Below please find a summary of federal funding opportunities for early career faculty by agency.  For a list of early career opportunities from private sponsors please visit the Washington University private funding database and select ‘new investigators’ on the top bar. A full list of early career opportunities is available in an excel file HERE through Johns Hopkins University. Often times for Early Career Opportunities, Washington University is invited to submit a specific number of applications and an internal selection competition is held. (

Department of Defense

Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Research Program
Deadline: July/August

  • Synopsis: The Air Force YIP supports scientists and engineers who have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. Each award will be funded at the $120,000 level for three years.

Army Research Office Young Investigator Program
Deadline: Open

  • Synopsis: The objective of the YIP is to attract to Army research outstanding young university faculty members, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. This program is open to U.S. citizens, Nationals, and resident aliens holding tenure-track positions at U.S. universities and colleges, who have held their graduate degrees (Ph.D. or equivalent) for fewer than five years at the time of application. YIP awards are up to $50,000 per year for three years.

Congressional Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) Career Development Award
Deadline: Varies by program

  • Synopsis: Funding program areas vary and may include: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Autism, Bone Marrow Failure, Breast Cancer, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Genetic Studies of Food Allergies, Gulf War Illness, Lung Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Neurofibromatosis, Ovarian Cancer, Peer Reviewed Cancer, Peer Reviewed Medical, Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic, Prostate Cancer, Psychological Health/Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Some of these program areas, such as Peer Reviewed Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Lung Cancer, and Breast Cancer Research Programs have included New Investigator Awards or Career Development Awards.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award
Deadline: January

  • Synopsis: The objective of the DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) program is to identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions and expose them to Department of Defense needs as well as DARPA’s program development process. The YFA program provides funding, mentoring, and industry and DoD contacts to awardees early in their careers so they may develop their research ideas in the context of DoD needs. The program focuses on untenured faculty, emphasizing those without prior DARPA funding.

Office for Naval Research Young Investigator Program
Deadline: January

  • Synopsis: ONR’s Young Investigator Program (YIP) seeks to identify and support academic scientists and engineers who are in their first or second full-time tenure-track or tenure-track-equivalent academic appointment and who show exceptional promise for doing creative research. The objectives are to attract outstanding faculty members to the Department of the Navy’s research program, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers. Proposals may request up to $170,000 per year for three years.

Department of Energy

Early Career Program
Deadline: Pre-application due in September

  • Synopsis: Supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science: Advanced Scientific Computing Research; Biological and Environmental Research; Basic Energy Sciences, Fusion Energy Sciences; High Energy Physics, and Nuclear Physics. Applicants must be no more than ten years beyond the Ph.D. at the deadline for the application.

Department of Justice

National Institute of Justice New Investigator/Early Career Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Deadline: March

  • Synopsis: Supports early investigators to conduct studies that inform public safety, crime control and prevention, and/or the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the U.S.

National Institutes of Health

List of Programs for New and Early Stage Investigators

Director’s New Innovator Award
Deadline: September

  • Synopsis: Part of the Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the New Innovator Award supportsexceptionally creative, early-career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects with no preliminary data required.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Early Career Faculty Program (ECF)
Deadline: May

  • Synopsis: The grants sponsor research in specific high-priority areas of interest to America’s space program. Priority topic areas change each year.  The proposed research must be led by a single, eligible principal investigator. The proposed principal investigator must be an untenured assistant professor on the tenure track at the sponsoring U.S. university at the time of award. They must be a U.S. citizen or have lawful status of permanent residency. Individual grants are funded up to $200,000 per year for as many as three years.

National Science Foundation

Faculty Early Career Development Program  (CAREER)
Deadline: July

  • Synopsis: The intent of the program is to provide stable support at a sufficient level and duration to enable awardees to develop careers as outstanding researchers and educators who effectively integrate teaching, learning and discovery. The minimum CAREER award size is $500,000 for a five-year period for proposals submitted to the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), the Directorate for Engineering (ENG), or the Office of Polar Programs (OPP). For proposals submitted to all other Directorates, the minimum award size is $400,000 over five years.