DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

NEWS RELEASE

Released: January 8, 2021

Defense Health Program
Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Alzheimer's Research Program
Anticipated Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21)

Although the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Defense Appropriations Bill has been signed into law, the FY21 appropriation for the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Alzheimer’s Research Program (PRARP) is contingent upon the outcome of a pending rescissions request. The PRARP is providing the information in this pre-announcement to allow investigators time to plan and develop ideas for submission to the anticipated FY21 funding opportunities. This pre-announcement should not be construed as an obligation by the Government.

The FY21 Defense Appropriations Act is anticipated to provide funding to the Department of Defense PRARP to support research that addresses the long-term implications of military service 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 FY21 Congressional appropriation for PRARP funding, FY21 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 FY21 PRARP Program Announcements must address one of the following FY21 Overarching Challenges, which may be award mechanism-specific:

PRARP FY21 Overarching Challenges
Foundational Research: Research to examine the interrelationship between military service-related risk factors and subsequent AD/ADRD.
Paucity of Clinical Studies: The paucity of clinical studies to examine the interrelationship between military service-related risk factors and subsequent AD/ADRD.
Diagnostics and Prognostics: The need for technologies, tests, surveys, questionnaires, devices, biomarkers, or analyses to detect the relationship between military service-related risk factors and AD/ADRD.
Epidemiology: The need for epidemiological research to examine the interrelationship between military service, risk and resiliency factors, and subsequent AD/ADRD.
Quality of Life: The need for technologies, assessments, interventions, or devices to benefit individuals, especially affected Service members and Veterans, living with the symptoms of AD/ADRD.
Family and Care Support: The need for technologies, assessments, interventions, or devices that enhance the lives of those providing care to those living with the symptoms of AD/ADRD, especially affected Service members and Veterans.

In addition to addressing one of the specified FY21 Overarching Challenges, applications must also address one or more of the following FY21 Military Risk Factors in support of the FY21 Overarching Challenges.

The PRARP FY21 Military Risk Factors are listed below.

PRARP FY21 Military Risk Factors
Traumatic Brain Injury: Studies investigating how head injuries function as risk factors for subsequent AD/ADRD.
Neuropsychological/Neurobehavioral: Alterations in cognition or behavior that may be associated with subsequent AD/ADRD.
Modifiable Risk Factors: Alterations in activities (e.g., exercise, diet, behaviors, etc.) that may be associated with subsequent AD/ADRD.
Vascular: Studies investigating the vascular (e.g., heart disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia) contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia risk factors for subsequent AD/ADRD.
Inflammation: Evaluating the pathways of peripheral and brain inflammation and its relationship to subsequent AD/ADRD.
Genetic: Genomic analyses or genetic manipulations that investigate the linkages with subsequent AD/ADRD.
Metabolic: Alterations in bioenergetics (e.g., diabetes, brain metabolism, endocrine dysfunction) that may be associated with subsequent AD/ADRD.
Sleep: Alterations in sleep patterns (e.g., physiological changes or glymphatic changes) that may be associated with subsequent AD/ADRD.

The following is a summary of the FY21 PRARP Program Announcements. Five award mechanisms will be offered for FY21.


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 Principal Investigator (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, and new avenues of investigation for researchers and practitioners in the 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 of the following FY21 PRARP Overarching Challenges:

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

Applications must address one or more of the following FY21 PRARP Military Risk Factors:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Neurophysiological/Neurobehavioral
  • Modifiable Risk Factors
  • Vascular
  • Inflammation
  • Genetic
  • Metabolic
  • Sleep

Pharmacological interventions are specifically discouraged.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) research is prohibited.

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 years. 

Level II:

  • Maximum funding of $500,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 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 and impactful research that improves the quality of life and care for individuals, families, and care providers living with AD/ADRD
  • 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 of the following FY21 PRARP Overarching Challenges:

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

Applications must address one or more of the following FY21 PRARP Military Risk Factors:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Neurophysiological/Neurobehavioral
  • Modifiable Risk Factors
  • Vascular
  • Inflammation
  • Genetic
  • Metabolic
  • Sleep

Pharmacological interventions are specifically discouraged.

CTE research is prohibited.

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/among all investigators and organizations participating in the project.

Applications must address one of the following FY21 PRARP Overarching Challenges:

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

Applications must address one or more of the following FY21 PRARP Military Risk Factors:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Neurophysiological/Neurobehavioral
  • Modifiable Risk Factors
  • Vascular
  • Inflammation
  • Genetic
  • Metabolic
  • Sleep

Pharmacological interventions are specifically discouraged.

CTE research is prohibited.

Preliminary data are required.

  • Funding limit is $1.3 million (M) in total costs.
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years. 

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

Accelerating Diagnostics Research Award (ADRA) 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/or prognostic biomarkers for military risk factors that pertain to AD/ADRD.

Applications must address the following the following FY21 PRARP Overarching Challenge.

  • Diagnostics and Prognostics

Applications must address one or more of the following FY21 PRARP Military Risk Factors:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Neurophysiological/Neurobehavioral
  • Modifiable Risk Factors
  • Vascular
  • Inflammation
  • Genetic
  • Metabolic
  • Sleep

The proposed biomarker for investigation must correlate with clinical endpoints to include cognition and/or behavior relevant to the proposed military risk factor and AD/ADRD

The following biomarker types are encouraged:

  • Imaging-Related
  • Fluid-Based (e.g., cerebrospinal fluid, blood, or saliva)
  • Retinal
  • Wearable Devices

Studies focused on biomarker discovery are discouraged.

Animal research is prohibited.

Preliminary data regarding the suitability of the biomarker(s) for further testing toward biomarker qualification are required.

Pharmacological interventions are specifically discouraged.

CTE research is prohibited.

  • Funding limit is $2.8M in total costs.
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 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 innovative and impactful research that improves the quality of life and care for individuals, families and care providers living with AD/ADRD

Applications must address one of the following FY21 PRARP Overarching Challenges:

  • Quality of Life
  • Family and Care Support

Applications must address one or more of the following FY21 PRARP Military Risk Factors:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Neurophysiological/Neurobehavioral
  • Modifiable Risk Factors
  • Vascular
  • Inflammation
  • Genetic
  • Metabolic
  • Sleep

Requires a Coordinating Center and at least two Partnering sites.

The Coordinating Center provides overall leadership and management infrastructure for all research initiatives.

The Coordinating Center participates as a separate study arm for each Partnering Site’s study. Accrual for each of the research initiatives 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 initiatives and harmonize their research activities with the Coordinating Site.

The Coordinating Center Applicant organization must be from a different institution than the Partnering Sites.

The Partnering Sites Applicant organizations must be from different institutions.

Animal research is prohibited.

Pharmacological interventions are specifically discouraged.

CTE research is prohibited.

  • Funding limit is $2.8M in total costs.
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 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 Friday, January 8, 2021