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U.S. NAM Catalyst Award Competition

Awards to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, IHEs, Teams,
and Individuals for Ideas that Encourage Healthy Aging

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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U.S. National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR)

Deadline Date:

02/24/20 11:59 PM ET


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Awards of up to $50,000 to USA nonprofit and for-profit organizations, IHEs, research institutions, teams, and individuals for innovative ideas that improve the experience and health of aging populations. Topic areas may include mental and physical health, housing, policy, and urban planning. Ideas may focus on any stage of life, as long as they ultimately promote health as people age.

Catalyst Awards will reward bold, new, potentially transformative ideas to improve the physical, mental, or social well-being of people as they age, in a measurable and equitable way. In particular, NAM seeks ideas that aim to extend the human healthspan through innovative approaches. Applications may originate from any field or combination of fields (e.g., biology, chemistry, medicine, engineering, infrastructure, behavioral and social sciences, technology, and policy). 

Examples of topic areas include but are not limited to:

  • Biology of aging and molecular pathways
  • Physical health (e.g., mobility and functionality)
  • Built environment and urban planning
  • Disease prevention, including biomarkers and indicators of disease
  • Health care delivery
  • Housing (e.g., smart-enabled homes, intergenerational housing models)
  • Policy (e.g., economic, health, and science policy)
  • Behavioral health (e.g., social connectedness, engagement, and well-being)
  • Technology (e.g., artificial intelligence; robotics; medical, assistive, and information-technology)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 187988

Number of Grants:

NAM will issue up to 24 Catalyst Awards per year.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each Catalyst Award includes a $50,000 cash prize as well as travel costs to attend an annual Innovator Summit

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The U.S. NAM Catalyst Awards will be open to any person or team of any discipline or background and from any organization (e.g., colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies). For-profit companies may apply, provided they don’t have annual sales revenues of more than $10 million for each of their last two fiscal years. Among for-profit companies, there will be a strong preference for early stage endeavors (e.g., seed investments, startups, social enterprises, and spinouts). Applicants do not need to be affiliated with an institution to submit an application. Applicants must reside in the U.S. but do not need to be a U.S. citizen.

There must be a single Principal Investigator (PI) associated with each application. Only one Catalyst Award application per year per PI is allowed. However, a PI can be on another application as a co-investigator or collaborator within the same annual cycle.

Pre-Application Information:

The application period will open on January 13, 2020 at 12:00am ET and close on February 24, 2020 at 11:59pm ET.

Key dates for Round 1 of the U.S. NAM Catalyst Award Competition:
- January 13, 2020 at 12:00am ET: Application period opens
- February 24, 2020 at 11:59pm ET: Application period closes
- Summer 2020: Winners announced
- Summer 2021: Innovator Summit
These dates are based on an estimated timeline and are subject to change. The NAM will post specific dates and any changes to key dates on the competition website.

Applicants are encouraged to sign up to receive updates at


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Application form:

Potential applicants may submit questions about the U.S. NAM Catalyst Award process and/or application requirements to AFAR. Questions should be emailed to Please use the following subject line when submitting questions: “Q&A – NAM Catalyst Award Round 1.”

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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