David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowships for Science and Engineering

Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO). Please see the Packard Fellowships webpage for complete information. The Packard Foundation typically releases updated guidelines in mid-December and applications are usually due to the sponsor in March. The information below is from the latest 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. 20 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 4, 2023

Sponsor Application Deadline: TBD (anticipated March 15, 2024)

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Research Statement (1400 words, 2 pages maximum, 12-point font, 1-inch margins): Outline your goals for the next five years and their importance. If there are relevant figures, images or references, please include these separately 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. Considering faculty must be within the first three years of faculty appointments, if the faculty has had formal time off from the university that may extend this window (up to six months), the letter should attest to the rationale for leave.  
  • 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/6904/home


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. Per the foundation, there may be six months of flexibility to accommodate formal time off from the university.

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

Award Amount: $875,000

Award Duration: distributed over 5 years

Number of Awards: 20 Fellows selected annually