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The 2019 "parent" Alzheimer's disease FOAs: What's with all the Notices?

Kimberly Kramer
Kimberly KRAMER,
Health Specialist,
Division of Extramural Activities (DEA)

In the interest of increasing speed and efficiency, NIA initiated last year a new strategy for announcing Alzheimer’s-related research topics we hope to support. Instead of issuing a separate funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for each research topic, we created a “parent” FOA and then issued a Notice specifying nine topics that fell within the purview of that parent. This proved to be highly effective.

FOAs have special rules regarding structure, content, and review, and the publication process can take several months. The rules for Notices are significantly abridged, which means we can get them out the door much more quickly. So, when this year’s challenge was to reissue nearly a dozen expiring FOAs on a tight schedule, we decided once again to create a parent FOA and reissue the expiring research topics as “children” Notices.

Twice the fun, for longer!

Things are a little different this time around. First of all, there are actually two parents: PAR-19-070 is for R01 applications, and PAR-19-071 is for R21 applications. Second, these parents will be active for 3 years (expiring in November 2021), not just 1 year. Finally, instead of issuing one Notice that describes all the research topics falling under the parent FOAs, we’re issuing multiple Notices over time that each contain one to two topics. By publishing Notices during the 3 years the PARs are active, instead of all at once, we’ll have the flexibility to announce new areas of research interest as the field of Alzheimer’s disease research continues to evolve.

Many Notices, one title

If you’ve looked at the parents, PAR-19-070 and PAR-19-071, you’ll have undoubtedly noticed—no pun intended—that all the Notices linked to them have nearly identical titles that do not specify the research topic(s) included. The reasons behind this are manifold, but the simplest explanation is that it helps us avoid titles that are overly long. Instead, we’ve added subheadings within each Notice so you can quickly identify the research areas it covers.

On the street now

Wondering what types of research our parent FOAs are looking for? Here are a few topics from Notices that are already published:

  • Health disparities and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Infectious etiology of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Novel approaches to characterizing and diagnosing Alzheimer’s and related dementias
  • Common mechanisms and interactions among neurodegenerative diseases
  • Molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the etiology of Alzheimer’s
  • Behavioral and social science priority areas in dementia caregiver research

Remember to refer to PAR-19-070 and PAR-19-071 for a full list of the Notices outlining the types of research we’re looking to fund under these initiatives. We’re excited to receive your applications!


Submitted by Frank Zemlan on May 30, 2019

Is there any information yet about NIA initiatives for the SBIR Program.


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