Notice of Intent to Publish Funding Opportunity Announcements for Research to Develop, Demonstrate, and Validate Experimental Human Tissue Models that Do Not Rely on Human Fetal Tissue

Notice Number: NOT-OD-19-042

Key Dates

Release Date: December 10, 2018
Related Announcements

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

National Eye Institute (NEI)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

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

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

National Institute on Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)

National Library of Medicine (NLM)

Fogarty International Center (FIC)

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)

Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)

Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)

Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH)

Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)


The National Institutes of Health intends to publish new Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) to invite applications to develop and/or further refine human tissue models that closely mimic and can be used to faithfully model human embryonic development or other aspects of human biology, for example, the human immune system, that do not rely on the use of human fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions. Research proposals may include using these models to understand human tissue development, function, and disease.

Types of studies that should be submitted under these FOAs include research to develop alternative models to the use of human fetal tissue in biomedical research. These may include cell culture models using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), iPSC-derived organoids, or other three-dimensional culture systems. Studies may also include new approaches or advances on existing methods to significantly improve current approaches to recapitulate the human immune system.

NIH plans to publish FOAs in the coming months for funding to begin in FY19 and FY20.

FOAs will be published using a variety of activity codes, including but not limited to: R01, R21, U01, and R43. Supplements also will be used to augment ongoing activities.

Research Initiative Details

Human fetal tissue and embryonic stem cell-derived systems have been used for understanding and modeling human developmental and disease processes. Research using these tissues has been important in shedding light on scientific questions fundamental to biomedical research, ranging from understanding basic physiologic mechanisms to understanding normal human tissue developmental and disease processes. However, new technologies raise the potential of reconstituting these model systems without fetal tissue yielding more replicable and reproducible system for broader uses. Such alternative technologies would benefit from an investment to accelerate research in these areas. Examples of topics of interest include:

  • Validation of the NeoThy mouse model and other non-HFT derived models
  • Development and validation of models that use donated cadaveric tissue from deceased pre-term or term newborns
  • Development of new mouse models with iPSC-derived humanized immune systems that faithfully represent human B and T cell development, survival, and function
  • Studies to develop and characterize iPSC-derived hematopoietic stem cells towards use in transplantation
  • Studies using organoids to model development and diseases of specific tissues, including but not limited to placenta, eye, and brain
  • Studies using organoids to understand tissue-specific functions
  • Studies to build new technologies that allow for modeling and studying function of multiple tissues at the same time (e.g., integrated tissues-on-chips systems)
  • Studies using iPSCs to understand cellular-level mechanistic functions, including generation of female gametes to study meiosis and aneuploidy
  • Development of iPSC lines to better understand intellectual and developmental disorders
  • Studies to characterize, validate, and reproduce iPSC lines toward commercialization and broader use

NIH is interested in investing up to $20M over the next two years in these scientific topic areas.

Applications are not being solicited at this time, but one or more funding opportunity announcements will soon be published.

Funding Information

Estimated Total Funding TBD
Expected Number of Awards TBD
Estimated Award Ceiling TBD
Primary CFDA Numbers TBD

Anticipated Eligible Organizations

Applications are not being solicited at this time.


Please direct all inquiries to:

NIH Office of the Director