About the NIAP grant program

This year, two organizations — the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC), home to one of the largest, oldest, and most powerful Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) datasets, and the Alzheimer’s Association, the world’s largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer’s and all dementia science — are partnering to offer the Alzheimer’s Association and NACC New Investigators Awards Program (NIAP).

Up to ten (10) NIAP awards will be granted in the spring of 2024 based on the scientific merit, through peer-review, of submitted applications. Eligible candidates include new and early-career investigators from across the 37 ADRCs programs. These awards aim to support career development and advance scientific research on ADRD. Funding early career investigators is a core tenant of the missions of the Alzheimer’s Association, NACC and the ADRCs. 

This grant program is open to U.S. researchers who are affiliated with an Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC).

Grant RFP

View program objectives, eligibility, submission process and more.

Grant Application

Apply for the NIAP Grant Program by submitting your LOI through the ProposalCentral website. Registration is required.

Features of a successful New Investigator Project

Successful NIAPs must demonstrate scientific rigor. This will be determined through peer review; the peer-review process will evaluate the scientific merit and potential impact on the field of ADRD. Areas of study are open across the entire spectrum of proposed research ongoing within the ADRC network, including but not limited to data-driven and methodological studies, if they rely on credible data sources. The research studies may be discovery science, translational, clinical or care related, and may include a range of methodologies including genomic studies and data science. Research proposals should advance ADRD science through new approaches that have the potential to identify and characterize important gaps in knowledge related to environmental exposures, social and structural determinants of health, biomarkers, disease mechanisms, or novel therapeutic approaches. Research questions may be rooted in multiple disciplines, such as neuropathology, epidemiology, neurology, psychiatry, gerontology/aging, psychology, imaging/radiology, pharmacology, informatics, and data science/biostatistics. Importantly, the research should aim to provide novel insights and bring new insights to our understanding, rather than replicating previous studies.

Data sources

New Investigator projects may leverage any data source or study base but must defend its scientific rigor to address the research questions at hand. NACC data are NOT required to be used to NIAP proposals that allow the investigator to visit and/or collaborate across ADRCs to meet with experts (internal or external Mentors) or obtain study-specific data are encouraged.

Funding and award period

The partners will fund up to ten (10) awards, totaling $135,000 in direct costs for one to two years total for the 2024-2025 award cycle, with funds to be distributed June 2024 through May 2026. For awards funded by the Alzheimer’s Association, the indirect rate will be restricted to 10% on top of the direct costs. Details regarding the budget and timeline are addressed in the Application section below. Applications will be funded based on the decision of the NACC Steering Committee, based on the scientific merit and potential impact as determined by peer review. New investigators will have up to two years to complete their project. The ADRC Director is expected to provide oversight of the NIAP award for the distribution of funds and/or the expenditures. The partners will work with the ADRC institutional Grants Office on the appropriate reporting.

Key dates:

Letter of Intent and Request a Mentor from the ADRC RECs Deadline*: November 30, 2023, 5 p.m. ET

Application Deadline*: February 16, 2024, 5 p.m. ET

Application Review: February – April 2024

Award Notifications: May 2024 - Award winners will be announced at the 2024 Spring ADRC Meeting in Austin, TX.

*The Request for a Mentor, Letter of Intent, and Application must be received by 5 p.m. ET on their respective deadlines.


  • You must be a new investigator, defined as post-doctoral fellows, residents, or junior faculty that have not yet been promoted to associate professor rank (M.D. or Ph.D.), within 10 years of rank, and not already having had an R01 grant at the time of applying for a NIAP. Researchers and investigators with a higher or lower academic rank are not eligible to apply.
  • New investigators must be affiliated with an ADRC. ADRC Directors must provide a letter to confirm that the new investigator is affiliated with their ADRC. A template for the letter is provided in the online application materials.

Apply for a New Investigator Award

For instructions on how to apply, including submitting a Letter of Intent, requesting a mentor, writing a research plan, and more, please download the grant RFP

Review process overview

Applications undergo a thorough, multi-stage review to assess scientific and technical merit. This process is facilitated by the online system proposalCENTRAL and involves multiple organizations and committees including NACC, the Alzheimer's Association, and NACC’s Scientific Review Committee (SRC).

Review criteria:
  • Overall Impact: The potential for the project to significantly influence relevant research fields.
  • Significance: The importance of the project.
  • Investigator(s): The qualifications of the research team.
  • Innovation Approach: The novelty of the research methods.
  • Environment: The adequacy of the research setting.
  • Budget & Resources: Quality and suitability of the proposed budget and resources.
Additional criteria:
  • Protections for Human Subjects
  • Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children
  • Vertebrate Animals
  • Biohazards
Review stages (for full applications):

First Stage: NACC and the Alzheimer Association review applications for eligibility and completeness and assign them for peer review.

Second Stage: Review by the NACC Scientific Review Committee (SRC) through proposalCENTRAL and will include a panel of at least three peer scientists with relevant expertise. These reviewers will provide written commentary, scores (using NIH scale), and will engage in a thorough discussion of each application. The committee's evaluation centers on the criteria noted above.

Overall Impact: Each committee member, who has no conflict of interest, will assign an overall impact score after discussion in the SRC meeting. This score will reflect their assessment of the project's potential to significantly influence the research fields involved. The score will take into account various review criteria as well as any additional criteria relevant to the specific project. Note: Applications that initially score below the median may not be discussed during the committee meeting and will be marked 'unscored.' However, written reviews for these applications will still be returned to the applicant.

Final approval:

Final Impact scoring and review summaries from the SRC are forwarded to the NACC Steering Committee and the Alzheimer's Association for final selection. This rigorous, multi-level review ensures fair and scientifically sound award decisions. Once finalists are identified, NACC and the Alzheimer’s Association will contact both the ADRC and the New Investigator to finalize the award details, including award amounts. At that time, NACC and the Alzheimer's Association will also provide a list of any further required documents—such as “Just in Time” information, including but not limited to: Other Support.

Post award information

If awarded funding, NACC and the Alzheimer’s Association require any necessary ethical and/or regulatory approvals to be kept current and may also require specific reporting throughout the lifetime of the award. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Human participants assurances
Human participants (subject) assurances are not required at the time of application. NACC and the Alzheimer’s Association accept only certifications that apply specifically to the funded project and must include the name of the awardee

Annual scientific and financial reports
Annual Scientific & Financial Reports must be submitted at the end of each reporting period as long as the grant remains active. Final Scientific & Financial Reports must be filed within 90 days of the grant end date. All reports must be submitted electronically via ProposalCentral.com. The Financial Report must be approved and signed by someone with financial authority in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at the recipient’s institution.

Publications, presentations and abstracts
Electronic copies of publications, presentations and abstracts that report research supported by funds from NACC and Alzheimer’s Association must be submitted electronically at the time of publication. These copies will become part of the official file of the grant and will be provided to the Communications Division of the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC) to assist in the efforts to further inform the public about the Research Grant Program of the Alzheimer's Association, NACC’s New Investigator Award Program, and the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Program.

Recruitment efforts for clinical studies
If your project involves human participants, your application must clearly describe your inclusion and exclusion criteria, as well as your efforts to recruit a diverse participant pool from the community where the study takes place. 

Upon awarding, and before fund disbursement, you will need to submit a detailed recruitment plan. This should outline how you'll ensure diversity across various key demographic variables, such as sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity.

These diversity and inclusion goals will be a key focus in the grant's ongoing reporting requirements. Continued funding depends on your success in meeting these objectives.

Additional information

Financial responsibility
Funding is awarded to the institution of the ADRC, not to the individual principal investigator. The principal investigator or a first degree relative cannot be listed as the signing official or financial officer or have checks sent to their attention, if awarded.

Multiple and overlapping submissions
Multiple submissions from one applicant are not permitted. This includes multiple submissions from the same group and/or collaborators.

Nondiscrimination and harassment statement
NACC and the Alzheimer’s Association are committed to providing an environment free from harassment and discrimination. NACC and the Alzheimer’s Association strictly prohibits harassment and discrimination based on race; creed; color; religion; sex; sexual orientation; national origin; ancestry; age; veteran status; citizenship status; marital status; physical or mental disabilities; pregnancy, gender identity or expression (including transgender status); genetic information; and any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.

For more information about the NIAP grant program, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association at grantsapp@alz.org.