Program Description: Established in 2013 by a generous gift to Harvard University at the suggestion of James A. Star, AB (1983), the Star Family Challenge for Promising Scientific Research provides seed funding to interdisciplinary high-risk, high-impact projects in the natural or social sciences. Early stage projects which are unlikely to receive funding from traditional grant-making agencies are encouraged. Award recipients will present and discuss their projects with a range of scholars in multiple disciplines at a Challenge event, April 11, 2017 at 3pm, prior to receipt of funding.
Please see Dean Smith's announcement regarding this year's program here.
Award Information: Award range is $20,000-$200,000 in direct costs (project budgets should not include indirect costs). In 2016, the average award size was $85,600. Up to five awards will be made annually.
Eligibility Requirements: Ladder faculty members in FAS and SEAS are eligible to apply. Joint proposals by researchers from the FAS or SEAS and other parts of the University are welcome.
Please see a list of previous award recipients here.
Deadline: February 28, 2017 at 5:00pm EST
Application Guidelines: To apply, please submit a one- to two-page proposal (one inch margins, 11 point font or larger) that briefly addresses the following:
- What questions are you trying to answer in this project? What problem are you addressing and why is it important?
- How will you approach the problem, and how does your approach differ from others? How does your experience enable you to approach the problem in an innovative way?
- What kind of impact could your project have? How will you measure results?
- Who will be involved in your project, and what resources will be required? Please provide rough budget estimates for (a) personnel, (b) equipment, and (c) other. Faculty are encouraged to work closely with their grant administrators to develop a budget. Indirect costs should not be included.
A one page appendix with graphics and/or references may be included in addition to the one- to two-page project proposal.
Applicants must also submit a two page biosketch.
Applications must be submitted through the Harvard University Funding Portal. The submission portal for this competition will open in early January 2017.
Evaluation Criteria: Applications will be evaluated for their significance, innovation, potential impact, interdisciplinarity and the ability of the applicant to successfully carry out the project.
Dr. Randy Buckner, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, will chair the 2017 Review Committee. Other committee members represent a broad range of disciplines. These reviewers were selected for their broad perspective and demonstrated capability for evaluating work in multiple fields of study. Because of the diverse nature of this committee, project descriptions should be written in language accessible to reviewers from a wide variety of fields.
2017 Review Committee:
Randy Buckner, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience (Committee Chair)
Evelynn Hammonds, Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science; and Professor of African and African American Studies
Lene Hau, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics
Alexandra Killewald, Professor of Sociology
Naomi Pierce, Sidney A. and John H. Hessel Professor of Biology
Jason Ur, Professor of Anthropology
Reporting Requirements: Award recipients will be required to submit a one year progress report.
- Funding the Future, Harvard Gazette, May 2016
- Innovative Faculty Research Receives Support, Harvard Gazette, April 2015
- Support on the Cutting Edge, Harvard Gazette, May 2014
Questions? Please see our FAQs.
Contacts: Please contact Jennifer Corby at email@example.com or 617-495-1590 or Susan Gomes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-496-9448 with any additional questions about this internal grant program.