Aging as a Disease
In recent years, a field of research has emerged showing the potential to treat aging as a disease. While much of the knowledge from this research has been obtained through animal and yeast models, its implications for human health and quality of life are profound. By finding interventions that slow the rate of aging, researchers and physicians would be better equipped to delay the onset of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes; reduce mortality rates; and improve quality of life. Such interventions also would challenge the notion that our quality of life is likely to decline beginning at a certain age. This will be particularly important as researchers from the Stanford Center for Longevity predict that as many as “half of today’s five year-olds can expect to live to the age of 100.” While more immediate interventions are needed to support the health and well-being of the current aging population, new research and the commercialization of science and technology offers the promise to reduce the burden of aging on individuals and society in the years ahead. At the same time, considerable thought must be given on how to make those interventions available across racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines.Examples
- Research is identifying the genetic and epigenetic factors that contribute toward the aging of cells and organisms
- Research is exploring the factors that contribute toward the health of individuals living in “Blue Zones,” or those geographies where individuals are more likely to live beyond 100 years
- Research is exploring the role of basic interventions such as diet, caloric restriction, exercise, cryotherapy and oxygen therapy to slow the progression of aging
- Biotechnology companies are developing interventions to destroy senescent, or “zombie” cells, that are believed to contribute toward disease.
The Foundation’s general eligibility criteria apply to the RFP. Please review the Funding Policies on the Apply page of the Foundation’s website and the General FAQs found on the Foundation’s Nonprofit and Public Sector Partners webpage.Guidelines
The Foundation expects to provide two types of support through this RFP.
Planning and Innovation grants:
- Will provide up to $250,000 for new and translational research
- Commercialize promising science and technology interventions (social impact investments).
- Will provide up to $400,000 and funded activities should be completed 24 months after the grant award
Grant funds awarded through this RFP may be used for a variety of expenses such as program and service delivery, consultant fees, evaluation, or “overhead” or administrative expenses. A limited amount of capital expenditures for equipment and lab infrastructure that are essential to accomplish the outcomes of the proposal may be included.
If an application is truly exceptional, the Foundation may consider providing more than $250,000 for Planning and Innovation grants or more than $400,000 for Scalability grants. Successful grantees may be invited to apply for follow-on funding or additional capacity-building funding opportunities at the conclusion of the grant.
What the Foundation Will Not Fund
The Foundation will not fund the following through this RFP:
- Advocacy, political causes, or events
- Existing deficits or retroactive funding
- Event sponsorships
- Applications submitted – Friday, September 9, 2022 Noon (12:00 PM) EST.
- Funding Status Notification – October 14, 2022
- Funds Issued for Awarded Grants – October 28, 2022
FAQ: Request For Proposals
We encourage you to prioritize carefully with your organization, and we recommend that an organization submit one proposal to each RFP. However, the logic model describing the proposed initiative may contain several types of activities that are critical for the project’s success.
If you are submitting a proposal as part of a large regional research, university, or healthcare institution, we will consider ideas from multiple divisions within the institution. You should coordinate with your institution’s development office before responding to an RFP or completing the General Application to the Foundation.
It is unlikely that you can meet with a program officer before submitting. In general, program officers are not available for a discussion until after a proposal has been submitted. You can also email [email protected] with questions.
You will immediately receive an email confirming that your application was successfully submitted. There are not specific timelines associated with the review of a funding application.
The Foundation normally has Board meetings in the Spring, Summer and Winter.
Questions about a declined application may be submitted via email to [email protected]. The Foundation aspires to reply to all inquiries but, given the volume of applications the Foundation receives, we cannot commit to answering every such inquiry.
The Foundation is generally not providing multi-year grants at this time. The majority of our grants are twelve to eighteen months.
Yes, the Foundation provides general operating support for organizations that are not postsecondary institutions or research institutions.
In the application, you will encounter a question about the type of support that you are seeking. You can select from the following options: Capital Support; General Operating Support; Land Acquisition; Project Support.
Yes, you can include indirect expenses in your proposed budget if your organization is not a postsecondary or research institution.
We define indirect expenses as those expenses categorized as “Management and General;” “Administrative and Management;” or “Fundraising” according to the IRS and FASB functional expense allocation guidelines.
For organizations that are eligible to receive support for indirect expenses, we do not have a recommended ratio.
The Foundation will not fund ideas that include regranting to individuals. The Foundation may fund applications that include regranting from a lead agency to other agencies who are identified in the submission as participants in a collaboration. In this case, the regranted funds are solely to support the collaborative activities described in the submission. We will consider ideas in which organizations provide technical assistance in areas where they have expertise or are working with pre-identified partners, who will then assist with the implementation of the proposed project.
Yes, we consider applications from organizations that are not based in Allegheny or Westmoreland counties. In your application, you should be clear about why and in what ways the project will serve economic development in these counties.
The primary goal of a PRI is to achieve charitable benefit. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service allows a foundation to provide a PRI if the investment fulfills all three of the following criteria:
- The primary purpose is to accomplish one or more of the foundation’s exempt purposes
- Production of income or appreciation of property is not a significant purpose, and
- Influencing legislation or taking part in political campaigns on behalf of candidates is not a purpose.
The IRS provides additional guidance that further clarifies each of these criterion. We encourage you to consult with your legal counsel and review the IRS guidance and other resources about philanthropic PRIs before you submit an application.
Yes. You may submit an application if your company is based anywhere in the United States. Unfortunately, we are not able to entertain applications from companies not incorporated in the United States. For ideas focused on Economic Mobility, Economic Development, or Health & Well-Being, if your company is located outside the Pittsburgh region, please be sure to address within the application how your idea will positively impact Allegheny and/or Westmoreland counties. If your proposal is related to our Conservation program area, the positive impact you seek to generate can be anywhere in the United States.
Any questions about the application may be submitted via email to [email protected]. We will be responsive to all thoughtful inquiries.
Nonprofit and public sector applicants can submit different proposals to any of the RFPs at the same time.
For-profit companies and entrepreneurs are only able to submit a proposal to the Employment in the New Economy: Supporting Disconnected and Gig Economy Workers RFP