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The AFRI program is the USDA’s largest competitive grants program. AFRI grants cover a broad range of topics touching on areas as diverse as agriculture economics and rural communities, organismal genetic sequencing, renewable energy, water management, food security, and of course, food production. AFRI grants generally use similar criteria for determining eligibility for “new investigator” grants.
Category(s): social-science, physical-science, engineering, computer-science, health-science, life-science

With the goal of encouraging research independence immediately upon obtaining one's first academic position after receipt of the PhD, the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) will award grants to initiate the course of one's independent research. Understanding the critical role of establishing that independence early in one's career, it is expected that funds will be used to support untenured faculty or research scientists (or equivalent) in their first three years in a primary academic position after the PhD, but not more than a total of five years after completion of their PhD. One may not yet have received any other grants or contracts in the Principal Investigator (PI) role from any department, agency, or institution of the federal government, including from the CAREER program or any other program, post-PhD, regardless of the size of the grant or contract, with certain exceptions noted below. Serving as co-PI, Senior Personnel, Postdoctoral Fellow, or other Fellow does not count against this eligibility rule. Grants, contracts, or gifts from private companies or foundations; state, local, or tribal governments; or universities do not count against this eligibility rule. 

It is expected that these funds will allow the new CISE Research Initiation Initiative PI to support one or more graduate students for up to two years. Faculty at undergraduate and two-year institutions may use funds to support undergraduate students, and may use the additional RUI designation (which requires inclusion of a RUI Impact Statement) -- see for additional information. In addition, submissions from all institutions may use funds for postdoctoral scholars, travel, and/or research equipment.

Category(s): social-science, mathematics, engineering, education, computer-science, health-science, information-science, architecture

CAREER: The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from early-career faculty at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.
Category(s): social-science, physical-science, mathematics, education, computer-science, life-science, information-science

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress invites qualified scholars to conduct research at the Kluge Center using the Library of Congress collections and resources for a period of four to eleven months. Established in 2000 through an endowment of $60 million from John W. Kluge, the Center is located in the splendid Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. The Kluge Center furnishes attractive work and discussion space for Kluge Chair holders, for distinguished visiting scholars, and for post-doctoral Fellows supported by other private foundation gifts. Residents have easy access to the Library's specialized staff and to the intellectual community of Washington.

The Kluge Center especially encourages humanistic and social science research that makes use of the Library's large and varied collections. Interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, or multi-lingual research is particularly welcome. Among the collections available to researchers are the world's largest law library and outstanding multi-lingual collections of books and periodicals. Deep special collections of manuscripts, maps, music, films, recorded sound, prints and photographs are also available. Further information about the Library's collections can be found on the Library's website:

Category(s): social-science, humanities

The Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (MIRA) is a grant to provide support for the program of research in an investigator's laboratory that falls within the mission of NIGMS.  For the purpose of this FOA, a program of research is the collection of projects in the investigator's lab that are relevant to the mission of NIGMS. The goal of MIRA is to increase the efficiency and efficacy of NIGMS funding.  It is anticipated that this mechanism will:

  • Increase the stability of funding for NIGMS-supported investigators, which could enhance their ability to take on ambitious scientific projects and approach problems more creatively;
  • Increase flexibility for investigators to follow important new research directions as opportunities arise, rather than being bound to specific aims proposed in advance of the studies;
  • More widely distribute funding among the nation's highly talented and promising investigators to increase overall scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs;
  • Reduce the time spent by researchers writing and reviewing grant applications, allowing them to spend more time conducting research;
  • Enable investigators to devote more time and energy to mentoring trainees in a more stable research environment.
Category(s): social-science, health-science, life-science

NIJ’s New Investigator/Early Career Program (Note name of program changed to New Investigator/Early Career Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) on March 9, 2017) provides support for non-tenured assistant professors to conduct applied research on topics relevant to NIJ’s Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) and/or Office of Science and Technology (OST). ORE’s primary areas of interest include but are not limited to: social science research on criminal justice systems (e.g., courts, policing, corrections); violence and victimization (e.g., victims of crime, human trafficking, bias crime); and crime control and prevention (e.g., school safety, firearms, gangs). OST’s primary areas of interest include but are not limited to: the development and application of technology to criminal justice issues, understanding technology’s impact in the field, and exploring policy-related research questions with regards to technology use and impact. Applications must propose research led by a Principal Investigator (PI) who: was awarded a terminal degree in their field within the four (4) years prior to September 30, 2017; holds a nontenured assistant professor position at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States; and has not previously served as PI on an NIJ research grant or fellowship. Please note that those who have held Graduate Research Fellowships with NIJ or have served as a PI on an award under the “Data Resources Program” solicitation are not deemed “PIs” under that award and are eligible under this solicitation. NIJ encourages applications from diverse academic disciplines including but not limited to: social and behavioral sciences, technology, engineering and math. The goal of this solicitation is to broaden the pool of NIJ-sponsored researchers by encouraging new scholars to develop their own research. The objective of the New Investigator/Early Career Program is to provide assistant professors with an opportunity to conduct research that is directly relevant to criminal justice. In the social and behavioral sciences, NIJ encourages applications from diverse disciplines including but not limited to: criminal justice, criminology, economics, law, psychology, public health, and sociology. In the STEM sciences, NIJ encourages applications from diverse disciplines including but not limited to: computer and information sciences, civil and mechanical engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, biostatistics, data science and material sciences.

Category(s): social-science, health-science

Supports a small number of early stage investigators of exceptional creativity who propose bold and highly innovative new research approaches that have the potential to produce a major impact on broad, important problems in biomedical and behavioral research. 

Category(s): social-science, health-science, life-science

Expires January 8, 2021. 

The purpose of the NIH Independent Scientist Award (K02) is to foster the development of outstanding scientists and enable them to expand their potential to make significant contributions to their field of research. The K02 award provides three to five years of salary support and "protected time" for newly independent scientists who can demonstrate the need for a period of intensive research focus as a means of enhancing their research careers. Each independent scientist career award program must be tailored to meet the individual needs of the candidate.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed specifically for applicants proposing research that does not involve leading an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or an ancillary study to a clinical trial. Applicants to this FOA are permitted to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by another investigator. Applicants proposing a clinical trial or an ancillary study to an ongoing clinical trial as lead investigator, should apply to the companion FOA (PA-18-370).

Category(s): social-science, physical-science, engineering, computer-science, health-science, life-science, information-science

R01—the bread and butter grant of NIH, this Funding mechanism has different review criteria that apply for Early Stage Investigators. In addition, this activity code is used for topic-specific funding opportunities (with their own specific FOA numbers) that may target new investigators. Grant specifics (including whether an LOI is required) will vary according to the specific FOA—so read carefully.
Category(s): social-science, physical-science, engineering, computer-science, health-science, life-science, information-science

The Early Career Development and Mentoring program provides support for an integrated research and career development plan for investigators in the early stages of their academic careers who have established an interest in special education research. The ultimate aim of this program is to help launch independent research careers focused on infants, toddlers, children, and youth with or at risk for disabilities. The award will provide support for research (including salary for protected time to conduct research) and career development that includes training under the guidance of an experienced mentor or mentors.
Category(s): social-science, education