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

AFAR Scholarships for Research in the Biology of Aging

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 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. The program aims 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
Up to eight scholarships will be awarded in 2018.  They will enable PhD, MD, and DO candidates at any level to undertake a three-to-six-month research project on a subject related to the basic sciences and aging.  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. 

The research project must be carried out under the supervision of a faculty mentor.  It may be carried out in any not-for-profit setting, such as universities, medical schools, hospitals, or non-government agencies.  Applicants who also receive NIH, NSF or DOD stipend support are eligible to receive the AFAR Scholarship. However, recipients cannot hold any other awards or scholarships concurrently with the AFAR Scholarship.  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.  If accepted, applicants will be asked to submit a Proof of Enrollment form confirming their enrollment at a U.S. institution.  Applicants may not hold another award or participate in another scholarship program concurrently with the AFAR Scholarship.

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 July 9, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. EST.  Please refer to the 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 August 30, 2018. If funded, the project start date must be before December 31, 2018.

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 AFAR Student Fellowships are supported through an endowment from the former American Foundation for Aging Research, based in North Carolina, and individual contributions.