Approved Initiative Concepts

A concept describes the basic purpose, scope, and objectives of a potential solicitation of grants or contracts. Approved concepts are posted here to alert researchers to areas of NINDS research interest and to give researchers maximal lead time to plan projects. Please note that not every concept will lead to a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). NINDS bases this determination on scientific and programmatic priorities and the availability of funds. Furthermore, even if they do convert, the actual FOA may differ in certain details from its originating concept.

The National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NANDSC) Council conducts all NINDS concept clearances.

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Council Round Concept Title Point of Contact Description Link to Council Discussion Category
2022/05 HEAL Initiative: Development and Validation of Non-Rodent Mammalian Models of Pain HEALAnimalModels@nih.gov This initiative aims to support the development and rigorous validation of non-rodent mammalian models of pain, associated outcome measures and/or endpoints that enhance translational research for effective pain management. These models are expected to recapitulate molecular, cellular, pathological, behavioral, and/or cognitive aspects of human pain disorders and conditions. Research supported under this FOA is expected to provide well-validated models and measures that facilitate the development of non-opioid analgesic therapeutic interventions. Presentation and Discussion begins at 2:50:00 and ends at 3:01:30 HEAL, new concept
2022/05 HEAL Initiative: Integrated Basic and Clinical Team-based Research in Pain DP Mohapatra The goal of this proposed concept is to support integrated research efforts for pursuing bold, impactful, and challenging research to understand the biology of specific human pain conditions as well as pain associated with diverse diseases/disorders. The concept would promote collaborative work across the continuum of basic to clinical research to allow for comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and mechanistic research in efforts to pursue ambitious solutions for basic, translational, and clinical research questions in human pain within the mission of the NIH HEAL Initiative. Presentation and Discussion begins at 2:50:00 and ends at 3:01:30 HEAL, new concept
2022/05 Emily Caporello This planned concept is intended to support business development activities and the addition of business management expertise in SBIR- and STTR-funded small businesses working in the pain space. The program is intended to support HEAL goals of advancing novel pain therapies and technologies to the market by addressing business development gaps experienced by many small businesses including those working in pain. Presentation and Discussion begins at 2:50:00 and ends at 3:01:30 HEAL, new concept
2022/05 Emily Caporello This concept aims to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis by supporting the development of therapies and technologies directed at enhanced pain management through the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs. n/a HEAL, reissued concept
2022/05 Reissue: HEAL Initiative: Interdisciplinary Team Science to Uncover the Mechanisms of Pain Relief by Medical Devices Eric Hudak The initiative aims to support interdisciplinary research teams to utilize multi-faceted approaches to discovering the mechanisms of pain relief by FDA-approved or cleared medical devices. This initiative also aims to identify physiological markers of pain relief and determine how therapeutic approaches affect them to optimize therapeutic outcomes for device-based treatments. n/a HEAL, reissued concept
2022/05 Smriti Iyengar The goal of this program is to accelerate the discovery and development of non-opioid, non-addictive treatment for pain. The program will award a 5-year contract to evaluate and accelerate preclinical development of novel therapeutic approaches and is open to industry, academic institutions, and government organizations. The program aims to provide a comprehensive, centralized preclinical screening platform for evaluating small molecules, biologics, natural products, and devices for their potential as non-opioid, non-addictive treatments for pain. Presentation and Discussion begins at 2:50:00 and ends at 3:01:30 HEAL, new concept
2022/05 CounterACT: Basic and Early Translational Research on Chemical Threats Shardell Spriggs This goal of this planned concept is to serve as a fundamental research basis for the NIH CounterACT program and would be the only initiative at NIH to study mechanisms of toxicity for the chemical threats assigned to NINDS. These include nerve agents and other agents that target the nervous system, as well as cyanide, anticoagulants and other agents not covered by the other CounterACT IC-led efforts. It would align with the overarching goals of the NIH CounterACT program, which are to understand the fundamental mechanisms of toxicity caused by chemical threat agents and to support research and development of therapeutics. It is similar to other new CounterACT IC-led initiatives that engage more research and researchers within their mission space. This initiative would also serve as a pipeline to the NIH CounterACT translational and cooperative agreement programs and provides investigators with a pathway to develop competitive submission packages for future grant applications. n/a new concept
2022/05 Extracellular RNA Sequencing Research Resource for the AMP PD Deb Babcock n/a new concept
2022/05 Increasing diverse and neurotypical brain donation Daniel Miller This planned concept has several main goals related to the NeuroBioBank's mission to coordinate the collection of high-quality human brain tissue for broad and democratic sharing. Specifically, this concept aims to raise awareness of the importance of post-mortem brain donation among underrepresented groups and to identify barriers among these groups to brain donation. Additionally, this concept aims to increase preregistrations for brain donation from members of underrepresented communities, as well as increase collections from neurotypical and diverse brains by strengthening collaborations between post-mortem tissue collection sites. Presentation and Discussion begins at 3:12:45 and ends at 3:27:45 new concept
2022/05 NIDA, NIMH, and NINDS Research Opportunities for New and "At-Risk" Investigators to Promote Workforce Diversity Michelle Jones-London This proposed concept is intended to support new investigators and At-Risk Investigators from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups in the health-related sciences. This program would be in line with the NINDS's mission to ensure a vibrant, talented, and diverse workforce and is consistent with the provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act as well as the recommendations from the NIH Advisory Council to the Director. n/a new concept
2022/05 Early Stage and Established Biomedical Data Repositories (DR) or Knowledgebases (KB) Lindsey Scott The goal of this concept is to fund sustainable data repositories and knowledgebases that deliver scientific impact, employ and promote good and efficient data management, engage the user community, and govern to address data life-cycle, long-term preservation, and trust-worthiness. This concept would support efforts to develop accessible, well-maintained, and efficiently operated data resources with good data management practices, as outlined by the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable digital objects) Data Principles. n/a new concept
2022/05 Reissue: BRAIN Initiative Advanced Postdoctoral Career Transition Award (K99/R00) Ned Talley This proposed concept aims to enhance diversity in the neuroscience workforce and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented, NIH-supported, independent investigators from diverse backgrounds in BRAIN Initiative research areas. This would be achieved by providing outstanding postdoctoral researchers with independent NIH research support and training using cutting-edge tools, theories and/or approaches. This will facilitate a timely transition into competitive, independent research careers in areas that will advance the goals of the BRAIN initiative. n/a BRAIN, reissued concept
2022/05 Reissue: BRAIN Initiative: Optimization of Transformative Hardware and Device Technologies Ned Talley This planned concept aims to optimize existing and emerging technologies and approaches that have potential to address major challenges in recording and stimulating neural activity in any region of the brain. This concept is intended to support the refinement of emergent technologies and approaches that have already demonstrated their transformative potential through proof-of-concept testing. These technologies and approaches should be appropriate for accelerated development of hardware and software while scaling manufacturing towards sustainable, broad dissemination and user-friendly incorporation into regular neuroscience practice. n/a BRAIN, reissued concept
2022/02 NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Discovery and Early-stage Therapeutic Development Research David Jett The goal of this concept is to support translational research on developing therapeutics for treating morbidity and mortality after exposure to highly toxic chemical threats. The NIH CounterACT research program manages a large portfolio of medical countermeasure (MCM) projects that includes priority chemical agents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This concept would allow for cooperative agreements between investigators and NIH Program staff and an accelerated transition from early studies to candidate readiness for advanced development. n/a new concept
2022/02 NINDS Interdisciplinary Team Science Karen David This concept is designed to support integrated efforts of three or more (up to six) PDs/PIs to pursue bold, impactful, and challenging research in any area within the scope of the NINDS mission. The research approach expected should be interdisciplinary in nature, and the research teams would be expected to establish a common goal that requires collaboration, synergy, and managed team interactions. Presentation and Discussion begins at 3:44:15 and ends at 4:02:47 new concept
2022/02 Reissue: NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Early-stage Investigator Research Award David Jett The goal of this concept is to recruit and establish early-stage investigators (ESIs) into the chemical countermeasures research field with peer-reviewed awards. This proposal would provide extended time and support to enable funded ESIs the ability to generate sufficient preliminary data to competitively apply for CounterACT cooperative agreement funding opportunities. Applicants that successfully compete for these awards would not lose their ESI status. This concept would be a planned reissue of PAR-21-209. n/a reissued concept
2022/02 Reissue: Research Program Award (R35 Clinical Trial Optional) R35 Outstanding Investigator Award Alisa Schaefer The purpose of the NINDS Research Program Award (RPA) would be to provide longer-term support and increased freedom and flexibility to Program Directors (PDs)/Principal Investigators (PIs), allowing them to redirect their time away from the administrative burden of writing and managing multiple grant applications and towards engaging in the lab. This concept would be a planned reissue of RFA-NS-21-020. n/a reissued concept
2022/02 Reissue: Clinical Trial Readiness for Rare Neurological and Neuromuscular Diseases Glen Nuckolls This initiative invites researchers to submit applications for support of clinical studies that address critical needs for clinical trial readiness in rare neurological and neuromuscular diseases. This program supports multi-site, prospective, longitudinal studies aimed at clinical validation of outcome assessment measures and biomarkers to enhance the design and increase the likelihood of success of upcoming clinical trials. This concept would be a planned reissue of PAR-19-220. n/a reissued concept
2022/02 Reissue: Education Program on Translational Devices Kari Ashmont This planned concept would support course development to train investigators and entrepreneurs to successfully translate and commercialize medical devices - critical tools that help to reduce the burden of neurological disease. It draws on lessons learned in academia and industry to create a comprehensive program aimed at filling the translational and commercialization knowledge gaps for the academic investigator and small business communities. This concept would be a planned reissue of RFA-NS-20-003. n/a reissued concept
2022/02 Reissue: NINDS Stroke Trials Network (StrokeNet) network Infrastructure Scott Janis The primary goal of the NINDS Stroke Trials Network (NIH StrokeNet) is to develop, promote and conduct high-quality, multi-site clinical trials focused on key interventions for stroke prevention, treatment, and recovery. This concept aims to extend support of the current infrastructure of the network, including the National Clinical Coordinating Center, the National Data Management Coordinating Center, and the Regional Coordinating Centers and with their network of clinical sites that will support the continued activities in the network. n/a reissued concept
2022/02 Reissue: Network of Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT) Codrin Lungu The purpose of the Network of Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT) is to provide a robust, standardized, and accessible infrastructure to facilitate rapid development and implementation of protocols in neurological disorders affecting adult and/or pediatric populations. This concept aims to support a clinical research network that will develop and conduct multiple, scientifically sound, possibly biomarker-informed exploratory clinical trials evaluating the most promising therapies, whether from academic, foundation or industry discoveries. n/a reissued concept
2021/10 HEAL Pathway to Independence Award in Pain and SUD Research DP Mohapatra This aim of this concept is to increase the independent investigator workforce in research areas supported by the NIH HEAL Initiative, by facilitating a timely transition of outstanding postdoctoral researchers from mentored research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions. The program would provide independent NIH research support during this transition to help awardees to launch competitive, independent research careers in research areas supported by the NIH HEAL Initiative. Furthermore, this concept also seeks to enhance biomedical research workforce diversity of independent investigators in research areas supported by the NIH HEAL Initiative. Presentation and Discussion begins at 3:19:50 and ends at 3:41:37 HEAL, new concept
2021/10 HEAL Advancing Health Equity in Pain and Comorbidities Cheryse Sankar The goal of this proposal is to expand on the HEAL Initiative's efforts to advance health equity. Specifically, this proposal aims to develop, test, and implement novel, multi-level, culturally appropriate interventions and/or adapt, test and evaluate efficacy and effectiveness of existing interventions in NIH designated populations that disproportionately experience negative health outcomes (HDPs). Interventions that target HDPs with chronic pain in addition to at least one comorbid condition (OUD, mental health disorders and/or chronic health conditions) are of the highest priority. Presentation and Discussion begins at 3:19:50 and ends at 3:41:37 HEAL, new concept
2021/10 HEAL Enhancing the Clinical Pain Management Workforce Initiative Linda Porter One goal of this proposed concept is to promote the expansion and enhancement of a diverse workforce of highly trained scientists in the area of clinical pain research through a nation-wide mentoring and networking program. It will provide mentoring and skills necessary to support practitioners who seek a career in clinical pain management research. Another goal is to create an environment where early-stage clinical pain researchers can connect and collaborate with early and experienced basic and translational researchers through a centralized network and sponsored events. The concept would promote collaborative research across the continuum of basic to clinical research to ensure that research outcomes are meaningful to people who suffer with acute or chronic pain. Presentation and Discussion begins at 3:19:50 and ends at 3:41:37 HEAL, new concept
2021/10 HEAL: Coordinated Pain Care in Health Care Systems Linda Porter There is a pressing need for access to coordinated pain management for people with chronic pain, especially those with other chronic health conditions. Pain care often is delivered as a single intervention such as medication or injections, through one setting, and by a single health care provider. This approach often results in inadequate pain relief and poor health outcomes. This proposed concept would support research projects to embed effective coordinated pain care into health care systems. The coordinated care strategy could be centered in primary care settings with an integrated referral system to specialty care or could be centered in specialty care programs and coordinated with primary care. A coordinating center would support the development and implementation of the research projects, ensure collaboration across the project teams, provide regulatory support, and promote adoption of effective coordinated models of pain care in health care systems. Presentation and Discussion begins at 3:19:50 and ends at 3:41:37 HEAL, new concept
2021/10 Next Generation HEAL Biomarker Program: Translational Tools to Facilitate Clinical Trials for Pain Therapeutics Ram Arudchandran Pain therapeutics development has been hampered by a dearth of specific and sensitive biological signatures or clinical measures that predict and/or monitor response to therapy. By supporting mechanistic research that is directed toward the development, validation, and implementation of a biological signature or clinical measure of pain, this concept aims to develop a toolkit of measures that will facilitate Phase II clinical trials for pain therapeutics or improve treatment decisions in pain management. Presentation and Discussion begins at 3:19:50 and ends at 3:41:37 HEAL, new concept
2021/10 Clinical Trial Readiness for Functional Neurological Disorders Codrin Lungu This proposed concept aims to address the lack of available standardized outcome measures to enhance clinical trial readiness across Functional Neurological Disorders (FNDs). Successful applications would result in fit-for-purpose validation of biomarkers, endpoints, and clinical outcome assessments that can be directly applicable for planned FND clinical trials and the collection of high-level evidence. Presentation and Discussion begins at 4:18:10 new concept
2021/10 Identification of Clinical Outcome Assessments to Measure Efficacy through Natural History Studies of Ultra-Rare Neurological and Neuromuscular Diseases Jill Morris The goal of this proposed concept is to support both retrospective and prospective natural history studies of individuals with ultra-rare neurological diseases to identify and evaluate the utility of clinical outcome assessments (COAs). In turn, COAs could be used to determine efficacy in clinical trials and remove major barriers to therapy development. This concept would be aimed specifically towards ultra-rare disorders with therapies being actively developed with an expectation of clinical trials in the near future. Presentation and Discussion begins at 4:24:20 new concept
2021/10 NINDS Doctoral Readiness (DR.) Program Michelle Jones-London This concept seeks to diversify the pool of well-trained post-baccalaureates who plan to pursue scientifically rigorous neuroscience research-focused Ph.D. programs. This would be achieved by creating a pilot program to bridge the critical career stage gap between college and graduate school for individuals with little to no access to rigorous research opportunities. Importantly, this proposed concept aims to examine the impact of a well-structured, two-year research experience at an institution with an outstanding graduate training environment on preparedness and candidacy for neuroscience doctoral programs. Presentation and Discussion begins at 4:30:18 new concept
2021/10 NeuroBioBank (NBB) Communications and Outreach Initiative Daniel Miller The goal of this proposed concept is to strengthen communication and outreach of the NIH Neurobiobank (NBB), to better provide the scientific research community with high quality human brain tissues. Through an open competition, an organization will be selected to meet the need for a coordinated communications strategy within the multi-site structure of the NBB. This will enable harmonized messaging and increased efficiency in outreach and public education about the importance of human brain donation. Presentation and Discussion begins at 4:43:40 new concept
2021/10 Reissue: CDE/Monitoring/Data Archive Contract Recompetition Carolina Mendoza-Puccini This concept supports an open competition for a five-year contract covering four areas: the monitoring of NINDS intramural clinical trials, data archiving, statistical support, and development and maintenance of the NINDS Common Data Elements (CDEs) project. Use of the CDEs helps to improve data accuracy, consistency, and interoperability among datasets, and have been integrated in data science strategic plans for NIH and NINDS. The proposed solicitation is for a recompetition of the NINDS Center for Clinical Trials Resources (CCTR). n/a reissued concept
2021/10 Reissue: Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network (SPAN) Francesca Bosetti The Stroke Pre-Clinical Assessment Network (SPAN) utilizes a novel, adaptive, secured system and a multi-site approach for parallel testing of promising cerebrovascular protective interventions designed to extend the treatment time window and/or improve outcome when combined with thrombolysis, thrombectomy or both in acute ischemic stroke. We propose the continuation of the network's activities (SPAN-Next) to screen and select highly promising treatment candidates for possible further study in human clinical trials. This concept would be a planned reissue of RFAs NS-18-033 and NS-18-034. n/a reissued concept
2021/10 Reissue: BRAIN Initiative: Research Resources Grants for Technology Integration and Dissemination U24 Natalie Trzcinski The overall goal of this concept is to accelerate the scientific impact of the NIH BRAIN Initiative through rapid dissemination of developed and validated technologies and resources broadly to the neuroscience research community. This initiative would provide up to five years of support to projects that are highly relevant to the NIH BRAIN Initiative, disseminating resources for integration into neuroscience research practice and would be a proposed reissue of RFA-NS-19-006 . n/a BRAIN, reissued concept
2021/10 Reissue: Prospective Observational Comparative Effectiveness Research in clinical Neurosciences Adam Hartman Given the high cost of traditional randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and their potential limitations, other approaches to developing rigorous evidence to support clinical decision-making are needed. One example of this approach is the prospective observational comparative effectiveness study (CER): the conduct of research comparing the benefits and harms of different existing interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor health conditions in "real world" settings. This concept is a planned reissue of PAR-19-171. n/a reissued concept
2021/10 Reissue: Data Harmonization, Curation, and Secondary Analysis of Exsting Clinical Datasets Christine Swanson-Fischer This proposed concept would support interdisciplinary teams to curate, harmonize, and propose innovative, hypothesis-driven methods for performing secondary data analyses of existing multi-site clinical research datasets within the NINDS mission. Consistent with the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) data principles, all awardees must make the datasets and associated processes and tools widely available to the scientific research community. This concept would be a planned reissue of RFA-NS-20-007. n/a reissued concept
2021/10 Reissue: Small Vessel VCID Biomarker Validation Consortium Coodinating Center (U24) Rod Corriveau The overall goal of this concept is to deliver high-quality biomarkers ready for use in clinical trials, and for generating scientific breakthroughs in our understanding and treatment of vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID). This proposed funding opportunity would support a coordinating center for the NINDS small vessel VCID biomarkers consortium that was established in 2016 under NS-16-019 and NS-16-020. n/a reissued concept
2021/10 Reissue: Development of Biomarkers or Biomarkers Signatures for Neurological & Neuromuscular Disorders Carol Taylor-Burds The goal of this proposed funding opportunity is to enable the development of biomarkers or biomarker signatures ready for definitive analytical and clinical validation, as research tools for therapeutic development or for informing clinical practice. This would be a planned reissue of PAR-19-315. n/a reissued concept