Having received over 200 applications, VitaDAO recently announced the close of its third successful cohort of Longevity Fellowship funding. Having already funded over $45,000 (USD) to 48 fellows, the DAO’s latest cohort of researchers hope to further longevity science.
What is the Longevity Fellowship?
The Longevity Fellowship is a needs-based grant designed to offer financial support to longevity researchers with a preference for early-stage, pre-patent projects. However, the application information notes that more mature projects are also not discounted.
The primary criterion to receive the Longevity Fellowship grant is that the project must target human health or lifespan-improving research, directly or indirectly. For example, age-related diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease, are also considered.
VitaDAO’s fellowship program offers between $100 to $3,000 for applicants in order to support them in being able to become more engaged with longevity research. This includes funding research, attending conferences, taking a short break, and priming for another fellowship, such as the Longevity Biotech Fellowship.
How does it tie into other initiatives?
The VitaDAO Fellowship is one piece of the puzzle for this DeSci organization, which is tackling the challenge of funding early-stage longevity research using crypto technology. Such activity is often perceived as too risky for traditional funding methods that focus on surefire results, creating an opportunity for crowdfunding methods such as DAOs.
- The primary focus of VitaDAO is on funding early-stage research projects. The DAO accepts projects for review. If the application is accepted, this is progressed to the next stage, improved, and voted on by DAO members. This voting process is the cornerstone of decentralized funding. To date, the DAO has evaluated over 70 projects and funded $3 million in research.
- The Longevity Prize comprises a series of awards (prizes) for researchers who are working to improve human longevity. The Prize rewards proposals by researchers with a fixed amount of money and aims to generate new proposals and reinvigorate promising new research.
- VitaDAO’s ecosystem runs on its native $VITA token. This allows members of the DAO to support projects financially and gives them voting rights on proposals, making its holders the organization’s decision makers.
VitaDAO also notes that the DeSci community is larger than just one DAO and that the community stands as the backbone for its work. As such, the DAO notes that its Fellowship could be a gateway of opportunity for people seeking to pursue more in-depth fellowships.
The Longevity Biotech Fellowship was created to accelerate the longevity industry. Its founders, Nathan Cheng (ODLB), Mark Hamalainen, and Jun Axup (LessDeath and Longevity Summer Camp), believe that talented, mission-driven individuals can spur the industry forward given the correct support and stimulus.
This Fellowship is open to science, engineering, software, finance, and other talents seeking to make a tangible impact. The Fellowship offers a 12-week program for individuals to join and gain the knowledge needed to make an impact on aging, followed by community access, networking, job fairs, and other benefits.
A goal of progressing research
The VitaDAO Fellowship and the Longevity Biotech Fellowship are two examples of an emerging trend in the DeSci sphere. Such grants can deliver both a financial boost and stimulate participants to get more involved in the sphere. To date, the Fellowship has successfully funded 48 researchers who study and work at numerous institutions across the world, including:
- Andreas Melhede, founding member and community lead at FutrDAO
- Edward Anderton, PhD student specializing in the biology of aging at the Buck Institute for Research in Aging and the University of Southern California
- Anna Kotanska, scientist at into DNA and former chemistry student at Oxford University
- Zeel Patel, researcher at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and computer scientist
- Alex K. Chen, Venture Fellow at Healthspan Capital
These individuals have received financing via the Fellowship to pursue their interest in longevity. With further cohorts, the impact of the program will become clearer as they go on to contribute to the sector.
VitaDAO’s third cohort of its Longevity Fellowship has come to a successful close. Having received over 200 applications in total, the DAO has now successfully funded over 48 fellows to a sum of more than $45,000 (including cohorts one and two). The Fellowship is still accepting applications for interested parties via its online form for future cohorts by including a 500- to 1,000-word written proposal.