Career Awards for Medical Scientists

Application Deadline:

Oct 08, 2024





Now Accepting Applications

Eligibility & Application Process:

For a full explanation of the eligibility requirements, view the Request for Proposals here.

Request for Proposals

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be nominated by my institution to apply?
No, you do not need to be nominated, but you do need to obtain approval from your degree-granting institution.   Since August 2015, eligible candidates may now self-nominate by submitting a full proposal by the deadline.  All applications must be approved by an official at the degree-granting institution responsible for sponsored programs (generally from grants and contracts office, office of research, or sponsored programs office).

Can I contact BWF to determine my eligibility?
It is the responsibility of applicants to read the published guidelines and FAQs to determine eligibility before contacting BWF staff. If your questions or a unique training path or experiences that are not fully addressed, you may contact the program staff for guidance.

The FAQs are updated regularly in response to questions received. 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. 

I hold a Ph.D. degree only.  Am I eligible to apply to the CAMS program?
No. However, if your background is in the physical/mathematical/computational sciences or engineering and your work addresses biological questions, you may want to consider applying to BWF’s Career Awards at the Scientific Interface.

I hold a Pharm.D. or Pharm.D, Ph.D. degree.  Am I eligible to apply to the CAMS program?

Is the 75 percent time devoted to research a firm policy?
Yes. Programs and department chairs need to provide adequate protection for the candidate to conduct research.

If I have an NIH K08, K12, K21, or K23 award, am I eligible for the award?

If I have an NIH K99/R00 or Early Independence award, am I eligible for the award?

I have applied to the NIH K99 and or NIH DP5 programs, but the awards have not been selected. Can I apply to the BWF CAMS program?
Yes. However, awardees cannot receive funding simultaneously from both a K99 or DP5 and a CAMS award.

My title is instructor, clinical lecturer, or assistant professor, non-tenure track. Am I eligible for the award?
Yes, if your junior faculty appointment is non-tenure track, and you meet all other eligibility criteria you are eligible.

How much is considered a “substantial” startup for a non-tenure track package? If you are interested in applying and receiving a research startup package along with your non-tenure track offer, please share your offer letter & package details with the program officer for further review.

May I have a co-investigator on this proposal?

No.  The CAMS grant program does not allow co-investigators.

I have publications from my graduate (and undergraduate) studies, but I am not the first author of any of them.  Am I eligible to apply?
No.  You must have at least one first-author publication in order to be competitive and eligible to apply for this program.  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 to apply?
Possibly.  If the manuscript is accepted for publication or in press, you are eligible to apply – otherwise, you are not eligible. BioRxiv pre-prints can be included.

I may be changing institutions to complete additional postdoc training after I’ve submitted a proposal. Can I still submit a proposal?
No.  Invitations to finalists are based on the information submitted in the proposal. The training environment (mentor and institution) is an important part of this consideration, and therefore cannot be changed after submitting the proposal. Thus, if you move to a new institution after submitting the proposal, you will not be able to interview, even if invited to do so.

I have two postdoctoral mentors. Can I submit two recommendation letters?
Only one recommendation letter may be submitted with your proposal application. This letter should be from the person designated as your primary postdoctoral mentor or faculty sponsor in the application. However, if both mentors wish to write and sign one letter, that is acceptable.

What if I am planning to start a tenure-track faculty position after the application deadline and before the interview?
This award cannot be made to a tenure-track faculty member because it is a transition award. If you are planning to start a tenure-track position before the award begins you are not eligible to apply.

Do I need a commitment from a university for a faculty appointment to apply for this award?
No. The purpose of the award is to help postdoctoral scientists obtain a faculty appointment at a degree-granting institution of their 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 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. Can I apply to this program?

My field is health services research and policy. Am I eligible for the award?
No. The award is only for individuals in basic biomedical, disease-oriented, or translational research.

Is the BWF application deadline firm?

Can I submit a paper application?
No. BWF requires that all applications for this program be submitted electronically by the application deadline. Paper applications will not be accepted.

Can I submit more than one application?

Can I change my application once submitted?
No.  Once your application is submitted, it cannot be changed.

Can support letters be sent separately outside the grant application?
No. All support letters must be uploaded and attached to your application and submitted electronically by the application deadline.  Faxed letters will not be accepted.

To whom should my letters of recommendation be addressed?
Letters of recommendation should be addressed to the CAMS Advisory Committee and must be uploaded and attached to your application and submitted electronically by the application deadline. Faxed letters will not be accepted.

What is a “signature block”?
A signature block is found at the end of a letter and includes the letter writer’s name, title(s), department(s), and institution. It is usually found just after the closing of the letter (e.g., just after the word ‘Sincerely,’ or ‘Yours truly,’) and just under the letter writer’s signature. Here is an example of a signature block:

Jane Smith, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair and Professor, Department of Medicine
ABC University

If I attach a bibliography to my research plan, does it count toward the six-page maximum?
No. Also, glossaries of technical abbreviations and terms are acceptable and encouraged if they clarify the proposal to the general reader and do not count toward the page limit.

What about figures, tables, graphs, diagrams, and pictures included in my research plan? Are they included in the six-page limit or can they be included separately?
All figures, tables, graphs, diagrams, pictures, etc., included in your research plan count toward the six-page limit.

I would like to include additional materials as appendices to the application.  Is this allowed?
No.  You may not include materials beyond those requested by the application instructions.  Including additional materials may disqualify you from the competition.

Do I need to submit a proposed budget with my application?
Yes, a tentative budget associated with your project plan must be included.

Are there font or margin requirements for the research plan?
Yes. Use standard 11- or 12-point type for the text, and no smaller than 9 to 10-point type for figures, legends, and tables. The text must be single-spaced, with one-inch or larger margins on all sides.  The font-size requirement is strictly enforced.

Do I need to complete an application in one session?
No, you can start an application and return at a later time to complete the application. When beginning a new application, you are required to log in with an existing or established proposal central log-in and password. At any time during the application process, you save, exit the application, and return later.

I forgot my user ID and/or password. What should I do?
For a forgotten password or user ID, visit the BWF grant application system and click the forgotten password link.

What is the Signature Page Form? How do I submit it?
The Signature Page Form provides a signature line for the Applicant.  An application is not considered complete without the Signature Page form. You must upload the completed Signature Page form with your signature by the application deadline date. 

What is the Institutional Certification Form?  How do I submit it?
It is a required form that must be completed and signed by an authorized signing official to certify (a) the university’s non-profit status as a degree-granting institution and (b) the applicant meets all eligibility and residency requirements for the CAMS program at the time of the submission deadline.   An application is not considered complete without the Institutional Certification form.

Can I fax the signature page or institutional certification forms by the application deadline?
No.  Faxed documents will not be accepted.

Can I change institutions during the course of the award?
The award is portable.  Most awardees will change institutions to begin a faculty appointment.  However, transferring your award is not guaranteed.  The institution that you wish to transfer to must demonstrate a commitment to you by offering you a tenure track or equivalent faculty appointment and significant start-up money.  In addition, BWF must approve the transfer.  Transfers during the faculty portion of the award are discouraged.

May I interrupt the award because of family commitments?
Yes.  BWF will allow you a no-cost extension of up to two years during the term of the award. 

Are awardees permitted to have other simultaneous funding, for example, from the National Institutes of Health or another foundation?
Award recipients may obtain funds from other sources for research in the same or similar areas as that conducted under these grants, so long as there is no conflict with meeting the terms of BWF’s award.  Award recipients may not hold concurrent BWF awards or NIH K99/R00, NIH DP5, or similar Early Independence awards.

I am based at a North American non-profit institution, but my primary postdoctoral mentor or faculty sponsor doesn't hold a faculty appointment at an accredited, degree-granting North American institution. Can I apply to this program?
No.  An eligible candidate’s primary postdoctoral mentor must hold such an appointment at a degree-granting university in the U.S. or Canada.

I currently hold a BWF award.  Am I eligible for this award?
Possibly. Contact the program associate via email or by phone, at 919-991-5115, to discuss eligibility.

I am a past BWF grant recipient. Am I eligible for this award?
Possibly. Contact the program associate via email or by phone, at 919-991-5115, to discuss eligibility.

I am at an independent research institute. Am I eligible for this award?
Possibly. You must apply through a degree-granting university affiliated with your research institute. If you receive an award, the university affiliated with the research institute must agree to administer the grant. Researchers at federal facilities or research institutes that are not affiliated with a degree-granting institution may not apply. This policy is non-negotiable.

What are my chances of receiving a Career Award for Medical Scientists?
There is no way to definitively know how many proposals we will receive this year, and therefore what the success rate will be.  However, based on data from previous CAMS competitions, we estimate an award rate of 12 percent.

It states in the guidelines $153,000 for years 3-5.  Does this mean $153,000 per year or a combined total for the three years?

The $153K is the maximum salary support for each year.

Is the 10% fringe supposed to be included in these listed salary maximums?

No, the 10% fringe is separate. For example, in year one up to $80K is available for salary and a separate $8K can be allocated for fringe benefits, which is $88K combined salary + fringe support in year one.

Updated: 16 October 2023

Award Timeline

Oct 08, 2024

Application Deadline

Mar 17 - 19, 2025

Finalist virtual interviews

Jun 18, 2025

Notice of Award

Sep 01, 2025

Award Start Date

Aug 31, 2030

Award End Date

Program Contacts

Paige Cooper Byas, PhD

Program Officer


Daniel Baroff

Program Associate


Lama Haidar

Program Coordinator