Sponsored by the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, in collaboration with the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), the “Breakthroughs in Gerontology (BIG)” initiative provides timely support to a small number of research projects which if successful offer significant promise of yielding transforming discoveries in the fundamental biology of aging. Projects which build on early discoveries that show translational potential for clinically relevant strategies, treatments and therapeutics, addressing human aging and health span are also considered.
Projects that focus on specific diseases or on assessment of health care strategies will receive lower priority, unless the research plan makes clear and direct connections to fundamental issues in the biology of aging and/or on the translational aspects of basic discovery to human aging and healthspan.
Two three-year awards will be made in 2021, at the level of $300,000 total ($100,000 per year), of which a maximum of 8% may be used for indirect expenses or institutional overhead. The amount and the duration of the award may be modified if during the review process or at the funding stage it is evident that such modifications would better serve the objectives of the program.
Recipients of this award are expected to attend the AFAR Grantee Conference. The purpose of the meeting is to promote scientific and personal exchanges among recent AFAR grantees and experts in aging research.
To be eligible, applicants must at the time they submit their proposal be full-time faculty members at the rank of Assistant Professor or higher. To be competitive at the Assistant Professor level, a candidate would be expected to have established R01 or equivalent funding. The BIG award is not intended to substitute for the R01 funding mechanism, but rather to provide support for novel “breakthrough” research projects in established laboratories. A strong record of independent publication beyond the postdoctoral level is a requirement. Individuals who are employees in the NIH Intramural program are not eligible.