The Alzheimer’s Association Research Fellowship to Promote Diversity is up to three years (minimum two years) and is intended to support exceptional scientist from underrepresented groups working in Alzheimer’s and all other dementia research, and who are engaged in their post-graduate work (i.e. postdoctoral fellows) and before they have their first independent faculty positions (i.e. Assistant Professor) and working in diverse areas of research including basic, translational, clinical, functional and social-behavioral research.
Individuals applying to the program will be accepted from postdoctoral fellows with full time positions at their respective institution who have less than 10 years of research experience after receipt of their terminal degree. Individuals who have a position of an Assistant Professorship or above are not eligible.
Investigators doing clinically-focused research without clinical practice are encouraged to apply to the AARF-D program. The objective of this award is to increase the number of highly trained investigators from diverse backgrounds whose basic, clinical and social/behavioral research interests are grounded in the advanced methods and experimental approaches needed to solve problems related to Alzheimer’s and all dementias in general and in health disparities populations. The Alzheimer’s Association recognizes the need to increase the number of scientists from underrepresented groups participating in biomedical and behavioral research. The Association anticipates that by providing these research opportunities, the number of scientists from underrepresented groups entering and remaining in biomedical research careers in Alzheimer’s and all other dementia will increase.
The Alzheimer’s Association feels strongly that the mentoring and involvement of researchers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives is essential to engaging cutting edge ideas and thinking in addressing scientific gaps for Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.
Funding and award period
Each AARF-D award is limited to $175,000. A total of $155,000 will be awarded for costs related to the proposed research for up to three years (minimum two years) for direct and indirect costs. Requests in any given year may not exceed $60,000 (direct and indirect costs). Indirect costs are capped at 10% (rent for laboratory/office space is expected to be covered by indirect costs paid to the institution). This is inclusive of indirect costs for the implementing institution as well as any to subcontracts. The Principal Investigator must commit to a 50% effort toward the proposed project each funding year.
The remaining funds — $10,000 to the applicant and $10,000 to the primary mentor — will be awarded upon successful completion of the three years (minimum two years). These additional funds are to be applied to sustaining ongoing research in the neurodegenerative field and will be awarded through the applicant’s and mentor’s institutions. Successful completion of the program includes, but is not limited to, reaching all of the demonstrable benchmarks listed.
A total of $5,000 over a three-year period (minimum two years) may be requested for travel purposes and is not to exceed $3,000 in any given year.
A portion must be allocated to support registration and travel to the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®), as AAIC attendance is a condition of the award. If you request the full $5,000 for two years of travel and are requesting a three-year award, you will not be able to request travel funds for one of those years.
The mentor should be experienced in conducting Alzheimer’s and other dementia research and in mentoring junior investigators. The application must include a two/three-page statement from the selected mentor that includes information on his or her research qualifications, experience as a research supervisor and commitment to the applicant. This statement will be a significant part of the application review. The application must also include information to describe the mentor's research support relevant to the applicant’s research plan and the nature and extent of supervision and training that he/she will provide during the period of the award. The primary mentor must agree to provide annual evaluations of the applicant’s progress for the duration of the award, as required for the yearly progress report. Only one primary mentor can be included. Additional team members who might function as mentors can be listed as key personnel.
Mentoring selections may include early-career researchers and/or mid-career scientists who choose to shift into Alzheimer’s and other dementia research. The applicant and proposed mentor must specify a mechanism for ensuring effective mentoring. The application should contain a plan for and an evaluation strategy of the mentoring process for enhancing diversity in the professional research workforce. Specific benchmarks are outlined below and considered by the Alzheimer’s Association as critical for the development of early-career investigators. A successful mentorship plan should include some of these benchmarks but should not be limited to these alone.
Suggested benchmark (not required)
- Attendance at an Association-sponsored event for new investigators at the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference (AAIC).
- Acceptance of an abstract at AAIC.
- Mandatory documentation of hours spent on face-to-face mentoring.
- Citation of specific exercises of mentorship such as supervision of manuscript writing and submission or grant writing and submission.
- Supervision of grant application reviews (not limited to the Alzheimer’s Association review process but reviewing for other granting mechanisms are encouraged if possible; Alzheimer’s Association staff will coordinate supervised reviews for the Association).
- Specific instances of the facilitation of networking, introductions to colleagues and/or inclusion in discussions at scientific meetings.
- Submission of funding proposal(s) to other funding agencies, including Alzheimer’s Association, National Institutes of Health or National Science Foundation, Medical Research Council (UK), Canadian Institutes of Health Research, etc.
Submission of an application to the National Institute on Aging’s Butler-Williams Scholars Program (formerly the Summer Institute on Aging Research) or submission to another training program.
Individuals applying to the program will be accepted from postdoctoral fellows with full-time positions at their respective institution who have less than 10 years of research experience after receipt of their terminal degree. Individuals who have a position of an Assistant Professorship or above are not eligible.
For individuals who are at non-academic institutions, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association at firstname.lastname@example.org
to verify your eligibility.
Specific to the AARF-D program, eligible applicants are faculty members who have been determined to be underrepresented faculty in biomedical and behavioral research on a national, international or institutional basis. The Alzheimer’s Association will require documentation to support the faculty member’s underrepresented status at their institution. Applicants from the U.S. submitting to the Alzheimer’s Association will be subject to the definitions as stated by the National Institutes of Health. NIH-designated U.S health disparity populations include:
- Blacks and African Americans.
- Hispanics and Latinos.
- American Indians and Alaska Natives.
- Asian Americans.
- Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
- Socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.
- Underserved rural populations.
- Persons with disabilities.
- Sexual and gender minorities.
Applicants must submit a Letter of Assurance letter printed on the hiring institution letterhead with the current date, signed by an authorized institutional official (i.e. Grants and Contracts officer) that states you have been determined by your institution to be underrepresented in the above areas at the time of Letter of Intent (LOI) for verification. The Alzheimer’s Association reserves the right to require additional documentation to help confirm the applicant’s eligibility.
Non-U.S. applicants, in addition to the letter, must provide official documentation from their institutional materials, such as website, manual or other legal documentation that indicates their eligibility for this program.
Applications from currently funded investigators who are delinquent in submitting required reports and other deliverables on active grants. Investigators that 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
Please note that we are pausing new applications to the IRGP programs as a result of COVID-19
All future applicants must include an ORCID ID. It is a required field. You will not be able to submit your LOI without this information.
Future applicants can create and submit an LOI online at http://proposalcentral.com
Applications will be reviewed with special attention to:
- Quality and nature of the training to be provided and the institutional, departmental, and mentor-specific training environment, this includes available resources to support the applicant in their training (30%)
- Quality and emphasis of applicant and originality of the research plan (40%)
- Significance of the question being studied, quality of the work plan and the impact-risk of the proposal (30%)
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 an individual research grant; this award is made to the individual and managed by their institution. Significant emphasis will be on the mentor and letters of reference provided in the application. The mentor is expected to contribute a statement regarding commitment to the applicant. The maximum allowable duration is three years (minimum two years). Please note that due to the nature of this grant being awarded to a Fellow, only in extreme circumstances will a transfer of PI be allowed; it is expected that the Fellow will transfer their funding to their future institution. Annual scientific progress and financial reports are required from both the applicant and the mentor throughout the award period.
Continuation of the grant over the awarded duration is contingent upon the timely receipt of scientific progress and financial reports as well as a mentor’s report outlining progress toward meeting required benchmarks.
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, $155,000 ($150,000 for direct research and $5,000 for travel) and may not exceed $60,000 in any given year (direct and indirect costs).
A total of $5,000 over a three year period not to exceed $3,000 in any given year must be allocated to support registration and travel to the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), a condition of the award.
Note: if you request the full $5,000 for two years of travel and are requesting a three-year award, you will not be able to request travel funds for one of those years.
Indirect costs are capped at no more than 10%. The remaining funds, $10,000 to the applicant and $10,000 to the primary mentor, will be awarded upon successful completion of the three-year program (minimum two years – an award cannot be for only one year), and should not be included in your overall budget. These research stipends are paid to the institution(s) following successful completion of the grant and must go towards continued research endeavors.
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% of the total award may be included as indirect costs, this is inclusive of indirect costs for the implementing institution as well as any to subcontracts.
Allowable costs under this award include:
Direct costs not allowed 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 equipment if used strictly for data collection (requires prior approval).
- Travel (up to $5,000 max over two/three-year award to travel to the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), a condition of the award).
- Salary for the principal investigator, scientific (including post-doctoral fellows) and technical staff (including laboratory technicians and administrative support related directly to the funded project).
- Computer hardware or software for investigators.
- Rent for laboratory/office space (should be included in the indirect costs).
- Construction or renovation costs.
- Facilities fee.
- Salary and/or compensation for Alzheimer’s Association Staff or current members of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Group (MSAG) and the International Research Grant Program (IRGP) Council. A complete list of MSAG and IRGP Council members can be found on our website.
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