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.


2019 CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop in Washington, DC.

2018 NSF CAREER webinar slides

UI NSF CAREER Informational Session

The session will be offered on Friday, April 19, 10:00am-12:00pm in W401 Pappajohn Business Building, and will feature two panels of successful CAREER awardees and former NSF reviewers. The panelists will share their perspectives and take questions from the audience. The session will also introduce applicants to on-campus resources, provide successful proposal examples, and share tips from the NSF. 

Please register for the informational session here.

2017-2019 NSF CAREER Solicitation

The National Science Foundation solicitation (NSF 17-537) for the 2017-2019 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 17, 2019
Full Proposals to ENG are due July 18, 2019
Full Proposals to GEO, MPS, and SBE are due July 19, 2019


Frequently asked questions about the CAREER Program for submission years 2017-2019


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

Video: NSF Revised Merit Review Criteria (59:58)


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.

Dave Myers, Research Support Specialist
Division of Sponsored Programs

Britt Ryan, Research Development Coordinator
Research Development Office


University of Iowa CAREER awardees


Bradley Cramer, Assistant Professor, Earth & Environmental Sciences
Catherine Musselman, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry
Scott Baalrud, Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy
Edward Sander, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Tori Forbes, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Ibrahim Ozbolat, Assistant Professor, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Gabriele Villarini, Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Sara Mason, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Scott Shaw, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Scott Daly, Assistant Professor, Chemistry


Raghuraman Mudumbai, Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
David Cwiertney, Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Maggy Tomova, Associate Professor, Mathematics
Jan-Uwe Rohde, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Greg Howes, Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy
Ernesto Fuentes, Associate Professor, Biochemistry
Xiaodong Wu, Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Additional programs for young investigators

General proposal preparation resources