March Madness—a time for bracket busting and bragging rights, Cinderella stories and unexpected outcomes. And, so it goes in NIA-supported research, too! We in the Division of Behavioral and Social Research have been developing our game in new directions—funding more research in Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD).
The NIA-supported Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADCs) have long been a crucial part of NIA’s overall Alzheimer’s disease program and have many accomplishments to their credit. During this time of expanding interest and support for Alzheimer’s research, NIA is introducing important changes to this Centers program.
As mentioned in last week’s blog, our current appropriations situation presents us with a conundrum. It is possible that we will see an increase in support for Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias research and perhaps some additional funds for our general allocation. Yet, for now, we are working with a continuing resolution that—if projected over the full year—reduces our budget by a small amount relative to last year.
Here we go again. Maybe. The U.S. House and Senate appropriations committees have written large increases into their appropriations bills for NIA—again in FY 2018—to expand research into Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD).
The nation has made Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias (ADRD) a top research priority, through additional substantial funding from Congress. While aging is the major risk factor for AD and ADRD, many investigators in the biology of aging research community questioned whether their expertise would be recognized as valuable. Analysis of last year’s AD-related funding opportunity announcements suggests that participation of basic researchers with little or no previous experience in Alzheimer’s research is crucial.
The National Advisory Council on Aging met here on the NIH campus on September 26–27. Among several actions by the Council was the approval of eight new concepts for Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). The lively discussion around these concepts is always one of the highlights of this two-day meeting, with conversations and conjecture often continuing into the corridors.
The NIH Loan Repayment Program provides up to $35,000 per year for qualified researchers to pay off student loans. The program is accepting applications now, as it does every fall, and NIA is one of several institutes involved in this important program. If the program is appropriate for you, apply now. You may be able to get part of your student loans repaid by NIA or one of the other NIH Institutes and Centers accepting applications.
Did you know? NIA receives somewhere around 4,000 applications for funding in response to new and existing funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) each year. And, each application is reviewed. With that level of interest, you can imagine that we are always looking for investigators who are willing and able to serve as peer reviewers.