Young Scholars Program (YSP)

The FCD Young Scholars Program (YSP) supports policy and practice-relevant research that is focused on the early learning and development needs of the nation’s children who are growing up under conditions of economic insecurity and social exclusion. 

For more information please download the YSP Guidelines

YSP encourages applications from scholars who are: 

  •  Themselves from historically disadvantaged or underrepresented groups, e.g. first-generation college graduates, and those from low-income communities. 
  •  Scholars who represent a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches and that examine the impact of mental, physical, health, social, economic, institutional, and community factors on early learning and child development. 


Eligible researchers will have received their doctoral degrees (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., Psy.D., M.D., J.D., etc) within one to seven years of application submission. Ten years for physician applicants. A minimum of one year must have elapsed since receiving their degrees before Principal Investigators may apply to the program. Specifically, the earliest and latest possible dates to have received your degree are January 1, 2007 through June 30, 2014, and January 1, 2004 though June 30, 2014 for those with medical degrees (M.D.s). 

The affiliated private non-profit organization must have a minimum operating budget of $2.5 million and a minimum three-year track record in conducting multi-year research projects (at least three over the last three years). 

To view additional eligibility criteria, research focus and for more information about applying to the YSP please download the YSP Guidelines


  •  The online LOI process is closed for this cycle of the YSP as of Wednesday, May 13, 2015.
  •  An online conference (webinar) to review the LOI process was April 7, 2015 - Click here to watch the LOI Webinar Recording & Click here to watch the Webinar Q&A. 
  •  July 1, 2015 – Latest notification date of LOI status. 
  •  Two additional online conferences (webinars) are planned for those with approved LOIs who have been invited to apply to the full Application process.
  •  The online full Application process for those with approved LOIs who have been invited to apply will close at Noon ET on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. 
  •  April 1, 2016 – Latest notification date of full Application status.

Please sign up for FCD's enewsletter, The Learning Curve, and consult this page for updates.

Click here to watch the LOI Webinar Recording & Click here to watch the Webinar Q&A. 


If you have questions, please refer to the YSP Frequently Asked Questions. For further assistance and in order for the questions raised to be tracked, please submit your question via email to All emails will be addressed in as timely a manner as possible. We appreciate your cooperation since FCD staff does not have the capacity to accept telephone inquiries.