The Tullie and Rickey Families SPARK Awards Overview

Hear from Deputy Director of Advancement Kelsey Dale about the La Jolla Institute’s Tullie and Rickey Families SPARK Awards program. SPARK is your opportunity to help ignite medical research breakthroughs and the careers of young scientists!

More information about the Tullie and Rickey Families SPARK Awards for Innovations for Immunology is available at:


The Tullie and Rickey Families SPARK Awards provide flexible start-up funding that enables LJI’s early career investigators to act on their promising projects for bold new approaches to diagnoses, treatments, and possibly even cures for diseases that afflict us today. It fills the gap between scientists’ imagination and that first solid set of data that allows them to attract additional funding to further their research and ultimately make life-saving discoveries.

Each year, LJI receives dozens of proposals from its graduate student and post-doctoral scientists. A panel that includes Institute scientists, board members, and top business leaders reviews the proposals, selects the finalists, and has each of them present their projects in person. The finalists are then ranked in order to receive funding based on the total amount raised for the SPARK program each year from donor contributions. Each Tullie and Rickey Families SPARK Award provides $25,000 in funding that must be spent within a year.