The Department of Defense (DoD) offers a number of research funding opportunities for early career faculty, with the long-term goal of developing the next generation of academic scientists, engineers and mathematicians in strategic disciplines whose research aligns with agency mission and priorities. For current opportunities, search

To access workshop recordings and other resources, visit our Working with DoD webpage.

Want to learn about how to go after and win DoD funding? Watch to our November 2021 workshop here

Note: The following is intended for informational purposes and does not replace the sponsor's actual funding opportunity announcement. Always review the sponsor's full announcement to verify program guidelines, requirements, and deadlines.

DARPA's Young Faculty Award (YFA) program aims to identify and engage rising stars in junior faculty positions in academia and equivalent positions at non-profit research institutions and expose them to DoD and National Security challenges and needs. YFA will provide high-impact funding to elite researchers early in their careers to develop innovative new research directions in the context of enabling transformative DoD capabilities. DARPA is particularly interested in identifying outstanding researchers who have previously not been performers on DARPA programs, but the program is open to all qualified applicants with innovative research ideas. DARPA solicits ground-breaking proposals from junior faculty for research and development in areas newly defined for each competition. The long term goal of the YFA program is to develop the next generation of academic scientists, engineers and mathematicians who will focus a significant portion of their career on DoD and National Security issues.

  • YFA awardees receive up to $500,000 in 24-month base period. Awardees may be nominated by their Program Manager for an additional 12-month option with a max funding of $500,000.
  • Program Managers are looking for applicants to address the Heilmeier Catechism questions.
  • Key review criteria are:
    • overall scientific and technical merit;
    • potential contribution and relevance to DARPA's mission; and
    • cost realism.

In August 2021, DARPA held a 2022 YFA Proposers Day - access the recording here.

The Air Force Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) supports young in career scientists and engineers who have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees within the last seven years and show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. The program objectives are to foster creative basic research in science and engineering; enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators; and increase opportunities for the young investigator to recognize the Air Force mission and related challenges in science and engineering.

  • Most YIP awards are funded up to $150,00 per year for three years. Approximate submission deadlines: mid-May (White Papers); mid-July (full proposals).

YIP awards are one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the Army on outstanding scientists beginning their independent careers. The objective of the YIP is to attract outstanding young university faculty members to pursue fundamental research in areas relevant to the Army, to support their research in these areas, and to encourage their teaching and research careers.

  • Research areas of interest are mechanical sciences, mathematical sciences, electronics, computing science, physics, chemistry, life sciences, materials science, network science, and environmental sciences. 
  • Outstanding YIP projects may be considered for a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
  • Typical awards are funded up to $120,000 per year for 3 years. Proposals are accepted anytime.

The ONR Young Investigator 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 doctorate or equivalent degree on or after 01 January 2012, and who show exceptional promise for doing creative research. The program objectives are to attract outstanding faculty members of Institutions of Higher Education to the Department of the Navy's Science and Technology (S&T) research program, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers.

  • Proposals addressing research areas described in the ONR science and technology (S&T) department section of ONR's website, which are of interest to ONR program officers and division directors, will be considered.
  • Typical awards are $510,000 over a 36-month period. Additional funding may be requested (under the 36-month period) up to $250,000 to cover equipment costs, testing, ship time, etc. Approximate submission deadline for full proposals: mid-August.


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For assistance developing DoD proposals, please contact Research Development
Join the CU-RES-ADMIN-L mailing list to learn about new funding opportunities and click on the additional resource pages listed below.