Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) 2021 - Research Grants, Full Application


Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) 


Two types of Grant are available: Research Grants – Early Career and Research Grants – Program.

  1. Research Grants - Early Career*
    All team members are expected to direct a research group (however small) and must have a doctoral degree (PhD, MD or equivalent). They must be in a position to initiate and direct their own independent lines of research. The HFSP award is not intended to create scientific independence, this is a decision of the research institute prior to the application.
  2. Research Grants - Program
    Awarded to teams of independent researchers at any stage of their careers. The research team is expected to develop new lines of research through the collaboration. Applications including independent investigators early in their careers are encouraged.

*Formerly known as Young Investigators.


The Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) supports innovative basic research into fundamental biological problems that applies novel and interdisciplinary approaches and includes scientific exchanges across national and disciplinary boundaries. 

HFSP research projects extend the frontiers of knowledge. Successful applications will entail risk and aim to develop novel lines of research for each participating partner that must be different from their ongoing research. The participation of scientists from outside the traditional life sciences such as biophysics, chemistry, computational biology, computer science, engineering, mathematics, nanoscience or physics is considered a key requisite in HFSP grant applications.

To stimulate novel, daring ideas and innovative approaches, preliminary results are not required in HFSP research grant applications. Special emphasis is placed on encouraging scientists early in their careers to participate in the Program Grants. Applicants are expected to develop new lines of research through the collaboration. 

Awards are for three years and made to international (preferably intercontinental) teams of two to four 4 members. Research Grants (Program Grants) are for independent scientists at all stages of their careers. Grants are also available for teams of early career researchers (Young Investigator Grants) who are all within five years of establishing an independent laboratory and within 10 years of obtaining their PhDs. The amount is dependent upon team size, up to $450,000 per year. The principal applicant must be located in one of the HFSP member countries; co-investigators may be located in any country. 


HFSP Research Grants support teams of independent leaders of research groups. Therefore applications from individual scientists or early career researchers carrying out their postdoctoral or PhD level projects are not eligible.

  • The Principal Applicant of a Research Grant must have a laboratory in a member country (with the exception of HFSP Career Development Awardees). The other team members and their laboratories may be situated anywhere in the world.
  • All team members are expected to direct a research group (however small) and must have a doctoral degree (PhD, MD or equivalent). They must be in a position to initiate and direct their own independent lines of research. The HFSP award is not intended to create scientific independence, this is a decision of the research institute prior to the application.
  • All team members must be able to determine the course of the HFSP-funded project and have freedom to administer the grant, if awarded.
  • The research teams must be international (preferably intercontinental). Normally, there will be only one team member with a laboratory in each country, teams with two members at the same institution are not eligible.
  • Team members should not have collaborated before, they will normally not have published original research together, and the project must be significantly different from their ongoing research.

Research Grants – Early Career

  • All members of an Early Career grant team must be within five years of obtaining an independent position (see below) and must have obtained their first doctoral degree (PhD, MD or equivalent) not longer than 10 years before the deadline for submission of the letter of intent.
  • All applicants for an Early Career grant must be project leaders directing a research group (however small) and must have full responsibility for the day-to-day running of their laboratories and will have full control of the HFSP funds.
  • Written confirmation may be requested from the Head of Department in the case of an applicant who independently oversees a research theme.

Research Grants – Program

  •  While researchers can be at any stage in their independent career, participation of early career researchers is encouraged also in Program Grants.

Additional conditions regarding the institutional affiliations, the number of team members, the country of affiliation, internationality of the team, concurrent applications and new applications from previous grant awardees are given in the guidelines.

Maximum Project Value

Depending on team size, a fixed sum is awarded, to each team over three years, depending on the team size, (a four-member team, for instance, receives 465 000 USD per year).

More details on the awards can be found in the guidelines.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Each grant is awarded for a period of three (3) years.

Special Notes

Only teams who have submitted a Letter of Intent in March 2021 and were invited to submit a Full Application can proceed in accordance with the posted deadlines below. 

Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page.


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

Internal Deadline

If your team has been invited to the Full Application stage, please submit a signed OR-5 Form, Letter of Intent, Full Application draft and budget to the Office of Research Services at

External Deadline

Submission of Full Application to be uploaded to the HFSP site.

Full details for Final Application requirements can be found in the HFSP Research Grants Full Application Guideline.  

How to Apply

Deadline and Form Submission

Several Word files of the application (scientific and administrative parts) must be uploaded to the HFSP site. The application will be converted to a PDF file which will be sent to the team for verification by HFSP before being sent to reviewers. If any team member has received an HFSP grant in the 2015 award cycle or later, they must complete the ‘Declaration of Previous HFSP Grant’ and add it to the package. Separate texts containing the Project Abstract, limited to approx. 2400 characters, (extracted from the full application) and the Public Abstract must be pasted directly into the forms provided on the HFSP site. The Public Abstract will be published on the HFSP web site if you are funded - it should not contain any privileged information.  Note there is a limit of 2400 characters including spaces and punctuation.

Electronic copies of the signature pages should be sent to

Note that applications must be approved/signed by an institutional official from each team member’s institution.

When to submit: The submission deadline for the uploaded electronic application is SEPTEMBER 14, 2021 at 6:00 pm EST. If you have difficulties, please contact

For Questions, please contact

More details can be found on Human Frontier's website.

Specific inquiries can be directed to

Office of Research

Devon Staaf, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist
Office of Research Services

Alert Classifications
Funding Opportunities and Sponsor News

Health and Life Sciences
Information and Communications Technology
Physical Sciences and Engineering