Sponsored Projects

Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Biological Sciences

This page provides information on some fellowships for postdoctoral researchers in the biological sciences. To search for other postdoctoral funding, see the Pivot funding opportunities database (accessible from computers).

  • Deadlines refer to sponsor receipt deadlines. In most cases a portion of the application must be completed by the faculty sponsor, and the entire application must then be processed first by the administering unit and then by SPO. Please allow time for these activities.
  • Other funding information is available from the Graduate Fellowships Office.
  • Agencies may change their programs, requirements, deadlines, location, and other information at any time. Please verify information from agency web sites.

Federal Agencies

National Institutes of Health

Program Deadline Program Synopsis
New and Early Stage Investigators   Resources for new investigators, including postdoctoral researchers.
Extramural Training Mechanisms
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA)
Standard Due Dates The Kirschstein NRSA for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows provides support to promising applicants with the potential to become productive, independent investigators in scientific health-related research fields relevant to the missions of participating NIH Institutes and Centers. By the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
Pathway to Independence Award Standard Due Dates Provides up to five years of support consisting of two phases. The initial phase will provide up to two years of mentored support for postdoctoral research scientists. This phase will be followed by up to three years of independent support contingent on securing an independent tenure-track or equivalent research position.
Fogarty International Center Research Training Grants varies Fogarty International Center programs provide funding to perform research and to train researcher in a variety of global health topics. Some are open to postdoctoral investigators.

National Science Foundation

Program Deadline Program Synopsis
Specialized Information for Postdoctoral Fellows

NSF FastLane Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
  Resources for postdoctoral researchers seeking funding from NSF.
Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology October Fellowships support recent recipients of the doctoral degree for research and training in selected areas supported by the Directorate for Biological Sciences. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.
NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowships July 1 The Division of Earth Sciences awards fellowships to highly qualified investigators within three years of obtaining their PhD to carry out an integrated program of independent research and education. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.
Ocean Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships second Monday in January The Division of Ocean Sciences offers Postdoctoral Research Fellowships to increase the participation of under-represented groups in the ocean sciences. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.
NSF Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability Fellows third Thursday in November The program emphasis is to facilitate investigations that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries and address issues of sustainability through a systems approach, building bridges between academic inquiry, economic growth, and societal needs. Applicants must not have worked for more than 36 full-time equivalent months in one or more positions that require the doctoral degree, and not be employed in a tenure-track (or equivalent) position. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.
SBE Postdoctoral Research Fellowships last Monday in October The Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences offers Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in two tracks: (i) Broadening Participation (SPRF-BP), and (ii) Interdisciplinary Research in Behavioral and Social Sciences (SPRF-IBSS). Applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.

Nonfederal Agencies

Program Deadline Program Synopsis
American Association of University Women, Fellowships varies AAUW offers five grant programs for women, including American and International Fellowships.
American Brain Tumor Association, Basic Research Fellowship
January Two-year $100,000 grants support new and early career scientists entering the field of brain tumor research.
American Cancer Society, Postdoctoral Fellowships April 1, October 15 Supports postdoctoral training in cancer research, including basic, preclinical, clinical, cancer control, psychosocial, behavioral, epidemiology, health services and health policy research. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, noncitizen nationals, or permanent residents.
American Diabetes Association, Current Grant Opportunities January 15 for most postdoctoral programs Multiple award mechanisms available for postdoctoral research. Applicant generally must be U.S. citizen or have (or have applied for) permanent resident status.
American Federation for Aging Research, Grant Programs
varies AFAR offers several grant programs that support postdoctoral research in aging.
American Fund for Alternatives to Animal Research, Alternatives to Animal Research in Women’s Health and Sex Differences December Offers a $40,000, one-year postdoctoral fellowship grant (with possible renewal) to a woman interested in developing, validating, or using alternatives to animal methods in the investigation of women's health or sex differences.
American Heart Association, Postdoctoral Fellowship (Western States Affiliate) January Supports research related to cardiovascular function and disease and stroke, or to related clinical, basic science, bioengineering or biotechnology, and public health problems, including multidisciplinary efforts. Applicant must have less than five years postdoctoral research training or experience and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or have a specified visa type.
American Lung Association, Grants November Senior Research Training Fellowships offer postdoctoral support for M.D.s and/or Ph.D.s. Research areas of particular interest are: adult pulmonary medicine, pediatric pulmonary medicine and lung biology. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals holding a specified visa type.
American Society for Microbiology, Postdoctoral Fellowships, ASM/CDC Program in Infectious Disease and Public Health Microbiology
January The ASM/CDC Fellowship supports postdocs for up to two years to perform research in residence headquartered at a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention location.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association, Call for Abstracts January The investigator-initiated grant program offers an annual postdoctoral fellowship award. Eligibility is limited to those who have been a fellow for one year or less. The maximum amount awarded is $50,000 per year for two years.
Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Grant Programs varies BWF is committed to supporting the early careers of promising scientists. Awards for Postdoctoral Fellows include Career Awards for Medical Scientists and Career Awards at the Scientific Interface.
California HIV/AIDS Research Program, Applicants July for letter of intent Basic Biomedial Sciences Postdoctoral Research Training Awards support training under a designated mentor/advisor in a basic biomedical field related to HIV/AIDS. Training award applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or hold a J1, H1-B, or other valid U.S. visa appropriate for study or conducting research.
Cancer Research Institute, Cancer Research Institute-Irvington Institute Fellowship Program April 1, October 1 Supports qualified young scientists at leading universities and research centers around the world who wish to receive training in cancer immunology or general immunology.
Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research, Postdoctoral Fellowship February 1 Supports full time postdoctoral research into the causes, origin, and treatment of cancer. Applicants in general should not have more than one year of postdoctoral experience.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Postdoctoral Research Fellowships second Wednesday in September Awards are offered to M.D.s, Ph.D.s, and M.D./Ph.D.s interested in conducting basic or clinical research related to cystic fibrosis. U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status is required.
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Fellowship Award March 15, August 15 The Foundation encourages all theoretical and experimental research relevant to the study of cancer and the search for cancer causes, mechanisms, therapies and prevention. Candidates who have already accepted a postdoctoral research fellowship award are not eligible.
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Postdoctoral Program in Environmental Chemistry August Provides an award to a principal investigator of $120,000 over two years to appoint a Postdoctoral Fellow in environmental chemistry.
Dystonia Foundation, Fellowships October for letter of intent A two-year fellowship of $50,000 per year is designed to assist post-doctoral fellows establish careers in research relevant to dystonia.
Earth Institute, Columbia University, Fellows Program November Provides the opportunity to build a foundation in one of the core disciplines represented within the Earth Institute (social sciences, earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences and health sciences), while acquiring the cross-disciplinary expertise and breadth needed to address critical issues related to sustainable development and reducing environmental degradation, poverty, hunger and disease.
Epilepsy Foundation of America, Grant and Fellowship Opportunities varies Offers several postdoctoral fellowships: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Behavioral Sciences Post-Doctoral Fellowship, and Research and Training Fellowship for Clinicians.
Fondation Fyssen, Post-doctoral Study Grants March Supports postdoctoral researchers under 35 years of age working in ethology, paleontology, archaeology, anthropology, psychology, epistemology, logic and the neurosciences, and other disciplines relevant to the foundation. The award funds work at a French laboratory.
FRAXA Research Foundation, Grants and Postdoctoral Fellowships February 1 Grants and fellowships aims to encourage research aimed at finding a specific treatment for fragile X syndrome. FRAXA will offer a limited number of postdoctoral fellowships this year at a fixed rate of $45,000 per year.
Grass Foundation, Grass Fellowships December Fellowships at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, support investigator-designed, independent research projects by scientists early in their career. Supported approaches include neurophysiology, biophysics, integrative neurobiology, neuroethology, neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology, systems neuroscience, cellular and developmental neurobiology,computational approaches to neural systems, and epilepsy-related research. Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and J-1 or H-1B visa holders.
Human Frontier Science Program, Funding August for fellowship initiation The HFSP supports innovative basic research into fundamental biological problems, with emphasis placed on novel approaches involving scientific exchanges across national and disciplinary boundaries. Long-Term Fellowships and Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships support postdoctoral research training in a laboratory in another country.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Information for Applicants July JDRF supports researchers interested in solving the clinical and scientific problems associated with type 1 diabetes. Funding opportunities include postdoctoral and advanced postdoctoral fellowships.
Lalor Foundation, Postdoctoral Fellowships January 15 Fellowships support basic research in mammalian reproductive biology as related to the regulation of fertility. Potential fellows should not have held the doctoral degree more than two years.
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Career Development Program September 15 for letter of intent Funding supports research on leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Program categories include Fellows (less than two years postdoctoral experience) and Special Fellows (two or more years postdoctoral experience).
Life Sciences Research Foundation, Postdoctoral Fellowship Program October 1 LSRF awards three-year fellowships across the spectrum of the life sciences: biochemistry; cell, developmental, molecular, plant, structural, organismic population and evolutionary biology; endocrinology; immunology; microbiology; neurobiology; physiology; virology. There can be no more than one LSRF fellow in any one laboratory at a time.
National Academies, Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships November Awards will be made to individuals who have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. Only U.S. citizens or nationals are eligible to apply.
National Hemophilia Foundation, Research Grants Program December for letter of intent The Judith Graham Pool Postdoctoral Research Fellowship supports basic science and pre-clinical research in bleeding disorders.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Funding August Training grants and fellowships include Postdoctoral Fellowships that support training in studies related to MS.
Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation September 1 Grants offered include fellowships for postdoctoral scientists, clinicians and engineers to encourage training and specialization in the field of spinal cord research. Postdoctoral individuals are eligible to apply within four years of receiving a Ph.D. or completing M.D. residency.
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation varies PhRMA Foundation grants support research and education related to drug discovery. Offers Postdoctoral Fellowships in several areas: Center for Adherence Improvement Young Investigator Grant Program, Pharmacology/Toxicology, Informatics, Pharmaceutics, and Health Outcomes.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Research Fellowship continuous Fellows will promote alternatives to animal research by reviewing animal models in diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, cardiovascular disease, or other fields. Fellows will work full-time in PCRM’s Washington, D.C., office for one year.
RAND Corporation , Postdoctoral Training Program in the Study of Aging February Supports junior scholars in demographic and aging research. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, UCOP, Call for Applications November for letter of intent TRDRP supports research on tobacco control and tobacco-related disease that is of highest priority and potential benefit to the State of California. Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards are for individuals to obtain research training under a designated mentor.
Tourette Syndrome Association, Research and Training Grants September for preproposal The TSA is requesting research grant proposals from Ph.D. and M.D. researchers in basic and clinical studies on all aspects of Tourette syndrome. Postdoctoral fellowships provide up to $40,000 for one year.
UNCF/Merck Science Initiative, UNCF/Merck Postdoctoral Science Research Fellowships December Fellowships are intended to provide support to African American post-graduates to obtain postdoctoral training or continue to conduct postdoctoral, pre-professional research projects. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, Research Fellowships July Supports early postdoctoral research training in all basic biomedical sciences. Fellowships may be awarded to U.S. citizens planning to work in laboratories either in the U.S., Canada, or abroad and also to foreign citizens for research in laboratories in the U.S. only.