Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Limited Competition for the Continuation of the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA) Research Project Sites (U01)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
April 20, 2021
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
May 17, 2021
First Estimated Application Due Date:
August 17, 2021
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
June 01, 2022
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
July 01, 2022
Related Announcements

NOT-AA-21-017 - Notice of Intent to Publish Limited Competition for the Continuation of the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA) Administrative Resource (Clinical Trial Not Allowed U24)
NOT-AA-21-018 - Notice of Intent to Publish Limited Competition for the Continuation of the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA) Research Resource (Clinical Trial Not Allowed U24)

Issued by

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)


The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) intends to re-issue the following limited competition Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs): RFA-AA-17-003; RFA-AA-17-004; and RFA-AA-17-005. This reissue of the limited competition FOAs is to support the continuation of the Research Project Sites for the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA). Only the current NCANDA awardees are eligible to apply in response to the FOAs. This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects.

The FOAs are expected to be published in Spring 2021 with an expected application due date in Summer 2021.

The FOAs will utilize the U24 and U01 activity codes. Details of the planned FOAs are provided below.

Research Initiative Details


Adolescent or underage drinking is a serious public health issue not only in terms of increased risk for alcohol-related problems (e.g., driving under the influence, physical, and sexual assaults) but also for the untoward effects that drinking may have on the still-developing central nervous system with concomitant effects on behavior and cognition. Alcohol misuse often begins during adolescence and becomes more likely as adolescents age. Based on the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a large majority of all alcoholic drinks consumed by underage young people (age 12-20) are consumed through binge drinking (4+ drinks for females and 5+ drinks for males on the same occasion) that brings the blood alcohol concentration at least up to the legal intoxication level. In 2012, the NIAAA, with support from NIMH and NIDA, funded NCANDA, a nation-wide research consortium, to investigate adolescent brain and behavior development with a particular emphasis on the effects of drinking alcohol during this critical period of maturation.

Objective and Organization of the NCANDA Consortium

NCANDA consists of an Administrative Resource core, a Data Analysis Resource core, and five research projects sites where the adolescent participants are enrolled and participate in the standardized study protocol. The study protocol includes structural and functional imaging of the brain along with detailed neuropsychological and clinical assessments over the course of follow-ups after entry into the study. The enrolled adolescents are followed with an accelerated longitudinal design with the baseline enrollment age at 12 to 21 and the current cohort reaching ages 19 to 30 by the end of the funding period. To characterize the changes in brain and behavior development across the adolescent years into early adulthood (up to age 30), follow-up assessments for each age cohorts will be extended in the renewal period. Data from these participants during the planned follow-ups will advance our understanding of alcohol’s effects on adolescent brain development and its effects lasting into adulthood.

The primary objective of NCANDA is to address the following research questions: 1) what are the effects of both long and shorter-term adolescent alcohol exposure on the developing human brain; 2) what is the effect of timing, dose, and duration of alcohol exposure on brain development; 3) to what extent do these effects resolve or persist; 4) understand how key covariates factor into alcohol's effects on the brain; and 5) potentially identify early neural, cognitive, and affective markers that may predict alcohol abuse and dependence and onset or worsening of psychiatric disorders during adolescence and into adulthood. To achieve these objectives, NCANDA will continue the annual surveys and interviews of the enrolled participants and acquire neuroimaging data at age 24 and 27 after the participants research age 22.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect families and individuals of a wide range of ages across the United States and globally. It is likely to have long-lasting impact on public health and well-being. There is emerging evidence that effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on social, environmental, life stress, and other affective changes are associated with a substantial increase of alcohol consumption with dramatic increases in hospital visits and alcohol related deaths in the United States. Alcohol misuse also has the potential to further complicate the COVID-19 pandemic outcomes. To better understand the impact of the pandemic on social environmental and behavioral changes and their associated effects on alcohol misuse should be included as an additional research objective of NCANDA.

The NCANDA Research Project Sites (U01) is responsible for the acquisition of data according to the standard protocol for the nation-wide consortium and for the development of special research projects related to their expertise and interests that complement and support the overall objectives of the consortium. Each research site will be responsible for the retention of their participants already enrolled in the study. The data collected at the project sites must be submitted to the NCANDA Data Analysis Resource.

Research shows that diverse teams working together outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and with different life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. Diverse teams of scientists will lead the way to develop more innovative inclusive research that will more broadly enhance public health. Fostering diversity by addressing underrepresentation in the scientific research workforce is a key component of the NIH strategy to identify, develop, support, and maintain the quality of our scientific workforce. It is expected that the NCANDA consortiumwill include an emphasis/requirement on facilitating the development of next generation/young researchers into leadership positions, and especially the inclusion of, and expansion of leadership roles for, a diverse group of scientists in biomedical research, which includes but is not limited to participation of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds (i.e. racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, or persons from disadvantaged backgrounds, as per backgrounds as per NOT OD 20-031 (Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity), women, early-stage and experienced investigators with a track record of funding, and investigators from various disciplines/departments and specialties.

This Notice encourages eligible investigators to begin to consider applying for this FOA.

Funding Information
Estimated Total Funding

NIAAA intends to commit a combined $5 million in total costs to fund FOAs soliciting research project U01, research resource U24 and administrative resource U24

Expected Number of Awards


Estimated Award Ceiling

Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Primary CFDA Numbers


Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Private Institution of Higher Education
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

Abraham P. Bautista, Ph.D.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices