DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

NEWS RELEASE

Released: December 18, 2019

Defense Health Program
Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Alzheimer's Research Program
Anticipated Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20)

The FY20 Defense Appropriations Bill has not been signed into law. Although FY20 funds have not been appropriated for the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Alzheimer’s Research Program (PRARP), the PRARP is providing the information in this pre-announcement to allow investigators time to plan and develop ideas for submission to the anticipated FY20 funding opportunities. This pre-announcement should not be construed as an obligation by the Government.

The FY20 Defense Appropriations Act is anticipated to provide funding to the Department of Defense PRARP to support research which addresses the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as they pertain to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias (ADRD) for Service members, Veterans, and the general public. As directed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, the Defense Health Agency J9, Research and Development Directorate manages the Defense Health Program (DHP) Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) appropriation. The managing agent for the anticipated Program Announcements/Funding Opportunities is the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC).

Subject to the FY20 Congressional appropriation for PRARP funding, FY20 PRARP Program Announcements and General Application Instructions for the following award mechanisms will be posted on the Grants.gov website. Pre-application and application deadlines will be available when the Program Announcements are released. 

Applications submitted to the FY20 PRARP Program Announcements must address at least one of the following FY20 Overarching Challenges. The FY20 Overarching Challenges will be award mechanism-specific:

PRARP FY20 Overarching Challenges
Basic Research: Fundamental research to examine the interrelationship between TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD for the military, Veteran, and civilian communities and to translate these findings
Paucity of Clinical Studies: The paucity of clinical studies to examine the interrelationship between TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD for the military, Veteran, and civilian communities
Diagnostics and Prognostics: The need for technologies, tests, surveys, questionnaires, devices, biomarkers, or analyses to detect TBI and sequelae to include AD/ADRD utilizing new and/or pre-existing datasets
Epidemiology: The paucity of epidemiological research to examine the interrelationship between TBI, risk and resiliency factors, and subsequent AD/ADRD for the military, Veteran, and civilian communities
Quality of Life: The need for technologies, assessments, interventions, or devices to benefit individuals living with the common symptoms of TBI and/or AD/ADRD
Family and Care Support: The need for technologies, assessments, interventions, or devices that enhance the lives of those providing care and families of individuals living with the common symptoms of TBI and/or AD/ADRD

In addition to addressing one or more of the specified FY20 Overarching Challenges, applications should also address at least one of the following FY20 Focus Areas in support of the FY20 Overarching Challenges. An application that proposes research outside of the FY20 Focus Areas is acceptable, as long as the applicant provides a strong rationale. The Focus Areas will be award mechanism-specific.

The PRARP FY20 Focus Areas are listed below.

PRARP FY20 Focus Areas
Mechanisms of Pathogenesis: Identification of contributing mechanisms to include circuit dysfunction associated with TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD
Biomarkers: Development of methods to diagnose, prognose, or characterize neurological changes or risk/resiliency factors associated with TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD
Quality of Life: Research intended to alleviate, stabilize, or characterize the symptoms, or deficits, common to TBI and AD/ADRD
Family and Caregiver Support: Research intended to reduce the burden of care on the caregivers or families of individuals living with the common symptoms or deficits of TBI and AD/ADRD
Epidemiology: Utilize new and existing studies and datasets to examine the relationships between risk and resiliency factors for TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD
Novel Target Identification: Basic research (non-human) directly leading to identification of new targets for the development of existing or new investigational medicines, drugs, or agents for TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD
Nonpharmacological Interventions and Devices: Research into non-pharmaceutical-based interventions and devices to improve quality of life or caregiving for those living with the common symptoms of TBI and AD/ADRD
Bioinformatics: Tools, including machine learning, to access, annotate, curate, store, and visualize large existing or novel datasets, e.g., multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), other imaging techniques, surveys, questionnaires, and diagnostics for TBI and subsequent AD/ADRD

The following is a summary of the FY20 PRARP Program Announcements. Five award mechanisms will be offered for FY20.


Award Mechanism Eligibility Key Mechanism Elements Funding
Convergence Science Research Award (CSRA) Level I: Investigators at the postdoctoral level (or equivalent) or above in any scientific discipline. (Mentor Required)

Level II: The PI must be an independent investigator at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent).
Intent: Support innovative or novel efforts to generate research resources, tools, or research efforts for researchers and/or practitioners in health sciences.
  • Funding Level I is intended to support investigators at the postdoctoral level (or equivalent) or above in any scientific discipline. Requires a mentor as part the application.
  • Funding Level II is intended to support PIs at or above the level of assistant professor (or equivalent) from any field or discipline.

Applications must address one or more of the following FY20 PRARP Overarching Challenges:

  • Basic Research
  • Paucity of Clinical Studies
  • Diagnostics and Prognostics
  • Epidemiology

Applications should address at least one of the following FY20 PRARP Focus Areas:

  • Mechanisms of Pathogenesis
  • Biomarkers
  • Epidemiology
  • Novel Target Identification
  • Bioinformatics
Research considering pharmacologic interventions is specifically discouraged under this mechanism.

Preliminary data, while not required, are encouraged.
Level I:
  • Maximum funding of $225,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.

Level II:

  • Maximum funding of $500,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.

For Both Levels: Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution's rate agreement.

Innovation in Care and Support Award (InCASA) Level I: Investigators at the postdoctoral level (or equivalent) or above in any scientific discipline. (Mentor Required)

Level II: The PI must be an independent investigator at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent).

Intent: Support innovative research that improves the quality of life and care for individuals living with the common symptoms of TBI and/or AD/ADRD and/or their families and care providers.
  • Funding Level I is intended to support investigators at the postdoctoral level (or equivalent) or above in any scientific discipline. Requires a mentor as part the application.
  • Funding Level II is intended to support PIs at or above the level of assistant professor (or equivalent) from any field or discipline.

Applications must address one or more of the following FY20 PRARP Overarching Challenges:

  • Paucity of Clinical Studies
  • Epidemiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Family and Care Support

Applications should address at least one of the following FY20 PRARP Focus Areas:

  • Quality of Life
  • Family and Caregiver Support
  • Epidemiology
  • Nonpharmacological Interventions and Devices
  • Bioinformatics

Research considering pharmacologic interventions is specifically discouraged under this mechanism.

Preliminary data, while not required, are encouraged.

Level I:
  • Maximum funding of $225,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.

Level II:

  • Maximum funding of $500,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.

For Both Levels: Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution's rate agreement.

Research Partnership Award (RPA) The PI and Co-PI(s) must each be an independent investigator at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent). Intent: To create an avenue for collaborative research partnerships between/among investigators to address a research problem or question in a manner that would be unachievable through separate efforts.

Applications must include clearly stated plans for interactions between the partners. The plans must include communication, coordination of research progress and results, and data sharing between all investigators and organizations participating in the project.

Applications must address one or more of the following FY20 PRARP Overarching Challenges:

  • Basic Research
  • Paucity of Clinical Studies
  • Diagnostics and Prognostics
  • Epidemiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Family and Care Support

Applications should address at least one of the following FY20 PRARP Focus Areas:

  • Mechanisms of Pathogenesis
  • Biomarkers
  • Quality of Life
  • Family and Caregiver Support
  • Epidemiology
  • Novel Target Identification
  • Nonpharmacological Interventions and Devices
  • Bioinformatics

Research considering pharmacologic interventions is specifically discouraged under this mechanism.

Preliminary data are required.

  • Funding limit is $1.3M in total costs.
  • Maximum period of performance is years. 

Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution’s rate agreement.

Accelerating Diagnostics for Traumatic Brain Injury Research Award (ADTBI) The PI must be an independent investigator at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent). Intent: Supports high-impact, human-based, development of robust diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for chronic TBI as they pertain to Alzheimer’s disease and the related dementias.

Applications must address the “Diagnostics and Prognostics” PRARP Overarching Challenge and the “Biomarkers” Focus Area.

The biomarkers must correlate with clinical endpoints to include cognition and/or behavior.

The following biomarker types are encouraged:

  • Imaging-Related
  • Fluid-Based (e.g., Cerebrospinal Fluid [CSF], Blood, or Saliva)
  • Retinal
  • Wearable Devices

Studies focused on biomarker discovery are discouraged.

Animal model-based studies are discouraged.

Preliminary data regarding the suitability of the biomarker(s) for further testing toward clinical application is required.

Research considering pharmacologic interventions is specifically discouraged under this mechanism.

  • Funding limit is $2.8M in total costs.
  • Maximum period of performance is years. 

Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution’s rate agreement.

Leveraging Approaches for Innovation in Care and Support Award (LEAP-InCASA) The PI and Co-PI(s) must each be an independent investigator at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent). Intent: Supports multi-institutional, harmonized research approaches that will advance the quality of life and care for individuals living with the common symptoms of TBI and/or AD/ADRD and/or their families and care providers.

Applications must address one or more of the following FY20 PRARP Overarching Challenges:

  • Paucity of Clinical Studies
  • Epidemiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Family and Care Support

Applications should address at least one of the following FY20 PRARP Focus Areas:

  • Quality of Life
  • Family and Caregiver Support
  • Epidemiology
  • Nonpharmacological Interventions and Devices
  • Bioinformatics

Requires a Coordinating Center and at least two Partnering sites.

The coordinating center provides overall leadership and infrastructure for all research projects.

The coordinating center participates as a separate study arm for each partnering site’s study. Accrual for each of the research studies occurs at both the research site and coordinating center.

Coordinating and Partnering sites work together to harmonize research protocols.

Coordinating and Partnering sites work together to analyze data, publish research findings.

Partnering sites initiate independent research activities and harmonize their research activities with the coordinating site.

Partnering sites must be different from the coordinating site.

Research considering pharmacologic interventions is specifically discouraged under this mechanism.

Preliminary data are required.

  • Funding limit is $2.8M in total costs.
  • Maximum period of performance is years. 

Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution’s rate agreement.

A pre-application is required and must be submitted through the electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal (eBRAP) at https://eBRAP.org prior to the pre-application deadline. All applications must conform to the final Program Announcements and General Application Instructions that will be available for electronic downloading from the Grants.gov website. The application package containing the required forms for each award mechanism will also be found on Grants.gov. A listing of all CDMRP and other USAMRDC extramural funding opportunities can be obtained on the Grants.gov website by performing a basic search using CFDA Number 12.420. 

Submission deadlines are not available until the Program Announcements are released. For email notification when Program Announcements are released, subscribe to program-specific news and updates under “Email Subscriptions” on the eBRAP homepage at https://eBRAP.org. For more information about the PRARP or other CDMRP-administered programs, please visit the CDMRP website (https://cdmrp.army.mil).

Point of Contact:

CDMRP Public Affairs
301-619-9783
usarmy.detrick.medcom-cdmrp.mbx.cdmrp-public-affairs@mail.mil


Last updated Wednesday, December 18, 2019