Fellowship : Human Frontier Science Program – Fellowship Program | Canadian Institutes of Health Research

What Is It?  

The Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) is an international program of research support implemented by the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO). The HFSP promotes international collaboration in basic research focused on the elucidation of the sophisticated and complex mechanisms of living organisms.

HFSP supports novel, innovative and interdisciplinary basic research focused on the complex mechanisms of living organisms through fellowship and research grant programs. In all HFSP programs, a clear emphasis is placed on novel collaboration that bring biologists together to focus on problems at the frontier of the life sciences.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

The HFSP fellowship program supports proposals for frontier, potentially transformative research in the life sciences. Applications for high-risk projects are particularly encouraged. The projects should be interdisciplinary in nature and should challenge existing paradigms by using novel approaches and techniques. Scientifically, they should address an important problem or a barrier to progress in the field. It is important to note that HFSP only funds basic life science research.

Two different fellowship programs are available:

  • Long-Term Fellowships (LTF): Awarded to applicants with a Ph.D. in a biological discipline, who will broaden their expertise by proposing a project in the life sciences which is significantly different from their previous Ph.D. or postdoctoral work.
  • Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships (CDF): Awarded to applicants with a Ph.D. from a non-biological discipline (e.g. in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering or computer sciences) who will learn new biological techniques for incorporation into the biological project they propose.

The HFSP fellowships are for 3 years, with no possibility for renewal.

Project Eligibility  

If you wish to apply to HFSP Postdoctoral Fellowships, you may complete the eligibility quiz. For more information, please consult the HFSP website.

Important eligibility criteria:

1) Nationality

A candidate who is not a national from one of the HFSP members (see list below) may apply to work only in a research institution in one of the member countries. A candidate who is a national of one of the member countries can apply to work in a research institution in any country.

HFSP member countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus (EU part only), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

South Africa and Norway are in the process of joining as full members at the beginning of 2023 and hence the call is fully applicable to them as new members of the organization.

Applicants must propose to work in a country different to the one where they did their previous PhD work or first post-doctoral studies. For those institutions that are not classified as national, i.e. international or extraterritorial institutions such as EMBL, ICPT or ICGEB, the country in which the laboratory is located will be considered the host country.

2) Doctoral degree

A research doctorate (PhD) or a doctoral-level degree comparable to a PhD with equivalent experience in basic research (e.g. a research based MD or medical PhD) must be conferred by the start of the fellowship. It is not required at the time of submission. By “conferred degree” we mean you have received your diploma for the degree. The “conferral date” is the date on the official PhD document. Please refer to the application guidelines for information in case you were not yet awarded the PhD.

3) Research publications

Applicants must have at least one lead author publication by the submission deadline of the Letter of Intent which can be a manuscript (1) published in a recognized OA preprint repository, or (2) accepted for publication, (3) in press or (4) already published by a peer reviewed journal.

Submission of a fellowship application at the Full Proposal stage however is only possible with a published research article according to points (2) to (4) above. HFSP only accepts full-length original research publications in English that were peer reviewed and for which the applicant must either be the single author, first author or joint first author. In a joint first author paper the applicant does not need to be listed in the first position, but the equal contribution of the authors must be clearly stated in all cases.

In some cases the standard publication practice makes first authorship impossible (e.g. alphabetical listing of authors); these circumstances must be explained in the the application.

Application Process 


Before applying please read carefully the application guidelines which list the eligibility criteria. Should you have any question as to your eligibility, please contact the fellowship office. 

The HFSP application portal in ProposalCentral will open on March 15, 2023 for Letters of Intent.

Information on how to submit a Letter of Intent can be found here.

General tutorials (not specific to HFSP applicants) on how to open an account and to submit a Letter of Intent via ProposalCentral can be found at:



If you have received results from a Tri-agency competition from April 1, 2022, to September 30, 2022, then the following dates apply:

  • Application Deadline: November 18, 2022 

  • Anticipated Notice of Decision: Early December 2022 

  • Funding Start Date: Mid-February 2023 

Complete the application form in the Alberta Innovates online grants portal.

Important Dates: 

Important dates:

Fellowship Program  Initiation of the letter of intent in the portal  Submission of a Letter of Intent Deadline  Submission of full proposals for invited applicants  Funding Start Date 
Long-Term Fellowships (LTF)  1pm (ET) March 15, 2023* 1pm (ET) May 11, 2023* 1 pm (ET) September 28, 2023 April 1, 2024**
Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships (CDF)  1pm (ET) March 15, 2023* 1pm (ET) May 11, 2023* 1 pm (ET) September 28, 2023 April 1, 2024**


Contact - Angela Rosenau



Agency Name: 
Human Frontier Science Program
Contact Name: 
Angela Rosenau
Grant Location: 
External Deadline: 
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Internal Deadline: 
Monday, May 1, 2023
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Grant Eligibility: