New Investigator Award 2024
Congratulations to 2024 New Investigator Award Winners!

This year, 13 awardees from across the National Institute of Aging’s (NIA) Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers program will receive $135,000 in direct costs.

In partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC) was pleased to announce an expanded New Investigator Award Program with increased funding and a mentorship program.
This year 13 awards, each offering $135,000 in direct costs, will be announced at the upcoming 2024 Spring ADRC Meeting in Austin, Texas

2024 Program Highlights

  • 13 New Investigator Awards
  • $135,000 in direct costs
  • New Mentorship Program to support applicants in preparing their applications

About the New Investigator Award Program

New Investigator Award Program Overview

National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC) is home to one of the largest, oldest, and most powerful Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) datasets, built in collaboration with more than 42 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers (ADRCs) throughout the US over the past 20+ years. The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer’s and all dementia science, with over $360 million in funding committed today to over 1,000 projects in 53 countries.

This year, these two organizations are partnering together to offer the Alzheimer’s Association and NACC New Investigators Awards Program (NIAP).

Up to ten (10) NIAP awards will be granted in the spring of 2024 based on the scientific merit, through peer-review as described below, of submitted applications. Eligible candidates include new and early-career investigators from the 37 currently active ADRCs. These awards aim to support the career development of new investigators and advance scientific research on ADRD.

Funding early career investigators is a core tenant of the missions of the Alzheimer’s Association, NACC and the ADRCs.

Read about previous award winnershere
Features of a Successful New Investigator Award Program Project

Successful applications must demonstrate scientific rigor. This will be determined through peer review; the peer-review process will evaluate the scientific merit and potential impact on the field of ADRD. Areas of study are open across the entire spectrum of proposed research on-going within the ADRC network, including but not limited to data-driven and methodological studies, if they rely on credible data sources. The research studies may be discovery science, translational, clinical- or care-related, and may include a range of methodologies including genomic studies and data science.

Research proposals should advance ADRD science through new approaches that have the potential to identify and characterize important gaps in knowledge related to environmental exposures, social and structural determinants of health, biomarkers, disease mechanisms, or novel therapeutic approaches. Research questions may be rooted in multiple disciplines, such as neuropathology, epidemiology, neurology, psychiatry, gerontology/aging, psychology, imaging/radiology, pharmacology, informatics, and data science/biostatistics.

Importantly, the research should aim to provide novel insights to our understanding, rather than replicating previous studies.

Funding and Award Period

NACC and the Alzheimer’s Association will fund up to ten (10) awards. Each award will be for $135,000 (direct costs) for the 2024 award cycle. New investigators can propose projects that are one to two years in length. For awards funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, the receiving institution’s indirect cost rate will be restricted to 10% on top of the direct costs. In addition to the $135K direct cost award, NACC will also fund the travel expenses for all 10 New Investigator awardees to present their research at an ADRC meeting. Additional details regarding the budget and timeline are addressed in the Application section below.

Funding decisions will be made by the NACC Steering Committee based on the scientific merit and potential impact as determined by peer review of the Scientific Review Committee.

The ADRC Director is expected to certify that the applicant is a “member” of their ADRC and that they will provide oversight of the NIAP award for the distribution of funds and/or the expenditures. NACC and the Alzheimer’s Association will work with the ADRC’s institutional Grants Office on the appropriate reporting.

Eligibility Requirements
  • You must be a new investigator, defined as post-doctoral fellows, residents, or junior faculty that have not yet been promoted to associate professor rank (MD or PhD), within ten years of rank, and not already having had an R01 grant. Researchers and investigators with a higher or lower academic rank are not eligible to apply.
  • New investigators must be affiliated with an Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC). ADRC Directors must provide a letter to confirm that the new investigator's ADRC affiliation was in place prior to October 2023 and is ongoing. The letter must also affirm the ADRC Director's commitment to distribute and provide financial oversight for the award funds. A template for the letter is provided here and in the online application materials.
    If you are not eligible for this award, we encourage you to apply for other funding mechanisms, such as an RO3 Award.
  •  Eligibility and Application FAQs

    Letter of Intent and Application

    • Is the Letter of Intent required?
      Yes, the Letter of Intent is required to submit the full application by February 16, 2024.
    • Are the Letter of Intent requirements similar to the Alzheimer's Association Research Fellowship (AARF)?
      They are different. For the New Investigator Award, there is no need for project summary and other project information. You must fill out the proposal title and keywords and information about the candidate.
    • What is needed to submit the Letter of Intent?
      Keywords and a brief description are all that is needed for the Letter of Intent.
    • Are the specific aims needed for the Letter of Intent?
      No, the specific aims are only required for the full application.
    • Can I submit letters of support from people other than the director of the ADRC?
      Yes, additional letters are allowed, but are not necessary for the evaluation of your application.

    Mentorship Program

    • Is an ADRC mentor required?
      No, you are not required to have a mentor.
    • Do I need to have a REC mentor, or can I select my own mentor?
      You are not required to have a REC mentor and you are free to select your own mentor.
    • When will applicants be assigned a mentor to work with on the application?
      For applicants who have requested a mentor, REC will notify and connect you with your mentor in December.

    Eligibility Questions

    Budget and Funding

    • Is this award compatible with having other sources of funding, such as fellowships from the Alzheimer’s Association?
      Yes, you can have other sources of funding and also receive a New Investigator Award.
    • Are current Alzheimer's Association Research Fellowship (AARF) awardees eligible?
      Yes, you are eligible.

    Rank and Degree Status

    • Does the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC) honor the NIH 12-month extension within the 10 year-of-rank eligibility for parental leave or other qualified reason for absence?
      Yes, the NIH 12-month leave extension applies to the New Investigator Award Program funding as well.
    • What counts as an interruption or qualified reason for absence?
      These will be considered on a case-to-case basis.
    • My institution does not use traditional academic rank and/or faculty system. I believe I meet the qualifications for an early career investigator and am affiliated with an ADRC, can I still apply?
      Yes, the intent of the New Investigator Award Program is to provide funding for early career and new investigators who have not received an R01 or similar type funding, and who are not classified as Senior Investigators. If your position is equivalent to the eligible early career investigators in a traditional academic rank/faculty system, you are eligible to apply for the NIAP. Please include a 1-2 sentence note about the equivalency in your final application.
    • Do you have to have a PhD or MD to apply for this program?
      Yes, you must have one of these degrees to qualify for this award program.
    • As an assistant professor, would I be considered as a new investigator and thus eligible for this award?
      Yes. The "rank" eligibility requirement is intended to be within 10 years of last terminal/doctoral degree or post doc residency/fellowship.
    • If you received a MD >10 years ago and just received a PhD this year - I’m assuming still eligible to apply?
      Yes, you are still eligible to apply.
    • Would previous REC scholars be considered eligible?
      Yes, as long as you meet the other eligibility criteria.

    ADRC Affiliation

    • How can I check if I’m affiliated with ADRC?
      Please contact your ADRC administrator and/or director to ask if you are affiliated with your ADRC. ADRC Directors must provide a letter to confirm that the new investigator's ADRC affiliation was in place by October 2023 or earlier and is ongoing.
    • Can I apply for this award if I'm not affiliated with an ADRC?
      New Investigators must have a pre-existing affiliation with an ADRC. Applicants should contact the ADRC administrator and/or director to determine their eligibility. ADRC Directors must provide a letter to confirm that the new investigator’s ADRC affiliation was in place prior to October 2023 and is ongoing. The letter must also affirm the ADRC Director’s commitment to distribute and provide financial oversight for the award funds. A template for the letter is provided in the online application materials.
      If you are not eligible for this award, we encourage you to apply for other funding mechanisms, such as an R03 Award or for opportunities available through the Alzheimer’s Association’s programs at
    • What qualifies as “affiliated with an ADRC?”
      To be affiliated with an ADRC, you must have a prior formal relationship with or receive salary support from the ADRC. Part of your time must be dedicated to ADRC-related projects and activities. You can confirm your ADRC affiliation by contacting your ADRC administrator and/or director. ADRC Directors must provide a letter to confirm that the new investigator's ADRC affiliation was in place by October 2023 or earlier and is ongoing.
    • Do we have to be affiliated with the specific ADRC program director or, in general, with an ADRC center?
      Your affiliation is with the ADRC and not specifically with the ADRC director.
    • Our university is an ADRC-affiliated institution. Does that mean that I am affiliated with an ADRC?
      Not necessarily. Please contact your ADRC administrator and/or director to ask if you are affiliated with your ADRC.
    • What if you start at an ADRC affiliated site and transfer to a non-affiliated one? Does it carry over?
      You will need to contact your ADRC Administrator and/or Director to ask if you are still affiliated with your ADRC.

    R01 Status

    • What are the eligibility criteria concerning R01 grant involvement for assistant professors and other researchers? How do different roles such as co-investigator, multiple PI, and leadership positions on an R01 impact the eligibility to apply for this award?
      Applicants who hold significant leadership roles in R01 grants, such as Principal Investigator (PI), Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI), or a Multiple Principal Investigator (mPI), are not eligible to apply for the award. However, individuals who contribute to R01 projects in non-leadership capacities, such as co-investigators or key personnel, maintain their eligibility.

    Citizenship Status and Location

    • Do applicants have to be US citizens or are there any specific requirements for US residency, etc.?
      Non-US residents are eligible to apply for a New Investigator Award if they are affiliated with an ADRC. They must also have a US visa that is valid at the time of the application and for the entire project timeline and award funding period. Additionally, New Investigator Award Program funding is not transferable outside the US if the investigator leaves the US.
    • Will this fund non-US work?
      No, New Investigator Award funds are not transferrable outside the US.

    Multiple Investigators

    • Does the New Investigator Award Program accept multiple PIs in the application?
      There should be a single PI, since the purpose is to provide essentially “pre-K” or pre R01 support for a single individual.
    • I am wondering whether investigators outside my organization can be consultants. Do they need to be affiliated with ADRC?
      There is no specific restriction on consultants. However, the consultants must also be “acceptable” to ADRC Director as consistent with the project: and perhaps more importantly that the Investigator themselves is primarily involved and “doing” the study as well as benefiting from the educational experience of completing a project.

    Research Focus and Use of NACC Data

    • Does the New Investigator Award Program accept data collection in the project?
      Data collection may always occur within the project, such that it is related to the research question which is the subject of the application. Applications with only the goal of “collecting data” would be regarded as non-responsive or simply low impact. Also, where data collection is included, it is the applicant’s responsibility to describe methods of collection as well as database plans for those study specific data.
    • I am unsure if my project focus is within the allowed topics for this award, can I still apply?
      The New Investigator Award Program is an open call for any area of research in the AD/ADRD research spectrum.
    • Is there a priority for those using NACC data?
      No, there is no requirement for or priority given to the use NACC data.
    • Are feasibility and pilot studies eligible for this program?

    ADRC Related Questions

    • Is there a limit on the number of proposals that can come from the same ADRC?
      There is no limit on the number of applicants from an individual ADRC.
    • Are investigators from Exploratory ADRCs eligible to apply?

    Other Questions

    • How many applications are typically submitted for this funding opportunity?
      2023 Awards – NACC received 31 applications and funded 2 New Investigator Awards
      2022 Awards – NACC received 51 applications and funded 3 New Investigator Awards
    • What percentage of accepted applications are typically submitted by post-docs?
      This is a new partnership between the Alzheimer's Association and the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center. We are able to offer 10 awards this year with significantly more funding. As a result, we do not know the estimated percentages or trends yet.
    • Can an ADRC give out a subaward from the same funding stream as the New Investigator Award Program?
      No, it is not allowed to give out a subaward from the same funding stream. We cannot honor third party tier contracts.

    Award Distribution & Budgetary Requirements

    • Does this application require a minimum effort?
      The principal investigator must commit to a 50% research effort each funding year. Note this is minimum time committed to research; and not necessary time to this project or equivalent to salary % allocated.
    • Is there a salary cap?
      The 2023 NIH salary cap is $212,000, and the 2024 NIH salary cap will likely be posted in January.
    • How would the funds be administered in the event of an award? What is the pass-through entity (PTE)?
      NACC will distribute one of the NI awards to a researcher and their associated ADRC. The other nine NI awards will be distributed directly from the Alzheimer’s Association (bypassing NACC). The PTE will be determined at the time of the award.
    • Are indirect costs limited to 10%? What if our federally negotiated rate is higher than that? Is the IDC rate for total costs, total direct costs, or modified total direct costs?
      The 2024 New Investigator awards will be funded by NACC and Alzheimer’s Association, up to 10 awards. If the award is supported by the Alzheimer’s Association, the IDC is 10%, the F&A base is the Total Direct Cost (TDC). If the award is funded by NACC with funding from NIA, the IDC rate is the institution’s federally negotiated rate, and the F&A base is the modified total direct costs (MTDC). The 10% or the federally negotiated rate only applies to indirect costs, which will be added to the total direct cost budget and determined at the time of the award.
    If your question is not addressed in the FAQ, please contact us at
Data Sources
New Investigator projects may leverage any data source or study base but must defend its scientific rigor to address the research questions at hand. NACC data are NOT required to be used to NIAP proposals that allow the investigator to visit and/or collaborate across ADRCs to meet with experts (internal or external Mentors) or obtain study-specific data are encouraged.
NACC-REC New Investigator Award Mentorship Program

The National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC) and the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers’ (ADRC) Research Education Component (REC) Steering Committee have partnered to provide the NACC-REC New Investigator Award Mentorship Program.

All applicants for the New Investigator Awards Program can request a mentor via their Letter of Intent.

Mentor and Mentee expectations:

  • NEW
    Participate in two review and feedback sessions, which can be asynchronously, before the February 16, 2024, application deadline
  • Time expectation for mentors is three hours for reviewing and providing feedback on their mentee’s application

Key Dates

Letter of Intent and Request a Mentor from the ADRC RECs Deadline* November 30, 2023, 5pm EST
Application Deadline*

February 16, 2024, 5pm EST

Application Review February – April 2024
Award Notifications May 2024 - Award winners announced at 2024 Spring ADRC Meeting in Austin, TX

*The Request for a Mentor, Letter of Intent and Application must be received by 5pm EST Time on their respective deadlines.

Apply for a New Investigator Award

Review Process Overview

Applications undergo a thorough, multi-stage review to assess scientific and technical merit. This process is facilitated by the online system proposalCENTRAL and involves multiple organizations and committees including NACC, the Alzheimer's Association, and NACC’s Scientific Review Committee (SRC).

Review Criteria

  • Overall Impact: The potential for the project to significantly influence relevant research fields.
  • Significance: The importance of the project.
  • Investigator(s): The qualifications of the research team.
  • Innovation Approach: The novelty of the research methods.
  • Environment: The adequacy of the research setting.
  • Budget & Resources: Quality and suitability of the proposed budget and resources.

Additional Criteria

  • Protections for Human Subjects
  • Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children
  • Vertebrate Animals
  • Biohazards
Review Stages (For Full Applications)

First Stage: NACC and the Alzheimer Association review applications for eligibility and completeness and assign them for peer review.

Second Stage: Review by the NACC Scientific Review Committee (SRC) through proposalCENTRAL and will include a panel of at least three peer scientists with relevant expertise. These reviewers will provide written commentary, scores (using NIH scale), and will engage in a thorough discussion of each application. The committee's evaluation centers on the criteria noted above.

Overall Impact: Each committee member, who has no conflict of interest, will assign an overall impact score after discussion in the SRC meeting. This score will reflect their assessment of the project's potential to significantly influence the research fields involved.

The score will take into account various review criteria as well as any additional criteria relevant to the specific project.

Note: Applications that initially score below the median may not be discussed during the committee meeting and will be marked `unscored.` However, written reviews for these applications will still be returned to the applicant.

Final Approval

Final Impact scoring and review summaries from the SRC are forwarded to the NACC Steering Committee and the Alzheimer's Association for final selection. This rigorous, multi-level review ensures fair and scientifically sound award decisions.

Once finalists are identified, NACC and the Alzheimer’s Association will contact both the ADRC and the New Investigator to finalize the award details, including award amounts. At that time, NACC and the Alzheimer's Association will also provide a list of any further required documents—such as “Just in Time” information, including but not limited to: Other Support.

Post Award Information

If awarded funding, NACC and the Alzheimer’s Association require any necessary ethical and/or regulatory approvals to be kept current and may also require specific reporting throughout the lifetime of the award. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Human Participants Assurances

Human participants (subject) assurances are not required at the time of application. NACC and the Alzheimer’s Association accept only certifications that apply specifically to the funded project and must include the name of the awardee.

Annual Scientific and Financial Reports

Annual Scientific & Financial Reports must be submitted at the end of each reporting period as long as the grant remains active. Final Scientific & Financial Reports must be filed within 90 days of the grant end date. All reports must be submitted electronically via proposalCENTRAL. The Financial Report must be approved and signed by someone with financial authority in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at the recipient’s institution.

Publications, Presentations and Abstracts

Electronic copies of publications, presentations and abstracts that report research supported by funds from NACC and Alzheimer’s Association must be submitted electronically at the time of publication. These copies will become part of the official file of the grant and will be provided to the Communications Division of the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC) to assist in the efforts to further inform the public about the Research Grant Program of the Alzheimfer's Association, NACC’s New Investigator Award Program, and the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Program.

Recruitment Efforts for Clinical Studies

If your project involves human participants, your application must clearly describe your inclusion and exclusion criteria, as well as your efforts to recruit a diverse participant pool from the community where the study takes place.

Upon awarding, and before fund disbursement, you will need to submit a detailed recruitment plan. This should outline how you'll ensure diversity across various key demographic variables, such as sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity.

These diversity and inclusion goals will be a key focus in the grant's ongoing reporting requirements. Continued funding depends on your success in meeting these objectives.


Financial Responsibility

Funding is awarded to the Alzheimer’s Disease Reseach Center, not to the individual principal investigator. The principal investigator or a first degree relative cannot be listed as the signing official or financial officer or have checks sent to their attention, if awarded.

Multiple and Overlapping Submissions

Multiple submissions from one applicant are not permitted. This includes multiple submissions from the same group and/or collaborators.

Nondiscrimination and Harassment Statement

NACC and the Alzheimer’s Association are committed to providing an environment free from harassment and discrimination. NACC and the Alzheimer’s Association strictly prohibits harassment and discrimination based on race; creed; color; religion; sex; sexual orientation; national origin; ancestry; age; veteran status; citizenship status; marital status; physical or mental disabilities; pregnancy, gender identity or expression (including transgender status); genetic information; and any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.

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