Funding Opportunities
Funding Opportunities

Since 1981, AFAR has provided approximately $132 million to more than 2,800 talented investigators and students. To learn more about each grant, click below or contact the AFAR grant program staff at

The Julie Martin Mid-Career Award in Aging Research

Julie Martin (1929-2005) was trained in medical technology and art history at the University of Washington. Over a period of more than forty years, hundreds of visiting gerontologists from around the world were guests at her lovely Seattle home. She traveled widely with her husband, George M. Martin, Scientific Director of AFAR, helping him with field research in India, Syria, Turkey, Europe and Japan, work that eventually led to the identification of the helicase/exonuclease mutations responsible for the Werner syndrome, a striking segmental progeroid syndrome. Julie was devoted to family, friends and colleagues, and to her collection of folk art, which included some of her own creations.

We anticipate that the 2015 program will be the final funding cycle of the Julie Martin Mid-Career Award in Aging Research.

The Program

The Lawrence Ellison Foundation, acting as The Ellison Medical Foundation, supported this program which was designed for outstanding mid-career scientists who propose new directions of high importance to biological gerontology.  Projects that are high risk but high yield are particularly encouraged if they have the potential for leading to major new advances in our understanding of basic mechanisms of aging.

Projects investigating age-related diseases are also supported, but only 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 fundamental mechanisms 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.

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.


Eligibility Criteria

  • The applicant must be an Associate Professor or equivalent who was promoted to that position (with or without tenure) after December 1, 2011.
  • The proposed research must be conducted at any type of not-for-profit setting in the United States. Individuals who are employees in the NIH Intramural program are not eligible.
  • Recipients, past or present, of the Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award in Aging are not eligible to apply for this award.

The following criteria are used to determine the merit of an application:

  • Qualifications of the applicant
  • Quality and promise of the proposed research, and potential for a high-payoff for advancing our understanding of basic aging processes. New and innovative, high-risk, proposals unlikely to be funded by the NIH, will receive priority scoring.
  • Excellence of the research environment

Questions about eligibility or suitability of the research project can be addressed to


Application Procedures

The deadline for the LOI is December 15, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. EST. All applicants will be notified of the outcome by mid-February, and a sub set of applicants will be invited to submit a full application. The deadline for receipt of final application is March 18, 2015.

All LOI candidates who are invited to submit applications must have it endorsed by their institution. Final awards are announced by early June. The award start date is July 1, 2015. AFAR will not provide reviewer critiques to any applicants at any review level.

Please refer to the Julie Martin Mid-Career Award instruction sheet and LOI for complete application procedures. Incomplete LOI’s cannot be considered. LOI’s should be submitted through the website

For the Letter of Intent Form, click here.

Two four-year awards of $550,000 will be made in 2015, at the level of $125,000 per year. In addition, up to 10% ($50,000) may be requested for administrative/indirect costs.

If you are using animals in your research, please review Principles of Animal Use for Gerontological Research.

Click here for our Frequently Asked Questions page.


Reporting Requirements

Investigators will be required to submit brief narrative reports on the progress of their research annually. Final narrative and financial reports are required within three months following the end date of the award.


The Lawrence Ellison Foundation, acting from 1998 to 2013 as The Ellison Medical Foundation, has sought to foster creativity in biomedical research through programs to support basic research on the biological mechanisms of aging and on their contribution to age-related diseases and disabilities. In particular the Foundation has aimed to stimulate new, creative research approaches that might not be funded by traditional sources or that have been often under-funded in the U.S. The Foundation fostered research by means of grants-in-aid to investigators at universities and laboratories within the United States using a variety of award mechanisms. We anticipate that the 2015 program will be the final funding cycle of the Julie Martin Mid-Career Award in Aging Research.