Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Therapeutics Discovery and Early Stage Development (UG3/UH3 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
March 22, 2022
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
May 03, 2022
First Estimated Application Due Date:
September 13, 2022
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
June 13, 2023
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
July 05, 2023
Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Eye Institute (NEI)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)


The NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) program intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for the discovery and early-stage development of safe and effective new and repurposed drug candidates to mitigate the health effects resulting from exposure to highly toxic chemical threats.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects.

The FOA is expected to be published in spring 2022 with an expected application due date in fall 2022. NIH is planning a Webinar to describe this funding opportunity to future applicants when the funding opportunity is published.

This FOA will utilize the phased UG3/UH3 activity code. Preliminary details of the planned FOA are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

The NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) grant and cooperative agreement program supports a network of extramural grants and cooperative agreements that conduct research and early development of medical countermeasures (MCMs) to reduce mortality and morbidity during and/or after high consequence public emergency events involving the release of chemical agents.

Chemical threats are toxic compounds that could be used in a terrorist attack or accidentally released from industrial production, storage or shipping. They include traditional chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, pesticides, and pharmaceutical-based agents. The CounterACT program is trans-NIH effort, involving partnerships with the NEI, NIAID, NIAMS, NICHD, NIEHS, NIDA, and NINDS to execute the overall NIH Strategic Plan and Research Agenda for Medical Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats under the NIAID oversight and coordination.

The overall scope of this research initiative will include discovery and validation of therapeutic targets through preclinical characterization (i.e., specificity, affinity, potency, target selectivity, post-exposure efficacy) of lead compounds.

The UG3 phase of this FOA supports discovery and development of cellular, molecular pathobiological pathways towards development of novel tools, approaches and models of chemical toxicity to support identification/validation of potential target(s) for therapeutic intervention. The UH3 phase of this FOA supports the application of the developed tools/models/approaches for screening, identification, and characterization of efficacious therapeutics. Each project must include at least one defined milestone for each year of requested support. Additional milestone(s) to be accomplished in the UG3 phase for transition to the UH3 phase must be proposed by the investigators.

Chemical Threats supported by this FOAare included on the current Department of Homeland Security (DHS) List of Chemicals of Concern (CoC), which is for U.S. Government official use only and cannot be published.

However, to aid in the selection of the chemical threats(s), the following are examples of over 200 chemicals threat agents. These examples are categorized in Toxidromes grouped by mechanism of action and the toxic effects of the agents.

Chemical Threat Toxidromes

  • Anticoagulants (brodifacoum, bromadiolone)
  • Blood agents (hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide)
  • Cholinergic warfare (sarin, soman, VX)
  • Cholinergic pesticides (parathion, chlorpyrifos, phorate, aldicarb)
  • Convulsant (picrotoxin, TETS, strychnine)
  • Hemolytic/Metabolic (arsenic trioxide, thallium sulfate, arsine)
  • Opioids (fentanyl, diacetyl morphine)
  • Lower pulmonary (chlorine, phosgene)
  • Upper pulmonary (ammonia, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen fluoride)
  • Vesicants (sulfur and nitrogen mustard, phosgene oxime)

Applicants are strongly urged to contact the NIH staff (listed below) to determine if their proposed threat agent(s) is of interest for this FOA.

Applications Not Responsive to this FOA:

The following applications will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed for this FOA:

  • Applications that propose research on chemical threats that are not on the current Department of Homeland Security (DHS) List of Chemicals of Concern;
  • Proposed therapeutic approaches unlikely to be amenable during or after a mass casualty scenario. These include preventative strategy, i.e., must be administered prophylactically pre-chemical exposure, or immediately after exposure (after 15-30 minutes);
  • Applications addressing health outcomes after multiple/chronic chemical exposures, i.e., this FOA is only interested in understanding and addressing health outcomes after a single acute exposure event.
Funding Information
Estimated Total Funding
Expected Number of Awards
Estimated Award Ceiling

Applicants may request up to $325,000 direct costs annually for the UG3 phase and up to $400,000 direct costs for the UH3 phase per year.

The proposed project period for the UG3 phase cannot exceed 3 years (but may be shorter). The proposed project period for the UH3 phase may not exceed 3 years (but could be shorter).

The maximum project period for an application submitted in response to this funding opportunity is five years (but may be shorter).

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:

Shardell M. Spriggs, PhD

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

(301) 443-8189