Calls for Proposals FY 2023 Interstellar Initiative

Change log

April 17, 2023: A short PR video has been posted in the Program summary section.


Status of Grants/Funding Opportunities Grants/Funding Opportunities
R&D phase Basic Study
Key Fields Innovation and Clinical Research Center Project
Submission Deadline April 5, 2023 - May 22, 2023 (15:00PM JST)
Division of Strategic Planning, Department of International Strategy, AMED
E-mail: interstellar“AT” (Replace “AT” with @)

Public offering content

Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the 2023-2024 Interstellar Initiative. The purpose of the call is to recruit Early Carrier Investigators to attend the FY2023 Interstellar Initiative.

The 2023-2024 Interstellar Initiative will address challenges in the area of Basic Research to elucidate the complex mechanisms of living organisms for the benefit of all humankind. Research topics may include biological functions at all levels of analysis: for example, studies on genes and individual molecules, intracellular networks, intercellular associations in tissues and organs, and networks underlying the complex functions of entire organisms.

Applications are invited from Early Career Investigators (ECIs) who have backgrounds in four broad categories: 1) Biomedical Science; 2) Life Sciences; 3) Physical/Participation in this two-parNatural Sciences and 4) Biotechnology/Analytical technology.

The Interstellar Initiative connects ECIs with peers, in related but distinct disciplines, under the guidance of Mentors who are established scientists at the forefront of their respective academic fields. This is a remarkable opportunity for investigators to: (i) receive expert guidance from leading senior scientists on the preparation of a compelling research proposal; (ii) network with exceptional researchers from around the world; and (iii) build international research collaborations.

Applications will be accepted from ECIs in the 4 broad disciplines above. Successful applicants must participate in an orientation session (virtual) in August, a three-day workshop in New York from September 13-15, 2023 where they will be grouped into teams and asked to develop a research proposal, with guidance from mentors, and a presentation session (virtual) in late January or early February. All teams will include one member from Japan. All teams will receive a modest funding award from AMED through the Japanese team member’s institution to further enhance their proposals, leading up to a second virtual workshop, on late January or early February, 2024 (date will be announced later). Proposals will be refined at this second workshop and prepared for submission to international funding agencies. 

Please carefully read the NYAS website for Application Guidelines of Interstellar Initiative.

Program summary

The Interstellar Initiative ― presented jointly by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development and the New York Academy of Sciences ― recognizes the world’s most promising Early Career Investigators and connects them with peers, in related but distinct disciplines, providing a platform for them to develop a solution to a major research question. The aim is to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and thereby catalyze discovery.

The following 2.5-minute video will give you the whole concept.


Applications are invited from Early Career Investigators who have backgrounds in four broad categories:

  1. Biomedical Research
  2. Life Sciences
  3. Physical/Natural Sciences
  4. Biotechnology/Analytical technology

Early Career Investigator applicants must:

  • Hold a doctoral degree or equivalent (PhD, DPhil, MD, DDS, DVM, etc.)
  • Have obtained their last doctoral degree within the past 10 years (January 2012 or later)
  • Have been engaged in active research for 10 years or less since obtaining their doctoral degree or equivalent
  • Hold an independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty position at a university, private research institution, academic medical center, or national government laboratory
  • Be proficient in speaking and writing in English for the purpose of professional science communication
  • Have never participated in the Interstellar Initiative activities/workshops of the previous rounds.

Note: Exceptions to these requirements may be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the organizers. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact interstellar”AT” ※Replace "AT" with @.

Solicitation Period

April 5, 2023 - May 22, 2023 (15:00PM JST)

How to Apply

Early Career Investigators must prepare a proposal that addresses the following:
Identify a critical research question in basic research, highlighting its importance and impact, and propose a research plan for how your expertise can address this question, including how you hope to improve this proposal through participation in the Interstellar Initiative.

Proposals may not exceed 1000 words in length, must be in English, and must address the evaluation criteria outlined below. A supplementary figure may be included but is not required.

Those who belong to institutes located in Japan should apply both through e-Rad and following link. Note that applications must be submitted through both portals, applications submitted only through one portal will not be accepted.

Follow guideline attached to submit application to e-Rad portal.


Application Guidelines


Last updated 04/17/23