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Developmental Core

The Developmental Core provides grant opportunities to early stage investigators to foster new approaches to fight infectious diseases on all fronts – from revealing their basic biology to creating innovative public health strategies to stop their spread. Click the links below to learn about our funding opportunities. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Developmental Grants

PREPARE is proud to continue its Developmental Grant program that will advance the next generation of scientific experts in infectious disease research, prevention, and response. As the COVID-19 experience has shown, controlling future pandemics means investing in scientific discovery, especially in a skilled, interdisciplinary workforce that is committed to understanding and preventing disease threats wherever they might be.

Please review our current funding opportunities for early stage investigators (pre-R01) or for established investigators (R01 or above) working with an early stage Co-I.


Developmental Grants in Pandemic Prevention and Response Research

This opportunity is available to early stage investigators with faculty appointments at UC San Diego or any PREPARE partner institutionInvestigators may apply for up to $50,000 for a one-year project in basic, clinical, translational, or behavioral aspects of emerging pathogens with active or potential pandemic escalation.


Developmental Grants in Pandemic Prevention and Human Milk Research 

For centuries, human milk has been ignored by the scientific community, but new evidence shows its potential to help address many of the most debilitating and deadly diseases we face today. Given this evidence, does human milk have a place in the context of pandemic preparedness? Here are a few starting considerations:

  • What methods could rapidly evaluate the safety of breastfeeding, human milk and pasteurized donor human milk when the next pandemic arises?
  • Could bioactive components in human milk serve as therapeutics against pandemic pathogens? 
  • Are treatments/drugs against pandemic pathogens transmitted through human milk?
  • Are pandemic pathogen-acquired antibodies from infection or vaccines transmitted through human milk and are they beneficial to babies?

The UC San Diego PREPARE Institute and Human Milk Institute (HMI) are partnering on this Developmental Grant opportunity to develop strategies to rapidly assess human milk’s safety at pandemic onset and learn more about the application of human milk’s potential to help thwart future pandemics.

This opportunity is designed to foster synergistic research initiatives between human milk and pandemic preparedness investigators and support the advancement of early stage investigators or collaborations between established and early stage investigators in these fields. The types (individual vs. collaborative) and paylines for awards given will depend on the investigators applying.

Early stage investigator applicants may request up to $50,000 or an established investigator (R01 or above) working with an early stage investigator as a Co-I may request up to $100,000 in funding. In a research collaboration, either investigator may submit the application. The period of performance for all funded projects is one year from the date of final approval.

Applications are accepted from PREPARE or HMI faculty who have a doctorate-level degree and an Assistant Professor or higher faculty appointment at UC San Diego or any PREPARE (J. Craig Venter Institute, La Jolla Institute for Immunology, Scripps Research) or HMI (Rady Children's Hospital) partner institution. Partner institution applicants must have a UC San Diego-based collaborator.

Established investigators (R01 or above) working in collaboration with an early stage Co-I are expected to mentor in addition to their scientific work.



The PREPARE Administrative Core hosts virtual office hours before Developmental Grants are due.

  • Details TBD