Toffler Scholar Program

Sponsor: Karen Toffler Charitable Trust

Program: Toffler Scholar Program


Estimated Award Amount: $80,000

Application Deadline: 3/1/2023

Award Start: 4/1/2023



The Toffler Scholar Program was created by the Trustees of the Karen Toffler Charitable Trust, a 501 C3 nonprofit foundation focused on early-stage research that advances the medical field in profound, high-impact ways. Tapping into the deep legacy of their founders, best-selling authors and futurists, Alvin and Heidi Toffler, the trust exists to be a catalyst for future-focused breakthroughs. The Toffler Scholar Program focuses on helping university medical researchers gain access to support and a network of often underfunded innovations. It is a nimble source of financial support for medical researchers working on early-stage, future-focused brain science. Together with the Florida State University College of Medicine, the program helps foster new ways of thinking and problem solving to find solutions to humanity's most difficult problems. Toffler Scholar grants are one-year grants of $80,000.

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Junior faculty at the assistant professor level, research track faculty, and postdoctoral fellows with at least one year remaining of support, with an M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent degree are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants must be working in research themes related to neurological, neuromuscular, neurodegeneration, neurodegenerative diseases, or autoimmune disorders.
  • Proposed research projects may be basic or translational in nature.
  • Applicants with more than $50,000 in extramural support are ineligible.


Application Process

Applications and related questions should be emailed to Receipt of applications will be confirmed by email. Late applications will not be accepted.


Interested applicants should submit a single PDF document including:

  1. Proposal: maximum of three-pages of text only, single spaced, 12-pt font and one-inch margins
  2. Budget: detailed costs, including human and animal expenses, and justification of all expenses: maximum of one page
    • All funds are to be spent during the award period; no carryover allowed
    • Funds to be used for travel must be justified as engaged in research, and cannot be used for attending meetings
    • Salary support for the PI is capped at 20% of the award amount
    • Note: Award funds will not be released until all IRB and / or IACUC approvals have been secured.
  3. Supplemental figures: optional, maximum of three pages
  4. Biosketch in NIH format. NOTE: Research track faculty and postdocs must also include the biosketch of their mentor or current supervisor.
  5. Letter of recommendation from department chair, mentor, or current supervisor. If the letter is for a research track faculty member or postdoc, the letter must indicate independence of the proposed research project from those being conducted by the mentor. Note: As a condition of the award, the applicant’s chair, mentor, or current supervisor must agree to the applicant’s effort commitment on this project.


Review Criteria

The most important criteria are novelty, innovation, and breakthrough potential of the proposed research and how the funding will be used to meet that goal. A committee designated by the Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs in the College of Medicine will conduct the review.


Reporting Guidelines

The Toffler Scholar Program requires 4-, 8-, and 12-month final reports. Please see the accompanying PDF for details.