Ellison Medical Foundation / AFAR Postdoctoral Fellowship , USA

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Ellison Medical Foundation / AFAR Postdoctoral Fellowship

There is a great social, medical and economic challenge of historic proportion due to the dramatic increase in life expectancy.

This welcome increase in survivorship brings with it a higher probability that multiple and interactive health problems, both chronic and acute will occur.

Significant breakthroughs in understanding the basic biological processes that underlie aging-related diseases and disorders are the most promising approach to achieving genuine prevention or improvement of age-related debilitation and disease and it is now believed that such breakthroughs in understanding these processes are not only possible, but in fact are the likely consequence of the application of modern biological research techniques.

To pursue this new knowledge, talented investigators must be attracted to aging research. However, given the current funding climate, concerns about an adequate funding base for post-doctoral fellows exist and can be potentially detrimental to the quality of research in the area.

We need to continue to nurture the research base that will be necessary to ensure the health of millions of older people. Serious gaps in biomedical and clinical research are placing the healthy aging and independence of older people at risk.

The Program

The Ellison Medical Foundation, in partnership with the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), created the Ellison / AFAR Postdoctoral Fellows in Aging Research Program to encourage and further the careers of postdoctoral fellows with outstanding promise in the basic biological and biomedical sciences relevant to understanding aging processes and age-related diseases and disabilities.

The award is intended to provide significant support to permit these postdoctoral fellows to become established in the field of aging.

Projects concerned with understanding the basic mechanisms of aging will be considered.

Projects investigating age-related diseases are also supported, if approached from the point of view of how basic aging processes may lead to these outcomes.

Projects concerning mechanisms underlying common geriatric functional disorders are also considered.

Projects that deal strictly with clinical problems such as the diagnosis and treatment of disease, health outcomes, or the social context of aging are not eligible.

It is anticipated that up to 15 one-year grants will be awarded in 2011, ranging from $45,218 for a first-year fellow to up to $59,402 for a fellow with more than 7 years of training.

Of the award, up to $7,850 may be requested for expenses such as research supplies, equipment, health insurance and travel to scientific meetings.

Recipients of this award are expected to attend the AFAR Grantee Conference; funds will be withheld from the grant for this purpose.

The goal of the meeting is to promote scientific and personal exchanges among recent AFAR grantees and experts in aging research.

Eligibility Criteria for  Ellison Medical Foundation / AFAR Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • The applicant must be a postdoctoral fellow (MD and/or PhD degree) at the start date of the award (July 1, 2011.) The proposed research must be conducted at any type of not-for-profit setting in the United States. Individuals who are employees in the NIH Intramural program are not eligible.
  • Fellows may not hold any concurrent foundation or not-for-profit funding.

Former Ellison / AFAR postdoctoral fellowship awardees may apply if the criteria above are met.

Application Guidelines

The following criteria are used to determine the merit of an application :

  • Qualifications of the applicant
  • Quality of the proposed research and relevance to aging
  • Excellence of the research environment
  • Likelihood that the project will advance the applicant’s career in aging research
  • Mentor’s strength and qualifications to guide the applicant’s research and career planning
  • Proposed training opportunities

If you are using animals in your research, please review Principles of Animal Use for Gerontological Research.

Application Procedures for Ellison Medical Foundation / AFAR Postdoctoral Fellowship

The deadline for receipt of all applications and supporting materials is December 15, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Please refer to the Ellison / AFAR instruction sheet and application for complete application procedures. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

All candidates must submit applications endorsed by their institution. Applications are reviewed in two stages : An initial screening is made by an international team of reviewers after which candidates are advised of the status of their applications via email by mid-April.

Proposals that are successful in the initial screening are then reviewed by members of a second committee and final awards are announced by early June.

The award start date is July 1, 2011.  AFAR can only provide critiques for those applications that went through to the second level of review