Call for Proposals: 2022 HSCI Diabetes Program Pilot Grants - 'Learning from cancer immunology to cure autoimmune diabetes'

November 30, 2021




'Learning from cancer immunology to cure autoimmune diabetes'



Up to $100,000 per year per lab for up to two years



December 6, 2021



January 28, 2022



April 1, 2022


The Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) Diabetes Program invites applications for pilot grant funding. The purpose of this call for applications is to fund innovative projects rooted in our understanding of tumor-immune interactions to avert the immune attack on pancreatic islet cells that underlies type 1 diabetes. A particular focus of the Diabetes Program lies in developing solutions that will enable the transplantation of stem cell-derived islet cells into patients with autoimmune diabetes. Approaches of interest include – but are not limited to – novel immune interventions to regulate or eliminate autoreactive T lymphocytes, interventions to modify local antigen presentation, and genetic manipulations of stem cell-derived islet cells to protect them against allo- and autoimmunity. Collaborative proposals are welcome, particulary where one of the labs has expertise in diabetes research. The HSCI diabetes Program intends to award up to two grants as a result of this call for proposals.


Any pilot grants awarded during this cycle will be funded at up to $100,000 in total annual costs (including indirect costs, maximum 20% of total direct costs) for each participating lab, for a period of up to two years.


All proposals will be reviewed by members of the HSCI Diabetes Program and/or the HSCI Executive Committee. The HSCI reserves the right to not award any pilot grants as a result of this call for proposals.


Application Due Date: January 28, 2022



All researchers with “Principal Investigator” status who are located within either Harvard University or one of its hospital affiliates are welcome to apply. Early-career researchers or researchers who have recently shifted their focus to areas within stem cell and regenerative biology are especially encouraged to apply. For applications from two collaborating labs, at least one of the labs must already be affiliated with the HSCI, and both labs must be located at either Harvard University or one of its hospital affiliates. In order to be awarded an HSCI pilot grant, 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 April 1, 2022.



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 per lab for up to two years

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 request)


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 (4 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



The 2022 HSCI Diabetes Program Pilot 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, January 28, 2022.

- 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 members of the HSCI Diabetes Program and HSCI Executive Committee in February 2022, and all applicants will be notified of the outcome of the review process in mid-March. Successful applicants will be issued a pilot grant with a funding start date of April 1, 2022. Project period is for April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023 for one year durations and April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2024 for two year durations.



The goal of the HSCI Diabetes Program is to improve human health by supporting basic, translational, or clinical work that will support or facilitate a therapy for type 1 diabetes. Factors for reviewers’ consideration include: scientific quality, relevance to the HSCI Diabetes Program 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 DiabetesProgram may be addressed to Robert Perez, HSCI Grants Officer, at


Thank you for your interest in the HSCI Diabetes Program.

diabetes_2022seedgrantcall_cancerimmunology.pdf102 KB