Funding Period: March 1, 2021 to February 28, 2022

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 psychosocial in methodology, with particular attention given to novel approaches.  Proposed research may involve humans, other animals or in vitro studies.  Investigators interested in clinical trials should consider applying through the NIA Alzheimer’s Disease Pilot Clinical Trails FOA.   The investigator is responsible for obtaining appropriate Institutional Review Board or Animal Care and Use Committee approval for the proposal.  The patient 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 2022.   Previous recipients of ADRC Pilot Project funding are 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, 2021.  Please contact the ADRC Administrator, Leslie Dunn, MPH ( with budget questions.


  • Letter of Intent: A brief description of the proposed developmental project should be e-mailed to Leslie Dunn, MPH, Center Administrator ( by September 30, 2020.   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.
  • Investigators invited to submit a full proposal will be notified by October 7, 2020.
  • Deadline:   Applications must be received no later than October 28, 2020.  (Please follow application guidelines on following page.) 


Application Guidelines: 

The proposal should consist of the following sections:

  • Title Page (ADRC version. Please request this document from ADRC Administration.)
  • Abstract (Project Summary – PHS Form Page 2)
  • Budget and Budget Justification (PHS 398 Form Page 4 and 5)
  • Biographical Sketch(es) Use the sample Biosketch format – Rev. 03/2020 Approved Thru 02/28/2023
  • Resources (PHS Format Page) – include Equipment
  • Other Support
  • Research Plan
    1. Introduction to Application (Not applicable)
    2. Specific Aims

approaches to be taken to ensure robust and unbiased results, and opportunities for training and professional development

  1. Bibliography/References Cited
  2. Vertebrate Animals
  3. Select Agent Research
  4. Multiple PD/PI Leadership Plan (Not applicable)
  5. Consortium/Contractual Arrangements
  6. Letters of Support (e.g., Consultants)
  7. Resource Sharing Plan(s)
  8. Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources, if applicable
  9. PHS Human Subjects:  Use the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information Form.  This form is separate from the Research Plan, but part of the overall application. Use the Application guideline link ( to obtain the form and follow the instructions in  the 3/2020 Revision instructions.

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 (Rev. 01) format and guidelines.  Abstract, budget, biographical sketches and Resource sections should 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  (Send Word documents.  No PDFs please.) Also send one paper copy of the application to:

Leslie Dunn, MPH, ADRC Administrator
Alzheimer Disease Research Center
4-West UPMC Montefiore Hospital
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA  15213

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,