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Supporting emerging global leaders in aging and dementia science

Damali Martin
Damali MARTIN,
Program Director,
Division of Neuroscience (DN)
Maria Carranza
Training Officer,
Office of Strategic Extramural Programs (OSEP)

Advances in health care and economic development have led to increased numbers of older adults in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In fact, it is expected that 75% of the world’s population over age 60 will reside in LMICs within the next five years.

While in many ways this trend is encouraging, one downside is that it is now estimated that by 2050, 70% of people living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia will reside in LMICs. As is the case in higher-income countries including the United States, supporting the needs of a growing population living with dementia requires significant support and training for the scientific workforce. Now is the time to develop a critical mass of well-trained scientists from multiple disciplines who can address changing biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs in their respective home countries.

International collaboration to meet the challenge

To this end, NIA is excited to share two new funding opportunities, both led by our colleagues at the NIH Fogarty International Center. Both the Emerging Global Leader Award and the Chronic, Noncommunicable Diseases and Disorders Across the Lifespan: Fogarty International Research Training Award (NCD-LIFESPAN) opportunities underscore NIA’s and the broader NIH’s commitment to training the next generation of early- and mid-career scientists around the globe. It is hoped that this new support will help create and expand the next cadre of mentors and ensure the pipeline of scientists in future generations.

The Emerging Global Leader Award will provide recipient early- to mid-career scientists in LMICs with three to five years of support for mentored research and career development, enabling them to gain the precious gift of protected time to conduct their research. Successful applicants will also receive joint mentorship from both a U.S. investigator with experience working in an LMIC and an experienced LMIC investigator. Only trainees from LMIC institutions are eligible to apply and research activities must take place primarily in the LMIC. For more details or to apply, visit PAR-21-251 or PAR-21-252.

Chronic, Noncommunicable Diseases and Disorders Across the Lifespan: Fogarty International Research Training Award (NCD-LIFESPAN) will support the development of institutional training programs by LMIC institutions. NCD-LIFESPAN is expected to strengthen the research capacity of the awarded institution’s country by training a cadre of scientists to contribute to important advances in clinical practice and public health policies. For more details or to apply, visit PAR-21-230 or NOT-AG-21-027.

To determine which areas of interest are the best fit for NIA support, we encourage you to visit NIA’s Strategic Directions for Research, 2020 − 2025 and the NIH AD+ADRD Research Implementation Milestones.

Helping globally can provide insights locally

Another benefit of these programs is that the knowledge and experience gained can be shared with scientists here in the U.S. In other words, these new initiatives may help a wide range of researchers better understand diverse populations as they strive to fulfill a commitment to advancing healthy aging for all.

We are here to help! You can email Damali or Maria with any questions. Be sure to include a one-page overview of your specific aims if you would like feedback on your proposed research. Regardless, all the best to you with your applications and future efforts!

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