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The IMPACT Collaboratory: Pilot funding for pragmatic dementia research

Picture of Dr. Partha Bhattacharyya
Program Director,
Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR)

Note: Links to register for the IMPACT Collaboratory webinars were removed after the webinars had passed.

Although clinical trials are vital for testing interventions to improve patient care, participating in traditional clinical trials is not always feasible for people living with dementia, nor their caregivers. Traditional clinical trials may exclude potential participants due to strict eligibility requirements, and trial formats can be impractical for some families and caregivers.

To address these challenges, the NIA Imbedded Pragmatic Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and AD-Related Dementias (AD/ADRD) Clinical Trials Collaboratory (IMPACT Collaboratory) is dedicated to accelerating the testing and adoption of evidence-based interventions through embedded pragmatic clinical trials (ePCTs). ePCTs enable researchers to evaluate interventions designed to improve the care of people living with dementia in real-world, routine care environments. The goal is faster, more flexible clinical trials to help improve care and quality of life for people living with dementia and their caregivers.

Making a real-world IMPACT

The Collaboratory was established in fall 2019 to promote interventions in home health, assisted living, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and other real-world settings. It is currently made up of more than 60 investigators and 30 institutions — and growing!

Embedding interventions provides evidence that benefits both the clinical practice guidelines and the adaptability of interventions for other settings and locations. NIA plans to fund ePCTs and demonstration projects annually through its IMPACT Collaboratory.

Find out more online

The IMPACT Collaboratory released two new Requests for Applications (RFAs) for conducting pragmatic trials in persons with AD/ADRD on April 20:

In response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) outbreak, in this award cycle, the IMPACT Collaboratory will prioritize applications proposing pilot ePCTs of telemedicine, telehealth, and remote technologies interventions aimed at improving health outcomes for persons living with dementia and their caregivers. Applications for other types non-pharmacological interventions will also be considered.

Mandatory letters of intent are due May 29, 2020 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Full proposal applications are by invitation only and are due September 4, 2020.

For more information, pre-register now to participate in one of two optional webinars by clicking on your preferred date below:

April 28, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. ET

May 6, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. ET

NIA plans for another RFA for 1-year pilot studies in September 2020.

For more information, pre-register now to participate in one of two optional webinars by clicking on your preferred date below:

April 29, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. ET

May 20, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. ET

To learn more about pilot study and career development award programs and the IMPACT Collaboratory, visit the website, email the team, or register to attend one or more of the optional webinars linked above.

If you have an intervention that has been shown to be effective and are ready to scale it up for adoption by a large health system, look for opportunities from the Collaboratory to help make that happen!


Submitted by Andrew Goldberg on April 23, 2020

The conduct of these trials is extremely important if we are to find treatments to delay the onset or cure dementia. The conduct of these trials is extremely labor intensive and requires coordination, screening, consenting and the randomized enrollment of subjects into study groups. Then funding is needed for clinicians, nurses and research assistants to conduct this labor intensive clinical research. This involves sample collection, behavioral and cognition-related questionnaires, administration of the intervention, retention of subjects in the intervention, and follow-up for at least 1-2 years to examine behavioral and cognitive outcomes which often take at least 2 years to occur. If the NIA wants high quality research in this important area of clinical care, ample funding for the conduct of quality investigations must be provided for an adequate period of time to acquire meaningful data.

Thank you for your comment. NIA is currently funding hundreds of traditional clinical trials, in addition to funding pilot pragmatic clinical trials through the IMPACT Collaboratory and other pragmatic trials which improve care.

You can learn more about NIA-funded clinical research at

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