Blog Archives

John Haaga Named Director of NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research

On March 24, National Institute on Aging (NIA) Director Richard Hodes announced the appointment of John Haaga as director of NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR). Haaga has served as the Division’s acting director where he has served as deputy director for the past 11 years. Prior to joining NIA, Haaga held leadership positions at the Population Reference Bureau, the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, the Population Council, and the RAND Corporation.

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 31), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NIA Webinar to Provide Overview of Grants Process

The National Institute of Aging (NIA) recently announced that the institute will host an “NIH 101” webinar explaining the NIH’s grants process to interested researchers. Chyren Hunter, deputy director of NIA’s Division of Extramural Activities and NIA training officer will present the June 14 webinar. Hunter is expected to explain each step of the application and review process. The webinar is part of a series sponsored by the NIA’s Office of Special Populations. The registration form is available here.

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 31), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NIA Requests Input on Alzheimer’s Disease Bypass Budget Implementation

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking input into the development of the fiscal year (FY) 2018 NIH Alzheimer’s Disease Bypass Budget (ADBB). Annual updates to the ADBB are Congressionally mandated (see Update, November 3, 2015). NIA seeks comments and suggestions from the public “on the current state of the science, the highest priorities for future research, and potential conceptual or technical barriers to overcome.” According to the recently released Notice (NOT-AG-16-017), the FY 2018 ADBB will be consistent with the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and include Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Topics will include basic, translational, clinical, as well as caregiver research. NIA also seeks comments on “future opportunities or emerging research needs that should be included in the plan.” The deadline for input is April 8, 2016. For more information, see the Notice.

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Posted in Issue 5 (March 8), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Funding Opportunity Announcements

  • NIA: Small Business Alzheimer’s Disease Research (R43/R44) (PA-16-091), (R41/R42) (PA-16-092)
  • HHS Office of Minority Health: Communities Addressing Childhood Trauma (ACT) (MP-CPI-16-002)
    The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health (OMH) is seeking applications for its Communities Addressing Childhood Trauma (ACT) program (MP-CPI-16-002) for fiscal year 2016. ACT is “intended to test the effectiveness of innovative approaches to promoting healthy behaviors among minority and/or disadvantaged youth at-risk for poor health/life outcomes due to childhood trauma.” Specifically, the program “seeks to address unhealthy behaviors in minority youth and provide them with opportunities to learn coping skills and gain experiences that contribute to more positive lifestyles and enhance their capacity to make healthier life choices.” ACT is designed to promote the goals of the President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative which is based on the 2014 White House Council of Economic Advisers’ report. That report examined the obstacles that disadvantaged youth face, particularly young men of color. It also calculated the costs to society. OMH will host a technical assistance workshop on March 9; see the website for additional information.
  • RWJF: Policies for Action: Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health
  • RWJF: Awards for Health Equity

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 9), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Funding Opportunity Announcements

NIH Opportunities:

  • NCI:  Feasibility Studies to Build Collaborative Partnerships in Cancer Research (P20) (PAR-16-084)
  • NIA: NIA Clinical Research Project Planning Grant Program (R34), (PAR-16-085)
  • NIH: Education and Health: New Frontiers (R21) (PAR-16-078), (R03) (PAR-16-079), (R01) (PAR-16-080),  [OBSSR, NCI, NIA, NICHD, NIDA]
  • NIH: International Research Ethics Education and Curriculum Development Award (R25) (PAR-16-081), [FIC, NHGRI, NIAID]
  • NIH: International Bioethics Research Training Program (D43) (PAR-16-082), [FIC, NHGRI]
  • NIH:  Save the Date for the 2016 NIH Regional Seminar in Baltimore, Maryland – May 11-13, (NOT-OD-16-026)

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Posted in Issue 2 (January 26), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NIA Director Expresses Appreciation for NIH and NIA FY 2016 Budgets

National Institute on Aging (NIA) director Richard Hodes acknowledged “exciting news” reflected in the FY 2016 budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and specifically for NIA in a January 6 blog post. Noting the $2 billion (6.6 percent) increase for the NIH for FY 2016, Hodes underscored that the increase provided a boost of approximately 33 percent for NIA, including the $350 million in funding allocated for research on Alzheimer’s disease (see COSSA’s omnibus analysis). Notwithstanding the resources dedicated to Alzheimer’s research, NIA’s FY 2016 budget provides a 4.2 percent increase to the institute, “the largest increase to the NIA budget since 2003,” Hodes explained.

He emphasized that the FY 2016 budget will “provide an opportunity for increased support for the broad range of NIA-supported aging research.” He particularly highlighted the recent release of ten Program Announcements with Review (PARs) across the “broad spectrum of Alzheimer’s disease research” (see Update, November 3, 2015). Hodes also stressed that “While Alzheimer’s is clearly a priority in FY 2016, increased funding in FY 2016 will allow expanded support of the full spectrum of NIA’s traditional areas of emphasis, including demographic and behavioral aspects of aging; clinical aspects of aging, including management of multiple chronic conditions; and investigations into the basis of the aging process, with an emphasis on geroscience—the intersection of the aging process and the diseases that typically occur later in life.” Hodes encouraged researchers interested in aging research, including small businesses that “turn translational research into practical benefits for those with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers,” to anticipate the release of NIA funding opportunity announcements and outreach “over the next months.”

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 12), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

NIA Director Reports on the Progress of Alzheimer’s Research and Funding

On October 26, Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provided a progress report on the development of a bypass budget to the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services. The “bypass” or “professional judgment” budget is transmitted directly from NIA to the President and Congress without being revised through the traditional Federal budget process. Hodes explained that a series of meetings between 2012 and 2015 provided the basis for the comprehensive set of priorities, milestones and budget estimates included in the congressionally-mandated bypass budget (P.L. 111-375). Thirteen of the 27 NIH institutes and centers provided feedback on the potential scientific gaps and priories in the combined milestones. The milestones incorporate the input of the extramural research community which held a trans-NIH staff review and discussion, and were edited to ensure there were a “comprehensive inclusion of priorities” for FY 2017 (see Update, August 10, 2015). (more…)

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Posted in Issue 20 (November 3), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

NIA Releases 10 Funding Opportunity Announcements Focused on Alzheimer’s Disease Research

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released 10 funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) in anticipation of a substantial increase in its budget for Alzheimer’s disease research. The topics of the FOAs are in the areas of health disparities, caregiving, epidemiology, diagnosis and prediction, molecular and cellular mechanism, brain aging, and clinical trials. Funding for the FOAs is available beginning in FY 2016. These FOAs have set-aside funds associated with them; as long as funds are available, they will be supported in FY 2016 through FY 2019. NIA director Richard Hodes provided additional details in a recent blog post. The 10 FOAs can be found here.

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Posted in Issue 20 (November 3), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

NIH: Family and Interpersonal Relationships in an Aging Context

The National Institute of Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking applications designed to expand understanding of the role and impact of families and interpersonal relations on health and well-being in midlife and older age. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 22 (December 5), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

Aging and Mental Health Institutes Seek Comments on Draft Strategic Plans

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are seeking public comment on the development of the Institutes’ strategic plans. The plans will guide the Institutes’ research priorities.

National Institute on Aging

The NIA recently released a request for information (RFI) seeking guidance on its strategic plan, Aging Well in the 21st Century: Strategic Directions for Research on Aging. The draft plan outlines NIA’s broad strategic directions for the Institute and “provides a point of reference for setting priorities and a framework for systematically analyzing the Institute’s scientific portfolio and assessing progress.” Its goals falls into three categories: understanding the dynamics of the aging process; improving health, well-being, and independence of adults as they age; and supporting the research enterprise.

The goals include:

  1. Better understand the biology of gaining and its impact on prevention, progression, and prognosis of disease and disability.
  2. Better understand the effects of personal and societal factors on aging, including the mechanisms through which these factors exert their effects.
  3. Develop effective interventions to maintain health and function and prevent or reduce the burden of age-related diseases, disorders, and disabilities.
  4. Improve our understanding of the aging brain, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Develop interventions to address Alzheimer’s and other age-related neurological conditions.
  5. Improve our understanding of the consequences of an aging society to inform intervention development and policy decisions.
  6. Understand health differences and develop strategies to improve the health status of older adults in diverse populations
  7. Support the infrastructure and resources needed to promote high quality research.
  8. Disseminate information to the public, medical and scientific communities, and policy makers about research and interventions.

Specifically, NIA would like feedback regarding (1) research needs and opportunities that should be added to the plan and (2) emerging research needs and future opportunities that should be included in the plan.

Responses will be accepted until December 15, 2014 and must be submitted via email to the NIA Office of Planning, Analysis and Evaluation at niaplanning@nia.nih.gov.

National Institute of Mental Health

The National Institute of Mental Health’s revised Strategic Plan is intended to guide its priorities from 2015–2020. Accordingly, NIMH is inviting public comment and is specifically interested in receiving ideas for “scientific advancements, new technical capabilities or tools, or major challenge topics that promise substantial change to mental health research if pursued.” NIMH is the largest funding agency for mental health research.

In his message, NIMH director Tom Insel notes “that some scientists reject the concept of ‘directed science,’ believing that science rarely follows a plan.” Conversely, Insel noted, a strategic plan “can identify the most important problems and identify areas of traction.”

The 2015–2020 plan revises the original four high-level Strategic Objectives which are intended to serve as a “broad roadmap” for NIMH’s priorities.

These objectives include:

  1. Define the biological basis of complex behaviors;
  2. Chart mental illness trajectories to determine when, where, and how to intervene;
  3. Strive for prevention and cures; and
  4. Strengthen the public health impact of NIMH-supported research.

According to the revised draft plan, the Institute’s funding strategy is “to support a broad spectrum of investigator-initiated research in fundamental science, with increasing use of Institute-solicited initiatives for applied research where public health impact is a short-term measure of success.”

The revised plan also includes cross-cutting themes that are relevant to each of the objectives. These themes include: transforming diagnostics, accelerating therapeutics, the growing digital enterprise, transforming the trajectory of mental illnesses through preemptive medicine, global mental health, mental health disparities, partnerships, and training future research scientists.

Responses to the draft plan are due by December 11, 2014and can be submitted to: NIMHSTRATPLAN@mail.nih.gov. Additional information is available here.

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Posted in Issue 21 (November 17), Update, Volume 33 (2014)

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