The G.W. Stairs Fund was established in 1962 by a grant to D.O. Hebb from Dr. Eleanor I. Leslie, a Chicago-area physician who visited Hebb’s laboratory and was interested in funding research into the biological basis of mental illness. The Fund was named after the deceased son of a close Montreal friend of Dr. Leslie. A further sum was bequeathed to the fund in Dr. Leslie’s will; this part of the fund is administered by the Friends of McGill University, based in New York. Each year, usually in June, a total of between $30,000 and $50,000 in interest is derived from the original donation and the bequest and is available to support research on the biological basis of mental illness at McGill.
Anyone with an academic appointment at McGill University is eligible to apply. The application deadline is March 15th of every year.
The Stairs Fund considers applications for funds to support pilot projects, to provide emergency bridge funding, and for other small research projects. Funds can be used for general operating expenses (e.g., to pay subjects, purchase rats, drugs and other supplies, and to pay research assistants and casual part-time salaries). Funds cannot be used to pay graduate students, post‑doctoral fellows, or the salaries of full-time personnel or to purchase large items of equipment. Funds can be used to pay for small items of equipment (<$5000) only when they are required to start or complete a project. No applicant can receive support from the Stairs fund in two consecutive years.
Applications should be no longer than 3 pages (plus references), and include a budget and the CV of the applicant. To apply, send this package before March 15th to the Chair of the committee, as listed below.
The G.W. Stairs Fund Committee
Jeffrey Mogil, Psychology, Chair
Marco Leyton, Psychiatry
Robert Pihl, Psychology
Norman White, Psychology