Overview of NSF CAREER Program

NSF logo
The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from junior faculty members at all CAREER-eligible organizations and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.

UI NSF CAREER Informational Sessions

Planning and Writing Successful NSF CAREER Proposals

The Research Development Office, CLAS Grant Support Office, and College of Engineering are hosting a 4-part virtual NSF CAREER Award grant writing seminar, Planning and Writing Successful NSF CAREER Proposals that will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2021 and Friday January 7, 14, 21, 2022 from 9am-11am (8 total hours). The seminar is presented by Dr. Peg AtKisson (AtKisson Training Group).

Broader Impacts/Research Impacts Seminars

The Training Team from the NSF-supported Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS) organization will conduct five interactive virtual workshops on Friday February 11, 25; March 11, 25; and April 8 from 9am-11am. Sessions include: BI 101; Broadening Participation; NSF CAREER; BI Partners; BI Identity; and Evaluating BI.

Register here for one or all sessions

NSF CAREER Current Awardee Panel Session

The Research Development Office is presenting a NSF CAREER Current Awardee Panel Discussion/Q&A session on Friday, April 15, 2022 from 10am-11am. This panel session will provide an opportunity to hear from three accomplished NSF CAREER award recipients regarding their experience with the application process, need-to-know information, plus much more.

Allison Jaynes, Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy
Garrett Morris, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Jan Wessel, Associate Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences and Neurology

View the webpage for additional information. Register here to receive the Zoom link and submit questions ahead of time.


The NSF CAREER Club is designed to give you the knowledge and resources to craft competitive CAREER applications. Club participants will take part in events and services including editing, graphic design, and review services.

See the webpage for additional information.

2022 NSF CAREER Solicitation

The National Science Foundation solicitation (NSF 20-525) for the 2022 cycle of its Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) competition provides specific details about the program. Although most information and requirements remain the same as in past years, investigators should take note of the following:

Submission Deadlines

Full Proposals to BIO, CISE, and EHR are due July 25, 2022
Full Proposals to ENG are due July 25, 2022
Full Proposals to GEO, MPS, and SBE are due July 25, 2022


Frequently asked questions about the CAREER Program for submission years 2020-2025

Sample proposals

Examples of successful CAREER proposals from UI faculty (shared with permission). UI HawkID and password are required to view these documents.

List of all awards made through this program, with abstracts

Grant Proposal, by Brian Taylor for The Chronicle

Review process

Merit Review Criteria, effective January 14, 2013

Why you should volunteer to serve as an NSF reviewer

Don't Underestimate NSF's New Grant-Submission Rules,
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Tips from successful applicants

CAREER Proposal Writing Tips

Writing CAREER proposals: Reviewer perspectives, Johna Leddy, NSF CAREER reviewer

5 Recommendations for CAREER proposals, Greg Howes, 2011 CAREER awardee

Presentations at NSF's CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop, March 2013

Who can help?

In addition to the grants personnel in your department and college, the following individuals in central administration are good contacts if you are thinking about applying for a NSF CAREER award.

Jeanne Towell, Sponsored Research Specialist
Division of Sponsored Programs

Deidra Slough, Sponsored Research Specialist
Division of Sponsored Programs

Britt Ryan, Research Development Coordinator
Research Development Office

University of Iowa CAREER awardees

Bradley Cramer, Associate Professor, Earth & Environmental Sciences
Scott Shaw, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Scott Daly, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Octav Chipara, Associate Professor, Computer Science
Michael Schnieders, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Jan Wessel, Associate Professor, Psychological & Brain Sciences
David Martin, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Tianbao Yang, Associate Professor, Computer Science
Greg LeFevre, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Allison Jaynes, Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy
Garrett Morris, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Kyle Rector, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
James Shepherd, Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Gabriele Villarini, Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Tori Forbes, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Raghuraman Mudumbai, Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
David Cwiertny, Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Maggy Tomova, Professor, Mathematics
Greg Howes, Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy
Ernesto Fuentes, Associate Professor, Biochemistry
Xiaodong Wu, Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Sara Mason, Associate Professor, Chemistry
Scott Baalrud, Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy
Edward Sander, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Additional programs for young investigators

General proposal preparation resources