Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging

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The Ellison New Scholar in Aging award supports new investigators of outstanding promise in the basic biological sciences relevant to understanding lifespan development processes and age-related diseases and disabilities. The award is intended to provide significant, needed support to new investigators to permit them to become established in the field of aging.

This is a limited submission opportunity; the Provost can nominate two candidates.


$400,000 paid over four years.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Investigators within the first three years of their research careers following their post-doctoral fellowship experience.
  • For the 2013 competition, as of March 1, 2013, nominees most hold regular full-time appointments (tenure or non-tenure) on the faculty of the sponsoring institution and must not have been in such appointment at the sponsoring or other institutions for more than three years as of July 15, 2013. That is, the appointment must have been made on or after July 15, 2010.
  • Time spent in clinical internships, post-doctoral training residencies, or work toward board certification does not count toward the three-year limit.

Research Interests

Special areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Structural biology;
  • Molecular genetics;
  • Studies with model systems ranging from lower eukaryotes to humans;
  • Genetic epidemiology of aging: candidate longevity genes;
  • Aging in the immune system;
  • Host defense molecules in aging systems;
  • Mechanisms of free radical induced cell aging;
  • Mechanisms of aging in various differentiated cell populations;
  • Gene/environment and gene/gene interactions;
  • Integrative physiology; and
  • New approaches to age-modulated disease mechanisms

Research that is viewed as too focused on a single disease tends to be less competitive. 


Proposals are evaluated by the foundation’s Aging Review Group and Scientific Advisory Board (see below), based upon the nominee’s research proposal, scientific contributions to date, and the reference statements provided by those who know the nominee and his or her work well. The quality and relevance of publications will be significant factors in the evaluation.

Protected Time Requirement


Mentoring Requirement


Limitations on Other Awards

Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholars may hold one other career development award for no more than one year. This limitation is with regard to overlap of funding type, even in the absence of scientific overlap.


Other awards Ellison New Scholars may not hold concurrently with their Ellison award include, but are not limited to:

  • American Cancer Society (Research Scholar);
  • American Diabetes Association (Career Development Award or Junior Faculty Award);
  • AFAR (AFAR Research Grant);
  • Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation (Young Investigator Award);
  • Brookdale Foundation (Brookdale Fellowship);
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund (Career Award for Medical Scientists);
  • Dana Foundation (Brain and Immuno-Imaging);
  • Hartford Foundation/American Geriatric Society (Jahnigen Career Development Scholar, Geriatric Health Outcome Scholar, or T.F. Williams Research Scholar);
  • Rockefeller Fund (Culpeper Medical Science Scholar);
  • Pew Charitable Trust (Pew Scholar);
  • Rosalind and Arthur Gilbert Foundation/AFAR (New Investigator’s Award in Alzheimer’s Disease);
  • Sidney Kimmel Foundation (Kimmel Scholar); and
  • Whitehall Foundation (Grants-in-Aid).

If a conflicting award is accepted prior to the New Scholar Award, this must be resolved by declining the Ellison New Scholar Award or arranging to terminate the conflicting award within one year. It is the expectation of the University of Rochester that a faculty member awarded an Ellison New Scholar grant will accept it and decline conflicting awards.

Ellison Scientific Advisory Committee

George M. Martin, M.D., University of Washington

Helen M. Blau, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine

Eric R. Kandel, M.D., Columbia University and HHMI

Arnold J. Levine, Ph.D., Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Princeton University

Martin Raff, M.D., University College London

Gary Ruvkun, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Gerald Weissmann, M.D., NYU School of Medicine

Ellison Aging Initial Review Group

Steven N. Austad, Ph.D., University of Texas (San Antonio)

Judith Campisi, Ph.D., Buck Institute

S. Michael Jazwinski, Ph.D., Tulane University

Cynthia Kenyon, Ph.D., University of California San Francisco

Arno Motulsky, M.D., University of Washington

Internal and External Deadlines

The Provost has requested two recommendations each from the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, and the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Faculty who wish to be considered should e-mail their expressions of interest by September 1, 2012 to Debra Haring, dharing@admin.rochester.edu (Arts and Sciences); Cindy Gary, cindy.gary@rochester.edu (Engineering); or Catherine Muzytchuk, Catherine_muzytchuk@URMC.rochester.edu (Medicine and Dentistry) with the words ELLISON NEW SCHOLAR AWARD in the subject line. They must also attach:

 (1)A chair’s nomination letter;

 (2) CV or biosketch; and

 (3) A three-page abstract describing the research and its significance. SMD candidates should use the attached forms.

The nominees will be notified of the Provost’s decision on or about October 15, 2012.

Once the nominees have been selected, the Provost’s Office will notify the Ellison Medical Foundation and the foundation will make the online application portal available to the designated nominees.

The foundation’s application deadline is March 1, 2013, pending final confirmation. Per University policy, the UR nominees must submit their applications five business days in advance (February 25, 2013) and provide Foundation Relations with a final copy for review ten days in advance (February 18, 2013).

The UR nominees should contact Dr. Paul A. Spengler, Director of UR Foundation Relations, at 276-3955 or pspengler@admin.rocheter.edu to review the application procedures and guidelines and for assistance with the application.


NIH Funding Acknowledgement ** Important ** All publications resulting from the utilization of CTSI resources are required to credit the CTSI grant by including the NIH FUNDING ACKNOWLEDGEMENT and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.