The Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB) invites applications for Pilot Grant funding for 2021 under the NIH-funded P01 grant “Dissecting the establishment and regulation of human pluripotency” (PI Alexander Meissner).

The purpose of this funding program is to provide resources for proof-of-concept studies. These pilot grants are intended to increase our understanding of the basic biology of human pluripotent cells and their utility for translational applications.

HSCRB may fund 1 pilot grant in this round. It will be funded at a maximum of

$100,000 in direct costs per year, plus the indirect costs allowed for Federal research projects (as determined by an applicant’s home institution’s current negotiated Federal rate agreement) for a period of 1 year. The total costs (direct + indirect costs) must not exceed $169,000. Funding for a second year may be awarded to projects that have made clear progress at the end of the first year and would benefit from the extension to complete the proof of concept and is subject to the approval of the P01 PIs. The number of grants awarded will depend on the number and quality of proposals submitted, as well as the availability of funding. HSCRB reserves the right not to select any project(s) for funding. Decisions regarding the appropriate level of funding for any project will be made by the review committee, and will be based on availability of other funding sources. It is understood that any tool or reagent generated as part of this Pilot Grant program will be available for sharing with the wider HSCRB community. Grant recipient will be invited to join the interlab meetings of the other program PIs (Meissner, Gnirke, Rinn).

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Eligibility Criteria

Pilot grants are targeted to members of the Harvard and Broad community with PI rights. Only individuals with PI status in their home institutions, independent laboratory space assigned to them in their own name, and prior independent funding that has been awarded to them directly (such as start-up funds or sponsored awards), as verified by a home institution research/finance administrator, are eligible to apply for a 2021 Pilot Grant. Priority will be given to excellent projects from PIs not currently funded by the HSCRB.

Application Process

All applications must contain the following:

  • Project Title
  • PI, home institution name and address, as well as name and contact information of PI’s assistant and grants manager (department and central sponsored officer).
  • Abstract (1/3 page )
    • Brief statement summarizing the key points of the proposal
  • Research Proposal (2 pages max., including figures, but excluding references)
    • Specific Aims
    • Benefits of interaction with the P01
  • Budget
    • Total direct costs may not exceed $100,000, plus indirect costs. Total costs (total direct costs + indirect costs) should not exceed $169,000
  • NIH formatted biographical sketch of applicant
    • Include up to 5 recent/relevant publications
  • Other support (NIH format, current and pending)
    • Highlight support relevant to the proposed project
    • No page limits
  • Letter of institutional support/proposal authorization including
    • Authorized institutional signature (as determined by applicant’s home institution policies for research proposal submission—usually a central grants office official) as confirmation that the host institution approves the proposed scope and budget; upload PDF with signature


  • Letters of recommendation are not needed
  • Papers in press can be included in the references and submitted with the application

Submission process

Please send your application by email to no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on Monday, March 1, 2021. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered.

Review Criteria

Members of the HSCI scientific community will independently evaluate the proposals primarily for their potential to advance the program and general understanding of human pluripotency.


Programmatic questions regarding the P01 Pilot Grants may be addressed to Alex Meissner, P01 PI,

Administrative questions regarding the P01 Program Pilot Grants application process may be addressed to Kelley Collette, HSCRB Grants Manager,, (617) 496-0169

Summary timeline

Application due date: Monday, March 1, 2021

Review outcome notification: Monday, March 22, 2021 Award start date: April 1, 2021

Thank you for your interest in HSCRB.


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