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Grants to USA and Canada Emerging Investigators
for Research Addressing Biological Science

Career Awards at the Scientific Interface (CASI)

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/07/22 4:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA and Canada emerging investigators for research addressing biological science. Applicants are required to submit a preproposal prior to a full proposal. Funding is intended to support emerging researchers who are seeking a career in academic research. The specific target group is researchers who have transitioned from graduate work in the physical/mathematical/computational sciences or engineering into postdoctoral work in the biological sciences.

Scientific advances such as genomics, quantitative structural biology, imaging techniques, and modeling of complex systems have created opportunities for exciting research careers at the interface between the physical/computational sciences and the biological sciences. Tackling key problems in biology will require scientists trained in areas such as chemistry, physics, applied mathematics, computer science, and engineering.

Proposals that include deep or machine learning applications of artificial intelligence are particularly encouraged. Special consideration will also be given to proposals that investigate the connection between climate change and human health.

Special Considerations:

  • BWF strongly encourages applications from persons historically underrepresented in science, including, women, Blacks or African Americans, Hispanic or LatinX, and indigenous peoples of the Americas (Native American, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, First Nations people).
  • In addition to seeking participants from historically underrepresented groups, BWF is interested in increasing geographic diversity among candidates from the Central, Mountain, and Southern States. BWF believes there is an ample amount of untapped talent at institutions that do not typically apply.
  • BWF believes that a diverse scientific workforce is essential to the process and advancement of research innovation, academic discovery and public service.

Candidates are expected to draw from their training in a scientific field other than biology to propose innovative approaches to answer important questions in the biological sciences. Examples of approaches include, but are not limited to, physical measurement of biological phenomena, computer simulation of complex processes in physiological systems, mathematical modeling of self-organizing behavior, building probabilistic tools for medical diagnosis, developing novel imaging tools or biosensors, developing or applying nanotechnology to manipulate cellular systems, predicting cellular responses to topological clues and mechanical forces, and developing a new conceptual understanding of the complexity of living organisms. Proposals that include experimental validation of theoretical models are particularly encouraged. 

The support allocated for research is under the control of the award recipient and may be used flexibly for such items as equipment, consumable supplies, travel to scientific meetings, and laboratory personnel working with the award recipient.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 197577

Estimated Size of Grant:

BWF’s Career Awards at the Scientific Interface (CASI) provide $500,000.

Term of Contract:

Over five years to bridge advanced postdoctoral training and the first three years of faculty service.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- 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, mathematical, computational, theoretical, and engineering science. Exceptions will be made only if the applicant can demonstrate significant expertise in one of these areas, evidenced by publications, undergraduate major, or master’s degree.

- Candidates whose Ph.D. is in biochemistry/biophysics/ biology/cell biology/etc. may be eligible if significant accomplishment or competence in one of the areas of mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, statistics, or engineering can be shown (i.e., papers published, advanced coursework, or undergraduate major), and if the proposal draws on that background. Work must be interdisciplinary and make use of nonbiological approaches.

- Candidates who hold an M.D. are eligible to apply if they hold both an M.D. and a Ph.D., and the Ph.D. is 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 these areas, evidenced by publications, undergraduate major, or master’s degree. In addition, the applicant cannot have spent more than 60 months in postdoctoral research since receipt of terminal degree. If the candidate holds an M.D. without also holding a Ph.D., the candidate is not eligible to apply to this program.

- Candidates who meet the other eligibility criteria must demonstrate that their work is truly interdisciplinary.

- Candidates must have completed at least 12 months but not more than 60 months of postdoctoral research by the date of the full invited application deadline. Post Ph.D work experience in any scientific research field (including outside academia) cannot exceed 60 months. However, if a portion of the post Ph.D. work timeline was not in a science research field, and the total scientific work experience does not exceed 60 months, the candidate may be eligible but must gain prior approval from the BWF program officer. No exceptions to this requirement will be made.

- Candidates must be based at a non-profit degree-granting institution [501(c)(3) or equivalent] in the U.S. or Canada. A 501(c)(3) organization is an American tax-exempt, nonprofit organization. Candidates should check with institutional officials to confirm the institution’s classification.

More eligibility information can be found at

Pre-Application Information:

- Grant application portal available: By July 15, 2021
- Pre-proposal applications due: September 1, 2021 by 4:00 pm ET
- Invitation to submit a full proposal: By November 19, 2021
- Full proposal due: January 7, 2022, 4:00 pm EST
- Finalist interviews: May 3-4, 2022
- Notice of award: By June 1, 2022
- Award start date: July 1, 2022
- Award end date: June 30, 2027

Application Process:
1. Pre-proposals. Interested candidates who meet the eligibility criteria will need to submit one online preproposal through BWF’s Grant Application System by September 1, 2021, 4:00 pm EDT. The grant application portal will be available by July 15, 2021. In brief, the preproposal includes applicant information (to be completed within the grant portal), a pre-proposal form with a lay abstract, and a confidential primary postdoctoral mentor letter of recommendation. A confidential recommendation letter is required for the pre-proposal.

2. Full proposals. Submission of full proposals will be by invitation only after review of pre-proposals. By November 19, 2021, a selected group of applicants will be invited to submit a full application. Instructions on how to prepare a full research proposal (elements listed below) will be provided by email with the invitation to participate. Full proposals will be due January 7, 2022 by 4:00 pm EST.

Grants are made to institutions on behalf of the named award recipients.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply, see the "Apply for this grant" tab on the URL for Full Text, below.

Eligibility inquiries should be directed in advance to BWF program staff by contacting:
Melanie Scott, Senior Program Associate, 919-991-5107

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

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