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Grant Submission Process

SENS Research Foundation regularly funds external research with potential to accelerate the development of rejuvenation biotechnology. Applicants for financial support will be expected to clearly indicate the specific SENS target(s) addressed and explain how their proposed research would further progress toward therapies that remove, repair, replace, or render harmless that target. All proposals are reviewed and selected by our Research Development Committee (RDC), and its decisions are ratified by our Board of Directors.  The RDC convenes quarterly. Submission due dates are as follows:
  • First Quarter review: by February 1st
  • Second Quarter review: by May 1st
  • Third Quarter review: by August 1st
  • Fourth Quarter review: by November 1st
Please note that SRF typically does not cover indirect costs. SRF no longer accepts submissions via email. In order for your Letter of Intent or Full Proposal to be considered by the RDC, you must submit an application through Altum (Proposal Central) using the instructions provided below. If you do not submit your application through Altum, the RDC will not review your proposal. If after reading the instructions below you have questions about the submission process, please first review the FAQs at the end of this page. If you still have questions, you can write to [email protected] or call 650-336-1780.

How to Apply

Preliminary Letter of Intent

Prior to beginning the full grant proposal process, please submit a Letter of Intent application through Altum using the button below.

The application in Altum will request:

  • A basic description of your research project,
  • The SENS target to which it relates, and how the grant proposal would further progress on that target,
  • Contact information for the Principal Investigator (PI) and associated personnel,
  • Brief biographical sketch of the PI, using a template that can be downloaded from the Altum application and re-uploaded as a PDF,
  • Location and company/organizational affiliation,
  • Estimated total budget, and
  • Any outside funding you have or expect to receive.

Letter of Intent Review
Letters of Intent will be reviewed by the RDC, and where applicable and appropriate the RDC will invite the submitter to continue with the grant proposal process outlined in the next section.  Invited participants will then have one year to submit a full grant proposal through Altum.

Grant Proposal Submission

You may only proceed to the grant proposal stage after your Letter of Intent is approved by the RDC. After RDC approval, you will receive an invitation via Altum to submit a Full Proposal application.

The Full Proposal application in Altum will request the following elements in the form of PDF attachments:

  • Abstract,
  • Background and Significance,
  • Preliminary Data,
  • Experimental Plan,
  • References,
  • Letters of collaboration and support, and
  • NIH Biosketch (including present and pending support) for PI’s, post-docs and others involved in the project (excluding laboratory technicians)

The Full Proposal application in Altum will request the following elements within the application questionnaire:

  • Budget
  • Budget Justification

Please do not submit LOIs or Full Proposals to [email protected], as email submissions will no longer be considered for grants.

Grant Proposal FAQs:

SENS Research Foundation was founded to catalyze progress in the “damage-repair” approach for medical intervention in degenerative aging, and we will only fund proposals that clearly offer the potential to progress toward medical therapies using this approach. “Damage-repair” interventions are those that directly remove, repair, replace, or render harmless specific cellular and molecular “damage” in aging tissues.

By “damage,” we mean stable, structural, accumulating alterations to molecular and cellular structures over time, rather than unstable intermediates or reactive precursors:  for instance, advanced glycation endproducts rather than Schiff bases and Amadori products; established mutations rather than repairable DNA lesions; stable aggregates such as beta-amyloid oligomers and plaques rather than initial APP cleavage products.

We will not fund proposals aimed toward therapies that modulate metabolic pathways as their approach. This eliminates most interventions that could be achieved by small-molecule drugs, which inhibit or promote some targeted pathway of metabolism. Indeed, it rules out most medical therapies used in current clinical practice or in human clinical trials today.

Instead, a “damage-repair” proposal will clearly lead toward the direct removal or repair of some form of aging damage, which generally entails delivering some novel capacity that the organism does not intrinsically have as part of normal metabolism.

For example, a “damage-repair” approach to lipofuscin or other stable intracellular aggregates could be to develop and deliver a novel hydrolase that would augment the lysosomal complement of enzymes so as to newly enable the direct hydrolysis of lipofuscin: proposals aimed instead at upregulating autophagy or modulating pathways regulating lysosomal pH will be rejected. Similarly, we are currently carrying out research on allotopic expression of mitochondrially-encoded genes as a “damage-repair solution to the accumulation of mitochondrial mutations, but would not fund projects aiming to solve the problem through upregulation of mitophagy. As a final example, we are currently funding a project for a novel approach to direct neuronal replacement with exogenous neuronal stem cells: we would not fund projects aimed to restore or upregulate pathways involved in neurogenesis or endogenous neurotrophic factors.

No, we will only fund proposals with a clear and direct path toward a clearly-conceived, translatable medical intervention for use against the degenerative aging process in humans: we will not fund proposals for early discovery- or curiosity-driven basic research, or for descriptive studies.

We accept proposals from established PIs from any country around the globe, from either academic institutions or independent nonprofit research centers. We also accept proposals from postdoctoral students working within such institutions, provided they have already obtained the approval of their PI to run the proposed project.

Companies or for-profit entities can apply for funding through this process; however, the support would be given in form of an investment, not as a grant.  SRF typically takes a small stake in the ownership of the company (commensurate with the amount invested), an observer Board position, and/or a portion of future royalties. The exact structure of the investment is negotiated between parties once the research proposal is approved through the RDC.

SRF typically awards grants in the US$50-300K range for 1-3 years, but there is no minimum or maximum funding level restriction. Projects expected to last more than 12 months should identify interim milestones and will be reviewed annually. If you have a proposal that would require greater or longer funding, please initiate a discussion via an email to [email protected].

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