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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 https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5518 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


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


A number of NIH Institutes make use of the R03 activity code to issue subject-matter-specific funding opportunities targeted to New Investigators. As with derivative R01s, the specifics of these targeted funding opportunities will vary. 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, education, computer-science, health-science, life-science, information-science


The Department of Defense offers four recurring grant programs that benefit new investigators, including opportunities through the Office of Naval Research (ONR), The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). While broad areas of research are supported, the agency will usually evaluate the application in terms of agency need. DoD agencies typically publish lists of desired topic areas.
Category(s): social-science, physical-science, mathematics, engineering, education, computer-science, health-science, life-science, information-science


The Department of Defense offers four recurring grant programs that benefit new investigators, including opportunities through the Office of Naval Research (ONR), The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). While broad areas of research are supported, the agency will usually evaluate the application in terms of agency need. DoD agencies typically publish lists of desired topic areas.

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

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