American Federation for Aging Research: Grants for Brain Research and Treatment

OVERVIEW: The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) makes a wide range of aging-focused grants, funding efforts to increase the knowledge base for healthy aging, boost the number of doctors practicing geriatric medicine, innovate in aging research and help people live longer and healthier lives.  

IP TAKE: Many of AFAR’s grants are made in collaboration with other geriatric-focused organizations. Grantseekers would do well to look into the grantmaking proclivities of those organizations in addition to AFAR’s before applying.

PROFILE: The American Federation for Aging Research awards grants to organizations that are working on biomedical research into aging and its associated diseases. The goal of AFAR is to discover and understand the biomedical mechanisms of aging to help people lead healthier and more productive lives as they grow older. And it isn't afraid to tear down walls or push people outside their comfort zone to talk about these important topics.

The Research Grants for Junior Faculty is the only grant program offered by AFAR on its own. This program provides research grants of up to $100,000 over the course of one to two years to junior faculty members studying a wide range of aging related topics. AFAR awards up to 10 grants out of this program annually.

The remainder of AFAR’s grant programs are in collaboration with like-minded organizations:

Arthritis and Aging Research Grant. A joint effort between AFAR and the Arthritis National Research Foundation, grants from this program are awarded for one year in amounts up to $100,000.

New Investigator Awards in Alzheimer’s Disease. AFAR has teamed up with Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation to award up to three $100,000 grants annually.

Paul Beeson Career Development Awards in Aging Research. This is a three- to five-year award that ranges from $600,000 to $800,000. The Beeson grant program is a collaboration between the National Institute on Aging, Atlantic Philanthropies, the John A. Hartford Foundation and the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Strokes.

Glenn/AFAR Breakthroughs in Gerontology Award. AFAR has teamed up with the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research to offer two annual awards of up to $200,000 for researchers studying the fundamental biology of aging.

Glenn/AFAR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Translational Research on Aging. Another joint effort between AFAR and the Glenn Foundation, grants from this program are awarded for one year in amounts ranging from $49,000 to $60,000.

To get a broad sense of the projects supported by AFAR, grantseekers can dig into its grantees list.

All grant applications must be submitted via AFAR's website, and although brain research is an extremely heady topic, all proposals are limited to eight pages. That means budgets, financial projections, graphs, images -- all of it has to fit into eight pages.

AFAR also supports two programs explicitly for students:

Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program. Administered by AFAR and the National Institute on Aging, this program provides medical students with several months of structured research and clinical training in geriatrics and related fields, at either an AFAR National Training Center or an MSTAR-participating medical school in New York. A stipend of approximately $1,980 per month is also provided.

Glenn/AFAR Scholarships for Research in the Biology of Aging. Yet another joint effort between AFAR and the Glenn Foundation, this program gives students enrolled in PhD, MD or DO programs the opportunity to carry out a three-to-six month research project on a biomedical aspect of aging.

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