Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): HEAL Initiative: Development of Medications to Prevent and Treat Opioid and/or Stimulant Use Disorders and Overdose
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

September 28, 2022

First Available Due Date:
October 27, 2022
Expiration Date:
September 02, 2025

Related Announcements

PAR-22-200 - Development of Medications to Prevent and Treat Opioid and/or Stimulant Use Disorders and Overdose (UG3/UH3 - Clinical Trial Optional).

Issued by

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)



The NIH HEAL initiative aims to speed the development and implementation of scientific solutions to the national opioid public health crisis by bolstering research across NIH to (1) improve treatment for opioid and co-occurring stimulant misuse and addiction and (2) enhance pain management. More information and periodic updates about the HEAL Initiative are available at:

PAR-22-200 entitled Development of Medications to Prevent and Treat Opioid and/or Psychostimulant Use Disorders and Overdose (UG3/UH3 - Clinical Trial Optional seeks to support the discovery and development of medications to prevent and treat Opioid and/or Stimulant Use Disorders and Overdose. The UG3/UH3 Phase Innovation Awards Cooperative Agreement involves 2 phases. The UG3 is to support a project with specific milestones to be accomplished by the end of the 2-year period. The UH3 is to provide funding for 3 years to a project that successfully completed the milestones set in the UG3 Phase. UG3 projects that have met their milestones will be administratively considered by NIDA and prioritized for transition to the UH3 phase. Investigators responding to this FOA must address both UG3 and UH3 phases.

Research Objectives

The purpose of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) is to seek research applications that focus on the scientific scope of the Helping to End Addition Long-term (HEAL) initiative ( to be submitted under the PAR-22-200 titled "Development of Medications to Prevent and Treat Opioid and/or Stimulant Use Disorders and Overdose (UG3/UH3 - Clinical Trial Optional)".

Grant applications may seek support for an array of preclinical and/or clinical research projects. They can include the evaluation of new chemical entities (NCEs), already-marketed medications, biologics (i.e., vaccines, antibodies, enzymes, gene therapies, etc.), combinations of medications, and/or new medication delivery devices/technologies. The goal of the NOSI is to advance the development towards FDA approval of safe and effective medications to prevent or treat opioid and/or psychostimulant use disorders.

There is particular interest in the development of compounds for indications such as:

  • Prevention of initiation of OUD and/or Psychostimulant Use Disorder (PsUD).
  • Prevention of progression of the severity of OUD and/or PsUD.
  • Reduction of the dose of opioid analgesics
  • Improvement of OUD and/or PsUD treatment adherence
  • Facilitation of opioid agonist discontinuation
  • Treatment of opioid/PsUD withdrawal
  • Treatment of neonatal opioid and or psychostimulant withdrawal
  • Reduction of opioid tolerance
  • Reduction of lethality of opioid and/or psychostimulant overdose
  • Reduction of repeated overdose
  • Reduction of the risk of opioid-induced respiratory depression

The following types of applications will not be considered responsive and will be withdrawn without review: 

  • Applications focusing solely on novel target identification/validation, generation of new animal models, development/testing of new human laboratory models
  • Applications focusing on mechanistic studies of the neurobiology of addiction


Because the development of medications is likely to be high risk, grant applications should provide clear milestones to be accomplished at the end of the UG3. It is anticipated that there will be attrition of some projects that do not meet the of milestones the UG3. Objective milestones of success and go/no-go rules for medications development progression will be required, and both should have quantitative criteria associated with them.

Special Considerations

In addition to scientific diversity, applicants should strive to incorporate diversity in their team development plan. Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogenous teams. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the research, advancing the likelihood that underserved or health disparity populations participate in, and benefit from health research, and enhancing public trust. In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, educational and research opportunities are not equally available to all. NIH encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences. Please refer to Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity NOT-OD-20-031 for more details.

The NIH HEAL Initiative will require a high level of coordination and sharing between investigators. It is expected that NIH HEAL Initiative awardees will cooperate and coordinate their activities after awards are made by participating in Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) meetings, including an annual HEAL Investigators Meeting, as well as other activities.

NIH intends to maximize the impact of HEAL Initiative-supported projects through broad and rapid data sharing.Consistent with the HEAL Initiative Public Access and Data Sharing Policy (, all applications, regardless of the amount of direct costs requested for any one year, are required to include a Data Management and Sharing Plan outlining how scientific data and any accompanying metadata will be managed and shared. The plan should describe data types, file formats, submission timelines, and standards used in collecting or processing the data. Data generated by HEAL Initiative-funded projects must be submitted to study-appropriate domain-specific or generalist repositories in consultation with the HEAL Data Stewardship Group to ensure the data is accessible via the HEAL Initiative Data Ecosystem. Guidelines for complying with the HEAL Public Access and Data Sharing Policy can be found at Resources and tools to assist with data related activities can be found at

To maximize discoverability and value of HEAL datasets and studies, and facilitate data integration and collaboration, applications submitted in response to this FOA are strongly encouraged to incorporate standards and resources where applicable:

  • Applicants are encouraged to ensure that data collected by the study conform to Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) principles.
  • Applicants are specifically encouraged to incorporate into their planning, an alignment with the guidelines, principles and recommendations developed by the HEAL Data Ecosystem, including but not limited to preparing data to store in selected specified repositories, applying minimal metadata standards, use of core HEAL Clinical Data Elements (CDEs,, and other necessary requirements to prepare data to connect to the HEAL Data Ecosystem.
  • All new HEAL clinical pain studies are required to submit their case-report forms/questionnaires to the HEAL Clinical Data Elements (CDE) Program. The program will create the CDE files containing standardized variable names, responses, coding, and other information. The program will also format the case-report forms in a standardized way that is compliant with accessibility standards under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C § 794 (d)), which “require[s] Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.” HEAL Initiative clinical studies that are using copyrighted questionaries are required to obtain licenses for use prior to initiating data collection. Licenses must be shared with the HEAL CDE team and the program officer prior to use of copyrighted materials. For additional information, visit the HEAL CDE Program.
  • To the extent possible, HEAL awardees are expected to integrate broad data sharing consent language into their informed consent forms and align study consent language with data access and re-use requirements as defined by repository HEAL investigators select to store their HEAL data long-term.

The NIH notices referenced below provide additional NIH guidance that should be considered in developing a strong data management and sharing plan. The list is instructive but not comprehensive.

  • Elements of an NIH Data Management and Sharing Plan (NOT-OD-21-014)
  • NIH has provided guidance around selecting a repository for data generated by NIH-supported research and has developed desirable characteristics for all data repositories (NOT-OD-21-016).
  • NIH encourages the use of data standards including the PhenX Toolkit ( (for example, see NOT-DA-12-008, NOT-MH-15-009)
  • Data should be organized according to a standard model that is widely accepted within the field. An example for the clinical research studies would be the OMOP Common Data Model, which has also been successfully adapted for use with observational (including survey) studies more generally. In addition, the HL7 FHIR® (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard (NOT-OD-19-122) may facilitate the flow of data with EHR-based datasets, tools, and applications.
  • NIH encourages clinical research programs and researchers to adopt and use the standardized set of data classes, data elements, and associated vocabulary standards specified in the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) standards, as they are applicable (NOT-OD-20-146). Use of the USCDI can complement the FHIR® standard and enable researchers to leverage structured EHR data for research and enable discovery. In addition to USCDI, OMOP, and FHIR standards for enhanced interoperability, investigators and data centers should align their data collection and management practices with recommended guidance emerging from the HEAL CDE and Data Ecosystem programs.

Awardees conducting research that includes collection of genomic data should incorporate requirements under the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy (NOT-OD-14-124, NOT-OD-15-086).

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities

Application and Submission Information

This notice applies to due dates on or after October 27, 2022 and subsequent receipt dates through September 2, 2025

Submit applications for this initiative using one of the following funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) or any reissues of these announcement through the expiration date of this notice.

  • PAR-22-200 - Development of Medications to Prevent and Treat Opioid and/or Stimulant Use Disorders and Overdose (UG3/UH3 - Clinical Trial Optional)

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

  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-DA-23-010” (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 Scientific/Research, Peer Review, and Financial/Grants Management contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements.

Ivan D. Montoya, M.D., M.P.H.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-827-5936