In an increasingly competitive funding environment, opportunities exist to help researchers at the beginning stages of their careers. Examples of federal funding opportunities specifically geared toward early career investigators working at CU Boulder are available in the table below. As with all funding opportunities, it is essential to review the sponsor guidelines to confirm eligibility, deadlines and research priorities.

Many philanthropic organizations also support early career researchers. Click here for a listing of private opportunities.

CU Boulder faculty are encouraged to explore SPIN, Dimensions, and Foundation Directory Online, funding databases which are available to CU Boulder faculty, staff and students at no cost. 

Last updated 07/12/2019:

Program Title Sponsor Announcement Deadline Award Amount and Duration Eligibility
Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) National Science Foundation (NSF) January 2017

July 17, 2019 (BIO, CISE, EHR)

July 18, 2019 (ENG)

July 19, 2019 (GEO, MPS, SBE)

$400,000-$500,000 

depending on project area.

Applicant must be an Assistant Professor or equivalent. Associate professors are not eligible to apply. Eligibility is not limited by time from degree or years in a tenure-track appointment. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens/PR/Nationals can still apply granted they meet all other criteria.
DoD Parkinson’s Early Investigator Research Award Department of Defense March 22, 2019 July 24, 2019 Costs budgeted for the entire 2-year period will not exceed $360,000. The investigator must be a postdoctoral or clinical fellow, instructor, or assistant professor within 10 years of advanced degree or residency training completion (or equivalent) as of the application deadline.
Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Research Initiation Initiative (CRII) National Science Foundation (NSF) Open annually Full proposal deadline August 14, 2019 Up to $175,000 for 24 months. Applicant must be in the first three years of a tenure-track or research science or education position. Tenured professors are not eligible to apply. Applicants must be within five years of receiving their PhD degree.
Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) DOD, Office of Naval Research (ONR) June 21, 2019 August 16, 2019 Up to $500,000 for 24-months with an option for up to $250,000 for an additional 12-months. Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen/PR/National, holding a first or second full-time tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty position having received a terminal degree nine years prior to deadline.
NIH Director's New Innovator Award Department of Health and Human Services: National Institutes of Health (NIH) April 4, 2019 August 26, 2019 Multi-year, with all funds disbursed in year 1. Up to $1.5M in direct costs (equiv. $300,000/yr for 5 yrs), plus F&A costs TBD at time of award.

Applicants must be within ten years of completing their terminal research degree.

NIH Director's Early Independence Award Program

Department of Health and Human Services: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

March 28, 2019

September 13, 2019

Up to $250,000 in direct costs per year, plus applicable F&A costs.

Up to five years.

Receipt date of terminal degree must be within two years of the application deadline. Individuals are eligible only if they do not have research independence.
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Education, HHS: NIH, VA, EPA, NASA, NSF, and the Smithsonian Institution

N/A

Typically, each agency nominates candidates from its own young investigator/early career awardees and/or from its intramural laboratories

Typically, submitted in October by participating agencies

$200,000/year for 5 years

Applicant must be an Assistant Professor or equivalent. Associate professors are not eligible to apply. Eligibility is not limited by time from degree or years in a tenure-track appointment. Applicants must be U.S. citizens/PR/Nationals.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) Young Faculty Award

Defense Advanced Research 

Projects Agency (DARPA)

July 2019 (anticipated)

Typically, executive summaries due in November and full proposals due in January (anticipated)

Typically, $150,000 per year for a two-year period.

Applicants can be U.S. Citizens/PR/Foreign Nationals who are current Tenure-Track Assistant/Associate Professors, or current Tenured faculty within 3 years of their Tenure date, or an equivalent at a non-profit research institution within 12 years of receipt of their PhD; all proposers must be employed by a U.S. Institution.

ROSES Planetary Sciences Early Career Award National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

February 2019 (anticipated)

December 2, 2019

Varies

Applicants must have received their PhD within ten calendar years of the year of the submission of the research proposal.
2020 Early Career Research Program

Department of Energy (DOE) 

Office of Science

January 2020 (anticipated)

Letter of Intent deadline January, 2020 (anticipated)

Application deadline April, 2020 (anticipated)

$750,000 over five years.

Applicant must be untenured, tenure-track assistant, or associate professor at a U.S. academic institution who received a PhD within the past ten years.
Early Career Fellowship Start-up Program for Named Fellows National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) March 14, 2019 March 27, 2020

Awards $140,000 to $285,000/year up to 3 years

Prospective investigators from any category or organizations or institutions, U.S. or non-U.S.
SpaceTech-REDDI Space Technology Research Grants Program – Early Career Faculty (ECF) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

March 2020 (anticipated)

  • Notice of Intent: April 2020 (anticipated)
  • Full Proposal: May 2020 (anticipated)

Awards $140,000 to $285,000/year up to 3 years

Prospective investigators from any category or organizations or institutions, U.S. or non-U.S.
Air Force Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) Air Force

March 2020 (anticipated)

Full proposal: June 2020 (anticipated) $120,000/year for 3 years Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident. Individual must be a full-time employee of the University.
ROSES New (Early Career) Investigators Program in Earth Sciences (NIP)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

February 2020 (anticipated)

  • Notice of Intent: August 2020 (anticipated)
  • Full Proposal: September 2020 (anticipated)

Up to $90,000/year for 3 years

Prospective investigators from any category or organizations or institutions, U.S. or non-U.S. PhD must have been awarded within six years of deadline.
Army Research Office (ARO) – Young Investigator Program (YIP)

DOD, Army Research Laboratory

April 2017

Continuous submission; whitepapers and proposals will be considered until and including March 31, 2022 (Nominated by Institution)

$120,000/year for 3 years Applications are open to U.S. Citizens/PR/Nationals holding a tenure-track position at a U.S. institution of higher education, and who have received their PhD for fewer than five years at the time of the application.
Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP): Early Career Investigator Awards in Plant Genome Research National Science Foundation (NSF)

August 20, 2018

Full proposals accepted anytime

Budget limits are not identified, but all budgets should be commensurate with the activities proposed.  
Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowships for Early Career Researchers National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

TBD

TBD Varies

Prospective investigators from any category or organizations or institutions, U.S. or non-U.S. PhD must have been awarded within six years of deadline.

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)

Department of Agriculture (USDA): National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Varies

Varies Varies