Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Center of Excellence for Systems Modeling of Infection and Immunity across Biological Scales (U54 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
October 25, 2023
Estimated Publication Date of Notice of Funding Opportunity :
December 28, 2023
First Estimated Application Due Date:
June 05, 2024
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
February 01, 2025
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
February 01, 2025
Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), intends to publish a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to solicit applications for a Center of Excellence (CoE) for Systems Modeling of Infection and Immunity across Biological Scales that will:

  • Develop and conduct innovative computational multi-scale modeling research for NIAID priority biomedical questions, including HIV/AIDS;
  • Coordinate the NIAID and broader modeling community that conducts research on infectious- and immune-mediated diseases, through model and data sharing, opportunity funds, educational activities, and community-organizing activities;
  • Conduct innovative research and coordination activities to improve data and model sharing in the NIAID and broader modeling community;
  • Foster a diverse community of new and existing investigators dedicated to Infectious and Immune-mediated Disease (IID) multi-scale modeling and collaboration between experimental and computational scientists;
  • Serve as point of contact to NIAID for the modeling community and pivot research activities to address acutely emerging NIAID needs, such as outbreaks, epidemics, or pandemics;
  • Establish community development and educational opportunities in IID multi-scale modeling for students, post-doctoral fellows, and new/early-stage investigators;
  • Enable new approaches for multi-scale model sharing and reproducibility aligned with the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) principles and the NIAID Data Ecosystem Portal.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and projects. Potential applicants are encouraged to use this time to develop leadership teams to cover the full range of expertise and experience to develop the coordinating cores and research projects that will represent and enable strong scientific and operational connections between the CoE and the larger IID modeling community.

This NOFO will utilize the U54 activity code. Details for a pre-application webinar will be provided in the published NOFO. 

Research Initiative Details

The CoE for Systems Modeling of Infection and Immunity across Biological Scales will lead, manage and coordinate computational modeling for the IID modeling community, in close collaboration with NIAID. Modeling has become an integral part of the public health and research response to epidemic threats, as exemplified during epidemics of Ebola virus, Zika virus, and SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2, and persistent pandemics such as HIV. Despite recent advances in modeling research, there is limited progress in developing models that cross biological scales, and most models are constrained to one scale, such as molecular-scale models, cell-based models, within-host, or population-level models. The CoE will address these challenges and conduct research to bridge models at different scales, so that effects at one scale can be inferred from input parameters and data at lower scale. In addition, collaboration between modelers is often constrained by lack of coordination and community development. This scattered landscape of IID modelers causes inefficiencies and vulnerabilities during public health challenges and therefore represents an urgent need for a CoE to coordinate, integrate, and advance IID modeling across biological scales.

The structure of the CoE will comprise coordinating cores and research projects. At least three (3) coordination cores and two (2) research projects will be required, as listed below, and one (1) optional additional coordination core and one (1) additional research core may be included.

Coordination Cores:

  • The Administration Core will be responsible for managing, coordinating, and overseeing the entire range of CoE activities and will include a management and leadership plan, administration of opportunity funds (OF) and, in cooperation with NIAID, will be responsible for ensuring that the CoE pivots to address newly emerging pandemics/epidemics.
  • The Model and Data Sharing Core will develop novel technologies and informatic approaches to improve model and data sharing to improve reproducibility and reuse of computational models, research software, and related data. This core will also improve access to models, software, and data for the community, and advance and improve FAIR.
  • The Community Development and Education Core will develop innovative approaches for educational and mentoring activities across the community, with a special emphasis on students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career investigators, especially those from underrepresented groups. Activities will include the organization of an annual meeting, workshops, seminars series, etc., and the development of an opportunity fund program.

Research Projects:

The CoE will advance computational modeling for IID through research projects that bridge molecular to organism-scale processes and organism to population-level processes for infectious diseases, immunity, and/or immune-mediated diseases, and must incorporate HIV/AIDS.

The research projects will develop innovations in multi-scale IID modeling across the NIAID community and leverage new methods and best practices for model development and sharing that have emerged from research in computational disciplines, such as computer science, mathematics, physics, engineering, and computational biology, integrated data sources, and computational power.

The primary focus of the CoE will be modeling research that spans NIAID-funded work and includes data from basic science, clinical trials and studies, and epidemiologic research. Generation of new data will be limited to only what is needed for model testing and validation. The CoE will include a broad range of biomedical and subject matter expertise that includes computational modeling, systems modeling, mechanistic modeling, informatics, and coordinating center experience.    

The outcome of this CoE for Systems Modeling of Infection and Immunity across Biological Scales will be a diverse and collaborative network of independent researchers dedicated to IID computational modeling, who use cutting edge modeling methods to address NIAID strategic priorities and who can also quickly mobilize modeling capabilities to meet newly emerging NIAID needs. 

Funding Information

Estimated Total Funding

NIAID intends to commit $5 million in total costs and must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. 

Expected Number of Awards


Estimated Award Ceiling

Applications budgets are not expected to exceed $5 million in total costs, but must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Primary Assistance Listing Number(s)


Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Small Business
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
County governments
Independent school districts
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
U.S. Territory or Possession
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
Regional Organization
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

Office of Data Science and Emerging Technologies (ODSET)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)