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Foundation Highlighted Funding Opportunities | November 2023

Limited Submission Opportunity: W.M. Keck Foundation

Grant Amount: $1,400,000
Internal Submission Deadline: Monday, December 4, 2023

The Office of the Vice President is seeking interdisciplinary and transformative project concepts for the W. M. Keck Foundation. Keck seeks to benefit humanity by supporting projects in two specific areas (1) medical research and (2) science and engineering that:

  • Focus on important and emerging areas of research;
  • Have the potential to develop breakthrough technologies, instrumentation or methodologies;
  • Are innovative, distinctive and interdisciplinary;
  • Demonstrate a high level of risk due to unconventional approaches, or by challenging the prevailing paradigm;
  • Have the potential for transformative impact, such as the founding of a new field of research, the enabling of observations not previously possible, or the altered perception of a previously intractable problem;
  • Do not focus on clinical or translational research, treatment trials or research for the sole purpose of drug development;
  • Fall outside the mission of public funding agencies; and
  • Demonstrate that private philanthropy generally, and the W. M. Keck Foundation in particular, is essential to the project’s success.

Funding requests are traditionally $1,000,000 in direct costs over three years, however the foundation has recently permitted budgets to exceed that amount (we recommend a cap of $1,400,000 over three years).

Please reach out to with any questions or to discuss applicability of an idea.

American Federation for Aging Research: Glenn Foundation/AFAR Grants for Junior Faculty

Grant Amount: Fellowships: Up to $150,000 for one-two years

Deadline: Letter of Intent due December 18, 2023

Additional Information -

The Glenn Foundation for Medical Research (GFMR) and AFAR provide up to $150,000 for a one- to two-year award to junior faculty (MDs and PhDs) to conduct research that will serve as the basis for longer term research efforts on the biology of aging. These investigators study a broad range of biomedical and clinical topics related to aging.

The major goal of this program is to assist in the development of the careers of junior investigators committed to pursuing careers in the field of aging research. GFMR and AFAR support research projects concerned with understanding the basic mechanisms of aging rather than disease-specific research. Projects investigating age-related diseases are supported if approached from the point of view of how basic aging processes may lead to these outcomes. Projects concerning mechanisms underlying common geriatric functional disorders are also encouraged, as long as these include connections to fundamental problems in the biology of aging. Projects that deal strictly with clinical problems such as the diagnosis and treatment of disease, health outcomes, or the social context of aging are not eligible.

Projects investigating mechanisms of, or putative therapies for, Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias, are not eligible for this award and investigators should consider applying instead to the Small Research Grant Program for the Next Generation of Researchers in Alzheimer's Disease (R03).

Projects investigating ger-omics should apply for The Sagol Network GerOmic Award for Junior Faculty (currently under review for funding in 2024).

It is anticipated that approximately 10 grants of up to $150,000 each will be awarded in 2024. Applicants may propose to use the award over the course of one or two years as justified by the proposed research. Up to 8% of funds may be budgeted for overhead or indirect costs (not to exceed $11,111). Funding will begin July 1, 2024.

The applicant must be an independent investigator with independent research space as described in a form completed by the Dean or Department Chair, and must be no more than 10 years beyond the start of postdoctoral research training as of July 1, 2024. For Awards funded by the GFMR preference will be given to investigators who are in the first 3 years of a faculty appointment. 

Please contact Sara Salmon if you are interested in applying to this opportunity. 

Autism Science Foundation: 2023 Pre- and Postdoctoral Training Awards

Grant Amount: $35,000 for predoctoral students and $50,000 for postdoctoral students
Deadline: December 8, 2023

Additional Information -
The Autism Science Foundation invites applications for its Pre- and Postdoctoral Training Awards from graduate students, medical students, and postdoctoral fellows interested in pursuing careers in basic and clinical research relevant to autism spectrum disorders.

The proposed training should be scientifically linked to autism but may be broadened to include training in a closely related area of scientific research. The foundation will consider all areas of related basic and clinical research, including but not limited to human behavior and co-occurring medical conditions across the lifespan (language, learning, behavior, communication, social function, motor skills & planning, epilepsy, sleep, repetitive disorders); neurobiology (anatomy, development, neuroimaging); pharmacology; studies that address disparities in access, care, and research; improving research in underserved communities; neuropathology; genetics and gene/environment interactions; epigenetics; immunology; molecular and cellular mechanisms; studies employing model organisms and systems; intervention research (behavioral, pharmacological or a combination of the two), and studies of treatment and service delivery.  

ASF welcomes scientific research in all fields; however, it is especially interested in projects that address previously under-researched communities. These include profound autism, those with severe and challenging behaviors, and autism disparities in racial and ethnic minority groups or those with socioeconomic challenges.

Awards are over one year and include $35,000 for predoctoral students and $50,000 for postdoctoral students. 

The proposed mentor must hold a tenured or tenure-track faculty appointment (or equivalent) at an accredited higher education or health/medical/research institution and be an established and active investigator in some aspect of autism research. 

To be eligible, applicants for predoctoral awards must be enrolled students in good standing in a program leading to a research doctorate, such as a PhD or ScD, or a dual degree, such as an MD/PhD, in an academic department at an accredited university or health/medical institution. Applicants for postdoctoral awards must have completed their doctoral or medical degree and have been accepted as a postdoctoral fellow in good standing in a program as of the award start date (July through September 2024). Both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens, regardless of their affiliation or enrollment location, are eligible to apply.

Please contact Lynn Wong if you are interested in applying to this opportunity. 

Rita Allen Foundation: Chronic Pain Research Grants

Grant Amount: $150,000 over three years
Deadline: December 14, 2023

Additional Information -
Since 2009, the Rita Allen Foundation has awarded the annual Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award in Pain, which recognizes early-career leaders in basic pain research whose work holds high potential for uncovering new pathways to improve the treatment of chronic pain. 

Through the program, early-career investigators will be awarded $150,000 over three years in support of innovative research that focuses on basic science mechanisms of pain. Proposed research projects should be directed toward investigating the molecular biology of pain and/or basic science topics related to developing new analgesics for managing pain. The entire award is made available to projects specifically chosen by the recipient; university overhead (i.e., indirect costs) is not supported.

Applicants must have received committed start-up funds and independent laboratory space from their institution, be within three years of the start date of a tenure track position or equivalent (senior postdocs and associate professors are not eligible), and must conduct their research and be appointed at an institution in the United States or Canada.

Please contact Sara Salmon if you are interested in applying to this opportunity.