Sloan Research Fellowships

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Harvard microeconomist Roland G. Fryer, SRF Class of 2007, was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal in 2015 by the American Economic Association in recognition of his pioneering work on the economics of education and discrimination. The medal is the highest honor available to a U.S. economist under the age of 40.

Program Goal

The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.

These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly to 126 researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. The 2018 Sloan Research Fellows will receive fellowships in the amount of $65,000.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Candidates must hold a tenure track (or equivalent) position at a college, university, or other degree-granting institution in the United States or Canada.  Tenure track faculty positions at the candidate's institution must include a yearly teaching requirement.
  • Candidates must hold a Ph.D. (or equivalent) in chemistry, computational or evolutionary molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, ocean sciences, physics, or a related field;
  • Candidates' most recent Ph.D. (or equivalent) must have been awarded on or after September 1, 2011.  Exceptions may apply.  See footnote** below.

Questions about how these eligibility requirements apply to you?  See our FAQ page or email us at

**The Selection Committees may make exceptions for candidates who were awarded their Ph.D. prior to September 1, 2011 if their careers were disrupted due to military service, child-rearing, or a change of field.  The Committees may also make exceptions for candidates who are currently serving in their first faculty position and who were appointed to that position on or after September 1, 2015.


  • In order to be considered for a Sloan Research Fellowship, a candidate must have a letter of nomination from a department head or other senior researcher. Submissions unaccompanied by a nomination letter from a senior researcher are not accepted.
  • More than one candidate from a department may be nominated, but no more than three.

Nomination Letters and Letters of Support are important elements of the selection process and are read carefully by Selection Committees. The letters allow nominators and support writers to give Committee members insight about nominees that is not present in their other application materials (CV, publication list, etc.). Selection Committees recommend that letters of support be submitted by someone who can speak objectively and knowledgeably about the quality and significance of a nominee’s work. Letters submitted by co-authors, personal associates, or professional mentors are, in this sense, less useful to Selection Committees than letters submitted by those with more professional distance from a nominee’s work.     

Who Should Be Nominated?

Successful candidates for a Sloan Research Fellowship generally have a strong record of significant independent research accomplishments that demonstrate creativity and the potential to become future leaders in the scientific community. Nominated candidates are normally below the rank of associate professor and do not hold tenure, but these are not strict requirements.

In keeping with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's longstanding support of underrepresented minorities in the sciences, the Foundation strongly encourages the nomination of qualified women and minority candidates.

Materials Required

  • A letter from a department head or other senior researcher officially nominating the candidate and describing his or her qualifications, initiative, and research; 
  • The candidate's curriculum vitae (including a list of the candidates scientific publications);
  • Two representative articles by the candidate;
  • A brief (one-page) statement by the candidate describing his or her significant scientific work and immediate research plans;
  • Three letters from other researchers (preferably not all from the same institution) written in support of the candidate’s nomination.

How to Submit Nomination Materials

All materials must be uploaded and submitted through the Foundation’s online application portal.  See the Apply page for more information.  


Nominations are reviewed and candidates selected by an independent selection committee of distinguished scientists in each eligible field.

Fellows are selected on the basis of their independent research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become leaders in the scientific community through their contributions to their field.

Awards are announced in mid-February.


Nominations for the 2018 Sloan Research Fellowships will open in summer 2017.

All nomination materials, including nomination letters and all letters of support, must be submitted through the Foundation’s online application system no later than 11:59PM EDT, September 15, 2017.  

Selection Committees

Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Thomas Mallouk, The Pennsylvania State University
Tom Muir, Princeton University
Melanie Sanford, University of Michigan

Stephen Mayo, CalTech
Pavel Pevzner, University of California, San Diego
Molly Przworski, Columbia University

Jitendra Malik, UC Berkeley
Jennifer Rexford, Princeton University
Ronitt Rubinfeld, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Andrew Atkeson, University of California, Los Angeles
Judy Chevalier, Yale University
Matthew Gentzkow, Stanford University

Anna Gilbert, University of Michigan
Christopher Hacon, University of Utah
Terry Tao, University of California, Los Angeles

Lynn Landmesser, Case Western Reserve University
Amita Sehgal, University of Pennsylvania
Terry Sejnowski, University of California, San Diego

Samantha Joye, University of Georgia
Lisa Levin, University of California, San Diego
S. George Philander, Princeton University

David Awschalom, University of Chicago
Gibor Basri, University of California, Berkeley
Catherine Kallin, McMaster University
Ann E. Nelson, University of Washington

Terms of Awards

  • Fellowships are for a two-year term, beginning on September 15th of the award year.
  • Fellowships are paid in a single lump sum.
  • The 2017 fellowship amount is $60,000. The 2018 fellowship amount will be $65,000.
  • Fellowship funds may be used by the fellow for any expense judged supportive of the fellow’s research including staffing, professional travel, lab expenses, equipment, or summer salary support.
  • Fellowship funds may not be used for indirect costs or overhead charges.
  • Fellows are obligated to notify the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation if they are changing institutions.
  • Once per year, Fellows (or their institution) are obligated to submit both a substantive report (detailing what is being done) and a financial report (detailing how much money has been spent and on what).

The above terms and conditions are spelled out in more detail in the formal fellowship agreement. Please see the For Current Fellows tab for more information.