Postdoctoral Funding Opportunities

The following list might be useful to newly appointed postdoctoral fellows why seek independent funding sources.
Please note that this page has not been updated since 2012. The listed deadlines and other information should be verified directly with the granting agencies.


To search projects and abstracts of other funded grants:

Funding for USA citizen/permanent residents

NIH: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows (F32)

NSF: Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology

American Cancer Society

The Hertz Foundation

Travel Awards for FASEB Summer Research Conferences

PKD Foundation

  • For research in Polycystic Kidney Disease
  • Due to continuing financial constraints, the PKD Foundation will not release any RFAs for grant and fellowship applications this spring. The second year of all current awards will be funded.

L’Oréal USA Fellowships for Women in Science Program

Funding with no nationality restrictions

Helen Hay Whitney Foundation

  • Supports early postdoctoral research training in all basic biomedical sciences. Candidates must be living in North America in order to be eligible. United States citizenship is not a requirement, but fellowships to resident non-citizens are awarded only for training in this country. Citizens may train abroad.
  • Deadline: July 16

Jane Coffin Childs Foundation

  • Fellowships for postdocs with less than 1 year experience for Cancer research in the US.
  • Deadline: February 1

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

  • For cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, structural biology. Two types of fellowships for foreign nationals: International Program for foreign nationals from Canada, Latin America and Eastern Europe to work in home country. General Fellowship program to work at participating university in the US.

Human Frontier Science Program

Life Sciences Research Foundation

  • Three-year fellowships will be awarded on a competitive basis to graduates of medical and graduate schools in the biological sciences holding M.D., Ph.D., D.V.M. or D.D.S. degrees. All U.S. citizens are eligible to apply with no geographic restriction on the laboratory of their choice. Foreign applicants will be eligible for study in U.S. laboratories.

Medical Foundation (Massachusetts residents only)

  • Charles A. King Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
  • Must have a PhD, MD, or equivalent degree, for the preparation of postdoctoral fellows for academic careers as independent investigators.
  • Awards are for two years.
  • Deadline: December 14

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (Cancer

Burroughs Wellcome Fund

American Institute for Cancer Research

Funding for European citizens

European Science Foundation

  • For Europeans to study abroad in Medical Sciences, Physical and Engineering Sciences, and Life, Environmental and Earth Sciences. Especially for toxicology and environmental sciences.

DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst)

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

European Molecular Biology Organization

  • Long Term Fellowships for 2 year stays: Applicants must have at least one first author publication in press or published in an international peer reviewed journal at the time of application. All applications must involve movement between countries. The laboratory of origin or the receiving institute or the applicant’s nationality must be from one of the EMBC Member States.
  • Deadlines: February 15, August 15
  • Short Term Fellowships: Applicants can be scientists with less than ten years of professional experience since finishing their PhD degree. Applicants can be pre-doctoral scientists who have not yet completed a PhD degree (or equivalent). Candidates with little research experience have a lower priority. All applications must involve either a laboratory of origin or a receiving institute from one of the EMBC Member States.
  • Deadline: Open all year

Short-term and travel fellowships

Company of Biologists Ltd.

  • Deadline: April 30, August 31, December 31
  • The Company of Biologists' three international journals (Development, Journal of Cell Science and The Journal of Experimental Biology) offer fellowships of up to $4,000 to graduate students and post-docs wishing to make collaborative visits to laboratories in other countries. These are designed to cover the cost of travel and other expenses.

Human Frontier Science Program, Short-Term Fellowships

  • Deadline: Open all year
  • Short-term Fellowships enable basic researchers focusing on complex mechanisms of living organisms to move into new areas by learning state-of-the-art techniques in use abroad or by establishing new research collaborations. These fellowships can last from two weeks to three months in a foreign country.

Australian Academy of Science, Lemberg Traveling Fellowship

  • Deadline: August 31
  • The purpose of the Fellowship is to enable either Australian or overseas scientists of standing to visit Australian scientific centers and to deliver lectures. The Lemberg Fellow may be drawn from any field of biology but special consideration will be given to biochemistry, conservation and Australian flora.

NSF: International Research and Education

  • Deadline for Workshops: Second Tuesday in September
  • International Planning Visit/Workshop Awards support the early phases of planning, developing, and coordinating a research and education activity in science or engineering with foreign partners. Support is primarily for travel and subsistence expenses.

Council for International Exchange of Scholars, Fulbright Scholar Programs

  • Deadline: February 1
  • Fulbright Scholar Programs offer faculty, administrators, and professionals grants to lecture, do research or participate in seminars.

International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), Short-Term Travel Grants

  • Deadline: November 16
  • Provides fellowships for up to eight weeks to U.S. postdoctoral scholars and holders of other graduate degrees for independent or collaborative research projects in Europe and Eurasia. Research should make a substantive contribution to knowledge of the contemporary political, economic, historical, or cultural developments in the region and be relevant to U.S. foreign policy.

Please note: If you receive funding from abroad you will not be issued an American social security number (tax ID). Although this does not have immediate consequences it will prevent you from accumulating a credit history in the US. A good credit history is required when you apply for a credit card, car loan or cell phone contract, for example. If you think that you will need a social security number while working in the US with a foreign salary, please let us know when you start your position in the lab.