Academic Research Grant Application Process

elder-asian-womanThe Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging underwrites an Academic Research Grant Program to further scholarship about new or improved public policies, laws and/or programs that will enhance the quality of life for older adults. Each grant recipient is required to publish a scholarly article on their research in an academic journal. Applicants are encouraged to disseminate research findings through additional channels such as conferences, stakeholder meetings, and white papers.

Academic Research Grant Program Information and Request for Proposals

The Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging awards up to four grants of up to $20,000 each year. Online applications may be submitted starting on or about September 15 and are due on or about October 15. Selections are made on or about December 15 of each year. Funded projects must begin no later than June 1 and should be completed one year after commencement. No-cost extensions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

What Are the Objectives of the Grants?

The Center recognizes the need for further research and scholarship about new or improved public policies, laws and/or programs that will enhance the quality of life for older adults (including those who are poor or otherwise isolated by language, culture, disability, lack of education, or other barriers).

What Kinds of Projects Will be Funded?

The Center expects grantees to meet the objectives of the grant program through individual or collaborative research projects that:

  • Analyze and recommend changes to one or more important existing public policies, laws, and/or programs relating to older adults; or
  • Anticipate the need for and recommend new public policies, laws, and/or programs for older adults necessitated by changes in the number and demographics of the country’s and the world’s elder populations, by advances in science and technology, by changes in the health care system, or by other developments.

Scholars in the fields of health, law, medicine, economics, gerontology, psychology, and sociology have been awarded grants. Topics are demonstrated by past recipients.  

IT IS EXPECTED THAT THE RESEARCH PRODUCT WILL BE PUBLISHABLE IN A FIRST-RATE ACADEMIC JOURNAL.

Action research projects may be funded. However, projects that are primarily educational or service-oriented will not be considered. For example, hosting a series of workshops and collecting pre- and post-surveys to measure what was learned would most likely not be considered a research project.

Who May Apply?

This Academic Research Grant Program is open to all interested and qualified legal, health sciences, social sciences, and gerontology scholars and professionals. Organizations per se are not eligible to apply, although they may administer the grant. Two or more individuals in the same institution or different institutions may submit a collaborative proposal as long as one researcher is designated the principal investigator. The principal investigator must be U.S. citizen or legal resident of the U.S. and must be affiliated with a U.S. based tax-exempt institution or organization such as a university, government agency, or charitable organization.

Prior and current grant recipients are eligible to apply for support for new research projects. The Foundation will not provide continued funding for previously- or currently-funded projects through multi-year grants.

How Much Funding is Available and How is Funding Used?

The Center makes no more than four grants of up to $20,000 each annually. Larger budgets using outside matching funds are encouraged but not required. Favorable weight will be given to proposals that indicate, where appropriate, that active attempts will be made to solicit required additional funds for the project (including a list of sources to be approached). Grant funds may be used for the approved budget purposes, which may include reasonable compensation for the investigator(s), consultant(s) and research assistants, print and computer-based research materials, and other necessary expenses. Faculty salary support will not be approved other than for (1) summer when the applicant is not eligible for summer support from their university or (2) buying out a course. 

Grant funds may not be used for university overhead or administrative charges, and the Foundation will not otherwise pay any such costs. Grant funds may be used to pay for undergraduate or graduate student salary, but not tuition or fees. Travel costs to attend conferences are generally not funded unless participation is integral to the research project. Dissertation or thesis research is not eligible for funding.

How to Apply?

Please complete the online application form.  We accept only online submissions. The Research Grant Proposal should include:

  • Proposal narrative that includes:
    • a description of the research project;
    • a discussion of how the research meets the objectives of our grant program;
    • why the project is otherwise important;
    • a statement if IRB approval is required, by whom, and timeline for obtaining;
    • a description of your intended written research product(s), the academic journal(s) to which your work product(s) will be submitted for publication, and other plans for dissemination (if applicable);
  • curriculum vitae of the applicant(s); 
  • a project timeline;
  • a detailed budget (including matching support if applicable), and
  • federal tax exemption letter evidencing the administrating organization is a 501(c)(3) organization not classified as a private foundation (questions regarding this requirement should be directed to the Coordinator of Academic Research Programs).

The proposal narrative is limited to five pages. The five-page limit includes references (which should be kept to a minimum), but does not include the curriculum vitae, project timeline, budget description, or tax letter.

Appendices may be added only if necessary to support the proposal narrative and should not be used merely to exceed the five-page limit.

If two or more individuals are submitting a collaborative proposal, please complete the online application for the principal researcher but explain the collaboration in the proposal narrative and attach a curriculum vitae for each of the individuals involved in the collaborative proposal.

Letters of support are accepted only if the applicant is working in collaboration with another organization. Letters of support should be submitted separately and sent by email to Catheryn Koss, Coordinator of Academic Research Programs, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Application and Grant Annual Timeline:

  • Online application process available: On or about September 15
  • Online application submission deadline date:  October 15 (if falls during a weekend, due the following Monday) 
  • Application review process: October 15 through December 15
  • Grant awards announced:  No later than December 30
  • Funds disbursed to fiscal agents: Upon receipt of signed agreement letter, generally no later than February 1
  • Grant Period: May begin as early as January 1 and must begin no later than June 1; end one year from commencement unless a no-cost extension is granted
  • Grant reports due: Interim report due eight months after project commencement; final report and financial accounting due three months after project completion

Who Reviews Applications and Awards Grants?

Applications are reviewed and grants awarded by a committee composed of the Foundation Center’s academic advisory board members, the Academic Research Programs Coordinator and Center Director. Reviewers are academics and practitioners in the law and aging field. As such, they are knowledgeable about aging demographics, legal issues affecting older adults, and government programs serving elders. When providing statistical or background information, applicants are encouraged to focus on information that is specifically relevant to their proposed projects.

Reviewers' ratings and comments are confidential. Post-review feedback will not be provided to applicants.

What are the Reporting Requirements?

A short progress and status report must be submitted via email no later than eight months following project commencement. A final report and financial accounting must be submitted via email no later than three months after project completion. The final report should include a description and chronology of the research and results. Upon publication of any research product, copies (either printed or electronic) should be submitted.

Questions? E-mail Catheryn Koss, Coordinator of Academic Research Programs, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..