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

Competition objectives

The Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant to Promote Diversity (AARG-D) award is up to three years (minimum 2 years) to increase the number of scientists from underrepresented groups at academic institutions in Alzheimer’s and other dementias research. The AARG-D aims to fund investigators who are less than 15 years past their doctoral or post residency (M.D. or D.O.).

The objective of this award is to increase the number of highly trained investigators from diverse backgrounds whose basic, clinical and social/behavioral research interests are grounded in the advanced methods and experimental approaches needed to solve problems related to Alzheimer’s and other dementias in general and in health disparities populations. The Alzheimer’s Association recognizes the need to increase the number of scientists from underrepresented groups participating in biomedical and behavioral research. The Association anticipates that by providing these research opportunities, the number of scientists from underrepresented groups entering and remaining in biomedical research careers in Alzheimer’s and other dementias will increase.
The purpose of this program is to provide new scientists from underrepresented groups 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 the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and other funding agencies and groups, including future proposals to the Alzheimer's Association.

Funding and award period

Each AARG-D award is limited to $150,000 (direct and indirect costs) for up to three years (minimum two years). Requests may not exceed $60,000 in any given year (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.


Applicants must be Assistant Professors or above at their respective institution. For individuals who are at non-academic institutions, please contact the Alzheimer's Association at to verify your eligibility.

Eligibility to apply for this grant competition is restricted to investigators who have less than 15 years of research experience after receipt of their terminal degree. The 15-year period applies to the date of submission of the grant application. Adjustments for career interruptions can be made. These would include, but are not limited to, 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. Applicants must contact the Alzheimer’s Association at regarding any possible exception prior to submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) due to the review process; no exceptions will be made after the LOI deadline has passed.

Specific for the AARG-D program, eligible applicants are faculty members who have been determined to be underrepresented faculty in biomedical and behavioral research on a national, international or institutional basis. The Alzheimer’s Association will require documentation to support the faculty member’s underrepresented status at their institution.

Applicants from the U.S. submitting to the Alzheimer’s Association will be subject to the definitions as stated by the National Institutes of Health. NIH-designated U.S health disparity populations include:

  • Blacks and African Americans.
  • Hispanics and Latinos.
  • American Indians and Alaska Natives.
  • Asian Americans.
  • Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
  • Socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.
  • Underserved rural populations.
  • Persons with disabilities.
  • Sexual and gender minorities.

Applicants must submit a Letter of Assurance printed on the hiring institution letterhead, signed by an authorized institutional official (i.e., Grants and Contracts officer) that states the applicant has been determined by their institution to be underrepresented in the above areas at the time of LOI for verification. The Alzheimer’s Association reserves the right to require additional documentation to help confirm the applicant’s eligibility.

Non-U.S. applicants, in addition to the letter, must provide official documentation from their institutional materials, such as, website, manual or other legal documentation that indicates their eligibility for this program.
Applications to the Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant to Promote Diversity (AARG-D) program will be accepted from postdoctoral fellows and other junior faculty members (e.g. Instructor, Research Associate Scientist, Lecturer, etc.) who can provide a letter of employment verification indicating you will have a full-time faculty position of an Assistant Professor or above by the award date should the proposal be in funding range and funded.
If applicable, 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 will have a full-time faculty position of an Assistant Professor and above.
Please note: 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.


The Alzheimer's Association will not accept new grant applications from currently funded investigators who are delinquent in submitting required reports and other deliverables on active grants. Investigators that have previous Alzheimer’s Association awards closed as “Incomplete” are not eligible to apply without exception. 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.

New requirement: All 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 applicants can create and submit an LOI online at

LOI review procedures:

Proposals are triaged at the LOI stage by the Alzheimer’s Association expert review panel with special attention to:

  • Demonstrable innovation/novelty of the proposed project (especially in the context of the PIs recently funded work).
  • Alignment with the research priorities of the Alzheimer’s Association.
  • Impact of project on Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
  • Evidence of methodological rigor that address the research question(s) being proposed.
Please note: Specific feedback and reviewer comments are not provided at the LOI stage for LOIs that are not invited to submit a full application.

Applications will be evaluated with special attention to the following:
  • Significance of the question(s) 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.

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 the individual research grant. The maximum allowable duration is three years (minimum two years). Annual scientific progress and financial reports are required. Continuation of the grant over the awarded duration is contingent upon the timely receipt of scientific progress and financial reports.


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, $150,000 or $60,000 per year for up to three years (minimum two years – award cannot be for only one year).

Please note: If you only request the award for two years the max amount you can request is $120,000 or $60,000 per year.

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 equipment if used strictly for data collection (requires prior approval).
  • 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.
  • Salary for the principal investigator, scientific (including post-doctoral fellows) and technical staff (including laboratory technicians and administrative support related directly to the funded project).

Direct costs not allowed under this award include:

  • Tuition.
  • Computer hardware or software for investigators.
  • Rent for laboratory/office space.
  • Construction or renovation costs.
  • 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