Funding Period: March 1, 2023 to February 28, 2024

Call for Projects »

Introduction:   One of the research missions of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the University of Pittsburgh is to fund developmental projects to stimulate new and innovative research relevant to Alzheimer’s disease.  Types of research can range from basic science to clinical/psychosocial, with particular attention given to novel approaches.  Proposed research may involve humans, animals or in vitro studies.  Investigators interested in clinical trials should consider applying through the NIA Alzheimer’s Disease Pilot Clinical Trails FOA.  If selected for funding, the investigator is responsible for obtaining appropriate Institutional Review Board or Animal Care and Use Committee approval for the proposal prior to submission to NIA.  The subject population, clinical, neuropathological and neuroimaging databases of the ADRC are available resources for approved proposals.  Additional resources include the database from the National Alzheimer Coordinating Center (NACC).  Applications must clearly state the significance and innovation of the proposed research to Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders.

Criteria for Review:  The following will be considered in evaluating the merit of a proposal:

  • Soundness of scientific principles.
  • Novelty of the scientific approach.
  • Scientific merit.
  • Likelihood of providing new and valuable insights into possible causes of treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Background and experience of the investigator(s)
  • Adequacy of the resources and environment.
  • Appropriateness of the budget for the proposed work.
  • Strong likelihood that the developmental project work will lead to subsequent extramural peer reviewed funding.

Eligibility: Applicants should be postdoctoral or junior faculty level investigators at the University of Pittsburgh but may be awarded to a more senior investigator whose research is primarily in areas other than AD and ADRD research or who wants to work in the dementia field.  Post-doctoral fellows must have a letter of support from their mentor and department chair indicating they will be at the University through 2024. Previous recipients of ADRC Developmental Project funding are not eligible. There is potential for renewed funding to a 2nd year upon invitation.

Budget Limitations:  Direct cost budgets up to $75,000 will be considered. If selected, funding to start March 1, 2023.  Please contact the ADRC Administrator, Leslie Dunn, MPH ( with budget questions.

Application Process:

  • Letter of Intent: A brief description of the proposed developmental project should be e-mailed to Leslie Dunn, MPH, Center Administrator ( by end of business August 29, 2022.  Please include title of the proposal, names of investigators/co-investigators, brief description of project, and a brief statement of relevance of the proposed research to the field. If using ADRC resources, discuss with appropriate ADRC core leader to determine availability of subjects, data, imaging scans or samples.
  • Investigators invited to submit a full proposal will be notified by September 7, 2022.
  • Deadline: Applications must be received no later than September 30, 2022. (Please follow application guidelines on following page.)

Application Guidelines: 

The proposal should consist of the following sections:

    1. Introduction to Application (Not applicable)
    2. Specific Aims (1 page) (No figures or tables)
    3. Research Strategy: Significance; Innovation and Approach (include Preliminary Studies if applicable as well as sections for approaches to be taken to ensure robust and unbiased results, and opportunities for training and professional development
    4. Bibliography/References Cited
    5. Vertebrate Animals
    6. Select Agent Research
    7. Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan (Not applicable)
    8. Consortium/Contractual Arrangements
    9. Letters of Support (e.g., Consultants)
    10. Resource Sharing Plan(s)
    11. Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources, if applicable
    12. Human Subjects: If using Human subjects, include the following PHS information:
        • Answer the following: Does the study involve human participants? Yes/No; Are the participants prospectively assigned to an intervention? Yes/No; Is the study designed to evaluate the effect of the intervention on the participants? Yes/No; Is the effect that will be evaluated a health-related biomedical or behavioral outcome? Yes/No; Is this study Exempt from Federal Regulations?  Exemption number
        • Study Population Characteristics: Include:  Conditions or Focus of Study, Eligibility Criteria, Age limits (Minimum and Maximum), Inclusion of Individuals Across the Lifespan, Use of Existing Datasets or Resources, Inclusion of Women and Minorities, Recruitment and Retention Plan and an Inclusion/Enrollment Report
        • Protection and Monitoring Plans: Include Protection of Human Subjects, Risks, Adequacy of protection against Risk, Potential Benefits, Knowledge to be gained, Data and Safety Monitoring Plan

    For more information, use the General Instructions for NIH and Other PHS Agency application guidelines for PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information.  General Instuctions for NIH and Other PHS Agencies.

    Please provide a list of three prospective reviewers.  The specific aims and hypotheses are limited to one page and the research strategy is limited to a total of six single-spaced pages based on PHS 398 format and guidelines (approved through 02/28/2023).  Budget and biographical sketch must be on the standard forms for PHS grants (Rev. 03/2020 Approved Through 02/28/2023).

    If funded, annual progress report is required.

    Send application materials:  Via e-mail to

    For further information:  Interested applicants should discuss potential submission with:

    Center Director, Oscar L. Lopez, M.D.,

    Co-Leader, Julia Kofler, MD, or

    Center Administrator, Leslie Dunn, MPH, (412) 692-2731,