napari Plugin Foundations Grants

Funding Agency:
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invites applications for a second round of grants to support plugin projects for the napari image analysis platform. This round focuses on ensuring the quality of existing plugins through improvements to documentation, user support, usability, and reliability, and establishing foundational plugins for cell biology analyses.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) imaging program seeks to give biologists access to reproducible quantitative image analysis. The rise of Python as a leading platform for scientific computing and machine learning shows promise for biological applications. Yet it remains difficult for biologists to take advantage of the latest developments in deep learning-enabled quantitative analysis because of a lack of visualization and exploratory analysis tools that can support modern microscopy and large imaging datasets. Towards that end, CZI has partnered with napari, a community-built, Python-based, open-source tool for browsing, annotating, and analyzing large multi-dimensional images. Since the launch of the napari hub in June 2021, the napari plugin ecosystem has been growing exponentially, with over 145 plugins available for the research community.

As napari’s plugin ecosystem grows, it is important for the napari community to find high-quality, trusted plugins—that are well documented and reliable, with intuitive user interfaces and responsive support from their developers—for their data analysis challenges. To support this goal, CZI invites applications for grants of $20,000 in total costs to improve the quality of one or more existing napari plugins through improvements to documentation, user support, usability, reliability, or other activities.

While napari is designed for a broad variety of imaging domains and welcomes plugin developers building a wide variety of tools, in this round of funding, CZI seeks to ensure that the napari ecosystem supports a critical mass of foundational image processing and analysis methods for cell biology. In addition to quality improvements, CZI invites applications for grants of $20,000 in total costs that would enable developers to convert one or more existing image analysis tools for cellular biology to one or more napari plugins.

In addition to funding, awardees will be invited to participate in training and mentorship opportunities to support their success as part of the grant program.

Deadline: June 1, 2022

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Applications for two types of grants will be considered in scope according to the level of maturity of the plugin:

● Quality improvement grants: $20,000 total costs (inclusive of up to 15 percent indirect costs) over 12 months to improve the quality of one or more existing open source napari plugins. Priority will be given to plugins that have strong potential for increased impact through quality improvements such as documentation, user support, usability, and reliability. Plugins supported by quality improvement grants must be available on the napari hub and source code on a public repository prior to the final grant submission date of June 1, 2022.

● Cell biology grants: $20,000 total costs (inclusive of up to 15 percent indirect costs) over 12 months to convert existing open source tools, methods, or processing steps that support common cell biology workflows into one or more napari plugins. Priority will be given to plugins that provide image analysis, processing, and quantification solutions that are currently lacking in the napari plugin ecosystem through the napari hub.

Eligibility Requirements

● Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign nonprofit organizations; including public and private institutions, such as colleges, universities, hospitals, laboratories, units of state and local government, and eligible agencies of the federal government. Software projects operating independently must be affiliated with an organization, as described below. Grants are not permitted to individuals; only to organizations. For-profit organizations are not eligible.

● If an application does not come from an organization eligible to receive and distribute funds (e.g., an academic institution), it may designate a fiscal sponsor (e.g., NumFOCUS, Code for Science & Society, or others). We encourage proposals that require fiscal sponsorship to contact the appropriate organizations early in the application process.

● There may be more than one application submitted by each organization.

● Each application must designate one principal investigator (PI) as the Coordinating Principal Investigator (Coordinating PI). The Coordinating PI will act as the administrative contact between CZI and all PIs on the grant (Co-PIs). The Coordinating PI must submit the application on behalf of all PIs. Grant funds will be awarded to the organization designated by the Coordinating PI (either their organization or fiscal sponsor), which will take responsibility for distributing funds to any other institutions.

● PIs and Co-PIs must each be permitted to receive grant support by the organization they are applying with. This criteria may be defined differently in different types of organizations. Examples of eligible positions are: ○ Tenure track faculty; ○ Non-tenure track faculty or staff scientists who lead a lab or are engaged in academic activities and are permitted to apply for grants by their institution; ○ Researchers with expertise in the relevant areas that are affiliated with or supported by an institution and permitted to apply for grants; and ○ Postdoctoral fellows and graduate students who are permitted to apply for grants by their institution and apply through the institution at which they will conduct the research.

● For graduate students or postdoctoral scholars who wish to participate in a grant but are not eligible to apply for grants through their institution, applications must be submitted through one of the eligible parties listed above.

● Each application must have a minimum of one PI, but may designate up to three total PIs (one Coordinating PI and up to two Co-PIs).

● Coordinating PIs are eligible to apply for a maximum of two grants, but each one must be in a different category (one in quality improvement and one in cell biology).

● PIs may only serve as the Coordinating PI on one application of each type (quality improvement and cell biology), but may serve as a Co-PI on applications different from those they submitted.

● Co-PIs may serve as a Co-PI on multiple applications.

● PIs/Co-PIs on one application may be employed at the same or at different institutions.



Funding Type



Women and minorities encouraged


Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science

External Deadline

June 1, 2022