The National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) “offer’s the 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.”

Proposal Overview

Proposal submission deadline: Fourth Monday in July, annually

Eligibility: A Principal Investigator may submit one proposal per annual competition and may participate no more than three times (excludes proposals that are withdrawn before review or returned without review). Proposers must also:

  • Hold a doctoral degree in a field supported by NSF;
  • Be engaged in research in an area of science, engineering, or education supported by NSF;
  • Hold at least a 50% tenure-track position as an assistant professor;
  • Be untenured; and
  • Have not previously received a CAREER award

Award information: CAREER awards, including indirect costs, are expected to total a minimum of $400,000 over 5 years, with the following exceptions: Awards for proposals submitted to the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), the Directorate for Engineering (ENG), or the Office of Polar Programs (OPP) are expected to total a minimum of $500,000 over 5 years.

Required proposal elements:

  • Cover Sheet
  • Project Description
  • Education Activities
  • References
  • Biographical sketch
  • Departmental letter
  • Budget

General Resources

Proposal Review

WU Grants Library

WU Center for Integrative Research on Cognition, Learning, and Education (CIRCLE)

Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Research Initiation Initiative (CRII)

Deadline: second Wednesday in August

The CISE CRII program provides up to $175,000 for 2 years to early career investigators, with the expectation that these funds will support one or more graduate students for up to two years.

Eligible PIs will be untenured faculty or research scientists in the first 3 years of their primary academic position after receiving their PhD (but not more than 5 years after completion of their PhD). Applicants may not have received any other grants or contracts as the primary PI from any department, agency or institution of the federal government.

Note: The CRII complements CISE’s investments in the NSF CAREER program. For example, the CRII may help PIs produce enough preliminary research to help prepare for other research awards such as the CAREER. Unlike CAREER proposals, there is not a specific education component required.

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