Top American Research Universities (TARU)
Please note, if an award cannot be applied for, it is noted with an asterisk; if nomination is accepted only from a current member, it is noted with a +.
The following awards are considered to be Highly Prestigious:
The ACLS Fellowship Program invites research applications in all disciplines of the humanities and humanities-related social sciences. The ultimate goal of the project should be a major piece of scholarly work by the applicant. ACLS does not fund creative work (e.g., novels or films), textbooks, straightforward translation, or pedagogical projects.
Beckman Young Investigators:
The Beckman Young Investigator (BYI) Program is intended to provide research support to the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of academic careers in the chemical and life sciences particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science.
Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards:
Five-year $700,000 awards for physician-scientists bridge advanced postdoctoral/fellowship training and the early years of faculty service. Proposals must be in the area of basic biomedical, disease-oriented, translational, or molecular, genetic, or pharmacological epidemiology research.
The Cottrell Scholar Awards are designed for institutions and faculty members who are committed to excel at both teaching and research. These awards enable recipients to implement their plans to become outstanding scientists and educators as well as tomorrow's academic and scientific leaders. The awards also seek to reinforce faculty mentoring, communication, and a heightened appreciation for instruction in university science departments.
The Cottrell Scholars program owes its origins to RCSA's concern with the separation of teaching and research in universities. Rather than being communities of scholar-educators, universities are perceived as collections of specialists. We seek to reinforce the growing awareness that these two functions are complementary rather than wholly or partially exclusive. A key objective of the program is to build a community of outstanding scholar-educators who are dedicated to becoming leaders in both research and teaching. As such, participation in the annual Cottrell Scholar Conference, which seeks to promote community amongst Cottrell Scholars, is an important part of the program.
Getty Scholars in Residence:
Getty Scholar and Visiting Scholar Grants provide a unique research experience. Recipients are in residence at the Getty Research Institute where they pursue their own projects free from academic obligations, make use of Getty collections, join their colleagues in a weekly meeting devoted to an annual theme and participate in the intellectual life of the Getty. These grants are for established scholars, artists, or writers who have attained distinction in their fields. Applications are welcome from researchers of all nationalities who are working in the arts, humanities, or social sciences.
Often characterized as "midcareer" awards, Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators:
During periodic, open competitions, the Institute solicits applications from researchers at universities, medical schools, and other research institutions across the United States, with the aim of identifying individuals who have the potential to make significant contributions to science. Once selected, they continue to be based at their institutions—called “host institutions”—typically leading a research group of 10–25 students, postdoctoral associates, and technicians. Because HHMI is classified as a medical research organization under the Internal Revenue Code,
HHMI investigators and some of their laboratory personnel are Institute employees, supported by local field offices throughout the country. Appointment is for a five-year term, which may be renewed after an exacting review process.
Lasker Medical Research Awards:
The Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award honors scientists whose fundamental investigations have provided techniques, information, or concepts contributing to the elimination of major causes of disability and death.
The Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award honors investigators whose contributions have improved the clinical treatment of patients.
MacArthur Foundation Fellows:*
The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work. The MacArthur Fellows Program is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Awards:
The Distinguished Achievement Awards have two objectives: to enable notable scholars in the humanities to pursue their work under especially favorable conditions and to underscore the decisive contributions the humanities make to the nation’s intellectual life.
The awards are intended for those who have made major contributions to their own disciplines, whose influence may well have extended more broadly to other fields, and whose current work promises to make significant new advances through both teaching and research. Amounting to as much as $1.5 million each, the awards will provide the recipients and their institutions with enlarged opportunities to deepen and extend humanistic research. As such, they should benefit not only the individual scholar, but also their institutions and scholarship more broadly.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellows:
Fellowships support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources. Fellowships support continuous full-time work for a period of six to twelve months.
National Humanities Center Fellows:
The National Humanities Center offers 40 residential fellowships for advanced study in the humanities during the academic year.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Merit (R37):*
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Awards are offered to a limited number of investigators who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity during their previous research endeavors and who are likely to continue to perform in an outstanding manner in the future.
The MERIT Award provides long-term, stable support to investigators whose research competence and productivity are distinctly superior and who are likely to continue to perform in an outstanding manner. It is intended to foster their continued creativity and lessen the administrative burdens associated with the preparation and submission of research grant applications.
National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology:
The National Medal of Science was established by the 86th Congress in 1959 as a Presidential Award to be given to individuals "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences." In 1980 Congress expanded this recognition to include the social and behavioral sciences.
The National Medal of Technology and Innovation (formerly known as the National Medal of Technology) is the highest honor for technological achievement bestowed by the President of the United States on America's leading innovators. The purpose of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation is to recognize those who have made lasting contributions to America's competitiveness, standard of living, and quality of life through technological innovation, and to recognize those who have made substantial contributions to strengthening the Nation's technological workforce. By highlighting the national importance of technological innovation, the Medal also seeks to inspire future generations of Americans to prepare for and pursue technical careers to keep America at the forefront of global technology and economic leadership.
Newberry Library Long-term Fellows:
Long-term fellowships are available to post-doctoral scholars for periods of six to eleven months. These grants support individual research and promote serious intellectual exchange through active participation in the Library's scholarly activities, including a biweekly fellows' seminar.
Pew Scholars in Biomedicine:
The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding individuals who are in their first few years of their appointment at the assistant professor level.
Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE):*
Each year NSF selects nominees for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from among the most meritorious new CAREER awardees. Selection for this award is based on two important criteria: 1) innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology that is relevant to the mission of the sponsoring organization or agency, and 2) community service demonstrated through scientific leadership, education or community outreach. These awards foster innovative developments in science and technology, increase awareness of careers in science and engineering, give recognition to the scientific missions of the participating agencies, enhance connections between fundamental research and national goals, and highlight the importance of science and technology for the Nation’s future. Individuals cannot apply for PECASE. These awards are initiated by the participating federal agencies. At NSF, 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 announcement of the awardees.
Robert Wood Johnson Policy Fellows:
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows program provides the nation's most comprehensive experience at the nexus of health science, policy and politics in Washington D.C. The fellowship is an outstanding opportunity for exceptional midcareer health professionals and behavioral and social scientists with an interest in health and health care policy. Fellows experience and participate in the policy process at the federal level and use that leadership experience to improve health, health care and health policy.
The Searle Scholars Program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding individuals who have recently begun their first appointment at the assistant professor level, and whose appointment is a tenure-track position.
Sloan Research Fellows:
The purpose of fellowship is to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. Selection procedures are designed to identify those who show the most outstanding promise of making fundamental contributions to new knowledge. Sloan Research Fellows, once chosen, are free to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are of the most compelling interest to them. Their Sloan funds can be applied to a wide variety of uses for which other, more restricted funds such as research project grants cannot usually be employed.
Woodrow Wilson Fellows:
The Woodrow Wilson Fellows and Scholars Program supports research in the social sciences and humanities. Men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds, including government, the non-profit sector, the corporate world, and the professions, as well as academia, are eligible for appointment. Through an international competition, it offers 9-month residential fellowships to academics, public officials, journalists, and business professionals. Fellows conduct research and write in their areas of interest, while interacting with policymakers in Washington and Wilson Center staff.
The following awards are considered to be Prestigious:
Fulbright American Scholars:
The core Fulbright Scholar Program sends 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year. Grantees lecture and conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields.
NSF CAREER Awards:
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.