Competition objectives

Apply for the AARG Grant

Apply for the AARG research grant by submitting your LOI through ProposalCentral.

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The Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant (AARG) award aims to fund early-career investigators who are less than 15 years past their doctoral degree or post-residency (MD or DO).

The purpose of this program is to provide newly independent investigators with funding that will allow them to develop preliminary or pilot data, to test procedures and to develop hypotheses. The intent is to support early-career development that will lay the groundwork for future research grant applications to federal or other funding entities.

The mechanism of this award is the individual research grant. The Alzheimer’s Association recognizes the need to increase the number of scientists from underrepresented groups in the research enterprise for Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Young scientists from these groups are encouraged to apply.

Funding and award period

Each AARG award total is limited to $150,000 (direct and indirect costs) for up to three years (minimum two years = $120,000). Requests may not exceed $60,000 in any given year (direct and indirect costs). Indirect costs are capped at 10% of total direct costs and is inclusive of indirect costs for the implementing institution as well as to any subcontracts.


Applicants must be an Assistant Professors or above at their respective academic institution and less than 15 years past their doctoral degree or post-residency (MD or DO):

  • The 15-year period applies to the date of submission of the grant application. Adjustments for career interruptions can be made for events such as: family leave, military service and major illness or injury. It is the responsibility of the applicant to point out and document such interruptions within their application.
  • Applications will be accepted from postdoctoral fellows and other junior faculty members (for example: Instructor, Research Associate Scientist, Lecturer etc.) who can provide a letter of employment verification indicating they will have a full-time faculty position of an Assistant Professor or above prior to notification of funding (Feb. 15, 2022) should the proposal be in funding range and funded.
    • The letter of employment must be uploaded with the application and dated within three months from application submission date, printed on the hiring institution letterhead, signed by an authorized institutional official (i.e. Grants and Contracts officer) and must indicate that the position will be activated by the grant award date. If the anticipated position is not activated by the award date for any reason, any offer of funding will be withdrawn. There will be no exceptions.
    • In the event your application is funded, you will be required to provide an official letter on organizational letterhead, signed by an institutional signing official, stating you have a full-time faculty position of an Assistant Professor and above.
  • If the applicant’s institution does not have an Assistant Professor position, the letter of employment should include sufficient information to allow the Alzheimer’s Association staff to evaluate the eligibility of the applicant.

Applicants must contact the Alzheimer’s Association at to verify eligibility if they do not have an assistant professor title and inquire regarding any possible exception prior to submitting a letter of intent (LOI). no exceptions will be made after the LOI deadline has passed.


Please refer to Section III: B. Eligibility & Ineligibility in the full Program Announcement for additional ineligibility criteria.

Deadlines and award dates

Letter of Intent deadline: February 23, 2022, 5 p.m. EST.

​Each AARG LOI is evaluated with attention to:

  • Demonstrable innovation/novelty of the proposed project (especially in the context of the PI's recently funded work).
  • Alignment with the research priorities of the Alzheimer’s Association.
  • Impact of project on Alzheimer’s and all other dementia research.
  • Evidence of methodological rigor that address the research question(s) being proposed.

Letter of Intent notifications: Week of March 28, 2022.

Note: Due to the high volume of submissions, specific feedback and reviewer comments are not provided at the LOI stage.

Application deadline: April 27, 2022, 5 p.m. EST.

If invited to submit a full application, each AARG application is evaluated on:

  • Significance of the question being studied.
  • Applicant information – including the training of the PI insofar as it enables them to perform the work proposed, qualifications of the collaborators and the expertise they bring to the project.
  • Quality of the work plan – including novelty and innovation of the proposed project; additionally, projects that involve human subjects will be evaluated on planned recruitment efforts.
  • Quality and adequacy of available resources and budget.
  • Impact-Risk of the proposal and how it will add to the field’s overall knowledge and advancement.
  • Resubmissions will have the opportunity to provide a response to prior review.

Award notifications: Prior to August 30, 2022.


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.

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 direct costs may be included as indirect costs; this is inclusive of indirect costs for the implementing institution as well as any to subcontracts.

Allowable costs 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 (PI), scientific (including postdoctoral fellows) and technical staff (including laboratory technicians and administrative support directly related to the funded grant).
  • Support for travel to scientific and professional meetings not to exceed $3,000 in any given year; additional support for travel expenses necessary to carry out research planned not to exceed $1,000 in any given year – this may include site visits. Total travel cost should not exceed $5,000 for the duration of the award.

Direct costs not allowed under this award

Direct costs not allowed include:

  • Computer hardware or standard software (e.g., Microsoft Office).
  • Construction or renovation costs.
  • Tuition.
  • Rent for laboratory/office space.
  • Expenses such as Data Network Recharges and Computing and communication device support services.
  • General liability insurances, such as GAEL.
  • 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 under Grants.

Reporting requirements

Please see Section III, J: Reporting Requirements for additional details. This award requires:

  • Annual scientific progress reports.
  • Annual financial reports.
  • Annual reports on recruitment & retention efforts (if applicable).

Note: The continuation of the grant over the awarded duration is contingent upon the timely receipt of all required reports.

Contact information

For any inquires or additional information, please contact a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Grants staff at