Friends of the Semel Institute Research Scholars Program

2020 - 2022 Application

The Friends of the Semel Institute is committed to helping develop the next generation of researchers of the mind and brain in health and disease.  The backbone of the Friends Scholar Program is starter grants of $25,000 per year for up to two years, focused primarily in providing research funding to assist early career investigators and their development of research in neuroscience and human behavior within the Semel Institute.  All applications will be reviewed by a panel of Semel Institute scientists and board members of The Friends of the Semel Institute. Those receiving a Friends starter award will be named a Friends’ Scholar.


  • Post-doctoral scientists in training at UCLA’s Semel Institute.

  • Junior faculty (Assistant Professor or equivalent) conducting research in the Semel Institute, who have not yet received independent research funding (i.e., K or other extramural awards)

  • Strong preference is given to translational research projects that do not currently have adequate financial support and show promise for development toward extramural funding


Expectations of those receiving Friends Starter Award

  • Friends Scholars will be asked to present updates on their research to the Board Members of the Friends and/or the Institute in general.

  • Friends Scholars will be asked to attend one or more Friends receptions to meet donors who supported the program.

  • Friends Scholars will be required to 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 receive an application that must be submitted by October 19, 2020, contact:

Wendy Kelman

The Friends of the Semel Institute

760 Westwood Plaza, C7-463

Los Angeles, CA 90024