• The call is now open, from March 15 to July 15, 2024

Career Development Award: how to apply



Candidates must:

  • 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 10 years from having received a PhD.  The calculation of the three and 10 years is made by comparing the date the degree was conferred with the CDA application deadline (i.e. July 15, 2024), so this year the degree should have been received no earlier than July 15, 2014, and not later than July 15, 2021. Please note that:
    • 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.
  • 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.


  • As part of the preliminary discussion with a Host Institute, an offer of a tenure-track position is desirable.
  • Applicants may apply no more than twice.


  • 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, 2025 and December 31, 2025.
  • 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.
  • A candidate who is nominated for a Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation Career Development Award (CDA) may not hold this award concurrently with another grant designed to assist in establishing the scientist at a Host Institute in Italy and to pursue the same line of research. Exceptions to this will be made only under exceptional circumstances, which must be communicated promptly to the Armenise Harvard Foundation for consideration.  Co-funding from the Host Institute, on the other hand, would be positively considered.


  • If, after the Award recipient has moved to Italy and taken up the grant, he/she receives a permanent position and/or salary from other sources additional to the Award, the recipient may use the preserved funding (i.e., no longer used for salary) to support the research program in other ways, provided that the goals of the research program are unchanged. The Foundation should be notified promptly of the change in status.
  • If the Award recipient wishes to change Host Institute before taking up the grant, the original grant may be forfeited and a new application may have to be made the following year. This circumstance would be handled on an individual basis.
  • Please be aware that any dual affiliation/ appointment that was not disclosed at the time of the application must be approved by the Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation (GAHF).  The GAHF reserves the right to terminate the Career Development Award should the time and effort dedicated to the CDA-sponsored project be deemed inappropriate by the Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation.  Failure to disclose another affiliation/appointment may result in the loss of the CDA and repayment of prior funds.


Award recipients will be expected to provide an annual progress report, including a financial report and a brief summary of their research activity.

After the initial three years, to apply for a further two years of funding, a detailed description of all work accomplished and in progress as a result of the Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation CDA must be submitted towards the end of the third year.  A report from the Host Institute will also be required at this time.  If the additional two-year funding is granted, an annual report would be due for the fourth year, and a final report from both the grant recipient and the Host Institute must be provided at the end of the fifth year.  Reports will describe publications, other support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program on the scientific achievement of the individual.

The Giovanni Armenise Harvard Foundation should be acknowledged in all publications emanating from the research carried out during the award period.


  • Awardees will be invited to take part in thematically-relevant Armenise Harvard Foundation symposia during the term of the Career Development Award.
  • Awardees will be invited to take part in both annual events and workshops.
  • Awardees will be eligible to apply to the Giovanni Armenise Travel Fellowship.


July 15 (11:59pm EDT) each year.


Applicants should note that short-listed candidates will be required to attend an interview in Italy (or remotely if travel is not possible) on November 15, 2024. The interview will include a presentation of the candidate’s work and proposal, of no more than 20 minutes, in addition to an informal dialogue about the candidate’s aspirations and choice of the Host Institute as well as Q&A.




Application’s documents must be typed using a 12pt font, with double-spaced pages and one-inch side margins on each side (excluding Bibliography, Images, and Key Facilities&Equipment). Please put your name in the title of each pdf document (e.g. MillerL CV.pdf, MillerL Publications.pdf, etc.) and the document title, date, and page number in the header or footer of each separate document.

The application consists of several elements, some of which need to be uploaded, while others must be emailed. Click on “Application Form” below to begin the application process. Please have everything ready before you start.

  1. Application Form: Complete all information requested. At the end of the form you will be prompted to upload the following  documents from 2 to 6 in pdf format.
  2. Curriculum Vitae. Your CV must include the list of all your publications.
  3. Selected Publications: a document listing up to four research papers published since your PhD, including a short explanation (maximum 500 characters including spaces per publication) of the significance of the selected publications, your role in producing each of them, how these publications demonstrate the your capacity to successfully carry out and lead their proposed project and/or a short explanation of the importance of the listed examples of significant peer recognition. Please include a link to each publication.
  4. Synopsis. Description of the previous research and an abstract of the proposed project (the Synopsis should not exceed one, double-spaced page with a one-inch margin on each side, excluding bibliography).
  5. Scientific Proposal: description of your proposed research. This should be done in English in sufficient detail to enable the reviewing committees to appraise it. A level of detail typical of a scientific journal article is appropriate. Review committees will be asked to evaluate the quality of the candidate, the originality and feasibility of the proposed research and the overall contribution that the research could make to the specific area of science. The narrative should not exceed 15 pages (double-spaced with one-inch margin on each side, excluding bibliography and images). Include the following sections:
    1. Introduction: a brief summary of preliminary work or other background material.
    2. Objectives: a description of what is to be accomplished over three years including an explanation of why the candidate considers this is important for the advancement of this scientific area.
    3. Scope of Research: a summary of the design and methodologies to be applied, and experimental plan.
    4. Host Institute: a short summary of the academic record of the proposed Host Institute and an explanation of why the project should be conducted in that particular Host Institute.
    5. Bibliography: list publications separately to the fifteen-page narrative.
    6. Key Facilities&Equipment: separately from the fifteen-page narrative, list the key facilities and equipment you need to carry out your research activity. Be sure to confirm that they are available at the Host Institute in a fully functional and accessible form (e.g. how the instrument is maintained, who is the responsible person, and how its accessibility is regulated).
  6. Budget: a detailed budget (including assumptions) outlining personnel, equipment, travel, supplies, meeting costs, overhead and taxes, if relevant.
  7. Document all other financial support, active and pending, indicating principal investigator, sponsor, title of project and award dates. This information can be copied and pasted into the application form. If you have no other support, please indicate this in the relevant box on the application form.
  8. Three Letters of Reference:  These letters should be on institute letterhead, signed and scanned and contain the name of the applicant and referee in the file title (eg MillerL from SmithC.pdf).  They must be sent directly from the referee via e-mail to armeniseharvardfdn@hms.harvard.edu  only (without cc the candidate) by the July 15 deadline.
  9. Letter of Intent from Host Institute:  This should confirm the institute’s full support, encouragement of independent scientific research in general and the applicant in particular, and give a commitment to the applicant’s future career.   Like the Letters of Reference, we need a signed copy on institute letterhead, and the name of the applicant and the Host Institute should be included in the file title (eg MillerL from La Sapienza.pdf).  The Letter should be signed by the Department Head, the Scientific Director and the Financial Director of the Host Institute, and sent by the Department Head to armeniseharvardfdn@hms.harvard.edu via e-mail by the July 15 deadline with a cc to the applicant, the Scientific Director and the Financial Director.  It is very important that the applicant and the Host Institute are in complete agreement on all aspects of the position before submitting the application. Similarly, the applicant should be fully in agreement with the contents of the Host Institute’s Letter, which should include the following information  at minimum:
    1. Indicate why the department head wishes to have the applicant work in his/her department.
    2. Illustrate how this research, while remaining independent, complements the other work done in the Host Institute.
    3. Illustrate how the Host Institute will ensure and promote the scientific independence of the applicant (including express confirmation that the candidate will be given freedom of choosing her/his research projects, of selecting her/his team members, and right to publish as last author).
    4. Clearly state that the Host Institute offers the necessary facilities to allow the candidate to carry out his/her project and include a description of these facilities including both shared and dedicated lab space (sqm, bench space, cages, etc.), administrative/research help available, etc. In particular, the letter has to indicate explicitly the availability of all the Key Facilities&Equipment as reported in the proposal of the candidate (or how do you plan to provide for them), who is responsible for their maintenance and the costs, if any, associated to use them.
    5. Confirm that the department is willing to take on the administrative responsibilities involved in accepting the grant and furthering the career of the awardee (indicate the percentage of overhead up to 10%).
    6. Describe the mentoring program available for the candidate at the institute, including the type of involvement by the mentor, i.e. not simply that a mentor program exists.
    7. Indicate the agreed salary (please specify both the gross amount, i.e. stipendio lordo, and the full cost, i.e. costo azienda), the entry package (if any), the job title, the employment grade level and contract type, the teaching requirements (please indicate the required hours and if there will be additional compensation), and the steps, requirements and timeframe for future career development.
    8. Confirm that the Host Institute and the applicant are in complete agreement as to the terms under which the applicant would take up a position at the Host Institute, including salary and benefits, position, ranking, responsibilities (including teaching requirements), time frame for review, mentoring, and the possibilities of a permanent position, and the terms and timing to access the Key Facilities & Equipment.


Please be aware that the Foundation considers the Letter of Intent as a binding document and integral to the granting of the Career Development Award. Therefore:

  1. the Letter of Intent should include at least all information requested above under document n.9, points (a) to (h). A Letter of Intent missing any of the required information, will be considered as not complete, and the application as NOT completed.
  2. the final contract signed by the candidate and the Host Institute should reflect the same (or greater) terms and conditions represented in the submitted Letter of Intent. Any difference between the final contract and the Letter of Intent should be notified promptly to the Foundations, and could result in the original grant to be forfeited and a new application may have to be submitted for review. SHOULD THE DIFFERENCE EMERGE AFTER THE CAREER DEVELOPMENT AWARD IS RECEIVED, THE GIOVANNI ARMENISE HARVARD FOUNDATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REVOKE THE CAREER DEVELOPMENT AWARD AND TO ENFORCE THE OBLIGATION OF THE AWARDEE AND THE HOST INTSTITUTE TO REIMBURSE IN FULL THE FUNDS ALREADY RECEIVED FROM THE GIOVANNI ARMENISE HARVARD FOUNDATION.  THIS MAY BE INVOKED AT ANY TIME. BY SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION, YOU AND YOUR HOST INSTITUE ACCEPT THE CONDITIONS ABOVE.
  3. Any difference in the terms of the Letter of Intent, and/or delay in making the Key Facilities Equipment available to the CDA awardee may result in the postponement of the CDA disbursement. In that case, the Host Institute will be responsible to cover the cost of research and salary of the CDA and her/his lab members until all facilities are made available with the conditions indicated in the Letter of Intent, at which point the CDA could start and be disbursed. BY SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION, YOU  AND THE HOST INSTITUTE ACCEPT THE CONDITIONS ABOVE 

On-line applications can be submitted between March 15 and July 15, 2024. It will not be possible to submit an application and/or any component of the application documents for 2024 later than July 15, 2024 11.59pm EDT. Only applications that are complete and fully compliant with the instructions will be considered. You should receive an email confirming that your application has been delivered successfully. If you do not receive a confirmation, please send an email to Elisabetta Vitali (email address below).

If you have any questions concerning this application or the program, please contact: