Program Design: Project teams comprise of not-for-profit MA institutions collaborating with at least one for-profit Massachusetts life science company to solve a pressing life science question involving in the delivery of novel therapeutics.

  • Up to $5M capital dollars are available to support work and equipment at not-for-profit partners; each award is anticipated to be up to $750K, unless additional justification provided
  • For-profit partner provides salary support for at least one new postdoctoral scientist  to be appointed at both the not-for-profit and industry partner, as well as other financial and in-kind contributions (equipment donations, salaries, reagents etc.) to leverage MLSC capital dollars
  • Projects should be completed within 2-3 years post grant award
  • There is no limitation on the number of proposals that may be submitted by each non-profit institution. There is no limit on applications from Applicants, but Project Teams are allowed to submit only one application per round.
  • When applicable, teams are required to be inclusive of gender biology (an equal number of female subjects as male) in their approach to pre-clinical/clinical development. Results should highlight any differences observed between groups.

Program Eligibility

Applicants must be a Massachusetts legally organized “not-for-profit” entity such as an academic/research institution, a hospital engaged in research, business incubator or accelerator, or other not-for-profit entity that would be eligible for capital funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Institutions that are exclusively health care providers and/or requests for the purchase of equipment associated with standard healthcare delivery would not be eligible for capital funding.

Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be non-profit institutions, including research institutions and academic medical centers.
  • Each application must be submitted by a Project Team, consisting of a principal investigator(s) (PI) at Applicant institution and one (or more) Company(s).
  • The PI must have a full-time or part-time faculty position at a college, university, or non-profit institute in Massachusetts. The lead Company must have a presence and be registered to do business in Massachusetts.
  • The requested funding must support the performance of translational research addressing a complex challenge in delivery. The requested funds can only be used to support capital costs (equipment, supplies, reagents, etc.) at the MA non-profit institution.
  • It is the expectation, when applicable, that projects are inclusive of gender biology in the approach to pre-clinical/clinical development.
  • Projects will be evaluated, in part, based on the level of support offered to the Applicant in a commitment letter(s) which delineates the amount of cash, in-kind, and/or other contributions (equipment donation, cell lines, drug or material samples, internal salary, etc.) to be provided by the Company and any other sources (grantee institution, etc.). The more MLSC dollars leveraged by additional third party support, the stronger the application.
  • The Applicant will be required to provide documentation of a cash component from the Company to support at least one new postdoctoral scientist for the entire duration of the project following grant award. The salary must, at a minimum, follow the NIH payscale plus fringe.
  • Applicants must demonstrate how they will work collaboratively with the Company to execute the project.
  • These funds are intended to catalyze new life science discoveries. Therefore, sponsored research agreements (or other similar arrangements) executed before November 19, 2021 between the parties will not be considered as part of the letter of support for this program.
  • The Applicant and Company must be in compliance with all other Center agreements, if any.
  • Applicants must demonstrate interest in the dataset and equipment (if applicable) by other academic and industry scientists. Resources developed/purchased under this award must be made available to other internal and external scientists.

Application and Review Process

Review Criteria: Applications will be reviewed by an external panel of scientists from academia and industry with expertise in the delivery/development of therapeutics and clinical care. Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Qualifications of the Team
  • Use of funds and value to the MA ecosystem
  • Proposed plan, unmet need/market opportunity, data generation and sharing (if applicable), scientist training, and approach to solving a key question.

Top applicants may be asked to meet with our review panel and will be notified of such a request.

While the MLSC recognizes that different areas of translational research have different time horizons, successful proposals will explain a clear path, with executable milestones, that leads to new discoveries in partnership with the Company.

The below list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather representative of the types of pertinent healthcare issues that can particularly benefit from discovery and innovation:

Sample Project Attributes:

Address a Complex Challenge Explore Delivery Difficulty
PreparationSmall molecules
Route of administrationPeptides/oligos
Site targetingAntibodies
Material, mechanical, and crossing barriersCells
Medical devices“Bugs”


  • Allowable costs for MLSC funds: equipment, research supplies and reagents (no minimum dollar amount), purchase of hardware and software, generation of data via core facilities, processing of raw data by core facilities, purchase of analytical equipment.
  • Non-fundable expenses include: direct labor, legal expenses, travel, paying off debt, paying board members, paying for operating costs such as rent and utilities, renting space for storage of memory or hard drives, monthly cloud storage fees, other monthly subscription fees, overhead/indirect costs and activities funded by other funding sources.
  • Following execution of the grant agreement, funds will be provided on a reimbursement basis to the Awardees based on the terms of the Grant Agreement.
  • The number and amount of awards will be determined by the quality of the proposals.
  • Typical grant request for this program is up to $750,000. Teams requesting more than $750,000 will be asked to describe the compelling circumstances and provide sufficient information to justify this special request.
  • The Center reserves the right to adjust the requested amount of funding for each proposal.


Post-award Deliverables, Confidentiality, and General Conditions


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