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Career Development Award

The Career Development Award (CDA) funds HFSP fellows who return to their home country or move to an HFSP member country to establish their independent laboratory. It is the primary funding mechanism offered by HFSP that aims at encouraging repatriation of postdoctoral researchers after the fellowship tenure abroad.

The goal of CDA support is to encourage former HFSP fellows to initiate an original research program in their own laboratories as independent researchers in their home country or in an HFSP member country. Applicants for the CDA are expected to propose an original and innovative frontier research program that holds promise for the development of new approaches to problems in the life sciences with potential to advance the field of research significantly.

The three-year award provides initial support during a critical period of career development. Host institutions are expected to contribute additional resources in support of the awardees and their independent research program.

The CDA is open only for former HFSP Fellows. Candidates are furthermore encouraged to select research institutions that are different from their PhD institutes to facilitate their scientific independence. Eligible HFSP fellows will receive information in good time to apply for the Award.

The 2024 HFSP Nakasone Award is awarded to Maiken Nedergaard

2024 - Maiken Nedergaard

The 2024 HFSP Nakasone Award is awarded to Maiken Nedergaard “for her groundbreaking discovery and exploration of the glymphatic system that has transformed our understanding of the importance of sleep.” 

Rotem Sorek is the winner of 2023 HFSP Nakasone Award

2023 - Rotem Sorek

The 2023 HFSP Nakasone Award is awarded to Rotem Sorek for his groundbreaking discoveries of the diversity and operation of prokaryotic immune systems that revolutionized our understanding of virus defence and explained how related features of the human immune system evolved.

Hartl and Horwich

2022 - Franz-Ulrich Hartl and Arthur L. Horwich

The 2022 HFSP Nakasone Award is awarded jointly to Franz-Ulrich Hartl and Arthur L. Horwich for their discoveries revealing the functions and mechanisms of chaperone-mediated protein folding and the implication of their work in understanding human disease.

Aviv Regev

2022 - Aviv Regev

The 2022 HFSP Nakasone Award is awarded to Aviv Regev for unravelling the biological processes controlling cellular phenotype through innovative computational, mathematical, and experimental approaches applied to single-cell genomics.

Hyman and Brangwynne

2021 - Anthony Hyman and Clifford Brangwynne

The 2021 HFSP Nakasone Award is awarded jointly to Anthony Hyman and Clifford Brangwynne for their discovery of a new state of biological matter, phase-separated macromolecule condensates, that play an important role in cell organisation, gene regulation, signalling and pathology.

Angelika Amon

2020 - Angelika Amon

Angelika Amon of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT has been awarded the 2020 HFSP Nakasone Award for 'discovering aneuploidy-induced cellular changes and their contribution to tumorigenesis.'

Michael Hall

2019 - Michael Hall

Michael N. Hall of the Biozentrum at the University of Basel in Switzerland is awarded the 2019 HFSP Nakasone Award for the 'discovery of the master regulator of cell growth, the target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase.'  


S Paabo

2018 - Svante Pääbo

Svante Pääbo received the 2018 HFSP Nakasone Award for his discovery of the extent to which hybridization with Neanderthals and Denisovans has shaped the evolution of modern humans, and his development of techniques for sequencing DNA from fossils.

D Julius

2017 - David Julius

David Julius was awarded the 2017 HFSP Nakasone Award for his 'discovery of the molecular mechanism of thermal sensing in animals' because it has defined a field of sensory reception.

Charpentier and Doudna

2016 - Emmanuelle Charpentier & Jennifer Doudna

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna have been awarded the  2016 HFSP Nakasone Award for their seminal work on the CRISPR-Cas9 system.

J Collins

2015 - James Collins

James Collins received the 2015 HFSP Nakasone Award for his innovative work on synthetic gene networks and programmable cells that launched the exciting field of synthetic biology.


U Alon

2014 - Uri Alon

Uri Alon received the 2014 HFSP Nakasone Award for his pioneering work in discovering network motifs, which provided the single most important foundation of the field of systems biology, opening up the previously impenetrable complexity of genetic circuits to systematic analysis and understanding.