There is a growing number of funding opportunities, from both Federal Agencies and Foundations, that offer mid-career faculty the chance to acquire and build new skills or pursue new and bold research directions to enhance and advance their research program. Please find selected upcoming opportunities below.

Note this is for informational purposes only, and much of this is based on previous solicitations. Please check with the specific agencies for the most updated information and deadlines.

Updated September 18, 2023.

National Science Foundation

NSF Boosting Research Ideas for Transformative and Equitable Advances in Engineering (BRITE)

Recognizing that a successful faculty research career is neither linear nor continuous, this BRITE solicitation seeks proposals that enable experienced researchers and scholars (tenured or equivalent) to forge new directions or to enter new fields by capitalizing or branching out of their established knowledge domains. All BRITE proposals are expected to address fundamental research that creates new knowledge in one or more Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) (program areas).

  • Eligibility: PI must hold a tenured faculty appointment at the Associate/Full Professor rank or equivalent. Co-PIs are not allowed.
  • Deadline (last available): September 23
  • Award Amount: $100k-$200k per year, typical award duration varies by track

NSF/FDA Scholar-in-Residence at FDA

This program comprises an interagency partnership for the investigation of scientific and engineering issues concerning emerging trends in medical device technology. This partnership is designed to enable investigators in science, engineering, and computer science to develop research collaborations within the intramural research environment at the FDA.

  • Eligibility: no restrictions
  • Deadline: proposal accepted at any time
  • Award Amount: PIs may budget up to 6 months of their salary. Up to 20 percent of the total requested amount may be used for travel, moving, and research expenses for the PI and his/her students at the FDA, including materials.

NSF Mid-Career Advancement (MCA)

The MCA offers an opportunity for scientists and engineers at the Associate Professor rank (or equivalent) to substantively enhance and advance their research program through synergistic and mutually beneficial partnerships, typically at an institution other than their home institution. Projects that envision new insights on existing problems or identify new but related problems previously inaccessible without new methodology or expertise from other fields are encouraged. Partners from outside the PI's own subdiscipline or discipline are encouraged, but not required, to enhance interdisciplinary networking and convergence across science and engineering fields.

  • Eligibility: PIs must be a) at the Associate Professor rank (or equivalent), and b) at least three years in that position by the proposal submission date.
  • Deadline (last available): March 2024
  • Award Amount: total over 3 years: 6.5 months AY salary + 2 month summer salary; 1 month summer salary for host; $100k in other direct costs; travel.

Transitions to Excellence in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Research (Transitions)

The award is intended to allow mid-career or later-stage researchers (Associate or Full Professor, or equivalent) to expand or make a transition in their research programs via a sabbatical leave or similar mechanism of professional development and then develop that research program in their own lab. This award will also enable the PI to acquire new scientific or technical expertise, facilitate the investigator’s competitiveness, and potentially lead to transformational impacts in molecular and cellular bioscience. Proposals addressing major open questions at the intersections of biology with other disciplines, such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer sciences, and engineering are of particular interest to the program.

  • Eligibility: Proposals should also demonstrate a strong record of prior accomplishment, a compelling plan for professional development that will enable the PI to forge a new direction in their scholarship, and a strong rationale for why this support is needed for the PI to become competitive in the new research area.
  • Deadline: proposal accepted at any time.
  • Award Amount: The award would fund up to six months of PI salary during the first sabbatical or professional development year, followed by support for continued research for two subsequent years upon the PI’s return to normal academic duties.

Re-entry to Active Research Program (RARE)

Supports research and retraining for scientists and engineers after a research hiatus. Supported work must fall within the scope of the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems or the Division of Chemistry. Track 1 reengages investigators in a competitive funding opportunity with accommodations for gap in record that are a result of the research hiatus. Track 2 retrains investigators for whom the research hiatus has led to the need for new or updated techniques, such that retraining is required to return the investigator to competitive research activity.

  • Eligibility: PI must have PhD in engineering, chemistry or a closely related discipline, with prior research experiences in an area within the scope of the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems or Division of Chemistry.  PIs must contact a RARE program director in CBET or CHE to confirm eligibility prior to submission.
  • Deadline (anticipated): proposal accepted at any time.
  • Award Amount: up to $150k/year for Track 1; up to $300k total for Track 2

National Institutes of Health

NIH MIRA Established Investigator (R35)

An NIGMS MIRA is intended to provide support for the NIGMS-related research program in an investigator’s laboratory. Because the MIRA is intended to support a significant and ambitious program of research, the PD/PI is required to devote at least 51% of his/her total research effort to this award.

  • Eligibility: funded ESI or EI NIGMS R35 or at least one NIGMS single-PD/PI R01-equivalent award.
  • Deadline (anticipated): January and May, current PAR ends May 2025.
  • Award Amount: Applications may request no more than $750,000 direct costs per year. In general, awards will be commensurate with the investigator’s average total NIGMS research funding over the past few years.

The program supports individual scientists 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. the proposed research. Preliminary data and detailed experimental plans are not requested. To be considered pioneering and as an aspect of innovativeness, the proposed research must reflect substantially different ideas from those being pursued in the investigator’s current research program or elsewhere. Applications for projects that are straightforward extensions of ongoing research should not be submitted.

  • Eligibility: open to all career stages, single PI only
  • Deadline (anticipated): September
  • Award Amount: $700,000 in direct costs per year for up to 5 years

NIA Academic Leadership Career Award (K07)

The objective of the NIA Academic Leadership Career Award (K07) is to provide support for senior investigators who have the expertise and leadership skills to enhance aging and geriatric research capacity within their academic institution.

  • Eligibility: U.S. citizen or permanent resident holding Ph.D. degree; must have independent aging-related, peer-reviewed research support at the time of the application submission.
  • Deadline (anticipated): March / July / November, current PAR ends May 2024
  • Award Amount: budgets are composed of salary and other program-related expenses

[Mentored] Research Career Enhancement Award for Established Investigators (K18)

This program provides either full-time or part-time support for experienced scientists to augment or redirect their research programs through the acquisition of new research skills or to make changes in their research careers by acquiring new research skills or knowledge.

  • Eligibility: U.S. citizen or permanent resident holding Ph.D. degree; award is intended for well-established investigators who have established records of independent, peer-reviewed Federal or private research grant funding.
  • Deadline (anticipated): March / July / November
  • Award Amount: budgets are composed of salary and other program-related expenses

Mentored Quantitative Research Development Award (K25)

The purpose of this award is to attract to NIH-relevant research those investigators whose quantitative science and engineering research has thus far not been focused primarily on questions of health and disease. The K25 supports productive professionals with quantitative (e.g., statistics, economics, computer science, physics, chemistry) and engineering backgrounds to integrate their expertise with NIH-relevant research.

  • Eligibility: U.S. citizen or permanent resident holding Ph.D. degree; The K25 award is intended for research-oriented investigators at any level of experience, from the postdoctoral level to senior faculty level, who have shown clear evidence of productivity and research excellence in the field of their training.
  • Deadline (anticipated): March / July / November
  • Award Amount: budgets are composed of salary and other program-related expenses

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Senior Fellows (F33)

The purpose of the Kirschstein-NRSA senior individual fellowships is to enable experienced scientists to make major changes in the direction of their research careers or to broaden their scientific background by acquiring new research capabilities as independent investigators. In most cases, this award is used to support sabbatical experiences for established, independent scientists seeking support for retraining or additional career development. The research and training plans proposed in the F33 are expected to provide the candidate with a strong understanding rigorous research design, experimental methods, quantitative approaches, and data analysis.

  • Eligibility: Senior fellows must have a doctoral degree and at least 7 subsequent years of relevant research or professional experience (e.g., assistance, associate, full professor) and must have established an independent research career.
  • Deadline: April / August / September 
  • Award Amount: Award budgets are composed of stipends, tuition and fees, and institutional allowance


Mark Foundation - Emerging Leader Awards

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. 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).

  • Eligibility: Applicants must be three to nine years from the start of an independent faculty research appointment as of December of the year they apply
  • Deadline (anticipated): May
  • Award Amount: $250,000/year for three years, select Awardees may be invited to apply for up to two years of additional funding depending on project progress.

BBRF Independent Investigator Grant

The program provides support for investigators during the critical period between the initiation of research and the receipt of sustained funding. Basic and/or clinical investigators are supported, but research must be relevant to schizophrenia, major affective disorders, or other serious mental illnesses. The program is intended to facilitate innovative research opportunities.

  • Eligibility: scientists at the associate professor level or equivalent who are clearly independent and have won national competitive support as a PI.
  • Deadline: the program currently on pause
  • Award Amount: up to $50,000/year for up to 2 years

BRF Scientific Innovations Award (limited submission)

The objective of the SIA is to support projects that may be too innovative and speculative for traditional funding sources but still have a high likelihood of producing important findings. It is expected that investigations supported by these grants will yield high impact findings and result in major grant applications and significant publications in high impact journals.

  • Eligibility: full-time associate professor or full professor at an invited US academic institution, working in the area of studies of brain function in health and disease. Current major NIH or other peer-reviewed funding is preferred but evidence of such funding in the past three years is essential.
  • Deadline (anticipated): April
  • Award Amount: $150,000 for 2 years

Simons Fellows in Mathematics

The program’s is to make sabbatical research leaves more productive by extending them from a single term to a full academic year. Awards will be based on the applicant’s scientific accomplishments in the five-year period preceding the application and on the potential scientific impact of the work to be done during the leave period.

  • Deadline: September
  • Award Amount: up to 50 percent (up to a maximum of $100,000) of the Fellow’s current academic-year salary, whether normally paid over 9 or 12 months, and up to $10,000 for expenses related to the leave.

Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP)

The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program offers opportunities for independent research or study related to Smithsonian collections, facilities, and/or research interests of the Institution and its staff. Fellows are expected to spend most of their tenure in residence at the Smithsonian, except when arrangements are made for periods of field work or research travel.

  • Eligibility: Applicants must have held a Ph.D. or equivalent for at least 7 years.
  • Deadline (anticipated): November
  • Award Amount: $55,000/year salary and $4,000 research allowance (3-12 month terms)


Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship (VBFF) Program

The Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship (VBFF) is the Department of Defense’s most prestigious single-investigator award and supports basic research with the potential for transformative impact. The VBFF reflects the DoD’s commitment to “blue sky”, unfettered research and the exchange of scientific knowledge between the Fellows and the government to benefit the country. The FOA includes a list of topics of interest.

  • Eligibility: The PI must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and hold tenure at the time of submission.
  • Deadline (anticipated): September
  • Award Amount: $3M over 5 years

ONR Summer Faculty Research and Sabbatical Leave Program

These programs provide an opportunity for faculty members to participate in research of mutual interest to the faculty member and professional peers at U.S. Navy Laboratories. Both programs are residential, and all work must be completed on site at the sponsoring U.S. Navy Laboratory.

  • Eligibility: The PI must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and hold a faculty appointment.
  • Deadline: application window: September - December
  • Award Amount: Stipends are tentatively set for $1,650 per week at the Summer Faculty Fellow level, $1,900 per week at the Senior Summer Faculty Fellow level, and $2,150 per week at the Distinguished Summer Faculty Fellow level. The Summer Faculty Research Program awards a lump sum of $3,500 to fellows who relocate greater than 50 miles from their home. The Sabbatical Leave Program awards a lump sum of $4,000 to fellows who relocate greater than 50 miles from their home.

Argonne National Lab Faculty Research Leave Appointment (FRLA)

College and university faculty members may spend their sabbatical leave at Argonne. Appointments are normally for an academic or calendar year.

  • Eligibility: Full-time faculty members in receipt of a sabbatical leave from home university.
  • Deadline (anticipated): There is no application deadline
  • Award Amount: During the FRLA, the faculty member remains on the payroll and under the benefits program of the university. Typically, Argonne reimburses the university for 50 percent of salary and fringe benefits for the academic year.