Submitting PIs:

  • Seth Cooper
  • Casper Harteveld
  • Proposal: 04/05/2016


  • Amount: Up to $500,000
  • Duration: 2 to 3 years


The DARPA 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 Department of Defense (DoD) and National Security challenges and needs. In particular, this 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. The long-term goal of the program is to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers in the research community who will focus a significant portion of their future careers on DoD and National Security issues.

This RA solicits single investigator proposals for research and development in the specific technical areas of interest to DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office (BTO), Defense Sciences Office (DSO) and Microsystems Technology Office (MTO). Further detail regarding technical areas of interest can be found in the Technical Areas topics list. Proposals that fail to respond directly to a Technical Area will be considered nonresponsive and may not be reviewed. Proposers must specify ONE and only one of these topic areas for their proposal and identify this on the cover page. Note: DARPA reserves the right to assign proposals to a different topic area than that which was indicated by the proposer.

Proposals responding to this RA should clearly describe the DoD problem being addressed, the current state-of-the-art technology, new insights to address the problem, a credible research plan and schedule, and critical, quantitative milestones to be pursued over the 24-month base period.

Proposed research should focus on innovations that will enable revolutionary advances in the selected topic area. High-risk/high-payoff ideas that could potentially transform a field or technology are strongly encouraged. Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.

Proposals that offer only incremental advances upon existing research and development (R&D) and technologies will be deemed nonresponsive to this RA and may not be reviewed.

This RA seeks proposals for a research activity consisting of a 24-month base period with a maximum funding level of $500,000. For exceptional YFA project performance over the 24- month base period, a limited number of YFA performers will be awarded a “Director’s Fellowship” with a maximum of an additional $500,000 in follow-on funding for an additional estimated 12-month period.

Proposals should include a 24-month base period with the option of including a short summary of the proposed follow-on work for the estimated 12-month “Director’s Fellowship” option period. The 12-month “Director’s Fellowship” option period is optional and is not a requirement for proposing to this RA. During the final quarter of the YFA base period, the performers who are nominated to receive the Director’s Fellowship option may be requested to submit a proposal describing efforts to be completed during the 12-month “Director’s Fellowship” option.

Dr. Justin Gallivan, Program Manager
RA Coordinator:

Eligibility & Submission Requirements

Participation is limited to untenured Assistant or Associate Professors within five (5) years of appointment to a tenure-track position at a U.S. institution of higher education or equivalent at a non-profit science and technology research institution in the United States.

Previous YFA recipients are not eligible to apply to this or any future YFA program. Applicants are limited to a maximum of three (3) applications to the DARPA YFA program during their term of eligibility. Applicants should clearly state on the cover sheet any prior YFA submission(s).