The 2018 Interstellar Initiative


Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development and the New York Academy of Sciences

For More Information

The Interstellar Initiative Website

Application Submission Instructions


The Interstellar Initiative, presented jointly by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development and the New York Academy of Sciences ― recognizes the world’s most promising Early Career Investigators and connects them with peers, in related but distinct disciplines, providing a platform for them to develop a solution to a major research question. The aim is to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and thereby catalyze discovery.

Applications are invited from Early Career Investigators who have backgrounds in four broad categories:

1) Clinical Research (e.g., physician scientists and others with translational interests);

2) Life Science (e.g., biomedical scientists);

3) Physical Science (e.g., physicists, chemists, and mathematicians); and

4) Technology (e.g., engineers, computer scientists)

The 2018 Interstellar Initiative will address challenges in the interest areas of Cancer and Neuroscience, and include a focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications in medicine. Special consideration will be given to proposals in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Previous experience in Cancer, Neuroscience, or AI is not required.

Project Duration

  • May 2018: Investigators selected to participate in the Interstellar Initiative are notified.
  • June 22 – 23, 2018: Interstellar Initiative conference convenes in New York City.
  • June 2018 – January 2019: Teams continue to develop their research proposals.
  • January 31 – February 1, 2019: Follow up workshop convenes in New York City


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

External Deadline

Applications should be submitted directly to the Interstellar Initiative through their online portal. 

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted from ECIs in broad disciplines; you can find more information about the application and eligibility guidelines here. ECIs accepted into the Interstellar Initiative will participate in a two-day conference at the New York Academy of Sciences from June 22 – 23, 2018, where they will be grouped in teams of three and asked to develop a research proposal, guided by mentors. All teams will include one member from Japan. Participants will be expected to present the proposals developed within their teams at the conference, and top teams will be recognized with a non-monetary award at the close of the event. All teams will receive a modest funding award  from AMED through the Japanese team member’s institution to further enhance their proposals, leading up to a second workshop, on January 31 – February 1, 2019. Proposals will be refined at this second workshop and prepared for submission to international funding agencies.

Interstellar Initiative participants will be reimbursed for all eligible travel expenses. For details, visit our Travel and Accommodation page. 

Visit the Application Portal for more details on the application process.

For Questions, please contact

Please email with any additional questions.

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