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A newly cleared concept plus increased K and F award pay lines

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

NIA recently hosted our latest National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA) meeting, this time by teleconference due to COVID-19 precautions. We have just one cleared concept to share this time: This is because of a recent NIA decision to move most new concept proposals to our September or January NACA meetings. This altered approach will help better balance our scientific review and award timelines.

A conceptional heads-up

NACA’s cleared concepts serve in part as an early notification for interested researchers who can begin developing research and application plans for when a resulting FOA is officially published in the NIH Guide. While a cleared concept does not necessarily guarantee a future award mechanism or funding allocation, the vast majority of NIA’s cleared concepts have indeed been published as FOAs within a few months of announcement.

Without further ado, our May NACA meeting’s approved concept is:

  • Continuation of Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes)
    Through NIH’s Look AHEAD program, researchers evaluated the effects of a lifestyle intervention including exercise and weight loss on cardiovascular outcomes in more than 5,000 people with type 2 diabetes. The effort resulted in over 185 published peer-reviewed articles and provided a foundation for many additional studies. It remains highly relevant to public health recommendations as many older adults face increased risk of obesity and diabetes.

Pay line changes for K and F awards

Lest you be dismayed by the fact that our new concept is not a good fit for you, I will now turn to the ever-popular topic of pay lines. The good news is that NIA has increased the pay line for Alzheimer’s disease career development applications (Ks) to priority score 35, an uptick of 7 points from the previous line.

We also have implemented the following new pay lines for individual fellowship applications (Fs):

  • Alzheimer’s disease – priority score 40
  • General – priority score 30

For a full rundown of NIA funding line policy, visit the NIA Funding Line Policy for FY 2020 page.

We’d love your feedback!

We hope you’re as excited about these changes as we are. Reach out to the program contact if you think the new concept is a good fit for your team. Or leave a question or comment on our new policies and pay lines below. We wish you all good luck, good health, and continued productivity as we move forward!


Submitted by Reisa Sperling on June 03, 2020

This is excellent news Dr. Bernard. We definitely need to strongly encourage the next generation of researchers to enter aging and particularly Alzheimer's disease and related dementia research. Hallelujah!!!

Thank you for your input, Reisa! NIA is pleased to strengthen support for early career scientists, and appreciates your ongoing leadership and mentorship in the field. — Marie

Submitted by Harsimran Baweja on June 03, 2020

This is fantastic news Dr. Bernard.

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