Axon elongation and centrosomes

Scientific activities

The Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) is an international program of research support, funding frontier research on the complex mechanisms of living organisms. Research is funded at all levels of biological complexity from biomolecules to the interactions between organisms.

Key elements of HFSP’s mission are:

  • Support for innovative, cutting edge research at the frontiers of the life sciences
  • Encouragement of high risk research
  • Promotion of international collaboration in the spirit of science without borders
  • Support for financial and intellectual independence for early career researchers

Selection of awards is made by high level, expert international review committees. Research Grants enable scientists from different countries to collaborate on focused innovative projects that are expected to open new fields of investigation. Interdisciplinary collaborations are especially encouraged. Postdoctoral fellowships enable the most talented early career scientists, trained in the life sciences or in the physical sciences, to extend their scientific repertoire in laboratories abroad. Former HFSP Fellows who return to their home country or move to a third HFSP member country can apply for a Career Development Award to support their transition to independence.

HFSP awardees are brought together in an annual meeting to help build a global network of like-minded scientists working on a broad range of subjects within the life sciences and to stimulate new collaborations.

HFSP funding programs are strictly project-related and begin at the postdoctoral level. We have no support for PhD students nor for travel grants to scientific meetings. Nor do we provide sponsorship or funds to organisers of scientific meetings.

More on HFSP funding programs

HFSP supports international scientific collaborations. Research Grants are awarded for innovative research projects involving extensive collaboration among teams of independent scientists working in different countries and in different disciplines.

Two types of grants are available: Young Investigator Grants for teams where all members are within 5 years of starting their first independent position (and within 10 years of receiving a PhD) and Program Grants for teams of scientists at any stage of their careers.

Applicants must first submit a letter of intent via the HFSP extranet. More details are available in the guidelines.

The 2014 competition (applications in March 2013) is now open. 

Compulsory registration, via the website: March 20th, 2013

Submission of Letters of Intent: March 27th, 2013


Follow the link below for more information.

More on HFSP Grant programs

HFSP fellowships support top postdoctoral researchers that propose innovative, ground-breaking projects that have the potential to advance the knowledge in their field of study and open a new approach to the research problem.

The 2013 competition (applications submitted in August 2012 for awards to be announced in March 2013) is now closed.

The application guidelines for the 2014 competition will be available in June 2013 and the next submission deadline will be in August 2013.

Two international programs for basic research training are available:

Long-Term Fellowships (LTF) are reserved for applicants with a Ph.D. in a biological discipline to embark on a new project in a different field of the life sciences. Preference is given to applicants who propose an original study in biology that marks a departure from their previous Ph.D. or postdoctoral work so as to learn new methods or change study system.

Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships (CDF) are open to applicants with a Ph.D. from outside the life sciences e.g. in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering or computer sciences who have had limited exposure to biology during their previous training. Applicants for the CDF should propose a significant departure from their past research by changing e.g. from material science or physics to cell biology, from chemistry to molecular biology, or from computer science to neuroscience.

More on HFSP Fellowships

The Career Development Award (CDA) is open only to former HFSP Fellows and offers three years of support for starting their first independent laboratory.

The goal of CDA is to support former HFSP fellows to return to their home country or move to an HFSP member country to initiate an original research program in their own laboratories as independent researchers. Candidates are furthermore encouraged to select research institutions that are different from their PhD institutes to facilitate their scientific independence.

Applicants for the CDA are expected to propose an original and innovative frontier research program that holds promise for the development of new approaches to problems in the life sciences with potential to advance the field of research significantly.

The three-year award aims to provide initial support during a critical period of career development. Host institutions are expected to contribute additional resources in support of the awardees and their independent research program.

Eligible HFSP fellows will receive information in good time to apply for the Award.

More on the HFSP Career Development Award

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12th December

University of Strasbourg celebrates the new institute for advanced study

HFSP Secretary General Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker presented a talk at the inaugural conference of the University of Strasbourg...

7th December

HFSP Grant awardee Erin O’Shea elected Vice President of HHMI

Our congratulations go to Erin O’Shea of Harvard University. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has announced that...

22nd November

HFSP gets ready for ORCID

HFSP welcomes the ORCID initiative and is preparing to introduce ORCID identifier fields to the online application forms of all...

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Awardees' Articles RSS

Miniaturized devices for creating the world’s smallest vinaigrettes of biological components

Our paper highlights recent advances in the field of microfabricated encapsulating devices, emphasizing the development of...

The ribosome must unwind the message before it can read it

The synthesis of a protein requires that the ribosome unwinds structures at the 5'-end of the messenger RNA to prevent...

New biomaterial gets “sticky” with stem cells

Just like the bones that support your body, your cells have their own scaffolding to hold them up. This scaffolding, known as the...

Deconstructing iron-deficiency signaling pathways in plants

Our research has revealed distinct signaling pathways in the model plant Arabidopsis that control iron-deficiency responses and...

The Janus face of Psidin – One protein in two pathways

The formation of neuronal networks relies on the proper development and targeting of the neurons within. The actin cytoskeleton...

New insect auditory organ key to super-sensory hearing

A newly identified hearing organ in a South American bush cricket, which possesses one of the smallest ears known, shows insect...

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Frontier Science

Frontier Science

Articles about HFSP-funded research and matters related to international frontier science

Starting cognitive neuroscience in Argentina

The aim of the HFSP postdoctoral fellowship scheme is to identify future scientific leaders. This means not only the support of...

How many protein molecules do we have in our cells?

Proteins are crucial to the structure and function of living cells. Great effort is now being applied to understanding cells at...

The New Wave of Marine Biology

The frontiers of science are by definition continually shifting. Areas once considered at the forefront of biology may be...

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