Overview of NSF CAREER Program

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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.

2020 CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop in Arlington, VA

2018 NSF CAREER webinar slides

UI NSF CAREER Informational Sessions

In place of an in-person meeting, a Zoom session will be held Friday, April 10 from 10:30am-12pm to include the two panel sessions described below. A link to the session will be sent to registrants in advance of the meeting. 

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nsf-career-informational-session-tickets-96901734697

On Friday, April 17 from 10:00-10:45am, a second Zoom session lead by staff from the Research Development Office and the Division of Sponsored Programs will introduce applicants to on-campus resources, provide successful proposal examples, and share tips from the NSF. A link to the session will be sent to registrants in advance of the meeting.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nsf-career-informational-session-part-2-tic...

Current CAREER Awardee Panel

Greg LeFevre, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
David Martin, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Jan Wessel, Assistant Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences

CAREER Reviewer Panel

David Cwiertny, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Maggy Tomova, Professor, Mathematics
Edward Sander, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Sara Mason, Associate Professor, Chemistry

2020 NSF CAREER Solicitation

The National Science Foundation solicitation (NSF 20-525) for the 2020 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 27, 2020
Full Proposals to ENG are due July 27, 2020
Full Proposals to GEO, MPS, and SBE are due July 27, 2020


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.

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
Scott Baalrud, Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy
Edward Sander, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Ibrahim Ozbolat, Assistant Professor, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering
Scott Shaw, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Scott Daly, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Octav Chipara, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Michael Schnieders, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Jan Wessel, Assistant Professor, Psychology
Zubair Shafiq, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
David Martin, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Tianbao Yang, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Greg LeFevre, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering 


Gabriele Villarini, Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Tori Forbes, 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
Sara Mason, Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Additional programs for young investigators

General proposal preparation resources