Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: 2021 Sloan Research Fellowships

Applications due July 6, 2020; see submission instructions below

 These instructions are for VU investigators. VUMC investigators should visit the OOR funding opportunity site.

Vanderbilt University may nominate up to three tenure-track faculty per department for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s 2021 Sloan Research Fellowships. The goal of the fellowships is to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year fellowships are awarded annually to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their fields. The 2021 Sloan Research Fellows will receive fellowships in the amount of $75,000.

The Sloan Research Fellowship Program recognizes and rewards outstanding early-career faculty who have the potential to revolutionize their fields of study. Successful candidates for a fellowship generally have a strong record of significant independent research accomplishments that demonstrate creativity and the potential to become future leaders in the scientific community. Nominated candidates are normally several years past the completion of their Ph.D. in order to accumulate a competitive record of independent, significant research.

In keeping with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s longstanding support of underrepresented minorities in the sciences, the foundation strongly encourages the nomination of qualified women and minority candidates.

Eligibility requirements

  • Candidates must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, physics or a related field.
  • Candidates must be tenure-track, though untenured, as of Sept. 15, 2020.
  • A candidate’s faculty position must carry a regular teaching obligation.
  • The foundation no longer requires nominees to be within six years of their Ph.D. date. So long as a candidate has received a Ph.D. and is in a tenure-track position with a teaching requirement, s/he is eligible for the fellowship. Please note that although the cutoff date is no longer a requirement, the fellowship remains an award for those in the early stages of their careers.

Terms of awards

  • Fellowships are for a two-year term, beginning on Sept. 15 of the award year.
  • Fellowships are paid in a single lump sum.
  • The 2021 fellowship amount will be $75,000.
  • Fellowship funds may be used by the fellow for any expense judged supportive of the fellow’s research, including staffing, professional travel, lab expenses, equipment or summer salary support.
  • Fellowship funds may not be used for indirect costs or overhead charges.
  • Fellows are obligated to notify the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation if they are changing institutions.
  • Once per year, fellows (or their institution) are obligated to submit both a substantive report (detailing what is being done) and a financial report (detailing how much money has been spent and on what).

See the program website and FAQs for more information.

Application instructions

Interested faculty should contact their respective department chair and submit to them the following materials by July 6, 2020:

  • 1-page statement describing significant scientific work and immediate research plans, including references. This must be written for an expert audience in candidate’s respective field.
  • CV/NIH Biosketch

Any questions about this opportunity or the LSO process may be directed to