FY2019 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is interested in receiving proposals for its Young Investigator Program (YIP).

ONR's Young Investigator Program (YIP) seeks to identify and support academic scientists and engineers who are in their first or second full-time tenure-track or tenure-track-equivalent

academic appointment, who have received their PhD or equivalent degree on or after 01 January 2011, and who show exceptional promise for doing creative research.

The objectives of this program are to attract outstanding faculty members of Institutions of Higher Education (hereafter also called "universities") to the Department of the Navy's Science and Technology (S&T) research program, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers.

Individuals who are holding non-profit equivalent positions are encouraged to apply.

Proposals addressing research areas (as described in the ONR Science and Technology Department section of ONR's website at www.onr.navy.mil) which are of interest to ONR program officers will be considered.

Contact information for each division (a subgroup of an S&T Department) is also listed within the S&T section of the website.

Applicants are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to contact the appropriate Program Officer who is the point of contact for a specific technical area to discuss their research ideas.

A list of most Program Officers and their contact information can be found at:
http://www.onr.navy.mil/en/Science-Technology/Contacts.aspx or at:

Brief informal pre-proposals may be submitted to facilitate these discussions but are not required.

Such discussions can clarify the content and breadth of the priority research areas and enhance the match between a subsequent proposal and Department of the Navy research needs.

Please allow adequate time for such discussions with the ONR Program Officer.

An individual wishing to apply for the Young Investigator Program must submit a research proposal and at least one letter of support through the appropriate university officials.

Refer to Section II.


1. “Evaluation Criteria” regarding the importance of the letter(s) of support in the overall evaluation criteria and Section II.


“Application and Submission Information” regarding its content.

Applications received without at least one letter of support will be considered incomplete and will not be considered for award.

The research proposal should follow the format described in FOA Section II.


“Application and Submission Information.” Applicants may request up to $500,000 for 24-months with an option for up to $250,000 for an additional 12-months.

These funds may be budgeted against any reasonable costs related to conducting the proposed research, for example, salary for the investigator, graduate student support, supplies, and applicable indirect cost.

Upon completion of the award period, individuals may apply for continued support under ONR's Long Range BAA.

Decisions about continued funding outside the context of the YIP will be made following a review of the new proposal by the appropriate Program Officer based on the merits of the proposal, ONR's research priorities, and the creativity and productivity exhibited during the previous investigator’s research program.

The ONR Young Investigator Program is highly competitive with typically less than 10 percent of applicants receiving awards.

In 2018 more than 340 proposals were submitted resulting in 32 awards.

Past awardees have submitted outstanding research proposals and possessed outstanding records of prior professional accomplishments.

Given that "past performance" is a selection criterion, applicants are advised that the biographical information submitted as part of the proposal (see "Qualifications" under "Proposal Content,” below) should list all relevant past and present activities.

See Section II.


1. “Evaluation Criteria” for more details regarding evaluation of submitted proposals.

A proposal not selected for the Young Investigator Program may still be considered for an ONR grant award.

The proposal would be in competition with all other research proposals submitted in response to ONR solicitations.

Historically, only a limited number of proposals initially submitted to the YIP FOA have been awarded other funds.

The YIP is not a "research initiation" opportunity with standards that are less demanding than ONR's other research grant programs; instead, it is intended to confer honor upon awardees beyond the funding being provided.

Consideration of any YIP proposal to another ONR research grant program is at the discretion of the program officer.

Related Programs

Basic and Applied Scientific Research

Department Of Defense

Agency: Department of Defense

Office: Office of Naval Research

Estimated Funding: $102,211

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Additional Information of Eligibility:
Awards under this FOA will be made only to U. S. Institutions of Higher Education which award degrees in science, engineering, or mathematics.

U. S. Non-profit organizations operating primarily for scientific and educational services may also submit proposals.

The Principal Investigator of a proposal must be a U. S. citizen, national, or permanent resident (on the date proposals are due), holding a first or second full-time tenure-track or tenure-track-equivalent faculty position at that university, and has received his/her PhD or equivalent degree on or after 01 January 2011.

The term "national" of the United States includes a native resident of a possession of the United States, such as American Samoa.

The term “tenure-track-equivalent” is explained on the ONR website: https://www.onr.navy.mil/Science-Technology/Directorates/office-research-discovery-invention/Sponsored-Research/YIP/tenure-track-equivalent

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