COVID-19 Research Resources
A curated list of research resources around guidelines, policies, and procedures related to COVID-19, drawn from Harvard University, affiliated academic healthcare centers, and government funding agencies

Grants for clinical and translational research projects. Pilot Funding

Systems Immunology Pilot Project Grants

At a glance
Sponsoring Program
  • NIAID U19 Grant
Funding level
  • Up to $75,000, direct costs, for one year
  • See below and FAQ for details.
Application Due
  • 5:00pm on May 15, 2020
The application process is closed.

The overarching goal of the Systems Immunology U19 Program (PIs: Arlene Sharpe and Jon Kagan) is to use forward genetic screens in mice to advance our understanding of innate and adaptive immune responses to pathogens. This program is driven by our recent development of a CRISPR-Cas9 based system that enables forward genetic screens in mouse immune cells in vivo or in vitro. This platform is coupled with systems level analysis of single-cell gene expression profiles to identify new genes, pathways, and mechanisms that control innate and adaptive immune responses to acute infection and vaccine adjuvants. These studies will be complemented by comprehensive analysis of novel candidate regulators in mouse infection models and human cells.

The primary purpose of this request for pilot projects is to 1) use our CRISPR platform to identify novel regulators of innate and adaptive immune responses to acute infections and vaccines and 2) develop new technologies that could enhance forward genetic screens in primary mouse or human immune cells to identify novel regulators of innate and adaptive immune responses to acute infection.

We are interested in pilot projects that:

  1. Use our CRISPR platform to probe in vivo innate and adaptive immune responses to acute infection, vaccines, or adjuvants (with a focus on projects with an existing list of specific candidate genes)
  2. Use our CRISPR platform for in vivo studies of immune cell lineages during responses to acute infection or vaccines. Priority will be given to non-T-cells studies
  3. Develop primary human and mouse immune cell editing/perturbation technologies

Key Dates

Application Opens: March 2, 2020
Application Due: May 15, 2020 (extended from April 17)
Funding Decisions Announced: June, 2020
Anticipated Funding Start Date: July 1, 2020


Any faculty member who holds a Harvard University or MIT appointment as assistant professor, associate professor, or professor is eligible to be the PI. Lecturers, instructors, and research scientists/associates are also eligible. Early career investigators are particularly encouraged to apply. See FAQs for more information about eligibility.