New Ideas in the Natural Sciences

This fund is designed to support the exploration of new concepts and ideas that are at an early stage and therefore not ready to form the basis of a competitive proposal submitted to a funding agency. Assistant, associate and full professors in division III (natural sciences, including mathematics and psychology) are invited to submit proposals.

PI Eligibility

Tenured and tenure-track faculty members in Division III (Natural Sciences, including Mathematics and Psychology) are invited to submit proposals limited to one proposal per faculty member. Other things being equal, preference will be given to faculty members who did not receive funding in previous rounds of this competition.


Proposers may request up to $100,000 per year for projects lasting up to two years. Expenditures may include undergraduate student stipend, graduate student stipend and tuition, postdoctoral researchers’ salary and benefits, and equipment. Faculty summer salary is not allowed.

Proposal Preparation Instructions

Applications should be brief (no more than two pages of text plus a separate budget page with justification).

Submission Information

Submit proposals by email to Pablo Debenedetti, Dean for Research (

Review Criteria

Proposals will be judged on the basis of quality and originality, and must include a brief statement of plans to submit a regular proposal to a funding agency after two years. Special attention will be paid to the articulation of a compelling case for the exploratory nature of the research. A group of faculty will review and grade the proposals, and funding decisions will be made on the basis of ranked scores.

Call for Proposals

  • Dates
    • Proposal submission deadline: Not currently accepting applications.
    • Funding could start as early as: TBD
  • Contact


People working in lab coats. Photo by C. Todd Reichart