Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 11/8/2023

Young Faculty Award (YFA)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award (YFA) program aims to identify and engage rising stars in junior research positions in academia and equivalent positions at non-profit research institutions, particularly those without prior DARPA funding, to expose them to Department of Defense (DoD) needs and DARPA’s mission to create and prevent technological surprise. The YFA program will provide high-impact funding to elite researchers early in their careers to develop innovative new research that enables transformative DoD capabilities. Ultimately, the YFA program is developing the next generations of researchers focused on national security issues.

Before preparing an executive summary or proposal submission, proposers are encouraged to review the DARPA mission statement and current program descriptions at the DARPA website https://www.darpa.mil to familiarize themselves with examples of current DARPA investments. This is not meant as instruction to duplicate those efforts, but rather to illustrate that current programs are aimed at research that will substantially advance our capabilities in these areas. Once awards are made, each YFA program performer will be assigned a DARPA Program Manager with interests closely related to their research topic. The Program Manager will act as project manager and mentor to the YFA award recipients.

DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals in the areas of interest to DARPA’s six technical offices: Biological Technologies Office (BTO), Defense Sciences Office (DSO), Information Innovation Office (I2O), Microsystems Technology Office (MTO), Strategic Technology Office (STO), and Tactical Technology Office (TTO). Further detail regarding the specific technical areas of interest can be found under Section I.D “Topic Areas (TAs).” Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.


  • Executive Summary Due Date: Dec. 13, 2023
  • Full Proposal Due Date: Feb. 22, 2024
Eligibility Requirements

Participation is open to individuals who are U.S. Citizens, U.S. Permanent Residents, and
Foreign Nationals who meet the eligibility criteria listed below:
 Proposers must be one of the following (excluding any personal leaves of absence) by the full proposal deadline listed in Part One: Overview Information:
o current Tenure-Track Assistant/Associate Professors;
o current Tenured faculty within 3 years of their Tenure date; or
o an equivalent at a non-profit research institution within 12 years of the receipt
of their Ph.D.
 All proposers must be employed at a U.S. institution, which includes those in U.S. states and territories. Proposals from outside these regions will not be accepted.
 Individuals who have previously received a YFA Award are not eligible for this or any future YFA program.
 Former DARPA Program Managers are not eligible to apply for funding under this program.
 Researchers working at Federally Funded Research and Development Centers and Government Entities are not eligible to apply as PIs for funding under this program; however, they may be proposed as subawardees provided they meet the requirements in Section III.A.1.a. Please see Section VIII.C for teaming.
 Non-U.S. individuals employed by U.S. institutions may participate to the extent that such participants comply with any necessary nondisclosure agreements, security regulations, export control laws, and other governing statutes applicable under the circumstances.

Amount Description

This RA seeks grant proposals for a research activity consisting of a 24-month base period. No award type other than grants will be issued under this RA. Each 12-month interval of the base period shall not exceed $250,000. Proposals should also include a 12-month option period with a maximum funding level of $500,000.

Funding Type