NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellowship Awards

View the 2024 Early RFA | Advanced RFA

The 2024 RFA is closed.
Candidates will be notified by mid-May.
For questions, please email

Program Details

NYSCF invites applications from postdoctoral fellows at institutions within New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut for awards to support translational stem cell research. The main goal of this initiative is to foster research that will advance the application of stem cells for the understanding and treatment of human disease. Responsive translational and/or preclinical studies in stem cell research may include technology development, disease modeling, drug discovery, and/or therapeutics.

NYSCF is eager to support candidates at all stages of the postdoctoral career. Applicants may only apply to one NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellowship RFA per year, either Early or Advanced. The fellowship provides an annual stipend of $62,400 (plus $2,500 for computer and travel expenses). The fellowship does not provide institutional overhead.

The NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellowship will be awarded in two grant categories:

Early Postdoctoral Fellowship
Designed to attract promising candidates who are generally within the first four years of postdoctoral experience and looking for up to three years of postdoctoral support.

Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship
Designed to encourage accomplished candidates aiming to transition from postdoctoral research to an independent faculty position, awarded one year of postdoctoral support.

Candidates are asked to self-select and apply for the mechanism for which they would like to be considered. NYSCF reserves the right to disqualify candidates who apply to both mechanisms in the same year.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, candidates must:

• Have completed one or more of the following degrees or its equivalent: MD, PhD, and / or DPhil
• Be working under the guidance of a qualified faculty member at an academic institution in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut.

Applicants who are committed at 100% effort to existing fellowships that last beyond June 1, 2024 will not be considered.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

NYSCF is committed to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in STEM. Overcoming the impact of systematic racism, sexism, and other discrimination that has systematically marginalized certain groups from STEM research is critical for a productive, innovative scientific community. NYSCF strongly encourages applications from scientists of all ethnicities, cultures, religions, nationalities, abilities and disabilities, sexes, gender identities, sexual orientations, geographic locations, and socioeconomic statuses. We invite and encourage applicants to (optionally) self-identify as part of any systematically marginalized groups in STEM (including, but not limited to, groups on the basis of gender (including identity / expression), race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and ability), and to describe how this identity may have impacted their scientific career. We request this information to help us stay true to our commitment to increasing diversity in applicants and awardees, and actively use it in the review process to account for any undue adversity candidates may have faced due to their identity. We also require applicants to demonstrate their commitment to DEIB by describing any efforts or activities they are involved in that support DEIB in their own labs, institutes, or the broader STEM field. These activities will be evaluated as additional merits to scientific accomplishments and potential.

Additionally, to help benchmark the state of gender equity in research institutions worldwide, we require all applicants to our grant programs to complete the Institutional Report Card for Gender Equity. The data submitted will not impact how your application is evaluated, but the report card must be submitted for the application to be considered complete. Details can be found under Report Card in the FAQ.


Eligibility  Program  Report Card

Application & Proposal

Does the 7-page limit include figures and references?
Figures are included in the 7-page limit, references are not. Figures should be placed throughout your proposal. Any pages after the 7-page mark (before references) will be deleted from your application.

What size margins and font should I use?
No less than ½ inch and no less than 11pt font, Arial or Times New Roman.

How much information do you need for “current funding sources”?
Please upload details of your current and pending support. Please include sources, project titles, dates of project period, amounts, statuses and major goals of project. Candidates who are committed at 100% effort to existing fellowships that last beyond June 1, 2024 will not be considered.

How should the letter of reference and mentor plan be submitted?
You should use the online grants management system to input names and contact information for your reference and faculty sponsor. You will be asked to enter the respective email address into the “Faculty Sponsor Mentor Plan” and “Letter of Reference” box in the system. Once you have done this, you will be prompted to send him or her an email through the system requesting the letter of reference by clicking the “compose email” button. In addition to the email sent by you, a second auto-generated email will also be sent through the system to your reference and faculty sponsor with instructions and a link to upload the document.

Does the letter and mentor plan need to be received by the closing date?
Yes, to guarantee these documents are included in your application, you will need to make sure your they are submitted through the online system by the RFA closing date and time.

Does the IWISE Report Card need to be received by the closing date?
Yes. If the report card has not be submitted, your application will not be put forward for consideration.

Is there a word or page limit for the “Response to Previous Review Committee Comments”?
Please aim to keep your response to a page, following the same guidelines as the proposal.

I made an error in the portal and can’t change my institution’s information.
Please email fellowship@nyscf.org with your edits.

My project does not use human embryonic stem cells and does not need ESCRO approval, but the field is required.
Please upload a document simply stating that your project does not need ESCRO approval.


If unsuccessful, can I reapply in subsequent years?
Yes. Many candidates have been successful after reapplying.

May I apply from a foreign institution?
No, only fellows working under the guidance of a qualified faculty member at an accredited academic or nonprofit institution in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut are eligible for this award.

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the United States. Am I eligible?
You are eligible only if you are working as a postdoctoral fellow at an accredited academic or nonprofit institution in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to apply?
No, candidates can be US citizens, US legal residents, or a foreign applicant with appropriate visa documentation, as required by US Immigration, valid for the course of the fellowship.

I am not sure if my project falls within the scope of the NYSCF Fellowship Program. Can someone at NYSCF review my idea?
The New York Stem Cell Foundation cannot provide comments on specific ideas of plans for individual research grant applications. We are looking to cultivate research that will explore the basic biology and therapeutic potential of stem cells derived from humans and model organisms.

NYSCF encourages applications focused on basic, pre-clinical, and/or translational studies in stem cell research including technical development, disease modeling, drug discovery and therapeutics. Candidates studying human embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells and differentiated cells derived from them are particularly encouraged to apply.

NYSCF does not have a preference for a particular disease area, but we do have a preference to support translationally oriented research projects.

When do I need to start my postdoctoral position to be eligible?
You need to be a postdoctoral fellow in a laboratory starting June 1, 2024. If you are applying for this year’s cycle and have not started by the submission deadline of January 10, 2024, your PI/sponsor needs to indicate in his or her mentor plan that you will be starting in his or her laboratory by June 1, 2024.


Will the RFAs be released again next year?
Yes, we plan to release the RFAs again next year. Fellowship RFAs will be announced annually at The NYSCF Conference in October.

What is the funding start date?
The funding start date is June 1, 2024.

How much does the award provide for?
Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend of $62,400 (plus $2,500 for computer and travel expenses).

Does the award provide institutional overhead?
No, the award does not provide institutional overhead.

Report Card

Where did the idea come from?
The idea was generated from the Working Group of NYSCF’s Initiative on Women in Science and Engineering (IWISE). It was one of the seven actionable strategies the Working Group recommended for promoting gender equality in science following the inaugural IWISE meeting in February 2014. The conclusions and strategies from this meeting were published in March 2015 in Cell Stem Cell.

Can I read the IWISE Working Group’s paper?
Yes, you can read the paper here. We encourage you to share it widely with your colleagues.

Who is part of the IWISE Working Group?
The IWISE Working Group is made of a diverse coalition of international scientists, who span a variety of careers stages as well as leaders, politicians, journal editors, biomedical research funders and others who are committed to advocating for gender equality in science.

What have you done with the data you’ve collected?
Over the course of 4 years, we collected 1200+ report cards from 500+ institutions in 38 countries. An analysis of the data collected from the Report Card appears in the 2019 Cell Stem Cell paper “Institutional Report Cards for Gender Equality: Lessons Learned from Benchmarking Efforts for Women in STEM.” To read more about the initiative, read our press release, and see other press coverage on the study, please visit this page.

Do I have to complete the report card?
Yes. All applicants must complete the report card as part of their applications to NYSCF’s award programs. Applications without completed report cards will be considered incomplete.

Who should complete the report card?
The report card should be completed by, or on behalf of, your department chair.

Will the data reported in the report card affect my application?
No. The only way that the report card will affect your application is if it is not completed.

Will the data reported increase or decrease my chances of receiving an award?
No. The data reported by your department chair will not affect your grant application.

Meet the Fellows