Fogarty International Center (FIC)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD), intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for implementation research addressing risk factors for common noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations in the United States (US). Chronic NCDs, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders and stroke, respiratory diseases, certain cancers, and mental health disorders are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in both LMICs and high-income countries (HICs), especially within AI/AN populations in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought NCDs further into the spotlight, as the majority of those who have experienced severe illness and death have had one or more underlying NCDs. Reducing the burden of NCDs is therefore critical to building more resilient, equitable, and healthier societies.
Air, water, and soil pollution; lack of greenspace; urban heat islands; lack of safe infrastructure for walking, cycling, and active living; and wide availability of tobacco, alcohol, and unhealthy foods and beverages drive the NCD epidemic in city environments. In the context of this FOA, "cities" include urban centers, informal settlements, slums, and periurban areas. More than half of the world’s population currently live in cities and this number is projected to rise to 68% by 2050. Recent climate related disasters, such as major flooding events, fires, and droughts, highlight how cities are at the forefront of the climate change crisis. There is an urgent need to equip local authorities and policymakers with strategies for maximizing the health-promoting potential of cities, while minimizing or reversing environmental degradation and health inequities. Fortunately, cities provide tremendous social, cultural, and economic opportunity, and have the potential to become engines of good health and support climate change adaptation. Innovative health-focused programs, policies, and infrastructure, such as public smoking bans, bikeable streets, greenspace, and vehicle emission laws, can shape the behaviors of millions of people and decrease exposure to environmental contaminants. City leaders are beginning to demonstrate a commitment to climate action, for example, through their participation in the C40 Cities network.
This FOA intends to solicit applications that propose implementation research to reduce the risks of NCDs in the context of cities in LMICs and/or among AI/AN populations in US cities, with the potential to equip policymakers and practitioners with evidence-based strategies for prevention and/or management of NCDs among disadvantaged populations globally. NIH defines implementation research as the scientific study of the use of strategies to adopt and integrate evidence-based health interventions into clinical and community settings to improve individual outcomes and benefit population health. This FOA intends to support innovative approaches to identifying, understanding, developing, and implementing strategies for overcoming barriers to the adoption, adaptation, integration, scale-up, and sustainability of evidence-based interventions, tools, policies, and guidelines addressing NCD risk factors in city environments. In addition, studies to advance dissemination and implementation research methods and measures into application will be encouraged. Applicants to this FOA will be invited to conduct implementation research that leads to improved understanding of how specific interventions can be better adapted to different city environments and/or scaled within and across cities, considering unique local social, political, economic, and cultural contexts.
Several behavioral change interventions, including those that increase the health-promoting potential of environments and decrease risks associated with unhealthy environments, are effective in reducing, delaying, or preventing the risk of NCD onset or disease progression. However, research is lacking in how to integrate such interventions into communities and health systems, and/or how to target these interventions within the context of the built environment and cities, especially in LMICs and within disadvantaged populations within US cities. Applicants responding to this FOA will be invited to meet this challenge.
This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects.Applications will be accepted from US and LMIC institutions only. Eligible LMIC institutions are defined by the World Bank at the following link:datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519-world-bank-country-and-lending-groups
NIH partners plan to publish FOAs with the R01 (Clinical Trial Optional) and R61/R33 (Clinical Trial Required) activity codes in Fall 2022 with expected application due dates in Winter/Spring 2023. Historically, the following NIH ICs have participated in GACD-associated FOAs and are anticipated to continue this participation: National Cancer Institute (NCI); National Eye Institute (NEI); National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); National Institute on Aging (NIA); Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD); National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS); National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD); and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
This Notice encourages investigators with implementation research expertise and insights into the context of city environments and related health inequities in LMICs or AI/AN populations within US cities to begin to consider applying for this new FOA.
These FOAs intend to support studies in city environments to reduce NCD risk, leveraging implementation research focused on individual, community, and/or structural level interventions that can reduce NCD risk and/or maximize the health-promoting potential of cities. Trans-disciplinary and multi-sectoral partnerships among the health, urban planning, and behavioral and social sciences will be encouraged.
These FOAs will enable the incorporation of digital innovation (e.g., AI, Big Data, telemedicine) into NCD implementation research.
The GACD alliance is committed to supporting research undertaken through genuine multi-sectoral partnership among high and low/middle-income country academics, policymakers, local authorities, for-profit institutions, non-profit organizations, and community groups. Where possible, research questions should be driven by local stakeholders and other intended beneficiaries of the research project.
Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.
Applications are not being solicited at this time.
Please direct all inquiries to:
Brad Newsome, PhD
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Lindsey Martin, PhD
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)