Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Pilot Grant Program

Pilot Grant Program

San Diego Shock Center Pilot Grant Program – FY1 call - Open Track

Call for applications opens: January 8th 2021, 9 am PT.
Submission deadline: February 18th 2021, midnight PT.

The Research Development Core of the San Diego Nathan Shock Center (SD-NSC) is requesting applications for its Pilot Grant program. The goal is to support projects that will explore the cellular heterogeneity of aging by taking advantage of the scientific services offered by one or more of the SD-NSC Research Resource Cores. These are the Heterogeneity of Aging Core, and the Integrative Models of Aging Core (the Human Cells Models of Aging Core is not currently available, but will be in the next call). Up to $15,000 will be awarded to six projects. A funded proposal will provide fully subsidized access to the Cores, necessary reagents/supplies, possible travel for a visit to the SD-NSC (dependent on COVID-19 pandemic restrictions), access to training workshops run by the Cores, and pairing with an established SD-NSC investigator who will provide feedback and help ensure project success and effective usage of the Core(s). For junior applicants, this SD-NSC advisor will also serve as a mentor and be available to consult for career development.

Components of the proposal
Proposals must be limited to 3 pages and include:

  • Project title
  • Project PI(s)
  • Scientific abstract (≤150 words)
  • Significance of the proposed research
  • Experimental approach
  • Budget

Proposals should also include:

  • NIH-style biosketch
  • References

These sections will not count against the page limit

Proposals must use Arial font of at least 11 pt., and have at least half-inch margins on all sides.

Application Deadline
Proposals are due on or before February 18th at midnight through the application form available in the SD-NSC Research Development Core website. Click here to access the application »

The Research Development Core offers this opportunity to junior researchers (including Postdoctoral Fellows, Staff Scientists, and Faculty) who are beginning their careers in the field of basic aging biology, and established investigators who wish to join the field of aging research. Junior investigators will be given highest priority and are those investigators who finished their PhD within the last 10 years. Applicants must be associated with an academic institution.

Exclusions and limitations
The proposed project should not be supported by an existing grant. The award cannot support salaries. Funds are not available for animals, animal supplies, or animal charges. Funds must be spent by May 31, 2021.

Review procedures
Immediately after the submission deadline, proposals will be sent to the Pilot Award Review Committee, which consists of the SD-NSC Executive Committee and two external reviewers from among active aging researchers in San Diego. The Committee will assess the proposals based on scientific and professional impact and score using the NIH scale. The highest scoring applications will be selected by voting at a meeting of this Committee, during which potential SD-NSC advisors will also be identified. Awardees will be notified in mid-March through email.

Reporting requirements
Awardees are expected to submit a 2-page report to SD-NSC at the end of the project. This report should highlight scientific conclusions and impact, and evaluate the effectiveness of the SD-NSC scientific advisor. Recipients are also expected to cite the SD-NSC as a source of funding in resulting publications and include these in the end of project report.

For questions about the program please contact Malene Hansen at
For questions or issues when submitting your application, please contact Lara Avila at