Funding Opportunities
Funding Opportunities

Since 1981, AFAR has provided more than $178 million to more than 4,100 talented investigators and students. To learn more about each grant, click below or contact the AFAR grant program staff at

Diana Jacobs Kalman/AFAR Scholarships for Research in the Biology of Aging

Diana Jacobs Kalman

Diana Jacobs Kalman has had a longtime passion for the science of healthy aging and has been an active board member of the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) board since 1993, including six years as Chair and currently as Chair Emeritus. Under her direction, AFAR has grown into the vibrant, future-focused organization it is today, dedicated to nurturing the growth and advancement of early career scientists in the field of aging research. Diana has been a true inspiration, driving the growth and development of the field forward into the twenty-first century.

The Diana Jacobs Kalman/AFAR Scholarships for Research in the Biology of Aging aim to give students the chance to learn more about the field of aging research, as well as increase their understanding of the challenges involved in improving the quality of life for older people.

The Program
It is a well-known fact that America's population is aging dramatically and it is estimated that 20% of the population will be 65 years of age and older by 2030. This aging population poses unique scientific and medical challenges that must be met if people are to live long, healthy, and productive lives. Significant research findings in the biology of aging can lead to advances that help people live longer and healthier lives.

In order to continue to attract new generations of talented investigators, the Diana Jacobs Kalman/AFAR Scholarships for Research in the Biology of Aging have been established. The program is designed to give students enrolled in MD, DO, PhD, or combined-degree programs the opportunity to conduct a three-to-six-month research project focused on biomedical research in aging.

Up to ten scholarships will be awarded in 2019.  Students are encouraged to make their proposals as focused as possible – the strongest projects are those that focus on a particular subject area.  Clinical, epidemiology, health services, and outcome projects will not be considered.  Examples of promising 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
• Macular degeneration
• Regenerative biology
• RNA control of gene expression in relation to age-related diseases
For one of the awards, priority may be given for a research project that focuses on eye-related diseases and conditions.
Each scholarship is $5,000.  No indirect costs or overhead are allowed.

Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must be MD, DO, PhD, or combined degree students in good standing at a not-for-profit institution in the United States, such as universities, medical schools, hospitals, or non-government agencies. If accepted, applicants will be asked to submit a Proof of Enrollment form confirming their enrollment at a U.S. institution.  Applicants who also receive NIH, NSF or DOD stipend support are eligible to receive the AFAR Scholarship, but may not hold another award or participate in another scholarship program concurrently with the Kalman/AFAR Scholarship. The research project must be carried out under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Selection Criteria
Applications will be evaluated by an AFAR Scientific Committee on the basis of:
• The qualifications and ability of the applicant, as demonstrated by academic performance, statement of purpose, and letter of reference
• The merit and feasibility of the proposed research project and its relevance to aging
• The qualifications of the designated mentor, his or her endorsement of the research project, assurance of active supervision, and demonstrated commitment to aging research and to the student
• Likelihood that the project will advance the applicant’s interest and career in aging research
• Quality of the research environment

Application Procedures
The deadline for receipt of all applications and supporting materials is April 15, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EST.  Please refer to the Kalman/AFAR Scholarships Instruction Sheet and Application for complete application procedures. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

Applicants will be notified on funding decisions on or around June 30, 2019. If funded, the project start date must be before December 31, 2019.

Click here for our Frequently Asked Questions page.
If you are using human subjects or animals in your research, please review Points to Consider in Completing an AFAR Application.

Reporting Requirements
The Scholarship recipients will be required to submit a full report detailing their research methods and findings within 90 days of completing the research projects. Similarly, the mentor will be required to provide an evaluation of the student’s performance and impressions of the impact of the program on the student’s career. Instructions on how to format and submit these reports can be found here.

Major Sponsor:
The Kalman/AFAR Student Scholarships are supported by Diana Jacobs Kalman, an endowment from the former American Foundation for Aging Research, the Nicole Girard Charitable Fund of the Jewish Communal Fund, and individual contributions.