NSF CAREER Program & DRK-12

NSF's CAREER Program is a "Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards for faculty members beginning their independent careers." A CAREER applicant must:

  • Hold a doctoral degree in a field supported by NSF by the cognizant Directorate's deadline for submission of CAREER proposals ;
  • Be engaged in research in an area of science, engineering, or education supported by NSF;
  • Be employed in a tenure-track (or tenure-track-equivalent) position as an assistant professor (or equivalent title) as of October 1 after the proposal submission;
  • Be untenured as of October 1 following the proposal submission; and
  • Have not previously received a CAREER award. (Prior or concurrent Federal support for other types of awards for non-duplicative research does not preclude eligibility.)

CADRE is pleased to highlight the work of CAREER awardees within NSF's DRK-12 Program.


Active DRK-12 CAREER Awards
Search NSF for active CAREER awards in the DRK-12 program.

2021 Spotlight on DRK-12 CAREER Awards
Learn about the work of 27 emerging leaders who are developing innovative approaches for improving teaching and learning across STEM disciplines, and hear their advice for developing a successful CAREER proposal and tips for managing a CAREER grant based on their experience in Insight from DRK-12 CAREER Awardees.

Videos Featuring DRK-12 CAREER Projects
Featured in the NSF STEM For All Video Showcase, these 3-minute videos are an engaging way to learn about early childhood work funded by the National Science Foundation's DRK-12 Program.

Virtual Poster Hall 
View a collection of project posters that feature DRK-12 CAREER projects, presented at the 2014, 2016, and 2018 DRK-12 PI Meetings.


Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER)
Learn about NSF's CAREER Program and solicitation.

Dear Colleague Letter: CAREER Proposals Submitted to the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR)
Released on May 18, 2020, the purpose of this NSF Dear Colleague Letter is (a) to highlight, clarify, and draw attention to important information included in Program Solicitation NSF 20-525 as it relates to CAREER proposals submitted to divisions and programs within EHR; and (b) to list the divisions and programs within EHR that intend to review and fund CAREER proposals.

2018 NSF CAREER Program Webinar
NSF hosted an informational webinar about the CAREER program on May 15, 2018. View the slides.

2016 NSF CAREER Program Informational Webinar
CADRE hosted an informational webinar about the NSF CAREER program on March 15, 2016. In this webinar led by NSF PO Karen King, CAREER awardees Michelle Cirillo, Melissa Luna, and Bill Zahner offered their perspectives on preparing a CAREER proposal and leading STEM education projects as first-time PIs. View the slides.

2015 Webinar Recording: Perspectives from DRK-12 CAREER grant awardees 
CADRE hosted an informational webinar about the NSF CAREER program on February 24, 2015. In this webinar led by NSF PO Karen King, CAREER awardees Alicia Alonzo, Tina Grotzer, and Gloriana González Rivera share their experiences as first-time PIs on both preparing their proposals and leading their projects. View the slides and recording.

Tips for Working with Graduate Students and Advisors
On January 18, 2017, DRK-12 CAREER awardees met virtually with a former CAREER awardee to discuss working with graduate students and advisors. These notes capture the highlights from their conversation and offer tips for other NSF grantees.

Active CAREER Awards
Search NSF for active CAREER awards across NSF programs.