Call for Proposals: HSCI Junior Faculty Program 2018

February 15, 2018


February 22 update:


It has come to our attention that many junior faculty members in our community are not familiar with other investigators in Harvard research labs who might serve as potential collaborators on this project. If this is the conundrum you face, please send us ( a brief (no more than one page) explanation of your interest, proposed project and the complementary research which you feel might benefit your project. In late March/early April, 2018, HSCI will informally convene those who respond to this option, giving you the chance to meet one another and, perhaps, form an alliance to submit a full application by the deadline of May 4th.


We understand that the general funding environment has constrained the pool of junior faculty. Therefore, we are expanding the eligibility criteria to include those junior faculty members, assistant professor level, who are within 5 years of hire (rather than 3 years).


Opportunity Description

The Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) invites applications for a new project to be funded through the Junior Faculty Program. The specific purpose of the 2018 call for funding is to identify an innovative collaborative project by junior faculty in the field of autoimmunity, based at least in part on stem cell biology. Proposed collaborations can represent either basic, translational, or clinical science, and can span multiple disease areas. This funding is meant to support novel, high-impact, and cross-cutting research that could lead to new treatments and/or fundamentally enhance our understanding of the target disease area(s) and/or organ systems. The collaborative project should include a plan for the regular interaction of group members and coordination of research activities carried out in multiple research laboratories.

HSCI expects to fund one junior faculty project starting in 2018 for a period of up to three years. Any junior faculty collaboration chosen will be funded at a maximum of $600,000 per year (including 20% indirect costs), and must be comprised of either three or four subprojects; each subproject, led by a junior faculty principal investigator, will be funded at $150,000 – $200,000 (including 20% indirect costs) per year for a period of up to 3 years. The award mechanism will not require subcontracts. Awards will be made directly to each subproject PI at her or his host institution.

The junior faculty collaboration selected for funding is subject to annual review by the HSCI Executive Committee, which is solely responsible for evaluating and approving any request for continuation funding.

Eligibility Criteria

These grants are targeted to junior faculty members of the Harvard community at the assistant professor level who are within five years of hire. Only individuals with assistant professor status in their home institutions, with independent laboratory space assigned to them and prior independent funding sources in their name (such as start-up funds or sponsored awards), as verified by a home institution research/finance administrator, are eligible to apply.

Applications must be for collaborative projects that involve multiple labs and multiple institutions. Any proposed collaboration must represent at least two different institutions and include a minimum of three to a maximum of four co-investigators.

Application Process

All applications must contain the following:

  1. Project Title
  2. List of Group Members and Institutional Affiliation
  3. Name of Lead Investigator (the investigator selected to coordinate/represent the team; singular only)
  4. Overall Project Goal: 1 page
  5. Introduction: 1 page
  6. Overall Plan for Project Interaction: e.g. group meeting and data sharing, progress reporting and administration
  7. Future Funding Prospectus: Initial thoughts for future funding sources should the project prove successful.

Each subproject must include:

8. Research Proposal: 3 pages maximum (not including references), with pages numbered

  • Background and Rationale
  • Specific Aims
  • Milestones by year
  • Key risks and plans to mitigate

9. Budget

  • HSCI budget template (NIH format)
  • Subprojects may request up to $200,000 in total costs per year, including up to 20% indirect costs (total direct costs basis)
  • Total Project costs may not exceed $600,000 per year, including up to 20% indirect costs (total direct costs basis)
  • Submit a budget for each year requested on a separate budget page; maximum 3-year request, including a summary page totaling the three requested years; anticipated project start is July 1, 2018

10. Budget justification/narrative (max. 1/2 page)

  • Justify proposed costs at the line-item level of detail
  • Include effort committed by all personnel even if salary is not requested. It is expected that the PI will have effort on the project.
  • Include supplies

11. Biographical sketch of applicant (max. 2 page)

  • NIH format
  • Include a listing of “other support” for the proposed project
  • Include up to 10 recent/relevant publications
  • If applicable, include biosketches for co-investigators

12. Letter(s) of institutional support including

  • Authorized institutional signature (as determined by applicant’s home institution’s policies for research proposal submission) as confirmation that the host institution approves the proposed scope and budget; upload PDF with signature

13. Optional: applicant may include, as appendices, 1 copy each of no more than 2 relevant publications.

Review Criteria

A key goal of the HSCI is to improve human health by supporting basic, translational or clinical work in stem cell biology. Factors for reviewers' consideration include: scientific quality; relevance to the HSCI mission; and the project's potential to open new areas of thought and investigation through collaborative efforts.

The HSCI Executive Committee will evaluate the proposals for their potential to advance these goals. They will also consider the availability of alternative funding sources and the potential to promote future collaborative research.


Questions regarding the HSCI Junior Faculty Program 2018 call for proposals may be addressed to Robert Perez, Grants Officer, at

Summary Timeline

  • Application due date: Friday, May 4, 2018 at 5:00 PM EST
  • Review outcome notification: Friday, June 1, 2018
  • Award start date: July 1, 2018

Thank you for your interest in HSCI.

updated_hsci_junior_faculty_2018_rfp.pdf66 KB
See also: 2018, Announcement