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The Research Development Core of the San Diego Nathan Shock Center (SD-NSC) is requesting applications for its Pilot Grant program. This opportunity is for junior investigators studying the basic biology of aging, and for established investigators seeking to join this important field of research. The goal is to support projects that explore the heterogeneity of aging by taking advantage of the scientific services offered by two of the SD-NSC Research Resource Cores. These are the Heterogeneity of Aging Core, which offers single-cell transcriptomics and epigenetic analysis, mass spectrometry and high-resolution imaging to assess the heterogeneity of cell and tissue aging studies, and the Integrative Models of Aging Core, which offers computational tools to integrate and interpret large datasets from single-cell sequencing,
proteomic and imaging related to the heterogeneity of aging (the Human Cells Models of Aging Core will be available at a later time).

Up to $15,000 will be awarded to six projects. Funds will cover Core services at the SD-NSC subsidized rates, necessary Core reagents/supplies, possible travel for a visit to the San Diego center (dependent on COVID-19 pandemic restrictions), access to training workshops run by the Cores, and pairing with an established SD-NSC investigator, or SD-NSC affiliated investigator, who will provide feedback and help ensure project success and effective usage of the Core(s).

For junior applicants, this advisor will also serve as a mentor and be available to consult for career development.

Required Application Components

The 3-page proposals must include:

  • Scientific abstract (≤150 words)
  • Significance of the proposed research
  • Experimental approach
  • Budget

In addition, NIH-style biosketch and Bibliography & references cited should also be included and formatting should be Arial font of at least 11 pt. and half-inch margins.

Deadline and Award details

  • Proposals are due on September 27th
  • Junior investigators will be given the highest priority and are those investigators who finished their PhD within the last 10 years.
  • Applicants should be affiliated with a U.S. institution.
  • Awardees will be notified in early December through email.
  • Funds cover direct costs only and must be spent by May 31, 2022.

Submission and Contact

For more information and to submit your application please visit
the SD-NSC Research Development Core website. For further questions about the program please read our FAQ or email us at