Award (CDA) is a research grant that provides funding to clinical investigators. The proposed cancer research must have a patient-oriented focus, including a clinical research study and/or translational research involving human subjects. Proposals with a predominant focus on in vitro or animal studies (even if clinically relevant) are not allowed. The Career Development Award (CDA) is a three-year grant totaling $200,000, paid in three annual increments to the awardee’s institution. The applicant must be a physician (MD, DO, or international equivalent) who is within the 1st to 3rd year of a full-time, primary faculty appointment in a clinical department at an academic medical institution at the time of grant submission. Grant applications from candidates with existing career development awards (such as K23, K08, or any other type of career development award) will not be considered.

Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, Beckman Young Investigator Program

The Beckman Young Investigator Program is intended to provide 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.

Projects are normally funded at up to $750,000 for no more than four years.

Doris Duke Foundation, Clinical Scientist Development Award

Pre-proposals are being sought from junior physician-scientist faculty conducting clinical research in any disease area. It is recommended that applicants have significant research experience and strong publication records consistent with the assistant professor rank. In keeping with the wishes expressed in Doris Duke's will, this program will not support experiments that use animals or primary tissues derived from animals.

Academic Pediatric Association, Young Investigator Awards

The APA Board of Directors announces the 2015 award cycle of the Academic Pediatric Association Young Investigator Awards Program. The program provides awards of up to $10,000 or $15,000 (depending upon the specific program) for research by fellows or junior faculty related to child health promotion, health services research, teaching, or patient care. Projects must be consistent with the goals of the APA; preference is given to projects that have the potential to lead to further studies.

Foundation for Child Development, Young Scholars Program

The FCD Young Scholars Program (YSP) 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.

Principal Investigators must have received their doctoral degrees within one to seven years of the application submission.

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Awards

The Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards Program supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences. Based on institutional nominations, the program provides discretionary funding to faculty at an early stage in their careers.

American Federation for Aging Research, AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty

AFAR provides up to $100,000 for a one- to two-year award to junior faculty (M.D.s and Ph.D.s) to conduct research that will serve as the basis for longer term research efforts.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, Young Investigator Awards

Young Investigator Grants are designed as start-up funds for new scientists at the end of their fellowship training or early in their research career. Maximum $50,000 in total costs will be awarded to applicants annually.

Bayer Hemophilia Awards Program, Early Career Investigator Award

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. Early Career Investigator Awards will provide funding of US$100,000 annually for two years.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, New Investigator Research Grant

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (ASHFoundation) invites new researchers to submit proposals in competition for up to ten research grants of $10,000 each. The New Investigators Research Grant competition is designed to help further new investigators' research activities by funding preliminary studies that could launch larger-scale research investigations.

National Kidney Foundation, Young Investigator Grant Program

The purpose of the Young Investigator Grant Program is to support research in the fields of nephrology, urology and related disciplines by individuals who have completed fellowship training and who hold junior faculty positions at university-affiliated medical centers in the United States. Applications will be considered from individuals who will have completed research training in nephrology, urology or closely related fields prior to the start of the grant award and who intend to pursue research directly related to these areas.

Prostate Cancer Foundation, Human Capital Initiative - Young Investigator Awards

PCF Young Investigator Awards will be three (3) years in duration and will provide $75,000 per year. The award funds may be used flexibly to advance the career and research efforts of the awardee. Every PCF Young Investigator is required to be under the direct supervision of a mentor. Applicants should be within six-years following completion of a professional degree or clinical training such as MD, PhD, DSc, MD-PhD or equivalent and hold the title of Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, Instructor, Research Associate, Assistant Professor, or equivalent.

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