Call for Proposals: 2021 Fall HSCI Collaborative Seed Grants

June 21, 2021




$100,000 per project per year for up to two years
Monday, June 21, 2021
Friday, September 17, 2021
Monday, November 1, 2021


The Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) invites applications for seed grant funding for its Fall 2021 cycle.

The purpose of this program is to provide funding for innovative projects in the field of stem cell and regenerative biology that are a collaboration between two labs. HSCI strongly encourages proposals with a translational focus, or which are otherwise poised to accelerate the development of new stem cell-based therapies or cures. However, proposals at all stages of development are welcome. The HSCI intends to award up to five grants in response to this call for proposals, contingent upon the number and quality of the proposals received, as well as the availability of HSCI funds.

As part of the application process, applicants will be asked to determine whether their proposal is either basic or translational science. In determining whether a proposal falls into either the basic or translational science category, please consider the aim(s) of your proposal. In general, proposals that fall into the category of translational science are those which aim at:

  • Producing new therapies and/or therapeutic products (e.g. cellular products, large/small molecules, biomaterials, etc.), or
  • Discovering the mechanisms, pathways, or models underlying such therapies/therapeutic products, or
  • Manufacturing and testing stem cell-based therapies using studies designed to fulfill all applicable institutional, state, and federal regulatory requirements

Any seed grants awarded during this cycle will be funded at up to $100,000 in total costs (including indirect costs, maximum 20% of total direct costs-basis) per year, for a period not to exceed two years.

Basic science proposals will not be reviewed separately from proposals categorized as translational science. All proposals will be reviewed by the HSCI Executive Committee.

The HSCI reserves the right to not award any seed grants in this cycle.

Application Due Date: Friday, September 17, 2021

Eligibility criteria

All investigators working in the field of stem cell and regenerative biology are welcome to apply. Junior investigators and senior investigators from outside the field of stem cell and regenerative biology are especially encouraged to apply. In order to be awarded an HSCI seed grant, both investigators must meet all of the following criteria (as verified by a research/finance administrator at each investigator’s home institution):

  • Have Principal Investigator status at their home institution
  • Have independent laboratory space assigned to them in their own name (i.e. not assigned space via another investigator)
  • Have independent funding sources in their own name (i.e. start-up funds or sponsored awards)
  • Have any necessary approvals for proposed research in place no later than December 1, 2021.

Investigators who have previously received two or more HSCI seed grants are not eligible to apply.

Application requirements and guidelines

All proposals submitted in response to this call for proposals must contain the following components, each of which must include the enumerated elements:

1. Proposal Title & Abstract (1 pg. max.)

1.1. Proposal title, PI(s) name(s), PI(s) home institution(s)

1.2. Abstract (lay-oriented language, 2,500 characters, incl. spaces, max.)


2. Research Proposal (3pgs. max., with pages numbered)

2.1. Background/Rationale
2.2. Specific research aims
2.3. Preliminary studies (if applicable)
2.4. Anticipated research milestones
* Pages listing references do NOT count against 3 pg. limit


3. Annual Budget Pages

3.1. Total annual costs may not exceed $100,000, including indirect costs

3.2. Indirect costs may not exceed 20% of total direct costs

3.3. Submit separate budgets which show the amount of funding called for each PI, whether PIs have different home institutions or not

* Equipment is not allowed on HSCI seed grants
* Travel may not exceed $1k
* HSCI budget template strongly encouraged (template available upon call)


4. Budget Justification (1 pg. max.)

4.1. Justify all proposed budget items at the line-item level of detail
4.2. Describe effort committed by all personnel on budget, even if no salary called

4.3. PI is required to commit effort on the project


5. PI Biosketches (2 pgs. max. per biosketch)

5.1. NIH format
5.2. List recent financial support, indicate if directly applicable to the proposed project

5.3. May include up to 10 listings of recent/relevant publications


6. Letter of Institutional Review & Approval

6.1. Must be signed by an authorized institutional representative (as determined by investigator’s

home institution’s policies for research proposal submission) as confirmation that the home

institution has reviewed and approved the research and budget

* For a proposal in which PIs have different home institutions, a letter from each institution is required


7. Appendices (optional)

7.1. One copy each of no more than two relevant publications may be attached to the proposal


Submission process

The Fall 2021 HSCI Seed Grant application can be found at

Applicants must complete the online application by the submission deadline.

  • Complete all required fields
  • Upload all proposal documents in PDF format
  • Proposal components should be ordered according to the order listed above
  • Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on Friday, September 17, 2021.
  • You will receive an email confirmation of your submission; save this email for your records

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications will be reviewed by the HSCI Executive Committee in October, and all applicants will be notified of the outcome of the review process in early November. Successful applicants will be issued a seed grant with a funding start date of December 1, 2021. Project period is for December 1, 2021 to November 30, 2023.

Review criteria

The goal of the HSCI is to improve human health by supporting basic, translational, or clinical work in any field of stem cell biology. Factors for reviewers’ consideration include: scientific quality, relevance to the HSCI mission, career development and recruitment/retention, value for money, potential to promote collaboration within the HSCI community, and regulatory issues.

The HSCI Executive Committee will evaluate proposals primarily for their potential to advance these goals. However, the HSCI will also consider the potential of the proposal to secure funding from other sources as-is, and/or the potential of the proposed research, if successful, to secure follow-on funding from public, philanthropic, or commercial sources.


Questions about the HSCI Seed Grant Program may be addressed to Robert Perez, HSCI Grants Officer, at

Thank you for your interest in the HSCI.

fall_2021_hsci_seed_grant_call_for_proposals.pdf194 KB
fall_2021_hsci_seed_grant_faq.pdf188 KB
See also: 2021, Announcement