Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Understanding Immune Evasion in Tickborne Diseases
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

July 24, 2023

First Available Due Date:
October 05, 2023
Expiration Date:
July 17, 2026

Related Announcements

  • May 7, 2020 – NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). See NOFO PA-20-195.
  • May 7, 2020 – NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). See NOFO PA-20-200.
  • May 5, 2020 – NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). See NOFO PA-20-185.

Issued by

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)


This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) invites applications that seek to expand understanding of potential immune evasion mechanisms of tickborne pathogens that contribute to human disease and death. The intent of this NOSI is to encourage applications in the field, including from researchers in other disciplines who may have new perspectives to bring to existing gaps.


Tickborne diseases (TBDs) continue to increase in the United States and globally. To combat this rising public health burden, improved prevention strategies, diagnostics, and treatments are needed. Each of these tools may target or depend upon the human immune response to infection, and therefore understanding immune evasion by pathogens may be a critical factor in their design or utilization. 

While NIAID has a history of supporting research on the interplay between the human immune response and tickborne pathogens, many knowledge gaps remain. For example, our understanding of immune evasion in Lyme disease -- the most prevalent TBD -- remains incomplete, while it is almost nonexistent for Powassan and other newly emerging tickborne viruses. Understanding immune evasion by tickborne pathogens is a critical area of study to combat the rising public health burden of TBDs.

Research Objectives

The purpose of the NOSI is to solicit applications proposing research that elucidates mechanisms of immune evasion among tickborne human pathogens. This includes research on translational interventions targeting those mechanisms for improved vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostic tests. Of particular interest are mechanisms -- and corresponding interventions -- that are applicable across strains and species. Additionally, we encourage the use of new or established animal models and/or human clinical samples.

Application and Submission Information

This notice applies to application receipt dates on or after October 5, 2023 and subsequent receipt dates through July 16, 2026.

Submit applications for this initiative using one of the following notice of funding opportunities (NOFOs) or any reissues of these opportunities through the expiration date of this notice.

  • PA-20-185 – NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PA-20-200 – NIH Small Research Grant Program (Parent R03 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PA-20-195 – NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the notice of funding opportunity used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:

  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-AI-23-053” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative.

Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will not be considered for the NOSI initiative.


Please direct all inquiries to the contacts in Section VII of the listed notice of funding opportunity with the following additions/substitutions:

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Nadine Bowden, DVM, PhD
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Telephone: (301) 761-6973