David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowships for Science and Engineering

Please see the Packard Fellowships webpage for complete information. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). The Packard Foundation is expected to release the 2020 guidelines in mid-December and applications are typically due to the sponsor in March. The information below is from the 2019 cycle and will guide the internal competition process.

Program Summary 

Every year, the Foundation invites the presidents of 50 universities to nominate two early-career professors each from their institutions. Nominations are carefully reviewed by the Fellowship Advisory Panel, comprised of distinguished scientists and engineers. 22 recipients will receive individual grants of $875,000 distributed over five years.

The Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering program invests in future leaders who have the freedom to take risks, explore new frontiers in their fields of study, and follow uncharted paths that may lead to groundbreaking discoveries.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST December 9, 2019

Sponsor Application Deadline: March 16, 2020

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Research Statement (2 pages maximum, 12-point font): Outline your goals for the next five years and their importance. Relevant figures, images, or references may be included on a third page.
  • PI Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of Recommendation: The letter should be from your department chair or institute director. If you have a joint appointment, submit a single letter signed by both unit heads.
  • Three External References: References from whom letters of support can be solicited. One of the references must be a person who has had no supervisory or collaborative contact with you. Please include names, titles, institutional and departmental affiliations, and contact information (email address and phone number) for each.

To access the online application, visit: https://cuboulderovcr.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/home/6420


Candidates must be faculty members who are eligible to serve as principal investigators engaged in research in the natural and physical sciences or engineering and must be within the first three years of their faculty careers. Disciplines that will be considered include physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science, and all branches of engineering. Candidates engaged in research in the social sciences will not be considered.

Per the foundation, “It is generally expected that nominees are tenure-track faculty members – within the first three years of their first faculty appointment. Adjunct professors are not ideal candidates for the program.” Additionally, adjoint faculty are not eligible considering their federal employee status; the Packard Fellowship award may only be made to university employees.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Up to two nominations may be made by CU Boulder.

Award Information and Duration

Award Amount: $875,000

Award Duration: distributed over 5 years

Number of Awards: 22 Fellows selected annually

Funding Restrictions

Recognizing that certain areas of contemporary science and engineering already have access to relatively generous funding (for example, clinical research, research associated with the design and construction of large national facilities such as accelerators and space stations, and applied research of direct relevance to national security), the Packard Fellowships are directed to other, less generously supported fields. The Fellowship Program provides support for highly creative researchers early in their careers; faculty members who are well-established and well‐funded are less likely to receive the award.