Programs intended for new faculty, usually those at or below the rank of Assistant Professor.

Some federal agencies offer programs designed for early-stage investigators. Checking the current sponsor website for updates regularly — including immediately prior to submission — is strongly encouraged. Always obtain and carefully read the most current solicitation documentation prior to preparing an application. The following is a list of curated funding opportunities. Additional solicitations can be found through other mechanisms as Pivot and

Opportunities are also marked as relevant to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing) and HASSE (Humanities, Fine Arts, Social Science, Education). For a list of additional HASSE funding opportunities, please visit the HASSE funding opportunities page

Updated September 2023.

University of California

Academic Senate

  • Faculty Research Grants are small grants to support faculty research efforts, as well as faculty development, across the campus. Funding is competitive on the basis of scholarly excellence, with priority given to early career faculty with a clear need for funding. Application deadline: annually, at the end of winter quarter; Relevant to: STEM, HASSE

  • Faculty Travel Grants support faculty travel to national and international conferences for the purpose of presenting and discussing novel research results or creative work. Travel grants are limited to one virtual or domestic trip (U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico) per fiscal year. Alternatively, funding for an international trip may be requested every other year, in lieu of virtual/domestic travel. Application deadline: at least 21 days in advance of participation. Relevant to: STEM, HASSE

  • Pearl Chase Research Grants - Supports faculty research projects related to local community development, conservation, or historic preservation. Winter quarter deadline; ~$10,000; Relevant to: STEM, HASSE

Academic Personnel

  • Faculty Career Development Award: Includes the Regents' Junior Faculty Award, which helps eligible junior faculty develop a substantial record in research and creative work necessary for advancement to tenure. Winter quarter deadline. Relevant to: STEM, HASSE
  • Hellman Family Faculty Fellows Program: Provides substantial support for the research of promising assistant professors who have served at least two years at the assistant professor level, and who show capacity for great distinction in their research. Fellowships are given without regard to the apparent timeliness or popularity of the field of study. End of winter/spring quarter deadline. Relevant to: STEM, HASSE


Maria Napoli, Director of Strategic Research Initiatives for Science & Engineering

Barbara Walker, Director of Strategic Research Initiatives for Humanities, Fine Arts, Humanities, & Education

Planning Calendar for Young Faculty Awards - updated April 2022

Funding Resources

Pivot Funding Database
Limited Submissions

Federal Agencies

Department of Agriculture (USDA); National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

  • Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI): The Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants component includes funding for new investigators. A new investigator is defined as an individual who is beginning their career, does not have an extensive scientific publication record, and has less than five years postgraduate career-track experience. The new investigator may not have received competitively awarded Federal research funds as Project Director with the exception of pre- or postdoctoral grants or AFRI Seed Grants. Deadline varies by program area. Relevant to: STEM

Department of Defense (DOD)

  • Air Force Young Investigator Research Program (YIP): Supports young scientists and engineers in Air Force relevant disciplines and is designed to promote innovative research in science and engineering. Open to U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents holding tenure-track positions who have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees on or after 01 Apr 2017. Deadline: Variable, check current solicitation, usually in summer.; $450K. Relevant to: STEM

  • Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Program (YIP): This program 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, who have received their PhD or equivalent degree on or after 01 January 2017, and who show exceptional promise for doing creative research. Deadline: Variable, check current solicitation.  FY22 and FY23 deadlines were in July; up to $170K per year for 3 years. Relevant to: STEM

  • DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA): This program accepts single-author grant proposals for research and development in the areas of physical sciences, engineering, materials, mathematics, biology, computing, informatics, social science, and manufacturing. Participation is limited to untenured Assistant or Associate Professors within 5 years of appointment to a tenure-track position. Deadline: RFP typically posted between August and September; $500k. Relevant to: STEM

  • Army Research Office (ARO) Young Investigator Program (YIP): This program is open to researchers in tenure-track positions who have held their graduate degrees for fewer than five years at the time of application. Proposals are invited for research in the following areas: chemical sciences, physics, life sciences, mechanical sciences, electronics, earth sciences, materials, computing, mathematics, network sciences.  Application guidelines are available in the current ARO Broad Agency Announcement. Deadline: Proposals accepted at any time; $120K per year for three years. Relevant to: STEM

Department of Energy (DOE)

  • DOE Early Career Research Program: This program supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers. Early career researchers may apply to one of eight Office of Science program offices: Advanced Scientific Computing Research; Biological and Environmental Research; Basic Energy Sciences; Fusion Energy Sciences; High Energy Physics; Nuclear Physics; Accelerator R&D and Production; and Isotope R&D and Production. Proposed research topics must fall within the programmatic priorities of DOE’s Office of Science, which are provided in the program announcements. Awards are $875k over 5 years. Deadline: Variable, check current solicitation. Eligibility: Must have received a Ph.D. within the past 12 years.

  • Office of Nuclear Energy Distinguished Early Career ProgramThe Distinguished Early Career Program (DECP) is the Office of Nuclear Energy’s (NE) most prestigious award for faculty members beginning their independent careers. The intent of the program is to invest in the innovative research and education programs of outstanding early career university faculty poised to pave new lines of inquiry and advance mission critical research directions in nuclear energy. Focus of projects is placed on an integrated, clear research and education plan that highlights research and educational strengths to support the development of the faculty member, research infrastructure, curriculum, and research outcomes that will advance research focus while training the next generation of nuclear energy professionals. Awards are $625k over 5 years. Deadline: In FY23, deadline was in September; Eligibility: Must be in a tenure-track position but untenured at time of application; must be within 7 years of their PhD as of the DECP application due date; cannot be funded by other early career awards from other federal funding agencies; and cannot apply more than 3 times total.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

  • NASA Early Career Investigator Program in Earth Science (ECIP-ES): The Early Career Investigator Program in Earth Science (ECIP-ES) is designed to support outstanding scientific research and career development of scientists and engineers at the early stage of their professional careers. The program, formerly known as the New (Early Career) Investigator Program in Earth Science, welcomes innovative research initiatives and seeks to cultivate diverse scientific leadership in Earth System Science. Proposals are solicited every 2-3 years. Awards average $100k/year for up to 3 years ($300k total). Deadline: For FY23, notices of intent were due in July, with proposals due in August; Eligibility: Applicants must be untenured, within 6 years of their PhD (i.e PhD on or after January 1, 2017 for FY23), and not have previously received an ECIP-ES or PECASE award.
  • NASA Heliophysics Early Career Investigator Program (ECIP): The Early Career Investigator Program (ECIP) in Heliophysics is designed to support outstanding scientific research and career development of scientists at the early stage of their professional careers. The program aims to encourage innovative research initiatives and cultivate diverse scientific leadership in Heliophysics. Awards are $125-$175k/year for up to 4 years.  ECIP solicitations are expected to be issued once every 2 years. Deadline: For FY22, Step 1 deadline was in July (proposals not solicited in FY23); Eligibility: Applicants must be in a tenure-track position (but untenured at the time of application), be no more than 10 years past their PhD (i.e. PhD on or after January 1, 2012 for FY22), and must not have previously received an ECIP or PECASE award. Most recent URL (check for ROSES-2024 in early 2024).
  • NASA Planetary Science Early Career Award (ECA): The Planetary Science Early Career Award (ECA) program is intended to help promising young scientists play an increased and meaningful role in the planetary science community and pursue professional development in areas relevant to the Planetary Science Division (PSD).  ECA awards are a one-time award of up to $200k. Deadline: For FY23, deadline is December 7, 2023; Eligibility: For FY23, applicants must be a PI on a from a participating program element solicited in ROSES-2021 or ROSES-2022; must be within 10 years of their PhD (i.e. PhD on or after January 1, 2013 for FY23); and must not have previously received a NASA early career award or PECASE award.
  • Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowships (RTF) for Early Career Researchers: This program provides early career researchers the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to lead astrophysics flight instrumentation development projects and become PIs of future astrophysics missions; to develop innovative technologies that have the potential to enable major scientific breakthroughs; and to foster new talent by putting early-career instrument builders on a trajectory towards long-term positions. The RTF application does not involve a separate proposal to this program element; it is a one-page application submitted along with a proposal submitted to either the Astrophysics Research and Analysis (APRA) or Strategic Astrophysics Technology (SAT) Programs described in the ROSES solicitation. The PI of a successful technology-centered APRA/SAT proposal who is designated as a Roman Technology Fellow based on this one-page application has the opportunity to apply for up to $500K in Fellowship Funds in the future. Deadline: For FY23, deadline was August 17, 2023; Eligibility: Applicants must hold an early career position such as a postdoctoral or tenure-track (but untenured at time of application) position; be within 8 years of their PhD; be a US citizen or permanent resident; and not be a current or former recipient of an RTF or PECASE award.

    More information.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

  • NIH Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) For Early State Investigators: provides support for a program of research in an early-stage investigator's laboratory that falls within the mission of NIGMS. For the purpose of this FOA, a program of research is a collection of projects in the investigator's lab that are relevant to the mission of NIGMS. Deadline: February / October; $250K in direct costs per year for a period of 5 years. Relevant to: STEM
  • NIH Director's New Innovator Award (DP2): supports early stage investigators of exceptional creativity who propose highly innovative research projects with the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important areas relevant to the mission of NIH. Applications in all topics relevant to the broad mission of NIH are welcome, including, but not limited to, topics in the behavioral, social, biomedical, applied, and formal sciences. PIs who have not competed successfully for a significant NIH independent research award and who is within 10 years of completing their terminal research degree is eligible. Deadline: August 19, 2022; $1.5M in direct costs for up to 5 years. Relevant to: STEM
  • Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Project Grant: supports an innovative project that represents a change in research direction for an early stage investigator (ESI) and for which no preliminary data exist. Applications submitted to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) must not include preliminary data. Applications must include a separate attachment describing the change in research direction. Deadline: varies. Relevant to: STEM

National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER): This award for new faculty combines the support of quality research and education and the full participation of those traditionally underrepresented into a single program. This program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers NSF’s most prestigious awards for new faculty members. Deadline: Fourth Monday in July, annually; minimum of $400-500K for 5 years. Relevant to: STEM, HASSE

Non-federal Agencies

  • Beckman Young Investigator Award: This program provides research support to the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of their academic careers in the chemical and life sciences, particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.  Awards average $600k over 4 years. Deadline: Applications open annually in the summer. Eligibility: The BYI program is open to those within the first four years of a tenure-track position.

  • Cottrell Scholar Award: This program champions the very best early career teacher-scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy by providing significant discretionary awards for research. Awards are $100K over three years. Deadline: In 2023, the CSA proposal target date was July 1, 2023; Eligibility: For the 2023 proposal cycle, eligibility is limited to faculty members who started their first tenure-track appointment anytime in calendar year 2020.

  • Emerging Leader Award: The Mark Foundation Emerging Leader Awards support innovative cancer research from the next generation of leaders. These grants are awarded to outstanding early career investigators to support high-impact, high-risk projects that are distinct from their current research portfolio. Awards are $750k over 3 years. Deadline: January; Eligibility: In 2023, applicants had to be three to eight years from the start of an independent faculty research appointment as of December 2023 (i.e., the official start date of the appointment must fall within the calendar years 2015-2020). Exceptions due to prolonged medical or family leave will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must demonstrate multi-year independent funding that sustains the central activities of the laboratory (e.g., at least one or two grants such as NIH/R01, NSF/CAREER, or equivalently substantial multi-year awards).

  • Klingenstien-Simons award in Neuroscience: The Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship supports early-career investigators engaged in basic or clinical research that may lead to a better understanding of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Several areas within neuroscience are of particular interest: 1) Cellular and molecular neuroscience; 2) Neural systems; 3) Translational research. Applicants must inform the Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund of other sources of funding. Awards are $225k over 3 years. Eligibility: To qualify for an award, investigators must hold a Ph.D. and/or an M.D and have a tenure track appointment or equivalent at a university, medical center, or research institute with a maximum of four years between the completion of last postdoc and the application deadline. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement, but it’s expected that candidates will be permanent residents of the U.S. and their research will be conducted in U.S. institutions. Deadline(s): Application portal opens annually on October 1, 9:00am EST and are due mid-February.

  • McKnight Scholar Awards: These awards support emerging neuroscientists to focus on disorders of learning and memory. Applicants must demonstrate interest in solving important problems in relevant areas of neuroscience, including the translation of basic research to clinical neuroscience and have no more than four years of experience in a tenure-track position. Applications are due in January. Awards are $75k/year for 3 years ($225k total). Deadline: For FY23, applications were due January 1, 2023. Eligibility: Have no more than four years of experience in an independent, tenure-track faculty position.

  • NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigators: This award supports truly innovative neuroscientists whose research has the potential to transform our fundamental understanding of the brain and how it functions. This career development award provides up to $1.5 million in flexible funding over 5 years. No institutional overhead is provided. NYSCF will accept applications from researchers based at domestic and international accredited non-profit research and academic institutions. Deadline: Currently suspended as of FY23, though may open again in future years.  For FY22, applications were due February 16, 2022. Eligibility: Be within 6 years of starting a faculty (professorship) or comparable position on June 1 of application year.


Limited Submissions

Campus competitions required unless otherwise noted. Limited submission competitions are announced in the Strategic Research Initiatives Newsletter and through funding opportunity and limited submission announcements. Current Limited Submissions are also listed at  If you are interested in any of these awards, we also recommend that you track them in Pivot.

  • BRF Seed Grant Program: The purpose of this program is to provide start-up monies for new research projects in the field of neuroscience that will likely lead to extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other outside funding sources. Each total grant is limited to $80,000 (direct costs) for a two year grant period. Assistant professors with a new research project that will generate pilot data that will lead to R01 funding or a comparable outside grant will be first priority. Limit: UCSB may submit one (1) nomination. Eligibility: must be a full-time Assistant or Associate Professor working in the field of neuroscience. Deadline(s): Campus announcement typically sent in October; Application deadline in January.
  • Camille Dreyfus Teacher–Scholar Award: This program provides a $100K unrestricted grant to support the teaching and research careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences. Nominees are normally expected to be within the first five years of their independent academic careers. Limit: UCSB may only submit one (1) nomination. Eligibility: For FY23, Nominees must hold a full-time tenure-track academic appointment in the chemical sciences, and are normally expected to have been appointed no earlier than mid-year 2018. Deadline(s): Campus announcement typically sent in October; Application due February.
  • Mallinckrodt Grant: The mission of the Foundation is to support early-stage investigators engaged in biomedical research that has the potential to significantly advance the understanding, diagnosis, or treatment of disease. Awards are $75K per year for up to three years ($225k total). Limit: UCSB may only submit one (1) nomination. Eligibility: Applicants should be in the first to fourth year of their tenure track faculty position and not have current NIH R01 funding. Deadline(s): Campus announcement sent in June; Applications due August.
  • Moore Inventor Fellows: This program focuses on supporting scientist-inventors at a critical stage of research to capture opportunities that otherwise might be missed. The foundation seeks to provide freedom and support to promising inventors with the most compelling ideas to pursue creative work. Each fellow will receive a total of $825,000 over three years to drive their invention forward, including $50,000 per year from their home institution as a commitment to these outstanding individuals. Limit: UCSB may only submit two (2) nominations. Eligibility: Candidates must be no more than 10 years past receiving the terminal advanced degree in their field (M.S., Ph.D. or M.D.). Deadline(s): Campus announcement typically sent in September; Applications due December.
  • Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering: This program allows the nation’s most promising young professors to pursue their science and engineering research with few funding restrictions and limited paperwork requirements. Disciplines that will be considered include physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science, and all branches of engineering. Each fellowship provides $875,000 over five years. Each institution is eligible to nominate only two young professors. Limit: UCSB may only submit two (2) nominations. Eligibility: Applicants must be within the first three years of their faculty careers. Deadline(s): Campus announcement typically sent in December; Applications due in April. 
  • Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences: This program funds the research of young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The program makes grants to selected institutions to support individuals in their first three years of their appointment at the assistant professor level. Scholars receive $75k/year for 4 years ($300k total). Limit: UCSB is invited to nominate one (1) candidate. Eligibility: Candidates must have been awarded a doctorate in biomedical sciences, medicine or a related field; For FY23, Must not have been appointed as an assistant professor at any institution prior to June 12, 2019. Deadline(s): Campus announcement typically sent in March; Applications due September. 
  • Searle Scholars Program: Grants of $300K for a three-year period are made to ladder faculty in their first or second year of their first appointment at the assistant professor level in the fields of biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and related areas in chemistry, medicine and biological sciences. Institutions are limited to two applications. Limit: UCSB may only submit two (2) nominations. Eligibility: For FY24, Applicants should have begun their appointment as an independent investigator at the assistant professor level on or after May 1, 2022. Deadline(s): Campus announcement typically sent in June; Applications due September. 
  • Sloan Research Fellowships: This program seeks to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. Candidates must hold a tenure track position and be nominated by a department head. Candidates must hold a Ph.D. (or equivalent) in chemistry, computational or evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, ocean sciences, physics, or a related field. The size of the award is $75,000 for a two-year period. Limit: A department may not nominate more than three (3) faculty. Nominations are at the discretion of the Chair; there is no campus competition. Eligibility: Candidates must be in a tenure-track position with a regular teaching obligation, but be untenured as of September 15 of the nomination year.  Candidates must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in chemistry, computer science, Earth system science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, or a related field. Deadline(s): Campus announcements typically sent in July, Applications due in September.
  • The 1907 Trailblazer Award: The 1907 Foundation is a charity that funds medical research for mental health. The goal for the Trailblazer Award is to catalyze disruptive - but actionable - ideas which have the potential to unearth causes & cures for mental health and uniquely require the 1907 Trailblazer Award to see the light of day.  Embedded in this statement, there are three key phrases:  i) mental health, ii) disruptive, iii) causes & cures.  Awards are $120,000. Limit: UCSB may only submit two (2) nominations. Eligibility: Applicants should be within ten years of their PhD/MD degree award date. Deadline(s): Campus announcement sent out in April; Applications due in June. 
  • Johnson & Johnson Women in STEM²D Program: This program aims to fuel the development of female STEM²D leaders and feed the STEM²D talent pipeline by awarding and sponsoring women at critical points in their research careers, in each of the STEM²D disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design.  Awards are $150k over 3 years. Limit: UCSB may submit one applicant per STEM2D discipline; six applicants in total; Eligibility: The awards will fund one woman per discipline who has completed her advanced degree, who is working as an assistant professor and who is not yet tenured at an accredited university or design institution. Deadline(s): Program currently suspended.