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Cleared concepts: Early notification for future funding possibilities

Dr. Marie Bernard
Marie A. BERNARD [Former NIA Staff],
Deputy Director,
Office of the Director (OD)

NIA is happy to unveil our latest collection of cleared concepts for funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). As presented at our first fiscal year 2020 National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA) meeting, this first-of-2020 batch is a substantive set of ideas aimed at catalyzing innovation and moving the aging research field forward.

We think of the cleared concepts as an early notification system that provides the research community with precious time to consider future applications and chart new directions for their labs or centers. Without further ado, the approved concepts are:

An important caveat, as always, is that this list does not specify award mechanisms or funding allocations, since those are not finalized until any resulting FOAs are officially published in the NIH Guide. And, while cleared concepts represent NIA’s interest in potential future FOAs, there is no guarantee they will all emerge as published FOAs. This said, the vast majority are indeed eventually published as FOAs a few months following NIA’s cleared concept announcement. Overall, it’s a bit of a flashback to our undergraduate years when the professor wouldn’t say definitively if a topic would be on the test but would let you know you may see it again come the final exam.

Be prepared!

If your field of study is on this latest list, it’s a smart idea to begin getting your lab team’s ducks in a row well ahead of possible future related funding opportunities, which may come in the form of Program Announcements, Requests for Applications, or Notices of Special Interest. Wise scientists who see a concept in their wheelhouse should get busy brainstorming with colleagues on how to tackle an NIH application, while updating lists of necessary team members, facilities, equipment and other resources.

Let’s talk about it

As always, we hope this information is valuable. And, as in the energetic discussions at our NACA meetings, the more dialogue the better. Please remember you can always get in touch with the relevant Scientific/Research Contact listed for further discussion about the concept, your research ideas, and how they best fit into the concept’s goals. Or, add your questions or comments below. We wish you all good luck in preparing and hope this early heads-up will prove helpful!

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