Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information

Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Funding Opportunity Title
Development & Characterization of Experimental models of post-TBI ADRD (R01 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Activity Code

R01 Research Project Grant

Announcement Type
Related Notices
  • August 31, 2022- Implementation Changes for Genomic Data Sharing Plans Included with Applications Due on or after January 25, 2023. See Notice NOT-OD-22-198.
  • August 5, 2022- Implementation Details for the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. See Notice NOT-OD-22-189
Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Number
Companion Funding Opportunity
Assistance Listing Number(s)
93.853, 93.866
Funding Opportunity Purpose

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to accelerate the development, characterization, and validation of novel mammalian models that display progressive  clinical and pathological characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (ADRD) following traumatic brain injury (TBI), including chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This initiative values interdisciplinary teams functioning across multiple research sites that assess the reproducibility and cross-validation of proposed experimental model(s). Innovative applications reaching beyond the current ADRD mammalian animal models are highly encouraged.

Key Dates

Posted Date
June 14, 2023
Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)
August 22, 2023
Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

August 22, 2023

Application Due Dates Review and Award Cycles
New Renewal / Resubmission / Revision (as allowed) AIDS - New/Renewal/Resubmission/Revision, as allowed Scientific Merit Review Advisory Council Review Earliest Start Date
September 22, 2023 Not Applicable Not Applicable March 2024 May 2024 July 2024

All applications are due by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. 

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

Expiration Date
September 23, 2023
Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide , except where instructed to do otherwise (in this NOFO or in a Notice from NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts).

Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the NOFO) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions.

Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Table of Contents

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Notice of Funding Opportunity Description


Goal 1 of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease is to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Alzheimer’s Disease Related Dementias (ADRD) by 2025. ADRD are defined as Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (VCID), Lewy Body Dementias (LBD) and Multiple Etiology Dementias (MED). Starting in 2012, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) have held research summits to assess the needs and set ADRD research implementation milestones. The NINDS ADRD Summit in 2022 resulted in ADRD research priorities for advancing the state-of-the-science toward meeting Goal 1 of the National Plan. Recommendation 4 – Priority 4 of MED Special Topic: Post-traumatic brain injury (TBI) AD/ADRD, states the need for basic and translational research to elucidate the mechanistic pathways, development, and progression of post-TBI AD/ADRD neuropathologies to better understand clinical symptom expression. Furthermore, this recommendation emphasized the need to accelerate the development, standardization, and validation of clinically relevant experimental post-TBI and post-CTE animal models with phenotypic and pathological characteristics that are shared with ADRD. This NOFO addresses two significant gaps. First, there is a lack of post-TBI animal models that display ADRD-like phenotypes, including but not limited to pathology, in the absence of an ADRD gene variant, pathology or symptoms at the time of injury. Second, there is a need to develop models of post-TBI ADRD where the neuropathological changes and cognitive deficits are progressive and continue to worsen over time, as opposed to models where cognitive and behavioral deficits remain relatively static or improve over time.

Development of animal models that translate to a human disorder or disease such that they can inform on human disease mechanisms and/or decisions such as advancement of therapeutic candidates or clinical trial design requires rigorous internal and external validation. To demonstrate internal validation, it is important to evaluate and understand the precision, reliability, sensitivity, accuracy, and dynamic range characteristics of the endpoints used to assess the animal model. To address external validation, it is important to show that the model can recapitulate aspects of the disease phenotype and etiology, where endpoints or biomarkers of disease are similar and measurable in both the animal model and in human disease. One component of external validity is face validity--the similarity between the model and the clinical manifestation of the disease (as measured by overt clinical symptoms, patterns of activation using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) or electroencephalography (EEG), functional or behavioral read-outs, disease progression, etc. Another component of external validity is construct validity--the similarity between the physiological or biological basis of the model and the actual human disorder (e.g. genetic, proteomic, metabolomic markers). 

Specific Areas of Research Interest/NOFO Scope:

This NOFO solicits applications to develop, characterize, and validate one or more novel mammalian animal models for understanding TBI (including CTE tauopathy due to repetitive head impacts or brain injuries) as a risk factor for behavioral, pathological and other phenotypic outcomes that are characteristic of ADRD. Projects are collaborative and are to be carried out at more than one research site. More specifically, this initiative will support proposed post-TBI ADRD mammalian models that: 1) display progressive phenotypes characteristic of ADRD, e.g. pathological changes or cognitive decline; and 2) are able to distinguish progressive post-TBI ADRD phenotypes from static chronic post-TBI phenotypes that are not progressive. Specific requirements for applications include:

  • justification for the selection of species of the proposed model(s), TBI injury mechanism and severity.
  • provide outcome metrics and a description  of how the proposed model(s) will serve future TBI-related ADRD research studies aimed at understanding underlying mechanisms, predispositions and pathways underlying TBI as a risk factor for ADRDs.

This funding opportunity will allow investigators to:

  • develop and optimize novel post-TBI ADRD model(s) with regards to feasibility, endpoint range and sensitivity, scaling up for validation studies (e.g. breeding, aging), specificity of the model system(s) as it relates to post-TBI ADRD or relevant endpoint measures and identification of confounding variables.
  • complete internal validation for endpoints and appropriate timelines used in the model(s) using quantitative criteria, including behavioral cognitive assessment(s) of progressive decline in cognition.
  • complete external validation studies that include but are not limited to cross-site reproducibility and cross-validation of comparisons of phenotypes and endotypes to post-TBI ADRD in humans.


NINDS, as part of NIH, strives for rigor and transparency in all research it funds. For this reason, NINDS explicitly emphasizes the NIH application instructions related to rigor and transparency ( and provides additional guidance to the scientific community ( For example, the biological rationale for the proposed experiments requires a basis for rigorous and robust supporting data, which necessitates that data be collected via methods that minimize the risk of bias and be reported in a transparent manner. If previously published or preliminary studies do not meet these standards, then an explanation for how the current study design addresses the deficiencies in rigor and transparency is essential. It is also required that the experimental design likewise be designed in a manner that minimizes the risk of bias and ensures validity of experimental results.


Based on recommendations from the 2022 ADRD Summit, active participation and input from experts in post-TBI ADRD and/or CTE clinical research (e.g. clinicians, neuropathologists and/or physician scientists) in conjunction with experts in the relevant animal model(s) being developed will ensure the application of latest scientific findings post-TBI ADRD. The involvement of a collaborating or consulting clinician and a letter of support demonstrating their involvement in the project design and follow up consultation for data interpretation and clinical relevance of the project is highly encouraged.

For all types of research proposals, NINDS encourages applications from diverse teams of investigators, including team members that are underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research workforce. Such individuals include those from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, those with disabilities, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Scientists from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems. There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of the research, advancing the likelihood that underserved or health disparity populations participate in, and benefit from health research, and enhancing public trust. Please see NIH NOT-OD-20-031 for details.

Applications Not Responsive to this NOFO:

Non-responsive studies include those that involve any of the following activities:

  • Characterization and/or validation of existing TBI models/protocols.
  • Projects that are not focused on TBI as a risk factor for ADRD.
  • Projects that do not demonstrate preliminary or published data for an established and well-characterized protocol for producing TBI in the animal species proposed in the application.
  • Projects that do not include a behavioral assessment of cognitive function.
  • Projects with only 1 research site.
  • Projects that are proposed in invertebrate animals and non-mammalian animals.
  • Projects that do not implement the use of the preclinical TBI CDEs in the plan for collecting and sharing their data.
  • Human subjects research.
  • Development and/or validation of models that are purely computational.

Non-responsive applications will be administratively withdrawn without review.

Additional Considerations

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with NINDS Scientific/Research staff early on during the planning stage of their application (see Agency contacts, Section VII). This will provide an opportunity to clarify the applicant’s understanding of NINDS goals, policies and guidelines related to this NOFO prior to submitting an application.

  • Studies in large animals are appropriate if well justified and the model proposed is biologically plausible.
  • Addition of a data scientist and early discussions involving the data scientist and the investigative team is highly encouraged in multi-center studies.
  • Addition of a clinician with current expertise in post-TBI ADRD and/or CTE clinical research is highly encouraged.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

Section II. Award Information

Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types. Only those application types listed here are allowed for this NOFO.

Clinical Trial?

Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose clinical trials.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIH intends to commit a total budget of $3,000,000 per year in FY 2024 to fund up to three awards for up to five years, contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Award Budget

Application budgets are limited to no more than $670,000 per year in direct costs. Application budgets must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Award Project Period

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is five years.

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made from this NOFO.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Local Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)

Federal Government

  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession


  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations
Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.

Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are allowed. 

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Grants Policy Statement Section Electronically Submitted Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • System for Award Management (SAM) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
    • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM.
    • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) - A UEI is issued as part of the registration process. The same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their registration; all registrations must be in place by time of submission. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • – Applicants must have an active SAM registration in order to complete the registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with their organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

2. Cost Sharing

This NOFO does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time, per NIH Grants Policy Statement Section Submission of Resubmission Application. This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NIH Grants Policy Statement Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications).

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Workspace are available in Part 1 of this NOFO. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Research (R) Instructions in the How to Apply - Application Guide except where instructed in this notice of funding opportunity to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

Letter of Intent

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Hibah Awwad, Ph.D. 
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this NOFO.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Applications must include multiple distinct research performance sites (i.e. more than one research site).

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Applications must include multidisciplinary teams with appropriate expertise to run the proposed project successfully. NINDS strongly encourages applicants to form multidisciplinary teams that consist of experts relevant to the research plan (i.e., biostatisticians, clinicians, technical experts). This multidisciplinary team must be able to define the goals of the research, outline specific gaps that need to be addressed during this funding period, outline detailed plans and experiments, and execute the research strategy.

The inclusion of a clinician or physician scientist, who will be involved in the design of experiments and follow-up consultation for data interpretation and clinical relevance of the model(s) is highly encouraged. Clinician expertise should include, but is not limited to: 1) neuropathological diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease, including CTE, 2) clinical assessment of post-TBI AD/ADRD and/or 3) the long-term clinical and pathophysiological consequence of TBI and head impact exposure.

R&R or Modular Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

R&R Subaward Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Research Plan

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Specific to this NOFO:

Within the specific aims section, briefly provide the context and overall rationale for the proposed set of studies, with an emphasis on the reason that the proposed model(s) will significantly advance ADRD research. In addition, the major objectives of the proposed set of studies must be stated, including the technical questions to be answered to determine the feasibility and the validity of the proposed animal model(s) relative to post-TBI ADRD. For applications proposing more than one model, variations between models and relevant clinical characteristics being modeled must be noted for each proposed model.

Research Strategy:

The Research Strategy section must include the following sections:

  • Rationale and Unmet Need
    • Applications must include a strong biological rationale for the proposed model(s), which includes any existing clinical or pathophysiological evidence that the model(s) is(are) relevant to post-TBI ADRD.
    • Applications must include a description of how the results of the proposed studies and validated model(s) will be used to inform future mechanistic studies. Detailed explanation of the future uses of the model is required.
  • Approach
    • Applications must include a description of how the model(s) will be developed, including a plan to confirm the feasibility, reliability and applicability of the mammalian animal model(s) or testing paradigms to ADRD.
    • Provide a rubric for the assessment of the construct validity of the model(s) e.g. does the model recapitulate the human post-TBI ADRD syndrome in terms of pathology and biomarkers.
    • Provide a rubric for the assessment of face validity of the model(s); e.g. does the model recapitulate the progressive cognitive decline and dementia and brain pathology seen in humans.
    • Justification of the TBI protocol including injury severity selection.
    • Applications proposing the development of novel transgenic animal model(s) must demonstrate that enough animals will be available to accomplish the goals of developing and validating the proposed model(s).
    • Applications must include a plan to assess progressive cognitive decline in the proposed model(s) for post-TBI ADRD behavioral cognitive assessment. Applications must include a test of both internal (within a single site) and external (between multi-sites) validation test to assess the reproducibility and reliability of the model(s).
    • Applications must include an assessment to demonstrate that the model(s) distinguishes between the progressive post-TBI AD/ADRD from the non-progressive chronic TBI phenotype.
  • NINDS urges investigators to follow the NIH guidance for rigor and transparency in grant applications ( and additionally recommends the research practices described at This will ensure that robust experiments are designed, potential experimenter biases are minimized, results and analyses are transparently reported, and results are interpreted carefully. These recommended research practices include, where applicable, expressing clear rationale for the chosen model(s) and endpoint(s), describing parameters clearly, blinding, randomizing, ensuring adequate sample size, pre-specifying inclusion/exclusion criteria, appropriately handling missing data and outliers, implementing appropriate controls, preplanning analyses, and using appropriate quantitative techniques. Consider study limitations, and plan for transparent reporting of all methods, analyses, and results so that other investigators can evaluate the quality of the work and potentially perform replications. Investigators should indicate whether data presented or cited in the application as key support for the proposed work were collected, analyzed, and reported in a rigorous and transparent manner as indicated above. A plan to address any ambiguities, weaknesses, or limitations in the prior research should be included in the application. Proposed experiments should similarly adhere to these high standards of rigor and transparency.
  • Implementation of metadata standards consistent with or similar to the ARRIVE 2.0 Guidelines must be used for the mammalian animal model(s) where applicable.
  • Applications must include a description of the rigor and reproducibility metrics for internal, external, content- and construct-validation of the model(s) as applicable.
  • Where applicable, research plan must incorporate the use of preclinical TBI common data elements (CDEs), for collecting, analyzing, reporting, harmonizing, curating and sharing data.
  • Research plan must include openly sharing the final protocols and datasets of the successful model in a public repository endorsed by the PRECISE-TBI interagency resource center.

Letters of Support from Investigators:

Applicants must include a letter of support from the leading scientist at each research site as well as the clinician on the research team where applicable. The letter must include clear roles and non-overlapping responsibilities of the team members and their contributions towards developing the model as it relates to post-TBI ADRD clinical settings. 

Resource Sharing Plan:

Individuals are required to comply with the instructions for the Resource Sharing Plans as provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

Other Plan(s):

Note: Effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023, the Data Management and Sharing Plan will be attached in the Other Plan(s) attachment in FORMS-H application forms packages.

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

  • All applicants planning research (funded or conducted in whole or in part by NIH) that results in the generation of scientific data are required to comply with the instructions for the Data Management and Sharing Plan.
    • Data Management and Sharing Plan must include the required sharing of data and protocols between the research sites involved in the project.

The following modifications also apply:

  • Datasets and standardized protocols generated from this study must be made publicly available. Please note that preclinical TBI data is shared in the Open data Commons (ODC-TBI) repository and standardized protocols are shared in respectively.
  • Successful model(s) must be made publicly available and registered with the TBI Model Systems Catalogue in PRECISE-TBI interagency resource center.
  • Details on data harmonization and curation across multiple research sites must be included in the DMSP.

Only limited Appendix materials are allowed. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or NIH-defined clinical trials (and when applicable, clinical trials research experience) follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

If you answered “Yes” to the question “Are Human Subjects Involved?” on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or Delayed Onset Study record.

Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Delayed Onset Study

Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start). All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS Assignment Request Form

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Organizations must submit applications to (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section Electronically Submitted Applications.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile form. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH. See Section III of this NOFO for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the unique entity identifier provided on the application is the same identifier used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by NINDS, NIH. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in the policy

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.  Applications submitted to the NIH in support of the NIH mission are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

Specific to this NOFO:

This NOFO will support applications focused on the development, characterization and validation of one or more experimental mammalian animal models that focus on TBI as a risk factor for ADRD, including CTE. One or more animal model(s) will be proposed at more than one research site. Reviewers will consider the full overall Research Strategy and assign a single impact score for the entire application, including all models proposed and their validation plans. The review criteria below correspond to specific application instructions in the Application and Submission information above.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.


Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is the prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project rigorous? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Specific to this NOFO:

How well have the investigators considered the phenotype, physiology, and feasibility of measurement of the post-TBI ADRD clinical population in the design and validation of their mammalian animal model(s)? How well have they defined the patient population/clinical finding that the model best reflects (i.e., pathology, stage of disease)?

How strong is the rationale of unmet need for the model in the defined post-TBI ADRD and more specifically in the progressive neurodegenerative nature of post-TBI ADRD?

How well does the model address gaps and advance the field, especially with regard to TBI as a risk factor for ADRD?

How well have the investigators addressed the context and future use of the application of this model?


Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or those in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance, and organizational structure appropriate for the project?

Specific to this NOFO:

How knowledgeable and experienced are the investigators about TBI, ADRD and post-TBI ADRD?

How appropriate is the interdisciplinary expertise in the areas of in vivo model validation, experimental design, statistical analysis, systems analysis, etc. (as appropriate) for the project?

How strong is the evidence that the co-investigators including clinical collaborator, if applicable, will play an active role in the design, validation plans and follow-up consultation of the models to ensure models are clinically relevant?

How clear are the roles and contributions of all collaborators from multiple research sites in the study and their letters of support? 


Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

Specific to this NOFO:

To what extent does the project propose innovative mammalian animal model(s) of post-TBI ADRD compared to currently available TBI or ADRD experimental models?

How novel are the experimental measures proposed compared to current cognitive assessments or biomarkers correlated only with TBI or ADRD?

How are the study aims, methods, and ultimately the proposed model(s) innovative in how they are likely to advance knowledge of post-TBI ADRDs?

How innovative are the potential future uses of the proposed model(s)?


Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults), justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

Specific to this NOFO:

How well does the application show an understanding of the state of the field and where the proposed model(s) contributes to the field?

How well-justified are the plans to optimize the model (if necessary)?

How well and thorough are the plans and estimates for the feasibility of the model, characterization and validity? i.e. How feasible will the model be to implement and how well will it translate to human biology? If the model requires breeding or aging, will sufficient animals be available to develop the model and conduct internal and external face- and construct- validation studies within the 5-year limit of the full project period?

How well does the plan address the construct validity of the model(s)? How well does the rubric assess whether the model recapitulates human neuropathology and disease progression?

How well does the plan address the face validity of the model(s)? How well does the rubric assess whether the model recapsulates the progressive cognitive and dementia seen in humans?

How well does the plan address the external validation to assess reproducibility of the model across the multiple research sites?

In the case of endpoint measures, how adequate are the methods for addressing internal validity characteristics such as dynamic range, precision, accuracy, sensitivity etc.?

How appropriate is the proposed statistical analysis for the experimental design and the quantitative characteristics of the endpoints?

How well does the study design incorporate multidisciplinary approaches to assess and distinguish between progressive clinical and pathological characteristics of dementia and non-progressive chronic TBI deficits?

How well does the study describe the use of a behavioral cognitive component in its assessment battery?

How well does the proposed research incorporate adequate methodological rigor where applicable, including, but not limited to, clear rationale for the chosen model(s) endpoint(s), clear descriptions of parameters, blinding, randomization, adequate sample size, pre-specified inclusion/exclusion criteria, appropriate handling of missing data and outliers, appropriate controls, pre-planned analyses, and appropriate quantitative techniques?


Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment, and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?

Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

Specific to this NOFO:

       How appropriate is the evidence/preliminary data/publications to indicate that the proposed TBI protocol(s) is(are) established in the animal species of the proposed model to be developed?

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Individuals Across the Lifespan

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals of all ages (including children and older adults) to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of proposed procedures involving animals, including species, strains, ages, sex, and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for euthanasia method if NOT consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals S ection, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animals Section.


Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.


Not Applicable


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable. 

Additional Review Considerations

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable.

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Reviewers will comment on whether the Resource Sharing Plan(s) (i.e., Sharing Model Organisms) or the rationale for not sharing the resources, is reasonable.

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources:

For projects involving key biological and/or chemical resources, reviewers will comment on the brief plans proposed for identifying and ensuring the validity of those resources.

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by the Center for Scientific Review, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications will receive a written critique.

Applications may undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.

Applications under this announcement will be assigned to NINDS as the administrative NIH institute. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this NOFO. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the NINDS national Advisory Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date.

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement Section 2.4.4 Disposition of Applications.

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the recipient's business official.

Recipients must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.6. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

Any application awarded in response to this NOFO will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

Institutional Review Board or Independent Ethics Committee Approval: Recipient institutions must ensure that protocols are reviewed by their IRB or IEC. To help ensure the safety of participants enrolled in NIH-funded studies, the recipient must provide NIH copies of documents related to all major changes in the status of ongoing protocols.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Recipients, and Activities, including of note, but not limited to:

If a recipient is successful and receives a Notice of Award, in accepting the award, the recipient agrees that any activities under the award are subject to all provisions currently in effect or implemented during the period of the award, other Department regulations and policies in effect at the time of the award, and applicable statutory provisions.

Should the applicant organization successfully compete for an award, recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS will be required to complete an HHS Assurance of Compliance form (HHS Assurance of Compliance form (HHS 690) in which the recipient agrees, as a condition of receiving the grant, to administer programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex and disability, and agreeing to comply with federal conscience laws, where applicable. This includes ensuring that entities take meaningful steps to provide meaningful access to persons with limited English proficiency; and ensuring effective communication with persons with disabilities. Where applicable, Title XI and Section 1557 prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and gender identity, The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. See and

HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research. For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to NIH grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this NOFO.

Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697.

In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), NIH awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements. FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 and 2 CFR Part 200.206 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.” This provision will apply to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.”

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Not Applicable.

3. Data Management and Sharing

Note: The NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing is effective for due dates on or after January 25, 2023.

Consistent with the NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing, when data management and sharing is applicable to the award, recipients will be required to adhere to the Data Management and Sharing requirements as outlined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Upon the approval of a Data Management and Sharing Plan, it is required for recipients to implement the plan as described.

Commitment to publicly share the successful model, protocols and associated data in a publicly accessible data repository. It is recommended for preclinical TBI data to be share with PRECISE-TBI model catalogue and the ODC-TBI.

4. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, recipients will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final RPPR, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. NIH NOFOs outline intended research goals and objectives. Post award, NIH will review and measure performance based on the details and outcomes that are shared within the RPPR, as described at 45 CFR Part 75.301 and 2 CFR Part 200.301.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for recipients of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All recipients of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period.  The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS).  This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313).  As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.  Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, and post-submission issues)

Finding Help Online: (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

General Grants Information (Questions regarding application instructions, application processes, and NIH grant resources)
Email: (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-480-7075 Customer Support (Questions regarding registration and Workspace)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Hibah Awwad, Ph.D. 
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Shreaya Chakroborty, Ph.D. 
Phone: 301-496-9350

Peer Review Contact(s)

Examine your eRA Commons account for review assignment and contact information (information appears two weeks after the submission due date).

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Chief Grants Management Officer
National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Robin Laney
Phone: 301-496-1472

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200.

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