Innovation Grants to Nurture Initial Translational Efforts (IGNITE Program)

A suite of early-stage therapy development funding programs called Innovation Grants to Nurture Initial Translational Efforts (IGNITE) is meant to serve as a feeder program to later-stage therapy development programs such as the Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network for Small Molecules (BPN) and the Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network for Biologics (BPN-Biologics).

IGNITE program applications will be reviewed within the NINDS Scientific Review Branch and not at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR).

Upcoming receipt dates for IGNITE Funding Opportunities are October 20, 2023 and February 20, 2024. 

Definitions for Key Terms

Application Support Library-IGNITE Example: Milestones


Comparison of IGNITE Programs

Use this chart to help you decide which program better suits your needs.

Grant Program Entry Criteria End Goal

PAR-21-124: Assay Development and Neurotherapeutic Agent Identification (R61/R33 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)


Strong biological rationale and premise

Relevance for therapy development

Available test agent(s) or library

Testing funnel to triage candidates, a battery of assays and starting agents that are suitable for BPN and BPN-Biologics

PAR-21-123: Development and Validation of Model Systems to Facilitate Neurotherapeutic Discovery (R61/R33 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Translational rationale for the proposed model system or ex vivo system and evidence of value for future drug discovery/development

Translationally relevant animal models, ex vivo systems, testing paradigms, and endpoints

PAR-21-122: Neurotherapeutic Agent Characterization and In vivo Efficacy Studies (R61/R33 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) 

Novelty- significant improvement over existing therapies

Biological Rationale

Relevance for therapy development

Well-characterized early-stage agents that are suitable for BPN and BPN-Biologics

Common to all three funding opportunities:

Timeline: 3 years total for both the R61 and R33 phases, with no more than 2 years in either phase.

Budget: Total direct costs may not exceed $750,000 for the entire 3-year project period, with no more than $499,000 in direct costs in any single year.


Resources and Tools


Funding Opportunities 

IGNITE Opportunities

IGNITE Notices and Other Funding Announcements

Early-Stage Therapy Development for ADRD

Development and Validation of Animal Models for ADRD

News & Events

OPEN Stage: IGNITE Program Funding Opportunity Webinar and Q&A - Register Now!
August 31, 2023

NINDS AD/ADRD Programs Overview and Current Funding Opportunities that Focus on Drug Development Webinar | View slides(pdf, 2319 KB)
September 14, 2022

OPEN Stage: IGNITE Program Funding Opportunity Webinar and Q&A
April 27, 2022

NINDS Innovation Grants to Nurture Initial Translational Efforts (IGNITE) Program at NIH: Q&A Webinar
April 13, 2021

Assay Guidance Workshop for High-Throughput Screening and Lead Discovery
November 18 - 19, 2020

IGNITE Webinar Slides(pdf, 460 KB)
December 2018


Related Topics

IGNITE Definitions for Key Terms

IGNITE Milestone Examples

NCATS Assay Guidance Manual

Current IGNITE Funded Projects
List of all current (active) IGNITE supported projects available in the NIH RePORTER database, with associated publications.