Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for HEAL Initiative Integrated Basic and Clinical Team-based Research in Pain (RM1 Clinical Trial Optional)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
July 29, 2022
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
September 01, 2022
First Estimated Application Due Date:
November 11, 2022
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
July 01, 2023
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
July 01, 2023
Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM (HEAL) Initiative intends to publish a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for multi-PI team-based integrated research efforts for pursuing bold, impactful, and challenging research in basic and clinical pain domains to understand the biology of specific human pain conditions as well as pain associated with diverse diseases/disorders, including mechanistic underpinning of heterogeneity and stratification of patients with specific pain conditions and co-morbidities.

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 Summer 2022 with an expected application due date in Fall 2022.

This FOA will utilize the RM1 activity code. Details of the planned FOA are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

This effort is part of the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM) Initiative to speed the development and implementation of scientific solutions to the national opioid public health crisis. The NIH HEAL InitiativeSM will bolster research across NIH to (1) improve treatment and prevention of opioid misuse and opioid use disorder and (2) enhance pain management. More information and periodic updates about the Initiative are available at:

Human pain conditions, including those associated with a wide array of diseases, and the underlying mechanisms are difficult to study and understand with the currently utilized approaches that largely use separate and individually focused clinical and preclinical research studies. This represents a significant knowledge gap as well as creates challenges in the discovery, biological understanding and therapeutic developments, and management strategies targeted at specific human pain conditions, including patient stratification of pain, and co-morbidities. Furthermore, there is a continued need for models that better reflect human pathological and/or disease-associated pain conditions, outcome measures and endpoints, including patient stratification of pain, which could be effectively achieved with integrated clinical and basic/preclinical research. The NIH HEAL InitiativeSM recognizes the need to support emerging research opportunities of broad scope and complexity in pain that require innovative team science approaches. This concept, as part of a suite of NIH HEAL InitiativeSM programs, has the mission of enhancing pain management.

This program is intended to support team-based, cross-cutting research approaches that combine clinical and basic research into one platform, which will enhance our understanding on the pain processing under normophysiological and pathological conditions in humans. Furthermore, it will expand our capacity to pursue challenging problems in basic biological understanding, therapeutics development and effective management of human pain conditions.

This Notice encourages a team of investigators with expertise in multiple disciplines to pursue coordinated research that could integrate diverse areas of expertise under one umbrella, including (but not limited to):

  • Clinical pain management
  • Clinical pain research
  • Preclinical/basic pain biology and modeling
  • Human psychology
  • Specific disease and/or pathological conditions (both human and preclinical models)
  • Animal behavior,
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data science

The research teams are expected to establish a common goal that requires collaboration, synergy, and managed team interactions. Proposed research should not represent a collection of individual efforts or parallel projects. Teams are encouraged to consider transformative objectives with defined 5-year outcomes. This approach would provide an effective roadmap for employing reverse translational approaches to establish more clinically relevant models for individual human pain conditions, including heterogeneity and patient stratification in pain and co-morbidities. Also, it will provide powerful tools, models and approaches for the development and translation of pain condition-specific efficacious therapeutics, and next-generation clinical management of pain. An integrated understanding on human pain biology at basic/preclinical and clinical domains, looking at specific pathological or disease conditions, including patient stratification of pain and co-morbidities, would be tremendously informative towards precision medicine in pain in future.

Applications will be expected to include multidisciplinary and rigorous research approach, and clear projections on expected outcomes on integrated understanding on human pain biology at basic/preclinical and clinical domains, looking at specific pathological or disease conditions, including patient stratification of pain and co-morbidities, by the end of the grant award duration.

Projects should be focused on a specific pain condition, including but not limited to acute pain, chronic pain, painful neuropathy, musculoskeletal pain, headache, osteoarthritis, diabetic neuropathy, chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, eye pain, sickle-cell pain, post-surgical pain, cancer pain, visceral pain, obstetric pain, gynecologic pain, post stroke pain, myofascial pain, painful disorders of the orofacial region, pain co-occurring with substance use disorders, and other conditions will be considered. Applications fcussed on conditions that are commonly treated with opioids and/or other substances with high misuse potential and/or with high addiction potential are a high program priority for the NIH HEAL InitiativeSM.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with NIH program staff as plans for an application are being developed.

Funding Information


Estimated Total Funding


Expected Number of Awards
Estimated Award Ceiling


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
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity (Foreign Organization)
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

D.P. Mohapatra, PhD

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)