Senior Scholar in Aging Award - Application Procedures

The Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar program is designed to support established investigators working at institutions in the U.S. to conduct research in the basic biological and basic biomedical sciences relevant to understanding lifespan development processes and age-related diseases and disabilities. The award is intended to provide significant support to allow the development of new, creative research programs by investigators who may not currently be conducting aging research or who wish to develop new research programs in aging. The Foundation particularly seeks to stimulate new research that has rigorous scientific foundations but is currently inadequately funded, either because of its perceived novelty, high risk, or because it is from an area where other "traditional" research interests absorb most funding.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to

  • Structural biology
  • Molecular genetics
  • Studies with model systems ranging from lower eukaryotes to humans
  • Inquiries testing the relevance of simpler models to human aging
  • Genetic epidemiology of aging; candidate longevity genes
  • Aging in the immune system
  • Host defense molecules in aging systems
  • Mechanisms of free radical induced cell aging
  • Mechanisms of aging in various differentiated cell populations
  • Gene/environment and gene/gene interactions
  • Integrative physiology
  • New approaches to age-modulated disease mechanisms


Senior Scholar awards are for up to $150,000 direct costs per year, plus full indirect costs, for four years and are non-renewable. Potential Senior Scholars apply initially by submitting a Letter of Intent. Those selected to submit a full application will be notified and provided with necessary application materials and instructions. Note: Any interested researcher may submit a Letter of Intent for the 2013 Senior Scholar in Aging award competition; however, current or past Senior Scholar Awardees are not eligible.

The following file may be downloaded and used as a guide to prepare your letter of intent. Instructions for the 2013 Senior Scholar Letter of Intent

You must complete your Senior Scholar Letter of Intent ONLINE at: Online submissions will be accepted after December 1, 2012.

Letters of Intent are due by March 7, 2013 (online submissions must be completed by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time).

Those invited to submit a full application on the basis of their Letter of Intent will be notified of their selection and provided with application instructions in mid-June, 2013. The Senior Scholar full applications will be due in July, 2013.

Senior Scholar awardees will be notified in mid-August, 2013.

The earliest possible start date of the award is dependent on completion of the award agreement with the grantee institution.


Established investigators employed by US 501(c)(3) institutions, colleges, universities or non-profit research organizations are eligible to apply. Any interested researcher may submit a Letter of Intent for the 2013 Senior Scholar in Aging award competition; however, current or past Senior Scholar Awardees are not eligible to apply. There is no limit to the number of Senior Scholar letters of intent that may be submitted from any one institution.


Applicants for the Senior Scholar Award are expected to furnish evidence of substantial prior scientific creativity and productivity, not necessarily targeted to aging research heretofore. Evaluation by the Aging Review Group and the Scientific Advisory Board will consider scientific contributions to date, the quality of publications, and the importance of the proposed new research to understanding fundamental aging mechanisms. The Aging Review Group and the Scientific Advisory Board will pay close attention to arguments about why the work falls outside the scope of, or would not qualify for support from, established funding sources such as the NIA. Except for compelling circumstances, the awards are not intended to supplement ongoing, already funded programs but, instead, to inspire new directions that may entail substantial risk. Up to 25 Senior Scholar awards will be made in the fall of 2013.

Terms of the Award

Each award will be made for up to $150,000 per year direct costs, plus full indirect costs at the institution's NIH negotiated rate, for up to four years. Funding for years two, three and four is contingent upon submission of an acceptable progress report.

Acceptable uses for award funds include project-related: salaries, other personnel costs, equipment, supplies, resource acquisition and travel. Carry-overs in excess of $25,000 must be approved by the Foundation. Indirect costs are not permitted on equipment, even for purchases less than $5,000.

For all (new and non-competing renewal) awards supporting research involving human subjects, animal subjects, research collaborations with foreign institutions, biosafety issues, or human embryonic stem cells the Foundation will require the following documentation before an award can be made:

  1. Human subjects:
    1. Copies of the protocol submitted to the Institutional Review Board(s) for this project* and the notification of protocol approval from all relevant IRBs (for funded awards, an annual update will be required at the time of the progress report).
    2. Documentation from the applicant institution that the principal investigator has completed training on the protection of human research participants.
  2. Animal subjects:
    1. A copy of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approval for this project* (for funded awards, an annual update will be required at the time of the progress report).
  3. Foreign component:
    1. A letter of support from the collaborating in-country institution, signed by an appropriate official of that institution.
  4. Biosafety: Research supported by The Ellison Medical Foundation is expected to conform to the relevant NIH Guidelines for biosafety, including those for handling of hazardous reagents and those for research involving recombinant DNA and gene transfer. (see:
    1. A copy of Institutional Biosafety Committee approval for this project*.
  5. Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Committee approval of the protocol for this project* if it involves human embryonic stem cells.

*Approval for this project means the EMF-funded project, not a similar protocol funded by another entity.

Address any questions to:

Kevin Lee, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Phone: 301-829-6410