Early Career Programs

Some funding agencies provide opportunities aimed at early career investigators, such as new faculty or postdoctoral fellows. 

This page provides a brief overview of some of the opportunities available to early career researchers. Please review the eligibility requirements for each opportunity, as application deadlines and requirements may vary.

Need More Information?

For more information on applying for early career funding, please contact the Associate Vice President for Research with responsibility for research development.

Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) - Young Investigator Research Program (YIP)

The AFOSR YIP awards seek to identify and support scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for conducting basic research. The goal of the 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.


Army Research Office (ARO) - Young Investigator Program (YIP)

The ARO YIP is included in the Broad Agency Announcement, “Army Research Laboratory Core Broad Agency Announcement for Basic and Applied Scientific Research.” The ARO YIP awards are one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the Army to outstanding scientists beginning their independent careers. The objective of the YIP is to attract outstanding young university faculty 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.

  • Details: Applicants must have received their PhD or equivalent degrees in the last five years and hold a tenure-track position. The application deadline is typically open, but applicants should confirm this information on the ARO’s website.
  • Apply: For more information, including how to apply, please see: http://www.arl.army.mil/www/default.cfm?page=8.
  • Past Awardees

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) - Young Faculty Award (YFA)

The DARPA YFA aims to identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions and introduce them to Department of Defense needs (DoD), as well as DARPA’s program development process. The goal of program is to develop the next generation of academic scientists, engineers, and mathematicians in key disciplines who will focus a significant portion of their careers on DoD and national security issues.

  • Details: Applicants must have received their PhD or equivalent degrees in the last five years and hold an untenured assistant or associate professor position. The application deadline is typically early in the mid-Spring, but applicants should confirm this information on DARPA’s website.
  • Apply: For more information, including how to apply, please see: http://www.darpa.mil/work-with-us/for-universities/young-faculty-award.
  • Past Awardees

Department of Energy (DOE) - Early Career Research Program (ECRP)

The DOE ECRP is a funding opportunity for researchers that supports the development of individual research programs for outstanding scientists who are early in their careers. It aims to stimulate research careers in the disciplines supporting by DOE.

  • Details: Applicants must have received their PhD or equivalent degrees in the last ten years and hold an untenured assistant or associate professor position. The application deadline is typically early in the autumn for pre-proposals, but applicants should confirm this information on the DOE’s website.
  • Apply: For more information, including how to apply, please see: http://science.energy.gov/early-career/.
  • Past Awardees

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

The CRII program aims to research independence upon acceptance of one's first academic position. This program is specific to the computer and information sciences or engineering.

  • Details: Applicants must untenured faculty or research scientists (or equivalent) and be within five years of their PhD. The deadline is typically the last Wednesday in September, but applicants should confirm this information on the NSF's website.
  • Apply: For more information, including how to apply, please see: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504952.

National Science Foundation - Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER Award)

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is the National Science Foundation's (NSF) most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

  • Details: Applicants must hold a doctorate and should hold a tenure-track position, but be untenured, when applying. The deadline is typically in mid-July of each year, but applicants should confirm this information on the NSF’s website.
  • Apply: For more information, including how to apply, please see: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503214
  • Past Awardees

Office of Naval Research (ONR) - Young Investigator Program (YIP)

The ONR YIP awards seek to identify and support academic scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for doing creative research. The goal of the program is to attract outstanding faculty members to the Department of Navy's research program, to support the faculty's research, and to encourage the faculty's teaching and research careers.


Additional Early Career Funding Opportunities

For all other funding opportunities, including additional programs for early career investigators, please see the COS Pivot database.