Packard Fellowships for Science & Engineering 2021

Sponsor Name: 
David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Description of the Award: 

The Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering program invests in future leaders who have the freedom to take risks, explore new frontiers in their fields of study, and follow uncharted paths that may lead to groundbreaking discoveries. Every year, the Foundation invites the presidents of 50 universities to nominate two early-career professors each from their institutions. Nominations are carefully reviewed by the Fellowship Advisory Panel, comprised of distinguished scientists and engineers. Eighteen recipients will receive individual grants of $875,000 distributed over five years.

Candidates 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, that is, whose initial faculty appointments began no earlier than May 31, 2018, and no later than May 31, 2021. Disciplines that will be considered include physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science, and all branches of engineering. Candidates engaged in research in the social sciences will not be considered.

The Fellowship Program provides support for highly creative researchers early in their careers; faculty members who are well established and well-funded are less likely to receive the award. Packard Fellows are inquisitive, passionate scientists and engineers who take a creative approach to their research, dare to think big, and follow new ideas wherever they lead. The Foundation 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.

Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Mar 15, 2021
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should send the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_Packard_2020 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

1) Research Statement (max. 2 pages): The research statement should describe why the research is important and outline the general goals for the next five years. The statement should also indicate, in general, how funds will be used. This does not need to be a detailed budget and will not be binding on the actual use of funds.

2) CV

3) Summary of current external research support

4) Names and affiliations of people who will be submitting letters of support

  • Department Head
  • External letter writers who are personally familiar with the nominee's work and creative ability who would be asked to write letters. At least one recommendation must be from a person who has had no supervisory or collaborative contact with the nominee.

Research Statement Formatting Guidelines:

  • Limited to 1,400 words (maximum two pages of text)
  • 12- point font with 1-inch margins
  • If there are relevant figures, images or references, please include these separately on a third page.

The Office of Foundation Relations is the designated institutional contact responsible for communicating with the Foundation and is collaborating with Limited Submissions on the internal downselect process. Questions concerning the application process and other foundation-related questions should be directed to Alan Gibson, Assistant Director of Foundation Relations (

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 4:00pm