The NACC New Investigator Awards are awarded each year to promising early-career investigators from across the ADRC Program to support their career development and advance their research on Alzheimer's Disease Related Dementia (ADRD).
This year, NACC has funding for two New Investigator awards ($135K each), for the 2023-24 award cycle. One of these awards will be reserved for proposals with a strong Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and/or health disparities focus within ADRD.
Successful New Investigator Projects are hypothesis-driven and address a scientific question outright. Investigations of reliability or validity or diagnostic/data standardization are also acceptable.
Research proposals should advance new approaches that have the potential to reveal new biomarkers, disease mechanisms, or novel therapeutic approaches and may be rooted in multiple disciplines, for example, but not necessarily limited to; studies in epidemiology, neurology, psychiatry, gerontology/aging, psychology, imaging/radiology, pharmacology, informatics, and data science.
The maximum total funding for each project will be $135,000, which is inclusive of any indirect costs.
The funding must be spent within two years of the grant being received.
The budget justification should detail how effort or other budgeted items are necessary to support the proposed project.
If the project is awarded funding by the Steering Committee, NACC will distribute the award to the Center Director as part of the Center's annual NACC sub-award. The Director will be responsible for redistributing the funds internally (via an appropriate internal accounting mechanism) to the New Investigator and for tracking these project costs independently of expenditures associated with other NACC projects in the same funding cycle.
New Investigator projects may leverage NACC data but are not required to. Projects that allow the investigator to visit and/or collaborate across Centers to meet with experts or obtain study-specific data are encouraged.
You must be a new investigator. New investigators are defined as post-doctoral fellows, residents, or junior faculty that have not yet been promoted to associate professor rank (MD or PhD), within five 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 one of the 37 ADRCs located in the United States.ADRC Directors must provide a letter on behalf of each new investigator award applicant confirming this affiliation. ADRC Directors please see this link for a template letter.
Does NACC honor the NIH 12-month extension within the 5 year-of-rank eligibility for parental leave or other qualified reason for absence?
My position is classified as a "Research Associate" and is consistent with that of a mentored, postdoctoral training position that additionally meets my capacity to function as a research clinician (DPT/PhD) at our institution that is necessary for my clinical translational research project in ADRD. Does my position meet the eligibility criteria to apply for this award?
Yes, the intent of the New Investigator Awards 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.
I am a postdoctoral researcher at an ADRC. Do researchers with a temporary visa status (F1- OPT) eligible to apply for the New Investigator Awards?
At the time of application, you must have a visa status that shows that you will be eligible to remain in the United States through the latest possible end date of the award, 06/01/2024.
If the investigator from our subaward institution is interested in applying, does this mean they will need to apply through the Prime institution that has the ADRC award?
Yes, the ADRC Director must provide a letter acknowledging that the applicant is actually “affiliated with” (i.e., a known participating researcher/clinician with the ADRC). The applicant does not have to be a formally listed “co-investigator” on the ADRC grant per se but acknowledged by the Director as a researcher/clinician in the studies supported by the infrastructure of the ADRC. The funds will be dispersed through the ADRC institution’s subcontract with NACC.
Are investigators from Exploratory ADRCs eligible to apply?
I am a cardiologist working closely with an ADRC and I am interested in knowing if I am eligible for this RFA by the NACC New Investigator Awards?
If your research your application proves you are “engaging in research related to Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases” and you are connected closely with research at an ADRC, you are eligible to apply. Please include a Letter of Acknowledgement from your ADRC Director with your application.
Is there a limit to the number of applications a single center can submit?
No, we do not have a limit on the number of applications an ADRC can submit.
Our ADRC is a non-academic institute, so our investigator’s titles do not follow the academic ranking system (e.g faculty ranks). If an applicant has a position that is equivalent to that of an assistant professor, are they eligible to apply? And do we need to include any documentation confirming such equivalency?
Yes, if your positions are equivalent, you are eligible to apply for the New Investigator Awards. Please include a 1-2 sentence note about the equivalency in your final application.
My project focuses on the cellular and molecular investigations of a new treatment approach for Alzheimer’s Disease using cell lines and transgenic animal models. Since my proposal will not involve human subjects or data analysis, I would like to know whether my study qualifies for the NACC New Investigator Award.
Yes, your project would qualify for the New Investigator Award, as there is no strict “requirement” that basic science/animal model applications would be excluded from New Investigator Award applications. (There is also NO requirement to use NACC data, per se)
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.
Does the NACC new investigator award accept multiple PIs in the application?
The intent is that there would be only a single PI, since the purpose is to provide essentially “pre-K” or pre R01 support for a single individual. While we have not specifically tested that premise with a vote of the Steering Committee at this point, we would expect that we would at least say that single PI is “strongly preferred.”
Does the NACC new investigator award accept data collection in the project?
Data collection may always occur within the project, such that it is related to the research question which the subject of the application. Applications with only the goal of “collecting data” would be regarded as non-responsive or simply low impact.
Are New Investigator Awards independent from other sources of funding?
You can apply for a New Investigator Award even if you have received funding from another award or other funding source(s).
I was looking for information on the allowable indirect cost of the New Investigator Award. Could you please clarify if there are any restrictions regarding indirect costs?
The restrictions for indirect costs the New Investigator Awards:
Award Funding Amount: The maximum total funding for each project will be $135,000, which is inclusive of any indirect costs.
If the project is awarded funding by the Steering Committee, NACC will distribute the award to the Center Director as part of the Center's annual NACC sub-award.
The Director will be responsible for redistributing the funds internally (via an appropriate internal accounting mechanism) to the New Investigator and for tracking these project costs independently of expenditures associated with other NACC projects in the same funding cycle.
Since The New Investigator Award is a supplement to the Center's NACC sub-award, the indirect cost rate is the same as your ADRC's rate. Please refer to your Center's NACC sub-award for details.
While a formal mentoring relationship with a senior investigator is not required, applicants are encouraged to include a senior investigator as a mentor or consultant.
FY2023-24 Project Timeline:
The project timeline can cover one or two years; however, because the funds will be awarded in the first year, the project's budget must be for a single year.
January 17, 2023 - Full Application Packet Due
May 2023 - Award winners announced at 2023 Spring ADRC Meeting
June 1, 2023 - May 31, 2024 - Funding Awarded
How to Apply
Step 1: Write a Research Plan
Prepare a research plan that emphasizes methods and uses the following outline format. DO NOT SKIP ANY SECTIONS. Applications missing any of the following will be returned to the PI with no further review taking place. The completed research plan should be inserted at the end of your application packet.
Research - question/hypothesis and brief rationale (approximately one-half page)
Background(approximately one page)
Overall significance of the research(approximately one-half page)
Methodological development and innovative strategies(two-page maximum)
Analytical approach - Describe the analysis plan in detail for each specific aim that will be used to produce the results. Please include the following:
A brief statement of representative data analysis projects for which you have conducted the analysis yourself in the past; include the study design, software used and statistical techniques applied.
A brief summary of the statistical analysis you expect to conduct to evaluate your hypotheses/research aims, including details about the types of estimates (e.g., odds ratios), statistical methods, and statistical software to be used. We understand that hypotheses and research aims may change over time, but please summarize your expected analysis based on your proposed research aims (three-page maximum).
If using NACC Data include the potential data elements to be used as dependent and independent variables; additional data collection, if needed (no page limit)
Mentoring plan(single page, if applicable)
ADRC site visit / collaboration plan(single page, if applicable)
Citation list(no page limit)
Step 2: Prepare a Research Proposal
All proposals must be prepared and submitted as a single PDF file via online submission. All forms packets should include the following PHS 398 form pages.
Page 1 - Cover (Face page) - The Center Director must be listed as the PI on the face page, with the New Investigator and any mentor(s) listed in the multiple PI section on the continuation page. The initial proposal does not have to be signed, but if the project is awarded funding, then a face page signed by a grants official will be required. Funding will be awarded to the Center Director, not the New Investigator (see section titled “Budget considerations” on page 3.)PHS 398 Cover Page Template
Page 3 - Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period (funding can be for one year or spread over two years). The Center Director and mentor are asked not to request FTE on the application. PHS 398 Template