Frequently Asked Grants Questions

Since 1981, AFAR has provided approximately $147 million to more than 3,100 talented investigators and students. To learn more about each grant, click below or contact the AFAR grant princesses at

Frequently Asked Grants Questions


Biology of Aging Programs


MSTAR Program

Biology of Aging Programs



Q: Are there citizenship requirements for your programs?
A: There are no citizenship requirements for the biology of aging programs. The Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) and Beeson Career Development programs require that the applicant is a US citizen or permanent resident.

Q: Is the _______ award available internationally?
A: The New Investigator Awards in Alzheimer’s Disease program is the ONLY award that is available internationally, and it is limited to Alzheimer’s research in Israel and the United States. Otherwise, you must be conducting research at a U.S.-based not-for-profit institution by the start date of the award.

Technical Stuff

Q: Can I get an extension on the deadline? My cat died.
A: We are very sorry that your cat died, but, no you cannot get an extension on the deadline for ANY reason.

Q: How will I know that my Letter of Intent or application was received?
A: After submitting your Letter of Intent/application through the website, you will receive a confirmation email. Please keep this email for your records. If you do not receive this email within hours of submitting your application, please check your spam folder. If you do not receive the confirmation email, contact AFAR immediately.

Q: I submitted my LOI/application through the website and it looks like the name of my file was changed. What happened?
A: Our server does not like capital letters or spaces, so all capital letters will be changed to lower case and spaces will be replaced with an underscore. If you upload your LOI/application more than once the server will give it a new name because it does not replace the old document with the new one and cannot have more than one document with the same name. We will accept it with the server-given name.

Q: When is the start date of the award?
A: July 1, 2017, except for the Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR), Glenn/AFAR Scholarships for Research in the Biology of Aging, Diamond/AFAR and Glenn/AFAR Postdoctoral Fellowship programs.

Q: The font in the application keeps defaulting to 10 pt when the instructions say 11 pt. Help!
A: We will allow 10 pt font in the abstract and application portion of the LOI/application, but the other sections must be 11 pt. with ½ margins. You may be penalized by the reviewer if you do not follow these guidelines.

Q: Can my figures and graphs be included as appendices to the LOI or application?
A: No.  If any figures/images are used, they must be included in the LOI on page two or in the proposal portion of the application. If you do not follow these instructions, your application may not be reviewed.

Q: I was selected to submit a full application, can the budget include postdoctoral students and graduate students under personnel?
A: Yes. But we only cover stipends, not tuition. (This does not apply to the postdoc program.)

Q: Under personnel in the budget, can fringe benefits be included as well as salary?
A: Yes.

Q: Are indirect costs allowed?
A: Yes, but it varies by grant. Please read the grant materials carefully and contact us if you have questions.

Q: Can there be more than one PI?
A: No, but we will allow for co-PIs and Collaborators. The award will only be made to one person.

Q: I have a co-PI/Collaborator on my project. Should I have them write a letter of collaboration?
A: You should list them on your LOI and if your LOI is selected for a full application ask them to write a letter of commitment and include their NIH-style biosketch.

Q: Can I include a manuscript that has not yet been accepted for publication?
A: No, you can only include it if it has been accepted for publication but has not yet been published. We will remove manuscripts from your application should they not meet this criteria.

Q: Do I need to include IRB/Animal Use Committee approval with my application?
A: No, but if your application is recommended for funding you must provide it prior to the start date of the award.

Q: Can my application be submitted a few days late? The official authorizing the proposal is in Tibet meeting the Dali Lama.
A: No, it has to be submitted with the page of original scanned or electronic signaturesby the deadline. We will not accept late submissions. Please plan accordingly.

Q: I was selected to submit a full application. Is it ok if my letters of reference come in after the deadline?
A: Yes. We prefer that the letters arrive by the deadline, but we will accept them up to two weeks after.

Q: I already have an award, how can I find out about reporting requirements/no-cost extensions/rebudget/other administrative issues?
A: Head on over to our administrative policies page.

AFAR Research Grant for Junior Faculty and New Investigator Awards in Alzheimer’s Disease Grants

Q: Is the total amount for the AFAR and Alzheimer’s Grants $100,000 for one year and $200,000 for two years?
A: No, it’s $100,000 total over one or two years.

Q: I am not yet junior faculty, but I will be by the start date of the award-- am I still eligible to apply?
A: Yes, as long as you are junior faculty by July 1, 2017. This should be indicated on the Institutional Commitment form which must be submitted by your Department Chair or Dean.

The Irene Diamond Fund/AFAR Postdoctoral Transition Awards in Aging

Q: I see on the eligibility requirements that applicants cannot hold a K99/R00 at the time of application, can I hold a different K award?
A: Yes, applicants who hold a K award are eligible to apply as long as it is not a K99/R00

Q: I am a postdoc, but my title is different -- am I still eligible to apply?
A: As long as you are within the 3 - 6 year cut-off by October 1, 2017 of starting your first postdoc, then you are eligible to apply. Please explain your circumstance on the Letter of Intent cover page. However, we do not allow non-tenure track research faculty such as ‘instructor’ to apply.

Q: I have two mentors, can I include them both on the Letter of Intent? 
A: Yes, you are allowed to include up to two mentors on the Letter of Intent (LOI). To do this you should list them both on the cover page of the LOI, and include both of their biosketches. You may exceed the 13 page limit by 5 pages, so up to 18 pages TOTAL. This is the ONLY reason that the 13 page limit may be exceeded.

Q: I hold an MD (or MD/PhD), so have had additional training after receiving my degree. How can I tell if I am eligible to apply for the Diamond/AFAR Award?
A: MD and MD/PhD fellows should have completed their clinical training. If you are in an advanced clinical training fellowship, this does not have to be counted toward the 3-6 year postdoctoral training requirement. We recommend that MD and MD/PhD fellows contact AFAR regarding their eligibility at least one week prior to the Letter of Intent deadline.

Q: If I am lucky enough to receive the award and am promoted to junior faculty prior to the end date of the award, can I keep the award or do I need to give it up?
A: Diamond award recipients who are promoted during the award will be able to keep the award and it is portable should your promotion take you to a new institution. However, awardees must be in a postdoctoral fellowship position for at least six months from the start date of the award prior to promotion. Awardees may only hold the award for one year while in a junior faculty position.

Q: As a Diamond award recipient, if I receive a no-cost extension on the Fellowship, will the new date be counted towards the two-year limit for being eligible to receive the supplemental award?
A: No, the 2-years will be counted from the original grant end date.

MSTAR Program

Q: Is there a citizenship requirement for the MSTAR program?
A: Yes. The Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) program requires that the applicant is a US citizen or permanent resident.

Q: Are MD/PhD students eligible?
A: Yes.

Q: Do I have to complete the MSTAR program in the summer between my first and second year of medical school?
A: While most applicants do complete the program between the first and second year of medical school, it is not required. It is only required that students have completed at least one year of medical school and that they are currently enrolled while participating in the program (i.e. they have not graduated). However, students who travel to a National Training Center are encouraged to conduct the program during the summer as there are group activities that will not be available during other times of the year

Q: When is the deadline?
A: The deadline is January 27, 2017. Applications will not be accepted after this date for any reason.

Q: How am I matched with a research mentor if I am traveling to a National Training Center?
A: Once you are accepted into the program and placed at a National Training Center, you will be contacted by someone from the National Training Center and matched with a research mentor based upon your interests.

Q: Can my faculty form(s) come in after the deadline?
A: Your faculty form(s) MUST BE SUBMITTED by January 27.We WILL NOT allow tardy faculty submissions.

Q: When will I hear whether I have been accepted into the program?
A: We are currently estimating that applicants will be notified on or around March 15, 2017.

Q: I received the MSTAR last year. Will I receive a W-2 or some type of tax document to use when I file my taxes?
A: We do not provide any documentation for tax filing. You should check with the IRS or your tax-preparer to determine the best way to declare the scholarship.