Funding Opportunities
Funding Opportunities

Since 1981, AFAR has provided over $172 million to over 4,000 talented investigators and students. To learn more about each grant, click below or contact the AFAR grant program staff at

AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty

AFAR provides up to $100,000 for a one- to two-year award to junior faculty (M.D.s and Ph.D.s) to conduct research that will serve as the basis for longer term research efforts. AFAR-supported investigators study a broad range of biomedical and clinical topics. Since 1981, over 700 AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty have been awarded. Please note: The 2017 awards are closed and applications are no longer being accepted. Please check back in fall 2017 for updated application materials. 


The Program

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. AFAR supports research projects concerned with understanding the basic mechanisms of aging. Projects investigating age-related diseases are also supported, especially 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.

Examples of potentially fundable areas of research include, but are not limited to:

  • Aging and immune function
  • Stem cell aging
  • Inflammation
  • Genetic control of longevity
  • Neurobiology and neuropathology of aging*
  • Mechanisms of dementia*
  • Invertebrate or vertebrate animal models
  • Cardiovascular aging
  • Aging and cellular stress response
  • Metabolic and endocrine changes

*Applicants proposing a project in Alzheimer's Disease or healthy brain aging research should apply for the New Investigator Awards in Alzheimer's Disease. Applicants proposing other dementia-related research should apply for the AFAR Research Grant for Junior Faculty. 

It is anticipated that approximately 10 grants of up to $100,000 each will be awarded in 2017. 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 $7,407). Funding will begin July 1, 2017.


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 start of postdoctoral research training as of July 1, 2017. Exceptions to the ten year rule may be requested for unusual circumstances by emailing an NIH-style biosketch to AFAR at at least one week prior to the deadline date.

The AFAR Research Grant for Junior Faculty Program does not provide support for:

  • Postdoctoral fellows in the laboratory of a senior investigator
  • Investigators who have received major extramural funding for research in any area (such as an NIH R01 or NSF Research or equivalent grant) prior to and including the start date of this award
  • Senior faculty, i.e. at the rank of Associate Professor level or higher
  • Former AFAR Research Grant for Junior Faculty recipients
  • Federal employees
  • Applicants for the 2017 Glenn/AFAR Breakthrough in Gerontology (BIG) award
  • Applicants who are conducting research at a for-profit institution, or at an institution outside of the United States

Application Guidelines

Four criteria are used to determine the merit of an application:

  • Qualifications and research record of the applicant;
  • Quality of the proposed research;
  • Excellence of the research environment;
  • Likelihood that the project will advance the applicant's career in aging research.

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

Application Procedures

The deadline for receipt of all Letters of Intent is December 15, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Please refer to the AFAR LOI instructions. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.  All Letters of Intent and Institutional Commitment forms must be submitted through the website  The Letters of Intent will be reviewed by a committee.  Applicants will be notified by mid-February, and a subset of applicants will be invited to submit a full application by late-March.

Click here for our Frequently Asked Questions page.

All LOI candidates who are invited to submit applications must have it endorsed by their institution. Final awards are announced by mid-June. The award start date is July 1, 2016. AFAR will not provide reviewer critiques to any applicants at any review level.

Reporting Requirements

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

Annual Meeting

The award recipients are expected to attend the AFAR Grantee Conference which convenes AFAR grant recipients, mentors and leaders in the field to review and disseminate the research progress of the grantees and their findings. The meeting encourages networking, facilitates collaborations, and enhances the development of leadership.

Major Funders of AFAR Research Grants Include:

The AFAR Board of Directors
AFAR 2016 Dinner Funds
The Glenn Foundation for Medical Research
David W. Gore
Diana Jacobs Kalman
F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc.
Neurosciences Education and Research Foundation
Diane Nixon
The Irving S. Wright Endowment