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IMPACT Collaboratory offers growing support for real-world dementia care innovators

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

The author thanks colleagues Marcel Salive, Lisa Onken and Ama Donkor for their ongoing support of the IMPACT Collaboratory and contributions to this blog post.

One of the biggest challenges to helping people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD) and their care partners is finding faster ways to identify and deliver effective innovations in real-world situations and settings. The IMPACT Collaboratory, a fast-evolving NIA-funded program, supports embedded pragmatic clinical trials (ePCTs) designed to identify effective research and expand it beyond the limits of traditional clinical trials, the lab, scientific literature, or passive data observations. The IMPACT research team seeks to identify, streamline, and expedite effective, tangible ways to improve quality of life for people living with AD/ADRD and those who care for them.

Since we last blogged about it, the IMPACT Collaboratory has made remarkable progress, supporting pilot projects and career development awards (CDAs) for researchers from varied disciplines to help them apply their ideas. Examples of IMPACT-supported projects include: working to improve AD/ADRD training and care management across interdisciplinary teams; designing mobile apps to help adult day service centers prevent minor health issues from escalating to medical emergencies; and empowering bedside nurses in emergency departments to improve detection of dementia in patients.

The IMPACT Collaboratory continues to expand in 2021, with multiple career development and pilot project funding opportunities now open for applications to support investigators interested in conducting ePCTs in health care systems (HCS), assisted living facilities, adult day programs, emergency departments, hospitals, home care, nursing homes, and other settings. Conducting ePCTs requires a unique combination of research, clinical, and collaborative skills, and IMPACT has a strong infrastructure in place to help prepare and train interested investigators.

The IMPACT Collaboratory is soliciting applications for the following four nationally competitive funding opportunities:

  • Career Development Award Program: For two-year CDAs to support the development of early-stage M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent researchers who seek careers conducting ePCTs for people living with AD/ADRD and their care partners. These awards provide $100,000 per year of funding and proposals are due April 2, 2021.
  • Pilot Grants Program: Supports one-year pilot studies for Stage IV effectiveness ePCTs designed to generate the preliminary data necessary to conduct a future full-scale ePCT. These awards provide $175,000 in direct costs and letters of intent are due April 2, 2021.
  • Demonstration Projects RFA: For projects of up to $500,000 in direct costs conducted in close cooperation with HCS. Prospective applicants may submit an optional letter of inquiry by March 5, 2021. Proposals are due April 30, 2021.
  • Health Care Systems Scholar Program: Awarded annually to two junior or senior investigators. Scholars will be embedded in an HCS for up to 12 months to better understand its needs for caring for AD/ADRD patients, identify a project and then strategize its successful installation and evaluation. These awards provide $120,000 in direct costs and letters of intent are due March 1, 2021.

In all cases, applications that address dementia care for people of all backgrounds and promote health equity are a priority.

If you’re interested in making an impact in the lives of people living with dementia and those who care for them, apply for the opportunities above today! Check out the IMPACT Collaboratory site and its FAQ for more information, or email your questions.


Submitted by D Collins on February 11, 2021

Substance abuse treatment for caregivers is an area that needs support and research.

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