2017 Friends of the Semel Institute Scholar Awards


Overview of the Awards and Eligibility

The Friends of the Semel institute currently is accepting applications for the 2017 Friends Scholar Awards. These awards aim to support the research of early career scientists who have not yet received their first large grant. Eligible applicants include M.D.s and Ph.D.s within eight years following receipt of their doctoral degree and who have a postdoctoral researcher or junior faculty appointment at UCLA. Applicants must already have an existing or planned appointment within the Semel Institute for the total duration of the award period in order to be eligible. Two-year awards will be granted in amounts up to $50,000 per year (up to $100,000 total), with the number of awards depending upon the number and quality of the applications received. Preference will be given to applicants for whom salary support already is in place, and whose long-term career plans include a faculty appointment and academic career at UCLA.


Selecting a Research Topic

Awards can support a broad range of research, with strong preference given to clinical and/or translational projects broadly aimed at enhancing or understanding outcomes of treatment for neuropsychiatric illnesses. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications proposing to use state-of-the art neuroscience research methods. Topics for study include (but are not limited to) projects in applied neuroscience, as well as neuromodulation, pharmacological, and psychosocial interventions. The Friends is interested in supporting research across the entire lifespan, so that research proposals on child and prodromal illnesses, as well as adult and geriatric populations are welcome.


One award, the Morris A. Hazan Scholar Award, is intended to support a junior faculty member or postdoctoral fellow who has a special interest in research to increase understanding of forgiveness, compassion, and recovery from adversity. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications proposing to use advanced research methods to understand the broad range of psychological and health outcomes of individuals who have suffered trauma, loss, or other adverse life experiences. Topics could include, but are not limited to, studies of: physiologic indicators of the health benefits of forgiveness; brain functional patterns that are associated with successful coping with adversity; biological process that mediate recovery from traumatic events; or, use of brain functional monitoring techniques to develop or guide therapeutic interventions.


Review Criteria and How to Apply

The Committee reviewing applications will consider the quality of the research proposal, the role of the proposal in supporting the applicant's career goals, the quality of the research environment in which the work will take place, and the mentoring plan. Applications should specify the type of data that will be generated by the project and will support the individual's first large research grant application.


Applicants should submit the application form along with the following material in this order:

1) A letter of application of no more than three pages describing a specific project;

2) A one-paragraph lay language abstract;

3) a personal statement of no more than one page describing career goals;

4) An NIH format biosketch and other support document;

5) A detailed budget and budget justification;

6) A timeline for completion of the project; and,

7) A letter of support from a UCLA faculty mentor who will provide a laboratory environment and infrastructure that will support the work of the applicant.



Applications will be reviewed by the Friends Scholar Awards Committee, which will give highest priority to applicants who aim to use the results of their work to compete for career development funds such as NIH K Awards or VA Career Development Awards.



Expectations of the Award Recipients

In addition to completing their research project, the Friends Scholar Award recipients will be asked to:


present updates on their research to the Board Members of the Friends and/or the Institute in general.

attend one or more Friends receptions to meet donors who supported the program.

submit to The Friends a year-end report of research progress that may be shared with donors.


For further information on this application process, or to submit an application, contact:


Wendy Kelman

The Friends of the Semel Institute

760 Westwood Plaza, 57-440

Los Angeles, CA 90095


Copyright 2016, The Friends of the Semel Institute

Copyright 2017, The Friends of the Semel Institute