Application Process

For more information on the Lilly Innovation Fellowship Award (LIFA) program application process, from when Lilly issues its call for applications to when the fellowship is awarded, please click on one of the images below.



Call for Preliminary Research Proposal

The current call for preliminary research proposals is by invitation only. Invitations were sent to Deans at selected universities around the world. Interested applicants should contact their Dean for further information.

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Research Proposal Submission

Research Proposals must be submitted to Lilly by the Office of the Dean for their school. Individual proposals will not be accepted. There is no limit on number of proposals submitted.

All preliminary research proposals must contain followings:

  • Preliminary Application Form (send along with invitation)
  • Biosketch for post-doctoral scientist
  • Privacy and Consent Form (send along with invitation)

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Research Proposal Review and Selection of Candidates to Apply for LIFA Fellowship

All applications will be reviewed by the LIFA committee. Applications with appropriate pre-competitive nature and alignment with current research areas of focus under the LIFA program (see Grand Challenges document) will be assigned a Lilly scientific mentor, who will work with the post-doctoral applicant and the academic mentor to prepare a final research proposal. A final application package will be sent out to each selected candidate.

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Application Submission in Partnership with Lilly Mentor

Candidates will work with their Lilly and academic mentor to develop final research proposal.

Application package must contain followings:

  • Application form (send along with final application package)
  • Biosketch for academic mentor
  • At least two letters of reference for the post-doctoral scientist
  • Institutional Letter of Commitment (send along with final application package)

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Application Review and Selection of Finalist

All applications will be reviewed by top Lilly scientists who are best able to evaluate their scientific and technical merit. Applications will be scored based on the following criteria:

  • Qualifications of the post-doctoral scientist
  • Qualifications of the academic mentor
  • Merits of the research proposal (novelty, potential impact, innovation and tie to Grand Challenges)

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Partnership Agreement and Fellowship Awarded

Once a post-doctoral scientist is identified as a finalist, Lilly will begin working with the university to sign a Training Partnership Agreement. The post-doctoral scientist cannot be offered the award until this agreement is in place.

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Interested in Being Considered for the LIFA Program

If you would like your institution to be considered for the LIFA program, please have your Dean contact the LIFA team at

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