AFOSR awards $21.5M to scientists, engineers via Young Investigator Program

  • Published
  • By Brianna Hodges
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Air Force Office of Scientific Research, or AFOSR, the basic research arm of the Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, will award approximately $21.5 million in grants to 48 scientists and engineers from 36 institutions and businesses in 20 states under the fiscal year 2024 Young Investigator Program, or YIP.  

According to Ellen Robinson, AFOSR YIP program manager, AFOSR received 159 proposals for FY24 funding.  

“Through the YIP, the Department of the Air Force fosters creative basic research in science and engineering, enhances early career development of outstanding young investigators and increases opportunities for the young investigators to engage in forwarding the Department of the Air Force, or DAF mission and related challenges in science and engineering,” Robinson said.  

YIP recipients receive three-year grants of up to $450,000. The program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are scientists and engineers at U.S. research institutions. Individuals must have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last seven years and show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research of DAF relevance. Award selections are subject to the successful completion of negotiations with academic institutions and businesses. 

For the first time, AFOSR offered astrodynamics and high-energy radiation-matter systems as a selection for research discipline under their YIP funding opportunity announcement to replace former research portfolio laser and optical physics. 

Robinson reports 11 Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research institutions or DEPSCoRs, and six minority-serving institutions, to include two Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions, or AANAPISIs, and four AANAPISI Hispanic Serving Institutions will be awarded for the FY24 YIP program.  

The unique mission of AFRL/AFOSR is accomplished with the support of university research in addition to providing exceptional training grounds for developing and mentoring future scientists and advancing our national defense and economic security. Key partnerships through Air Force special and educational programs like YIP expand scientific knowledge and explore high-risk basic research with the potential to transition into discovery and development that profoundly impacts the future Air and Space Force, according to the U.S. Air Force basic research program website.   

“The AFOSR YIP program enables young scientists and engineers the opportunity to explore ideas that perhaps would not be looked at by other funding agencies,” said Dr. Patrick Bradshaw, AFOSR program officer for human performance and biosystems. “I use this program as a starting point for new, unique ideas.  Invariably, the young investigators’ presentation will be talked about at my program review and other investigators will invite the young investigator to work with them on new projects. The YIP spurs new, unique ideas and starts interesting avenues of study.” 

To view the list of FY24 winning proposals, click here. For additional information on the AFOSR YIP, email

About AFRL  

The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit  


The Air Force Office of Scientific Research, or AFOSR, expands the horizon of scientific knowledge through its leadership and management of the Department of the Air Force's basic research program. As a vital component of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), AFOSR's mission is to discover, shape, champion and transitions high- risk basic research that profoundly impacts the future Air and Space Forces. AFOSR accomplishes its mission through global investment in advanced discovery research efforts in relevant scientific areas. Central to AFOSR's strategy is the transfer of the fruits of basic research to industry, the supplier of Department of the Air Force acquisitions; to the academic community, which can lead the way to still more accomplishment; and to the other directorates of AFRL that carry the responsibility for applied research leading to acquisition.