Deadlines
  • Proposal: 07/27/2020

Funding

  • Amount: Minimum of $400,000
  • Duration: 5 years

Scope

IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND REVISION NOTES:

  • The PI needs to meet all eligibility criteria as of the annual deadline
  • Clarification regarding the minimum percentage appointment (tenure-track and tenure-track equivalent) for eligibility to the program
  • Only one annual deadline applies to all CAREER submissions, regardless of Directorate
  • Added guidance on the CAREER proposal submission timeline

This program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards for faculty members beginning their independent careers. The intent of the program is to provide stable support at a sufficient level and duration to enable awardees to develop careers not only as outstanding researchers but also as educators demonstrating commitment to teaching, learning, and dissemination of knowledge. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from eligible early-career faculty at all CAREER-eligible organizations, especially women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities.

The CAREER program embodies NSF’s commitment to encourage faculty and academic institutions to value and support the integration of research and education. Successful Principal Investigators will propose creative, effective research and education plans, developed within the context of the mission, goals, and resources of their organizations, while building a firm foundation for a lifetime of contributions to research, education, and their integration.

Integration of Research and Education – All CAREER proposals should describe an integrated path that will lead to a successful career as an outstanding researcher and educator. NSF recognizes that there is no single approach to an integrated research and education plan, but encourages all applicants to think creatively about the reciprocal relationship between the proposed research and education activities and how they may inform each other in their career development as both outstanding researchers and educators. These plans should reflect the proposer’s own disciplinary and educational interests and goals, as well as the needs and context of his or her organization. Because there may be different expectations within different disciplinary fields and/or different organizations, a wide range of research and education activities may be appropriate for the CAREER program. In addition, NSF recognizes that some investigators, given their individual disciplinary and career interests, may wish to pursue an additional activity such as entrepreneurship, industry partnerships, or policy that enhances their research and education plans. Proposers are encouraged to communicate with the CAREER contact or cognizant Program Officer in the Division closest to their area of research to discuss the expectations and approaches that are most appropriate for that area (see https://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/career/contacts.jsp for a list of CAREER contacts by division).

Eligibility & Submission Requirements

A Principal Investigator (PI) may submit only one CAREER proposal per annual competition. In addition, a Principal Investigator may not participate in more than three CAREER competitions. Proposals that are not reviewed (i.e., are withdrawn before review or are returned without review) do not count toward the three-competition limit.

Proposers must meet all of the following eligibility requirements as of the annual deadline:

  • 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 (or tenure-track-equivalent) position as an assistant professor (or equivalent title);
  • Be untenured; and
  • Have not previously received a CAREER award. (Prior or concurrent Federal support for other types of awards for non-duplicative research does not preclude eligibility.)

Tenure-Track Equivalency: For a position to be considered a tenure-track-equivalent position, it must meet all of the following requirements: (1) the employee has a continuing appointment that is expected to last the five years of a CAREER grant; (2) the appointment has substantial research and educational responsibilities; and (3) the proposed project relates to the employee’s career goals and job responsibilities as well as to the mission of the department or organization. As stated in the Proposal Preparation Instructions, for non-tenure-track faculty, the Departmental Letter must affirm that the investigator’s appointment is at an early-career level equivalent to pre-tenure status, and the Departmental Letter must clearly and convincingly demonstrate how the faculty member’s appointment satisfies all the above requirements of tenure-track equivalency.

Faculty members who are Associate Professors or in equivalent appointments, with or without tenure, are not eligible for the CAREER program. Faculty members who hold Adjunct Faculty or equivalent appointments are not eligible for the CAREER program.

No exemptions from these eligibility requirements will be granted. 

Contact Information

Cognizant Program Officer(s):