Funding Opportunities

A variety of seminars and workshops are available to help postdoctoral scholars learn more about funding resources and the grant writing process. Take advantage of the resources listed below to help you find a postdoctoral fellowship, bridge or transition grant, junior/new faculty grant, or startup grant from a government or private foundation.

Start Early!

Many funding opportunities will require various institutional approvals. Therefore, it is important to start early communications with the appropriate Northwestern University (NU) offices (e.g., Office of Research, Office for Sponsored Research, Office of Foundation Relations and various department administrators) when preparing a funding application.

Funding Tools

Postdoctoral scholars are able to use several tools to search for funding opportunities specific to their area of research. Please review the information below.

Grant Writing Resources

NU’s Office of Research has a comprehensive guide covering all aspects of grant writing, as well as a tutorial.  They also provide a list of funding opportunities and sources on their website.  Please contact the Office of Research for assistance with these opportunities.

Pilot Funding

Opportunities to apply for pilot funding can be viewed at the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Science Institute (NUCATS) web site. Pilot funding and information on funding opportunity resources are offered through the Office for Research Development web site.

Postdoctoral Fellowships, Grants and Awards

There are numerous funding mechanisms available for early and late career postdoctoral scholars. A list of some of the funding mechanisms available to support your postdoctoral training at NU is continually updated by the OPA.

NU’s Office of Fellowships offers links to information on postdoctoral fellowships for postdoctoral scholars in the Arts and Humanities, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Math, Engineering as well as Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Postdoctoral Scholars are eligible to apply for Faculty Research Grants (FRG) which are intended to support research and creative projects in fields for which there is little or no external funding or start-up money available.  Postdoctoral scholars with appointments in Divisions II and III (social sciences and humanities) of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Education and Social Policy and Bienen School of Music are eligible to apply for these $5,000 awards.

For more information and quarterly application deadlines, please visit the OPA web page about Faculty Research Grants.


The NU Office for Research has purchased a subscription to SciVal Funding. Some of the unique features of SciVal Funding include:

  • Minimal information required to generate an investigator profile.
  • Automatically updated investigator profile.
  • Automatically generated targeted funding alerts.
  • Funding opportunities that are linked to funding history, i.e. list of funded proposals with access to the investigator’s information and abstracts.

Northwestern users have free access to SciVal Funding. No login is required from a Northwestern University IP address. Those accessing the site from a remote location will simply need to create a SciVal user login and password as no VPN connection is required.