Funding agency: 
National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine

The Gulf Research Program’s Early-Career Research Fellowship supports emerging scientific leaders as they take risks on research ideas not yet tested, pursue unique collaborations, and build a network of colleagues who share their interest in improving offshore energy system safety and the well-being of coastal communities and ecosystems.

Because the early years of a researcher’s career are a critical time, the relatively unrestricted funds and mentoring this fellowship provides help recipients navigate this period with independence, flexibility, and a built-in support network. Get to know the work of our current and past Early-Career Research Fellows.

What are the benefits of the fellowship?

An award of $76,000 is paid to each fellow’s institution in the form of a two-year grant. Potential fellows must ensure compliance with their institution’s requirements for applications for external funding. Funds cannot be used on institutional overhead or indirect charges. Detailed information can be found in the Early-Career Research Fellowship sample grant agreement for public and private institutions.

Research funding
$75,000 is available for the fellow to use for research-related expenses, including equipment purchases, professional travel, professional development courses, trainee support, salary, or any other costs directly related to the fellow’s research. The use of these funds for any other expenses requires pre-approval from the Gulf Research Program. 

Mentor honorarium
The remaining $1,000 of the award serves as an honorarium for a mentor. Applicants must identify a senior-level researcher at their affiliated institution willing to serve as a career mentor.

Additional funding
All fellows will attend a required orientation in Washington, D.C., in September 2019 and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference in February 2020. Travel expenses for these events will be covered by the Gulf Research Program; they are in addition to the $76,000 fellowship award.

Am I eligible?

Applicants must, at the time of application:

  • Hold a fully independent position as an investigator, faculty member, clinician scientist, or scientific team lead in industry or academia. Applicants must not receive tenure before September 1, 2019 if in a tenure track position. A postdoc is not considered a fully independent position.
  • Be early-career scientists who have received their eligible degree within the past 10 years (on or after September 1, 2009).
  • Hold an eligible degree (PhD, ScD, EngD, MD, DrPH, or DVM) in the social and behavioral sciences, health sciences and medicine, engineering and physical sciences, earth and life sciences, or interdisciplinary scientific fields relevant to a Gulf Research Program initiative.
  • Be affiliated with a non-federal U.S. institution that has a valid tax ID number.
  • Not be currently employed by the U.S. federal government. Full-time, paid, permanent federal employees are not eligible for the fellowship.
  • Have applied to the Early-Career Research Fellowship fewer than two times.
Fellows are selected based on a set of review criteriaFactors that contribute to an applicant’s likelihood for success include:
  • A strong scientific and technical background and superior scholarship.
  • Experience or demonstrated willingness to work in an interdisciplinary field or participate in interdisciplinary collaborations.
  • Effective verbal and written communication to both scientific and non-scientific audiences.
  • The initiative, creativity, organization, and interpersonal skills needed to help ensure projects, teams, or individuals accomplish their goals and achieve successful outcomes, whether small or large.
  • Experience or achievements outside of research such as community and civic engagement.
  • Membership in one or more groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the applicant’s scientific discipline.
  • Affiliation with primarily undergraduate or minority-serving institutions.
Deadline: 
February 20, 2019
Funding type: 
Faculty