Please note that we are pausing new applications to the IRGP programs as a result of COVID-19.

Competition objectives

The Alzheimer’s Association recognizes the need to support the training of clinician scientists in Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. For the purpose of this program, a clinician scientist is defined as an individual already trained, licensed and practicing in a clinical field that includes patient contact (e.g., neurology, psychiatry, geriatrics, psychology) or patient-related diagnostic studies (e.g., neuropathology and radiology). Applicants who hold an M.D. or D.O. degree or applicants with a Ph.D. who have licensure for clinical practice are eligible.

Please note: Individuals applying to the program will be accepted from individuals with full-time positions at their respective institution who are within 10 years of receiving their M.D., D.O. or Ph.D. (or equivalent), including postdoctoral fellows through Assistant Professors. Positions higher than Assistant Professor will not be considered.

The areas of research that the clinician scientist proposes for funding are not limited to patient-oriented, human subject research, but may also include translational research specifically designed to develop treatments or enhance diagnosis of neurological disease. These translational areas of research include epidemiologic or behavioral studies, clinical trials, studies of disease mechanisms, the development of new technologies, and health services and outcomes research. Disease-related basic science studies not directly involving humans or human tissue are also encouraged if the primary goal is the development of therapies, diagnostic tests or other tools to prevent or mitigate neurological diseases.

Funding and award period

Each AACSF award is limited to $175,000. A total of $155,000 will be awarded for costs related to the proposed research for up to three years (minimum two years) for direct and indirect costs. Requests in any given year may not exceed $60,000 (direct and indirect costs). Indirect costs are capped at 10% (rent for laboratory/office space is expected to be covered by indirect costs paid to the institution). This is inclusive of indirect costs for the implementing institution as well as any to subcontracts. The Principal Investigator must commit up to an average of two protected days per week (40%) effort toward their research efforts during each funding year.

The remaining funds, $10,000 to the applicant and $10,000 to the primary mentor, will be awarded upon successful completion of the three years (minimum two years). These additional funds are to be applied to sustaining ongoing research in the Alzheimer’s field and will be awarded through the applicant’s and mentor’s institutions. Successful completion of the program includes — but is not limited to — reaching all of the demonstrable benchmarks listed.

Please note: A total of $5,000 over a three-year period (two-year minimum) may be requested for travel purposes and is not to exceed $3,000 in one given year. A portion must be allocated to support registration and travel to the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®), as AAIC attendance is a condition of the award. If you request the full $5,000 for two years of travel and are requesting a three-year award, you will not be able to request travel funds for one of those years.

Eligibility

Applicant must be a clinician who is interested in an academic career in research and has completed residency for an M.D. or D.O. (i.e. any degree that allows the applicant to achieve licensure to practice medicine) or a post-doctoral fellowship (Ph.D.) in a clinical practice field or both within the past five years.

Please note: Individuals applying to the program will be accepted from individuals with full-time positions at their respective institution who are within 10 years of receiving their M.D., D.O. or Ph.D. (or equivalent), including postdoctoral fellows through Assistant Professors. Positions higher than Assistant Professor will not be considered.

Individuals who are early in their clinician scientist careers will be given priority. Proposals are strongly encouraged from individuals training in specialties of behavioral neurology and neuropathology, geriatrics with focus on dementia/cognitive disorders, geriatric psychiatry with focus on dementia/cognitive disorders or neuropsychology with focus on dementia/cognitive disorders.

The applicant must be at a recognized academic institution. The Alzheimer’s Association reserves the right to request additional information to confirm that the institution meets not-for-profit requirements of the Association.

For questions as to whether an applicant or organization is eligible, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association at grantsapp@alz.org.

Ineligibility

Applications from currently funded investigators (including the mentor) who are delinquent in submitting required reports and other deliverables on active grants are ineligible. Investigators (or mentors) that have previous Alzheimer’s Association awards closed as “Incomplete” are not eligible to apply. This policy will be strictly adhered to with no exceptions.

Deadlines and award dates

Please note that we are pausing new applications to the IRGP programs as a result of COVID-19.

Future applicants must include an ORCID ID, it is a required field. You will not be able to submit your LOI without this information.

Future LOIs will be created and submitted online at http://proposalcentral.com.

Applications will be reviewed with special attention to:

  • Applicant’s ability and promise as a clinician scientist based on prior record of achievement and career plan, letters of reference and curriculum vitae (30%).
  • Quality and nature of the training to be provided and the institutional, departmental and mentor-specific training environment. This includes available resources to support the applicant in their training (30%).
  • Quality and originality of the research plan (40%).

Please note: Resubmissions will have the opportunity to provide a response to prior review.

Mechanism of award, reporting requirements and allowable costs

The mechanism of the award is an individual research grant; this award is made to the individual and managed by their institution. Significant emphasis will be on the mentor and letters of reference provided in the application. The mentor is expected to contribute a statement regarding commitment to the applicant. The maximum allowable duration is three years (minimum two years). Please note that due to the nature of this grant being awarded to a Fellow, only in extreme circumstances will a transfer of PI be allowed; it is expected that the Fellow will transfer their funding to their future institution. Annual scientific progress and financial reports are required from both the applicant and the mentor throughout the award period.
 
Continuation of the grant over the awarded duration is contingent upon the timely receipt of scientific progress and financial reports as well as a mentor’s report outlining progress toward meeting required benchmarks.

Application

The mentor should be experienced in conducting Alzheimer’s and other dementia research and in mentoring junior investigators. The application must include a two-three page statement from the selected mentor that includes information on his or her research qualifications and experience as a research supervisor and commitment to the applicant. This statement will be a significant part of the application review. The application must also include information to describe the mentor’s research support relevant to the applicant’s research plan and the nature and extent of supervision and training that he/she will provide during the period of the award. The primary mentor must agree to provide annual evaluations of the applicant’s progress for the duration of the award, as required for the yearly progress report. Only one primary mentor can be included. Additional team members who might function as mentors can be listed as key personnel.
 
Mentoring selections may include early-career researchers and/or mid-career scientists who choose to shift into Alzheimer’s and other dementia research. The applicant and proposed mentor must specify a mechanism for ensuring effective mentoring. The application should contain a plan for and an evaluation strategy of the mentoring process for enhancing diversity in the professional research workforce.
 
Specific benchmarks are outlined below and considered by the Alzheimer’s Association as critical for the development of early-career investigators. A successful mentorship plan should include some of these benchmarks but should not be limited to these alone.

Required benchmarks include:
 
  • Attendance at an Association-sponsored event for new investigators at the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference (AAIC).
  • Acceptance of an abstract at AAIC.
  • Mandatory documentation of hours spent on face-to-face mentoring.
  • Citation of specific exercises of mentorship such as supervision of manuscript writing and submission or grant writing and submission.
  • Supervision of grant application reviews (not limited to the Alzheimer’s Association review process but reviewing for other granting mechanisms are encouraged if possible; Alzheimer’s Association staff will coordinate supervised reviews for the Association).
  • Specific instances of the facilitation of networking, introductions to colleagues and/or inclusion in discussions at scientific meetings.
  • Submission of funding proposal(s) to other funding agencies, including Alzheimer’s Association, National Institutes of Health or National Science Foundation, Medical Research Council (UK), Canadian Institutes of Health Research, etc.
Suggested benchmark
Submission of an application to the National Institute on Aging’s Butler-Williams Scholars Program (formerly the Summer Institute on Aging Research) or submission to another training program.
 

Budget

A “budget summary” for the proposed research project is required and must be submitted with the application and within the allowable two-page limit. However, if the application is to be awarded, a more detailed budget will be required and must be approved before the disbursement of funds.
 
Your budget must not exceed the maximum amount of the award, $155,000 ($150,000 for direct research and $5,000 for travel) and may not exceed $60,000 in one given year (direct and indirect costs). A total of $5,000 over a three-year period (minimum two years) is not to exceed $3,000 in any given year must be allocated to support registration and travel to the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), a condition of the award.
 
Note: If you request the full $5,000 for two years of travel and are requesting a three-year award, you will not be able to request travel funds for one of those years.
 
Indirect costs are capped at no more than 10%. The remaining funds, $10,000 to the applicant and $10,000 to the primary mentor, will be awarded upon successful completion of the three-year program (minimum two years – an award cannot be for only one year) and should not be included in your overall budget. These research stipends are paid to the institution(s) following successful completion of the grant and must go towards continued research endeavors.

Allowable costs under this award

It is required that most of the funds awarded under this program be used for direct research support. No more than 10% of the total award may be included as indirect costs. This is inclusive of indirect costs for the implementing institution as well as any to subcontracts.
 
Allowable costs under this award include:

  • Purchase and care of laboratory animals.
  • Small pieces of laboratory equipment and laboratory supplies (purchases over $10,000 require prior approval, even if included in the project proposal budget).
  • Computer software if used strictly for data collection (requires prior approval).
  • Salary for the principal investigator, scientific (including postdoctoral fellows) and technical staff (including laboratory technicians and administrative support directly related to the funded grant).
  • Travel (up to $5,000 max over two/three-year award to travel to the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), a condition of the award).
Direct costs not allowed under this award include:
 
  • Computer hardware or standard software (e.g. Microsoft Office).
  • Construction or renovation costs.
  • Rent for laboratory/office space.
  • Salary and/or compensation for Alzheimer’s Association Staff or current members of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Group (MSAG) and the International Research Grant Program (IRGP) Council. A complete list of MSAG and IRGP Council members can be found on our website.

For more information: Contact grantsapp@alz.org.