Skip to main content

SQI: Simpson Querry Institute

SQI Synthesizer Research Grants

The SQI Synthesizer Research Grant Program offers seed funding to support early stage, innovative projects in regenerative medicine and connected fields, such as aging, immunology, inflammation, cancer, synthetic biology, and bioelectronics, among others. Priority will be given to bold ideas that could yield transformative gains in human healthspans, those with translational potential, and those with strong prospects for future external funding.

Please review the detailed guidelines below. To apply, download this grant application form.

Deadlines: Proposals are due at 5 p.m. Central Time on September 1 and March 1 annually, with projects beginning in October and April, respectively. 

Contact: Matt Irwin, Director of Operations and Outreach,

The Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology (SQI) promotes research convergence in basic science, engineering, and medicine to advance the field of regenerative medicine and develop cures for degenerative diseases. To achieve these objectives, SQI focuses on the use of nanomedicine strategies with translational potential involving the bottom-up design of structures across scales from molecules to materials and devices.

To this end, we are announcing the SQI Synthesizer Research Grant Program, which will fund projects biannually beginning in October 2023. We decided to label this program as a “synthesizer” to define it as a process that encourages Northwestern faculty to combine “out of the box” ideas that could yield transformative changes in healthspan. Grants will be awarded to fund early stage, innovative projects judged to have potential to expand and receive external funding.

We are especially interested in promoting research at NU in the many areas of biosciences and bioengineering that are directly connected to regenerative medicine, such as aging, immunology, inflammation, cancer, synthetic biology, and bioelectronics, among others.

  • The investigators must be Northwestern faculty members (SQI membership is not required).
  • Any given investigator may be named on multiple proposals, provided each project is unique.
  • Multi-disciplinary teams of investigators are preferred.
  • Priority is given to projects with potential to lead to other sources of funding.
  • Preliminary data are not required.
  • Projects will be funded for 12 months, with potential to be renewed for a second year. Factors that will be weighed in the renewal include scientific progress, plans for future work, and submission of additional grant funding applications.
  • Budgets should not exceed $50,000 in direct funds. However, an additional $5,000 in kind may be requested to fund use of equipment or services in either of the SQI Core Facilities (Peptide Synthesis Core and Analytical bioNanoTechnology Equipment Core (ANTEC), which also provides scientific illustration services).
  • It is preferred to station the project in SQI space, which the Institute can provide to grant recipients. SQI space affords easy access to SQI cores and other resources.
  • Grant recipients are required to submit a final scientific and financial report, due 30 days after closeout.
  • Capital equipment (over $5,000) funds are not allowable.
  • PI and Co-I salary support will not be funded.
  • Travel and publication costs are not allowable in initial applications. However, travel and publication costs will be considered for renewal applications.
  • Any publication or presentation resulting from the funded work should include acknowledgement of funding from the Center for Regenerative Nanomedicine at the Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology.
  • If projects are not complete by the end of the funding period, a 6-month No Cost Extension (NCE) may be requested. All residual funds at the end of the funding period must be returned to SQI.
  • It is strongly preferred that any future funding applications resulting from this work be administered by SQI.