PNI Seed Grant Program

UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program

The Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program of the Cousins Center for PNI, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior is an open application with submissions welcomed at any time. The program supports new and innovative research in the area of brain, behavior and immunity that builds bridges between basic biomedical science and clinical sciences. 

The call for proposal is designed to foster new partnerships in PNI research at two principal levels:

  1.  Collaborative partnerships between two or more faculty, with at least one faculty new to PNI research; successful projects would establish linkages between PNI and areas of expertise novel to the field and/or develop innovative technologies or approaches to advance PNI research
  2. Mentoring partnerships between junior faculty new to PNI and at least one established PNI researcher, with an emphasis on faculty career development in the area of PNI.

The broad goals of the Cousins Center are to develop a comprehensive understanding of the role of behavior and PNI mechanisms, singly and in combination with personal and genomic characteristics, in the risk for mental-and physical disorders; and to translate such knowledge into effective behavioral strategies that prevent disease and enhance well-being across the life span.

Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Awards are expected to:

  1. Lead to larger projects that will be appropriate for independent funding from a government agency or private foundation
  2. Result in at least one peer-reviewed publication. 

To apply:

  1. Applicants must hold a UCLA faculty position and/or faculty position at a UCLA affiliate.  Researchers or emerging investigators focused on health disparities and/or disabilities are encouraged to apply.
  2. Applications must adhere to the following format: The proposal must not exceed 4 pages in total, broken down into the following sections - 'Specific Aims' not exceeding 1 page; 'Significant Innovations' and 'Relevance to PNI' combined not exceeding 1 page; and 'Approach' which should include statistical analysis and power calculations, not exceeding 2 pages. 
  3. Biosketches must be in NIH format.
  4. The budget should be $10,000 - $20,000 / year for up to 2 years. 
  5. An itemized budget should be provided in either an excel spreadsheet or NIH formatted budget pages.
  6. A budget justification is required.

Successful applicant PIs must provide their field of specialization, their NIH Commons ID and their IRB and/or IACUC numbers, if applicable, before funds are released.  Recipients must credit the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology in publications that result from Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Awards. During the award period and for up to five years post-award, awardees must provide the following information to the Cousins Center by Nov. 30 each year: (1) all publications that resulted from Cousins Center-supported research, with PubMed ID; and (2) all PHS and non-PHS federal support that contributed to or resulted from the Cousins Center-supported research.

Please direct submission questions to Marina Samaltanos at

Michael R. Irwin, M.D., Cousins Professor
Director, Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology
UCLA Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior