FY25 Spring application period is closed.
FY25 Fall application will be announced this summer.

FY25 Application Process

Overview: The Small Grants Program (SGP) is open to faculty and postdocs at WU and is designed to support promising new research projects within the WU systems neuroscience community. This program is intended to promote pilot projects, collaborative ventures and significant new research directions that are not readily supported by standard grant sources. 


  • Faculty applicants – if at instructor stage or on a non-tenure track (clinical or research track), a letter of support from the applicant’s Department Head stating the department’s commitment to the applicant’s research career development at WU is required. 
  • Postdoc applicants – must include a letter of support from the applicant’s mentor stating that the postdoc has permission to apply, that the project is driven by the postdoc and clarifying how the mentor will support this effort. See Postdoc FAQ for more information.
  • The research should be highly responsive to the Systems Neuroscience Center’s mission statement, and the application must clarify how the proposed research fits within the mission


  • Grants up to $50,000 in directs/year for 1-2 years are awarded. Project start date will be July 1, 2024.   
  • May include equipment and research supplies and/or salary for personnel, including Postdoctoral Research Associates, but not for faculty. 
  • Funding for graduate students is allowed but only with compelling justification and may not exceed 50% effort per year.  
  • Postdoc applications may include salary support for the applicant up to 50% effort per year. 
  • Travel to conduct research or present findings is allowed up to $2,500.  
  • Laptops/desktops/tablets not allowed unless required for experiments. 


  • Funds must be used within WU and cannot be sent to other institutions. 
  • Funds are expected to be used within the time frame stated in the award. A one-time no-cost extension request of up to one year will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Review Process:

  • Applications will be reviewed by the Operations Committee, which favors proposals with evidence that the project will lead to new or expanded outside funding, projects that involve multiple WU investigators, and new collaborations. Priority is given to applicants who have not been recently funded by either McDonnell Center. 

Applications and Deadline:

  • Applications must be submitted by 5:00pm on March 8, 2024.
  • Applications not meeting the eligibility criteria or following the application instructions may be returned without review. 
  • Decisions are typically made by June 1st. 

Submission: FY25 SGP instructions and application form. A single PDF including the full application should be submitted via this REDCap survey.

For questions, contact Carmen Horn horn_c@wustl.edu