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Yes! We mean NIA grantees too...

Robin BARR [Former NIA Staff],
Division of Extramural Activities (DEA).

If we roll back the clock 12 months, we’ll see that, back then, NIA issued a call for administrative supplements for existing NIA grantees to add an aim on Alzheimer’s disease (and its related dementias) to a grant that was not already studying Alzheimer’s or its related dementias. This year, we decided to open the field up a little and include other NIH institutes. We reckoned that one or two other NIH institutes would have grantees interested enough in Alzheimer’s (or its related dementias) to submit applications, too. You can imagine the ones we had in mind—NINDS, NIMH, maybe NIBIB. (NIBIB did participate last year.)

Twenty-three institutes, centers, and offices answered our call. Yes, 23! And NICHD recently made it 24 by joining with a late Notice of their Participation. (In fact, so many Institutes signed up for the Notice that we overloaded the NIH software designed to handle these collaborative announcements – clearly it was not designed to handle quite this much collaboration!)

Why the widespread interest?

What happened? It is easy to be a little cynical and say that everyone is simply chasing the money NIA received in our most recent appropriation. Something more is going on, though. Interest in Alzheimer’s has spread throughout the NIH community. Recognition of the current problem and anticipation of the much larger problem if no solution is found is now widespread. That recognition is not only in the public’s eye, it’s caught the imagination of scientists across a wide variety of fields.

Of course, with so many institutes participating it is easy for confusion to reign. We’ve heard comments like “I heard a rumor that this opportunity was only for the other Institutes, not for NIA grantees.” Good grief! It is absolutely for NIA grantees! In fact, we expect more applications from NIA than from all other institutes combined. If your field is aging, then you already have a pathway that can identify a connection to Alzheimer’s.

Application instructions

To make sure that there’s no confusion, here are the details:

  • The announcement is NOT-AG-008.
  • You apply using the parent administrative supplement FOA.
  • The deadline for submission is June 8.
  • We allow up to $250,000 in direct costs for one year only.
  • NIA grants really, really, really are eligible!
  • These funds are applicable to a grant that is not already studying Alzheimer’s or related dementias.

Read the announcement to help you understand what kind of research is likely to be appropriate. I recommend also that you contact your program officer to discuss whether what you are proposing is within scope of the award.

On another note: Funding lines

Some of you have been asking about whether we will have increased funding lines this year given the generous appropriation. If I were you, I’d wonder that, too. Inside NIH though, we must follow a protocol. We wait for that dance to end. Then we can post funding lines. So, stay tuned!


Submitted by KU on May 02, 2018

Dr. Barr, as always, thank you very much for the update. Distributing ADRD funds to other ICs is certainly nice, but I also hope that NIA will not forget those researchers who have devoted their entire careers to ADRD science but have not been fortunate in obtaining NIA funding. I'm a NI and recently had an ADRD R21 application scored at 23 percentile that just missed the funding line you posted about two months ago. Now with even more funds available for ADRD studies, I was wondering if it could possibly be considered for funding?

I know it's frustrating waiting to hear this kind of news. At the moment, we have to wait, too. But keep in touch with your program officer.

Submitted by Gina McCaskill on May 03, 2018

Dr. Barr,
This is really great news! I look forward to expanding my research in this area. I was concerned about "chasing the money;" however, given my new mentor, it is definitely logical to expand my research in Alz and dementia!
Thanks for your informative Blog!

Submitted by David Morgan on May 18, 2018

As I read the parent PA, the page limits for the supplement are the same as for the grant they are supplementing. Do you really want 12 pages for an R01 supplement? I also read somewhere about an abstract being sent. To whom should this go and when?
Thank you. My apologies if I am missing the info somewhere else.

The 12 allowed pages are a limit, not an expectation. We expect research strategy sections of four to five pages usually. And, yes, an abstract of the work planned for the supplement is required.

Submitted by James Andrews on May 23, 2018

Is there any sense when the new paylines for K awards will be known? Thanks very much for any insight.

Submitted by Robin Barr on May 23, 2018

In reply to by James Andrews

The story for the career awards line remains the same as for the research grant line. We have to wait for clearance before we can publish the line. But do contact your program officer in case that person can give you some sense of the likelihood of an award.

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