2023–2024 Broad Collaborative Challenge Grant for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows

Pink test tube (Photo by Chris Shinn)
(Photo by Chris Shinn)

To stimulate interdisciplinary and creative trainee-directed stem cell research


USC Stem Cell invites applications for the Broad Collaborative Challenge Grant for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows. The goal of the program is to stimulate new interdisciplinary stem cell research across the USC community, and to provide a means of enhancing student/postdoc creativity and independence. Proposals should be initiated by graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows. An additional goal of this program is to stimulate future K- or F-series NIH training grant proposals, or other parent lab collaborative grant opportunities.

Rules of the program

  1. Proposed project must be a new collaboration between students and/or postdocs from two or more labs within the USC community and be related to stem cell biology/regenerative medicine, broadly defined; cross-disciplinary research will be strongly favored, and proposals must be feasible as a one-year project. Projects may complement but should not replicate ongoing projects from parent labs; projects must, nevertheless, represent work that is an allowed expense by the sponsor of the student’s or postdoc’s effort at USC. Mentors may advise and must agree to the proposed collaboration but should not have a direct role in formulating or writing the proposal. Each recipient will devote 10–20% of research time to the collaborative effort, consistent with acceptable use of time established by the sponsors of their appointment at USC.
  2. Depending on proposal review and review committee recommendation, up to 3 grants will be funded. Each proposal carries a budget of up to $15,000.
  3. A letter of support from each mentor must accompany the application. While the student/postdoc teams will devise and carry out the projects in their mentors’ labs, the respective lab heads will continue to be responsible for the conduct of the projects and appropriate expenditure of project designated funds and will serve as advisors on the project.
  4. The grant money is designated for direct research expenses (research reagents and supplies) and/or stipend supplements for “dry bench” researchers.
  5. Funded groups should be able to initiate project directed research at the anticipated time of funding (September 1st, 2023).
  6. Proposal review will be by a committee of USC Stem Cell faculty. All awardees will present their work at a 6-month progress meeting together with the grant review committee and overseeing PI’s and at an open Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center Friday lunch-time meeting at the end of the funding period (September 2024). Each funded group is also expected to provide a 3-page report summarizing project outcomes.

The application

Questions and application submissions: Dr. Juliane Glaeser,

Applications should be no more than 2 pages including the following elements:

  • Specific Aims
  • Background/Significance
  • Research Plan
  • Methodology (brief, but should include sufficient detail to assure that resources for completing the project will be available to the team)

A brief budget and biosketch for each applicant should be included outside of the two-page limit.

Applications are due by May 15th, 2023 for an anticipated start date of September 1st, 2023.