December 2, 2021
PA-20-272 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional) or subsequent re-issues
PA-18-935 - Urgent Competitive Revision to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Urgent Supplement - Clinical Trial Optional) or subsequent re-issues
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
The NOSI invites administrative supplements and competitive revisions to existing grants and cooperative agreements that advance understanding of critical interactions between alcohol, SARS-CoV-2, and COVID-19. A principal area of focus is research that can improve public health in the near term by informing responses to the current COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences.
Alcohol consumption and COVID-19 have potential multifaceted interactions that arise from complicated biological, behavioral, and psychosocial causes and consequences of alcohol misuse. Alcohol consumption is a common coping mechanism for psychological distress. The well recognized and prolonged stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic may cause individuals to increase the use of alcohol as a means of stress reduction, which in turn may lead to alcohol misuse and alcohol use disorder (AUD). Furthermore, physical distancing requirements have impacted the design and delivery of treatment and prevention services, thus complicating the ability to mitigate pandemic-associated increases in alcohol misuse. Provision of services across the continuum of care, including both telehealth and in-person treatment, is also disrupted by the pandemic, impacting individuals with AUD. Increased stress and reduced access to social supports may also raise the risk for relapse among those in recovery from AUD.
Separately, alcohol misuse interferes with normal immune system function, and thus may elevate susceptibility to viral infections or the severity of COVID-19-associated symptoms. Alcohol misuse also disrupts neuroimmune interactions and is associated with neuroinflammation. The impacts of excessive alcohol consumption on the body and brain complicate physical and mental health outcomes in individuals with COVID-19. Acute alcohol intoxication can increase impulsivity and risk-taking behavior, which in turn may have consequences for the spread of coronavirus infection. Public settings in which alcohol is consumed may pose particular hazards for virus transmission, and public policies have sought to limit such risks in bars, restaurants, and other gatherings. These and other potential biological and behavioral interactions between alcohol and the COVID-19 pandemic present a range of urgent research needs and opportunities.
The long-lasting impact of SARS-CoV2 infection on physical, cognitive, and mental health has emerged as a new challenge of the pandemic. The post-acute sequelae appear to arise from the extended effects of SARS-CoV2 infection and its consequences on both peripheral and central systems, beyond the initial infection by SARS-CoV-2. It remains to be determined whether and how alcohol misuse may interact with or contribute to post-acute sequelae following acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Research is needed to understand the potentially complex, bi-directional relationships between alcohol consumption and COVID-19, as well as the impact of social and policy measures on alcohol consumption and related outcomes. Such studies also will help to lay the groundwork for responding to future public health emergencies. This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) encourages supplement applications to assess the impact of alcohol as a biological contributor to COVID-19 outcomes and sequelae, and to assess behavioral, social, and economic consequences of the pandemic and the restrictions that the pandemic has imposed, as they relate to alcohol consumption and related outcomes.
Research is needed that can inform and enhance the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by advancing understanding of the relationships between alcohol consumption and misuse, and COVID-19- related outcomes. NIAAA will support research on risks and outcomes associated with alcohol consumption, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the COVID-19 pandemic in the general population and among underserved populations, such as racial, ethnic and sexual/gender minorities, rural populations, individuals with low socioeconomic status, and those who are incarcerated or homeless.
Examples of research objectives include but are not limited to those that:
Priority consideration will be given to applications that propose urgent, time-sensitive research with a strong conceptual or theoretical foundation and the potential to inform responses to the current pandemic. Proposals must address the relationship between alcohol- and COVID-19-related outcomes or behaviors. Secondary analyses of COVID-19- and alcohol-related datasets are also encouraged.
Across topic areas, applicants are strongly encouraged to use measures drawn from one or both of the NIH Public Health Emergency and Disaster Research Response (DR2) [ https://dr2.nlm.nih.gov/ ] and the PhenX Toolkit [ https://www.phenxtoolkit.org/index.php ]. Additionally, applications focusing on vulnerable populations, including but not limited to racial/ethnic minorities, health disparity populations, and individuals with existing medical vulnerabilities conferring increased risk for severe COVID-19 infection, e.g., advanced age, obesity, HIV/AIDS, etc., are especially encouraged.
Research supported under this NOSI is expected to be relevant to the U.S. Projects relying on data or cohorts outside of the U.S. must provide a strong justification for the relevance of the research to the U.S. context.
Applications for this initiative must be submitted using the following opportunities or their subsequent reissued equivalents.
The following changes in scope are not allowed due to the nature and duration of this initiative.
The funding instrument, or activity code, will be the same as the parent award. All active grant mechanisms and cooperative agreements are eligible, except the F’s, T’s, R13’s and L’s.
EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPLEMENTS DUE TO UNPLANNED COSTS IMPOSED BY THE PANDEMIC AND ITS RESTRICTIONS ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR NOT-AA-22-002.
Applicants are advised to follow the procedures as described in the NIAAA website https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/grant-funding/application-process/administrative-supplements.
M. Kathy Jung. Ph.D.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)