Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for CCRP Initiative: NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Basic Research on Chemical Threats that Affect the Nervous System (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
September 20, 2023
Estimated Publication Date of Notice of Funding Opportunity :
February 29, 2024
First Estimated Application Due Date:
May 30, 2024
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
March 01, 2025
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
April 01, 2025
Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)


The NINDS intends to reissue PAR-23-027 to solicit applications for basic research projects on chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and pesticides that have primary or secondary effects on the nervous system. Chemical threats are toxic compounds that could be used in a terrorist attack or accidentally released from industrial production, storage, or shipping. Projects supported by this NOFO are expected to generate data that elucidate mechanisms of toxicity of these agents, possible new manifestations of toxic exposures, and potential new targets for therapeutic development. 

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

The NOFO is expected to be published in Winter 2024 with an expected application due date in Spring 2024.

This NOFO will utilize the R01 activity code. Details of the planned NOFO are provided below.

Research Initiative Details


The Chemical Countermeasures Research Program (CCRP), overseen by NIAID, supports the discovery and early development of medical countermeasures (MCMs) to treat and/or prevent serious morbidities and mortality resulting from high consequence public health chemical emergencies. A high consequence public health chemical event is when a large number of civilians are either deliberately or accidentally exposed to highly toxic chemicals. The CCRP is a trans-NIH initiative and involves partnerships among NIAID, NHLBI, NEI, NIAMS, NICHD, NIEHS, NIDA, and NINDS NIH Institutes to execute the overall NIH Strategic Plan and Research Agenda for Medical Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats. Within the CCRP, the NIH Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) program led by the NINDS in collaboration with the other CCRP institutes supports research focused on civilian chemical MCMs. 

Applications from investigators new to research with chemical threats are encouraged. NIH CounterACT research Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs) will become members of the CCRP and be expected to participate in annual meetings of the CounterACT Network to share information and ideas.

Chemicals of Concern (CoC)

The Chemicals of Concern (CoC) identified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are organized within toxidromes that group chemicals based on their primary modes of toxicity. One benefit of this approach is that a single medical countermeasure with broad spectrum activity may be effective against multiple different chemical threats. Many of these toxidromes, such as anticoagulants, blood agents, and hemolytic/metabolic agents also have secondary toxic effects on the nervous system. The CoC toxidromes (with examples) that will be responsive to this NOFO are the following:

Anticoagulants (e.g., brodifacoum, bromadiolone)

Blood agents (e.g., hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide)

Cholinergic Warfare and Pesticides (e.g., sarin, soman, parathion, phorate, aldicarb)

Convulsants (e.g., picrotoxin, TETS, strychnine)

Hemolytic/Metabolic (e.g., arsenic trioxide, thallium sulfate, arsine)

There are close to 200 CoC in total. Only projects that include CoC toxidromes listed above will be supported by this NOFO. The NOFO will not support research on CoCs that have primary effects on the pulmonary, skin, and eye systems, or on opioid chemical threats. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the NIH staff listed here to determine that the proposed chemical threat(s) is of interest to the program and will be responsive to this NOFO.

Scientific Scope

The overall scope of this research initiative will focus on basic research on chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and pesticides that have primary or secondary effects on the nervous system.  Outcomes of these mechanistic studies will include new data that elucidate  mechanisms of toxicity and related pathologies of these agents, possible new manifestations of toxic exposures and potential new targets for therapeutic development that could modify acute and/or chronic disease outcomes and decrease mortality and morbidity in survivors. In all cases, the proposed research must address mechanisms of toxicity after acute exposures, not chronic exposures over a long period, e.g., environmental, occupational, or residential exposures. This NOFO will not support translational research on therapeutic development, nor will it support clinical research.

Funding Information

Estimated Total Funding


Expected Number of Awards
Estimated Award Ceiling

Application budgets may not exceed $300,000 in direct costs per year.

Many applications will not need to request the maximum budget and the requested budget will need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

The maximum project period is 3 years.

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)
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity (Foreign Organization)
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)
Telephone: 301-443-8189