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New opportunities for emerging scientists: AREA and REAP programs

Senior Scientific Advisor,
Division of Extramural Activities (DEA)

NIA sets a high priority on expanding the number of researchers focused on aging-related diseases and other health concerns. To help develop our next generation of scientists, we are participating in the NIH Research Enhancement (R15) Award program. It has two components: the Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions, and the Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools, with two funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for each. The R15-based program was recently rebranded by NIH to include both AREA and REAP programs. R15 awards are designed to support small-scale research projects at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees for a significant number of the nation’s research scientists yet have not been major recipients of NIH support.

The AREA program will have its own set of FOAs, distinct from those issued for health professional schools and graduate schools of arts and sciences. This approach will enable NIH to better track the undergraduates supported at under-resourced institutions. Institutions applying for AREA grants must have an undergraduate student enrollment that is greater than graduate student enrollment. In addition, all the non-health professional components of the institution together cannot have received support from the NIH totaling more than $6 million per year in total costs in four of the last seven fiscal years.

Through REAP, NIH will offer R15 opportunities to support graduate schools of arts and sciences and health professional schools that grant baccalaureate or advanced degrees. For these grants, the applicant organization (all components) may not receive research support from the NIH totaling more than $6 million per year in total costs in four of the last seven fiscal years.

With these changes, AREA will now be better aligned with its founding 1985 legislation, a mandate intended to strengthen the research portfolios of minority institutions and of smaller, less prominent four-year public and private colleges and universities. The overall aim is to improve research experiences for undergraduates to better prepare them for graduate school and research careers.

The NIH RePORTER tool can help applicant institutions determine funding levels and certify eligibility for AREA and/or REAP programs.

Opportunities abound

Learn more about the four new NIA-supported R15 AREA FOAs:

Contact us for more details

NIA accepts applications for research projects in areas within our mission, including genetic, biological, behavioral, social, and economic research on aging. In addition, NIA has substantial additional funding for research on Alzheimer’s disease and its related dementias, and we particularly welcome applications in this area. The NIA website provides further information about our mission and areas of research. For additional scientific program information and for pre-application guidance, potential applicants are encouraged to contact the NIA Program Officer whose portfolio covers the scientific topic of interest.

Additional information about NIH’s R15 awards is available on the NIH Grants website. You may also email me directly or call me at 301-451-9798. I look forward to hearing from you!


Submitted by huma naqvi on March 27, 2019

are there any opportunities to do research on omplementy and alternative medicine on aging population

Submitted by Cecilia Marin … on March 28, 2019

Hello, I'm Cecilia and I'm a coctor from Brazil. I have studied Geriatric in Portugal. I have been living in US since jun/2018 to improve my english and I'm looking for a opportunit to learn and research about aging.
Could you please send information and if I avaliable to apply for one of theses oportunities for emerging scientists: AREA and REAP programs.
Best reguards

Submitted by Gary Frank Scott PhD on April 03, 2019

How can I answer whether our campus is eligible for this R-15 AREA grant?
I aim to propose study of links between Type 2 diabetes and dementia that disparately impact this university's and this communitiy's predominantly Hispanic population.