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2020 International Research Grant Program

Learn more information from our complete International Research Grant Program Announcement January 2020 Program (August 2019 – February 2020).

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Competition objectives

The Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant aims to fund investigators who are less than 15 years past their doctoral or post residency (M.D. or D.O.). The purpose of this program is to provide newly independent investigators with funding that will allow them to develop preliminary or pilot data, to test procedures and to develop hypotheses. The intent is to support early-career development that will lay the groundwork for future research grant applications to federal or other funding entities, like the National Institutes of Health, including future proposals to the Alzheimer's Association.

The Alzheimer’s Association recognizes the need to increase the number of scientists from underrepresented groups in the research enterprise for Alzheimer’s disease and all dementias. Young scientists from these groups are encouraged to apply.

Funding and award period 

Each AARG total award is limited to $150,000 (direct and indirect costs) for up to three years (minimum two years). Requests in any given year may not exceed $60,000 (direct and indirect costs). Indirect costs are capped at 10 percent (rent for laboratory/office space is expected to be covered by indirect costs paid to the institution).

Eligibility

Applicants must be Assistant Professors or above at their respective institution. For individuals who are at non-academic institutions, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association at grantsapp@alz.org to verify your eligibility.
 
Eligibility to apply for this grant competition is restricted to investigators who have less than 15 years of research experience after receipt of their terminal degree (doctorate or post-residency (M.D. or D.O.)). The 15-year period applies to the date of submission of the grant application. Adjustments for career interruptions can be made. These would include, but are not limited to, family leave, military service and major illness or injury. It is the responsibility of the applicant to point out and document such interruptions within their application. Applicants must contact the Alzheimer’s Association at grantsapp@alz.org regarding any possible exception prior to submitting an LOI due to the review process; no exceptions will be made after the LOI deadline has passed.
 
Applications to the Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant (AARG) program will be accepted from postdoctoral fellows and other junior faculty members (e.g., Instructor, Research Associate Scientist, Lecturer, etc.) who can provide a letter of employment verification indicating they will have a full-time faculty position of an Assistant Professor or above by the award date should the proposal be in funding range and funded.
 
The letter of employment must be uploaded with the application and dated within three months from application submission date, printed on the hiring institution's letterhead, signed by an authorized institutional official (i.e., Grants and Contracts officer) and must indicate that the position will be activated by the grant award date. If the anticipated position is not activated by the award date for any reason, any offer of funding will be withdrawn. There will be no exceptions. In the event your application is funded, you will be required to provide an official letter on organizational letterhead, signed by an institutional signing official, stating you have a full-time faculty position of an Assistant Professor and above.
 
Please note: If the applicant’s institution does not have an Assistant Professor position, the letter of employment should include sufficient information to allow the Alzheimer’s Association staff to evaluate the eligibility of the applicant.

Ineligibility

The Alzheimer's Association will not accept new grant applications from currently funded investigators who are delinquent in submitting required reports and other deliverables on active grants. Investigators who have previous Alzheimer’s Association awards closed as "Incomplete" are not eligible to apply without exception. This policy will be strictly adhered to with no exceptions.

Deadlines and award dates 

Letters of Intent must be received by 5 p.m. EST, September 30, 2019. Letters of Intent will not be accepted after this date. No exceptions will be made. Hard copies or emails will not be accepted.

New requirement: All applicants must include an ORCID ID. It is a required field. You will not be able to submit your LOI without this information.
 
Applications must be received by 5 p.m. EST, November 20, 2019.

Scientific and technical review will be conducted from November 2019 – January 2020. The Alzheimer’s Association will lead a second-tier review with leading research experts to evaluate each program during January 2020. Funding will be awarded by February 15, 2020.

Create and submit your LOI online at http://proposalcentral.com.
 
LOI review procedures: (Note: Feedback is not provided at the LOI stage for LOIs not invited to submit a full application).

All LOIs will be evaluated prior to invitation. Only LOIs that meet program specific guidelines will be invited to submit full applications. LOIs will also be reviewed by the Alzheimer’s Association expert review panel with special attention to:

  1. Demonstrable innovation/novelty of the proposed project (especially in the context of the PIs recently funded work) 
  2. Alignment with the research priorities of the Alzheimer’s Association
  3. Impact of project on Alzheimer’s disease and all dementia research
  4. Evidence of methodological rigor that addresses the research question(s) being proposed 
Applications will be reviewed with special attention to:
 
  • Significance of the question being studied
  • Applicant information – including the training of the PI insofar as it enables them to perform the work proposed and qualifications of the collaborators and the expertise they bring to the project 
  • Quality of the work plan, including novelty and innovation of the proposed project 
  • Quality and adequacy of available resources and budget
  • Impact-risk of the proposal and how it will add to the field’s overall knowledge and advancement
Please note: Resubmissions will have the opportunity to provide a response to prior review.
Mechanism of award, reporting requirements and allowable costs

The mechanism of the award is the individual research grant. The maximum allowable duration is three years (minimum two years). Annual scientific progress and financial reports are required. Continuation of the grant over the awarded duration is contingent upon the timely receipt of scientific progress and financial reports.

Budget 

A “budget summary” for the proposed research project is required and must be submitted with the application and within the allowable two-page limit. However, if the application is to be awarded, a more detailed budget will be required and must be approved before the disbursement of funds. Your budget must not exceed the maximum amount of the award, $150,000 or $60,000 per year for up to three years (minimum two years – award cannot be for only one year).

Please note: If you only request the award for two years, the max amount you can request is $120,000 or $60,000 per year.  

Allowable costs under this award

It is required that most of the funds awarded under this program be used for direct research support. No more than 10 percent of the total award may be included as indirect costs.

Allowable costs under this award include:

  • Purchase and care of laboratory animals

  • Small pieces of laboratory equipment and laboratory supplies (purchases over $10,000 require prior approval, even if included in the project proposal budget)

  • Computer software if used strictly for data collection (requires prior approval)

  • Salary for the principal investigator, scientific (including postdoctoral fellows) and technical staff (including laboratory technicians and administrative support directly related to the funded grant)

  • Support for travel to scientific and professional meetings not to exceed $3,000 per year; additional support for travel expenses necessary to carry out research planned not to exceed $1,000 per year – this may include site visits. Total travel cost should not exceed $5,000 for the duration of the award.

Direct costs not allowed under this award include: 

  • Computer hardware or standard software (e.g., Microsoft Office)

  • Construction or renovation costs

  • Tuition

  • Rent for laboratory/office space

  • Salary and/or compensation for Alzheimer’s Association staff or members of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Group (MSAG) and the International Research Grant Program (IRGP) Council

For more information: Contact grantsapp@alz.org.

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