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NSF Career (under construction for 2023)

The CAREER program offers one of NSF’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. As such, they are also highly competitive, and applicants are encouraged to start planning early. This proposal is unique in that it involves planning your career objectives and detailing how the award will contribute to your career development.

CAREER award deadlines are in July and are arranged by the NSF Directorate to which you are applying. More details about this are found in the program announcement.

NSF encourages submission of CAREER proposals from junior faculty members and especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and persons with disabilities to apply.

CAREER awards provide a minimum of $400,000-$500,000 (depending on the directorate) over 5 years. You will want to discuss maximum budget limits with your program officer.


To be eligible for submission, applicants must:

  • Hold a doctoral degree on the submission date
  • Be untenured on the submission date
  • Hold a tenure-track (or equivalent) position as of October 1 following submission
  • Be employed as an Assistant Professor (or equivalent) as of October 1 following submission
  • Have not competed more than two times previously in the CAREER program
  • Have not previously received an NSF CAREER or PECASE award

At the time of submission, applicants will self-certify for both CAREER and PECASE eligibility. Unless applicants properly complete the checklist, they will not be able to submit their proposal.

In order to be eligible for the PECASE award applicants must meet all CAREER eligibility requirements AND be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents who hold such status on or before their CAREER proposal submission deadline.


Each year NSF selects nominees for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from among the most meritorious recent CAREER awardees. Up to twenty nominees for this award are selected each year from among the PECASE-eligible CAREER awardees who are most likely to become the leaders of academic research and education in the twenty-first century. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy makes the final selection and announces awardees in the fall following receipt of the CAREER awards.

If you are eligible to submit a proposal, please see the links to the right and continue reading about:

  1. NSF Directorates and Program Areas
  2. Proposal Elements
  3. Merit Review Criteria
Last Updated: 1/26/23