Pilot Research Grants


Pilot Research Grants

The Osher Pilot Research Grants provide seed grants to support collaborative projects consistent within the four domains of research within the Osher Center’s evolving 2021-2026 Strategic Plan:

  • The Science of Mind-Body Connections,
  • Clinical Effectiveness of Multimodal and Integrative
  • Systems and Translational Biology in Integrative Medicine,
  • The Science of Human and Nature Connections, and
  • Lifestyle, Nutrition and Dietary Supplements

The purpose of this program is to provide early funding for innovative projects in the field of integrative medicine including basic, translational, and clinical research.

Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis, as pilot grants of $25,000 to $50,000, with up to four grants available each annual funding cycle.

Applications undergo a formal peer-review process and will be ranked for funding priority based on strategic and scientific merit.


09/01/2022: RFA Announcement
01/15/2023: Letter of Interest Due
03/01/2023: Full Applications Invited
04/15/2023: Full Applications Due
07/01/2023: Awardees Announced
09/01/2023: Funding and Projects Commence


All members of the Harvard Medical School (HMS) research community with a faculty appointment of instructor and above are invited to apply. Individuals may serve as the PI of only one proposal per application cycle.

Review criteria

The mission of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine is to advance leading-edge research, education, and clinical care to promote an integrative model of health, healing, and well-being. The vision of the Osher Center is a systems-based, integrative model of health that recognizes and leverages interconnections of body, mind, and spirit to enhance resilience and promote health, healing and well-being in individuals and their communities.

Therefore, Pilot Projects will be evaluated primarily for their potential to advance the strategic mission and vision of the Osher Center through collaborative, cross-disciplinary innovative research related to integrative medicine.

Projects must be scientifically meritorious and aligned with the one or more of the following strategic themes: the Science of Mind-Body Connections, Clinical Effectiveness of Multimodal and Integrative Interventions, Systems and Translational Biology in Integrative Medicine, and Placebo and the Science of Human Connections.

  • Projects should not be merely an extension of ongoing work but rather novel ideas/programs which require seed funding.
  • Projects creating new collaborations between PIs, research groups, or institutions within the HMS community will be given priority.
  • Priority will also be given to projects that are translational and/or integrate across physiological systems.

Review Process

  • From the letters of interest (LOI), approximately 10 applicants will be invited to submit full applications. LOIs will be reviewed by an ad-hoc Osher Center Pilot Grant Review Committee (chaired by the Osher Center Research Director).
  • Full applications undergo a formal peer-reviewed process and will be ranked according to NIH criteria. Ranked proposals will be reviewed by the Osher Center Directors, and final decisions will be announced on July 1st, 2023.
  • Written critiques will not be provided.


  • Recipients will be obligated to provide a progress report to the Osher Center at six months, and an oral presentation at the end of the funding period (one year), or at the Osher Integrative Medicine Network Forum, or upon completion of the study.
  • Grantees will notify the Osher Center when other grants are received as a result of pilot funding.
  • Grantees will acknowledge the Osher Center in publications resulting from seed grant support and will notify the Osher Center when such papers have been submitted.

Indirect Cost Policy

The intention of the Osher Center Pilot Research Grants is to foster multidisciplinary collaborative projects across institutions. While these limited funds are intended to cover research, rather than administrative costs, we understand that some institutions require a certain proportion of grants to cover indirect and/or modified direct costs.

The Osher Center pilot award will allow up to 15% of the total award to be used as indirect and/or modified direct costs, including any indirect costs associated with sub-awards.

We encourage applicants to work with their respective parent and subcontracting institutions, if applicable, to reduce administrative costs if possible so that the maximum amount of the awards can be used for the research projects. 

Submitting Letters of Interest 


For questions about eligibility and the application process, please contact the Osher Center at E-mail: [email protected]