Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: Mathers Foundation Grant Program Spring 2024

Applications due Jan. 4

These instructions are for VU investigators. VUMC investigators should visit the OOR funding opportunity site.

Vanderbilt University may submit up to four letters of intent for the spring 2024 cycle of the Mathers Foundation grant program. The mission of The G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Foundation is to advance knowledge in the life sciences by sponsoring scientific research that will benefit mankind. The foundation’s grants program seeks to support innovative, potentially transformative basic science projects in fields including immunology, microbiome, genomics, structural biology, cellular physiology and neuroscience. The grant duration is three years, and requested budgets should be realistic for the project (consider the type of investigation, models used, supply requirements, size of the team, etc.). Grant budgets cannot exceed $600,000–$750,000 (including indirect costs capped at 10 percent) over three years.

Funding priorities

  • The foundation primarily supports basic science, ideally with potential translational applications.
  • Immunology, microbiome, genomics, structural biology, cellular physiology, neuroscience, etc., are noteworthy examples of current research support. Plant biology, oceanography, space exploration and global warming research will not be considered for support.
  • COVID-19 related research projects (aims or sub-aims) will not be considered.
  • Medical imaging technology-related projects and/or electrical engineering technology development projects will not be considered.
  • Requests for funding previous federally supported research, and/or applications pending federal approval, will not be accorded priority consideration.
  • Requests for support of clinical trials or drug discovery will not be approved. The foundation will not support projects that it considers pre-clinical drug development.
  • Investigations in basic science and translational research may be reliant on collaborative, interdisciplinary projects. Interdisciplinary project proposals may require additional information regarding collaborator(s)’ achievements and relevant expertise.
  • LOIs that have been declined should not be resubmitted.
  • Renewal applications for the same or related research will not be accorded priority consideration, and applicants should consider proposing a new research direction.

Budget considerations

  • The foundation’s grant award is not intended to be utilized for purchasing capital equipment (“bricks and mortar”) for the lab and is intended only to support the actual investigation.
  • Tuition expenses (remission) may not be covered for personnel (graduate students involved in the project) if considered excessive.
  • Expenses for core services may not be approved if considered excessive.
  • Expenses for computers, computer-generated systems and AI data generation cannot be expensed.

See the program page for more information.

Internal application process

Interested faculty should visit to submit an application for the internal LSO competition and to find additional information about the opportunity. The deadline for the internal competition is Jan. 4, 2024.

Any questions about this opportunity or the LSO process may be directed to