New York Fund for Innovation in Research and Scientific Talent - NYFIRST

The deadline for submission of NYFIRST applications was May 15, 2024. The application period is now closed

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The NYFIRST medical school grant program is designed to encourage the recruitment or retention of exceptional life science researchers and world-class talent at the state’s medical schools to accelerate translational research.  

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NYFIRST makes available a maximum grant of $1.0 million to eligible institutional applicants. NYFIRST funds may be used to support the establishment or upgrading of laboratories for the recruited researcher, for the purchase of capital equipment and specialized supplies needed for his/her research, and as working capital to cover costs of professional staff (including staff scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and technicians, but excluding the recruited researcher) critical to the proposed research. Grantees are required to provide $2 in matching funds for every $1 of NYFIRST program assistance.

Program grant awards will be made through a competitive grant solicitation until the $15 million program funds are fully committed.   No more than one award will be made per applicant per application cycle.     

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Only medical schools in New York State are eligible to apply for NYFIRST grants.

The scientific talent recruited or retained as a Principal Investigator to head a laboratory must have a history of translational research and must be pursuing research on an innovative solution for an unmet clinical need. A clear path to commercialization must be demonstrated.     

In addition, the scientific talent must:

  • Demonstrate a history of entrepreneurship, such as by patent applications, patent approvals and commercialization of research, and by success in obtaining funding. He or she must also have sufficient funding to support the research project being undertaken for at least three years;

  • Be tenured or be on a tenure track;

  • Hire from outside of New York State or retain at least two scientists or doctoral students/post-doctoral fellows full-time (or four part-time); and

  • Be employed by an institution or company outside New York State when an offer of employment is made by the Applicant, or have a verifiable offer from an institution that would lead him/her to leave New York State.


The research to be undertaken must have the potential to result in significant life sciences economic   development benefits in New York State, such as: increased patent applications, patentable discoveries and patents licensed from medical schools; increased recruitment/retention of medical school faculty focused on translational research; expansion or enhancement of the translational research expertise, qualifications and capabilities residing within medical schools; and increased federal and philanthropic funding, as well as venture capital funding, to medical schools awarded NYFIRST grants. 

There are no restrictions with regard to the therapeutic area of research being pursued.

**Eligibility requirements, funding criteria and application requirements are detailed in the Life Sciences Initiative Program Guidelines for the New York Fund for Innovation in Research and Scientific Talent (NYFIRST) Program**

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Click here to view updated NYFIRST Capital Program Guidelines.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions.

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How to Apply

The application period for the current round of NYFIRST applications closed on May 15, 2024.