Funding Opportunities for Discovery Stage Research


The mission of California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) is to accelerate world class science to deliver transformative regenerative medicine treatments in an equitable manner to a diverse California and world. The objective of the Discovery Program is to support exploratory research leading to the discovery of novel stem cell technologies to improve patient care.

DISC 0: Foundation Awards

The Foundation Awards Program supports rigorous studies addressing critical basic knowledge gaps in the biology of stem cells and regenerative medicine approaches and to advance stem cell-based tools. Projects funded through the Foundation Awards should propose impactful or innovative research that culminates in a discovery or technology that would advance our understanding of the biology of stem or progenitor cells (collectively, “stem cells”) that is relevant to human biology and disease, or advance the application of genetic research that is relevant to human biology and disease and pertains to stem cells and regenerative medicine, or advance the development or use of human stem cells as tools for biomedical innovation, or lead to the greater applicability of regenerative medicine discoveries to communities representing the full spectrum of diversity. While CIRM intends to issue this Program Announcement for Foundation Awards to broadly re-initiate funding of basic stem cell science and genetic research, future DISC0 Program Announcements will be adjusted to align with collaborative infrastructure needs.

Please see the Program Announcement for full details:

Note: Significant changes have been made to the DISC0 Foundation Program that are not yet reflected in the posted materials. A Revised Program Announcement will be available at a later date. Until that time, prospective applicants are encouraged to preview the approved Concept changes found here.

The application is closed at this time. DISC0 opportunities recur annually.

DISC 2: The Quest Awards

The objective of the Quest Awards Program is to (1) promote the discovery of promising new stem cell-based and genetic therapeutic candidates that can be translated for clinical use, or (2) promote the discovery of promising new biomarker candidates that can be translated for clinical use, particularly in drug development.

Projects funded through the Quest Awards must propose a therapeutic or biomarker candidate that is uniquely enabled by human stem/progenitor cells or directly reprogrammed cells, or uniquely enabling for the advancement of stem cell-based therapies or genetic therapies.

Please see the Program Announcement for full details:

Note: Significant changes have been made to the DISC2 Quest Program. Please refer to the current version of the RFA.

The applications for the DISC2 Quest Program are now closed.

DISC 4: ReMIND-L Awards

The ReMIND (Research using Multidisciplinary, Innovative approaches in Neuro Diseases) Program supports the research and development of treatments for diseases and conditions of the brain and central nervous system (CNS). The program will focus on Neuropsychiatric Disorders and will provide new avenues and rigorous foundations for future translational and clinical investigations by establishing and funding a network of multidisciplinary research teams.

Please see the Program Announcement for full details:

The applications for the DISC4: ReMIND-L Program are closed.

For more information about the ReMIND program including deadlines, requirements, and FAQs please visit the ReMIND page on our website

For previous versions of the DISC 2 Program Announcement, please refer to our Previous Funding Opportunities page. Future applicants who are interested in reading reviewer feed back on previous DISC 2 applications, please refer to the review summaries below.

Foundation Application Review Summaries

Quest Application Review Summaries

To Submit an Application:

  1. Go to the Grants Management Portal ( and log in with your existing CIRM Username and Password. If you do not have a Username, Click on the “New User” link and follow the instructions to create a CIRM Username and password.
  2. After logging in, click on the Menu tab. Select the tab labeled “Open Programs“. Under the section labeled “RFAs and Programs Open for Applications“, click on the “Start a Grant Application” link for your selected program.
  3. Complete each section of the Application by clicking on the appropriate link and following the posted instructions. Proposal templates can be located and submitted under the “Uploads” section.
  4. To submit your Application, click on the “Done with Application” button. The “Done with Application” button will be enabled when all of the mandatory sections have been completed. Please note that once this has been selected, you will no longer be able to make changes to your Application.
  5. To confirm submission of your Application, select the tab labeled “Your Applications” and check the table under the section labeled “Your Submitted Applications“. You will see your Application number and project title listed once the submission process has been completed.