Career Development Award Program

Funding Agency:
Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation

The Career Development Award Program is designed to foster the development of outstanding, early-career scientists currently working abroad so that they may fulfill their potential and make significant contributions to their field of research in Italy. The Award provides $200,000 per year, for 3-5 years, to young scientists to establish their own lab at a host institute in which they can conduct independent research in the biological sciences.

At the same time, the Foundation hopes the Award will provide an incentive for Italian research institutes to strengthen their departments by providing a sufficiently attractive package to entice applications from the best possible candidates.

To date, the Armenise-Harvard Foundation has supported 30 young scientists who have established labs in Milan (EIO, IFOM/FIRC, Istituto San Raffaele, University of Milan, CNR), Rome (La Sapienza; EBRI), Padua (VIMM, University of Padua), Trento (CIBIO -University of Trento, IIT Rovereto), Palermo (University of Palermo), Trieste (SISSA), Pavia (University of Pavia), Naples (Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine), Turin (IIGM, University of Turin), and Camerino (University of Camerino), Genoa (IIT Genoa). Fields covered include: neuroscience, plant biology, biochemistry, immunology, cancer biology, proteomics and genetics, synthetic biology, and stem cells.


Deadline: July 15, annually

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be young, emerging basic scientists with demonstrated productivity and the ability to function as an independent investigator.
  • Have a minimum of three years of postdoctoral research experience in basic biological sciences (including at least two years abroad) and be no more than 11 years from having received a PhD.  The calculation of the three and 11 years is made by comparing the date the degree was conferred with the CDA application deadline (i.e. July 15, 2023), so this year the degree should have been received no earlier than July 15, 2012, and not later than July 15, 2020. Please note that:
    • for this call we will accept candidates in their 11th year after their PhD, to take into consideration the delays caused by the pandemic-related restrictions;
    • the actual elapsed time since the award of the first PhD considered for eligibility can be reduced in the following properly documented circumstances. For maternity, the actual elapsed time since the award of the first PhD will be considered reduced by 18 months for each child born during PhD study or after the PhD award. For paternity, the actual elapsed time since the award of the first PhD will be considered reduced by the documented amount of paternity leave actually taken for each child born during PhD study or after the PhD award. For long-term illness, clinical training or national service the actual elapsed time since the award of the first PhD will be considered reduced by the documented amount of leave actually taken by the applicant for each incident which occurred after the PhD award.
  • Be researchers outside of Italy who wish to move and become part of the community of researchers in Italy.  Applicants must be working outside of Italy, not only at the time of application, but also when the award is made and accepted.
  • Have an agreement for development of a novel research area in a suitable Host Institute in Italy.   Preferably, this is at an institution other than where the candidate has done doctoral study, post-doctoral research or held a job (strong preference).
  • Not have a pre-existing contract, independent of this grant, with a prospective host institute in Italy.  Applications from candidates who have already been offered an appointment at an Italian host institute will not be considered.
  • Be fully committed to the launch, development, operation and long-term success of their independent laboratory at the Host Institute in Italy.



Amount Description

  • Appointments are usually ratified by the Board of Trustees in December.  Award winners have until the end of January to accept or decline the award and state when they will be moving to Italy to take up the grant. The start date must be within July 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024.
  • Each award will be granted initially for three years and will be distributed annually at a rate of $200,000 per year, per scholar.
  • Funds can cover salaries for the scholar (commensurate with the position at the Host Institute), technicians, junior scientists, research supplies or administrative support required for the program. Recognizing that the salary levels, personal benefits, and faculty position are a matter of negotiation between the Host Institute and the recipient, the Foundation is happy to have the award be used flexibly as an incentive to attract high-caliber scientists. Funds can also cover specialized equipment not normally available at the Host Institute.
  • The Host Institute must provide the facilities, equipment, and infrastructure necessary to carry out the proposed research. However, up to 10% of the funds can be used for administrative costs associated with the program in the host department.

Funding Type



Post Doctoral Fellows


Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
International Opportunities
Medical - Basic Science

External Deadline

July 15, 2023