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Establishing independence: Alzheimer and Related Dementias Independent Scholars (ARDIS) program

Dr. Andrew Singleton
Center Director,
Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias (CARD)

Wanting to declare research career independence? Connect with the Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias (CARD) to apply for its Alzheimer and Related Dementias Independent Scholars (ARDIS) program, a new, unique opportunity for early-career researchers to become independent investigators.

CARD is a collaborative NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) initiative of NIA and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. It is designed to initiate, stimulate, accelerate, and support research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by supporting basic, preclinical, and clinical research through an agile team science model.

Through its ARDIS program, CARD offers early-career researchers a term-limited, independent principal investigator (PI) appointment, generous resources, and access to research cores and infrastructure within CARD and the broader NIH IRP. Available resources will include a standard operating budget and up to two postbaccalaureate fellows or other time-limited technical staff. ARDIS scholars will also be offered opportunities to compete for funding for their future career as PIs, either within the NIH IRP or outside of NIH.

Who should apply?

CARD is seeking ARDIS applicants with enthusiasm for translational science, a Ph.D. or M.D. in neuroscience or related fields, and relevant research experience in Alzheimer’s and related dementias and/or neurodegeneration. Ideal candidates will demonstrate experience in collaborative research, the ability to work independently, and a strong commitment to and vision for building a diverse scientific community. The successful candidate(s) will lead an independent research program that aligns with the CARD scope and mission, as well as its scientific themes and structural priorities.

Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Eligible candidates include current NIH full time equivalent (FTE) research fellows and non-FTE postdoctoral fellows, as well as candidates from outside NIH. At the time of application, candidates must have no more than four years of postdoctoral research experience in total, and internal NIH candidates must have less than three years of postdoctoral research experience in the NIH IRP.

Mentorship matters

When applying for ARDIS, make sure to keep past and future mentorship in mind. Applicants must show evidence of direct involvement in mentoring and commitment to diversity through outreach activities for women and other underrepresented groups in biomedical research. In addition, applicants should plan ahead on whom to include in their three-person mentoring committee, consisting of one primary mentor, at least one secondary mentor, and an additional mentor or technical expert. All must be selected from the approved ARDIS mentor list.

Apply now to accelerate your career!

ARDIS applications are accepted on a monthly rolling basis. Apply soon so you don’t miss this exciting opportunity! For more information about eligibility and applying to the ARDIS program, please visit Alzheimer and Related Dementias Independent Scholars. For questions, please email Sarah Lewis, intramural program specialist, NIA Office of the Scientific Director, referencing Vacancy #CARD-22-01-SL at

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