Biomedical Research

Supporting research programs to evolve healthcare.

Funding Purpose

Understanding and improving our community’s health is vital to building an inclusive and equitable San Antonio. Biomedical Research grants are available to support programs dedicated to advancing the prevention, treatment, and understanding of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and infectious diseases.

We need to focus on what we heard from the community – and improving our process to meet those needs. We have made a transition from awarding Biomedical Research grants for individual research projects to awarding grants to research institutions. Rather than having multiple applications from the same institution, our goal is to give the awarded institution the flexibility to utilize the funds in a way that will be most effective for their work and for the community.

Institutions receiving the Biomedical Research grants will propose how they plan to utilize the funds. They may propose using the funds for a single research project or program; or, they may propose using the funds for more than one smaller project.

Going forward, we will award two Biomedical Research grants every two years. The grants will be two-year grants. We will award the grants to different institutions every two years. Should more funding become available in the future, we’ll revisit the process.

Review the Media Guideline to assist you in publicizing and referring to your grant.

Give a gift of any size right now and join forces with the Area Foundation to create a larger impact in this area.

Application Information

In order to apply for a Biomedical Research Grant, the following criteria must be met:

  • The research must focus on advancing the prevention, treatment and understanding of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or infectious diseases.
  • The research institution must be a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • The institution must provide programs and services directly benefiting the residents of Bexar County and the surrounding seven counties.

We award grants to applications advancing the treatment, prevention, and understanding of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and infectious diseases.

Proposals are evaluated on:

  • Originality and importance of the research.
  • Likelihood that the project(s) can gain competitive funding nationally.
  • Projects’ benefit to the San Antonio and South Texas community.
  • Capability of the investigator(s) to complete the study.


Priority is given to:

  • Junior investigators initiating pilot projects which, if funded, can be leveraged to gain additional national funding.
  • Senior investigators seeking “bridge” funding to defining new directions for their laboratories.
  • Laboratories encompassing teaching components, inter-institutional collaborations or scientific inquiries of particular relevance to our South Texas population.

With these Biomedical Research grants, the Area Foundation does not fund:

  • Endowments
  • Debt reduction
  • Operating deficits
  • Capital campaigns
  • Individuals
  • Indirect costs
  • Scholarships for colleges, universities and trade schools
  • Political activities, organizations, or lobbying efforts intended to influence legislation

Beginning in 2021, the process will follow this timeline:

  • April 1—Area Foundation will notify two research institutions that they have been selected for the award and will request a proposal on how the funds will be utilized.
  • April 2 – 30, Area Foundation will review and approve the proposals. Area Foundation may request changes to the proposal which will be reviewed on an iterative basis until the proposal is approved.
  • May 1 (or upon approval of the proposal)—Grants are awarded. Payment will be for the first year of the two-year grant.
  • By April 30 of the following year, the grant awardees must submit an interim follow-up report to receive the second-year payment.


If research institutions seek to be considered for the biennial Biomedical Research grants, please contact the San Antonio Area Foundation, info@saafdn.org, 210.225.2243.

  • All grant seekers must create an account to access the online application. Please click here to create an account in our Grants Center. You will receive an email confirming you have created an account.
  • Applications must be submitted via our online Grants Center.
  • Applications to be considered as a partnering research institution may be submitted anytime.
  • Applications are reviewed by Area Foundation.
  • For grantees, please download and review the Media Guidelines to assist you in publicizing and referring to your grant.

Past Grant Awards

Congrats to our 2021 Biomedical Research grantees!

The San Antonio Area Foundation made one grant in 2020 from the Biomedical Research field of interest funds. The Area Foundation awarded $97,141.00 to Texas Biomedical Research Institute for the San Antonio Partnership for Precision Therapeutics (SAPPT). SAPPT funds are housed and administered by Texas Biomedical Research Institute as a representative of three other partner Institutions: Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), UT Health San Antonio, and The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). The grant will be used by SAPPT exclusively for the San Antonio Partnership for Precision Therapeutics collaborative research and development efforts to accelerate the understanding, treatment, and prevention of COVID-19.

Congrats to our 2019 Biomedical Research grantees!

View List of Grantees

Gavin Nichols
Gavin Nichols
Senior Program Officer
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