We encourage interested university faculty to review the Fellowship Guidelines. If your university is on the Invited Institutions list and you meet the eligibility requirements, contact your Office of Sponsored Research or department chair to discuss the selection process at your university.

Eligibility Requirements

Fellows must be faculty members who are eligible to serve as principal investigators engaged in research in the natural and physical sciences or engineering and must be within the first three years of their faculty careers. Disciplines considered by the Foundation include astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, mathematics, ocean science, physics, and all branches of engineering.

Fellowships are intended to provide support for unusually creative researchers early in their careers. Faculty members who are well established and funded are less likely to become a Fellow. The Foundation also emphasizes support for innovative individual research that involves the Fellows, their students, and junior colleagues, rather than extensions or components of large-scale, ongoing research programs.

Recognizing that certain areas of contemporary science and engineering already have access to relatively generous funding (e.g., clinical research, research associated with the design and construction of large national facilities, and applied research of direct relevance to national security), the Packard Fellowships are directed to other, less generously supported fields. Candidates engaged in research in the social sciences will not be considered.

Timing of Awards

The nomination and selection process typically follows this schedule:

  • January 31: Requests for nominations are sent by the Foundation to university presidents.
  • February 15: ¬†Online application system opens to nominees and referees, as nominations are received. For security reasons, nominees may access the online application system only after a university president sends their nomination to the Foundation.
  • March 15: Deadline for presidents to send their nominations.
  • April 20: ¬†Nominee applications due to Foundation.
  • May-September Fellowship Advisory Panel reviews nominations.
  • October 15: Fellowship awards are announced on Foundation website.