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The Human Frontier Science Program Research Grants for Innovative Basic Researchers 2024

HFSP Research Grants support innovative basic research into fundamental biological problems with emphasis placed on novel and interdisciplinary approaches that involve scientific exchanges across national and disciplinary boundaries (see guidelines).

Participation of scientists from disciplines outside the traditional life sciences such as biophysics, chemistry, computational biology, computer science, engineering, mathematics, nanoscience or physics is recommended because such collaborations have opened up new approaches for understanding the complex structures and regulatory networks that characterize living organisms, their evolution and interactions.

Research grants are provided for teams of scientists from different countries who wish to combine their expertise in innovative approaches to questions that could not be answered by individual laboratories. Preliminary results are not required and applicants are expected to develop new lines of research through the research collaboration.

It is understood that such research inherently contains risks and HFSP expects that teams of applicants address the risks and outline mitigation strategies for their research in case of failure and how they intend to achieve their goals.

Applications for applied research, including medical research typically funded by national medical research bodies, will be deemed ineligible (see guidelines).

About Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP)

The Human Frontier Science Program is a program of funding for frontier research in the life sciences. It is implemented by the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) with its office in Strasbourg. Here you can find all you need to know about the HFSPO. Our Shared Values Supporting scientific excellence at the frontier of life science has been the overarching mission of HFSPO since its very first days. HFSPO takes pride in its distinct culture which contributes to scientific excellence, through high-risk high-gain research that is paradigm shifting, interdis... continue reading

Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP)


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HFSP Research Grants

Application Deadline19 Mar 2024
Value500,000 USD
Country to study
TypePhD
SponsorHuman Frontier Science Program (HFSP)
GenderMen and Women

Aim and Benefits of HFSP Research Grants

HFSP Research Grants are team grants providing financial support to the team for three years. The amount paid depends only on team composition. For details see the application guidelines.

  • The amount paid depends on the number of team members which normally should be 2 - 4.

  • The HFSP budget is determined in US dollars. While payments may be requested in another currency, the amount in that currency will be determined by the exchange rate against the US dollar at the time of each transfer and thus may vary from year to year. HFSP reserves the right to transfer funds in local currency.

    1. Awarded teams receive funds on an annual basis, the annual sum for the entire team is:

      • 300,000 USD for a team of 2;

      • 400,000 USD for a team of 3;

      • 500,000 USD for a team of 4 or more members.

    2. Two members from the same country have to clearly bring different disciplines to the project. They will be awarded an amount equivalent to 1.5 team members (currently 350,000 USD for a team of ‘2.5’ and 450,000 USD for ‘3.5’ team members).

    3. In the case of a two-member team with one member in a for-profit institution, the total annual award will be reduced to 150,000 USD. In other cases, the for-profit member will not be included when calculating the amount of the award.

  •  

  • Two members from the same country are acceptable if the team can convince the reviewers that both members are essential for the success of the project. They will be considered as 1.5 team members if they constitute an interdisciplinary collaboration, and will be awarded an amount equivalent to 1.5 team members.

  • In the case of a two-member team with one member in a for-profit institution, the annual award will be halved. In teams with more members, the team member in a for-profit research environment will not be included when calculating the amount of the award.

  • No detailed budget is required. The award is for costs specifically linked to the project. This includes salaries or stipends for research assistants (post-doctoral scientists, graduate students, technicians) essential for the new collaborative project.

  • No salary support (including summer salaries) can be paid from the grant for the Principal Applicant, Co-Applicant or other faculty, institutional staff such as secretaries or laboratory managers, and no student tuition fees can be paid.


Requirements for HFSP Research Grants Qualification

HFSP Research Grants support teams of independent leaders of research groups. Therefore applications from individual scientists or early career researchers carrying out their postdoctoral or PhD level projects are not eligible.

  • The Principal Applicant of a Research Grant must have a laboratory in a member country (with the exception of HFSP Career Development Awardees). The other team members and their laboratories may be situated anywhere in the world.

  • All team members are expected to direct a research group (however small) and must have a doctoral degree (PhD, MD or equivalent). They must be in a position to initiate and direct their own independent lines of research. The HFSP award is not intended to create scientific independence, this is a decision of the research institute prior to the application.

  • All team members must be able to determine the course of the HFSP-funded project and have freedom to administer the grant, if awarded.

  • Structure of the team. The research teams must be international (preferably intercontinental). Normally, there will be only one team member with a laboratory in each country, teams with two members at the same institution are not eligible.

  • Team members should not have collaborated before, they will normally not have published original research together, and the project must be significantly different from their ongoing research.

Research Grants – Early Career

  • All members of an Early Career grant team must be within 5 years of obtaining an independent position (see below) and must have obtained their first doctoral degree (PhD, MD or equivalent) not longer than 10 years before the deadline for submission of the letter of intent.

  • All applicants for an Early Career grant must be project leaders directing a research group (however small) and must have full responsibility for the day to day running of their laboratories and will have full control of the HFSP funds.

  • Written confirmation may be requested from the Head of Department in the case of an applicant who independently oversees a research theme.

Research Grants – Program

  •  While researchers can be at any stage in their independent career, participation of early career researchers is encouraged also in Program Grants.

Additional conditions regarding the institutional affiliations, the number of team members, the country of affiliation, internationality of the team, concurrent applications and new applications from previous grant awardees are given in the guidelines .

Interview date, Process and Venue for HFSP Research Grants

There is a single annual competition for Research Grant awards. Review of research grant applications is performed in two stages

1. Applicants must first submit a letter of intent via the HFSP website, with a deadline around the end of March/beginning of April. After review of the letters of intent, invitations are issued in early July to the teams selected to submit full applications.

2. Full proposals are then due around the middle of September, on invitation only.

Letters of intent

Projects will be pre-screened upon reception by a small scientific committee (three HFSP Scientific Directors and two members of the Review Committee) for the eligibility of the applicants and for concordance with the scientific scope. Any project that does not meet the requirements will not be sent for review, and the Principal Applicant will be informed as soon as possible.

The remaining letters of intent will be evaluated by the Review Committee. Review Committee members evaluate and score the applications following the criteria of novelty, interdisciplinarity as well as team integration. In a second step, a Selection Committee will take the decision which applicants are invited to submit a full proposal. Applicants will be notified early July 2024 whether they are invited to submit a full proposal, with a deadline mid-September 2024.

See HERE for members of the selection committee for the 2024 award round.

Full proposals

Each full proposal is reviewed by at least two members of the Review Committee and by expert reviewers solicited from the scientific community. Every effort is made to obtain at least three independent external reviews per application. The Review Committee members submit their evaluations to the HFSP Secretariat before the committee meets. The committee members are also asked to read all the applications before the meeting to ensure thorough discussion and all full proposals are discussed at the meeting. The same criteria that were applied for the Letters of Intent are used to evaluate the full proposals. About 30 of full proposals are successful.

The Research Grants - Early Career and Program are reviewed as two separate groups but the procedures are identical (see Peer Review Process).

The recommendations of the Review Committee must be approved by members of the Council of Scientists and the Board of Trustees before the awards are announced at the end of March.

 


Application Deadline

March 19, 2024


How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) on proposalcentral.com to apply

Applicants must submit a letter of intent to apply for a research grant via the HFSP application site with a deadline at the end of March, and after review, selected teams will be invited to submit a full proposal.

Link to create an accountProposalCentral

Step 1 : Letters of Intent

Deadlines

i. Compulsory initiation of a letter of Intent by obtaining an LOI ID number (1XXXXXX) by 19 March 2024 (updated for each cycle)

ii. Submission of Letters of Intent: 28 March 2024 (updated for each cycle)

Please read the guidelines and the document ‘Writing a letter of intent’ carefully to establish whether your project is clearly in tune with the requirements and emphasis of the research grant program.To apply for a grant, you must first submit a Letter of Intent online as described below. The main steps in applying are as follows:

1. The research team must designate one member as Principal Applicant, who will be responsible for final submission of the letter of intent. Note the requirement that the Principal Applicant must have his/her primary laboratory in a member country. See the guidelines (Item 3.2. “Principal Applicant”) for more detail.

2. In setting up the team, the Principal Applicant must ensure that no team member is a Principal Applicant or Co-Applicant on another proposal (see Item 3.7."Concurrent Applications" in the guidelines). Failure to ensure this will result in all those applications being withdrawn from the competition.

3. The Principal Applicant must obtain a 2025 application number, LOI ID, on the application site as early as possible, but by 19 March 2024 at latest. To this aim, the Principal Applicant will first have to set up an account (if not already in the HFSP database). This will give access to the online application form and further instructions concerning online submission (including the addition of the other team members). This applies even to Principal Applicants already listed in the HFSP database (e.g. those re-applying from last year). It is essential to obtain a 2025 reference number until 19 March. The composition of the team can be modified up to the final submission date.

4. All team members must be designated as co-applicants on the online form and all co-applicants must approve their participation by accessing the online form before the application can be completed and submitted. A brief explanation of the contributions of the different disciplinary expertise should be provided in the summary which will be used in guiding the review process.

5. The letter of intent must be submitted by 28 March 2024. No changes can be made to the letter of intent after final submission.

6. The Principal Applicant will be notified by mid-July if the team is invited to submit a full proposal. The deadline for the full proposal will be around mid - September 2024.

For more details visit: HFSP website.

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