Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) Announcing the Availability of Administrative Supplements and Urgent Competitive Revisions for Research on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

April 15, 2021

First Available Due Date:
April 01, 2021
Expiration Date:
March 31, 2022

Related Announcements

PA-18-935 - Urgent Competitive Revision to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Urgent Supplement - Clinical Trial Optional)

PA-20-272 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

Issued by

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)


NIDA is issuing this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to highlight the urgent need for continued research on the impacts of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. NIDA is especially interested in research collecting and examining data on the risks and outcomes for COVID-19 infection in individuals suffering from substance use disorders.


As people across the U.S. and the rest of the world continue to experience and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2; the research community should be alert to the disproportionate impact on some populations, including those with substance use disorders and/or HIV. Because SARS-CoV-2 attacks the lungs, it could be an especially serious threat to those with histories of smoking tobacco or marijuana or of vaping. People who use opioids or methamphetamine may also be vulnerable due to those drugs’ effects on respiratory and pulmonary health and potential effects on immune mechanisms. Likewise, those with HIV may be affected if their immune function is compromised. Neurological consequences lasting long after acute COVID-19 infection, including fatigue, sleep disruption, depression or anxiety, and problems with cognition, continue to be identified and may be more severe in the context of substance use and addiction, possibly increasing the risk of relapse. Additional social and environmental factors associated with drug use may worsen the transmission and treatment of COVID-19, especially among individuals who experience homelessness or incarceration, which is more common among those with a substance use disorder. More than one year into the pandemic, some survivors of initial COVID-19 illness continue to have similar symptoms or others unrelated to their original sickness that persist, and in some cases are even more debilitating.

Research Objectives

In order to rapidly improve our understanding of the risks, prevalence, and available control measures for SARS-CoV-2 in substance using and/or HIV-affected populations, NIDA is encouraging the submission of applications for Administrative Supplements or Competitive Revisions to active grants to address the following research areas of interest:

  • Research to determine whether substance use (especially tobacco or marijuana smoking or vaping, opioids and other drug use) is a risk factor for the onset and progression of COVID-19 as well as the prolonged health consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • Research to understand the respiratory effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection among individuals with substance use disorders (SUD), e.g., tobacco, marijuana, opioid, and methamphetamine use disorders.
  • Research to understand how the respiratory effects of COVID-19 influence the risk for opioid overdose and outcomes related to naloxone reversal.
  • Research to develop therapeutic approaches for comorbid SARS-CoV-2 infection and SUDs.
  • Research to evaluate drug-drug interaction of medications to treat SARS-CoV-2 and substances of abuse or medications to treat SUDs.
  • Research on the causes and consequences of health disparities in the onset and progression of COVID-19 among vulnerable populations (e.g., racial/ethnic minorities, sexual gender minorities), especially those who use substances.
  • Research to identify strategies to improve and implement more equitable prevention and treatment for all populations.
  • Research to understand system-level responses to COVID-19 prevention and risk mitigation in secure settings such as prisons and jails, with a particular emphasis on detainees with substance use disorder (SUD). For example:
    • Interactions of COVID-19 treatment with SUD treatments, including medications for opioid use disorders
    • Strategies for integrating COVID-19 and other infectious disease screening, prevention, and treatment protocols with SUD treatment and other health services.
  • Research to understand system- or organizational-level responses to identify, prevent, or mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in service settings that serve vulnerable populations, including people who are homeless or unstably housed.
  • Research to understand and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in all levels of treatment services, including methadone treatment programs and syringe exchange services.
  • Research on how potential overcrowding of emergency departments and health services impacts the treatment of opioid overdoses and opioid use disorder.
  • Research leveraging ongoing studies to assess the broad impacts of COVID-19 (e.g., school closures, food insecurity, anxiety, social isolation, family loss, economic impacts - e.g. job loss) on neurodevelopment, substance use, substance use disorders, and access to addiction treatment, with priority focus on health disparities and strategies towards equity.
  • Research on the bidirectional impacts persistent acute sequalae of COVID-19 (“long COVID”) on substance use behavior and outcomes.
  • Research on how neurological aspects of COVID-19, particularly those following acute infection, contribute to substance use disorder, interfere with the course of SUD recovery or affect toxicity of drugs of abuse.
  • Research on how addictive substances interfere with recovery from COVID-19 or contribute to post-COVID neurological symptoms.
  • Research on outreach and engagement of hard to reach population with substance use in COVID-19 vaccination programs
  • Research on how HIV among persons who use substances may impact the onset and progression of COVID-19.

Application and Submission Information

Applications in response to this NOSI must be submitted using the following targeted funding opportunity:

  • PA-18-935 Urgent Competitive Revision to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Urgent Supplement - Clinical Trial Optional) is intended to provide funds for NIH grantees applying to expand the scope of their active grant.
  • PA-20-272 Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional) is intended to provide funds for NIH grantees where the work proposed in the supplement is fully within the scope of the ongoing grant.
  • The funding instrument, or activity code, will be the same as the parent award.

When developing applications in response to this NOSI, all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additions:

  • The Research Strategy section of the application is limited to 6 pages.
  • The award project period of the submission must not exceed two years.
  • Application budgets are generally limited to no more than $100,000 direct costs per year. Should the proposed research require a higher budget, the applicant should consult with the program official assigned to the parent award and include a strong justification for the larger budget in the supplement application. The proposed budget must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.
  • The parent award must be active when the application is submitted. The project and budget periods must be within the originally approved project period for the existing parent award.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through March 31, 2022 by 5:00 PM local time of the applicant organization. This NOSI expires on April 1, 2022.
  • All applications (including those for multi-project activity codes) must be submitted electronically using a single-project application form package:

IMPORTANT: For funding consideration, all applicants must designate “NOT-DA-21-041” (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.

Investigators planning to submit an application in response to the NOSI are strongly encouraged to contact the program officers listed below to discuss the proposed project in the context of the parent award.

Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will be not be considered for the NOSI 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 funding opportunity announcements with the following additions/substitutions:

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

MeLisa Creamer, PhD, MPH
Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-402-1933

Shwe Gyaw, MD
Division of Therapeutics & Medical Consequences
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-827-5924

Vasundhara Varthakavi, DVM, PhD
AIDS Research Program
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-443-2146

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Pam Fleming
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-480-11599

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices