Career Awards at the Scientific Interface

FAQs - Eligibility (Full Application)

Can I change my mentor or institution now that I have been invited to submit a full application?

Invitations to submit a full application are based on the information submitted in the preproposal.  The training environment is an important part of this consideration and therefore cannot be changed. If you moved to a new institution after submitting the preproposal, you will not be eligible to submit a full application.

Do I need to be nominated by my institution to submit a full application?

You do not need to be nominated, but you do need to obtain approval from your institution. All full applications must be approved by an official responsible for sponsored programs at the institution where the work will be performed during the postdoc period of the grant (generally from the institution’s grants and contracts office, office of research, or sponsored programs office). Institutional approval is indicated by the Institutional Certification Form which must be uploaded as an attachment to your on-line application.

Can I contact BWF staff with questions?

It is the responsibility of applicants to read the published guidelines and FAQs. BWF staff will do their best to respond to every inquiry, but will prioritize those questions that are not already clearly addressed in the published guidelines. Please do not contact BWF to ask if we can make an exception to clearly stated guidelines.

Which Ph.D. fields are eligible?

Candidates must hold a Ph.D. degree in one of the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, statistics, or engineering. This includes related areas of physical and computational science. Exceptions will be made only if the applicant can demonstrate significant expertise in one of these areas, evidenced by publications or advanced course work.

I have an engineering degree/background? Am I eligible for this program?

Yes – as long as you meet all other eligibility requirements.

I hold an M.D.  Am I eligible?

Possibly.  If you hold both an M.D. and a Ph.D., and your Ph.D. is in one of the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, statistics, or engineering, you are eligible. This includes related areas of physical and computational science. Exceptions will be made only if the applicant can demonstrate significant expertise in one of these areas, evidenced by publications or advanced course work.  In addition, you cannot have spent more than 48 months in postdoctoral research since receipt of your Ph.D.  If you hold an M.D. without also holding a Ph.D., you are not eligible, but you may want to consider applying to BWF’s Career Awards for Medical Scientists.

Can I send my CV/biosketch to BWF to determine eligibility?

Due to the high volume of inquiries, BWF cannot evaluate candidate CVs/biosketches. Please read the guidelines and FAQs carefully before contacting BWF. If your situation is not addressed in the guidelines or FAQs, you may contact us for clarification.

My work experience since receiving my Ph.D. exceeds the 48-month limit. However, my work has not always been as a postdoc. At present, I am working in a postdoctoral position. Am I eligible?

If your entire work experience since receiving your Ph.D. has been in any scientific field (including outside academia) and exceeds 48 months, you would not be eligible. However, if part of your work experience was not in a science field, and your scientific work experience doesn’t exceed 48 months, you are eligible. 

I’m a U.S. temporary resident. Am I eligible for the award?

Possibly. If you are a temporary U.S. resident and you hold a valid U.S. visa that allows you to remain in the U.S. during the postdoctoral period of the grant, you are eligible. If a grant is awarded and your visa does not allow for such a stay, BWF may terminate the grant. BWF will not intercede on behalf of non-citizens whose stay in the U.S. may be limited by their visa status. Your institution must verify your immigration status as part of your full application.

I am a temporary resident of Canada. Am I eligible?

No.

I have applied for permanent residency in the United States, and I have not received my green card; or I hold a J-1 Visa. Am I eligible for the award?

Possibly. If you are a temporary U.S. resident and you hold a valid U.S. visa that allows you to remain in the U.S. during the postdoctoral period of the grant, you are eligible. If a grant is awarded and your visa does not allow for such a stay, BWF may terminate the grant. BWF will not intercede on behalf of non-citizens whose stay in the U.S. may be limited by their visa status. Your institution must verify your immigration status as part of your full application.

I am a postdoc at an independent research institute. Am I eligible for a career award?

Possibly.  You are eligible if (1) your research institute is a non-profit institution (501(c)(3) or equivalent) in the U.S. or Canada, and (2) your postdoctoral mentor holds an appointment at an accredited, degree-granting institution in the U.S. or Canada. 

The eligibility requirements mention that a candidate must be based at a non-profit institution [501(c)(3) or equivalent] in the U.S. or Canada. What is a 501(c)(3)?

According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, a 501(c)(3) organization is an American tax-exempt, nonprofit organization.  Almost all degree-granting institutions are classified as such, as are most research institutes.  You will need to check with your institutional officials, usually called the grants and contracts office or the sponsored programs office, etc., to confirm your institution’s classification. BWF cannot make this determination for you.

My title is not "postdoctoral fellow".   Am I eligible for the award?

Possibly.  You are eligible if (1) you have at least 12 months, but not more than 48 months of postdoctoral research experience, including time as, for example, an instructor, research associate, or non-tenure track research faculty, and (2) you meet all other eligibility requirements.

What if I plan to start a faculty position after the preproposal deadline and before the award begins?

This award cannot be made to a tenure-track faculty member, because it is a transition award. If you are planning to start a faculty position before the award begins you are not eligible.  If you currently hold or have accepted, either verbally or in writing, a tenure-track faculty appointment, you are not eligible

My Ph.D. is in biochemistry/biophysics/biology/cell biology/etc. Am I eligible?

Possibly. The Career Awards at the Scientific Interface program is designed to support those working in biology with backgrounds in the physical/mathematical/computational sciences. If you can show evidence of significant accomplishment or competence in one of those areas (i.e., papers published, advanced coursework, or undergraduate major), and if your proposal draws on that background, you are eligible. You will need to make a case that your work is truly interdisciplinary, and making use of non-biological approaches.

My Ph.D. is in chemistry. Am I eligible?

Yes, as long as you meet the other eligibility criteria, and can demonstrate that your work is truly interdisciplinary.

I hold, or have accepted, a NIH K99 award.  Am I eligible?

No.

I have applied to the NIH K99 program, but the awards have not been selected. Am I eligible to continue with the full application process?

Yes. However, awardees cannot receive funding simultaneously from both a K99 and a CASI award. 

Do I need a commitment from a university for a faculty appointment to be eligible for this award?

No.  The purpose of the award is to help postdoctoral scientists obtain a faculty appointment at an institution of the choosing.  Candidates may be applying for faculty positions at the same time of application, but if you currently hold or have accepted, either verbally or in writing, a tenure-track faculty appointment, you are not eligible.

I am based at a North American non-profit institution, but my postdoctoral mentor doesn’t hold a faculty appointment at an accredited, degree-granting North American institution. Am I eligible?

No.  An eligible candidate’s postdoctoral mentor must hold a faculty appointment at an accredited, degree-granting North American institution.

My postdoctoral mentor holds a faculty appointment at an accredited, degree-granting North American institution, but I am not based at a non-profit North American institution. Am I eligible?

Possibly. You are eligible only if you are a postdoctoral researcher at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and meet all other eligibility requirements.  The NIH will support these award recipients during the postdoctoral years, and BWF will support them for the faculty portion of the award only.

I have not yet decided whether I will pursue a full-time career in research as an independent investigator at a North American degree-granting institution. Am I eligible?

No.  Candidates must be committed to a full-time career in research as an independent investigator at a North American degree-granting institution and devote at least 80% of their time to research-related activities.

I have publications from my graduate (and undergraduate) studies, but I am not a first-author on any of them.  Am I eligible?

No.  You must have at least one first-author publication to be eligible.  This includes papers on which "first authorship" is shared.

I have submitted a first-author manuscript from my graduate (or undergraduate) studies, but it has not yet been published.  Am I eligible?

Possibly.  If the manuscript is accepted for publication or in press, you are eligible – otherwise you are not eligible.